Please, PEPPER SPRAY ALL THE ATTENDEES OF DAVOS in order to halt the rape of taxpayers and consumers across the globe. This annual conclave is responsible for more wealth destruction and the widening disparity in GINI coefficients than any public policy. I believe that the cost of attending Davos is priced at such an extravagant rate because it is a giant insider scam. Hobnob with politicians and policy makers in an effort to be part of the “smart money” crowd. It was the great moral philosopher and economist Adam Smith who so presciently noted: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for the merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” The conspiracy against the public has been the financial repression of the global middle class in an effort to bail out those who are attached themselves to the public treasury to maintain the “animal spirits” of crony capitalism.
The cost of an entrance pass to this private/public congress of mover and shakers should sound an alarm to all those who desire transparency in financial markets. In contemporizing the words of Adam Smith, Samuel Huntington was credited in the online research cite, Acton Commentary, as creating the phrase DAVOS MAN: “A soulless man, technocratic, nationless and cultureless, severed from reality. The modern economics that undergirded Davos capitalism is equally soulless, a managerial capitalism that reduces economics to mathematics and separates it from human action and human creativity.”
Friday’s release of the 2010 FOMC transcripts reveals that Chair Bernanke raised concerns “… about inappropriate access to information by outsiders other than the media, including consultants, market people and so on.” It was earlier revealed that Bernanke had held discussions with ECB President Trichet about the seriousness of the European sovereign debt crisis. The Reuters story post-transcript release–“Fed Helped ECB With Swaps after Trichet ‘Personal Appeal'”–quotes Chairman Bernanke: “Yesterday [ECB Chief] Jean-Claude Trichet called me and made what I would characterize as a personal appeal to re-open the swaps that we had before,” Bernanke told his colleagues at the UNSCHEDULED meeting.”
In a further analysis by Reuters, the article notes, “The transcripts, which are released after five years, show how closely Bernanke worked with Trichet, who shared ‘highly confidential’ information about the ECB’s part in a trillion-dollar ‘shock and awe’ rescue plan launched by EU leaders to combat an escalating financial crisis in Europe.” Ten months later Chairman Bernanke is openly warning FOMC members about leaks from its meetings. Curious about how much the DAVOS crowd made from the whispers emanating from the Fed Board Room? It costs more than $600,000 to be a strategic partner at Davos and be allowed into the most high-level meetings with the most important CEOs and policy makers. But if the inside scoop is info beyond the ears of mere mortals PRICE IS NO OBJECT BUT INSIDER PROFITS CERTAINLY ARE. More pepper spray to stop the rapes.
***Tonight, China releases GDP data as well as retail sales and industrial production numbers. The market is looking for 6.9% on q/q GDP growth but it seems that Premier Li stated over the weekend that GDP hit 7% as there was stronger jobs growth and services were growing even as manufacturing was slowing. The Chinese are very capable massagers of data as they seem to always be within 0.1% of market expectations (it’s like Jack Welch’s ability to meet Wall Street expectations). If China is looking to stem some of the recent weakness in its equity markets and the Chinese currency look to see what the impact is for both asset classes if we receive stronger than expected data. If the numbers are “stronger” and the Nikkei and other equity markets don’t hold a rally more selling may emerge as we head into the Western markets.
Just to note: The markets were eerily quiet today in the face of the lifting of sanctions on Iran and the election of Ms. Tsai in Taiwan with a resounding victory. The Taiwan issue will simmer as Tsai ran on a platform opposing increased cooperation with Beijing. Her Democratic Progressive Party supported a platform greater support for a greater Taiwanese identity. If the negotiations with Beijing become confrontational, look for Beijing to send an economic message to Taipei and another sort of message to Taiwan’s chief sponsor: the United States. But with these two events the markets were very subdued.