This communique has been issued by the Interspacing Corps in the Strangelands @ Primus time: 982885 / in response to numerous questions concerning MDP. Vui Kong etc.

(To Increase the font – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +)

Primus Aldentes PrimeIf you wish to support a cause. Do it for the right and not the wrong reasons.

Firstly, if you go to TOC and read most of the comments posted concerning Vui Kong. You will notice one glaring inconsistency – absolutely no intelligent comments from those who may see the need to keep the death penalty against the fight against drugs. (after this they may change their attitude, but the damage has been done)

That is not because many Singaporeans, residents and even Malaysians have not written to TOC expressing their views in support of the MDP. It just means TOC has deleted these comments in order to engineer consent on this subject.

So let us be very clear here. The picture TOC presents to the world does not in any way represent an accurate appraisal of what most readers feel about this subject – it is designed to reflect ONLY the views of the owner of TOC and their inner circle.

 Secondly, not everyone who supports the MDP relishes the prospects of taking a life lightly – many broach this very serious subject with intense reservation – and here again TOC attempts to hijack the image of the reasonable man; as time and again, they keep on harping that only the inane can justify taking a life of another no matter how serious the crime; in the universe of TOC no one who is of sound mind and moral probity can possibly not see the wisdom of sparing a life no matter how serious the crime. On the contrary, this narrative misleads – as it is precisely because many of us value, respect and honor life,that is why we are prepared to make uncomfortable moral compromises to protect many who may otherwise fall victim to the vicious cycle of drug abuse. So let us be very clear, just because you are against the death penalty does not necessarily make you an enlightened human; anymore than a person living in a cave can claim he is an archeologist. It is not very hip or cool either; unless you believe the best way for humanity to progress is to buy into panaceas and discard sound practices.

Ultimately, the question boils down to only this: do you consider the drug trade to be a real and present danger to our society?

If answered in the negative. Then by all means go to Hong Lim Park. Have a ball. Only as I have said, if you wish to support something –do it for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.

However if you do consider the drug trade to be what most reasonable believe it to be – the greatest solvent that menaces society – then consider: how is any civilization supposed to perpetuate its inalienable right to self determination when confronted with such a ferocious enemy? How do you even find common ground with those who may not wish to live and let live; and have no reservations in using every available means (including the young and ignorant) to get their contraband to our shores just to turn a quick buck? How are we to reason with the enemy who doesn’t even perceive any moral contradiction about poisoning your mummy, sister, her friends and the people who we love and care for in our community? Can anyone tell me how this can be done? I think not.

It is very easy to buy into TOC’s homily sugary fairytale that all we have to do is to dismantle the MDP and all of us can suddenly be enlightened beings and live happily ever after and good will somehow triumph over the forces of darkness. You don’t need to be very intelligent to unravel the weakness in that argument –because the question still stands, how can we continue to effectively protect our society from the drug menace in the absence of resolve in the shape and form of the MDP?

TOC is not only disinterested in this narrative. They refuse to even have an all inclusive debate on this subject – As I suspect they know very little about what conditions first needs to be obtained to create a drug free Singapore.

Otherwise why even bother deleting post on those who choose to speak intelligently and informatively about the need to keep the MDP? Neither have they even devoted so much as one article, one sentence, one paragraph on the need to maintain the MDP to facilitate you the reader to gain a better understanding on this subject – so that you can make an informed decision concerning the matter – so pray tell, how can you even buy into TOC’s idea if what they are really showing you is only one side of the coin?

You decide. Ultimately the decision is yours and yours alone. Only it bears repeating as it’s jugular – If you wish to support a cause. Do it for the right and not the wrong reasons.

Singaporedaddy (1st class officer from the IDC – Internet Liaison officer of the Brotherhood / bearer of letters representing the Confederation of Gamers)

“I demand to see the Magistrate you idiot! Do you not understand we have travelled some 300 light years just to petition the known Emperor of the Universe Pandishah IV. Some brigands have invaded our planet, they have robbed us of our mines, livestock, lands, titles and our right to be heard, this is the law, do you hear me! I demand to see the local Magistrate of this region!”

“Your papers are not in order…begone or we will have you arrested!”

“Let them through Centurion….show me the papers….yes, I see these are old seals….very old indeed…issued long before the Republica period, tell me do you know who these people who invaded you are?

“We have no idea…but we came here to petition the Envoy of the Emperor of the known universe for a voice to reclaim what is rightfully ours.”

“You pay your taxes regularly I see….so by the laws of the Confederation your tribe shall have a voice.”

“The soldier told me at the gate the Emperor is no more.”

“That is true, nonetheless, your papers are in order…and you have a right to a voice. The law is the law. Now go tell you people never to despair, I shall take your petition up personally.”

“It has been so long a time since we last came to the city…I don’t recognize all of these insignias or even the uniforms of your people…..I never knew so many things have changed since the passing of the Emperor…who may I humbly ask are you?”

“I am the regional Liaison officer of the brotherhood for the space port of Prima Maritima. They call me Sergei, but my name is actually Singaporedaddy. Now back to business, tell me more of these people who stole your voice…”

This conversation has been retrieved and captured by an auto-bot from the Great Library of Alexandria in the space port of Prima Maritima – 3093 parsecs of the Tiberium Asteriod Belt 700 years ago –  The age of the rocket – The Book of Ages – The Brotherhood Press 2010

 

 

She dived like a submarine on bell, nearly 3% – Synovus Financial Corp. (Public, NYSE:SNV).

http://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:SNV That’s cool. I understand if she wants to misbehave and throw her pots and pans along with lacing my food with poison – I understand -come on baby…I will be so nice to you…if  you do what I want. (But that is a XXX story, so I will just leave it at that)

As for me and my crew. We are still in.

If some of you want to leave with 10% in your pocket – go – no need to explain. I ain’t judging you. Bye Bye. See you on the next hunt.

The rest of you follow me into the rabbit’s hole – remember this is a drive by shooting so keep it tight; don’t get sloppy – begin averaging on my mark – that bitch will turn. They always do. Then we will split her in half. And take off, it’s as simple as that.

The key is to stay alive – let’s do it by the book.

(To increase the font on this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Rushing for a die-die must have meeting this morning. Suddenly found myself stuck in the jam. Then this came over the phone, from reader 1093 – plugged it into my car stereo. Cracked me up. Turned up the volume.

Best thing was there was this blue MPV packed with kids beside me – and all of them were sticking their heads out and singing along at the top of their voices while making funny faces – it’s just one of those magic moments when everything comes together perfectly like a wonderful cookie – you know the type of where everyone doesn’t mind waiting hours in line for – the one where all the raisin and nuts come together so well, that’s why it’s called the wonderful cookie – not too gummy or sweet, just the way you’ve always imagined what a wonderful cookie should taste like – Magic.

Thanks for making my day guys and taking the trouble to keep me in the loop. Best spoof I’ve heard in years. Damn creative, great job! Keep this up and I may just have to call you all up one of these days for a spot of cycling – and don’t forget that broken guitar.

Nice one.

Darkness 2010

P.S: Thanks 1093. You know what? I never ever gone to a single read club. Never. Despite the countless invitations – but I have a feeling all that is going to change very soon – meanwhile to those of you who may have just discovered the Brotherhood Press and many others who have put up with me all these years – this goes out especially to all of you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks – Darkness 2010

 What We Can Learn From Cars

(To increase the size of font – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Well what can I say? She’s taken right off - http://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:SNV The Question: do you jump on the train or sit this one out?

Before we dive in,it’s only fair that I fully disclose that I jumped in last week at USD$2.30 something – so what you need to keep in mind is I have a vested interest to recommend this stock. And since we all have “I trust no one but myself,” helmets on, it’s only fair that I come clean.

