Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Argentina Defenseless

In a ceremonial flight at the Tandil Air Base,  Argentina's last Mirages have been retired, leaving the country with no fighter jets and no air defense. End of the dreams of invading the Falkland Islands. No more "Las Malvinas son Argentinas". The menace has been neutralized.

The result of a successful covert action by the British Secret Service? No, Argentines are capable of doing this to themselves without 007's help.

Monday, November 30, 2015

What do they want

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 141st BirthdayEarly morning had a meeting in the Ministry and reflected how much environmental considerations affect my projects. I am not talking about "Green Buildings" but ordinary small industry. Natural is the key word.

I hope a natural poisonous snake bites them in the ass.

What they want? They were educated on kindergarten stories of the farmer and his friends the horse, the cow, the goat, the pig, etc. That is the idea of natural and good they have in the back of their minds. Tall buildings, machines, air conditioners, improved seeds, etc. are foreign and enemy of their ideal.

See google. To show their goodness and naturalness they changed their logo to kindergarten colored letters and kindergarten drawings.

Kindergartens are teaching that the good life is on a (never existed) MidWest small toy farm. No wonder that they see urban life as evil. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

BHP Billiton Hit by Stupidity

BHP is a giant conglomerate of mining companies, a field that requires very large investments that pay themselves off over generations. So its managers must be people with a clear vision of the future, which they certainly are not. In 2010 BHP tried to take over Potash Corp of Saskatchewan for $US40 billion - that is, six and half times more than its market value today (in a stroke of luck, the bid was blocked by the Canadian Government in a fit of third world nationalist gut-reaction). Another instance is their investment in the development of American shale oil, made attractive by the high oil price reigning in those days. Yet as soon as the shale oil started to flow, the Saudis increased their production and reduced the price to dumping level, destroying the potentially competitive industry. Life is difficult but making a living from mining while stupid is total hell. BHP Billiton managers too are, obviously, in need of much more intelligence.

PS.: The "too" refers to me. I am also in need of more intelligence. If I had sold Potash in 2010 and bought real estate, I would be "comfortable" today. The high price of POT was due to a collusion, but conspiracies never last as each member is tempted to betray it. Uralkali defected first. I also should have known that real estate in Israel would rocket. It did. Everybody has a once-a-lifetime chance, that was mine and I missed it.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Squeezing My Brain

We in Israel are living in a zero interest rate  environment while Europe is sinking deeper in the negative interest rate area. My formative years were spent in strongly inflationary environments (in Argentina and Israel) and my skin is itching in this new - astonishing for me - atmosphere that surely must hide easy opportunities for the intelligent to profit. But how? Where is the Temple of the Intelligence God to go and sacrifice to him, praying for more brain power?

The Economist has some incredibly stupid ideas: 
Depositors could withdraw funds in the form of bankers’ drafts (certified cheques) to use as a store of value. Such drafts might even become a form of parallel currency, since they are transferable. Any form of pre-paid card, such as urban-transport passes, gift vouchers or mobile-phone SIMs could double up as zero-yielding assets.
They too need more brainpower. 

Preliminary finding: negative interest makes no difference to interest or currency arbitrage operations. On the contrary, it makes them almost impossible because of costs and expenses. 

Israeli Painters of the Forties: Biran

Bought a painting (left) by a forgotten Israeli painter of the forties, C. Biran. It reminds me some works of Nahum Gutman. Today, they can be bought cheap, but when Israel strikes rich with gas, it will not be so.

From the wiki: "... a "Hebrew" version of Post-Impressionist painting using a palette of light colors, an attraction to expressive brushstrokes, and a tendency toward naïve, flat painting. In addition to traditional subjects such as portraits, many artists depicted the Land of Israel in landscapes that added a romantic perspective to their subjects. This style of these works is called the "Land of Israel School".

Among the artists identified with this style, the artist Nachum Gutman stands out. Gutman painted many depictions of the city of Tel Aviv, but also of the Land of Israel's Arab citizens. His famous painting "Resting at Noon" (1926) depicts Fellahin (Arab farmers) resting in the field. Gutman's style in these years shows a tendency toward the simplification of forms ..."

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


My daughter decided to stop worrying about stock exchange oscillations and sold her portfolio and invested in a money market account. Deduce 30% tax on the miserly interest and add bank charges, recalculate with 3% inflation and she is guaranteed to lose money. She would not hear me.

I am feeling like John D. MacArthur about his son, as described by Hoffmann in his 1966 biography. MacArthur Junior hated the Old Man and his business, so went to collect ceramic plates. MacArthur Senior must be raving in Hell watching the Foundation that inherited his life savings - giving away his money to Ta-Nehisi Coates.


... is a full night sleep.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


What...? What did you as...?

Ah ! if there are girls like Rosie among Harediot.

Sure there are! 

Rosie's great-grandmother, Enid Kohn, was from a family of Polish Jews who emigrated to Britain in the 1870s. Rosie's paternal grandmother, Gillian, who was also from a Jewish family, was the daughter of Jacob Franks, a prominent surgeon in Sussex.  Source: Wiki. She looks very Jewish to me.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The City of Eternal God

Fifteen minutes drive from Kever Benjamin one sees a white city on a hill founded by Ariel Sharon: The City of Eternal God. The average age of its 50,000 inhabitants is ten years. According my estimates, its vegetative growth is 4-5% p.a. It is a gated city, at the entrance of the Sabbath, the city closes down, no one coming in and no one getting out.

There is an existential/ideological war going inside: At which exact hour enters the Shabbath? The Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi says so and the Chief Sepharadi Rabbi says no.  The Ashkenazi High School for Girls rejected eight girls because their families did not follow Ashkenazi customs. In other words, they were not of Ashkenazi ancestry. The Israeli High Court will not tolerate racial discrimination, so it closed down the Ulpana (the school). Under coercion, it was agreed that the dispute was not racial but religious. The families of the rejected girls promised to be more strict in their observance, and the Sepharadi girls are now allowed to stand in the corner of the courtyard assigned to them. (I made up the last one.)

Marriage is by shidduch (matchmaker). It is a thankless job, because everybody is hiding a skeleton and there is no scarcity of eager volunteers ready to dig up "dirt" and ruin a marriage. The latest story is about a malignant rumor circulated in the City of Eternal God that the mother of the bride was - God forbid - of Sepharadi ancestry. Since there were Portuguese communities all over Europe, including Poland, and the Ashkenazim settled all over the world, changing names to avoid creditors, taxes and military service, the whole issue is more than confused. Since the start of massive importation of zera goy (non-Jewish sperm) for AID, the city is full of dumb little Danes. I too agree that race is not an issue in the City of Eternal God, imbecility is.

Reflections on Supplying Free Water

I am not a bad person and would feel uneasy cutting the tap water to helpless Detroit Negroes. Thirty years ago I was harder and did order the disconnection of dozens without hesitation. Old people softens. Sometimes I am even tempted to put a coin in charity collection boxes.

The French are very intelligent, yet they managed to create a situation where they are afraid to walk on the streets of Paris. In their prosperity they forgot that they too are flesh and bone, that they too have bad enemies. And they let them in and they invited them to have their daughters. We are fortunate that our enemies remind us that they hate us and are planning to kill us, and attack us with anything they have, including kitchen knives and taxis, and they never allow us to entertain illusions of fraternity, equality and universal love for more than a few minutes. Then comes the stab that pulls us back into reality.

Illustration: Jesus asking water from a Samaritan woman. The woman was puzzled because Orthodox rabbis (like Jesus) don't speak to females and would never drink water touched by a non-Jew. The disciples were shocked.