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Hmmm December 28 2011

Hmmm December 28 2011

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Published by overqualified

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Published by: overqualified on Dec 28, 2011
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A walk around the fringes of nance
28 December2011
“...it reects a peculiarly American trend o burying-in-the-sand Ostrich Tink, so prevalent among mainstreampublications: An unwillingness - bordering on inability - to look at fnancial news in a cold light, and see whatit actually means, rather than what we hope and pray itmight be.
“Te future is purchased by the present”
– Samuel Johnson
“Th futu ain’t what it usd to ”
– Yogi Berra
o Subscribe to Tings Tat Make You Go Hmmm..... click 
“Study th past, if you would divin th futu”
– Conucius
“When did the future switch from being a promiseto a threat?”
– Chuck Pahalniuk 
“..Do not dwell in the past, do not dream o the uture,concentrate the mind on the present moment”
28 December2011
December 20, 2012
what a ya that was.
It’s hard to believe that, aer a tumultuous year like 2011, the stakes could have been
aisd yt futh in 2012, ut aisd thy w.
So many momentous moves took place in the past twelve months it was hard to keep pace with ev
erything. Fortunately, way back in December 2011, I didn’t put together my own list of ‘Black SwanPossibilies For 2012’ that so many people choose to publish at the end of a year, so history will beunable to judge the success or failure of my own thoughts which I diligently kept to myself – aer all,who in their right mind would want to listen to a list of potenally unexpected events that I predictedcould possibly happen in 2012?Predicng is, to use the vernacular, a mug’s game and, if you ever nd yourself being foolish enoughto share your thoughts about what MAY happen with others, then take the advice of Marc Faber:
“…when you make a predicon, never make a predicon about ming” 
Unfortunately for them, the Mayans were unaware of the thoughts of Dr. Faber - a situaon that isprobably even more unfortunate for Dr. Doom himself, as he would doubtless have been reveredamongst a group of people not only xated by the end of the world, but willing to put an actual dateagainst it. For those of you concerned about it, that date is tomorrow, December 21
, 2012, hence mydesire to write my review of the past year BEFORE the world ends. In case you’re interested in readingit, I’d suggest you get a move on – just on the o-chance.....
begin the review of 2012 with arguably the biggest story (though in this parcular year,that is a tougher call than one would normally imagine) and that was the nal implosionof Europe aer decades of polical process and, laerly, hundreds of billions of Euros thrown into aboomless pit in an ill-fated aempt to placate Germany.Ulmately, with the Germans having to nally capitulate and allow the ECB to backstop Europeansovereign debt in March aer a series of disastrous bond aucons, it was clear that the posion of Greece was one that couldn’t connue the way it had.Faced with yet more enforced austerity and a populaon on the verge of Civil War, Greece nallyhad no choice but to leave the Euro (shown happily to the door by her Northern neighbours), returnto the Drachma and devalue its currency dramacally inorder to address the crippling decits it had accumulatedin the fule aempt to be accepted into a ‘club’ it hadno more than a geographical right to be part of from the
The subsequent riong in Portugal, when a referendumon membership of the Eurozone was denied, and the con
sequenal emergence from the shadows of the SocialistParty, whose cries of “quebrar as correntes” (break thechains) became a rallying cry that swept them into powerand Portugal out of Europe, threw the connent into atailspin and now looks like causing Spain to become the
28 December2011
third country to walk away from a Unied Europe in protest at the draconian concessions being de
manded by Germany in order that the Spanish government’s debt receive the same backstop grantedthe more austere governments in Dublin and Rome.The announcement by the Prime Minister that, like Greece before it, Spain’s budget decit was ac
tually of a far greater magnitude than had been previously admied was the nal nail inSpain’s con
of the strife in 2012 was centred
aound Th middl east as th toul in
Iraq that began last year immediately aer thewithdrawal of US troops connued to esca
late into a full-scale civil war and the simul
taneous erupon of violence in Syria alliedwith the aempts by Iran, Turkey and SaudiArabia to inuence the outcome of the sectarianviolence that ravaged Iraq combined to send the oil pricespiking to $150 as aacks on pipelines in the south (widely assumedto be backed by the government in Tehran) became commonplace, disrupng supply and sendinggas prices soaring across the globe. The unrest culminated in the ill-fated US aack on Iran’s Bushehrreactor which caused another spike in oil prices to the previously-inconceivable level of $188. Theresultant surge above $5.00 for gas prices in the US proved a step too far for the creaking US economy.
Hillary Clinton’s narrow win over Michael Bloomberg in last month’s USelecon put the seal on an extraordinary year in American polics aer Barack Obama’s shockdecision in June not to seek re-elecon. Bloomberg’s late emergence put paid to the hopes of RonPaul, whose remarkable showing in the early Primaries and caucuses had made the chances of himnally moving into the White House (and bringing some much-needed scal sanity with him) lookanything but remote.Paul’s surge in the opinion polls was as much a tribute to the sheer consistency of his message overseveral Presidenal campaigns as it was to the vagaries of the other candidates in the race for theRepublican nominaon. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and even Michele Bachmann cameand went, but ulmately, it looked like Paul and Mi Romney would be le baling it out for the GOPnominaon - unl Bloomberg nally threw his hat into the ring.Obama’s withdrawal from the race had echoes of Lyndon B.Johnson’s famous speech in 1968 during which he had citedthe division in the American House:
“There is division in the American house now. There is divisive
ness among us all tonight. And holding the trust that is mine,as President of all the people, I cannot disregard the peril tothe progress of the American people… Believing this as I do, Ihave concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to be
come involved in the parsan divisions that are developing inthis polical year… Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nominaon of my party for another term as your President.” 

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