The way I see it Synovus is good to go right up to $3.00 and possibly higher in the near term – now bear in mind, this isn’t exactly a HSBC or Morgan Stanley play – Synovus is Synovus, it’s basically a retail bank based along the Bible belt in the US – Georgia, South Carolina, Tenessee, Alabama etc –  its so off the beaten track that you will probably only hear about it when it’s held up by really stupid people who still believe you can rob banks like Bonnie & Clyde. Only these days for some funny reason. Instead of sporting Cowboy hats they prefer to dress up as Darth Vader (I ain’t kidding – bank robbers have taken to the  force in a big way these days. So would banks as well I suppose which could explain why after a bank heist one always hears sirens from that other force.) Check this out!

Why do I believe Synovus still has plenty of legs to move upwards? Well if you want to look a fair value /book value / PE ratio etc – I could bore you blind. But I would prefer it if you do that sort of research yourself. I think you owe it to yourself to do your own due diligence and research – and I am just being very frank about it.

Besides that’s not the main reason why I believe this stock is set to rally – these days sentiment and not book plays a preponderant role in shaping demand and supply – the main reason has to do the quarterly results that rolled out today suggesting that housing is picking up, albeit very slightly. Though let’s be clear – I DO NOT EXPECT OPTIMISM TO BE LONG LIVED.

These days a bit of good news goes a long way in the zombie housing market. The other reason I suspect has to do with the entire banking industry as a whole. As you might already know the EU recently conducted their own stress test on banks – and generally, most of them were given the thumbs up.

Between me and you, this stress test is all a crock of shit – I mean if those same people who validated those banks used them same method to quality inspect automobiles – 30% of motorist would probably drive no more than 2 miles before the steering wheel comes loose just after their engine explodes – that basically sums up what I think about their BS stress test.

The long and short is the banking industry as a whole is still seriously fucked up in more ways than I can possibly elaborate – and the Europeans just rigged the test bench.

So it’s fair to say what we may be seeing here is just a short term feel good effect / I would rate this as a super high risk play – so my expectation is anywhere between 20% to 30% within a time span a week or more. Strictly hello, bang-bang, bye-bye play.

Happy Hunting

Darkness 2010 

 

(To increase the font on this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Maybe I have water in my head (thanks to U-bot commandant Yakoob). Maybe it’s just the way I am hardwired.

But of late have you all noticed while the government of the day in the person of old battle horse Lau Lee doesn’t seem to have any qualms in extolling the benefits of Darwinian theory in all it’s various shapes and forms  – ranging from, “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” to “competition is mother’s milk!” – and since this ideology has even been elevated in Singapore to the status of scientific theory to color everything from work, life and play – to perhaps justifying why dying standing at work is the best way to say bye bye. Or why we should compete ceaselessly till our sinews snap – do you all notice when it comes to those who make up government, namely ministers – the aphorism, “the survival of fittest” doesn’t seem to apply with the same level of zeal, rigour and consistency.

I wonder why?

For example. Do you all notice whenever a minister screws up and he suddenly finds himself in the hot seat when most of us are pelting him with rotten tomatoes (besides we know those people who can afford to live in Bukit Timah and Opera Estate only throw rotten Lychees, it’s not as if it’s Sengkang Sally or Ah Beng Buangkok who would normally lob deadly durians- so what harm can a bit of heat do?) – what usually happens is this. First, the minister will run around like a headless chicken for a few days – after the public is thoroughly confused and disorientated with a torrent of gibberish and contradictory statements from this confused person – mini me Lee will step right out and try to restore some semblance of order– he fails of course, and that’s really the cue for the old battle horse to don his armor and roll himself out to do the job of keeping the heavenly balance between people and the government.

The remarkable thing about the old war horse is he works like a magic charm – he always manages to settle the frayed nerves and can even be counted on to lower the temperature even when public outrage seems to spills over and still manage to pluck the poor minister out of the jaws of death. But this picture of good winning over evil misleads.

Because if the whole idea of Darwinian theory is premised on the assumption of the survival of the fittest – then how can a minister and the ministry under his remit materialize any tangible benefits if on the slightest sign of stress and pressure – the referee steps in and stops the game – I mean the whole proposition makes a nonsense to me because I was always under the impression, one reason why Darwinian theory is such a robust ideology for inculcating the culture of continuous improvement is (there’s no way to negotiate around it) because it will always push a species to tipping point no matter what the factor conditions and even force it ultimately to confront ONLY two decision alternatives – adapt or perish i.e since the trade off’s and benefits of remaining in the comfort zone is significantly less under a given set of conditions. It pays to venture out into the discomfort zone.

That’s one reason why I harbor serious misgivings about how Singapore is going to survive beyond old battle horse Lau Lee (maybe it is a good idea to vat his brain?) – because if all he seems to do is to stop ministers from looking like a bunch of shambolic no hopers whenever they can’t seem to find their footing and to sort out the mess in the public square – this may suggest, he’s effectively sabotaging the Darwinian wheel from turning. And that in turn means, instead of improving the system; he may be putting up disincentives for future leaders who would otherwise have to migrate from their comfort to the discomfort zone as they should rightly do – then where would the impetus for creativity and innovation come from? How can we possibly guarantee that the people who occupy leadership positions really have the right stuff? What if they crack under pressure? Do you see my point?

So the question boils down to only this: is Lau Lee inadvertently weakening the government of the day or is he actually revivifying it in the way a football coach pushes the limits of the envelop to get the best out of his players to create a world class team?

Think about it. This is jugular!

At this stage, let me just climb to a vantage point (which shouldn’t be too difficult since all my furniture is now superglued to the wall at waist level) and try to reframe this discussion in an understandable model to further explain why it doesn’t pay to play punk with Darwin – as this happens to be the same reason why I believe – one of the greatest travesties of reason ever perpetrated in the history of economics, mathematics and common sense; is when the US government recently decided to bail out dead beat firms and zombie banks with tax payers money (I happen to be one of only a handful of people who know how to prove this mathematically! Along with the others who are currently in the IMH).

The whole idea seems logical ONLY because governments keep on insisting that without such radical stimulus measures; doing nothing would cause more harm to the economy – here I want you to tease our similarities with how corrosive this strategy is when juxtaposed against the idea whenever a minister finds himself pressed someone comes along and cuts him slack – think about it. What are they really doing? What are we really doing when we step in and show the red card?

Well for starters they’re turning Darwinian theory on its head – the idea would only make sense if you didn’t realize that whenever governments sign off on a bail out plan, what they are actually doing is rewarding incompetence and punishing the intelligent folk on an industrial mass production scale –to paraphrase:  hey, we know that you have run your enterprise to the ground with bad decision making and zero entrepreneurial imagination, but guess what? Surprise, surprise, we are now going to give you more money so that you can go out there and compete with those really clever people who didn’t make the same mistakes as you!

How much sense does that idea make? Think about it! Work it through your noodle.

Yet this is exactly what we are witnessing right now in both the EU and US, a revision of not only capitalism but also economics as we have known it in the last 200 years, that proposes to do away with the Darwinian doctrine of natural (market) selection – only to replace it with something which is IMHO closer to post modernist socialist nihilism masquerading as worthy arcanum. When infact, it’s just a blueprint that leads to the hall of mirrors.

That’s one reason why I believe this recession is not over. Not by half. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just a super fly weight. He’s talking through his hat. Because as long as the Darwinian process isn’t allowed to run its course and winnow those who are capable from those who have no business being there in the first place – that can only mean, the super duper losers, deadbeats, good for nothing bums and can talk all day and do fuck all gang is still circulating somewhere within the system. And since they are still within the system; in all probability they will continue riven all prospects of real recovery.  

And if you take the trouble to superimpose this dystopian model that I have just splayed out on how our ministers regularly get the Big Minister comes to the baby minister rescue treatment – it’s fair to say, we should not expect to see anything exceptional or great from them either – I am sorry, in my book entitled the Origins of the Species – the first rule is – no pain; no gain. And that’s something that you can never ever negotiate around – IMHO either a firm, institution or hegemony gets with the idea 100% or you’re simply not with it – or worst still playing the extinction game. In which case you’re headed directly to the dodo hall of fame.

If anything unless the system is continually stressed, trussed and tensioned at the very apex. Leaders know only too well if the kitchen gets too hot, they can always jump right out of window and Big Daddy is always there to catch them and all their problems will melt away like lemon drops. And the rest as they would say in perfidious faced Versailles when the center gives away – Apres moi le deluge!

