Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thirty Pieces of Silver For Tony

EUR/USD 1.3465 Hi 1.3482 Low 1.3440
USD/JPY 123.08 Hi 123.76 Low 123.40
AUD/USD 0.8463 Hi 0.8471 Low 0.8375
EUR/JPY 165.73 Hi 165.94 Low 165.17

How's that for clever timing? Tony Blair steps down at pretty much the same time that the EU manages to ram through the new EU Constitution Mark II, otherwise known as the EU Treaty. And most of the British Press is, of course, going with the main story: Tony Blair stepping down. Because that's what really counts and who cares that the U.K. just signed away a large chunk of its sovereignty??

The French Press, of course, doesn't seem to find anything amiss in the new French President forging ahead with this new Treaty despite the fact that the Treaty is fundamentally the SAME as the EU Constitution which the French Public previously and overwhelmingly voted AGAINST. How inconvenient. The less said about that the better. So nothing is being said. Not for the French the nasty tactics of a feral press.

So soon Europe will have a President and a Foreign Office and all of the people in them will be "appointed". Appointments are big these days. After all it has worked well for the World Bank, the IMF and Central Banks everywhere. Well, maybe not. But at least it's quick and efficient. It does away with the pesky necessity of consulting "the people", not to mention the cumbersome and expensive "voting" process. No need to massage the message. SPIN will be history. All that will be required is edicts. The more imperial the better.

And Tony has been rewarded for his clever sleight of hand. Thirty pieces of silver have been arranged in the form of an appointment!! Yes, he, Mr. Tony Blair, one of the principal mouthpieces for George W.'s insane plan to take over the Middle East by military means, has been appointed Middle East Peace Envoy. Of course, the appointment is not all that it seems. Tony is contrite. More than that really. Tony is contrite and in addition he is almost Catholic. And since his Catholic wife has already suggested that wrong-doers should be personally confronted with the consequences of their crimes, Tony is heading off to the Middle East where he will be chief Meet and Greeter for the 4 million or so Iraqi refugees who are currently looking for a home. Being refugees, of course, means that they are ipso-facto to blame for their own sorry plight, so it is unlikely that they will have less than kind words for the likes of Tony Blair.

Almost everywhere around the world confidence in our Dear Leaders is sky high. Well not really. But no-one is worried. We have democracy and everyone out there seems to be happy with the charade. At least there are no riots, except at G8 Meetings. Let's move on. Moving on is good. It used to be called changing the subject. Either that or you can invent some suitably distracting alternative news story. Whatever works.

Meanwhile over in Japan it seems that hundreds of thousands of Japanese housewives, the ones who were supposedly responsible for selling bucket loads of JPY, appear to have changed their minds. Perhaps they are taking profits. Perhaps they've given up: defeated by the sheer size of the JPY buying generated by the enormous Japanese Trade Surplus. Whatever. JPY selling seems to have waned. My guess is that these Japanese housewives, after pouring over the recent economic statistics out of the States, have decided to cash in some chips. After all the numbers look ugly. Durable Goods numbers were terrible. The GDP numbers, revised or otherwise, don't look great. The U.S. Housing Sector is still in big trouble and the Sub-Prime Market? Nobody wants to talk about the Sub-Prime Markets. Can we please move on?

So maybe the Carry Trade has been taken to its logical conclusion. Maybe not. We will see. The USD is still in trouble, Carry Trade or no Carry Trade. And the U.S. Economy doesn't exactly look chipper. So USD bullishness might not be the happiest bet in the market. Not, that we are worried or anything. Worry would be bad. Worry doesn't play well. So we aren't worried. It doesn't matter what happens to the USD, or to International Capital Flows, the U.S.A. is still the most productive economy in the world, Trade Deficit or no Trade Deficit. So there is nothing to worry about. And we won't.

OIL 69.11
GOLD 648.10

GOLD falling as OIL rises?? Now let's see, why would that be? Oh yes I forgot: the current U.S. Administration has ties to the OIL industry and a higher price of OIL is not unwelcome in those quarters.

At the same time the U.S. doesn't want to see anything (especially not GOLD) replace the USD as an International Reserve Currency. Of course so many events have already undermined the status of the USD as the International Reserve Currency that this rearguard action to keep the price of GOLD down may not really achieve very much in the long term but for the short term it is capping rallies. So 10 points for the PPT.

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