20 Questions

Given the somewhat large noise-to-signal ratio across very thin markets over the past two days as many players are on holiday, this seems like a good time for a quick 20 Questions:

1) Which trades first in SPX: 1000 or 1150?
2) Have we seen the lows in 10yr Bund yields (2.55%)?
3) Will France get downgraded this year?
4) Can Schatz yields get down to ZERO?
5) Will the Chinese ever buy European peripheral guvvies again?
6) How many Eurozone Guvvies will the ECB buy?
7) In what millennium will the average tenure of Japanese PMs be measured in years, rather than days?
8) Will the BoE hike this year?
9) Has unemployment turned in Spain?
10) Who will win next year's Eurovision?
11) Will the EU/IMF have to stump up more money than currently announced?
12) What's the appropriate name for the next stage of the Gulf effort?
13) Will Prudential get taken over?
14) Will the Eurozone crisis morph into a global economic crisis a la Lehman?
15) Who will win the World Cup?
16) How long will the UK's Lib-Con coalition last?
17) How soon will David Laws be back in the Cabinet?
18) Which trades first in EURUSD: 1.15 or 1.30?
19) If the Eurozone breaks up into Club Med and Greater Germania, which bloc does France end up in?
20) Where will Gold be on 1st September? Sub-1150, 1150-1250, or above-1250?

BONUS QUESTION: If the speed limit on a three lane motorway is 70mph, what does the speed limit have to be in order to get the same amount of traffic through a two lane contraflow. And once you've worked out the answer, please sent it to the Department of Transport who seem to think it's 40 or 50.
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June 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM ×

Haha... All right I hope I'm not going to make a fool of myself. As the share of the traffic on each lane goes up from 1/3 to 1/2, throughput has to increase by (1/2)/(1/3) which gives a speed limit of 70*(3/2)=105. Not sure the DoT would agree though...

June 2, 2010 at 10:43 AM ×

BPs new operation is called operation trim and suck. Suck and blow was considered too obscene and anything with reacharound in it would bring back bad memories of their former CEOs private life.

June 2, 2010 at 10:56 AM ×

Oxon. Correct. Take top marks and please forward your answer with workings to Mr D Cameron, as whoever is in charge of transport probably won't be by the time your letter arrives.

Best regards

June 2, 2010 at 12:18 PM ×

re 17) Nevermind the Cabinet, will he ever make it back in the closet?

June 2, 2010 at 12:50 PM ×

1) SPX 1150 first
8) BoE will not hike this year
12) Gulf effort: SUCK not BLOW
18) EURUSD: 1.15 first
20) Gold will be sub 1150

June 2, 2010 at 1:44 PM ×

So if they went down to one lane, should I infer that 210 would be an appropriate speed limit?

June 2, 2010 at 2:36 PM ×

70 mph, lets not make it too hard on them

12) Operation "There isn't a clause against this in my Golden Parachute.. See ya"

June 2, 2010 at 3:03 PM ×


Hollywood to the rescue?

June 2, 2010 at 3:56 PM ×

Brilliant idea, 20 questions. Now I will have something to do on the train this afternoon...

14) Yes, but, surely, for heaven's sake, not until after 15) is over.

June 2, 2010 at 7:39 PM ×

12. The bottom kill. Prep includes the bendover.

June 3, 2010 at 5:15 AM ×

19) Club Med. The French will prefer to be the lesson givers in Club Med than the lesson takers in Greater Germania. There is already an institutional framework for that : the Union for the Mediterranean.
Think about it : Central Banker for the Union for the Mediterranean, based in Barcelona, tax-free salary. The dream job for eurocrats !

June 3, 2010 at 6:52 AM ×

1. 1000. A few more dead bodies in Europe have to float to the top right?
2. No. One of the few "safe" places to hide
3. Yes. Rating agecny "make-up calls" will err on the down-grade side
4. No. Not even Japan 2 year has gone to zero.
5. For a parallel, foreign official instituions sold agnecy bonds for 16 straight months. From July 2008-Oct 2009. So it's going to be a while. http://www.ustreas.gov/tic/agnsect.txt
6. Fed bot $1.1 tln in MBS of an approx $9 tln market. So around 12%. Total debt of the PIIGS is around $4tln. So if ECB takes about an equal share as the Fed did with MBS you get somewhere between $400-500bln.
7. Next decade, when Koizumi's son Shinjiro wins. http://shinjiro.info/
8. No, Swervin Mervyn still in the woodshed after his Northern Rock flip-flop
9. Yes, if labor re-form passes this month.
10. Song will be in English, performed by a Bulgarian. Maybe this woman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFqyiquFbPk&feature=related
11. Think most of the additional help will come from ECB.
12. So Long and Thanks for All the Dead Fish
13. Yes, and hopefully their Olivia Newton-John logo will go with it. http://vector4u.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/prudential-logo.jpg
14. Not as bad. Governments won't let another Lehman happen.
15. Ivory Coast. African world-cup, Drogba on fire, coolest jersies. Place your bet at 33-1 odds
16.Shortly after England exits the World Cup
17. A combo sex/expenses scandal. Don't think anytime soon, at least not in this coalition
18. 1.15. Below its IPO.
19. Greater Prussia
20. Above 1250 (simply based on the EUR forecast).

June 3, 2010 at 9:06 AM ×

1) 1150, we'll get more vol & sideways markets before we will resume a trend either way.
2) No, as panic can always drive yields lower. On a longer scale, I do think we're close to the lows.
3) Probably
4) They can go negative like CHF yields
5) How else can they diversify?
6) Net none, it's all sanitized right?
7) This millennium
8) Yes
9) Nothing can go up forever
10) None of next year's entries are known yet so unknown - despite all the conspiracy/collusion theories that all the losers whine about, in practice there's completely different winners each year
14) Yes, where's the emerging market debt crisis?
15) Germany always wins
16) >3 years
18) 1.30, we're bound to have at least one severe short squeeze
19) Eurozone will not break up
20) above-1250, never underestimate a trend