Welcome to the extinction game…..stand by to play…..program loading.

Darkness 2010  

“There is nothing wrong with an appeal for unity (it should even be encouraged if possible, but it must be done intelligently) – ONLY, it should NEVER be attempted at the expense of the mufflement of the truth; when was harboring a contrarian view divisive? When did silence ever serve any imperative of knowledge creation? Since when did speaking out confidently and asking intelligent questions constitute something less than patriotic?

If you look CLOSELY at most civilizations, they have progressed precisely because they debated and argued vigorously; conflict should NEVER be feared, it should be UNDERSTOOD instead; the Europeans did precisely that during the age of enlightenment with the likes of Martin Luther, Da Vincci, Corpenicus, Newton etc and look how they benefitted mankind with their rich disquisitions in the arts and sciences.

The only ones in EU who resolutely rejected this idea and plumbed for a bla bla black sheep rubber stamp parliament were the Swiss; they were so united; they didnt even bother to do anything when Adolf Hilter was stomping around in Europe; and we all dont need to wonder why their greatest gift to mankind was the cuckoo clock!”

 Singaporedaddy – Internet Liaison Officer of the Brotherhood – captured in a undisclosed thread somewhere in Singapore by an auto-bot crawler – The Brotherhood Press 2010

This guy is a person we all call Dr Doom. The problem with him is I’ve had a few fights with him and his friends – usually involving some very colorful exchange of expletives – but despite my best attempts to debunk him. Even I have to admit, he’s got more than enough firepower to come back and bloody my nose a couple of times over. Draw whatever conclusions you like from that.

Cut to the chase. Do I agree with him? No comment. I don’t think it’s fair for me to color whatever opinion you may decide to form especially on a subject that is as serious as where the global economy is heading. So why don’t you just sit back for 10 minutes and hear what he has to say about flies, gold, credit crunch etc.

Now if you’re going to make an informed decision – it really pays dividends to read up further on some of the terms that he uses to flesh our his theories – for instance when he mentions for example 20% of the flies dies in the experiment.

You really need to press the pause button – and ask yourself questions like why did he mention 20% and not 30% or 50%? In that case he’s obviously referring to the Pareto Optimum, which happens to be a very robust statistical linchpin. But what’s noteworthy is he assumes that you already know this or can read his mind. 

So it’s very important for you to note from the onset that this fellow can confuse the living shit out of you if you are not mindful. So just pay close attention as you watch this clip, it may be a good idea to jot down terms which you come across such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma (that’s another school of thought in it’self, do look it up) and others so that you can build up a coherent picture.

Generally, it’s not too hard to understand. I mean if I can understand it (it took me about ten times, so I am sure you can probably manage it in two) .

Happy Hunting

Darkness 2010

 

The Youth Olympic Games – Why it makes sense to support it!

(To enlarge the font in this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Do Singaporeans really expect perfection from the government of the day? Well to be perfectly honest with all of you. I really dunno.

But that’s what that old battle horse LKY seems to think.

Recently, true to the art of managing conflict in Singapore; he rolled himself out and began chiding many for expecting perfection from the government when they pelted rotten tomatoes at Submarine Yacob  – LKY went on to quip rather sardonically, it was unreasonable to expect a flood free Singapore as this would require us to convert the ECP and PIE into Monsoon drains yada, yada, yada, yada.

But I don’t think the nub for public outrage has anything to do with the question of whether these “expectations” are reasonable or just plain unrealistic. Or even whether the “failure” was due to what PUB could have done or not under a given set of weather conditions. If anything those issues are merely vignettes – sidedishes even – as the crux of the matter is really only about one thing: managing perception.

What we may have here is what I call the BP, Toyota and most recently Apple’s nutty antennae syndrome. In all three cases, all these firms like PUB managed the perception of dealing with a sticky situation with as much intellectual quotient as a man checking a gas leak with a lighted match – wonder no more why they all ended up wrestling with a public relations nightmare.

And how did it all start? Well if you take the trouble to sieve through the carnage of the BP, Toyota and Apple fiasco – a pattern begins to emerge – for starters the chronological events are all strikingly similar – it all starts rather innocuously as a perfectly explainable phenomenon – just as how BP once termed the Deep Horizon event as just a “technical” well leak. Or how Toyota once defined their dodgy brakes, as an “implausible software conflict” – now superimpose this on how the government  reacted to the first flash flood that inundated Orchard Road – it was passed off as a freak occurrence – a one in a 50 year event compounded by probably people like me who regularly litter. So naturally, like many of the fishermen in the gulf of Mexico who were told by BP, this was just a kink – most of us just slunk back into our easy chairs.

Besides BP has top kill, the mother of all well head superglues and we have the Marina Barrage – a high tech sea wall – so what is there to really worry about? What subsequently happens of course is all those assumptions that accounted for that highly improbable once in the 50 year old event just like the psycho well head proves to be overly simplistic, optimistic and wrong – by this time of course the problem has taken a life of its own – the media has picked up on the scent – it’s whipped up into a maelstrom and gathers speed – to exacerbate matters the solution is nowhere in sight.. Meanwhile somewhere in the corporate bunker – most of the decision makers are already in fire fighting mode in earnest. By this time the realization gradually seeps into the public consciousness something is amiss and everyone is left wondering whether something may be fundamentally wrong here.

I am going to press the pause button here. Because for you the perceptive reader to understand why it is impossibly difficult to change public opinion from this point onwards requires you to buy into a new concept – gamers call – the Kobayashi Maru complex.

In a nutshell what has happened by this stage of the end game is the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already believe to be the “real” cause of the flash floods, busted well head, nutty brakes and dodgy antennae and what was previously forwarded as an explanation of the cause by the institution has begun to diverge. This can only heighten the dissonance and lead to two possible reactions from the public.

Firstly, if the public is called upon to learn something new which contradicts what they already think they know – they are likely to resist it tooth and nail. In some cases even confecting their own version of an explanation to fit the scenario they already believe.

Secondly, counter-intuitively, perhaps—if learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating – the public is less likely to concede what they may believe (real and imagined) may actually be useless. And again they will fight you tooth and nail.

Now you know why it’s game over. In my next post, I hope to share with all of you how to beat the Kobayashi Maru scenario. Some say it’s impossible; but I’ve been working on some game theory equations – and I believe there is hope yet.

Meanwhile stay tuned.

Darkness 2010

Darkness: “Let me understand what you ninkompops are saying…..you’re telling me that we spent 185 million Imperial Shekelians on a state of the art force field that is supposed to interdict incoming projectiles from outer space, and. Bc someone fucked up in the math; all we have instead is a glorified green house that cannot even repel a meteorite the size of a tennis ball…is that what you idiots are telling me?”

4th class Engineering officer “It’s not our fault Darkness…our calculations for the kinetic dome was spot on..it all screwed up when the game master brought their own people in to help us…I believe that was your suggestion, sir!”

Darkness: “Shaddap! Do you hear that Singaporedaddy, we are all dun for…we are all going to die….because when the Council finds out about this we’ve all be sent to the saltmines….and they are personally going to hang me by my guli’s for this fuck up! Those roaches have been looking for a chance to hang me since I came here and now this idiot has given them my guli’s on a silver platter. I am finished. kaput. Do you hear me Singaporedaddy?”

Singaporedaddy: “Calm down Darkness. Tell me Engineer can you put in coconut trees, pristine sugary sands, beaches, waterfalls and a tropical climate…perhaps even a jungle with a mountain biking trail under this…what do you call it?”

4th class Engineering officer: “Kinetic dome Sir…Yes, of course comrade, we already have terra forming programs to even replicate waves – each press of the button produces a wave exactly as the last. We can even do the same for clouds. But I dont see your point 1st officer comrade…this was supposed to be part of our space defense shield, not a water theme park.”

Singaporedaddy: “Yes, I understand 4th Engineer. But surely even you must understand how delicate our current position is. Tell me, do you want to end up in some saltmine in some unknown moon on an asteroid belt?”

