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Martin Fluck  

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  • Federalism Taking Shape In Europe [View article]
    Anyone who believes there is going to be a fiscally united federal Europe is delusional. Even if there was any political appetite for a federal Europe, it would take a couple of years of treaty negotiations, referendums etc. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard sums up things today:
    The euro is not long for this world. We can only hope that the EU itself, also gets swept into the dustbin of history.
    Jun 5, 2012. 12:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Game Is Up For The Commodity Super Cycle As The Yo-Yo Years Begin [View article]
    Seems like most people are on the same page. Of course, not all commodities have the same supply constraints. My gut feeling is that there are a lot of data suggesting that commodities will sell-off in the next year. Beyond that, let's hope that a break-up of the euro-zone provides some economic catharsis and the global economy can heal itself. Smash Finance raises an intriguing question - one which FT Alphaville reported on a lot last year. I believe they suggested that large Western banks were also warehousing lots of metal - to take advantage of the carry - and that this metal was therefore effectively off-market. What happens if all this metal also hits the market? Lower inflation for consumers in the US and Europe perhaps, and higher corporate profit margins?
    May 24, 2012. 04:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brazil's Consumer Boom Is About To Blow Up In Investors' Faces [View article]
    Just to be clear, what I'm getting at is the risk of de-rating of Brazilian/emerging market equities, almost regardless of the profitability of the companies concerned (Brazil has clearly got enormous potential).
    Aberdeen do their research rigorously, and place an enormous weight on the quality of management and strong balance sheets. But as they rarely make changes to their holdings, its up to their clients to take cyclical factors into account.
    May 24, 2012. 04:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar Power Has Been Totally Eclipsed By Gas [View article]
    Richard, I look forward to hearing about technological advances in fusion. I think nuclear will make a comeback too, given that modern plants are a very different proposition to the older generation. Germany is now scrambling to fill the gap its nuclear power plants have left behind, with coal fired power plants!
    May 9, 2012. 08:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Solar Power Has Been Totally Eclipsed By Gas [View article]
    Lots of great debate! I have to acknowledge that the economics for solar are better in sunny California than in Europe, and there will no doubt be some survivors in the industry. But why does anyone who disagrees with the environmentalist agenda always get accused of being a 'shill' for the fossil fuel industry? Gas Lands by the way is a totally discredited piece of junk propaganda, like Al Gore's an Inconvenient Truth. I sincerely hope technology can lead us to sunny uplands of economic prosperity, but in the meantime we in the West have to compete with Asian countries who are looking to coal for cheap power.
    May 9, 2012. 03:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deutsche Bank Aligns Itself With Disgraced Hockey Stick Scientist [View article]
    I'll have a look at Allianz. You'll enjoy Christopher Booker on the WWF:
    May 8, 2012. 03:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Geithner in a Position to Make Demands on China? [View article]
    Well, asking nicely is only one option. The easiest way to 'revalue' the Chinese currency is simply to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports into the US - forcing the EU would have to follow suit to avoid being inundated with dumped goods. Job done!
    Oct 11, 2010. 05:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ZEW Survey Already Shows Germany Is Headed for A Double Dip [View article]
    I'm visiting Dusseldorf right now, and I shall be doing some field studies in the Biergarten myself. You are, of course, right. Growth may merely slow a bit before surging again. Much has to do with confidence.
    Sep 27, 2010. 06:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The IMF Is Turning Into a Monster [View article]
    Thanks will look into the gold angle.

    Also forgot to mention that the IMFs traditional remedy for countries in Greece's or Ireland's state would be devaluation as well as an organised debt restructuring.... Needless to say, the fact that there has been no mention of this from the IMF shows just how much it is now a politically correct subsidiary of the ECB.
    Sep 21, 2010. 04:09 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The IMF Is Turning Into a Monster [View article]
    I couldn't agree more. In the UK the media are debating whether the cuts are too much, and they haven't even been announced yet! Even then, they will not be enough to stop debt rising. If cutting national debt sensibly - i.e. by cutting taxes to stimulate growth while reducing spending - doesn't become a priority then you don't have to do much math to see that the public/state sectors will have to be done away with entirely just to pay the interest. Of course, the US can always cut its defence budget drastically....
    Sep 20, 2010. 03:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • California's Prosperity Terminating Lessons for the U.K. [View article]
    Updating some of the aging infrastructure and creating smart grids is probably smart. And solar energy may one day be competitive, but offering absurdly inflated subsidies (“feed-in tariffs”) that force us all to pay solar producers between three and eight times the going rate for the tiny amount of power just doesn't seem to make sense right now. As Christopher Booker points out in his latest piece, solar’s contribution to the grid in the UK averaged 2.3 megawatts – so minuscule that it was barely a 1,000th of the output of one large coal-fired power station. There's more sunshine in California, but solar still amounts to little more than a token gesture.
    Sep 20, 2010. 11:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deutsche Bank Aligns Itself With Disgraced Hockey Stick Scientist [View article]
    I'm going to be doing a detailed analysis of Deutsche Bank shortly. Clearly Deutsche Bank are a giant in retail banking, but how big will their losses on sovereign debt be? I wouldn't invest in them because the risk are unknowable.
    Sep 18, 2010. 02:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Germany Heads Into the Double-Dip Zone [View article]
    Once Greece or Ireland has to go to the IMF, restructures etc. - personally I think a German bail-out is a politcal impossibility - can there's going to be a chain reaction. Borrowing is going to become more costly for sovereigns across the board. Clearly the PIGS aren't going to be able to stay in the euro - but how long it takes for these countries to vote in governments that understand that is anyone's guess.
    Sep 18, 2010. 01:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Germany Heads Into the Double-Dip Zone [View article]
    Not only do I live in Europe but I also speak fluent German and have lived in Germany for several years. Only 5% of Germany's exports go to China, whereas 11% go to Italy, Spain, and Portugal (exports to Europe are 40% in total). Austerity in Europe is not going to be offset by Chinese growth!
    Sep 15, 2010. 02:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Financial ETFs Soar on New Basel Rules [View article]
    Where on earth do you get the idea that "the financial crisis appears to finally be subsiding?" If US banks were forced to mark to market their mortgage assets, most of the banks in the US would be insolvent. And in Europe nothing can stop a default on sovereign debt. Make short-term investment plays by all means, but right now technical chart patterns point to a sell-off in financials. Basel III is pretty much irrelevant right now.
    Sep 15, 2010. 08:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment