“What a wonderful day, missus”, as the immortal Ken Dodd used to say, in an age when the pinched goblins were still running Under-5s against fascism collectives in Lambeth, “What a wonderful day for walking into a synagogue and shouting ‘Bacon!'”
What a wonderful day, in other words, for deconstructing spin, silly ideas and directionalisers.
And sure – as I wouldn’t start here, good luck good luck – let’s take the last first and get ahead o’ de game. Yesterday evening, late afternoon New York time, there was the biggest stock buying spree for nearly 18 months. It wasn’t a rally as there hadn’t been a fall: no, it was a boost. It was a display of brave market confidence.
But actually, it was a confidence trick. Shares were bumped up still further beyond any real sense of fundamentals, until things were even more mental than they had been before: the S&P 500 jumped 1.8%.
There was SOL and deep liquidity to the right of ’em, and high-speed algorhythmic formulae to the left of them. And after the close – when the Asian markets opened later – there were further unfathomable trades until, at 5 pm CET today (11 am in Washington) there were firms and syndicates in positions that you thought were Bull, but had morphed into Bear.
ECB Chairman Mario Draghi got up to speak at 11 am in Washington, and uttered the words “inflation at excessively low level”. More words followed, such as “Potential growth is too low to lift our economies out of high unemployment….money, whose integrity had been challenged at the peak of the euro area crisis….smaller banking sector”. As followers of this site know only too well, anything suggesting less inflation, less output, less banking and more integrity will evoke a swift sell-off of stocks, and buying of gold. And that’s exactly what happened.
Most Wall Street banking firms had seen this coming. The Wall Street Journal reported as follows:
‘The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 300 points, reversing gains in Wednesday’s rally and putting U.S. stocks on course for their most volatile stretch since 2011….The S&P 500 declined 39 points, or 2%, to 1929, while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 87 points, or 2%, to 4382….U.S. oil futures lost 1.7% to $85.85 a barrel. Energy stocks on the S&P 500 dropped 3.4%.’
The gold price leapt $4 in short order. And then later, settled to be flat on the day
Thus was an aperture created. Thus did the directionalisers make money for their clients of no use whatsoever to the social benefits that are supposed to derive from business.
Speaking to a New York source earlier this evening (CET time) I learned it was entirely possible Goldman Sachs earned its participating client base $450m on the day.
And so onwards to silly ideas – if that little lot wasn’t silly enough.
The Met Police yesterday issued a ‘response to abuse related to culture and faith linked with spirit possession’. They decided to call it Project Violet. The release continued thus:
‘Belief-based child abuse, including spirit possession, is a hidden crime and therefore difficult to quantify in terms of the magnitude. From our own research and in consultation with the community, we know this is under-reported. Nonetheless it requires a sound understanding on the part of all professionals of the many and complex issues that can be involved. We want to be clear that this is not about persecuting people’s beliefs, but about safeguarding children.’
So then, the supply of ageing BBC DJs having run out, another distraction from real crime is in order….and clearly, witchcraft is it. To paraphrase Rodgers & Hammerstein, it’s The Marky Williams-Thomas looney fringe on the top.
And talking of fringes, four short years ago the Puny LibDem Cable with the Clegg on the Top managed – with one giant leg-up from David Cameron – to enter government after 13,704 years in the wilderness. Last week we were at last able to examine what they’d done with the opportunity. Leader Nick Clegg told his audience that they should “go to the next election with their heads held high”, and not seek to distance themselves from the Coalition’s record…which includes such liberal and democratic policies as criminalising the act of being a nonviolent extremist, flogging off University Education to every Hillbilly scam artist in the American Deep South, bankrupting NHS Trusts, conspiring with Newscorp to destroy the BBC, giving the Health portfolio to an avowed privatiser with relatives in the private sector, introducing emergency terrorism laws, denying welfare to the poor while allowing bailed-out bankers to get six-figure bonuses, and trying to create a pre-Election housing bubble to make the drones feel richer.
“Don’t shoot us, we were only the piano players,” Nick seemed to be saying.
Henceforth at The Slog, this Party will be known as The Liberace Democrats. It is a monniker they richly deserve, and of which they should feel unjustly proud.