Showing posts from November, 2010

ChromeOS and Android: there can be only one

Since I dived into Android and started thinking about 'what it could be', it is obvious that a lot of what android does is supposed to be delivered by ChromeOS.

First, I had to freshen up on ChromeOS. The Google OS that is supposed to be a windows killer is a web-browser centric view of the world has 'cloud' written all over it. The net-centric PC has been in the making for 15 years. There is nothing earth-shattering in there but yet another Linux kernel. Of course, where google could really kill it, is if they replicated the success of MacOSX. After all the rebirth of apple included "leveraging" open source and providing a closed source UI on top it. And what a great job they have done at it. A part of me hopes Goog will deliver on the UI front. It could be enough for me to try it.

Android meanwhile is targeted at the mobile platform with touch as an input device. It seems to me that these "differences" are cosmetic. At heart we are talki…

Android and Java Portability and bloat.

I have seriously gotten back into development. For the past 2 month, I have been toiling away on Open Remote's controller, porting the ORB (our java base controller) to android.

First I must admit to being profoundly amused and tickled. It is obvious to me that Android is way on the path to becoming the center of everything in home automation.

There is a simple reason for that, it is a standards based platform (linux+java) that ships with reference hardware at a unbeatable price. It is also sexy, at least if you are into that sort of fetichisme.

Google TV also promises to push Droids in your home, whether you like it or not. So what has been dogging the industry for so long, the lack of an available standard platform that is mass distributed and available everywhere, is about to be a non-issue.

At OpenRemote we also take a slightly different angle on the droid thing. Not only is it a cool panel, we also view it as a server. Whether with a panel or headless, it is a cool contr…

Shadow Banking Blueprint: thoughts on regulation/minsky

This morning's FT comes with a very interesting article. The article itself recoils in horror at the graphic of the structure of the modern banking system, comparing to a "motherboard". It also references a paper by the NYFed which is the origin of the diagram. The paper is a lot more interesting (click to enlarge, and you still won't see anything :))

I have skimmed the 80 odd pages article. It is really a factual description of the "blueprint" of the shadown banking system. There is a little bit of analysis and that has captured my attention. Page 72, article 9:

(9) Regulation by function is a more potent style of regulation than regulation by institutional form. Regulation by function could have ““caught”” shadow banks earlier:

I find this statement both very interesting and somewhat immature. Basically what this says is that the standard regulation framework that of balance sheet of depositor banks, failed to effectively regulate liquidity levels. Why…

QE0:private QE2:keynesian

At the risk of becoming a QE-bore, I want to write about current discussions on the topic. The topic of how money gets created is so counter intuitive to most people even confusing and sometimes so disgusting that it bears repeating.
Basically I grew up taking for granted the "store of value" component of modern fiat money. In a word, you work for your money and the money represents the value you have created and amassed. This is usually where people conflagrate morals with money.
But the truth is that fiat money is created out of thin-air. First by the monetary authority and second by the banking system. Basically the FED creates "high-powered" reserve money and then the bank create "credit" money on top of it.
The banks are not *really* constrained in how much money they can create. The fractional reserve mechanism has been turned on its head. First the banks create loans and then seek reserves to match them. And second the securitization mechanism has ena…

The new cold war: QE2 and the G20

There is a post over at nakedcapitalism wondering about the timing of QE2 with respect to the upcoming G20 meetings. The conclusion is incompetence. That Bernanke cuts Geithner off at the knees.
I was wondering about the timing of the events myself. Why do it right before the G20? I do however make a slightly different assumption that Geithner and Bernanke coordinate. Then it follows that the attack and the timing is done on purpose and it then follows that this is an act of "financial war".
QE2 from a trading partner perspective creates 1/ De facto devaluation of the dollar 2/ De facto soft default on debt (repay debt with thin-air money) 3/ Carry trade, hot inflows
#1 and #2, i consider to be self evidently aggressive to trade partners. Why 3 is a threat may be a bit more indirect. A strong carry trade can induce inflation in already over-heating economies. This is already at work in CN. Most emerging countries are considering capital restrictions. There are many…

QE2, the good, the bad, the ugly

QE2 is here. It was announced yesterday that the FED will print up to 1T of new money and buy all kinds of things with it but mostly bonds.
Couple more thoughts
1/ Social engineering At a moment when politics in the US is at a standstill, the FED, unilaterally, is going to print 1T of money, without anyone's supervision, in order to restart the economy. Of course, the tax debate is irrelevant since this is brand new money out of thin air. The fact is that modern policy is conducted by the FED. It is also targeted at the haves, and will hurt the have-nots.
2/ China QE2, at heart is a way for the US to default on its foreign obligations. The risk is a debt trap, where the interest on debt consumes GDP. This is a way to solve the foreign debt trap problem. If the US wanted to get back at China for currency manipulation, this is it.
3/ FOREX In general, QE2 is just creating a massive carry trade where, people borrow in dollars and just spend it OUTSIDE the US. Meaning the growth will…