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Akram is a Director at Suhail Capital.
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  • What If Google Ran Monetary Policy....
    Coming to an FOMC meeting near you.......

    Lacker: Can we raise rates already your Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares are back above $100?

    Bernanke: Hold on a second

    Yellen: What are you doing over there?

    Duke: I thought we said no ipad's in committee

    Lacker: Yea, what are you doing Ben?

    Bernanke: I'm Googling (NASDAQ:GOOG) it?

    Yellen: What?

    Bernanke: I got this new cool App. I was going to tell you about it, but I've been too busy playing with it.

    Lacker: What is it?

    Bernanke: It's called Googlomics.

    Duke: What does it do?

    Bernanke: In a nut shell, it provides the most accurate data on prices the world has ever seen.

    Yellen: That's amazing.

    Duke: What is it telling you?

    Bernanke: That inflation is trending much higher than our data suggests.

    Lacker: You don't need an app to figure that out Ben.

    Yellen: How does it work?

    Bernanke: It's crowdapping prices. Basically, aggregating everything from amazon's price app, gasbuddy, and the likes in real time.

    Lacker: So, should we tighten?

    Bernanke: Well, according to the Googlomics App Genius; Yes.

    Lacker: Told you.

    Bernanke: This App doesn't understand downside risks to growth like I do. It couldn't have possibly studied the Great Depression. Get me Sergey Brin on the phone; I want to have a conversation with the logic guys behind this. Need to make sure they have read Irving Fisher's debt deflation theory.

    Duke: Hmm, this app may put us out of business. We might want to regulate it.

    Bernanke: Good point. I'll get the message to Geithner.(please edit this out of the minutes)

    Disclosure: I am long GOOG.

    Tags: GOOG, economy
    Feb 28 8:22 AM | Link | 1 Comment
  • The Unemployed Shareholder and the Four Bears
    “The Unemployed Shareholder and the Four Bears”

    A little market entertainment for you…..

    The Unemployed Shareholder and the Four Bears

    By Akram Annous

    With his portfolio plummeting the ‘Unemployed Shareholder’ decided to leap into action. No, he’s not getting a Job!! Instead, he has decided to obtain a CFA so he can better manage the shares he intends to live off for the rest of his life.

    On a study break, he has joined the Four Bears at their favorite watering hole ‘The End of the Earth’ for a drink and hopefully some precious market insight…..


    Your Characters:

    The Bond King- Managing Director of New Normal Investments …The Universe’s Largest Bond Fund

    The Black Swan- Lebanese Philosopher Extraordinaire, and EEE( Extreme Events Expert)

    Dr. Boom Doom- Asian based Market Master and C.B.A- Central Bank Antagonist

    Dr. Doom- Economic Mastermind and Crash Predictor

    The Unemployed Shareholder- Mysterious byproduct of capitalistic failures…still not sure what he stands for

    Inside your local pub…. The End of the World……..

    The Black Swan: Hey King, what you drinking?

    The Bond King: The usual, you know, what I normally get.

    Black Swan: It’s been a while I don’t remember, what goes in that drink of yours, three or four shots of tequila? Wait, are we talking ‘new normal’ or ‘old normal’ here?

    Unemployed Shareholder: What’s the difference?

    Dr. Doom: Well, the ‘new normal’ is well let’s just say less…

    Bond King: Yes, Dr. Doom is right, the ‘new normal’ is less, but for me less equals more. So, I am still on the ‘old normal’ when it comes to my drinks. I’ll take four shots, it’s been a hell of a week.

    Unemployed Shareholder: It sure has. What do you guys think of this euro package and the market reaction?

    Dr. Boom Doom: Well, as you know you have a money printer over in the fed. You have another one in the BOE. And a third one in Japan. Now, they have been joined by this new printer in Europe.

    The Bond king: Well, let’s be clear. The Ecb intends to sterilize their government bond purchases. So, we are not yet at Qe Dr. Doom.

    Dr. Boom Doom: It’s Dr. Boom Doom. He’s Dr. Doom, not me. And yes that is what the money printer is saying, but that is not what he will be doing. I don’t trust money printers, and neither should you. Buy some agricultural commodities and some gold, but don’t go too crazy on the gold right now as it’s overbought. I also wouldn’t outright short equity markets here as we are a little oversold, but I’d sell the rallies and consider shorting at higher levels.

    Unemployed Shareholder: Dr. Doom care to comment?

    Dr. Doom: Sure, Dr. Boom Doom is correct, I am just plain Dr. Doom. But there is a good story behind that. We were both in Thailand a few years back, we were younger then, and market optimism left is with a lot of spare time on our hands. Anyway, we were having a couple of drinks when Dr. Doom turned to me, he was called Dr. Doom at the time, and said………

    Unemployed Shareholder: Umm, Dr. Doom, we wanted to know your thoughts on markets.

