Tuesday, 7 August 2012

So long Bianchi, hello Contador . . . .

While awaiting various economic news today I dropped back the Bianchi to Mike Shaw at Atelier de Velo. I had to own up to dropping the bike and damaging the bar tape which was only fair given how he's treated me. I was very lucky to find the shop and am committed to having the Pinarellos, Cannondale and BMC fitted by the team there.

Under the heading of "He's back" . . . .

El Pistolero, aka Alberto Contador Velasco is back after his suspension and racing the Tour of Benelux before his first La Vuelta a EspaƱa. Let's see what he can do clean.

Tour of Benelux
It's not a huge week for news, especially given the current lack of volume in markets. Most people seem content to let the computer algo's trade the magic words of those not going on summer vacation. But for the record today:

  • Australia RBA Cash Rate Announcement: Unchanged at  3.50% for August as expected
  • United Kingdom Industrial Production: Expected decline -4.3% yoy
  • Germany Factory Orders: Expected -0.8% mom
  • Switzerland Harmonised CPI 
  • US Consumer Credit
  • Italy GDP
As expected the Aussies left rates unchanged, but there was commentary about the deterioration of the balance of payments due to the high AUD. I now suspect that we will see the RBA joining in monetary easing in September when the Euro-crats come back from their Mediterranean vacations. Italian GDP and German factory orders will end up being another excuse for ECB action.

I used work in the Standard Charter Bank building in Singapore. I always thought the employees getting of at the floors the bank dealt from looked very boring. Obviously according to the uS Government I was completely wrong. It seems like my neighbors were actually up to all sorts in the form of moving around money for the Islamic Republic of Iran. I only mention this because of this great quote from the FT:

One Standard Chartered director allegedly told a colleague: “You f---ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians?”

That's just great. I believe the management consultant gurus call this an institutional attitude problem.

And finally some good news. We know that Australian retailing has had a slight up turn due to compensation cheques hitting the streets meant to balance out the carbon tax effect on lower paid citizens (aka defecting voters of the ruling party). Now comes the news that the GBP 5bn paid out in compensation to UK households mis-sold mortgage insurance is helping in the exact same way. By the end of the year these payments could increase GDP by 1%.



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