Shorting the US dollar

A Canadian friend told me that he was thinking about taking a long position in GE.  It was at an all time low and evidently oversold at the time (under $7).  I warned him that stocks held in US currency were risky for Canadians because they would have to buy US currency at a high price but that, with the Obama government overspending and all, the US dollar was going to lose its value quickly.

GE hit its low in early March, and let’s say that my friend bought at $6.66, its closing price on March 6.  On that day, he would have paid about CDN $1.27 for every US $1.  So 100 shares would have cost him $6679.99 (which is inclusive of the $19.99 commission), or CDN $8483.59.  GE today is selling at $16.52 today.  If you add the three quarterly dividends (ex dividend date 17 Sept, 17 June, 17 March), he would be looking at a total of $16.82 per share or a phenomenal 152% rate of return.  But what is that today in Canadian funds?  $16820 = $17755 (1.056)  That is today in Canada, his investment has 109% rate of return, which is still wonderful, but as a result of the diminished power of the US dollar, much less than 152%.  But in the likely event that the US dollar continues to plummet, his return on investment will continue suffer in Canadian value.

I’ve taken short positions against the dollar by borrowing US funds to buy Canadian oil and gold companies (erf, abx: NY) .  Also, I will convert every penny of US funds that come in into Canadian until the currencies reach par.

Yesterday I learned that many investors are beginning to use the US dollar as the new “carry trade currency”.  I didn’t know what that meant so I looked it up.  It is a reference to borrowing currency that has a low interest rate, changing into a foreign currency and making investments in that currency (such as GICs or buying stocks).  Well, I guess my investment strategy is a trend rather than idiosyncratic.  I was basing this strategy on the fundamental conviction that US dollar, despite the current deflationary tendency, would suffer because of the Obama budget deficit.


Dollar is the ‘New Peso’

Is the Dollar Set to Become the new yen?

A dishonest god : Obama Miscellany

Rush Limbaugh tells a joke:  What do God and Obama have in common?  God doesn’t have a birth certificate either.

I was at the Society of Biblical Literature last year in Boston and I met a childhood friend of one of my professors, who was being honored with a Festshrift.  The elderly gentleman, a longtime resident of Boston, found out I was from Alaska.  He then suddenly turned red-faced and angry.  “What’s wrong with you people?” He asked, “How can you have such a stupid woman as governor.  Are your brains frozen from the cold?”  I told him that I like very much Governor Palin and that our problem in Alaska is that when we are hungry, we have to go out and shoot something.  Then he went on to say how proud he was of Barack Obama because he was so intelligent, and he was just going to be such a good president.   Lee Carey, however, points out that Obama has a questionable work ethic, while others wonder aloud if he is just playing at being president.

Dreams of my Father Just some guy in my Neighborhood

Prof. Jack Cashill has followed up on his previous post at American Thinker with “Andersen Claims ‘Two Sources’ for Ayers’ Role in Dreams“.  He has interviewed the author and journalist Chris Anderson:

Andersen claims that the “hopelessly blocked” Obama turned to the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers to help him write his much acclaimed 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father.
When I asked about Andersen’s sources, Andersen said that he had two separate sources “within Hyde Park” but, understandably, would not elaborate.
Andersen, who was gracious throughout, insisted that he had made no claim that Ayers wrote Dreams but he did not deny Ayers’ deep involvement, conceding that Dreams is much the better book than Obama’s 2006 Audacity of Hope. This, of course, has to trouble the Obama acolytes who insist that Obama is a uniquely gifted writer.
Thomas Lifson concludes, as I have, that Obama has been unmasked as a fraud:

Now, thanks to Jack Cashill, the literary mask has been removed. Obama is a literary pretender. Case closed. The evidence is overwhelming that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Dreams from my Father, the book which established Obama’s pose as a brilliant writer (and therefore a fine mind, in the estimation of many). The stylistic resemblance between the Dreams and Ayers’ work is stunning. Now we know, thanks to Chris Andersen’s new book,that Obama hit a brick wall trying to fulfill his contract to produce a book, and shipped off his notes and tapes to Ayers. That is the classic description of a ghost writer’s assignment. And it completely fits the theories Cashill had inferentially reasoned from the data of his literary studies.

Sarah Palin has finished her book, Going Rogue, early; unlike Obama, she has publicly acknowledged her use of a professional writer.  Yet the main stream media is still chanting the canard that Obama is a great writer.  Matthew Shaer writes:

Fair enough. November is holiday book-buying season, and Sarah Palin is a hot commodity. No reason to think Palin’s book won’t skyrocket to the top of the best-seller list. But let’s pause for a second: Did Palin really write “Going Rogue” all by herself? As MSNBC’s Chris Matthews noted back in May, “She’s got this book deal, she obviously is not gonna write it.”

Matthews was right. Palin had help.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that – unofficially, we’d estimate that 90 percent of the books published by politicians are heavily ghost-written. (A notable exception: Barack Obama, whose “Dreams from My Father” was considered by many critics to have real literary merit.) In Palin’s case, help came in the form of Lynn Vincent, a senior writer for the conservative Christian publication World Magazine.

