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Cassandra Does Tokyo

Mostly original content that examines financial surreality in equity markets in general, and the Japanese Stock Market in particular.

Updated: 2018-03-23T23:35:19.984-07:00


Farewell Then Toys"Я"Us


Farewell then Toys"Я"Us America's Halfway house to Barbie, Ken, G.I. Joe and "Rock-'em Sock-'em  Robots" You were  the first company  to crucify the English Language  for the sake of  a memorable  name. Upon your shelves, aptly-named board games  like "Risk",  "Chutes & Ladders" "The Game of Life"  and "Trouble -  foretold your future. Category Killers rose by roll-up  like Lazarus (not your

Bitcoin Haiku


It's been more than three years since I first posted these. So on the day when the value of 1 Bitcoin surpassed that of 1 oz of Gold, I thought it'd be fun to see how they have aged.  For the sake of FD, I can re-affirm that I own no Bitcoin (as if you had to wonder). Icarwho?Up Up and AwayThe sun feels good up yon-der"Relax!" said HamletMacklemore&More&MorePop some Bitcoin tags?'Mother

On The EU & Brexit


The following is a my Remainer's reply to a Brexiteer's comment on my last piece "The Uninspiring Antitheses to Populism". I wouldn't normally turn a reply into a post but I've been wanting to articulate most of these thoughts in Cassandra's record for the future. I've replied in-line to the commentator's (in boldface italics). All further comments, thoughts and replies are both welcomed and

The Uninspiring Antitheses To Populism


Many have written insightfully on the reasons that seem crucial both to understanding Brexit and the parallel populism carrying Trump into office. Richard Baldwin, Branko Milanovic, even Tom Friedman's latest shed much light on the political-economic fractures and their causes. Useful data analyses have teased out the statistics  past and present county-by-county or even town-by-town. There are

Nothing Cures Populism Like Populism


Though skeptical by nature, I tend towards the optimist. The infectious idealism of my mother is difficult to quash. I would like to believe that sound reasoning, so-called sensibility, could sway, teach, influence, impact, attenuate, educate ameliorate, moderate and contribute towards the evolution in the opinions of those under the influence of angry populism. But it can't. If, like

On Selling Short


Oh, roller-skating is exciting,    and so are volcanoes too. And a good old-fashioned blizzard    will put you in a stew; But of all exciting pastimes,    or any kind of sport, There's nothing quite so thrilling    As the game of Selling Short. It isn't merely selling    something which you have got; It's much more complicated -    You sell what you have NOT. And the thing that makes exciting

So Long Pershing Square


Farewell thenBill Ackman,"Activist investor".Whatever that means.You made a few good trades,and a couple of friendsalong the way(like Ezra Mirkin,and some guy you metin a cab).You also made some stinkers,and a bushelful-o'-enemies - on The Street,in Congress,at the SEC,and the DOJ(to name a few)."Shootin'-The-Moon"was your strong-suit,butrisk-managementwas not.Which is jolly-finewhen it works,but



Upon seeing the miraculous photo of a headset-less Mark Zuckerberg walking through an Oculus Sea, I thought that this post, written in 2012 was just as, if not more apt today than when it was written. All comments most welcome.  Pleasure Principles “What will fill the vacuum formerly occupied by religion?” The

Where are all the Jewish Momentum Traders?


Many would find financial research a curious pursuit. And while most curious financial researchers have their own peculiar or arcane interests, one area of modern finance continues to intrigue and mystify me: "Why are there so few Jewish momentum investors?" Now before the ADL or JDL launch a protes taking issue with this post before giving it a fair read, let me first clarify several points at

Financial Psalm 11


Financial Psalm 11 1 In FANG we take refuge.     How then can one say to investors:     “Flee like a rat on a sinking ship?" 2 For look, the Pessimists bend their bows;     And Shorts set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows     at the heart of the momentumous(1) uptrend. 3 When the foundations are being shaken,     and all the Lord's investment styles fail,     

Bear Market in Integrity Continues (Late 2015 edition)


Things, people, and/or ideas believed to have integrity, now seemingly compromised...(the second third  fourth latest updated and expanded version). The bear market in integrity continues unrelentingly…2015 edition. Volkswagen Porsche Audi Fantasy Sports Theranos Mt Gox Lufthansa NFL Football Air-Pressure Bill Cosby Pot Noodles Michel Platini "Kids Company" Charity Student Loans Rabobank US

