Thursday, July 28, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Although Laidi's forex projections are sometimes rather off, he more often than not is closer than the rest, and his firm has already been cited as having among the most accurate forecasts. He's become something of a luminary on business news channels, and he is now a regular on Bloomberg. Once you get used to his somewhat unorthodox speaking style, you'll come to appreciate the general soundness of his views. His "big picture" regarding forex is quite difficult to fault. The Forex News website features frequently updated audio commentary as well.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Credit should be given where credit is due. Around the 22nd of June, I noted that the Hong Kong dollar--which was (is?) often used as a proxy for the yuan--started to be monitored on Bloomberg TV's Asia edition. This listing was strange for, like the yuan, the Hong Kong dollar wasn't exactly a flexible currency. I said that this portended a yuan revaluation, and sure enough, it was. Folks, watch Bloomberg. If it can offer more hints like this one, it's as good as gold. This just in: Malaysia has followed suit in ditching its fixed currency regime.
The chances are good that Mike Bloomberg will win re-election. He's peaking at the right time. During his term, never have his approval ratings been as high. According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, 60% of voters approve of his performance. Unsurprisingly, his support manages to cut across party lines. Remember, he was a registered Democrat before his late conversion to the Republican party just before the New York mayoral elections in 2001. Alike his predecessor, he's a "Republican-lite" who takes tough stances on crime and finances, but is basically permissive socially.
Ironically, the Economist (pay site) believes that Mike's defeats in garnering support for building a new $2.2 billion sports complex on the West Side and wooing the 2012 Olympic games make him more palatable to the populace. Stripped of grandiose projects and bolstered by a strong local financial services industry, Bloomberg looks hard to beat, pot-smoking or not.
For us viewers, this pattern is clearly worrying. While Bloomberg TV has lost some people I could care less about, they've also lost the likes of Edie Lush and that suspender-and-bowtie bonds guy who I thought were quite good. Hopefully, Mayor Mike's political ambitions do not cause further neglect of his business interests. After all, they're instrumental in filling his campaign coffers, and are what he'll return to after his days in politics are done.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
We can discuss the merits of Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve Chairman--perhaps even if he ought to continue in that capacity after his term expires--but one thing's for certain: Greenspan is the polar opposite of a good public speaker.
The Q & A session that follows is equally predictable. Republicans laud their man, and give him attaboys, except when Ron Paul (R-Texas) has the mic. Meanwhile, the Democrats employ their usual guerilla tactics by peppering him with questions regarding the lowered participation of labor; the decline of manufacturing; the ever-widening wealth gap; the Chinese buying up the world; the mind-boggling current account deficit; the housing bubble; etc. While predictable, I pay more attention to the Q & A session. There, Greenspan often lets on that there is more trouble in store than he does in his prepared remarks. I, for one, find that refreshing. We can only hope that his successor is livelier and less obtuse.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Friday, July 08, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
While major European markets slumped as evidenced by 1 percent-plus falls in indices such as the DAX, CAC, and FTSE, American indices have hardly been affected. At the outbreak of these events, the DJIA futures indicated a massive -210 change, while gold rallied by five dollars. Yet, as I write, the Dow Jones and gold are virtually unchanged for the day. Certainly, much of this change of heart can be attributed to a "thank goodness it didn't happen here" mentality, which was all too prevalent before the message that terrorists can strike practically anytime, anywhere was brought home by September 11, 2001. This mentality has seemingly been adopted again. Brought on board Bloomberg's American edition were guests who suggested that markets have become inured to attacks, basking in the bravery of being out of range. Yet, I would be more circumspect in this regard if I were them.
Instead of implying that this was a minor blip on the American radar, it would've been better if they more thoroughly discussed the typical ramifications of these occurences. Will oil prices go higher because of additional geopolitical instability, or will they go lower because demand will weaken in the wake of the attacks? What will happen to transportation and tourism stocks? How will the prospects of the 2012 London Olympic Games be affected? Are markets worried about follow-on attacks in the United States? These are all topics that are more pertinent and timely to investors instead of portraying the attacks as isolated from America. It's a small world, after all.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Monday, July 04, 2005
You'd think that reading from a TelePrompTer is easy; well, it probably isn't so difficult once you get used to it. Still, making the news interesting is a skill that only the most gifted hosts have. Nigel Stevenson (Bloomberg Europe) is one of those few hosts. Although he is impeccably well-groomed, Stevenson is nondescript in appearance. His ability lies not in leveraging his visage. Rather, his delivery is well-nigh perfect. If there ever was a fellow who ought to teach public speaking, Stevenson's your man. Things you can learn from him include how to place emphasis on key words; modulate one's voice to be neither unintelligibly soft nor unnecessarily pointed; identify a proper pace of speaking; and use proper business etiquette.
Fearless Viewer's Grade: A
Naylor is your quintessential English host. Unless you frequently tune in to the hopelessly Amerocentric Fox News which doesn't even bother to remove its constantly waving American flag for international viewers (?!), you'll find that English hosts are thick on the ground when it comes to international TV news. This is for a good reason: English presenters like Jeremy Naylor of the UK edition are highly intelligible. Speakers of the King's English have an unmistakable cachet. As far as hosts go, Naylor is largely unfaultable whether presenting the news or questioning guests. While he is a proficient host, the evenness of his presentation style can lead to inattention on the viewer's part on occasion.
Fearless Viewer's Grade: A-
For some reason, the "stocks guy" on financial news programs usually gets a special dispensation to do away with a business suit, and Guy Collins always appears in a long-sleeved shirt and tie. In any case, I don't follow European stocks that much, if at all. For me, the performance of European markets reflects that of the US market the day before instead of presaging same-day US market movements. From what I can gather, though, this Guy is quick to pick up on stocks and sectors on the move. His delivery is not state-of-the-art for he sometimes appears more focused on his Bloomberg monitor than in relaying information to a TV audience. Nonetheless, he's quite intelligible. Although he's not as polished as the hosts he plays opposite (or perhaps because), he makes an admirable foil--especially when interviewing guests. If anything, Guy Collins poses excellent questions.
Fearless Viewer's Grade: A-/B+