Market Skeptics

Market Skeptics

This is worth a read too

Deflation will be in terms of gold, like in 1929

As deleveraging occurs and debt is destroyed, prices of commodities and other assets will fall in terms of real money, which is gold and other precious metals. The price of oil, for example, will continue to fall in terms of gold. (Investors need to start thinking of values in terms of ounces of gold instead of dollars, because that is where we are headed) What this means is that, while it is possible that the price of oil could still increase in terms of dollars, the price of gold will increase to an even greater degree.”

Saudi untouched? | The Economist

Saudi untouched? | The Economist

There is a lot of discussion of a new gold standard and the heights that gold could reach.
However there are a couple of points that I think are worth still bearing in mind.

1. The world still runs on energy. We need it to live and have the standard of living we do. Oil is still the densest form of energy we have available that is easy to obtain. It is what our society runs on.
2. I was sitting in a taxi chatting to the driver. He had worked in Saudi and said that they had mountains of gold.

I still feel we are on the oil standard.
Either way Saudi is in a good position and buying a middle eastern currency is probably a good place right now.

Two dimensions of time?

What’s Next In Science & Technology – With two dimensions of time, many of the mysteries of today’s laws of physics may disappear

I think this is a very interesting article.
Something I was pondering on (well similar in vain, but in a less sophisticated way).

Are there two or more dimensions?
Something with time doesn’t seem right, we have three main (perceived) physical dimensions, yet this strange and different dimension called time.

It is an unwritten assumption in all equations…. what if time doesn’t exist at all, maybe this is just a human artificial construct.

Could we re-write equations without time as a dimension at all.

More planetary rhyme

I found this whilst researching twinkle twinkle little star.


I think that I shall never see
A planet fast as Mercury.

The clouds are so thick on Venus
The people there have never seen us.

I stand upon the planet Earth,
Place of my birth, for what it’s worth.

The surface of reddish Mars
Is much more cold and dry than ours.

The largest planet by far is Jupiter;
Knowing that, I feel slightly less stupider.

Icy rings make a lovely pattern
Circling the planet Saturn.

The fierce winds of Uranus
Are stronger than hurricane-s.

NASA’s Voyager 2 flew past Neptune
They won’t be sending another probe soon.

I tried to think of a rhyme for Pluto,
But it’s no longer considered a planet, you know?

Educational Nursery Rhymes: Twinkle Twinkle Little Universe

Well I am now singing “twinkle twinkle little star” 20 times a night!
.. and only really knowing the first verse, this is getting tough.
So I have been updating it a bit more for or current thinking at the start of the 21st century, and spicing it up a bit with more educational content….

Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are

Twinkle twinkle little star
Now we know what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a our sun, but far away
Twinkle twinkle little star
Now we know what you are

Twinkle twinkle Mercury
Why is it that you’re so hard see
Close to to sun, you do fly
Making it hard for the naked eye
Twinkle twinkle Mercury
Why is it that you’re so hard see

Twinkle twinkle little Venus
How far away are you from us
Nice and bright, in the sky
Next to Mercury you do fly
Twinkle twinkle little Venus
How far away are you from us

Twinkle twinkle little Mars
Do you hold life, we all ask
Spacehips go so hope we’ll know
You’re far away, so it maybe slow
Twinkle twinkle little Mars
Do you hold life, we all ask

Twinkle twinkle Jupiter
You’re a big planet that’s for sure
Thousand times the size of Earth
Almost a star, but avoided birth
Twinkle twinkle Jupiter
You’re a big planet that’s for sure

Twinkle twinkle big Saturn
With lots of rings you do turn
With you rings you look so nice
Who would think they were made of ice
Twinkle twinkle big Saturn
With lots of rings you do turn

Twinkle twinkle Uranus
Coldest planet we’ve visited in the universe
Cold and greenish you do fly
while on your side you do lie
Twinkle twinkle Uranus
Coldest planet we’ve visited in the universe

Twinkle twinkle blue Neptune
So far away it’s dark at noon
Clouds of gas and methane
Full of clouds and no terrain
Twinkle twinkle blue Neptune
So far away it’s dark at noon

Twinkle twinkle little Pluto
Are you a planet, we don’t know
If not a planet, maybe a moon
In any case we will see you soon
Twinkle twinkle little Pluto
Are you a planet, we don’t know

Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are

Dedicated to Sophia, 2008

Let me know if you know rhymes for Eris, Larger Magellanic cloud, and NGC1952 (Crab Nebula)!

