Friday, August 01, 2008


Just after the dogs took me for a walk this morning at the crack of dawn I was watching the wayward satellite signal that keeps interfering with my television and the MSNBC early morning show came on. For those of you not familiar with MSNBC, it is the joint venture between Microsoft and NBC and I think it thinks they are financial gurus as they have all these financial experts in stock markets around the world reporting in. Truth is they have the lowest ratings of any of these type of networks so either no one takes them serious or they needed a place to put their kids to work.

The "experts" were reporting in from around the globe and when they got to the guy in Hong Kong, he was actually from India, they made a point of how he managed a few billion dollars in some fund. This guy talked as if he represented the financial experts in India, Hong Kong, China, Viet Nam and all those other places not generally known for being masters of capitalism.

He said about 67% of his billions are invested in commodities, meaning oil and food futures. That got my attention because oil has been going down almost every day, already exceeding a loss of 14% in two weeks, while food has been falling even faster. He explained that in India, China and Viet Nam the inflation rate is 12-24% and they are growing economies. Since the USA claims an inflation rate of just 3% he knew the Americans were lying and as soon as we tell the truth oil and food futures will skyrocket back up. He also said the Europeans were lying about inflation as well.

When questioned by the other experts he became adamant saying the US economy was crumbling and the press and government were keeping the truth from the public. He said there was no way the US could have a 3% inflation rate when oil and food doubled in price. When the others pointed out that food and oil are major economic factors in emerging economies, but are a very small part of the huge US gross national product, the guy gave the camera a real goofy look and said we would see.

I quickly checked to see if I was accidentally tuned in to the Comedy Channel. This was a classic Saturday Night Live skit. But no, it was the real deal. And when I thought about it I got a little nervous. All along I've said the speculators were driving up the price of oil and food and when they made their billions they would start selling, which they are. Well this whiz kid from India convinced someone to let him handle billions of dollars and he is throwing it into the speculation market based solely on his insight that everyone in America is lying about the inflation numbers.

There are clearly two types of speculators, the informed sharks and the wallowing minnows and the whiz kid belongs in the latter. When the commodity prices continue to fall, which they are doing again today, in time the guru is going to see his assets go down faster than oil prices and one day the rich in India are going to ask him what happened to all their money and he is going to say the Americans defrauded him out of it.

So the USA gets a bad name in the world because some idiot from India claims we are lying about our inflation rate. Since Hong Kong is now part of China and we are not exactly best friends with China I wonder if the guy from India who is in Hong Kong is a plant to undermine the US economy or just another illegal immigrant to China. If he is truly investing billions of dollars from India and China and the oil and food prices continue to fall then don't be surprised if you read about an Indian broker who was crushed by a mysterious elephant stampede.

Almost 30% of the population in India lives below poverty standards, with suffering so great it made Sister Theresa a saint. Class and religious warfare are rampant. In spite of this the US has lost all of its computer customer service operations to India so now if you call customer support or technical support you have no idea what they are talking about. They might speak English but they have little understanding of the English speaking people over here. The whiz kid is the same. He may speak our language but he has no clue what makes us tick. I only hope he can explain what happened to his investors.

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