Monday, September 26, 2011

The World Teeters

At some stage there will be a default in Greece. There are a number of ways this could happen. The most likely of these will involve a Greek retreat from the Euro, the reintegration of a local currency and the element of surprise (sort-of). Whatever the case, it will send another wave of shocks around the banking world and make consumers even more cautious, but more importantly, it will become a model for those who follow (the rest of the PIIGS).
The most interesting thing (for those who don’t have their capital tied up in these countries and who have limited exposure) is the practical day-to-day of what a default looks like. If Greece reinvents its currency overnight, it will make deposits in Euros in Greece worthless. Canny Greeks will have their hard earned stashed away in cash (or will be in the process of withdrawing it from the bank) and will be looking to physically take this cash somewhere else to deposit or exchange.
For an historical perspective take a look at the Hungarian hyperinflation of the pengő in 1946 and the Argentineans in 1999

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

AUDUSD - The Risk is on the Downside

This image is borrowed from IG Markets.

The AUD continues its remarkable run against the USD and seems unstoppable. There is a lot of good news for the AUD, relatively high interest rates, low inflation, a strong economy and near full employment. What will stop the AUD and what will see it repeat the precipitous plunge in mid-2008?

It's pretty simple and it all involves China.
1) A collapse in commodity prices
2) Popping of the Chinese Property Bubble
3) A slow down in the Chinese economy
4) Anything else really bad happening in China...

The fall from grace won't be a slow steady progression like the recent rise has been, it will be a drop much like the last one as all the carry traders unwind their positions and all the AUD bulls back out and run back to the good old USD.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Number of Deaths per TWh

This is the source

These are the facts.

Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)

Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China 278
Coal – USA 15
Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass 12
Peat 12
Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Things go up and things go down

Investing is allocating risk. Investors look for a situation in which the risk outweighs the reward. That is the only sensible basis for making decisions.

No one can predict things like this or things like this and there's no point trying. Investor simply need to allocate their capital in a way that minimises the potential exposure to those types of events.

Apologies for the long break. I'll be back, I promise.