Friday, August 11, 2006

George Bush and the F Word

EUR/USD 1.2778 Hi 1.2800 Low 1.2740
USD/JPY 115.92 Hi 116.02 Low 115.11
AUD/USD 0.7669 Hi 0.7705 Low 0.7664
EUR/JPY 148.15 Hi 148.33 Low 147.26

Well we live interesting times. The British have just uncovered a plot to blow up airlines over the Atlantic. Just in time, for Tony Blair's popularity. The plotters were reportedly all English nationals of Pakistani origin. Just like the London Tube Bombers. The recent Bomb attack on Mumbai was also (guess what) linked to Pakistan. Not that Pakistan ever comes up in the conversation over at the State Department. And why would it? After all, Pakistan already has the nuclear bomb and it is a member of the Coalition of the Willing. These guys are the good guys. These guys are our friends, they are HELPING. Yeah, right.

So let's stay ON MESSAGE. And the message is: Al-Qaeda. And any kind of tie-in with Iran and/or Syria is a bonus. So we have the recently appointed Secretary of Homeland Security saying things like the plans uncovered in Britain were "suggestive of an Al-Qaeda" plot. Well if you say-so sir. You gotta make the intelligence fit the plan. And the plan is to get that little sucker in Iran. And maybe we get our OIL industry executives back in there too. Who cares what's going on in Pakistan. We got that covered already. If there was a problem they would have told us.

Bush and Blair are hoping for a boost in the polls. They may have to wait. People aren't exactly going around hugging each other and saying: thank God for our Intelligence Services. Scepticism is sky high. It's kind of hard to recover your credibility when you have been caught lying. You know: Weapons of Mass Destruction and stuff like that. No-one knows what to believe any more and they certainly don't believe Bush. But hey guys, you never know, stay ON MESSAGE and maybe you will get somewhere.

George Bush used the F-Word yesterday. So let's fight this war on Islamo-Fascists (they are gonna have to come up with a more user friendly word if they want THAT concept to take off). It doesn't even make a nifty headline.

Meanwhile the paranoid Israelis are asking for bigger and better bombs from Uncle Sam so they can fight off those rinky-dink fire crackers that the Hezbollah are working with. They want to escalate the conflict and remain the centre of attention here. Look guys when you invade a country because they have two of your soldiers hidden somewhere, you're on your own. Your international standing is shot to hell.

On second thoughts maybe the Bush Administration doesn't see the contradiction in trying to work on a U.N. resolution and supplying one of the warring parties with more arms AT THE SAME TIME. There is muttering about turf wars in Washington. Condoleezza versus Cheney versus Rumsfeld versus... Oh who cares. How ON MESSAGE can you get? Fits in with the leadership of the Bush Administration. We have a MESSAGE we just haven't worked out what it is yet.

But back to the markets. Not a lot going on out there. Consumer Confidence in the States was released and doesn't look good. Well how could it? Everyone in any position of power over there just looks CONFUSED. Policy is all over the place. We don't know what's happening with interest rates, the Middle East, the next election. We don't know where Cheney is most of the time. No-one can decide what should happen to the currency. They want a strong dollar and a stronger Chinese Yuan (which would mean a weaker USD) and anyway none of that works, so let's just forget about the USD for the time being. So much for being ON MESSAGE.

Weak economic data out of Japan has seen the USD/JPY rally, and further gains look possible as short USD positions are unwound. With so much confusion out there, range trading is the order of the day. We aren't breaking ranges anywhere. And until we have some kind of leadership from somewhere, we aren't likely to.

Oil 74.77
Gold 652.30

OIL and GOLD are holding. No satisfaction for the bulls or the bears. We need to get GEOPOLITICS sorted out and we don't have the right people in place to do it. Uncertainty will underpin both markets for the time being. Prudence suggests that staying out until we have a better idea of what is going on would be the best policy.

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