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Today's quote:

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

The day BHP fell off a cliff

Four trading days later, BHP had climbed up the cliff again: today's closing price is $48.32


It was the day the world's biggest kleptocrat and now richest man invaded Ukraine. The day was Thursday, 24 February, and the whole sharemarket tanked, including BHP which, having closed at $48.10 the previous day, dropped to $44.16 and closed at $44.77.

Forget Dickens' "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times"; these are the worst of times, what with COVID-19, infernal bushfires, torrential floods, and now a Russian madman staring into the abyss, and the abyss staring back at him. Listen to this former NATO chief here.

Putin may be mad but his timing was impeccable. As Daniel Yergin, author of "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power", put it, timing was key: "This was a very advantageous time for Putin to move. The oil market always goes through cycles, but it’s just gone through the most violent cycle that I’ve ever studied — from negative prices less than two years ago to an incredibly tight market. Whether Putin calculated that or not, he chose a time when oil markets are really tight, gas markets are really tight, coal markets are really tight, and he’s a big exporter of all three. So he’s a beneficiary of it. That gives him leverage. So whatever this terrible invasion is costing Russia, he’s making a lot of money from a higher oil price."

My advice (for what it's worth): offer asylum in the West to deserting Russian soldiers! You'll see the Russian army melt away in seconds. And confiscate all Russian assets held abroad to pay for the destruction in Ukraine. It's called war reparations. Germans paid them for decades.

Googlemap Riverbend


P.S. An old friend in the 'Gong whose sense of humour is as weird as mine, just sent me this Putin joke: 'Vladimir Putin, in order to get on the good side of voters, goes to visit a school in Moscow to have a chat with the kids. He talks to them about how Russia is a powerful nation and how he wants the best for the people. At the end of the talk there is a section for questions. Little Sasha puts her hand up and says, "I have two questions. Why did the Russians take Crimea and why are we sending troops to Ukraine?" Putin says, "Good questions". But just as he is about to answer, the bell goes and the kids go to lunch. When they come back, they sit down and there is room for some more questions. Another girl, Misha, puts her hand up and says "I have four questions. Why did the Russians invade Crimea? Why are we sending troops to Ukraine? Why did the bell go 20 minutes early? And where the f**k is Sasha?"' Should we print it on a million leaflets and drop them on Russia?