Thursday, June 24, 2010

Swimming in liquidity

A US fund manager was asked by CNBC on TV what position he would take amid the recent sovereign debt crisis in Europe. With no hesitation, he replied, ‘Raising cash levels.’ When probed further, he said his fund will raise its cash position to 5% from the normal 3%. Great stuff, that! Read on.

A Japanese fund manager was quoted in Bloomberg recently about the liquidity position taken by the Japanese. He said that major corporations in Japan and Japanese households have raised their cash levels to about 60% by not investing, and by selling stocks and bonds fearing for the worst amid the ongoing European debt crisis. He said they are ‘swimming’ [in liquidity]. In the same article, Bloomberg mentioned that the US banks and corporate titans are collectively holding a few trillion in cash.

Those familiar with financial management or are regular readers of the Financial Times would know that profitability does not equate to liquidity. What is the point of generating paper profits but no cash flow?

As the Book of Changes told me last year about ‘Pigs cry, fish laughs’, it meant something. While the message of ‘Pigs cry’ has been previously discussed in detail, ‘Fish laughs’ was mentioned in passing as those investors who had sold their stocks and holding cash escaping the recent plunges in the global stock markets.

In case Yi students do not know, the Chinese sometimes refer to cash and money as Shui (pinyin for water). We all know for a fact that fishes live and swim in water. The Japanese fund manager brought up a good reference point when he said that those Japanese who hold a high cash level of 60% are swimming, since Shui or water is liquid.

The current situation in the world is this. The pigs mired in debt or highly geared because of greed or reckless spending will cry while the fish swimming in water or cash (Shui) may laugh after cashing out just before their (stocks / property / debt) markets crash, counting themselves among the fortunate and the able.

Whether world renowned economic advisers currently urging further spending by borrowing more or those advising austerity would be proven right depends on what happens to the global economy in the foreseeable future. Each group has a right to voice their opinions or concerns, not unlike the Daoists, Buddhists, and Confucians in forums.

In line with the Yi prognostications, this fry is swimming in more water than those Japanese.


Monday, June 14, 2010

End of the world?

With the year 2012 approaching, many are asking if the Mayans got it right and that the end of the world is nigh. I will write something about it, I had promised.

But it is FIFA World Cup time. Why don’t you watch the soccer games played at the highest possible level of skills and enjoy yourself instead of worrying about what is to come tomorrow, let alone in two and the half years’ time?

Even if a country wants to start a war right now, her generals and soldiers may put it on hold or go AWOL to watch world cup football or their favorite teams play!

Instead of worrying about 2012, it could be more interesting to know what will happen after the World Cup competition end in July 2010.

By the way, is it that easy and simple for the world to end?

To be continued.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Put you on notice

In ancient times, when armies march to war, they do so accompanied by the beating of drums. The drumbeats boost the morale of their own soldiers and if beaten loud enough tend to frighten the opposing army.

In modern times, before armies march to war, drums are no longer used but there is plenty of rhetoric published ‘drumming up’ the support. Some truths, some lies, with vital information hidden from the public view. Experts may call this type of rhetoric, ‘sabre rattling’. Opposing sides will call each other liars. Whatever the other side said would be termed, propaganda.

The war of words and accusations has started and getting louder.

A North Korean deputy ambassador told the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in no uncertain terms:

‘The present situation of the Korean peninsular is so grave that a war may break out any moment.’

A press release by the United Nations yesterday published on Yahoo News online was surprisingly pulled after about half an hour. This press release included the responses by both the South Korean and the US ambassadors to the UN to what the North Korean envoy said in Geneva. Instead of writing out what their Excellencies’ responses were (since they were also not published in other online news media), I will leave it to readers to venture a guess. Hint – look at the second paragraph. Their respective responses could aggravate the already tense situation.

Though few leaders in the world like wars, in this decade we have seen some. And the world has always been told the truth, after the war, if not found out before then!

Meanwhile are you also hearing the ‘drumbeats in the distance’ as events unfold?

P.S. Don’t worry, be happy and enjoy the oncoming FIFA World Cup soccer.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

China seems to know

Whether readers agree or not, there are seers who can often foresee the future through various means. Arguably the most ancient tool currently still in popular usage to foresee the future is via the consultation of the Book of Changes – I Ching / Yijing / Zhouyi.

Since there is one and a quarter billion of Chinese and that the Book of Changes is an ancient Chinese classic, revered and studied, there will be real masters in China like the Wu (magicians) of old who can obtain well informed and accurate answers from the Yijing on major future world events. When Chinese emperors and kings down the few millennia can rely on prognostications from the Zhouyi to foreknow future events, who is to say that the current leaders in Beijing do not use these masters at all?

While Japan and South Korea may also have produced real Yijing masters, there are many historical, cultural, and even Yi text differences to that of China, and I doubt their governments would rely on Yi prognostications to foreknow the future.

If we continue to observe what these three countries (and others including the US) are doing about the sinking of a South Korean warship, it seems that China knows about the happening of a major future event – a Heaven’s secret -, and therefore trying very hard to defer it yet again.

According to an online report today, China is also trying to persuade Iran to follow United Nations’ nuclear guidelines for the latter.

Perhaps readers do not see what I see, neither would the US, Japan, and South Korea. Therefore you are not alone!

When cornered, a tiger in desperation would turn back and maul the hunters. This type of hunt goes against the grain of ancient Tao and the Zhouyi, and the Way of man.

Fortunately it only happens whenever there is no Tao all under Heaven. There will be peace and quiet on Earth once again for the people when Tao returns. How would I know?