Mr. Shaer, via the illustrious Chris Matthews, here implies that Palin has not been honest in acknowledging the use of a professional writer, as if that was ever in question; thus, he ironically tries to accuse her of the crime of which Barack I-actually-wrote-them-myself Obama is guilty.  Mr. Shaer writes for the Christian Science Monitor, but he obviously is a sub-par journalist, who is unaware that Prof. Jack Cashill has argued definitively that Bill Ayers had a major hand in ghost writing Dreams of my Father.  But don’t expect anyone in the mainstream media to deal with this story soon (except perhaps Glenn Beck), since they are incompetent.  The Associated Press will now even make up a quote out of whole cloth  if necessary to provide their tendentious version of the news.

Obamalatry Worshipping a Man
The Bible says that when Herod Agrippa was hailed by the crowd as a god, Immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he did not give God the glory; and he was eaten by worms and died “(Acts 12:23).  Yet many of Obama’s followers have become Obamalators.  Many noticed that there seemed to be a cult of Obama during the election, beginning with Oprah’s endorsement that he’s “the One”.  But this worship is intensifying in certain quarters, with public school children being taught to sing hymns to Obama and now a new video surfaced (hat tip Red State) in which a liturgy offers prayers to Obama (see below); Obama must reject this worship publically, lest he fall under the same divine punishment as Herod Agrippa.
And this meeting of the Gamaliel Foundation:
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Facebook Poll on whether Obama should be assasinated: Fake hate crime?

The thing about something like this is that we know that it is a trick of the Left to do outrageous things like this and then get the media to blame it on conservatives.  Michelle Malkin calls such acts “fake hate crimes”.  Mark my words, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was done by pro-Obama people.

Here is the difference between the September 12, 2009, conservative protestors and Obama supporters:

washington mall

Do Contracts Mean Anything in Africa?

I have been musing about what keeps sub-Saharan Africa in poverty.  One thing that I’ve observed is that contracts, whether written or oral, don’t seem to mean very much.  I know of an African who signed a contract that he would return to Africa after his training but apparently never intended to do so and remains here in North America.  Oral contracts also have little worth because bait and switch tactics are not uncommon:  for example, a friend who grew up in South African and now lives in Canada once sent a large sum of money to youth minister back in Capetown with the belief that it would be used to purchase a automobile to be used for ministry.  Instead, the youth minister used it to pay a bride price so he could marry.  My friend said that he broke all communication with the youth minister when this happened.

We can be critical of Western individualism, and Africans are very good at putting people first.  But many Africans envy the West without of knowledge of how it actually works.  Every aspect of Western economy depends on the sanctity of contracts.  The vast majority of the time, these contracts work.  For example, if I go down to my local Staples and buy an item, I know that I can return it within 30 days for a full refund.  That is a contract.  And it works, and I’ve exercised my 30-day option many times.  As a result, I am a loyal patron of Staples; I will gladly pay more for item knowing that I have the option to return it if it is unsuitable for me.  In everyday life, we live according to many such contracts:  with our employers, with the phone company, with the gas company, with our bank, with our investment advisors, with Mastercard and Visa; when we buy house, or when we buy a furnace, a new kitchen, or windows for the house.  Without valid contracts, life in North America would cease to function and chaos would ensue.  And yet, in dealings with Africans, keeping a contract seems to be optional.  Is this not one reason for the chaos that exists in much of Africa today?

Contracts that don’t function in North America are reason why we have courts to deal with disputes.  In the final analysis, here in Canada I have made hundreds of contracts that work well, but I’ve only had a few that didn’t, such as with my sports club, the Pavilion in Thornhill, where it took over 4 months to get them to honor an oral contract.  Yet when it comes to Africa, I’ve come to think that the exception is the rule; I have had a much higher percentage of contracts with Africans that did not work than I’ve had here in North America, and I’ve come to believe that the lack of priority given to the honoring of contracts is one of the main reasons Africa does not have a well-functioning economy.

Yet we talk a lot about the growth of Christianity in Africa.  Christians however should be willing to honor contracts.  So one would think that the more Christian Africa becomes, the more contracts would be worth something.  Admittedly, cultural transformation takes time.

Obama: A friend of terrorists

As we said in an earlier post, Obama is good friends with Bill Ayers, domestic terrorist.  Now his administration is giving funding $200,000 each to the daughter and son of a terrorist.

Hat tip:  Clarice Feldman

There are so many things wrong with Obama’s approach towards terrorists, dictators and thugs.  It would take a book to explain everything that he has done to encourage tyranny and terrorism in the world so far, and it hasn’t even been one year.  Elections do have consequences.

It is this sort of thing that makes the question of his birth certificate important.  The reason that the Constitution of the United States requires that the President be a natural born citizen is to assure, as far as possible, the person’s loyalty to the United States.  I wonder how a man who was unquestionably born a dual-citizen, by virtue of his Kenyan father, could qualify under the US constitution.  Surely, the term natural born citizen rules out anyone who has ever been a dual-citizen.