4th Engineering Officer: “I don’t understand sir, are you asking me to change the plans from a  space defense shield to a water theme park?”

Singaporedaddy: “Don’t be silly, why would I even need you to change anything! What space defense shield would that be 4th officer? I have no recollection of such a brief. We were all under the distinct impression the reason why you were specifically choosen for this project was due to your extensive expertise in terra-forming – that if I understand was your metier and as I understand it the only reason why we selected you to construct a water theme park on this space station. I believe that was your original brief, was it not 4th officer? Do you agree Darkness?”

Darkness: “Absolutely Singaporedaddy, that was why you were given the men and material 4th officer…to build a water theme park so that we can all have a slice of earth in space etc etc etc…and so far from what little I have seen…all of you seem to be doing a capital job….keep up the good work…carry on and cheerio!”

A conversation in Primus Aldentes Prime – captured by an auto-bot crawler – archived under the proceedings of The People’s Great Parks – The Chronicler – The Brotherhood Press 2010.

(To increase the font in this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Have things gone out of control? I tried hinting politely here: Orchard Flooding? The solution may be in Sims. But it seems, you people didn’t get it. So let me spell it out now in oversized fonts for your benefit.

Begin with one assumption: all your assumptions may be wrong possibly even worthless. That is the start point. This leads to the theoretical question: What is the best way to nail this sucker? Sun Tzu, Art of War – know your enemy and yourself; and you will be victorious in a thousand battles.

The most cost effective way to deal with this problem is to leverage on simulation software – this will allow you to generate what if scenario under X, Y or Z conditions. Here you can see how we use it to make games more realistic:

But what we do is we do not use gaming software – such as Maya or X-Tric – we use flood simulation software – there is a reason why we do this – water it seems mimics human behavior i.e it takes the course of least resistance. So if you want to create a realistic battle scene, it makes perfect sense to model it according to how water flows.

You can get the know how from these guys. If you have trouble, we can make the necessary introductions FOC.

The way I see it. If this goes on, it’s going to be very bad for businesses. Given time, insurance premiums on cars and houses will go up (trust me, that will have to happen believe it or not! I ain’t kidding here); the cost of doing business will go up as well and all this will be passed down to the poor consumer who is already hurting (as his pay rise for the next 3 years will probably be in permafrost) – worse still you people may start an expensive building spree and instead of plugging up the problem; all you would have done is to dig yourself and us a deeper hole.

So go back to basics – the technology is already there; it is good to go. Don’t waste time, use your mentality – like I said, all this can only be bad for business.

Darkness 2010

“The men you talked about came from the stars last night father!”

“How do you know it is them?”

“They are eating all our food.”

“Yes, that’s them all right, go child give the man with the funny hat this bag, refuel their spaceship and bring the man with the funny hat to me.”

“Why father?”

“That is the way of the world my child. They come every year and we give them these worthless stones and in exchange they will warn us if pestilence, famine and war comes our way; it has been that way for 1,000 years. Go now.”

Tales of the Strangelands – The Book of Ages – the age of the awakening of man – The Brotherhood Press 2010

NBG – Part II

July 22, 2010

(To increase the font of this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +)  If you happen to have taken our recommendation to buy, buy and buy into the National Bank of Greece last night at below USD$2.70 / you are probably sitting on a profit of 6-7% at this very moment in time – it is now 10:55 pm local SGP.

http://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:NBG

What should you do now? Sell, sell and sell. Don’t look left or right – just sell will do very nicely.

It doesn’t get easier than that – this is how I trade – when everyone runs out of the market; I go right in. And when they go in. I run out again.

So if you happen to be just a school teacher, ISD officer trawling the internet for terrorist or someone who is just out to stretch your dollar further – in one night alone, you have already successfully managed to turn roughly the same interest on your principal, if you have dumped it in a fixed deposit account for 3 to 4 years. Not bad huh?

End of lesson.

Caveat Emptor: Remember the stock market is just a glorified casino. Anyone who tells you different is either trying to sell himself as a subject matter expert to ensure occupational security. Or he or she simply wants to believe that his professional qualifications is not already irrevelant and redundant – that is the truth and nothing but the solemn truth – do yourself a favor – write it somewhere, laminate it and carry it around your wallet: The stockmarket is just a casino.

Darkness 2010

(To increase the font in this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) US stocks took a swan dive last night – thanks to the Federal Reserve Chairman Bernie Bernanke when he described the economic outlook as “unusually uncertain” but fell short of elaborating any new steps to jump-start growth if the market continues to belch out black smoke.

Bernanke’s statement concerning the shaky recovery left many investors “unusually uncertain” as they tried to decrypt what the FED chairman really meant when he said the outlook was “unusually uncertain.”

To add to the mystery of how “unusually uncertain,” things are and may get in the foreseeable future; Bernanke true to his clearer than mud form – did not bother to elaborate how the FED was going to do more to spur growth should the economy relapse into a recession.

As a consequence investors throughout the world were left “unusually uncertain,” as to whether they should stay or split from the market – judging from how the S & P 500 closed last night – it is fair to say most of them opted for the latter. 

And since this is the same man who once defined too big to fail as something we will know when we see it, it is fair to say, most of us will continue to be unusually uncertain as to what or how the FED will respond to further complications in the US economic recovery.

 Darkness 2010

“Trust is everything. You can tell if a man is trustworthy by just observing the way his wife or girlfriend treats him.

If her trust in him cannot be easily shaken by loose talk. That means this man has cultivated her loyalty in the way Zorro knows his horse – you notice, Zorro just has to whistle and his horse appears like a magic carpet – this horse even knows how his master will jump on it – have you ever seen Zorro jump and his horse looks up and moves to avoid him? Never – so that means, where there is perfect trust, there is also perfect harmony; as there is consistency in thought, deeds and words.

So it is always a pleasure to do business with a man who understands the importance of trust.”

“We understand envoy of the brotherhood. In that world where you speak of, the one where there is no trust – Zorro can whistle till his voice is hoarse – yet the four legged taxi will never come. Where might this horse be? Perhaps she has eloped with another? That is why our people prefer camels – they are slower, but at least they don’t break your nuts? I feel very sorry for Mr Zorro, his nuts must be very sore.”

“Nuts? How so Khaleed?”

“Have you ridden a horse before? It’s painful. Camels have two humps, so you can sit between them when you ride – very comfortable – you should come to Dubai, my uncle has the third largest camel bazaar over here. So I ride them all the time.”

“Mmmmh…how coincidental, women have two humps as well.”

“Yes, the creator is indeed the master architect, is he not Singaporedaddy?  How rude of me, you must be tired after folding space. A thousand pardons, let me show you my harem.”

“You have harems in the virtual?” 

“Of course, do you think we are all savages in the colonies? I will have you know, I have some of the best camels there.”

Singaporedaddy – conversation with the Pro-Consul of the Ottomans / somewhere along the Arullian front – captured by an auto-bot crawler – The Brotherhood Press 2010

NBG latest news

July 21, 2010

(To increase the font – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) National Bank of Greece, ticker NBG – Prepare to average on my mark – those of you who have been following our updates entered at a median price of 2.20. For the last week NBG has been beaten down – OK, if you want to sell, I understand. Please go. No need to explain. Just go!

Those of you who wish to go deeper into the rabbit’s hole follow me – I will be averaging at a target price of USD$2.70 and below – keep it tight. Pls note we are already in shaky territory -so I expect loads of turbulence – this is going to get very rough, so if you don’t have balls for this sort of trade, my advice is take profit. There is no shame, we already had a good run on her – 40%, in less than a month is not bad. But I am staying in – hold on tight – may the force be with you.

Remember, it doesn’t get easier than this – when she dips below USD$2.70 buy, buy and buy – spread the word. She is ripe for the raid.

http://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:NBG

That’s all. Happy Hunting.

Darkness 2010

(to increase the font – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Lock down the hatches! We are heading towards yet another perfect storm! Is the global economy heading towards a doomsday “double dip,” recession followed by a short recovery, followed by another recession?

