THE FIRST DEGREE VIEW
There is an old joke about the guy who dies and has a choice between heaven and hell. He first visits heaven and sees a bunch of bored people being good. Hell, on the other hand, is a party atmosphere - bars, dancing, action. So he chooses hell. But when he turns up, its all fire and brimstone - no party. So he asks the Devil what happened? "That was the sales process, this is reality" Full Post
Low cash rates and manager skill Full Post
A JPMorgan banker asked me many years ago what I would recommend as an inflation hedge. "Inflation-indexed bonds" was my first response, however I recanted that suggestion a few minutes later, noting that Inflation-indexed bonds still carried substantial real-interest rate exposure. Further reflection led me to suggest cash, since the cash-rate is targeted by Central Banks as their preferred tool for fighting inflation. Monetary policy is basically the following rule: cash-rates go up when inflation goes up and vice versa. Full Post
My 7 year old son has 2 close friends, J and S. Like my son, J has been unrestricted with his access to his Ipad while S has been limited to 1 hour surfing per day. When the 3 boys get together, J and my son spend most of their time running, riding their scooters, jumping on the trampoline, swimming and generally being active. S, on the other hand, is addicted to the Ipad - frequently letting his friends run, jump and swim while he sits quietly playing with the technology. Clearly, S's 1 hour Ipad ration per day is insufficient to satisfy his interest in the Ipad while my son and J consume enough Ipad during other times of the day, such that they choose physical activity and social interaction instead. Contrary to the beliefs of some parenting guides, unlimited access to their Ipad does NOT cause children to stop physical activity or become anti-social. J and my son demonstrate that there is a natural equilibrium that balances Ipad and exercise which children can find for themselves. Full Post
In Japan, short term Tbills have a negative yield of -0.25% while inflation is negative -0.4%. The real interest rate is positve, roughly +0.15%. Full Post
The 'prisoner's dilemma' is the classic sub-optimal equilibrium example in Game Theory. 2 prisoners are being interrogated separately. Each faces the same decision - if they remain silent they each get 3 months jail. But if one blames the other, and the other remains silent, the whistleblower walks free while the other gets life imprisonment. If they both blame the other then they both get life. What is the equilibrium? While it is optimal for both to remain silent, the equilibrium strategy is to blame the other, and the sub-optimal outcome is they both blow the whistle and both get life... Full Post
We all use our spare time differently - some of us sail, some of us read and some of us spend just a little too much time working out whether that South Australian Shiraz really did deserve a gold medal
And then there are those of us who spend their spare time thinking about the better application of monetary policy, about Central Bank intervention risk and, of course, about Greece
Meet Fish, our CIO, who is almost solely responsible for keeping First Degree's lawyers constantly on standby, with his alternative (and just the right side of libelous, according to those lawyers) view of what those in power are mucking up
If you like what he writes, we are happy to take you on as a Client, because those lawyers are pretty expensive!
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