Follow Up

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Long-time readers may recall the all time great rant in the history of this space, which took the form of an open letter to Gordon Brown on UK immigration policy. Alas, the stamp that Macro Man acquired in his passport during that episode expires on Monday, and he is therefore compelled to journey to the armpit of the universe, Lunar House in Croydon, to acquire another.

Not that this episode was without drama, of course; when Macro Man rang the immigration people on Monday to get an appointment, he was told that the first one was in March...thereby resulting in a whole host of complications. After a rather stressful conversation in which the public "servant" refused to explain his options to him, your author hung up fearing the worst. Funnily enough, however, when Mrs. Macro's dulcet Lancashire tones rang a few minutes later, a spot opened up on Wednesday, i.e. today. "When would you like?" the chap asked. "We can fit you in at 2 pm, 10 am, or whenever...."

Ugh. That's the sort of wonderful results that the soon-to-be 50% top rate of tax has achieved. Lest readers think that Macro Man single-handedly alienated the immigration people with his high-falutin' hedge fund ways, let's just say that these people are no more pleasant (or indeed helpful) to those less well off than your author.

In any event, while Macro Man is in Lunar House (motto: Gitmo without the glitter), here are a few questions for readers to consider. Hopefully the formatting will work right this time....

Posted by Macro Man at 8:17 AM  


Lunar House.........blimey, an American makes it to the moon after all

Baerchen said...
9:26 AM  

Must be a big city thing. The Liverpool office has always been courteous when I have needed them.

I remember when I moved from NYC to Connecticut I was shocked at the difference in attitude at both the post office and the DMV.

Where in Lancashire?


Manc Trader said...
9:32 AM  

Sorry MM, but you screwed up the formatting for the last question (EUR/USD). Looking at the source code, it is missing the "script" link (I can get to it only by turning javascript off).

Anonymous said...
10:24 AM  

Just go - you know you want to.

Anonymous said...
10:30 AM  

Lunar House is probably the biggest and ugliest building in the UK.

It is like a giant prison with a dark and cold soul. Croydon isn't better.

A big part of our taxes go there and in Woolwich. You need to see these places yourself as it is really impressive.

Anonymous said...
10:40 AM  

The mighty mighty Chorley.....

(MM q'ing in Croydon)

Anonymous said...
10:44 AM  

May I ask for Mrs. Macro's assistance? I, too, need an appointment at Croyden for Indefinite Leave. I called every day for weeks last fall. I tried the internet system. I could not get an appointment, despite the fact that they will charge me £1300 for the privilege (for me + dependents).

CDN Trader said...
10:58 AM  

Tell you what Mr Macro, definitely worth taking Brit citizenship just to avoid Croydon. It also makes traveling easier around the EU and the US govt doesn't care. I did it about four years ago and, I have to say, don't miss Lunar House the tiniest bit. By the way, getting UK papers is a doddle, much easier than getting American citizenship(took me two years of solid effort to get it for my kids).

Anonymous said...
11:09 AM  

I wonder if Achilleas Kallakis still owns Lunar House and if he still plans to tear it down? Oh, but this doesn't look too good. I don't have time to read all this to understand what was going on.

Anonymous said...
11:32 AM  

On the first two questions it told me I "voted already" even tho I hadn't.

Funny we are bearish again, aren't we? I have a bad feeling about this...

The HFR macro index though shows that their constituents have been getting absolutely shelaqued, so either they have been long, or short bonds, or both.

Steve said...
11:46 AM  

Don't they take baksheesh?

Anonymous said...
11:52 AM  


Pull up HFRXM index and then pull up AHL Directional - EDFDGLI ID and I think it does a pretty good job at showing how quant/non-discretionary the underlying funds must be.

Anonymous said...
12:01 PM  

Good Luck and GodSpeed on your journey to Lunar House; Frodo probably had an easier time taking the ring back to Mordor...

Anonymous said...
12:28 PM  

I'm kind of surprised that we can't opt for the Spoos below 1k, with the politicization of the fed and all that belt tightening in fiscal policy the developed markets are feeling very deflationary again, even Roubini is calling for an almost North Korean austerity program in Greece.

Nemo Incognito said...
12:45 PM  

Why are readers here so bearish and then with so short a time frame (i.e until 31st of March)?

All I hear from sell side analysts is "buy the dip", "BUY the dip!" ... but then again they are SELL side :).