The long and short is simply this – it’s horses for courses – even the experts are divided as to whether the worst is behind us – but they all agree on one thing: the man who caused this mess is none other than Mr Alan Greenspan!

The anatomy of disaster can be traced back to the handiwork of  the then-Federal Reserve Chairman. Directly after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Greenspan did something unprecedented – he flung opened the monetary floodgates.

Specifically, Greenspan allowed the “monetary base” to increase to an unprecedented 22% for a three year period from 2000 through 2003. The monetary base, also called “high-powered money,” is the base upon which bank loans are pyramided, expanding the total amount of money held by the public.

During the same three-year period, Greenspan cut the federal funds rate – the interest rate commercial banks charge each other for overnight loans – from 6.5% down to 1%, the lowest federal funds rate in more than 40 years.

The rationale for Greenspan’s easy-credit policy was to provide a “soft landing” for the economy in the wake of the dot-com crash and Sept. 11 attacks. And for a while, it seemed the US economy was plucked from the jaws of impending doom. People marveled that housing prices continued to rise, even amidst the recession of 2001. Indeed, people referred to Greenspan as “the Maestro” – “the Wizard” – “the Magician.”

In retrospect, as economist continue to sieve through the carnage what’s emerging is the role Greenspan’s Fed played in fueling the housing bubble. The more cynical analysts argue that Greenspan’s policies didn’t do a thing to save the US economy; it merely postponed the inevitable day and made the fall harder to break.

Rather what Greenspan should have done was grit his teeth and use his influence then as the FED chairman to persuade businesses and politicians to go through the pain – thereby making the necessary adjustments in the early 2000s which could have averted the sub-prime crisis of 2008.

Fast forward to today – Ben Bernanke is now the skipper of the FED and what is he doing? You guessed it. He is using the same flawed policy that Greenspan once deployed to fix a crummy economy. Only this time with con-man economist like Paul Krugman serving as his ad hoc advisor – he is now doubling his bets.

In contrast to Greenspan’s 20 percent increase in the monetary base during a three-year period from 2000 to 2003, Bernanke has now increased it by 90 percent in just one year!

Sure this meant the unprecedented monetary stimulus from the Fed did indeed succeed in partially resuscitating the stock market, stabilizing home prices, not to mention artificially prop up zombie firms and banks like Citigroup and General Motors.

And sure the world now seems to believe the best vaccine for a deflated economy  is just to turn on the money tap –  the idea is so pervasive; it’s even infected the whole European Monetary Policy along with coloring their entire macro-economic blueprint for the next 20 years and beyond.

Yet all is not well in paradise; as a serpent lurks somewhere in the tall reeds – look deeper and what you may well see is the stark parallels in what Bernanke is currently doing with what Greenspan once did.

It is disturbing as it suggest not only is history repeating itself all over again – only this time, the scale and magnitude of the mistake has been amplified to levels which may not be so easily diffused – and as the world plods away happily; oblivious to the calm before the storm, we are none the wiser.

Darkness 2010

“If they say the internet is full of lies, disinformation and half truths – then tell me why is it most of the people who trawled the internet for views and opinions before the financial crisis did not get as badly burnt as those who relied exclusively on their panel of experts? This is a very simple question. Can you please explain this to me like a child, because I cannot seem to understand for the life of me what you are trying to say to all of us here.

Let me tell you this. For years those who spoke against the euphoria of the times and blatant artificiality of the US economy were considered lunatics, heretics and mad men – many of these people could not even hold down a proper job. Let me tell you why – no firm on this planet will ever hire someone who talks about the Armageddon 24/7 to run either a hedge, pension or slush fund – they will only hire people who think traditionally and that also means they are likely to fail traditionally as well – so these misfits were exiled into the internet. But as I read many of the things they wrote online and even met up with a few of them along with perusing through their maths – I realized that these people were not mad. Not mad at all……infact, they were very sane and what they had to say was very lucid and persuasive. And so this prompted me to relook many of my assumptions…along with questioning the leaders of the times…when I looked deeper….I realized they were all full of shit!…..so do not come down here with your top hat and tails and presume to lecture me or anyone here that there is nothing but lies and disinformation in the internet….the internet saved his ass….it saved my hide….it put his son through university…..it multiplied that fellows wealth by a factor of 6….it did this and all that and more….and don’t say that it was not there for the picking…don’t say you did not know either…..don’t say we could not have forseen this or that….it was all here!

You just didn’t bother to read it. You were all lazy. What we have here is a gross dereliction of duty. So in my book you all deserve to have your mountains of worthless paper investments – yes, one day you will all be very rich, because by the time Citibank breaks even in a couple of thousand years, two thirds of the world will be beneath the sea and the last tree will be plastic reproduction in the natural history museum somewhere on Everest – so paper will definitely be worth it’s weight in gold by then…but I did not fly all the way here to tell you all the error of your ways…all of you can go and fuck yourself for all I care…let me come to the point…My tribe trusted all of you…you all gave us guarantees…now you have all failed us…so we must now talk about the unpleasant business of squaring off the accounts…please understand Gentlemen, it is nothing personal, it’s strictly business.”

Darkness 2010 – A conversation in a Munich Beer Hall with a representative from the Interspacing Mercantile Guild in Germany, captured by an auto-bot crawler – The Brotherhood Press 2010    

(To increase the font on this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) We all know what eventually happens when lies catch up with liars – their pants start to smoke and the next thing that happens is they hop around (hopefully down a cliff).

Well check this out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/20/bps-photoshopped-command_n_652633.html This is frankly not only the type of scoop that reporters from Ripley’s Believe it or not will die for anyday – but if you ask me, it’s also one of the dumbest things, I’ve ever seen in my life.

Well the second dumbest this week – the first is quiet well documented by Inspir3d here: Massive Flood Cockup Exposes Cracks in the Politic… And again what we have here is a classic cut out of the anatomy of disaster – as some of you may already know the mysterious flooding of Singapore has all the qualities of a whodunnit – first litter, dead cats and rotting corpses were blamed for clogging up the drains; the MSM joined in by trying to exonerate PUB et al; we were even all partially blamed for it for not helping in keeping the drains clog free – to cap it off, it was explained as a once in a 50 year thingy like Haley’s comet – so nothing to worry about; then we are told, live with it, it’s a tropical country. Meanwhile day in and day out to soften our brains further; the MSM ran images of cars impersonating submarines in every conceivable country except Singapore – then just when the unexplainable was rendered clear and simple. The floods came again. Today we now know something is very seriously wrong.

The rest as the Americans say is history.

Darkness 2010

Okay Comrades, this is a chernobyl joke – something for you to tell the boys back in Singapore Sergei (aka Singaporedaddy), and if you know the chernobyl katastrof and stuff with teh mutation and stuff, this joke, will make you lough out loud! Vaztokohomft!big_smile

OK, ok…let up! At one day comes a man into a tavern somwhere in Ukraine…No Pripyat sounds more convincing .The man holds many guns in his hands and he says:” I am Gunbill!”
Then some hours later an other man comes in the tavern and he wears many knifes and throws all knifes around and he says :”I am Knifebill!”
Some time later comes a guy with three arms and four legs and seven eyes in
to the tavern and all people ask him:”who are you?”
and he says :”Chernobill!”

Captured by an auto-bot crawler in the STRANGELANDS – The Brotherhood Press 2010

The Youth Olympic Games – Why it makes sense to support it!

(To increase the size of the font – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) By now you’ve probably heard of Apple’s Antenagate – as it frantically goes into fire fighting mode to deal with the unexplained “death grip” signal-strength loss in its iPhone 4.

But there’s something much more important going on somewhere in this storm in a tea cup – Steve Jobs (yes, the same one who pulled the plug on a gaming forum, just because a couple of kids were dissing off the iPhone 4) is trying to look good by putting down other companies.

It all started in last Friday’s press conference, when Mr Boney Ass Jobs played a video showing the effects of left-handed grips on various other smartphones based on operating systems from Google’s  Android, and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and even Nokia. In each case the signal strength dropped four or five bars, and then returned to full strength when released – nearly identical to what happens with the iPhone 4.

