Wednesday, August 03, 2011

895 They Have Better Deadbeats Over There

895  They Have Better Deadbeats Over There

The venerable Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC to you, bills itself as the “World’s Local Bank,” but apparently it’s gotten a little too local.  And so they’re going to cut back a little here and there -- and here and there -- and there and here, and lop another 25 thousand employees off the payroll and close a bunch of US branches and open a bunch of new ones in places where people actually have money, unidentified “emerging markets.”

These 25 thousand will join about five thousand others who already have been canned.  

London based HSBC is among the world’s largest retail bankers.  And our money is no longer good enough for them.  They took a beating in the bank meltdown here and they’ve had enough of us.  And, incidentally, of Russians and Poles.

Granted, the US dollar ain’t what it used to be or what it should be and the Ruble never was worth anything.  So why not substitute a currency with some growth potential.  Like the Kwacha of Zambia or the Lev of Bulgaria?

Plus the mere announcement that they’re closing up shop here shot their stock through the roof of the London Stock Exchange and yanked the entire Financial Times Stock Index higher, at least for awhile.  No surprise there.  The higher the body count, the higher the stock goes.  How about firing everyone, and set stock exchange record highs.

Well, blokes, lots of luck over in Zambia and Bulgaria.  No pesky banking regulations there.  Plenty of loan business.  And it’s well known that the business owners of Uzbekistan and Cambodia are far more reliable than, say, DuPont and Microsoft.

A better class of deadbeats.   And no debt ceilings.

But all those closings here may be premature. A little patience and we might be as third world as Haiti and Croatia.  We’re certainly heading in that direction.

Shrapnel (sorta-sports edition):

--First it was Tonya Harding, former champion skater and attacker of a competitor, now it’s Octo-mom Nadya Suleman turning semi-pro boxer.  Suleman has a bout scheduled in Massachusetts.  Guess all the donations ran out and she still has that mortgage and all those mouths to feed.

--Plaxico Burress signs with the Jets, Michael Vick is back on the field, Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t been in known trouble for -- oh, it must be months now.  Maybe they should call it the National Felons League.  Anybody know if OJ is interested in coaching when he gets out of jail?

--Already overtaxed voters in Nassau County on New York’s Long Island have defeated a nearly half-billion dollar bond issue to rebuild the ramshackle Coliseum, home of the ramshackle NHL Islanders whose lease expires in 2015, if the building holds together that long.  The Isles haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 18 years.  A better performance on the ice might lead voters to re-think their rejection as would a mass exodus of the political hacks that pass for government out that way.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2011

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