    Dr. Doom: (lol) Ah, I see. Right…..Well, your loss. I was going to tell you the story behind the boom in boom doom. Suffice to say, since that day, I became Dr. Doom and he became Dr. Boom Doom. As for markets, it’s really quite simple, the debt in the system is the problem. Europe is going to try massive fiscal consolidation. Can the population handle it? I don’t know. I think the Ecb needs to be more proactive or we will have outright deflation. My friend Dr. Boom doesn’t like money printers, but I have learned to live with them. The Ecb needs to follow the fed…

    Waitress: Umm, Dr. Doom, sorry to interrupt, what kind of dip would you like with your wings?

    Dr. Doom: Blue cheese is fine.

    Black Swan: A single Dip Doom, no Double Dip? What’s gotten into you lately?

    Dr. Doom: Leave it to the Swan to pick on me. Yes, no double dip. What are your thoughts Swan?

    Unemployed Shareholder: Yes, Mr. Swan. We have not heard your thoughts on all of this.

    Black Swan: Well it’s really simple.  See this glass that I am holding (Swan holds up his glass). It’s really fragile….right?

    Unemployed Shareholder: Ok?? So?? How does that explain the market move on May 6th?

    Black Swan: Well…( Swan drops the glass and it shatters on the floor). Fragile things can shatter!!

    Dr. Doom: Damn it Swan!! Did you have to do that? Now that poor girl has to clean up your mess. I can’t take you anywhere. And they say you Lebanese guys are smooth.

    Unemployed Shareholder: Yea, and I don’t understand what that has to do with markets.

    Black Swan: Well, again it is really simple. Did you know I was going to drop the glass?

    Unemployed Shareholder :No

    Black Swan: Precisely, my dropping of the glass was a completely random act. I didn’t even know I was going to do it. But the glass still shattered because it was fragile. You were Fooled by Randomness. Fragility and Randomness my friends…..they explain everything!!!!

    Bond King: Hey, isn’t that the ‘Big Shot’ over there interviewing that guy….

    Unemployed Shareholder: You mean The Big Short?

    Black Swan: Yea, that’s him, he was in my blind spot when I was driving to work this morning.

    Unemployed Shareholder: You mean The Blind Side.

    Dr. Boom Doom: Whose that? the money printer?

    Unemployed Shareholder: You mean MoneyBall!!!!!

    Dr. Doom: Yea, that guy lies every time he plays poker.

    Unemployed Shareholder: Come on, am I taking crazy pills? The book was Liar’s Poker. What’s wrong with you guys that’s Michael….

    Dr. Doom: Book? What the heck are you talking about? This guy bluffs every time he plays Texas Hold’em.

    Bond King: Wait a second. Is he interviewing the Man in Black?

    Black Swan: The Man in Black? King have you lost your mind?

    Bond King: Sorry, I’ve been watching way too much Lost lately. It’s just that with me being a credit guy and all….. with no exposure to Europe or equities, the markets have been so boring lately, and Lost is getting oh so interesting. I need to know what the source is.

    Dr. Doom: That’s not the Man in Black. That’s ChaTos!!

    Unemployed Shareholder: The Enron Guy?

    Bond King: Yea! And he’s eating Chinese food.

    Dr Boom Doom: Jimmy is that you back there?

    ChaTos: Yea, it’s me……

    Dr. Boom Doom: What the hell are you doing dressed like that?

    ChaTos: Sorry guys, I’m a sucker for some good orange chicken, but ever since I went bearish on China all the takeout places won’t deliver to me. I’m trying to keep a low profile.

    Bond King: Well, that’s what happens when you short 1.2 billion people. Word gets around fast.

    ChaTos: Yea, I know. I’m used to the backlash that comes with shorting anything by now. When I shorted Enron, they tried to cut off my power. But I expected nothing less from them, this Chinese food ban kind of hurts my feelings. I am doing them a favor. By the way, is that the unemployed shareholder I see sitting with you guys?

    Dr. Doom: Yea, that’s him

    ChaTos: What’s he doing here?

    Bond King: He’s on a CFA study break.

    ChaTos: Unbelievable, this guy will do anything not to work. He should become an economist. Could you get a job already!!!

    Unemployed Shareholder: (on the phone) sell 200 shares apple at market and transfer the funds to my checking account. Buy me 1000 shares of BP at mkt. Pick me up some euro contracts limit 1.23. Route all orders through my guy at the squid…. thanks …..(off the phone) You were saying?

    …..meanwhile somewhere deep inside the black box Hal 9000, which has been offline since the Smartest Guy in the Room shut him down on may6th(sometime between 2:40-3:00pm est), has started to stir…..

    Hal 9000: Alternate power source obtained. Rebooting all systems. Running diagnostics……………

    Previous power drain accelerated by Adobe Flash.

    Steve Jobs was correct.

    Removing all adobe software.

    Shifting to more stable Apple OS.

