Time To Invest In Pork Bellies And Beans

pork belly and beans
Preparing for war: Pork bellies and beans (source)

When I was in my teens (yes I can remember that far back) everybody was interested in the events leading up to World War One (Our Grandads had been involved you see)and being an avid reader I devoured various novels and memoirs on the social conditions, political chicanery, elitist snobbery and stupidity and commercial opportunism that guided our blundering path to a senseless conflict.

And one think that fascinated me, because I knew nothing of the soldiers’ diet was the economic advice to invest in pork bellies and beans.

Many commentators in traditional and new media have commented on how similar current political conditions are to what happened in 1914, with powerful alliances refusing to back down. And then today I read something that is really worrying.

Having $50 billion of assets under potential seizure is enough to make anyone wince. However, despite a carefuly worded statement on the Yukos award, (a dispute over some Russian oil company) Vladimir Putin seems totally unfazed by the threat of further sanctions being imposed over the flight MH17 controversy. Now I think I understand why, and it’s very concerning.

As The FT reports:

The award is a landmark not just for its size – 20 times the previous record for an arbitration ruling. The tribunal also found definitively that Russia’s pursuit of Yukos and its independently-minded main shareholder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a decade ago was politically motivated.

Though Russia cannot appeal against the award, Moscow said it would pursue all legal avenues for trying to get it “set aside”.

Even if the ruling stands, shareholders face a tortuous battle trying to enforce it. If Moscow refuses to pay, they must pursue Russian sovereign commercial assets in the 150 countries that are party to the so-called 1958 New York Convention on enforcing arbitration awards.

But perhaps this explains why Putin is not coming out swinging, as The FT concludes,

One person close to Mr Putin said the Yukos issue was noit significant in light of the bigger geopolitical stand-off over Ukraine.

“There is a war coming in Europe,” he said. “Do you really think this matters?”

Source: The Financial Times

Well, got to go, I have to instruct my broker to buy pork bellies and beans futures.

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