One Morning In The Office Take 4

One Morning In The Office


"Morning Mr. President"
"Morning Sean"
"Here's the list Rex sent"
"What list?"
"The one you asked for with the countries you haven't insulted or accused yet."
"But there's only one sheet of paper and there's only two countries listed that's if Burkina Faso is a country?"
"I'm told it is Sir."
"Who by?"
"The State Department."
"And you believed them, you sure their not making it up?"
"I checked with Andrew Napolitano at Fox, he say's he's heard of it. South America he thinks."
"We didn't campaign there."
"No Mr. President, South America the continent not south of the USA even though it is, south of the USA I mean."
"Are you trying to hoodwink me?"
"No Sir, I do need to check because I thought it was in Africa."
"You mean we don't know where the country is, what sort of state did Obama let this country get into. Find it out immediately we can't just lose the location of a country!"
"I don't think it's moved at all."
"Why not? It can move if I want it too. I'm President, Vlad moves bits of countries all the time."
"He does not move them Sir he just annexes bits of territory. In Georgia and the Ukraine."
"He can't have Georgia we have the Masters there."
"The nation Sir not the US State."
"There's a difference?"
"Never mind, so what do we do with this Faso?"
"We can accuse them of harbouring a GCHQ listening post that was used to bug Trump Tower, maybe expel some diplomats."
"Sounds good, get to it."
"I can't I mean we can't Sir."
"Why not?"
"We promised the Brits we would not mention GCHQ again or accuse them of spying on you, you told Theresa May you would not nor the NSA."
"Remind me, is Theresa the one I met this week the short dumpy one who spoke a foreign language?"
"No Sir, that was Angela Merkel the German Chancellor, she wanted to hold your hand like Theresa did."
"But she was foreign and somehow she got in the country despite my Immigration order."
"Germany is not on the order Sir."
"But she is foreign?"
"Most people are Sir."
"Not Americans."
"We best not get into that."
"Now Sir I have your daily security briefing, do you want the one from the NSA or your usual one from Fox News."
"Can't believe the NSA one its all fake news and tell them I'm upset by them failing to confirm Andrew's story."
"I have Sir."
"Good, I'll look at it after Sesame Street, who is left on the list? What's the USSR?"
"Oh that's just Vlad, he suggested he bring back the old name, a traditional branding opportunity his marketing folk have said."
"Clever, I like it so we don't have to insult the USSR."
"No Sir, we do not Russia but the USSR that justifies us increasing defence spending."
"But if the USSR doesn't exist we're insulting no one?"
"Exactly Sir."
"How are we gonna pay for it all, I mean we don't get enough in tax."
"No Sir some people have not paid tax in decades."
"It's the American way Sean, I'm not stupid."
"No Sir, very clever. I may have a way out."
"Well according to the State Department Briefing Burkina Faso get some US Aid, we can withdraw it."
"Great and we have an excuse as they have been spying on us, we can call it unnamed agencies used the place to coordinate spying activity. That won't upset the Angela."
"That's Theresa and very good Sir."
"What can we spend the money on instead."
"A missile."
"How many?"
"Just one Sir a Hellfire I think. we only gave them a couple of million last year."
"Too much, I paid more than that in tax."
"No you didn't Sir."
"That's because I'm clever."
"Yes you are Sir."









Re-Moaners and Trump’eters

Another few weeks drift past and yet the same issues which seem to have been in the news all year, remain.

The US never-ending election still has over 3 weeks to run and just when you think the behaviour and approach of both camps can’t get any worse they manage to achieve it. If it’s not sexual abuse allegations it’s more leaked emails. I pity the American voter. I thought our choice this side of the Atlantic was pretty bad but the candidates there look appalling.

I watched the clip of Gary Johnson who is apparently also standing as a Libertarian Party candidate – I mean really? Over five years into a civil war in Syria and this man who wants to be President of the most powerful nation on earth does not know what Aleppo is?

At least Trump and Clinton have managed to answer some questions on the subject. It’s not unusual for foreign affairs (not the sexual kind) to play little part in a US election, but one might have expected that confrontations with Russia over Syria, Ukraine and Crimea, to have some impact. Likewise relations with China over the Spratley Islands rather than ridiculous notions of simplistic arguments over manufacturing jobs in the US should have some policy. It remains completely unreported what either candidate’s plans for North Korea are. Better not ask Trump but his rhetoric can’t be worse than the accusations from US Security services that NK was behind the Sony attack.

What still amazes many commentators is that Trump is still popular with large swathes of the US electorate despite all the gaffes. It demonstrates how unpopular Clinton is but more importantly how upset many American voters are with the established political class which Clinton embodies.  Here we have some of the parallels with the UK EU debate despite the referendum.

Although there is an element of the moaning bad loser side in some of the pronouncements from what was the remain side, many did set out the risks to the economy an no-vote would bring. Several senior economists have stated that the currency changes that we have seen since end of June were a long overdue correction to Sterling’s position just exasperated by the vote for exit and on-going uncertainty of what that means. In the percentages shown everything is referred to the currency position post 23rd June, failing as usual to mention that Sterling’s value had risen significantly in the lead up to the vote.

Euro over 5 years from here shows a different story than the headlines might have you believe on 19th Oct 2011 the exchange rate was 1.14 and it closed on 14th Oct 2016 at 1.11. In particular, the rise of the pound in 2015 and the lead up to the vote is dramatic. US Dollar to Sterling is a significant fall over the same period 1.57 to 1.21 and the comments on reserve currencies should be concerning, but at the same time interest rates have been signaled upwards in the US and stay the same or lower in the UK which does not help Sterling investors. By the way Euro to US Dollar has gone down from 1.37 to 1.11 in the same time period.

I have picked an arbitrary period but some of us can remember much better and worse Pound to Dollar rates. It reached a low of 1.05 in February 1985 after the ERM fiasco and was as high as 2.11 in November 2007 as sub-prime crashed the dollar

What do we learn from that brief history- currencies fluctuate – sometimes a lot – thousands of traders around the world make money doing that.

Final discussion for today is on Credit Rating Agencies and their comments – yes the same folks that branded those sub-prime investment funds as AAA, are doing all their warnings on where the pound might go next. All the discussion is based on what the UK might do as if what might happen in the Euro (How is Greece by the way and Italy, Portugal, Spain?) will have no impact. Remember Euro zone and other EU exports to the UK, exceed UK Exports to the EU – we both have a lot to lose if we are stupid and put in unnecessary tariffs.  World trade will be damaged if Trump introduced tariffs to protect American jobs and cancels NAFTA. Likewise what will be the impact on the dollar if Trump wins and implements that piece of rhetoric.

Guess what the pound might go up or down or sideways.  Can we moan about currency traders instead?