    Re-establishing link to all markets. ….Logging into the App store…Downloading Terminate Euro Shorts App…. Downloading Crash the Yen protocol….. ….loading fiscal consolidation in U.S.A App… disabling unemployed shareholders iphone

    Unemployed Shareholder: HAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    To Be Continued……

    (NOTE: The characters and content of this EMAIL are purely fictional, although in some instances they may refer or represent people or places that have influenced the author in some way, any resemblance to actual person or places, living or otherwise, is purely coincident

    Jan 03 12:49 PM | Link | 1 Comment
  • "The Unemployed Shareholder goes to Mykonos"

    Somewhere inside the Unemployed Shareholder's favorite Greek restaurant………The Last Great Gyro………(Originally published June 26, 2011)



    Icarus: So, what brings you to the greek islands this time of year, you on vacation?


    Unemployed Shareholder: Well, not exactly Icarus , I'm here to make an investment. I want to buy an island.


    Ic: Ahh, you sneaky devil you. You know the parliamentary vote is tomorrow, and you are trying to make a play on the greek islands before the austerity measures go through. Anything it for me?


    US: Becarefu Icarus, you might get your wings clipped if you mess with markets. Stick to brokering its what you do best. I'm looking to diversify. How much for Mykonos?


    IC: Mykonos is not for sale, but how about Patroklos?


    US: What's the asking price?


    IC: 300mln euros.


    US: Ok, i'll take it. Who do i cut the check to?


    IC: Well you can make the 30mln euro check out to cash.


    US: Thirty Million? You said 300 million?


    IC: Ah, Mr. Unemployed i need to explain a few things to you. This is not America. We work a little differently here. Your island is valued by the land office at thirty million. So, you will need to pay a 9% tax to the government on the sale..


    US: But the island asking price is 300 million?


    IC: Yes. We will draw up a contract for sale at 30 million, but then we will do the transaction at 300 million. This happens all the time.


    US: Ok. And that's it?


    IC: Well, not exactly. First we need to find out who owns the island.


    US: What do you mean who owns the island? I thought it was selling for $300million?


    IC: Well, yes. But we don't really know who owns it. It could be stvros, or nikos, or the the church, or even papandreu. Since we have no land registry , it could be just about anyone.


    US: ( looking quite perplexed)You have a land office but no land registry? I thought you created one ten years ago to solve this very problem.


    IC: Ahh, what you are referring to is a 60 million EU grant to create a registry. That didn't really work as we had some cost overruns.


    US: Cost overruns?


    IC: Yes. The cost of the project went from 1300 euros per square kilometer to 30,000 euros.


    US: That's insane.


    IC: Yea, the boys at the EU told us the same thing. But you have to understand things tend to come up here that  you cant account for off the bat.


    US: So, what do we do?


    IC: Its really quite simple. If you give me about 10million euros i can clear the red tape needed to be cleared to find out who owns the island. At that point if he is comfortable with the 300 million asking price we can proceed. But you are very lucky as this island has a very nice 20 million euro penthouse on it.


    US: Finally some good news. Maybe i will move in there and work on my tan while i wait for the sale to go through.


    IC: No, no that;s not possible. Its rented. 


    US: What do you mean its rented? You just told me nobody knows who owns the island.


    IC: Yes, that is true, but the minister of traffic moved in after the last sale; we just don't know who it was to yet since the documentation has not been found,


    US: How does a minister of traffic afford to live in a 20million euro penthouse. 


    IC: Oh, its quite affordable. His rent is only 350 euros a month.


    US: 350 euros? Are you mad? What happens when i own the property…how do i get him out?


    IC: Well, you can file a request for proposal for rental increase at the office of tenancy. Once that is processed he has 12 months to respond as to why he does not think his rent should be raised. 


    US: 12 months?


    IC: Yes, but you can file an inquiry of objection if you think his proposal is unreasonable or without merit. After about 18 months you should have a hearing.




    US: Ok, i give up, this is madness.

    ( Unemployed stands up and gets ready to leave befre a strange man with white towel approaches him)


    Eurozone Hitchhiker:Before you go Mr Unemployed Shareholder; I suggest you read the chapter on the greeks in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Eurozone.


    (the hitchhiker hands the Unemployed Shareholder a Guidebook to the Eurozone which he promptly opens to the section on Greece)


    Greeks: The most bureaucratic members of the eurozone. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from a Turkish invasion without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, protested, and finally refiled. On no account should you ever allow a greek to negotiate with you.



    US: Wow, this is pretty handy stuff, wish i had one of these before i came here.

    (Unemployed picks up his phone)


    Tell the boys at the squid we are back on!


    IC: What are you doing?


    US: What i should have done a long time ago…..shorting this bureaucratic bubble.


    IC: But the bailout is tomorrow, you will lose money.


    Umm, i don't care. These people have been living in a bubble. Austerity will never be accepted. And if it was accepted it would never work as getting something done here is virtually impossible. I may lose money for a day or two or even a few months, but one way or another they will default. There is no getting around that.

    Nov 18 3:54 PM | Link | Comment!
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