Iceberg Ahead

Took a week off from work to rest, relax and recharge my batteries.  We are already into the 8th month of the year and i had yet to take a single leave this year.  Not to mention haven’t fallen sick for more than 18 odd months and (touch wood), would like that to remain that way for a long long time to come.  It means that i hadn’t been taking any break from work.

Work has been too tough and nerve wracking ever since i moved into the new department more than 5 months ago (ya, time flies), not to mention colleagues who are of no use to the team but somehow manage to survive at work inspite of doing nothing productive. Ya, life is a big bunch of surprises.  The ones who work are questioned when there is a lapse on their end, but some people just laze around at work and unashamedly take the salary at the end of the month and no one even bats an eyelid.

Anyways, over a period of time have steeled myself to ignore such characters and sideline them.  There are others who are enthusiastic about work and they are the ones who really encourage me to look forward to going back to work daily.

But this week off was a much needed one.  Have been doing nothing but having good home cooked food, having my regular post lunch naps, wandering aimlessly around the city, reading books on the couch and most importantly watching the financial markets melt the world over.  Watching this self inflicted wound by the US not only to itself but criminally exporting its problems to the worldwide economies is simply mind boggling to watch.  Not to mention morons like Alan Greenspan openly bragging that this debt ceiling is of no issue to the US as they can print as much dollars they want.  Now beat that.

The funniest part of the whole debt problem is the reaction from China which blasted the US for its uninhibited funding of its consumerism by debt.  But why is China so worried about the debt downgrade of the US from AAA to AA+ by S&P ?  Its because China holds more than a trillion dollars worth of US debt.  The more irony comes from the fact that just a few months ago, some so-called Chinese thinkers were threatening to dump dollars that China is holding in the form of its foreign reserves to show who the boss is.  Which makes one wonder, if China dumps the dollar, which moron in the world wants to buy it?  And if it dumps the dollar and the value of the dollar takes a nosedive further eroding the value of the reserves its holding, who is China threatening in the first place?  Its like cutting the nose to spite the face.  The whole fracas reminds me of the saying that i had posted sometime earlier in this blog….

“If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” – J Paul Getty

China today finds itself between the devil and the deep sea.  On one hand it needs to keep the yuan weaker by buying up all the dollars else the export oriented economy that China has carefully built up over the decades will collapse.  With thousands of riots happening countrywide, the Communist government doesn’t want another disaster on its hands.

And its not easy to make a complete turnaround of the economy from an exporting one to a local consumer led economy.  The transition takes years to happen. So, it keeps buying up dollars to keep its own currency cheaper and with the US dollar collapsing to newer lows, everyone is at their wits end trying to hold things together.

So, what to do now?  Nothing much..if you have money sit tight or start buying into blue chips in small tranches.  For the ones who sold off their equity holdings a few months earlier, i have nothing but admiration for your foresight.  For those who plan to sell during the collapse now, there is nothing more foolish decision than that.

Gold is scaling new heights daily as the US dollar loses its value.  Its gonna be a turbulent few months ahead.  Sit tight, there is much more trouble ahead.  Like the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett once said…

“Its only when the tide goes out that you learn who has been swimming naked”

Pictures courtesy: Now Public, Guardian, wmpoweruser

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