Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Putting the deficit into perspective

Just to put the deficit into perspective for you lefties out there, who seem to think that overspending by £168bn a year is a-ok, perfectly sustainable and dare I say it, even welcome.

That amount of money is more than all income tax revenues. It is not far away from all public sector pay and pensions, or the welfare bill.

So choose - double all taxes, cut 90% of the public sector, or 85% of all welfare payments.

*That* is Gordon Brown's real legacy.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Eat what you kill

I saw this the other day and thought it might make a few of those anti-market types on the Left (I mean, what do they want? Communism?) think a bit before they continue bashing bankers....given those bankers have been taught to eat what they kill.....

Here's something that's doing the rounds on Wall Street.

'We are Wall Street. It's our job to make money. Whether it's a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn't matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable.

I didn't hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone's pension plan doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I've never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas!

Well now the market crapped out, and even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you're only going to hurt yourselves. What's going to happen when we can't find jobs on the Street anymore ? Guess what - we're going to take yours. We get up at 5am and work 'till 10pm or later. We're used to remaining at our desks, working for hours on end. We don't even need to pee. We don't take an hour or more for lunch, and we don't take much time off for holidays. We don't demand a union to represent us. And we don't retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is your job, we'll eat that instead

For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders ? We're going to take your cushy guaranteed-for-life-jobs - you know, the ones that come with four months paid holiday a year. So say goodbye to your overtime and double time, as we'll be in the market for some of your cushy lifestyle - and we'll undertake your jobs more efficiently, and with none of your constant whining that the pay isn't enough and that the working conditions are too tough.

So now that we're going to be making $85k a year without any bonus upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right ? Wrong! Guess what - we're going to stop buying those luxury items that help make the economy grow, and we aren't going to leave those 35% tips at our business dinners anymore. And from now on, we're going to landscape our own back yards, and wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways, instead of spreading that wealth around. There'll be no more free rides on our backs. Don't forget, our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

The difference is, though, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it's really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the American middle classes and knock them to the bottom of the food chain.

We aren't dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama and his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply, will he survive ? And will all those we displace ?'

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

On markets and quantum mechanics

Tyler has studied the field of physics, and has worked in finance for some time. In one of his lazier, possibly beer-soaked musings it occured to him that there are many great similarities between them.

It is well known that many maths geeks work in the city already, and that the the Black-Scholes (option) model is really just a diffusion equation. But is there more between them than we see at first glimpse?

It occurs to me, that quantum energy levels of electrons in an atom look very much like fibonacci projections many chartist traders also seems to me that many options, or levels of a market, create their own momentum - almost like gravity.

Those levels, especially big binary options can also act as barriers, requiring a certain "energy" to overcome, then leave the market orbiting that level for quite some time afterwards. There is the push and pull of opposing forces around certain levels, and the volume increasing in the process which remind me of charging capacitors.....

Am I on to something here or am I jsut going crazy?

Tyler vs the NHS

Tyler recently had to have a medical, including a chest X-ray. So, he trotted off to his GP one morning, and after the 90 minute wait, saw him. The GP quickly decided that most of the things on the medical weren't worth testing so signed everything off within 5 minutes. So far so good, thought Tyler. The GP even gave Tyler a little card to take to the local walk-in X-ray department, telling them to give me an X-ray. This five minute meeting cost Tyler the princely sum of £75, which works out more than private medical car would have done, but Tyler was in a hurry, so....

...he wandered down to the local walk-in X-ray place. Only one person was in the queue ahead of me, and I was in for my X-ray within 20 minutes. NHS efficiency had clearly improved. That was, of course, until the radiographer came back with my X-ray. She held it up in front of me, had a good look and happily reported that everything was normal (or as normal as things get for Tyler).

When I asked if I could take it back to my GP, to have the last bit of my medical completed, the problems began. I was told that the X-ray had to be posted somewhere else, where it would then be scanned and emailed back to my GP. This process would take 2 weeks (in the end, it took 3). I wasn't allowed a copy, nor would they post it to my GP, or anything *had* to be scanned by these people in the great X-ray processing department.

This, my friends, is the result of Labour's insistence on targets and top-down management. Lots of money has been spent on the service, but in real terms it is no more efficient than it was 13 years ago. Outcomes are not in focus, just box ticking - the radiographer I saw had her main focus on ticking a box, meeting a regulation and making her master's happy, rather than making sure I (the patient) had what I needed.

By the way, had there been anything wrong, it would have still taken a long time to be reported. The radiographer told me that if she did see a problem, the X-ray would still get sent to the great processing and scanning lab, though it would have an "urgent" sticker on it. This expidited process would only take 1-2 weeks.