Over the weekend, the phone makers fired back. Samsung, HTC, RIM, Motorola and Nokia have now all released statements more or less denying what the video showed.

So the long and short of it is this: someone has egg all over his face again!

Darkness 2010

“I used to know a shallow man who always complained that his salary was not very big. This man always liked to compare himself to others. He was a small minded fellow, you know what I mean. He would often say that the bankers he knew had better cars, larger offices, bigger pays etc. 

One day he asked me for my opinion. But since I was quite low down the food chain, I kept quiet.

But in my heart I felt like saying to this man who was nearly twice my age – maybe these bankers are out of touch with reality? Maybe they are living in some fantasy world? And maybe a wise man would never ever consider them a worthy role model? As their world is bound to come tumbling down – eventually this man managed to persuade the board to give him all the goodies his banker friends enjoyed.

Then the financial crisis hit – and the next thing you know many bankers were either jumping off bridges, cutting their wrist or trying their luck as taxi drivers.

And since we were also hit by the economic downturn, many people begun asking – whether this man who often liked to compare himself to others – should also follow what his banker friends are now doing?”

“So did he jump out of the window?”

“No, he went into politics instead…” 

“I see…by the way is there a moral to this story?”

“I suppose so…but I was hoping you could tell me.”

JDAM – Conversation captured by an auto-bot crawler in the Deep Space Cruiser – Les Enfants Du Paradis – The Brotherhood Press 2010

 

(To increase the font of this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep on pressing +) I am sure all of you know how Goldman Sachs once sold poison to unsuspecting customers – while taking bets on the side that they were going to croak. Recently, they were let off with a smack on the wrist with a paltry $500 million fine from the SEC.

Has Goldman Sachs finally seen the light? Is it now well and truly on the way to reforming its miserable self?

It turns out peddling poison products just happens one of GS many trangressions – In these last few weeks investigations have revealed how Goldman Sachs along with a few traders may have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world, just so they could make a quick buck.

The investigation starts like a Tom Clancy novel. Just at the beginning of 2007, food prices across the world started to rise for no apparent reason – at first these spikes were attributed to volatility in supply and demand. But as they kept going through the roof – it became evident to many, darker forces were at work – wheat rocketed by as much as 80 percent, maize by 95 percent, and rice by 370 percent – and cocoa nearly tripled in less than two months!

In that span of time when food prices rose stratospherically millions of people – mostly children – couldn’t afford to eat, and sank into malnutrition or starvation.

Then, in spring 2008, prices mysteriously fell back to their previous levels – by then of course whole entire swaths of continents had been ravaged.

But no one knew what had really happened – you see in the spring of 2008 / the financial meltdown was the further thing in the minds of most people / besides the idea of too big to fail had yet to be coined and the idea one firm like GS could just about cause untold misery on a global scale was the stuff of conspiracy theorist.

At first most economist attributed these food rises to oil prices going up across the whole world – they reason, this was the primary catalyst that drove the price of commodities upwards.

However, now we all know better – as increasingly the evidence shows that wasn’t the biggest factor for food spikes. The main reason why food prices shot up was because somewhere in the 1990’s – Goldman Sachs lobbied hard to abolish certain agricultural pricing standards which were specifically designed to keep out speculators and only ensure the buyers were people who were directly involved in the global food supply chain.

Because Goldman succeeded in rewriting the bible on how food prices should be set, traded and transacted – suddenly, the global food market was transformed into a casino – and these contracts which were previously only transacted between farming cooperatives and distribution centers were turned into mini stock markets that could buy and sell anything from Cocoa to Nutmeg.

A stockmarket for food was founded.

Question: how was GS involved in manipulating the global food market?

Before the world food market was turned into the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq, the price for food was relatively stable as it was determined largely by the forces of supply and demand for food itself. It wasn’t a perfect system by any means – but generally, the spikes and valleys were managable.

 But after GS decided to muck around the food market and rewrite the rules on how banana’s and cumin seeds were being priced and traded, it was no longer just a market in food. It became, at the same time, a market in contracts which in turn allowed traders to bet on futures i.e you could for example buy coffee positions in December 2010 in January 2010 by either betting for or against the market – and in this way what happened was the food market spiralled out of control – the speculators drove the price through the roof.

How this all happened still remains a matter of conjecture today. But the story goes like this – some two or three years before the sub-prime crisis ripped through the US, financial speculators like GS had long since pulled out of the market, and since they were sloshing in cash – they were looking to park their money in a place that could allow them to grow like one of Jack the Bean stalks. So they started to buy massive amounts of derivatives based on food: they reckoned that food prices would stay relatively stable while real estate melted away.

But what GS inadvertently did, when they parked all that hot money in one of the world’s most primitive stock exchange – the global food market – was it set into motion a terrible chain reaction. As the price of real estate and shares began to free fall in both the EU and US. Speculators throughout the world began to put their money in the food market as well  – which meant the price for food rose beyond the means of many. Hoarding started. Starvation was at pandemic levels. The global supply chain of food got really nutty – nutmeg for example went into a substitute for cocoa as Sumatran beans by that time had rose nearly 800% – and relatively unknown share crops that had been staples in some region of central Africa, like corn was bought up to tbe turned into bio fuel price – in a nutshell now the global food market was being set by traders sitting infront of some terminal in some skyscraper, thousands of miles away, rather than by farmers and local food merchants – and at the head of this narcomaniacal system was one evil organization called Goldman Sachs.

Darkness 2010

“In the digital age you cannot lie to anyone. It is impossible. Politicians and businessmen like to believe the public has a short memory. That may be true in the age of newspapers, radio and magazines – where people read very much with a presentist attitude – they never look back. But in the electronic age – there are links – and once you press on these portals, it opens up a door to the past – you can wander in this space – read even the comments of the people to sense what they may have once thought or felt about their objects of interest.

So these days, if you say people have short memories – you are in my opinion a man who has simply scaled the new battlefield wrongly. In truth, the internet has a memory as reliable as an elephant – so you must be very careful – things will come around. Trust me, they will come full circle whether you like it or not – as in life there will always be certain things that will hold out the promise of equality, the first is receeding hairlines and the other is the reaper will come for all men; and then we all know, the truth will always find a way to get out and sing like a bird…those who do not know this are not wise…not wise at all. 

They are like the mad sultan – Herodutus once wrote about…you know…the one who marched against the evil wind, the Africans call the Harmadan – so crazy was he, he even faced off with the red wind with war elephants and archers attired in full battle armor.

So it is the same here with those who think they are the sole purveyors of the truth and though they may be able to shut this down, close this up and twist that fellows arm etc…. to get their way; they are just fools – they are just buying time…..as at some point the truth will come in like a thief in the night and slit all their throats like assasins…..and no body will hear them scream in the night…not a soul.

So the moral of the story is make sure you are on the side of the truth my friends.”

Darkness 201o – recent conversation in Berlin to the IMG  & The Totenkopft Gamers Internationale- captured by an auto-bot crawler.

(To increase the font – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) When it comes to managing crisis –  history definitely rhymes.

The plot goes something like this: a well-heeled company suddenly finds itself embroiled in a crisis. As word spreads, the problem threatens to take center stage. Yet the firm continues to insist all is well – we have everything under control, they say – it’s just a minor glitch -we will get it sorted out in a jiffy. Naturally, the problem gets bigger and there’s still no solution in sight.

By this stage the media has already picked up the scent – the firm retreats back into its corporate bunker issuing out reams of denials like Hitler in the final days of the Reich / at one point it even attempts to silence critics (by shutting dow a few sites, one of them a gaming forum! Are you fucking crazy!) and even threatening to sue them – when that fails the firm starts to accuse it’s critics of spewing malicious fatwah, disinformation and lies.

