The Flinchum File

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What, Me Worry?


A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for a DNA analysis for $29.95, which I thought might be fun.  You know, spit in a vial & mail it somewhere.  It was interesting.  Who ever suspected I was 1% African??  Later, I learned the company was sold to the Chinese, who now have my DNA.  I know . . . who cares . . . but I felt violated anyway.

Recently, there was a large Chinese miner of nickel who was worried the price would drop, and he needed to hedge his position against that, so he shorted the price of nickel – nothing wrong with that.  Sparing you the details, when you short a stock or commodity, you can lose 100% of your investment PLUS 100% of everything you own.  FYI – I have never shorted anything, nor allowed a client to do so.

Unfortunately, the miner’s timing was terrible.  As soon as he shorted it, Russia invaded Ukraine and the price of nickel shot up, causing enormous losses for the miner.  The miner was facing immediate bankruptcy.  In an unprecedented move, the London Metals Exchange (LME) cancelled all trades that day, billions of dollars in trades cancelled.  The miner was saved, at the expense of the many other investors who took the other side of the bet, that nickle would not fall.  Why would the LME do this?  A few years ago, it was bought by the Chinese, who protected the Chinese miner by cancelling all those trades.  Those who bet nickel would rise . . . were robbed.

Separately, like many millennials, my daughter is a big fan of Tik Tok.  Similar to Facebook and Google, it is a huge machine for sucking up your personal information.  You shouldn’t be surprised that it is also owned by the Chinese.  Who cares, if the Chinese now have access to her cute cat photos . . . and every single click on her computer/phone?  If personal information was not important, why do the Chinese chase it everywhere?

Maybe, I shouldn’t even eat Chinese food anymore?

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