The Analogy of Rats – St Paddy Day Special

Rats ! It’s coming up rats everywhere. Happy St Patrick’s Day !!

I have been combating a household rat problem this weekend. The cute brown rodent that I have mildly tolerated since CNY has now infested the entire place leaving droppings all over the floor of the shed and challenging even the dog which is no mean feat considering I have a decently built shiba-inu who is, unfortunately, into his middle declining years.

Thus, the cement job yesterday, patching up the odd holes and closing out the gutter openings. Incidentally, I discovered the new art/skill of cement mixing.

Exterminator says they are Norway rats which are  MADE IN CHINA and NOT NORWAY. They are the hardest to trap because of their size and poison would work best except that you will not know where they will crawl off to die.

It struck me my life this year has been rather “ratty”; 2 bad encounters with human “rats” so far, smelling rats in the markets, feeling like a lab rat  and rats at home, who are probably the sweetest of the lot.

What are the headlines this weekend ?

Where everyone with over a 100k in their bank accounts are poorer by 10% (9.9), courtesy of a bailout package which BAILS IN depositors. Not to worry, the atms have been emptied but the deposit machines are still working.

Cyprus accounts for just 0.2% of the Eurozone economy so who cares except the citizens. Besides the Russians are going to lose just about 2 bio in this from their money laundries in Cyprus.

Cyprus = Iceland all over again. Banking sector holding assets worth 5 times the country’s economic output.


Irony out of UK is that if UK savers had moved their money to Cyprus in 2008 WOULD STILL BE RICHER AFTER TAX because of GBP’s debasement. Yet it probably means that house prices in Central London are going to BOOM from here from safe haven flights of capital.

Note this poses the risk to bond holders who are pari passu with depositors and supports a case for the 2018 target ruling that no one will be safe and make the Dutch bailout of SNS Bank look lenient in comparison.

And not to throw the final drop of cold water, Iceland’s troubles are back.
Reuters : Troubled Icelandic government faces no confidence vote.

PIGS & Lies
Count has spiked to 12,566 pigs and counting.
Do check the manufacturing dates on those cans of Maling for future purchases.

In January, we had Goldman and UBS expressing skepticism at China’s export data and they shut up quickly because they wanted to keep their banking operations.

Marc Faber sums it this week in his interview on CNBC.

“China won’t miss it [GDP growth target 7.5%] They will announce it. But the reality will be much lower. If you look at the statistics that are more reliable like Korean, Japanese or Taiwanese exports … then export figures from China don’t add up entirely.”

The can of worms is just exploding and it keeps getting better as the so called “Whale” was actually the dolphin and his boss says its not her fault.

Bruno Iksil: “I can’t keep this going … I don’t know where he wants to stop but it’s getting idiotic.”

Stopping short of naming names in the blame game only proves that JPM is too big to fail.

Too big to fail banks are “the practitioners of crony capitalism” : Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher.


It has moved into GOLD and SILVER now as CFTC looks in London (again) price setting.
WSJ : CFTC Looking Into London Gold, Silver Price Setting
Reuters : US CFTC looking at London Gold, Silver Fix

But Vitamin C from China too ??

WSJ : Chinese Vitamin C Suppliers Found Liable for Price Fixing

What’s next ?

Hong Kong has done it with HSBC, SCB and Hang Seng leading the way and rumoured to be on moral suasion from the HKMA.

Property prices are forecasted to correct 20%.

Oblivious Singaporeans are fixated on the wishy washy developments in the motor vehicle market rules.

Barclays sent out a mortgage market report underweighting DBS, neutral on OCBC and overweight on UOB but no mention on property market outlook.


An amazing opening liner in the article that sums up what I think of Samsung.

“… There were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane.” Sam Grobart, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

I would take great pleasure in using a hammer to smash that Samsung S2 of mine up once I get my hands on the Blackberry Z10 except I am hypochondriac enough to worry about rare earth poisoning. RIMM has changed their ticker to BBRY, by the way.


“From TaihaiNet March 11 news, according to a China Economic Net report, Hong Kong media claim that according to information from multiple Chinese travel agencies, tourists who like eating instant noodles should think twice before booking a holiday to resorts in the Maldives. Some high-end vacation resorts have already stopped providing Chinese tourists with hot water, in order to prevent them from eating only instant noodles and not spending money in restaurants.”

But check out Maldives and who did this ?

” Florida sounds like its in trouble…

At least 15,000 sharks are swimming off the south Florida coast, just in time for spring break

then we have this …

Huge mosquitoes called ‘Gallinippers’ are headed for the Sunshine State this summer

TIME : Short, fat police officers in Hanoi no longer allowed to direct traffic

It is all coming up rats to me. Time to have a Guinness and think about extermination and perhaps dream of Bernanke pulling a Pied Piper of Hamelin next week.