Scandal

When feminism goes too far

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Any “person” who is rightfully comvicted of sexual assault should have the book thrown at them with full force. No arguments. However when Teen Vogue journalist and feminist Emily Lindin wrote that there is no problem throwing innocent men out of jobs and destroying their lives through false allegations that takes some beating. Indeed CM warned that the #METOO campaign might indeed turn into a witch hunt ruining the futures of innocent men forced to defend themselves.

Lindin justified her stance by saying “First, false allegations VERY rarely happen, so even bringing it up borders on a derailment tactic. It’s a microscopic risk in comparison to the issue at hand (worldwide, systemic oppression of half the population),

The benefit of all of us getting to finally tell the truth + the impact on victims FAR outweigh the loss of any one man’s reputation…If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.

Indeed “what” price are you actually paying Emily when it is those innocent men who will actually pay it on your behalf? That’s right she is paying zero. In the process perhaps the innocent man ( and sole breadwinner) who is jailed for sexual assault loses the family house, wife and 3 daughters. That’s right Ms Lindin, you’ve scored 4 own goals in the process.

Perhaps Lindin could have written that she will visit these innocent men and thank them personally for doing jail time all the while she celebrates her feminist buddies committing perjury.

Any person that willingly makes a false allegation should equally have the book thrown at them. Indeed perhaps she should read up on sexual violence committed against men (hugely underreported) but that would run against her loony narrative.

We should be glad she has said this though. Free speech is wonderful in that she expresses such a stupid position that the exposure to sunlight becomes the best disinfectant. Way to go Emily. May more people like you expose how stupid victimhood becomes when you go actively searching for it. To that end there can be no doubt you’ve never been a true victim of sexual assault to say something so preposterous. No real victim of such a crime would ever back what you wrote. After all why would any innocent person who had that stolen from them want anyone else to experience what they did?

Rehabilitation lessons in common sense a must

One has to wonder what rehabilitation services for returning ISIS fighters to Canada would look like? Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer asked that question of PM Trudeau on what his plan would look like to try to rehabilitate people who went to fight for a group that threw homosexuals off buildings for just being gay, burnt allied fighters alive, sold women and children into slavery and raped countless women among many other crimes committed. Trudeau read from a sheet of paper. On what planet does one have to live on to think that a group that fought against Canadian troops and its allies can seriously reintegrate into Canadian society and honestly reform to the values of Canadians?

Put aside arguments about these individuals being freedoms fighters. These people, some who may have individually committed the crimes aforementioned will come back free to live among Canadians. Does the government honestly think that these people can be, much less want to be “rehabilitated” to understand the wonders of democracy and progressivism? To fight for ISIS and the principles of that archaic ideology are probably as far removed from the liberal ideals that Trudeau espouses. What can be absolutely certain – this will be an absolute waste of taxpayer funds to try to convert those that thought the doctrines of ISIS were something to aspire to. Then again with M-103, every day Canadians are gagged from criticizing these same fighters.

When you boil it all down to gravy, it seems that government needs rehabilitation lessons in common sense.

And so the Hollywood witch hunts come forth

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As CM wrote at the time of #metoo the saddest part to emerge from this campaign will be the risk of witch hunts where potentially innocent people are forced to defend against things that may not have actually happened. As Jeremy Piven points out in the quote above – careers and reputations can be destroyed with impunity even if allegations are proven false. Whether it is Kevin Spacey or the sanctimonious George Takei, so much Hollywood dirt is surfacing and within it there will be ambulance chasers looking for a quick out of court settlement to make the problem disappear.

Real sexual assault is a major issue that should be dealt with. Shame on anyone that looks to take advantage of a serious problem to enrich themselves at the expense of someone who is innocent. That is almost as sick as committing the crime itself. Sure every proven case of sexual assault should be prosecuted to the extent of the law yet so should perjury by the ambulance chasers.

