mardi 12 décembre 2017

Bitcoin (and Swiss Franc) manias

Currently there is a crypto-mania (mostly around Bitcoin), no doubt about it.
But let's put things into perspective.

The following chart compares two monetary bubbles - the central money bubble of the Swiss Franc (CHF) and the Bitcoin, represented by its market capitalization in US Dollars (USD). Since currently 1 CHF is almost 1 USD, we can put both market capitalizations on the same chart:

Click to enlarge

Let's compare some similarities and differences between Bitcoins and Central bank francs.


- Counterparty: none for both - only fame and trust. Both are purely virtual!

- Why hoarding Bitcoins or Swiss francs ? Because other people do! If people begin to spend or sell BTC's or CHF's, their value will collapse.

- The trigger to inflate those bubbles is the mistrust about EUR, USD and other currencies following different crises of the last decade, ballooning government debt, currency debasing, negative real interest rates (ironically the buyers of CHF are naive enough to ignore that, for the two last points, the same is happening with the CHF!).


- Money creation:
  • BTC: Bitcoins are "mined" on computers, using lots of electricity
  • M0 CHF: Central bank francs need a mouse click and a few keystrokes for ~95% of them; ~5% are printed. So the effort of creating money is minimal compared to Bitcoin (a bit scary if you are living in Switzerland...)
- Storage:
  • BTC: 100% electronic
  • M0 CHF: ~95% electronic, ~5% paper
- Control of money supply:
  • BTC: Limited by design to 21 Million; but forks (Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold) and creation of other cryptocurrencies (1340 currencies so far) challenge that limit.
  • M0 CHF: Unlimited, but reversible: theoretically the Swiss National Bank (SNB) could repurchase the extra 450 Billion francs by selling its reserves in foreign currency stocks and bonds, and could "destroy" those francs. However, now that the SNB reserve fund has the size of a massive worldwide hedge fund, such a selling would have a significant downward effect on prices, or could even trigger a selloff. That could complicate the reduction of money supply: finally, the SNB could be left with a disturbing gap between reserves and money supply...
- How the bubbles inflate:
  • BTC: due to limited supply, the exchange rates soar explosively
  • CHF: the SNB augment the supply explosively in order to control the exchange rate

dimanche 10 décembre 2017

Avindex 1.0, 2017-12-10

Obviously 2017 could be labelled "back in the hot zone".

(click to enlarge)

jeudi 7 décembre 2017

L'effet Philishave

Qu'il est fascinant de contempler des taux négatifs!

La fourchette actuelle (extrémités des courbes à droite sur le graphique) est de -1% (journalier) à 0.42% (obligations à 30 ans) en passant par 0% (10 ans).
Osons le rappeler, ces taux négatifs sont gênants, mais représentent peu de chose par rapport à l'inflation de la monnaie centrale.
Les taux négatifs constituent la partie "soulever le poil" de l'effet Philishave - l'excès d'offre s'occupera de la partie "couper"...

mardi 28 novembre 2017

1 Bitcoin = 10,000 US Dollars ?

...seems to be imminent.

Impressive how well the price is correlated with the rumor (here, measured with Google Trends).
The bitcoin bubble amounts to $166 Billion, according to this site, which sums the crypto bubbles to $309 Billion.
Scary ? These are still baby bubbles.
What about the "Swiss franc coin" bubble (the central bank money created since 2008) ?
Around $500 Billion.

Amazon ? Well above $500 Billion.
And let's not forget the other, bigger, Trillion-size bubbles (real estate, student loans, auto loans, ...).

Enjoy the day!

samedi 28 octobre 2017

Silly Abbreviation Generator (SAG)

An overdue feature (better said: a low-hanging fruit) of the Corporate Bullshit Generator is the Silly Abbreviation Generator (SAG). Now, finally, it is in, and online!

Granular Leadership Development Systems (LDS) lead to opportunity pipelines.
The Chief Client Relationship Officer (CCRO) transgenerates our movable business models by thinking and acting beyond boundaries.
As a result, investor confidence, evolution and responsive design invigorate the Chief Branding Technologist (CBT).
The Chief Internal Audit Officer (CIAO) strategizes incentives, while intellect, delivery framework and discipline influence our review cycles.
Pursuing this route will enable us to manage our key differentiator, while the Chief Digital Marketing Technologist (CDMT) takes control of an efficient, high-priority, values congruence. 
The Chief Value Added Services Officer (CVASO) reinvests in our innovations. 

Under the hood: as for the rest of the Bullshit Generator, the SAG is done in a functional and recursive way:

function Silly_Abbreviation_Generator_SAG (X : String) return String is space : Natural; begin if X'Length = 0 then return ""; end if; space := Index (X, " "); if space > X'First then return X (X'First) & Silly_Abbreviation_Generator_SAG (X (space + 1 .. X'Last)); end if; return (1 => X (X'First)); end Silly_Abbreviation_Generator_SAG;

dimanche 24 septembre 2017

Zip-Ada presentations about Deflate & LZMA

Here are two presentations about recent developments in Zip-Ada (newly programmed Deflate and LZMA encoders):

Click to watch the presentation

Click to watch the presentation

lundi 17 juillet 2017

The trend is your friend...

