Widespread Derivative Use

The use of derivatives in industry can be used to mitigate risk faced by companies exposed to underlying commodity price fluctuations. However; under the authority of banks blessed with oligopolistic privilege, derivatives can be abused thereby directly jeopardizing the financial system. 

Short selling is the sale of a borrowed security in anticipation of a market price decline.  The trouble with the short sale phenomenon is one of title. Regulators permit the usage of such transactions in absence of security title.  In fact, the owner of the security may or may not be privy to the fact that his / her shares or certificates had been loaned since such are typically held in trust by brokerages. 

What about illiquid commodity markets such as silver? Should banks be permitted to operate on both sides of the same trade such as possessing long interests and short interests at the same time? It would appear counter intuitive to the profit motive but what if there is a macroeconomic strategy at work activated because of market dominance, oligopolistic privilege, and relationship with central bank authorities?

The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (gata.org) for a period of 19 years has been asking questions with respect to the legitimacy of all market trades and whether surreptitious activity has been undertaken by elite players to protect their positions.  Some distrust of the monetary system as it exists today obviously has had something to do with the bitcoin and crypto-currency phenomenon. 

Stampeders Deserving of New Venue?

Now it’s the CFL commissioner who’s has been espousing what he thinks the city of Calgary needs to support the Calgary Stampeders. 

Well, if you fumble the ball at the three yard line with a minute plus left in the championship game negating the opportunity for a two score point spread and fellow players are indifferent to positioning themselves correctly on the field to defend against the possibility of a fumble – I’m not so sure that the “professionals” care enough about their team for me as a taxpayer to care about them? Seven of them had literally littered the right half of the field immobile. This is not good football. This is laziness and poor execution of backup coverage at the most critical moment of the most critical game in the season. Yes, the Argo scampered the full 107 yards for the TD. This indifference is not dissimilar to the Stampeder holding penalties at critical junctures in the game or the objectional conduct perpetrated by a player wallowing in disappointment over failed execution. 

Miraculously, the Stampeders found redemption with seconds left in the game after a dropped pass when a completion left them within field goal distance of tying. When a second down field goal could have put the game into overtime under poor play conditions, the team opted for the more risky play of throwing down field setting up the ultimate sorry end via interception. 

Any hard core Stampeder fan who witnessed a similar meltdown in 2016 must be questioning their season ticket purchase plan for 2018. I certainly would be.  In fact, I had given up my season tickets years ago not because of poor execution and player indifference but because of the continual interference of fellow fans as they made their frequent trips to the beer stands and loos during the action. For some it’s just a beer fest and the game doesn’t matter much anyways but for a sportsman such as myself, it’s simply too tough to watch at times other than the concluding spectacle. There’s certainly good grace in losing a battle fought with furor but this morning I’m in gratitude for my severed cable TV and having not given this team my attention during the season.            

The Emperor’s Club, A Fifteen Year Foreshadow?

Certainly Donald Trump wouldn’t have carried the school boy swagger of Sedgwick Bell but the type casting in their privilege, quest for political theatre, and propensity for a wayward deed puts

    The Emperor’s Club

back in the limelight in 2017. Set at St. Benedicts boys school, actor Kevin Kline (Mr. Hundert) earnestly teaches Greek / Roman history to boys enraptured by the antics of classmate Bell. A dynamic relationship of mentorship between teacher and student ensues after some fuel filled words of motivation from Sentator dad, Mr. Bell.

Subsequently, the quest for class Julius Caesar (contest) is transfixed by one class clown turned book worm while the teacher pupil dynamic imbibes a particular value based reference (saving you plot). Boys’ adolescent wonderment is served along with theatrics of competitive scholastics.

Their twenty-five year class reunion marked an occasion for testing the virtue of time on past fortunes of fate.

Professional critics give acclaim while general audience were left indifferent. Personally, I found protagonists to deliver poignantly with a message direly needed fifteen years hence in the context of government’s ethical ambiguities.

Declutter At Your Peril?

There are particular recreational and general interest items which you need at the ready in order to stimulate the brain at home. Don’t let your spouse throw out that harmonica that you haven’t used since last year’s family reunion. That book with the marker at page 23 is still going to get read but maybe not tomorrow. How many of you think it would be nice to learn a language but there’s clearly no evidence of learning aids amidst that tidy end table by your TV chair? Someday, right? The discovery of some old dancing shoes may just be the re-think required for reworking old West Coast swing moves. How about that crochet project which isn’t happening because of some subconscious dilemma of tidiness? Is there a family bonding opportunity lost because the scrabble board is tucked away in storage while junior obsesses over some phone app?

We downsize and right size and retool as we grow. Then grandchildren are suspicious of the person of old. Sterility takes hold and the culture becomes cold. Can we live in the new lost from soul sustaining symbols of identity?

If your work commute is more than 45 minutes, it’s detracting from your quality of life and possibly impacting your health. Could the associated fatigue be a cause of waning interest on a home hobby? Perhaps it’s the behaviour modifying influence of a roommate or spouse? What is the cause of deteriorating mental health? Is it all physiological in need of mind altering chemicals? Is there some correlation between the suppression of a creative outlet through the sterilization of home and mental fitness? What about the social impact of a conglomerate of such individuals?

Embracing Calgary’s Winter

You either hide behind your smart phone, TV, tablet or get out there and bask in the sun’s glory when it’s minus eleven, no wind and the snow has settled perfectly awaiting the crispy crunch of your footsteps or ski boots. I for one prefer the slippy slide of skis whether it’s X-country or downhill. I’m typically setting the pace by marking trails for others who look up from the doldrums to discover that winter has its place in an outdoor fitness regime. Calgary has oodles of acres of green space within its park system and public spaces due partly to inept urban planning. You might as well pay tribute to your health while others navigate traffic on their way to the mall. Makes good sense, right?

You can hum and haw at the prospect of finding a fitness friend with all the coordination and texting for confirmation while knowing full well that it’s not of their highest priority, or you make that one time commitment of acquiring some affordable equipment for those occasions of spontaneous winter thrill while leading the charge. Whether it’s from the annual ski swap, Value Village, Sport Chek, or cousin Harry’s garage – winter sporting equipment is available to all who seek refuge from the germs of the gym and electronic frequency.

Speaking of the annual ski swap, a volunteer at the event back in October took time with me to discuss his upcoming ski adventure plans. He had his multi day multi hill pass all picked out which was going to mean fulfilling its benefits by travelling to distant resorts while arranging logistics, rides, time off, and the opportunity cost of time from his studies. There will be the inevitable disappointment of friends, some poor winter road conditions, and lift line ups during the high season. He was perplexed why I picked up the early bird season pass at Nakiska.