Tesla – 30 reasons it will likely end up a bug on a windshield

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Contrarian Marketplace ー Tesla – 30 Reasons it will likely be a bug on a windshield

Contrarian Marketplace Research (CMR) provides 30 valid reasons to show Tesla (TSLA) is richly valued. Institutional investors have heard many of the financial arguments of its debt position, subsidies, cash burn and other conventional metrics. What CMR does is give Tesla all the benefits of the doubt. Even when extended every courtesy based on Tesla’s own 2020 production target of 1,000,000 vehicles and ascribing the margins of luxury makers BMW Group (BMW GR) & Daimler (DAI GR) the shares are worth 42% less than they are today. When stacked up against the lower margin volume manufacturers, the shares are worth 83% less. There is no fuzzy math involved. It is merely looking through a different lens. We do not deny Tesla’s projected growth rates are superior to BMW or DAI but the risks appear to be amplifying in a way that exposes the weak flank of the cult that defines the EV maker- ‘production hell’.

Follow social media feeds and Tesla’s fans bathe in the cognitive dissonance of ownership and their charismatic visionary, CEO Elon Musk. No-one can fault Musk’s entrepreneurial sales skills yet his business is at the pointy end of playing in the major leagues of mass production, which he himself admitted 18 months ago was a ‘new’ challenge. Let us not kid ourselves. This is a skill that even Toyota, the undisputed king of manufacturing, a company that has coined pretty much every industrial efficiency jargon (JIT, Kanban, Kaizen) has taken 70 years to hone. It might have escaped most investors’ attention but Lockheed Martin called on Toyota to help refine the manufacturing processes of the over budget F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. If that is not a testament to the Japanese manufacturer’s brilliance Tesla is effectively Conor McGregor taking on Aichi’s version of Floyd Mayweather.

Yet Tesla’s stock has all the hallmarks of the pattern we have seen so many times – the hype and promise of disruptors like Ballard Power, GoPro and Blackberry which sadly ended up in the dustbin of history as reality dawned. Can investors honestly convince themselves that Tesla is worth 25x more than Fiat Chrysler (a company transformed) on a price to sales ratio? 10x Mercedes, which is in the sweet spot of its model cycle?

Conventional wisdom tells us this time is different for Tesla. Investors have been blinded by virtue signalling governments who are making bold claims about hard targets for EVs even though those making the promises are highly unlikely to even be in office by 2040. What has not dawned on many governments is that 4-5% of the tax revenue in most major economies comes from fuel excise. Fiscal budgets around the world make for far from pleasant viewing. Are they about to burn (no pun intended) such a constant tax source? Do investors forget how overly eager governments made such recklessly uncosted subsidies causing the private sector to over invest in renewable energy sending countless companies to the wall?

Let us not forget the subsidies directed at EVs. The irony of Tesla is that it is the EV of the well-heeled. So the taxes of the lawnmower man with a pick-up truck are going to pay for the Tesla owned by the client who pays his wages to cut the lawn. Then we need look no further than the hard evidence of virtue signalling owners who run the other way when the subsidies disappear.

To prove the theory of the recent thought bubbles made by policy makers, they are already getting urgent emails from energy suppliers on how the projections of EV sales will require huge investment in the grid. The UK electricity network is currently connected to systems in France, the Netherlands and Ireland through cables called interconnectors. The UK uses these to import or export electricity when it is most economical. Will this source be curtailed as nations are forced into self-imposed energy security?

So haphazard is the drive for EV legislation there are over 200 cities in Europe with different regulations. In the rush for cities to outdo one another this problem will only get worse. Getting two city councils to compromise is one thing but 200 or more across country lines? Without consistent regulations, it is hard to build EVs that can accommodate all the variance without boosting production costs. On top of that charging infrastructure is an issue. Japan is a good example. Its EV growth will be limited by elevator parking and in some suburban areas, where car lots are little more than a patch of dirt where owners are unlikely to install charging points. Charging and battery technology will keep improving but infrastructure harmonisation and ultimately who pays for the cost is far from decided. With governments making emotional rather than rational decisions, the only conclusion to be drawn is unchecked virtuous bingo which will end up having to be heavily compromised from the initial promises as always.