Bitcoin price, and trend as a Google search

NB: curves' data were retrieved using our free Recurve tool (

Temple of the Beastmen

Exhumé d'une armoire, un jeu garanti "vintage": Temple of the Beastmen, mélange improbable de science-fiction façon Jules Verne / steampunk et de Fantasy médiévale-fantastique, pour les "beastmen". Il s'agit d'explorer le Kraag (une caverne martienne), de s'emparer de trésors, de libérer l'ambassadeur et de se mesurer aux créatures terrifiantes, la plus dangereuse étant l'Indicible Horreur. En passant, on rencontrera le roi Gnaashriik et sa garde, dans la salle du trône.

Attention aux "beastmen" tout juste sortis de la grotte de musculation!

samedi 17 juin 2017


My first online game (I mean, as an author)...

Pasta! is a match-3 puzzle game.
Free of charge, no in-app payment.
Link on the image or here.
Work in permanent progress.
20 levels available so far.
Under the hood: Gnoga.

Enjoy! Caution: high-carb, addictive contents!

jeudi 8 juin 2017

Up, up, up!

Here is a firework of charts that should speak for themselves...

We begin with the Bitcoin:

Then, ladies and gentlemen: the FANGA team (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple):

Click to enlarge

Note that AMZN and GOOGL have reached the 1000$ level almost together. Wow! Congratulations (to the sellers)!

Now, the Dow Jones index, monitored by a very famous Twitter user:

We are a bit plateau-ing here, but still 18% above the "big, fat, ugly bubble" level.
A plateau is bad. People could become hesitant. "We have to go up, up, up"!
Here a zoom out:

The hundreds of billions created and injected every month in the markets by central banks are helpful, of course, for maintaining the uptrend.

Here, a small contributor - but direct buyer of US and European shares - the Swiss National Bank.

Here in logarithmic scale (doubling at each row up):

Two remarks about this:
  • Since last August, the SNB owns more publicly-traded shares in Facebook than Mark Zuckerberg! Source here.
  • The production of central-bank Swiss francs (the credit-based ones from commercial banks is yet another source of fresh money...) is more than 4 billion monthly on average since 2008. Each monthly injection could be enough to finance a bunch of fighter jets, a major tunnel, a social security gap... This for 113 months now!
Not only central banks contribute to the stock market records. There are share buybacks (companies buying their own shares, often with borrowed money) and margin debt (debt directly used for speculation):

Now, you may have some vertigo with all these steep curves.

So, here a flat one - Japan's inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index:

Better ? I have even decreasing curves: central-bank and government yields over time for different durations, from overnight to 30 years (back to Switzerland):

and mortgage rates (fixed-rate 5-year & 10-year mortgage rates of a certain bank, but the other ones follow the same trend):

Happy, now ?

mardi 9 mai 2017

Avindex 1.0, the Big Mac(ron) edition

Stock markets celebrated the election of Emmanuel Macron with VIX (implied volatility index) close to record lows, below 10.

On the big picture of financial markets, this was the main contributor to the latest overshoot in greed:

mardi 28 février 2017

Dow Jones and the twelve records

Twelve records in a row - and not only records, but "numbers that's never been hit before", so these must be very special records 😉 !...

Trump Tweet Twists

Here is a bigger picture:

NB: data was grabbed from a chart using our Recurve tool.

And now a really big picture, including debt...

vendredi 10 février 2017

Data and indices, 2017-02-10

A bunch of updated economic data, in charts.

- our home-made greed index (Avindex): we are clearly in the danger zone for stocks and high-yield bonds.

- long term precious metals prices in USD (current or corrected by CPI or M2 values).

- Baltic Dry index, measuring maritime trade. At 707 points it is below the initial value of 1000, more than 30 years ago!

- Japan Consumer Price Index (CPI) - a chart that is not shown very often. The obvious reason is that it invalidates the legend of the "Japanese Deflation" specter heard from many mainstream economists and other spin doctors.

- USD Libor interest rates: they are still very low, but back to end-2009 levels. How high can they
go before it hurts ?

- US trade balance: trade deficit is still pretty large - will president Trump be able to reverse this situation ?

- Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil barrel price: until mid-2014 it was stabilizing at ~100, then crashed, and now beginning to stabilize at ~50. What's next ?

mercredi 25 janvier 2017

BNS décembre 2016

Résumé de la production de monnaie de la Banque Nationale Suisse (BNS) pour le seul mois de décembre 2016:
  • 6.5 milliards de francs créés à partir de l'air pur des Alpes - cela correspondrait par exemple à un chèque de 812 francs par habitant, ou alors à la moitié du coût du chantier du siècle, le tunnel de base du Gothard, le plus long tunnel ferroviaire du monde.
  • De ces 6.5 nouveaux milliards2.8 ont été imprimés physiquement sous forme de billets - là, on est proche du record mensuel. Imaginez l'émeute si la BNS avait distribué pour Noël des enveloppes, de 350 francs chacune, en tout-ménages, dans toutes les boîtes aux lettres, de Genève à Romanshorn!
Autant dire que les affaires d'Orell Füssli (l'entreprise qui imprime les billets) doivent être florissantes. On plaint les pauvres rotatives. En tout cas, vérifiez que l'encre est bien sèche quand vous allez au bancomat!

Pourvu que ça dure! Si un beau jour quelqu'un fait le calcul (en comparant aux valeurs 2007) et se rend compte qu'on a vendu le même ticket à dix personnes différentes, ça va être amusant...

Cliquez pour agrandir

Cliquez pour agrandir

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Bitcoin (and Swiss Franc) manias

Currently there is a crypto-mania (mostly around Bitcoin), no doubt about it. But let's put things into perspective. The followin...