Dear rss free blog,


     This weekend we saw a classic Jacobean tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi, at an off-Bway theater on Broadway, but in Chinatown. John Webster’s drama features an evil Catholic Cardinal who kills his mistress spectacularly by having her kiss a poisoned page in his Bible. This sounds like pure Protestant propaganda. Among these Italians there is rampant immorality; there is a single mother of three and lots of sex outside marriage; there is a ruler who goes mad in part because of incestuous urgings toward his twin sister the Duchess. There are lots of murders.

     In the 19th century, when Victoria and optimism ruled, George Eliot’s lover George Lewes called The Duchess “a perfect play for Mme. Tussaud’s Wax Museum”. It is also the perfect play for Hallowe’en. But these days, it is not just fantasy.

     Take the Islamic Jihad movement. It starts off sending suicide bombers against the Israeli army and the zealots occupying the West Bank. Focos on real targets leads to an attack the American Embassy in Lebanon. But then they put guards and bollards in the way, so you blow up cafés and buses, markets and social centers in Israel itself. When easy border crossings are stopped, your plotters turn to attacking innocent people near a Paris synagogue or a Buenos Aires Jewish social center or the World Trade Center garage. Some of your jihadis are Shia, some Sunni.

     As security gets tighter you switch to using airplanes to blow up innocent people in the World Trade Center. You kill people riding Madrid commuter trains. You try to shoe-bomb airplanes out of the sky. You attack ordinary Londoners riding the Underground or the bus with your Shahid bombers. You blow up Shia mosques in Iraq and attack the Iranians who may have ordered the earlier Argentine bombings.

     Having assassinated a Sunni female politician in Pakistan over her program, your Sunni Jihadis wind up sending wearers of suicide belts to blow themselves up in Pakistani villages and markets where the population is made entirely of innocent observant Sunni Moslems. In Lakshar Gar you murder women lined up to apply to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

     This is the Islamic equivalent of Webster’s poisoned Bible page.

     Today the respected Claymore fund group launched a new exchange-traded fund for China. It aims to cover all accessible Chinese stocks regardless of size, traded as Global, American, or International Depositary Receipts; H shares or Red Chips in Hong Kong; or N shares in the USA. Unlike Jim Rogers, most of us cannot figure out how to invest in Shanghai or Shenzhen directly. Claymnore Alpha China ETF has ticker symbol YAO.

     While aimed at all market cap sizes, YAO limits itself to stocks with over a half billion market capitalization. This means the usual Chinese state-owned mastodons dominate the share list. Moreover the fund (with a lowish 0.8% fee) engages in passive index investing. That means if a share held by the ETF gets into trouble, it will continue to be held unless it is de-listed or bankrupt.

     If you have any notions (as I do) of where the Chinese economy will produce profits for individual companies and sectors, you do not want to own the YAO ETF. More for paid subscribers follows.

     *Delek Holdings (an Israeli insurance group, a local Berkshire Hathaway) via a sub is a partner in a hydrocarbon drilling program in the Med with Noble Energy and they are a Global Investing Pro (minutewoman) recommendation. However, there is now a Citigroup-depositary Delek Holdings pink sheet 1:1 ADR quoted as DGRLY. I will try to convert my DLKGF TASE shares to the new form. Watch this space.