Last winter, when the stock markets briefly woke up to how bad things are, the leading lights of Davos came out of their various pow-wows to state that the markets were mad, because “none of the economic data support this correction”. In point of fact, the indicators have sinced turned out to be a whole lot worse than predicted, but the world’s stock markets are powering ahead. The Slog takes another wry look through the looking glass of bourse capitalism, but remains baffled.
If you are in need of amusement – and own a darkish sense of humour – you could do a lot worse than take a daily dose or two of Bloomberg television….or Boombust TV as I call it.
Aside from the fact that the presenters talk at a phenomenal rate (it’s a bit like listening to a cattle auctioneer who just did a line of coke) there are two consistent reasons why the station always cheers me up. The first is that it is unintentionally funny all the time; the second is that every day in every way, the anchors and their guests debate things they call “mysteries” which are, to the rest of us, blinding flashes of the bleedin’ obvious.
Even the ads are funny. “Look around the world today,” says one Sovereign advertiser, “and the answer is clear: it has to be Indonesia”.
Right then, Indonesia it is. I must rush down the pharmacy and pick up 50mls of Indonesia. I never realised until now that the missing element in my life was, um, Indonesia.
“Great economic growth potential,” the voice-over continues, “with a focus on footwear, shipping, electronics and retail”.
This is a focus? I’d hate to meet an out-of-focus Indonesian. It’d be like trying to lasso ether.
Equally hilarious is the Brexit Count. Boombust mentions Brexit and its wicked effects about forty times an hour. UK housing slumps, stock market dumps and Donald Trumps….they’re all thanks to Brexit.
However, it has taken just seven weeks for the markets to win back all the losses they so foolishly sold off after June 23rd. The Dow (said Boombust this morning) “is partying like it’s 1999”. Now then, as they’re doing this – and clearly they have clocked the breaking news that Britain is rowing away from the Lusitania – what will Boombust blame when the partying stops? I can hear the drivel already:
“The Dow fell 2,600 points today as it became clear that Donald Trump is the clear winner of the Presidential election. Without Brexit he wouldn’t have gotten the nomination let along the White House, so thank you Brexiteers for saddling us with a psycho for the next four years….”
Yes, we’ll force 300 million Americans to vote for Trump, because thats the kind of scumbigotracistfascists we Leavers are.
If only there was a little more variety in the insults. Like maybe, bumfaggotrapenazis.Or perhaps sickophobicnutbags.
But ultimately, what makes Boombust unmissable is the 24/7 attempt not to notice the 40 or 50 huge, smelly elephants pooing everywhere in the studio. The morning presenter these days is an Irish bloke called Marcus Cranny, and he’s not really from the standard Bloomberg mould.
Marcus is what one might call a sceptic; I sense that he smells the elephant dung everywhere. Certainly, on occasions he tries very hard to point it out to others. Today he had an oil specialist on. Mr Cranny is pretty smart on oil and the Middle East.
“So tell me,” he asked, “the global economy is in slowdown, but now the oil price is edging up again. Isn’t there a bit of a mismatch in that?”
“Aaah,” said Ms Oilwhizz, “but you see, people are buying it because it’s so cheap”.
Er, fine. They’re stocking up. To keep that rally going for four months, somebody somewhere has got storage tanks the size of the Albert Hall.
“But the Saudis are pumping it out like we were in a boom,” said Marcus, “and still the price is steady at $42. Why?”
“Well,” said Ms Crudités, “I mean really, the oil business needs the price back at $60”.
“But Saudi pumping isn’t going to get us there is it?”
“No,” she replied, “and I wouldn’t put much store by these talks going on to cap production”.
“No sir, I wouldn’t”.
“Raaaeeeet,” said Marcus. The two of them just stared at each other.
So anyway, to summarise, the price of oil has rallied because there are talks with the Saudis about capping production….talks which aren’t going anywhere. Allegedly. So the price is going to fall again. But the oil business needs it to go up. Clearly, there is trouble ahead.
If, at that moment, a large trunk had come into screen left and sprayed the couple with water, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised.
But still the stock markets are surging ahead. Marcus Cranny says they’re partying like it was 1999. For myself, it feels more like 1929. Absolutely nothing fits, adds up, makes sense or looks real.
So I leave you with this encouraging news. To help dig itself out of a hole, Deutsche Bank this morning announced the appointment of a new BSD to spearhead overseas operations. They recruited the bloke from RBS.