CV said...
1:50 PM  

skip lunar house and return to pitt---america needs to tax you

Anonymous said...
2:19 PM  

Thanks Anon, I see what you mean. The MAN one is worth watching too, on my list now...

Steve said...
2:37 PM  

For what it's worth, the US are no more competent...
I'm 7months into the process, and still waiting for a date for the final interview (and hoping it comes before my visa runs out in the summer), despite having had medical exams, fingerprints taken, photos, etc....

Our Man in NYC said...
3:02 PM  

6.45 door to door...and I live a 15 minute train ride from Croydon. Ugh. I thought they wanted to grant me de facto indefinite leave to remain by forcing me to remain in the waiting area indefinitely....

Nemo, the poll originally did have a <1000 response. But the f&^*%&^*%&* free widget cut it off and refused to re add despite my best efforts. None of these free poll widgets work worth a damn...truly a case of 'you get what you pay for.'

Macro Man said...
4:08 PM  

In re UK citizenship, it isn't at all that "the US govt doesn't care," it is the existence of a dual-citizenship treaty between the two countries.

wcw said...
4:57 PM  

Steve & Anon - I checked out the tickers you mentioned and see that they have had a rough time of it. But I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what the significance of this might be...if any? Is this analogous to looking at a grid of relative style performance and seeing, for example, value under performing.

Or are you just checking it out as a benchmark for your own performance?

Just wondering. Penny for your thoughts.

der Tillman said...
5:15 PM  


As far as I know, the US doesn't subscribe to any dual citizen treaties. As far as the US government is concerned, US citizens are US citizens and only US citizens. It does, however, recognize that some countries won't allow you to abandon their citizenship and since the late 70s (I think) hasn't made people looking to be naturalized US citizens actually renounce their foreign citizenships. Of course, when you're naturalized American you swear allegiance to the US. But you're not asked to abandon your foreign papers. Effectively they're saying go ahead be a citizen of any other country but your primary allegiance is to us. The key rule the US government has in this regard is that if you're American you have to enter the country on your US passport. Otherwise, they don't care. Nor does the UK force you to abandon any other citizenship. Both countries are perfectly happy that you have both.

Anonymous said...
5:33 PM  

@ anon 1109: "the US govt doesn't care."

Oh, yes it does! There is an exit tax on US citizens renouncing their citizenship which was part of the "HEART" Act passed by Bush in 2008.

You can, for example, find some details here:

Anonymous said...
8:53 PM  

Chorley.... that accounts for your astonishing familiarity with Scouse and Manc culture. Although that's definitely Woolyback territory out there, MM.

leftback said...
10:51 PM  

anon 8:53

When I said the US govt doesn't care, I meant it doesn't care whether you've got dual or triple or quadruple citizenship, so long as you pay your taxes and don't do anything illegal. The Bush "HEART" act reflects the belief by US authorities that the only people in their right minds who'd want to renounce a US citizenship (not renounce, not have another one as well) are people who want to avoid taxes levied on US citizens. Judging by people I know who have renounced their US citizenship, they're probably right.

Anonymous said...
9:00 AM  

sorry, that last message should have said (note, renounce, not have another one as well)

Anonymous said...
9:01 AM  

I didn't think it was possible to have dual citizenship (i.e. US + n others) any longer?

Anonymous said...
10:09 AM  

Of course you can, it's no problem whatsoever. I know loads of Yanks who have British (or even Irish) passports.

Macro Man said...
10:13 AM  

There wasn't an option for "below 1000, possibly below 900" on the S&P vote, so I just took the lowest available.

Seriously though, fun and games are over.

No, really.

Also, Gold is over and the USD is back.

Pie anyone?

Anonymous said...
4:19 PM  

Der Tillman,

When most people talk about Macro funds they are mainly describing qualitative/discretionary funds that try to stay long gamma and predominantly trade rates & fx. These are your Brevan, Tudor, Moore, Soros etc.

However there are also systematic/quant/CTAs funds that trade the same liquid futures and fx markets - of which AHL diversified is 1 of the largest. These are typically described as CTAs not macro funds.

However the performance of the HFRXM index looks more like CTA performance as demonstrated by AHL vs HFRXM. Most macro funds were up 10-20% last year not down 9%.

I haven't run the analysis to see how they blend all the different macro sub-categories but it seems to me overly weighted towards cta/quant funds and thus not a terribly accurate representation of the bulk of the money described as macro in the market.

Hope this helps

Anonymous said...
4:54 PM  

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