Then there are the auto makers. While they are all making politically correct statements about their commitments to go full EV, they do recognise that ultimately customers will decide their fate. A universal truth is that car makers do their best to promote their drivetrains as a performance differentiator to rivals. Moving to full EV removes that unique selling property. Volkswagen went out of its way to cheat the system which not only expressed their true feelings about man-made climate change but hidden within the $80bn investment is the 3 million EVs in 2042 would only be c.30% of VW’s total output today. Even Toyota said it would phase out internal combustion in the 2040s. Dec 31st, 2049 perhaps?

Speaking to the engineers of the auto suppliers at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, they do not share the fervour of policy makers either. It is not merely the roll out of infrastructure, sourcing battery materials from countries that have appalling human rights records (blood-cobalt?) but they know they must bet on the future. Signs are that the roll out will be way under baked.

While mean reversion is an obvious trade, the reality is that for all the auto makers kneeling at the altar of the EV gods, they are still atheists at heart. The best plays on the long side are those companies that happily play in either pond – EV or ICE. The best positioned makers are those who focus on cost effective weight reduction – the expansion of plastics replacing metal has already started and as autonomous vehicles take hold, the enhanced safety from that should drive its usage further. Daikyo Nishikawa (4246) and Toyoda Gosei (7282) are two plastics makers that should be best positioned to exploit those forking billions to outdo each other on tech widgets by providing low cost, effective solutions for OEMs. Amazing that for all of the high tech hits investors pray to discover, the dumb, analogue solution ends up being the true diamond in the rough!

Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (by country)

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In an ever growing world of haves vs have nots, Elliman has released an interesting update on the statues of global wealth and where it is likely to head over the next decade. It suggests North America has 73,100 UNHWIs at an average of $100mn each or $7.31 trillion. To put that in perspective 73,100 North Americans have as much wealth as Japan & France’s annual output combined. Over the next decade they expect 22,700 to join the ranks.

Europe has 49,650 UHNWI also at the magical $100mn mark (presumably the cut off for UHNWI or the equivalent of Japan.

Asia is growing like mad with $4.84 trillion split up by 46,000 or $105mn average. In a decade there are forecast to be 88,000 UHNWIs in Asia.

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I am not sure what the World Bank was smoking when coming up with the coming forecasts I’ve rthe next decade but the figures smel fishy.  Then it all comes down to this chart.

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1) Political uncertainty? Everywhere you look – Trump, Brexit, Catalonia, Australia, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Hungary, Poland etc etc

2) Potential fall in asset values – looks a very high chance of that. Current asset bubbles are almost everywhere – bonds, equities, real estate etc

3) Rising taxes – maybe not the US or Canada (if you follow the scrutiny over Finance Minister Morneau), but elsewhere taxes and or costs of living for the masses are rising

4) Capital controls – China, India etc

5) Rising interest rates – well the US tax cuts should by rights send interest rates creeping higher. A recent report showed 57% of Aussies couldn’t afford an extra $100/month in mortgage – a given if banks are forced to raise lending rates due to higher funding costs (40% is wholesale finance – the mere fact the US is raising rates will only knock on to Aus and other markets).

Surely asset prices at record levels and all of the other risk factors seemingly bumping into one another…

So while UHNWIs probably weather almost any storm, perhaps it is worth reminding ourselves that the $100mn threshold might get lowered to $50m. It reminds me of a global mega cap PM who just before GFC had resplendent on his header “nothing under $50bn market cap”. Post GFC that became $25bn then eventually $14bn…at which point I suggested he change the header entirely.

