Becoming a legend
www.IceCapAssetManagement.comIn 2009, the Americans lead by Hank Paulson and Ben Bernankethrew unlimited amounts of money to the financial sector to self arrest the entire plant from spiraling out of financial control. Thesefinancial acts of bravery stabilized the system and so we were toldwould set the stage for a recovery.Alas, one year later in 2010 the same Ben Bernanke announced thatthe recovery had completely stalled and he would once again savethe system by printing even more money. Of course in 2011 herepeated the same strategy and began yet another round of moremoney printing to save us again.And, then in 2012 the Europeans felt that everyone needed evenmore life saving, and told the World that just like the Americans, theEuropeans too would watch your back.Those who disagree with history conveniently forget it was actuallythe US Federal Reserve who created the housing bubble, by creatingthe technology bubble, by bailing out a Wall Street hedge fund. Toadd more ice cream to this dish, let’s not forget the central banks rolein the Asian crisis, the Mexican crisis and the savings & loan crisis. Asyou can see, these are not one-hit wonders, and sadly the Fed’sGreatest Hits are anything but great.Certainly, the stock market has recovered – and this is exactly whatthe US Federal Reserve wanted. At the time, they read somewherethat if people “feel” wealthier, they’ll borrow and spend more. Simple
August 2013 The Miracle Belay
In mountaineering lore, summiting Everest, McKinley or even theVinson Massif certainly warrants a notch in your ice axe. However,the mountain that always produces jaw-dropping admiration, respectand outright fear, has been and always will be K2.The World’s second highest mountain, is rarely guided and attemptedonly by the most skilled, the most patient and the most determinedclimbers – and for good reason, falls, slips and nasty tricks canhappen in a moments notice. And when they occur, knowing how toswiftly execute a self arrest, or a belay can be the difference betweena tragic fall and living to climb another day.Now, when it comes to belays, American Pete Schoening has becomesynonymous with not just any belay, but the “
.” In 1953at 25,000 feet high in the clouds on K2, one precarious momentturned Mr. Schoening into a climbing legend when he single handedlysaved five of his rope mates from plummeting off the mountain.Naturally the climbers were all shaken; yet they learned from thisexperience and enjoyed many more years of climbing.In 2009, 2010, 2011 and if you can believe it again in 2012, globalfinancial markets were also hanging from a ledge. But each time,instead of having an experienced professional to save everyoneinvolved, the World was dependent upon central banks whose entirelegacy was smeared with economic and monetary failures.