Archive for December, 2012

2012 in review

December 31, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 25th, 2012 and praying for Good Winds

December 22, 2012

The half century from 1960 to 2010 are sometimes [well fittingly] referred to as the Change of Winds period in Africa and the past two years have not produced any signs boding well for the 50 years from 2010 to 2060.

 May we all keep our heads down, girth the loins and hope that things will change for the better.

 To all of you and with love I deliver my appreciation for friendships received, for understanding and fellowships, for support over two years of ill winds and severe turbulence in our family.

 God Speed to all of you.


An Interlude about some People in Money

December 9, 2012

A brief Article in a large local financial e-paper reminded me of what a beef cattle farmer once said about coincidences.  “If you drive out to look at your 100 price herd in the large grazing area on the escarpment and found an open gate and one dead cow down in the bottom of the ravine it may be a coincidence,” he said, then became whimsical and went on with, “but if you get to the enclosure and find the entire herd gone with 200 yards of a strong well built fence down it cannot be coincidence and it’s time to call a posse together and issue live ammo.”

 If you want to, you can read the Article by pressing HERE

An immediate glaring coincidence in the Article is the short length [heck it fits well to describe it in this manner]; it offers not much more than a cursory glance at the events.  A large institution name of Standard Bank had offered to borrow some well known shares from a Union Pension Fund; the Fund having agreed to lend them the shares and in this way a deal was made for shares worth 160 million smackers in 2002.  Both Parties honored the agreement and it was fulfilled when Standard handed the shares back in 2007.

 There are too many coincidences for someone who worked in Pension Funds for over 40 years as I have told you before.  Shares had reached a bottom in 2002 at a time when interest rates were relatively high; then the share market went sky high from end 2003 and back to the bottom in 2008.  Some fools went on to buy shares in 2008 and still haven’t got their money back though some other shares have recovered while interest rates have been tumbling to an almost all time low.

 No other details are provided about the glaring coincidences in the foregoing paragraph or on what happened in 2012; another glaring coincidence that the Article merely states that someone from the Union recently came forward and claimed that if the 2002 deal was not done the Union could have made anything between 500 and 700 million on the shares.  An arbitration Court ruled in favor of the Union and Standard was fined 528 million.

 All nice and quiet like gentlemen, no argument or dirty laundry; the Bank remains quiet; it seems as if everyone is entirely happy; like in end of story happy, you know.

 It’s time for the posse, boys; this can’t be a coincidence, and it must be the equivalent of one thousand price beef cattle that we are talking about at this time.

 I have never heard of a large institution or a bank borrowing shares that they are asked to do by any Pension Fund, even a Union one.  Standard Bank like all other major players in money have a lot of other people’s money to buy shares on the Stock Exchange; heck they buy and bundle them, package them together with options and derivates on the same share; they give out mortgages then package and bundle them too; they sell and package derivatives and futures, shucks, even future options on derivatives; for more money to buy some more shares without ever using one penny of their own money.

 Why did they borrow those Union shares and on what basis? How much grease was used?  Which hand carried the grease, or who held out the hand to be greased?

 Why do they all act as if they hope that this story will die?  In America this would be Front Page Stuff in Bold in every Newspaper including the New York Times.

 My next Post will be on the Demise of Money to complete my Trilogy on The Origin, Evolution and the Inevitable Demise of Money.