If the scene I have just recounted sounds startling similar to what transpired recently in BP in the early days following the Deepwater Horizon crisis – it’s also the same anatomy of disaster that we all saw with Toyota and their dodgy brakes that have a mind of their own – now it’s played out again in the latest comical saga of the iPhone 4’s  nutty antenna  – it’s so screwy, that Apple have even begun issuing out cue cards as to how users should hold their cell phone – a first in mobile phone history. Not even Alexander Graham Bell did that. This is unbelievable – a firm selling you a phone and then telling you how you and I should grip a phone. As if the only thing we have been doing for the last 10 years is talking to each other using smoke signals – I mean to me, if you buy a phone, it should work whether you are talking upside down like a Bat. Or gripping it with your feet like an Orang Utan (which I regularly do whenever I am getting my nails manicured).

And here comes the hat trick – what’s Apple’s solution? A $20 plastic skin, that to me sounds dumber than dumb – I mean, think about it, if buy a high end luxury car and every time you turn the ignition on and black smoke starts spewing out of the air-con vents like one of those shower heads in those Nazi deathcamps – how would you feel if the dealer proposes to solve the problem by issuing you with a $20 rubber gas mask?

Why not just fix the lousy antenna problem and reissue new phones? After BP and now this – I really don’t know what else to expect from the 7 habits of highly ineffective firms. But one thing is for sure, this definitely takes the cake!

Wonder no more why I recommended a hard sell 2 months ago – like I said, I never ever trust a firm when it’s run ONLY by one man – never. It’s no bloody good! Now you know why. Track her as she goes right down in the next few trading sessions. I may just decide to pick her up again just for a spot of drive by selling – that’s all she’s good for.

Darkness 2010

“Help us! They have shut us down for no reason. All we were doing was spoofing the iPhone. Is there someone out there who we can tell all this too?”

“I know a group of people.”

A conversation captured by an auto-bot crawler in the thread known as “The Californian,” – The Brotherhood 2010

(To increase the font of this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Is it time to junk the idea – the US dollar is the best reserve currency of choice?

I know living without those greens seems impossibly hard to imagine. As the US dollar since time immemorial has always been synonymous with the global currency of choice – for starters the US dollar is still the currency most economies favor relative to other currencies. Not to mention the triads, Yakuza and Mafia still have loads of greenback underneath their floor boards.

As much as 65% of the world’s currency reserves are held in greenbacks according to the International Monetary Fund. And though no reliable data exist on how much greenback is sloshing around the market (especially the black market) – it’s fair to assume the figure has to be so high as to pose an intractable problem to most who may be debating whether it’s time to switch to another preferred world currency.

One reason why some central bankers (these are basically very fat folk who get paid a lot of money to do absolutely nothing and they work for the banks of their countries when they are not pretending to work) have been toying around with the idea of switching to any other currency besides the US dollar is due to the recent volatility of the US dollar. These concerns raised by central bankers is hardly new – the debate has been raging for at least a decade, but it’s only recently that it’s gathered momentum in the mainstream.  

The Arabs for example have been secretly hoarding physical gold since the financial crisis begun in 2008. And the communist Chinese have done the same switching partially to the Euro and to fertilizers will 10 year shelve life’s.

So this is by no means a new subject. However one perennial concern that has thrown a spanner into the works of how to make the switch has been the question: what else do we switch too?

One promising substitute are special drawing rights (SDRs), the international reserve created by the IMF some 40 odd years. SDRs are like bearer bonds. They aren’t legal tender. And you can say use it like cash to pay for a plate of char kueh teow. Just think of them like IOU’s. One reason why SDR’s make such a compelling case for substituting the US dollar is unlike the dollar that is based exclusively on the economic wellbeing of the USA – the value of SDRs is based on a basket of the world’s major currencies (U.S. dollars, yen, euros and pounds), that means it’s no as volatile as a single currency. As the risk is spread out across different time zones and land masses.

These ideas are unlikely to take off anytime soon, but it appears on-going concerns about dollar volatility is at least gaining a renewed interest in the subject of a new global currency. The debate acquires an added edge when one considers how in the last decade alone the dollar has lost more than a quarter of its value. This is particularly worrisome for emerging-market nations that hold larger quantities of dollar-denominated debt mostly in U.S. Treasury securities and bonds. To exacerbate matters, the US is running an all time stratospheric high deficit and there are still no plans in the pipeline by the FED to plug that giant blackhole.

Meanwhile central bankers don’t seem to be waiting for the IMF to put their act together to roll out the SDR’s. Many have already put into place measures to divest themselves further from the greenback amid growing concerns over soaring U.S. deficits and slow recovery. Some have already raised their allocations of other currencies – chiefly the Australian and Canadian dollars. Others have turned to the yellow metal, silver and even uranium as hedge instruments.  

Eventually, the dollar will bow out. This may take some time though anywhere between 10 to 200 years.  

Meanwhile for the home investor, it may be a good time to research further on diversifying your  investment portfolio by putting your nest egg in a basket of denominations other than the greenback.

Darkness 2010 – The Brotherhood Press 2010

Singaporedaddy, what do you think about the US dollar?

I am sorry Darkness, I don’t understand the question…are you asking me whether I think it can hold its value or whether it’s good to go for a spot of origami?

Don’t be like that lah…you know what I really mean.

Put it this way, Bernanke only really has one strategy – he doesn’t have a real monetary policy except maybe to print his way out of this recession. I wouldn’t listen to the ASDF, If I were you Darkness.

No shit SD!

No shit Darkness. That’s what those crooked Americans have been doing all along. They are trying to print themselves out of this recession. And the only reason why they can afford to do that is because the Chinese and Japanese seem to be gobbling up all their federal bonds up – so they’re already sitting on mountains of paper – and since they don’t want to see all these paper turn into hell notes, they have no choice but to buy more paper which encourages Obama and his gang to print yet more. Get it? It’s the perfect scam. The world’s biggest Ponzi scheme.

Go on.

No I am going stop here Darkness. I’ve already said enough as it is.

Why?

Darkness we could both die just knowing what we already know.  Black helicopters could swoop down on us at this moment and do us in with a few lightning bolts…

Where did you get that from?

Our Russian friends told us.

And how would they know?

How would they know Darkness? Does a duck know how to quack? Does a dog know how to bark? FYI Darkness, debasement of a currency isn’t new, it’s a national hobby in Russia – did you know the only place you can buy 40% proof Vodka is outside Russia? Those Russians learnt it from the Romans. Did you know the Romans were the first to try to print themselves out of the shit pot? In the beginning around Marcus Aurellis, the Denarius was 100% pure silver. They eked it out from this silver mine called Vallarium. By the time Nero learnt to make his own mistakes, it was only 50% silver and by the time Gauls marched in, silver content was less than 2%. And we know what happened after that. They keep adding lead to it and the silver content all but finally disappeared. And now the Americans are doing exactly the same thing Darkness. Coming to think of it by then everything was made from lead, including goblets and cutlery.

That could be why Italy these days isn’t a super power.

Coming to think of it Darkness,that could be the reason why they may not even make it to the quarter finals this world cup.

Conversation captured by an obscure listening post in Prima Maritima and archived by an auto-bot crawler – The Brotherhood Press 2010.

 

 

(To increase the font of this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) A surprise plunge in consumer confidence magnified the already crappy mood on Wall Street, set by a round of lackluster earnings reports from the likes of Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Citigroup Inc. (C). As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has shed some 180 points, or 1.76%, and is threatening to close the week with a loss. Furthermore, today’s pullback has the DJIA applying pressure to recently regained support in the 10,200 area, which also happens to be home to the DJIA’s 10-week moving average.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has plunged nearly 2% on the day, with the broad-market index scrambling back below its 10-week moving average and support/resistance at the 1,080 level.

The catalyst for last nights swan dive? The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for July unexpectedly plunged to a near one-year low of 66.5 in July from a two-year high of 76 in June. Economists were expecting a July reading of 74.3.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index (CPI) fell 0.1% in June, the third straight monthly decline, according to the Labor Department.

Summary: The market has no petrol. It cannot break out. And these days a bit of bad news goes an unusually low way to further plunge the market into renewed dourness –  it has relapsed into the red zone again. RIP lah. Rise if possible.

