Entries by Stephen

Money v mischief in the Australian election

There is less than 2 hours until voting finishes in the Australian federal election. My money v mischief theory is difficult to determine a winner. The Labor party is a clear leader in the money category, promising everybody everything…but my suspicion is that mischief will decide this election… The current global trend is to protest […]

Sino-US Trade War: Won in translation?

“The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies… …Changing any law in China requires a unique set of processes that can’t be navigated quickly, said a Chinese official […]

Private is now the New New-Private not the Newish Public

The recent transition of a slew of high profile tech companies from private to publicly listed corporations has reinstated the valuation premium that public companies hold over private ones. Spotify, Lyft, Pinterest, Zoom and soon to be listed Uber clearly show that public markets still dominate private ones when it comes to valuation. The Private-is-the-New-Public […]

The speech

Last Thursday evening, First Degree hosted a Launch Party for our manager platform. Everyone was having such a pleasant time that we decided against puncturing the enjoyment with a boring speech… …for those of you who are curious about what I would have said, here it is! Do you like what you read? Then subscribe […]

Walls

The Great Wall of China took several thousand years to build and was primarily a method for stopping Mongolian invaders from expanding into China. As a piece of military technology it dominated all-comers however it was rendered entirely useless with the advent of the flying machine. The 20th Century was not a good one for […]

Private v Public is the new Active v Passive …plus Our US Election Prediction Special

One of the early contributions of Modern Finance was questioning the wisdom of active investment management. The empirical evidence indicated that active managers underperform passive strategies.  While a finer analysis of the data subsequently demonstrated that some active managers are able to consistently outperform static benchmarks, the general principle that passive outperforms active remains, particularly […]

Brexit: non-market breakdown…

Here’s a riddle.  If the solution to market-breakdown is regulation, what is the solution to non-market breakdown? If ever there was a demonstration of the inability of Government to plan, decide and execute a simple instruction it is Brexit. The UK referendum instructed the Government to leave the EU cartel.  The rights and obligations that […]

PoW, PoS or what for the Blockchain?

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try real hard, you can get what you need.” The Rolling Stones   The Blockchain might want to be able to function autonomously and anonymously, but it can’t always get what it wants. The distributed ledger Blockchain technology is a decentralised method for recording ownership […]

The US-China trade war ‘Punch and Judy show’ is about to end

The US- China trade war is a short-term phenomena that will correct itself despite the warnings of some.  The pessimists cite the classic Prisoner’s Dilemma model  as the reason a trade war will have long-term consequences.  This is wrong… In the Prisoners Dilemma, two felons are confined separately and interrogated.  They are offered the choice […]

Pragmatism and compromise in Brexit

“In the referendum on 23 June 2016 – the largest ever democratic exercise in the United Kingdom – the British people voted to leave the European Union… …But to do so requires pragmatism and compromise on both sides.” UK PM Theresa May in the foreword to the White Paper on the Future of the UK’s […]