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by The Wrinkle | April 23, 2010

Welcome to the Wrinkle.

Within the extensive  fabric of the universe there is always the odd fact or opportunity that isn’t widely known at a point in time. This blog will offer up a few interesting facts and points that people may or may not find interesting. There will be a wide ranging brief and while business may be an underlying theme, we’ll go everywhere from sports to share picks to geo-politics’ and beyond.

Speaking of sports if you were one of the lucky one’s who managed to get in early enough on the Storm’s demise with an NRL “wooden spoon” bet you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. While we can’t offer up “insider trading” type odds, there is another wooden spoon bet that I think is good value at the moment and that’s the Lions in the Super 14 rugby.

They are currently 4 points behind the Cheetah’s and 18 points behind in the net points scored. They are about to get pounded by the Bulls this weekend, and with only 3 weeks left after that I think $1.33 on Betfair is a good bet. (Personal disclosure: The wrinkle has $500 on at $1.33).

While we’re talking about those who like the odd punt, it does help when you can set the market up to help your bets. Goldman Sachs has recently been all over the news for the odd “assist” to their special clients. As to the depth of this influence there was a really interesting article recently by Matt Taibbi in the Rolling Stone Magazine. While the commentary can be a little emotive, the underlying facts are sound and speak volumes by themselves.

“The collective message of all this — the AIG bailout, the swift approval for its bank holding conversion, the TARP funds — is that when it comes to Goldman Sachs, there isn't a free market at all. The government might let other players on the market die, but it simply will not allow Goldman to fail under any circumstances. Its edge in the market has suddenly become an open declaration of supreme privilege. "In the past it was an implicit advantage," says Simon Johnson, an economics professor at MIT and former official at the International Monetary Fund, who compares the bailout to the crony capitalism he has seen in Third World countries. "Now it's more of an explicit advantage."”

The Goldman alumni read like a “Who’s Who” of the finance industry in the US, including Robert Rubin, who followed Bill Clinton to the White House, where he directed the National Economic Council and eventually became Treasury secretary. Rubin was instrumental in undoing the finance regulations put in place after the Great Depression in the US, opening the door for the recent Global Financial Crisis.

No one expects a totally level playing field, but a little truth and some transparency go a long way.

If anyone has any comment or posts they would like to see go up on this blog, please drop me a line.

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