Published on: January 12, 2018

Welcome to week two in the big Three Counties house. It may be cold outside, but in here it’s wonderfully warm and inviting, so take a seat as I take you through another week of what we have been ruminating on in Bournmoor.

Firstly, what a kind man POTUS is. He is like one of Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstoppers™ (other gobstoppers are available, I think?) with his oh-so witty banter with the world at large. This week, it seems that the Trumpmeister spoke to his magical mirror over the weekend and announced, “I’m going on the front foot this week”, as he stated to the world that he is, infact, a very stable genius.

Because that’s what you do, isn’t it? Especially as the leader of the free world; don’t we all feel better, safer even, for knowing that Donald is unquestionably a very stable genius?

Now some of the more cynical individuals that read this August publication may believe that he just came out with this statement because he, Mr Trump, is a mentalist. However, I’d suggest that its part of a bigger effort to rebuff the attention created by Michael Wolff’s recent published account of the Trump presidential campaign in 2016 entitled Fire and Fury, an instant bestseller. However as Don has his own methodology in countering the unwanted attention that the book has brought, on the other side of the world…

Yes, that is a tweet from the official news feed of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Round 2 to the handsome man in black methinks.

Global investment markets have continued apace, with the US and Japanese equity markets leading the way. However on a less mundane footing (because who wants to read about mundane?) it seems that Crypto-fever has taken a sharp right into bubble-town, with a raft of new “altcoins” coming to the markets over the past week.

The most “normal” of these and perhaps the one that has at least a shred of credibility is KODAKcoin. Remember Kodak? You know, camera film, digital cameras will never take off, oops look I’m bankrupt Kodak? Well they are back with a bang, announcing their initial coin offering starting January 31st and instantly their stock shot up 120%. The rationale? Well aside from coin frenzy, Kodak state that their new currency will be a step in solving the problem of unfair image licensing practices by integrating the coin with their new platform KODAKOne to enable photographers to licence their images. But not everything in investing goes up…

News in this week from the European Central Bank via the superb Bond Vigilantes blog has highlighted the continuing real threat of permanent loss of capital, even in markets that go from strength to strength. Each week the ECB updates its holdings of corporate bonds that have been accumulated by them via their Quantitative Easing programme. The Bond Vigilantes noticed that a particular bond had quite simply vanished, suggesting that the ECB had “actively and deliberately liquidated” its position in Steinhoff, an international retail holding company that own Poundland in the UK amongst others. By their calculations, the Bond Vigilantes have estimated that the ECB have lost 40% on that trade over the 5 months holding period; remember folks, it may look low risk, it may sound low risk, but it might not be low risk.

And to conclude this week’s diatribe, I am introducing a new feature, because it’s a Friday and Fridays should always be great days. Each week I will end with a newly created Spotify playlist from someone; this week it’s from Wilma, PA to the Directors of Three Counties and the lady that shouts at me on a too regular basis. Anyway, please enjoy her musical selections and have a great weekend.

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