Darkness 2010

“Before you did not have to be very smart to get ahead in life. Providing you bothered to keep a few key books that everybody expects to see on your shelf, dedicated yourself to learning at least 7 new words a month and can rattle off at least 3 new alogarithms and did not say or do anything to cast doubt on your credibility. The world can be counted to turn very predictably and every day will begin and end to reaffirm your sense of worth as a valuable member of society.

These days even the people we all once considered smart are either juggling hand grenades or idling by the water cooler and talking about the Mayan calendar. Most people do not know what to believe in any longer. They have been shaken and stirred to a point when they cannot seem to gather their sense of balance back again – Do you understand the sign of the times we are living in my friend? Humpty Dumpty is broken? And all the King’s men cannot fix him back. Most may not even realize their way of life as they know it has come to an abrupt end. And from this point onwards their influence will diminish. I can understand how shocking this may be to some people and why they continue to be in a state of denial. I understand. I understand completely Gentlemen. Only I think the sleeper has to awake at some point – don’t you think so Gentlemen?….the sleeper has to awake.”

Darkness 2010 – a casual conversation captured by an auto-bot crawler during a meet with the Guilds in Argentina.

 

(To increase the font in this essay – please hold down the Ctrl key and continue to press +) Something magical happens when people come together and play a game – it matters little what that game is – at times this scene is played out cinematically like when the Germans and British once laid down their rifles crossed into no man’s land and played a game of soccer during Christmas eve somewhere along the jagged length of the Western Front in 1918. Or 20 years later when Jesse Owens won a gold medal in the 100 meters in the Olympics in Berlin by creaming Hitler’s super duper Aryan sprinters, thus reaffirming the aphorism that all men are born equal and should live, work and play under one sun.

I guess when people come together to play a game what they are doing is rekindling ancient bonds of kinship – I wouldn’t go as far as to say this represents a form of solidarity – but it wouldn’t be wrong to say, this is where it begins – as when sportsmen come to compete; what they are doing is reaffirming shared values of humanity, fairness and brotherhood – wonder no more why sports seems to be the one discursive space in which we can still scream at each other and even fight it out and yet we don’t come off as bitter and resentful when the final whistle blows. One of the few sanctuaries where the divisions can never be greater than the sum of the parts that binds us together; not enough at least to threaten the common good – it is this cultural heritage that ONLY sports is able to bring to bear on the minds of youths that is so needful these days.

As though we like to wax lyrical about how the world has become a smaller place due to the forces of globalization. It’s still remains a fractious and troubled place filled with emnity, mistrust and conflict. Where serious differences of schools of thoughts and states of minds continue to mire all hopes of improving the human condition – against this bleak dystopian backdrop –though we may speculate no end where might we, the human species begin fixing the ills of the world?  

Do we begin from the top down or the bottom up? Does the process of change begin at one person at a time or on a community-wide-scale? Should we work to change our systems or the people that operate within them?

No matter how we may wrestle with these vexing questions. At some point, no one can deny – you first have to start with a language that everyone can speak – and that’s something that ONLY sports can do – for sports like music remains one of few universal mediums that is able to slice through the Babel of differences and in some cases even silence the din of sectarianism and mindless violence that has traditionally divided man – and it is only when we still the mind; that we can really begin to sell the idea to the youths of today – that to make the world a better place; it first begins deep down in all of us at an individual level –  and only then can real goodness work its way out from there to make the rest of the world a better place. That is the first lesson that every sportsman learns – it all comes from the inside out.

Let’s show them how to play.

Darkness 2010 – This essay has been sponsored by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild and the Team Five O from Togoparts and the Bicycle Lovers Consortium / Anonymous Weekend Warriors / Changi Hell Riders / Airporters / Cycleworkers / Assoc of Bankers & Riders / JOJO etc etc etc etc etc.

“Gamers are one of the few people who understand the word sportsmanship beyond the dictionary meaning; that is why we are a tightest knit community on this planet. We are probably 100 times stronger than the Jewish lobby and the Freemasons put together. That is how powerful we are. Even the CIA and Mossad cannot argue with that!

But more importantly we all subscribe to a vampire code; it is a shared culture that ties me and you together to create this one indestructible idea of brotherhood –  where we all stand as one no matter whence we once came from and see the world from this one mythical line – where sportsmanship is everything…. the alpha and omega.

 It matters very little where you are playing the game. It could be somewhere in the warrens of Nairobi or in some spanky apartment overlooking Manhattan – no matter where you play; every gamer understands certain realities – it is darn difficult it is to reach the 8th level of WoW. You never ever leave a brother behind and so on and so forth. If you don’t know these things, then you are like loose sand.

You simply don’t know and the chances are you will probably have no respect for anything or anyone including yourself – but if you do happen to know about these things. Then you have probably taken the trouble to work it through your head. And I am very happy for you. As I believe the game will add value to your life one day when you grow up, marry that girl, get a job and raise a family and start an enterprise like Microsoft etc. 

So it will not be too difficult for many of you to see the value of the Youth Olympic Games.  I see no reason why I should speak at length to put everyone here in a comatose state.

Neither will it be too difficult for any of you to relate to the fears, aspiration and hopes of these dedicated athletes. How different after all can they be from us? You have all felt the quickening; the thrill of the moment go through you as you all stand in anticipation on the firesteps weighing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat – so will they when they make their way to their starting blocks to await the rent of the gun.

You have all fought right down to your last magazine. And so will they as they do battle with the pain barrier – so again, one more time, if you will – how different can they really be from us?

And all of you know only too well, how by just living and breathing and thinking and saying the things we do – we can either encourage them all or disable them. The decision is yours. Only I have no doubt that many of you will come to do the right thing! You see I happen to believe in each and everyone of you!“

Darkness 2010 to the Confederation concerning the Youth Olympics Games in Singapore – The Brotherhood Press 2010

(To increase the font size – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) One thing bad about shirking off responsibility when the local economy turns to mud by blaming it on global market forces is when things start perking up again – that also means when you proclaim that the good times are well and truly back – and the market the market has rebounded a mind boggling 19% – no one seems to be particularly interested.

What they do instead is look elsewhere – beyond our shores (at the same global forces that you once conveniently fingered as the main drivers of our local economy). And who can really blame them? Monkey see, Monkey learn…the rest you already know.

After all for so many years the vast majority of cookie cutters out there have been conditioned to believe we are really just takers, never trendsetters – that means, if the US or EU catches a cold, the best we can really do is hunker down for a bout of flu, so how can we suddenly now be masters of our own destiny?

Unless you are telling me is the assumption that we are just taker and not trendsetters have been wrong all along? Or could it be when it’s convenient to blame external market forces for the economic downturn, we just go down that road – but whenever things get perky, we just chuck that narrative out of the window and make the story up as we go along like some dream?

So what does the rest of the world hold out for us?

Let’s see? Inflationary fears (it’s curious but at 19% growth, the main subject should really be whether run away inflation follows in the wake – however for some curious reason, no one in ST bothered with that elephant in the living room). The threat of deflation?  And possibly another round of stimulus package to prop up a fledging economy as it slips further into the recession in the US and EU. What about the possibility of a double dip? Not to mention lousy employment figures and a pretty crummyChina property market that seems to be getting so hot it’s threatening to blow us all up – in short the world is juggling live hand grenades – so what does 19% really mean against this backdrop – well if you ask me, a big fat zero – it means, fuck all – a drop in the infinity of the ocean of possibilities.

Welcome to our brave new world. Let’s see how things will pan out in the next four years (personally I think that’s the minumum time line that the smart money is looking at before they can even make an informed decision concerning the state of the economy – I personally think that is very reasonable – so I hope there will be no more tax or increases within that period – besides we already gave you the CPF money, so no more. No more means no more.); then and only then will we take it from there. As it is, let’s just say, it’s a flash in the pan – or maybe not – nonetheless 4 years seems to be a pretty square number – don’t you think so?

Good. I am so happy that we understand each other so clearly….so happy. Nice doing business with you.

Darkness 2010 – The Brotherhood Press 2010

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