Starting the week

Where do we see the markets go from here? Well I for one think that despite the plunging price of crude oil we are seeing an ongoing recovery. It’s always puzzled me that just how quickly the world has forgotten the Credit Crunch of 07-09 and that any recovery (from what was at the time the end of the financial system) was going to be a decade long.

We are living in a new Imperial Age when the most exciting electoral prospect are Bush vs. Clinton (which Obama was only barely able to budge by 8years). At the end of the day the Central Banks are still continuing with the stimulus plans (especially in the Eurozone and GBP area where the Euro continues to weaken against the USD maybe all the way to parity?)

Other than that where do I actually see oil go? I think we may see it plunge down to $30 even before recovering to the $40-50 format. The commodity story isn’t going to go anywhere and with the plunging price of solar power.

The chart below shows the price of energy sources since the late 1940s. The extreme outlier, of course, is solar, which only recently became an expensive blip in the energy marketplace. It will soon undercut even the cheapest fossil fuels in many regions of the planet, including poorer nations where billion-dollar coal plants aren’t always practical.

Source: EIA, CIA, World Bank, Bernstein analysis
As he did with oil & gas reserve once again Allah smiles on the Ummah as making it among the sunniest places on earth (of course there are elaborate geopolitical explanations on why that is the case but let’s stick with the religious one for now as Muslims needs all the manna they can get atm).

It seems that the world is going to enter a new systemic bull cycle, low oil prices are going to compete with dropping solar energy prices to industrialise the Rest of the world.

Whose fault is it?

This sentiment emerged in conversation with a fellow Pakistani where I said “it’s not the fault of Pakistan, it’s the fault of Pakistanis.”

I’ve moved on with my life and live a fairly acculturated integrated life in blighty (where I think about rocks and climbing a bit too much for my own good). Even so I’m more interested in the pink pages of the FT than the broadsheets of the Daily Telegraph. However I have to see that we are simply seeing a meltdown in the Ummah.

Does it affect me personally? Not especially since I’m ensconced in the West and the only real connections I have to Islam are my surname, my descent from Hazrat Ali & the fact that the Baha’i Faith find it’s ultimately origins in the Shakyh sect.

However I feel pity and sad that the mental shackles of the people of the Ummah blind them to the message of unity and peace that the rest of the world has already embraced (to varying degrees). It is the responsibility of Muslims in the West (who like all Diasporas eventually have outsized roles of influences) to really lead the drive to modernize tradition.

When children are being picked off in schools, when journalist offices are shot down with impunity and now the ongoing hostage crisis in Paris emerging it seems that things are only getting worse and worse. Maybe I am too idealistic, perhaps I should take off my rose-tinted glasses from time to time (but experience has taught me life has so much to do with perspective) and it is too late for the gradual ongoing cultural exercises I used to embark on a couple of years ago.

The BritPak community needs to cultivate home-grown, authentic leaders who can bridge the gulf between civilisations. I don’t know who this cadre is but someone has to issue the call and it has to be a broad-based ecumenical effort. I’m on the UKIP-Tory spectrum because I believe in Britain & British values are resilient & adaptable enough for a modern world. However I always take heed in John Major’s mangled Orwellian quote:

Fifty years on from now, Britain will still be the country of long shadows on cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and pools fillers and, as George Orwell said, ‘Old maids bicycling to holy communion through the morning mist’ and, if we get our way, Shakespeare will still be read even in school.

Those who believe in the above are always welcome to join Britain and the British enterprise.

    markets today. 09.01.15

    Main news items for today being that Greek debt is set to
    rise in the wake of the expected election in late Jan. If oil breaches $40 per
    barrel than all bets are off. Also important to see the last oil crash in 07-08
    where oil dipped a $100 in 6months and then recovered over the next 2years back
    to 70% of boom levels.
    Yesterday was a broad and strong rally throughout the
    markets we have retooled our portfolio to become coupon-heavy however we have
    taken very strong African risk (adding to our position) and at the same time
    taking advantage of the turnaround ongoing at Tescos (shares rallied 15%).
    Non-farm payrolls set to emerge today would provide the tone to the US recovery
    while the EU is currently weighing active stimulus programs in the form of bond
    Other news is the precipitous decline in EURUSD it may even
    reach parity. EURO against other assets has really held up but the eventuality
    is that with the Eurozone considering quantitative easing & the US talking
    about the tenor of the recovery, divergence is expected. Finally of interest is
    Santander’s big announcement about slashing dividends, which is the right way
    to conserve cash even though it disclaimed any interest in Banca Montei Paschi
    (consolidation in Euro-financial sector ongoing).
    Bonus on OIL THOUGHTS:

    Are we going to see a similar type of pattern where the
    long-term structural trend is cheap energy (despite the plethora of oil
    suppliers, Saudi Arabia is home to 80% of proven oil reserves and as Oil
    Minister Naimi mentioned is more interested in keeping a sustainable market
    while weeding out unsustainable producers, conveniently those like Russo-Iran
    etc, goodbye Scottish independence?)

    Understanding the power of religion

    RUSSELL: When I look back on my own career and the history of British and American diplomacy, one of our biggest mistakes has been to underestimate religion’s huge galvanizing power. We should not try to reduce religion to politics and economics and assume that people are doing things for reasons we immediately understand. We tend to think that fundamentalists will compromise, because they want more power. But some people don’t want power: They want to go to heaven! We underestimate the sincerity of their beliefs, and for that reason we underestimate the threat they can pose to the kinds of societies we might want to see.

    Inside the Middle East’s vanishing ancient religions (

    The interviewee has just had an article up in the FT (a long, harmonious history that Islamists deny), which I’m not able to link to at the moment. 
    However I’m also copying a snapshot, who knows maybe tolerance will one day flourish in the Ummah as it once did.

    Power of the Monarchy

    If Baby Prince George has a daughter then potentially we could see British history repeating itself uniquely in one single family (the Windsors)

    Victoria – longest reigning monarch (Hanoverian)
    Edward VII – her son 10yr reign
    George V – his soon 20yr reign
    George VI – 15yr
    Elizabeth II – potentially longest reign monarch
    Charles III – say around 10yrs
    William IX – 15yr
    Baby George –
    First child of Baby George (either boy or girl will ascend to the throne regardless

    Brown Pundits