I had an amusing discourse on LinkedIn about crypto currencies. The opposing view was that this is a new paradigm (just like before GFC) and it would continue to rise ( I assume he owns bit coins). He suggested it was like a promissory note in an electronic form so has a long history dating back millennia. I suggested that gold needs to be dug out of the ground – there is no other way. Crypto has huge risk factors because it is ultimately mined in cyber space. State actors or hackers can ruin a crypto overnight. There have already been hacking incidents that undermine the safety factor. It does’t take a conspiracy theory to conjure that up. To which he then argued if it all goes pear shaped, bitcoin was a more flexible currency. Even food would be better than gold. To which I suggested that a border guard who is offering passage is probably already being fed and given food is a perishable item that gold would probably buy a ticket to freedom more readily as human nature can adapt hunger far more easily in the fight for survival. I haven’t heard his response yet.

In closing isn’t it ironic that Bitcoin is now split into two. The oxymornically named Bitcoin Gold is set to be mined by more people with less powerful machines, therefore decentralizing the network further and opening it up to a wider user base. Presumably less powerful machines means fewer safeguards too although it will be sold as impervious to outsiders. Of course the idea is to widen the adoption rate to broaden appeal. Everyone I know who owns Bitcoin can never admit to its short comings. Whenever anything feels to be good to be true, it generally is. Crypto has all the hallmarks of a fiat currency if I am not mistaken? While central banks can print furiously, they will never compete with a hacker who can digitally create units out of thin air. Fool’s Gold perhaps? I’ll stick to the real stuff. I’ll take 5,000 years of history over 10 years any day of the week.

Zero CO2 emissions at Tokyo Olympics for 4 days during ceremonies

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Fresh after her drubbing in the elections over the weekend Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is proposing zero CO2 emissions during the 4 days of 2020 Tokyo Olympic/Paralympic ceremonies. Presumably the trains to transport passengers to the stadium will be shut down as they’re powered by gas fired electricity while hepa filter gas masks will be distributed to every foreign visitor and Tokyo resident to ensure the goal can be met. People won’t be able to drive nor eat in restaurants that cook with gas or electricity and diners mustn’t eat because they’d be breathing CO2 between bites.

Hang on how is she going to justify the Olympic flame? Or the fireworks at the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics and Paralympics? More CO2!

More green madness.

For a supposed populist right winger she’s leaning to be a lefty in pretty short order. That is a great shame and for all the antiestablishment rhetoric she’s more mainstream than the establishment.

Children’s book about Hillary designed to put kids to sleep

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Just when victim based identity politics couldn’t plunge any lower, a children’s book about Hillary has been written. If anything Michelle Markel’s ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born To Lead’ could be a cure for overworked parents with insomniac children. Indeed it would be a fairytale if it ended up with her as the President! The real tale of the story should be that little girls can get ahead on ability, not just fall back on gender i.e. the very opposite of the campaign she ran. As long as the story stays clear of the horror of the Clinton Foundation and the deleting of 30,000 emails (rather apt for today’s generation) kids will be spared endless trauma.

Instead of adding Hillary to a list of illustrious but by no means complete list of amazing females that got ahead through their own efforts, Markel talks of the difficulties of the 1950s. She forgets the following –

Nobel Prize in Physics, 1903: Marie Curie

Nobel prize in Literature, 1909: Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf

Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1911: Marie Curie

Nobel Peace Prize, 1931: Jane Addams

Prime Minister of Israel: 1969 Golda Meir

Prime Minister of England, 1979: Margaret Thatcher

Mostly women who never used gender as an excuse but triumphed through ability. The best lesson of all for ambitious kids although in this day and age everyone wins a prize which I guess should be the tenet of the book.

In fact her latest autobiography would make a better children’s book, perhaps the (rather unfortunately named) Mr Men series as ‘Little Mrs Blame it on Eveyone Else’ because Roger Hargreaves could tell kids how her constant whining eventually stopped people listening. Perhaps a book best that would be best read by herself.

Perhaps Melania Trump should offer Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born To Lead to libraries and schools to see whether liberals would be as triggered and outraged when she sent Dr Seuss!