Thursday, 8 November 2012

Things that go bump in the night . . .

Here's one for you, have you ever heard an annoying noise coming from your bike which you were unable to identify? Seriously I hae noises that I've never heard before. It's the same for me in respect of all machinery I own or operate, I just can't keep going unless I know what it is and have an idea whether it can be fixed or not. Today every time I went over a bump I heard this noise, like when you drive over loose paving in your car. What's worse is that I had earlier set up my new Tacx indoor trainer and mouted the Cannondale Evo in it to make sure all was good. I obviously assumed that I'd done some daamage to the raear end of my bike on the trainer when I kept heaing this noise. I tried everything I could . . moved the water bottle between cages, loosened and then tightened the rear wheel, check the straps on my saddle bag . . . jeez I even checked the bottom bracket in case one of the cups hap come loose. And nothing. Finally after a couple of hill climbs I got off one last time and I tried to replicate the sound by gently bouncing the rear tire on the road. Bingo! It was coming from the saddle bag . . . . It was the two CO2 cartridges banging together and in turn banging the carbon rails on my seat that caused the noise. 45minitues of annoyance ended as soon as I redistributed the contents of the bag. I'd never had that sound before because in Sydney I usually ride with only a single spare tube and CO2 cartridge, but because of the double flat on Tuesday I had crammed in an extra tube and cartridge to my small bag. In Europe I always rode with 2 of everything, but the saddle bag a i had was bigger, so things were well spaced. Oh well, live and learn. Things that go bump in the night or the light . . . go figure!

Unfortunately something also went bump for Mr. Bradley Wiggins overnight. Wiggo was hit by a car while riding his bike near his family home in Lancashire. It seems that he's broken some ribs as a result of a car driving out of a service station. I know exactly what's happened, I've swerved so many times on narrow European roads in this very situation. I bet it's ugly when you do it going at TdF speed.

There was a big bump on the stock market as well. I said in this blog that an Obama victory was bad for equities and I also said a Romney victory was bad for bonds. Well what I didn't say was the real problem was the intersection of an Obama victory with a continued legislative block in Congress. It's all ugly and the big bump in my night was the realization that the fiscal cliff is looking a lot more dangerous.  The S&P dropped 2.4%.

Look out below . . .
Clearly some of the rally we'd seen post the first presidential brake was the Republican wing of Wall St and to a lesser extent Main St buying into their man.

It's interesting to watch Apple, which is now at a five month low as the market starts to get the post Steve Jobs jitters thanks to the mapping app on iPhone5. The problem is that Apple was, and probably still is the biggest best bet amongst Hedge Funds who trade in the US market. The stock has been the a bright beacon of hope on the stormy seas in the post GFC world. What I think we're seeing is a revaluation of the stock to a lower multiple as the Steve factor disappears in the rear view mirror.

Europe is the home of the "bump" and even though the Greeks passed the latest round of austerity legislation yesterday the Spanish looked more likely to need a bailout. The anti austerity groups grow ever louder in Europe. The lack of flexibility on the currency front leaves the masses very little room to move. If the FT is right and the Spanish completely blow-out the 4.5% deficit target and veer closer to 6% then Draghi will need to buy a hell of a lot of bonds in the coming months. Expect more revisions to European growth and bump the Euro from your investment portfolio.

A final bump was the sound of German Industrial Production hitting a wall. No doubt the engineering genius of the German's made the bump sound a lot better than it really was, but a 1.8% fall month on month was worse than expected and follows Tuesday's data that showed factory orders fell 3.3 per cent in September.

Maybe the Chinese can help?


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