Linux is NOT Windows

This is a good analogy in the difference between windows and linux, linked to my last post.

Linux isNOT Windows: “Look at it this way: Step outside and take a look at all the different vehicles driving along the road. These are all vehicles designed with more or less the same purpose: To get you from A to B via the roads. Note the variety in designs.

But, you may be thinking, car differences are really quite minor: they all have a steering wheel, foot-pedal controls, a gear stick, a handbrake, windows & doors, a petrol tank. . . If you can drive one car, you can drive any car!

Quite true. But did you not see that some people weren’t driving cars, but were riding motorbikes instead. . ?

Switching from one version of Windows to another is like switching from one car to another. Win95 to Win98, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. Win98 to WinXP, it was a bigger change but really nothing major.

But switching from Windows to Linux is like switching from a car to a motorbike. They may both be OSes/road vehicles. They may both use the same hardware/roads. They may both provide an environment for you to run applications/transport you from A to B. But they use fundamentally different approaches to do so.

Windows/cars are not safe from viruses/theft unless you install an antivirus/lock the doors. Linux/motorbikes don’t have viruses/doors, so are perfectly safe without you having to install an antivirus/lock any doors.

Or look at it the other way round:”

Slump Moves From Wall St. to Main St. – New York Times

Interesting article from the NY times.
In all of this discussion, although there is plenty of discussion around economics and fundamentals; it is the general mass population and their behaviour that is most important and acts as a magnifier of any effect. If they are happy and unconcerned, it all continues and the economy can slowly be let down. If they panic, all bets are off.

Slump Moves From Wall St. to Main St. – New York Times: “For the country as a whole, recent data shows that the economy is deteriorating at an accelerating rate. From September to January, average home prices fell 6 percent compared with a year earlier. Consumer confidence has been plummeting. The private sector shed 26,000 jobs in January and 101,000 in February, while those out of work have stayed jobless longer, according to the Labor Department.

Now, the broader discomfort is filtering into cities and towns that only recently seemed beyond reach.”

BBC NEWS | Business | JPMorgan to acquire Bear Stearns

Following the news on Friday, the top 3 or four here must be of concern.
We will watch this week.

Subprime Losses, source BBC
Citigroup: $18bn

Merrill Lynch: $14.1bn
UBS: $13.5bn
Morgan Stanley $9.4bn
HSBC: $3.4bn
Bear Stearns: $3.2bn – Fold, into JP Morgan
Deutsche Bank: $3.2bn
Bank of America: $3bn
Barclays: $2.6bn
Royal Bank of Scotland: $2.6bn
Freddie Mac: $2bn
JP Morgan Chase: $3.2bn – Buy, Bear Stearns
Credit Suisse: $1bn
Wachovia: $1.1bn
IKB: $2.6bn
Paribas: $197m

BBC NEWS | Business | JPMorgan to acquire Bear Stearns: “JPMorgan Chase has said it is to buy Wall Street’s fifth-largest investment bank Bear Stearns for $2 a share.”

BBC NEWS | Business | Bear Stearns gets emergency funds: “US bank Bear Stearns has got emergency funding, in a move that raises fears that one of Wall Street’s biggest names is on the verge of collapsing.”

Wall Street fears for next Great Depression – Business News, Business – Independent.co.uk

So if Bear Sterns is being bailed out, where is the money coming from?

There is money being pumped into the markets this is very concerning. This is building up yet more problems in the future. At some point we are delaying the inevitable. There will be a correction, and we will see defaults on loans.

Wall Street fears for next Great Depression – Business News, Business – Independent.co.uk: “Wall Street is bracing itself for another week of roller-coaster trading after more than $300bn (£150m) was wiped off the US equity markets on Friday following the emergency funding package put together by the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan Chase to rescue Bear Stearns.

One UK economist warned that the world is now close to a 1930s-like Great Depression, while New York traders said they had never experienced such fear. The Fed’s emergency funding procedure was first used in the Depression and has rarely been used since.”

Buffett waiting for shares to get "very cheap" – Telegraph

Buffet thinks we are in a recession and there is further to fall.
Would say I agree, but what is cheap. What would the Dow Jones be at to signal this…… sub 10,000?

Buffett waiting for shares to get “very cheap” – Telegraph: “The billionaire investor, who last week published his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, said shares are not currently cheap and he’s waiting for them to become ‘very cheap’.”