An exceptional pound of flesh

Two articles hit my eyes as I took a small break from my midterm exam. When you dig into the: who, what, when, where how and why of Patent Systems, your sanity prevails if you take a small break every 2-3 hours. It is just the only sane and safe way to avoid getting stuck on the same page.

The two articles were ‘Cuba seeks foreign investment as it shores up increased diplomatic ties‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/10/cuba-seeks-foreign-investment-as-it-shores-up-increased-diplomatic-ties) and ‘Pound volatile amid general election uncertainty‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/10/pound-volatile-amid-general-election-uncertainty), there is no real relationship in these matters, or is there?

First, let’s take the last part first as to get it all out of the way. The end gives us: “Investors were also positive on Greece’s payment of a €450m (£325m) debt to the International Monetary Fund on Thursday“. Why? Let’s not forget, this payment is nothing more than 1/3rd of a billion against outstanding HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS, so why are investors relieved? Greece has not presented any decent acceptable plan and the visit from Tsipras to Moscow to rattle some cages will count against him sooner rather than later. In addition I would like to call attention to the ‘altered’ view from Christine Lagarde as she mentioned “developed and emerging economies still suffering the after-effects of the 2008 crash must collaborate better to avoid an era of low growth”, which reads like a detour, an extra train stop on the track where the distance between recession of true growth seems to be increasing, not decreasing or remain stable. Apart from the fact that Greece only has 5 days left to present their plan (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32229793), the one part everyone simply ignores is that after they get the money, then what? If these newly elected officials will not push through and re-debate the issue again, the Eurozone is down another seven billion euro plus, then what? Will Greece become a vulture funds target? Will we see newly created carefully phrased denials on what will never be? That one part can be found in the quote “Without new money it will struggle to renew €2.4bn in treasury bonds due to mature in the middle of April, or pay back another €0.8B to the IMF on 12 May“, so consider that Greece might be unable to pay back 770 Million Euro on May 12th (decently likely scenario), what else can they no longer pay? Let’s not forget that the 12th of May payment makes up for 0.25% of the debt, the interest would be is a lot more than that, so how will any ‘investor’ choice pay out? Are you people awake now? So, I dealt with Greece! Now to the linked other parts!

You see, the link to England will become apparent soon enough, when we consider the quote “Analysts have warned that the pound could have further to fall as financial markets react to uncertainty created by the closest general election for more than 20 years” l, we have to wonder how reserved these analysts truly are, a stable growing economy is scaring them? I agree that the plans from Ed Miliband are decently ludicrous, bus in the end, if elected, he must do what is best for the nation (which means that he would have to vote for David Cameron, hawk! Hawk! Hawk!). In all seriousness though, a close call or not, there is something wrong with the statement Michael Hewson makes: “The pound has started to come under some pressure in recent days as the prospect of political gridlock“, whilst the market is positive as Greece pays back less than a percent of its debt, this whilst it is clear that Greece has no funds left. How is that dimensionality rational in any way, shape or form? That is, unless you take into account the part that the Guardian is not mentioning. If the market is truly worried on what happens when Nigel Farage comes out on top, or ends up with too much of a gain, then the united front that Farage and Le Penn would show, would truly be a concern to investors, because those two have had enough of the entire Eurozone issue on several levels and Greece only worsened their resolve (meaning that both are more eager to pursue the end of their EEC membership. a nightmare scenario for markets on a near global base.

