Banana Counting Monkey

Saturday, January 04, 2003:

New Scientific Law

Or at least what should, if real world experience is any guide.

Don't trust Dictators. Any agreement you sign will be violated. You will get screwed over.

Of course, we all know that something like experience is to be ignored when it comes to rosy Transnsational progressive dreams. Real world experience is a classic western imperial racist sexist&trade construct which must be denounced and destroyed. Yadda, yadda.

Here is the latest example,
Canada getting screwed over by Castro's Cuba.

Taxpayers, along with small and medium-sized businesses in Canada, have been burned by Castro ever since the Prime Minister and ministers such as Paradis started promoting trade with the tropical tyranny.

Mississauga-based Adecon Ship Management, for instance, provides refinancing and administrative services to Cuban shipping companies. The Cuban government currently owes it US$2.2-million, but is ignoring a Canadian federal court order, delivered through proper diplomatic channels, to pay up.

When an Adecon director went to Havana at Cuba's invitation to negotiate a settlement, he was detained and his files taken away when he refused to drop his Canadian court case against the Cubans. In a communication marked "confidential," Jennifer Irish, then chargé d'affaires for the Canadian Embassy in Havana, said the "official Cuban reaction has been that the documents are 'subversive to the Cuban economy' and are being used as the basis for an investigation...." Yet the documents merely show that Castro's government did in fact owe Adecon money for services rendered. The company's director and papers were released only when the Canadian government intervened. Adecon is now tracking Cuban ships around the world and impounding them in order to force payment.

Canada's Export Development Corporation has used the same strategy for recovering Cuban loans, using taxpayers' money to provide accounts receivable insurance for Canadian exporters. The EDC had the ship MV Caribbean Queen, owned by Cuba, detained in Casablanca, Morocco, in 2001 before it collected on a debt amounting to approximately $500,000. It had another Cuban ship detained in a French port until the Cuban government settled out of court. But these are only small victories in a much larger battle for repayment that EDC is losing.

BCM // 11:25 AM

Broken Link

So, yesterday we finally get Canadian snow here in T.O. I go to work and I'm going for the subway when its doors close. Oh well. I turn to stop and find out the hard way that the platform is very, very slick and slippery. I go down hard, landing on my wrist. Gratuitous pain and swearing all around. Get taken to the hospital and after four hours sum total get treated for a broken wrist. Yay. Oh yay oh yipee oh @#$%^%!!!!!!. That's my good hand in a cast for six weeks. This is me writing this post in five times as long with my off hand.

I cannot possibly enumerate the number of ways this sucks. I don't even get a regular plaster cast until next week. In the meantime, if anyonw wants to sign my vitrual cast, please feel free to do so under the comments!

BCM // 8:30 AM

Thursday, January 02, 2003:

Ethical Mutual Funds

In regards to my
previous post on the Sierra Club opening up its own family of mutual funds,
commented that he'd found that "Good Guy" mutual funds had outperformed the relevant indicies since 1999 as per Morningstar. I tried Morningstar's page, but don't really want to pay the USD subscription fee. I do have access to a Canadian Morningstar page through my brokerage account though, so I'm going to compare the Canadian funds. I haven't looked yet, so we'll see whether or not I eat crow.

The only "Good Guy" funds I've been able to find so far for Canada are Ethical funds.

So, fund by fund, Simply summing the % returns for the three years '99-'01. (Yes, I am aware of the statistical sin I am committing, however the results remain the same on whether or not the funds outperformed the relevant index during this time.)

Fund Fund Index Outperform 3 year Index?
Ethical Special Equity 32.6 16.2 Yes
Ethical Income 11.6 17.2 No
Ethical Global Bond (4.4) 1.0 No
Ethical Growth (0.6) 26.5 No
Ethical Balanced 4.7 16.8 No
Ethical North American* (54.7) 2.1 No
Ethical Pacific Rim (33.8) 12.3 No

* To be fair, this fund wildly outperformed the index over '98-2000.

So, that's where my disdain of "Good Guy" funds comes from. If one wanted to check the Ethical Funds' stats out themselves, I'd go here or here. Check the URL on the second one. How's that for sanctimony?

BCM // 6:25 PM

I Have Been Told.


BC Monkey: about time you got back to work. Slack off again, and I’ll force you to drink American beer. The worst kind.

Under such dire threat, Hitler would have gone back to housepainting.

BCM // 5:59 PM

Monday, December 30, 2002:

Sierra Club to Launch Mutual Funds

Why, oh why, is it not possible to short sell mutual funds like you can stocks?

I saw an interview about this on CNBC, and this is the
closest I've seen to substantiating it. (Question 8) Damm, if the Sierra club is going to appear on CNBC, you'd think they could at least have a link to the proposed mutual funds on their webpage?

8. The Sierra Club Board is currently considering a proposal for a Sierra Club mutual fund. Please state whether or not you support such a proposal and what questions should be asked about the proposal in order to make a sound judgement.

I support exploring the possibility of a Sierra Club branded mutual fund or family of funds because:

1.We focus on electoral politics, while essentially ignoring corporate politics. Yet corporations rival or surpass government power in some areas. We need to be more active in the corporate arena. Sierra Club mutual funds would provide a vehicle for us to encourage environmentally conscious investing. 2.The Club will spend approximately eighty million dollars this year; thus we need to raise that much. Any proposal that both advances our mission and generates income is attractive.

Before supporting a specific proposal I would need to be sure that:

1.We control the "screens" that are used to sort potential investments.
2.The screens prohibit investments in environmentally destructive businesses.
3.The Club is adequately protected from risk.
4.We would generate enough revenue to justify our investment of time and energy.

Eighty million? How the $&$%^&!!! do you have to spend before you are considered to be "big time money" or a "special interest" of "lobbying group"? Which, of course, the SC doesn't consider themselves. No Siree!

4.We would generate enough revenue to justify our investment of time and energy.

Oh, I'm sure the SC will do so. Just put up the MERs to 3.5% and watch the money roll in! Mind you, the investors will get screwed (which is fine- dirty capitalist pigs- expecting a positive return on their money! Exploiters!) as "ethical funds" have historicaly underperfomed other funds by a fairly substantial margin.

BCM // 11:40 AM

Random Thought

I'm sure that North Korea is very, very grateful that their reactor facilities are far out of the range of the Israeli Air Force.

Sigh. If only Israel had a carrier.

BCM // 6:30 AM


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