Kroon leaves its mark on forex chest
SMH- Business Day- November 17, 2007
Monday, November 12:
I was busy teaching my five-year-old daughter Matilda the rudiments of modern portfolio theory when the doorbell rang.
It was FastCash, our head of research … his dreadlocks soaked, his eyes ablaze and his whole demeanour deeply distressed.
"Bone. Mate. We gotta talk," he said.
I ushered him into the inner sanctuary - the boathouse - where I tend to do most of what my fiancee, Grace, laughingly refers to as my "work".
"OK mate, tell me the worst," I crooned.
"Bone, I've lost everything. A margin call too far. I shorted the winners and bought the losers. I'm broke … "
"Cash, c'mon mate. You're always going broke. And you always bounce back!"
"Bone, Roxy's left me. Done a runner."
This was serious. Roxy never leaves The Cash. He leaves her, in the interests of self-preservation but he always comes back. This was different.
"This is different," I said.
Tuesday, November 13:
The story evolved over a bottle of Grey Goose.
"She's got someone else," FastCash drawled.
"How do you know?"
"It's in her eyes, her stare … her tattoos."
Roxy is famous for tattooing currency signs on her plumber's wife's cleavage. She's got the dollar, the pound, the euro and the zloty.
"Bone, mate: yesterday she tattooed the Estonian kroon."
"So what?" I said.
"The bloke she left me for is Estonian. His name's Eldrick."
"Cash, Aussie sheilas don't leave Aussie blokes for Estonians called Eldrick. It doesn't happen."
"They do! They do!" he yelled, and burst into tears.
"Cash, how do you know?" I pressed him, soothingly.
"Isn't the kroon enough?" he sobbed. "Alongside the Aussie?"
I was lost for words.
Wednesday, November 14:
The bloke was a mess, so I put him up in the boathouse for a few days on suicide watch. He spent his daylight hours arbitraging the kroon-dollar interest rate differential like a man possessed.
Meanwhile, the pork-barrelling of the nation continues with ever-more breathtaking contempt for the decency of the Australian people. Are we so easily bribed?
The idea that we may be bribed for votes is a popular election sport. Now it has reached new heights of depravity - both parties promising more than $50 billion in spending.
All this cash in the system will drive interest rates to unheard-of heights and the nation will be plunged into depression. No party cares; all they want is power.
Show me a politician who promises not to blow my taxes on anger management courses, tax-free piglet allowances and carers of orang-utangs. Show me a politician who refuses to partake in this obscene competition to outspend each other! Will any of them resist the urge to spend my money on obesity counselling, carbon credits and perks for all these future kiddies that must be bred?
Thursday, November 15:
The great news is that Pat Sheil of the Sheil be Right Campaign has agreed not to spend anything - except a few million dollars on moving the Big Merino to Rose Bay.
Meanwhile, the Cash went fishing. He spent the day puttering about Double Bay catching yellowtail. He seems to have recovered, apart from his renewed interest in the banjo.
Today, I analysed the case for a merger between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto and concluded it was sound. But BHP Billiton will have to up its offer to at least $200 billion and China will have to accept that in future it must deal with a virtual global monopoly.
Speaking of the Chinese, I have nothing but admiration for their workers: off they go, day after day, pounding the assembly lines, - all in the cause of keeping Western inflation down and the Western economy booming.
One is at a loss to respond with anything other than slack-jawed wonder at the spectacular hypocrisy of their nominally communist masters, in the extent to which they pay lip-service to their Red forbears then knuckle down and crush the workers anyway. Not a filament of a union; not a hint of workers' rights; not a gasp of hope on the shop floors. And yet the East is Red.
Friday, November 16:
FastCash caught a flattie this morning and I promised him we'd go hairtail fishing on the Hawkesbury. He was ecstatic … until he started dwelling on the kroon and Eldrick, and all was lost.