Now, the markets also made the following ‘claim’: “Currency traders have also been unsettled by signs of weakness in Britain’s manufacturing sector. Production figures are due out on Friday morning“, this is fair enough, you see, manufacturing is an issue and it is not that strong in the UK or in many other places for that matter. Yet, two hours ago, the following was reported: “UK industrial output is weaker than expected: it edged up 0.1% in February, vs expectations of a 0.4% gain, while manufacturing met City forecasts with a 0.4% rise. Industrial production is the wider measure, which comprises manufacturing, mining and utilities“, so manufacturing met the expectations, so why the hesitation? I am not making any assumptions here, but I am wondering on how much certain markets assume that met expectations were supposed to be exceeded. Especially in a European mess that is still all over the place. It is almost like the markets will not tolerate any bad news, is this linked to some views on US bubbles (housing for one) that could burst before June 30th? This is a question, not an assumption or an implied issue. but the question should be asked in a very clear way and certain parties should answer it in very clear ways too, because at present, when you see some journalists report on economy, they quickly move all over the field, pretending to draw a picture, whilst the sketch we end up seeing is that of something we did not ask and it leaves many with too many questions. Did I oversimplify the matter again?

So now we get to the true path in all this, the link between the Pound and Cuba. Some might know them, some do not, but I remember the Cuban Fleet Freight Services (Cuflet). I reckon that looking into options with Cuba via Cuflet could spell good times for several players, if manufacturing options are found in emerging markets, why not see what offers could be made and found there. The Dutch could gain a headway by looking into the Bicycle market, engineering projects, the issue is clarity. When we consider the article ‘Navigating Complexity in foresight: Lessons from the UK future of Manufacturing Project‘ (at https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/default/files/fta2014-t1practice_52.pdf), I personally am willing to get a few giggles from the futility that figure one shows (2008, Popper’s foresight Diamond). I do not disagree with the image of with the elements of creativity, interaction, evidence and expertise brings, but in the end Manufacturing is about what one has and the other one needs. So elements like Viability, opportunity, economy and shipping brings us the need for what can be manufactured, what could be sold and what is to be delivered. So when I read the conclusion on page 11, where we see “The high level of complexity of manufacturing systems and the diversity of forces acting on them make anticipating future configurations , challenges and opportunities particularly difficult. Manufacturing foresight needs to deal with multiple units of analyses, assimilate a variety of evidence at different levels of disaggregation from a variety of sources and integrate diverse stakeholder’s perspectives“. A view from academics from Cambridge as well the government office for science.

So let’s break that down in something we all can understand.

  1. Good business is where you find it. (Robocop, 1987), which gives us opportunity
  2. Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction (Ernst F. Schumacher), which gives us a handle on complexity in regards to manufacturing systems (the reason to avoid complexity whenever possible).
  3. We have to choose between a global market driven only by calculations of short-term profit, and one which has a human face (Kofi Annan), which gets us to the economic side.

We have been so blinded looking at those who only seek short term maximised personal gain, that we forget the satisfaction that can be gotten from a long term goal where both sides make gains and interact with their economy in a profitable way, without denying the other party their goals. Here we see the option for both the UK and Cuba. It is not a given, it is not a guarantee, but an option, an opportunity to consider. It is the one side of Warren Buffett I do (partially) admire, he thinks long term (in case of Tesco, not long term enough), but overall the long term side will always pay off, which is the path we should walk, which is of course not the path that the bulk of hedge funds operators want us to consider and as too many listen to those people, we end up having a problem. So as we look at the pound of flesh that could give us a sterling reward, we tend to ignore that part for the fake glory of short term boosts. Yet, if we see Lidl and Aldi where we clearly see exactly that this longer term approach will keep them afloat, unlike their competitors, which is the issue at hand!

Because in the end, the conclusion quote from the academic article gives us the massive anchor that they did not properly dimensionalise ‘assimilate a variety of evidence at different levels of disaggregation from a variety of sources and integrate diverse stakeholders perspectives‘, too often the data presented from the view of the stakeholder cannot be trusted. Whether it is the weight applied to the source, the way the question was formulated and set into the data collective, or the methodology of analytics that was pursued afterwards. It was a painted view from a person with a goal and a presented image, that ‘presented’ image tends to colour all connected evidence, which gives us a view of many games as they are played, but in all this, we all make the same mistake, we compare presented results and statistical results, whilst the individual sources are often too unknown, which is truly a bad an unexceptional path to walk.

 

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