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Monday January 31, 2005 - 11:29:18 GMT
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"The old dollar, it's going to go down."


“Hegel says somewhere that all great events and personalities in world history reappear in one fashion or another. He forgot to add; the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”

Karl Marx

FX Trading

Hubris /hyoobris/ n. 1 arrogant pride or presumption

“I’m short the dollar,” Bill Gates, the world’s richest man said this weekend from his lofty perch as the guiding light of Davos, "The old dollar, it's going to go down."

So why are you so sure about that Bill? Well, it’s the deficits, of course. And plus, I have a real good friend. His name is Warren. I play tennis and bridge with him a lot. He has a whole lot of money, like me; but not quite as much. And he’s really smart, like me. But he’s not quite as good looking. Once, after I trounced him in a few sets on the court, he said he’d share an investment idea if I eased up on him. He told me to short the dollar because it’s going down. It’s because of the deficits, he said. Then he told me to make sure that if the investment turns bad, to tell everyone what I did. That’s why I decided Davos would be a good place to share. There are a bunch of reporters around here. My friend said everyone would follow my lead after I went public because I’m so smart. I couldn’t argue with that.

"The world economic imbalance is attributable to many reasons, but not the exchange rate," Li Ruogu, China's deputy central bank governor, told the World Economic Forum. "China has not the capacity to address that so-called imbalance. We are not willing to do it, and we are not able to do it."

From Bloomberg today:

“Gates's and Buffett's shared view on the dollar is not the billionaires' only joint interest.

“Gates revealed a $319 million stake in Berkshire Hathaway on Dec. 21, a week after he joined the company as a director. The two play bridge and have traveled together, taking a 1995 train trip through China.

“Buffett made his first investment in China in 2003, buying a stake in PetroChina Co. In Davos, Gates described China as a potential ``change agent'' for the next two decades. ‘It's phenomenal,’ Gates said. ‘It's a brand new form of capitalism.’”

“Gates's $27 billion foundation in September received approval from China's foreign-currency regulator to invest as much as $100 million in the nation's yuan shares and bonds.”

Yes Bill, it’s a “brand new form of capitalism.”

“With more investment and higher stakes came a more dominate role for U.S. business, and the views of the China-business lobby prevailed in virtually every area of contention in U.S. policy toward China. Instead of holding the Chinese government accountable for the threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on the Chinese press and a truly brutal sweep of Falun Gong practitioners, it was seen as a higher therapeutic good to reinforce the brittle Chinese self-esteem. Instead of human rights, the rule of law became the new catchphrase. China stopped receiving annual condemnations from the U.H. Human Rights Council and ascended into the WTO regime, while Bejing won the right to host the 2008 Olympics. The Chinese leadership’s internal and external position was bolstered by the rapid construction of the world’s greatest Big Brother Internet, acquisition of ‘fourth generation’ military technology, and for the first time, the emergence of an indigenous---and globally competitive—research and development capability.”

Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann

Yes Bill, it’s a “brand new form of capitalism.”

Because the best of the best American high tech firms have been so ready to share their most advanced technology, for the right price of course, with those “new capitalists;” the Chinese party can track virtually every keystroke of anyone they choose inside China. (Remember how the Internet was supposed to spread democracy?) The crackdown on so-called “dissidents” proceeds with a high-tech efficiency that Stalin could only dream of.

Yes, it’s a “brand new form of capitalism.” But, it seems to resonate with some old themes: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength,” as Orwell so aptly wrote.

Jack Crooks.


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