Giving The People What They Want


p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; } We live in a golden age of near-exponential knowledge-growth and consolidation in general, and more particularly, as it relates to drug discovery. That said, while Moore's Law incessantly drives down the cost semiconductors and related electronic equipment, and algorithmic software innovations are on the cusp of driving down the cost of much

Finding Fault in Fault-Finding


My spouse is an expert fault-finder, never failing to expose, highlight, broadcast, lay bare, unshroud, feature, examine, emphasize, reiterate, assert, underscore and remind ME of MY faults, weaknesses, inadequacies, shortcomings, failings and defects. And of course, my spouse is often "right" insofar as I am quite imperfect, and (one of) the first to admit this rather human condition. For I

Farewell then Daiichi Chuo Kisen


Farewell then Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha. 9132. Sunk by "slumping rates"; Torpedoed by falling demand; Capsized by the stormy seas of market forces, so you said. Fact is: you've been 'listing' for decades, and many times before I thought you'd abandon ship.   Your debt could have filled the holds of several of your handy-sized bulk carriers. You'd survived depressions, inflations,

Limitations of Pillory


pillory /pɪləri/ verb past tense: pilloried; past participle: pilloried 1. historical put (someone) in a pillory. 2. attack or ridicule publicly. "he found himself pilloried by members of his own party" synonyms: attack, criticize, censure, condemn, denigrate, find fault with, give a bad press to, lambaste, flay, savage, brand, stigmatize, cast a slur on, denounce;  Bold political leadership

Life Imitates Art


p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; } Marauders, pirates, outlaws, scallywags, and gangs of opportunistic thugs have, since time immemorial, been the scourge of civilized folk pursuing ordinary civilized life. Some have been officially-sanctioned (think Drake or Surcouf), while others were banished from society to life on the periphery (think Ronin). Most, from my anecdotal

What Have The Europeans Ever Done For Us


p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; } The interior of UKIPs headquarters. A darkened room with a very conspiratorial atmosphere. Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell are seated at a table at one end of the room. Steve Baker, dressed in Activist gear — black robes and a red sash around his head — is standing by a plan on the wall. He is addressing an audience of about eight

Farewell Alan Bond


So Farewell then Alan Bond. The most infamous Ozzie contrapreneur. You gave Laurie Connell a "run for his money". (no pun intended) Few young specs will recall your name; But, they should. For you were a case study on the peril(s) of paying way too much. Apparently, you also stole lots of things - illegally. But at least you stole THE Cup from the Yanks fair and square. (With

FIRE !!!! (J.K.....)


Guy walks in to the shadows of a crowded movie theatre. Yells "FIRE!!!!!". People scramble to exit. Some get trampled and hurt. It's ugly.  A few skeptics remain (for the movie's still running).  Of course, there's no fire. But people are prudently herd-oriented by nature so react viscerally.  The guy emerges from the shadows, and coolly takes a prime seat - perhaps his objective all along?  Some

Yellen Isn't Yellin' Anymore


During times of liquidation, panic, and revulsion, when authorities are trying to establish a definitive floor under asset prices, and create an atmosphere of greater confidence in order to assuage fears and encourage longer-term capital investment, there is reasonable benefit clearly telegraphing policy intentions. Speculators may (and probably will) use this elevated level of certainty to

Dear Mr Activist - What Have You Wrought?


That FANUC Reply to ThirdPoint (in full)


Giving is Easy - Taking is Hard


Despite the occasional satirical joke, I've never had a grave problem with QE. Like many other sober-minded observers, QE, seen in its temporal context, was one of the few available weapons to put a floor under floor asset prices, finance the large counter-cyclical deficits thus preventing the worst of a delveraging-induced revulsion and associated dislocations of unemployment and output gaps, in

"Pulling Out All The Stops"


Journos, observers, commentators, bloggers, traders, analysts, strategies, newscasters, reporters, and so it seems just about everyone else has a view on QE. And the result is overwhelmingly INTENSE. They've PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS!!!!. No, not the ECB. I mean, anyone writing about the ECB's announced policy actions. Below is an exhaustive (hyperbole?)list of the terms and associated language

A Recursive Crisis of Faith in My Chosen Lack of Faith


Idiocy. Hypocrisy. Uncountable belief paradoxes, logical flaws and non-sequitirs. Demagoguery. Magical thinking. Legitimacy of dubious Profits. One would be forgiven if one's first thoughts turned to the financial industry. Rather, as a sympathetic [amateur] satirist, I am of course referring to religion. Such is my dismay at the actions of people claiming to speak, and act in the name of