Entries by Stephen

Covid 19 notepad: Observations and opinions

1. Pandemic preparedness It is curious how the general media seems to think that every nation should have sufficient medical resources available to deal with the strains of a pandemic. Investing in five times the average daily demand for medical resources in case a pandemic happens is both suboptimal and ludicrous. The US spends 18% […]

Panic v numerical discipline in predicting Covid19’s market impact

“Investment ideas can spread like epidemics.” Robert Shiller in his Nobel Lecture “Speculative Asset Markets” 2013 Bob Shiller’s Nobel winning contribution was the observation that asset markets generally are too volatile relative to theoretical methods for pricing securities.  The panicked reaction to Coronavirus 2019 (Covid19) seems no exception. I have regularly been asked what Covid19’s […]

Memoirs of a SARSa

As the WuHanFlu pandemic rapidly takes grip, it is worth recounting the SARS crisis of 2002… The first I heard about SARS was when a taxi driver picked me up with his car door windows completely open. I congratulated him on his appreciation of the climate and rejection of air conditioning which tends to be […]

Blackrock abandons its passive positivism in favour of active value-judgment

Social reformers, religious zealots, the politically correct, the politically active, tree huggers, the elitists and a host of  other individuals with non-libertarian attitudes have difficulty accepting cold, hard, facts. Rather than acknowledging society as it is and trying to explain why it is that way, these people want to change it.  Positivism, on the other […]

ARAMCO’s direct listing arithmetic

ARAMCO, the Saudi Arabian oil company, issued stock at a  USD1.7 trillion valuation last week  and promptly traded up 18% to top USD2trillion. This was in line with the Saudi government’s initial valuation expectations. This result was achieved essentially by direct listing. I say this since the cap raise was a miniscule 1.5% of market […]

An FDV threeway: Swinging in Saudi Arabia…plus Our UK Election Special…plus the latest release from DJ Dr Fish

Swinging in Saudi Arabia ARAMCO officially listed yesterday.  The Saudi owned company is the world’s largest oil producer, world’s largest company … the world’s largest many things.  It has played a political role, a diplomatic role and a world economic role for many years as the ‘Swing Producer’ in the oil markets.  Swing producers have […]

CB Libre

The Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke) became the symbol of Cuban independence during the Spanish-American war.  What will symbolise the take-no-prisoners war about to erupt between Facebook and the world’s Central Banks over Libra? I recently attended a meeting of senior Central Bank and Academic researchers in Singapore. The discussion quickly focused on the effectiveness […]