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From Communism to Militaryism to Money Worship

A diplomat is a man who thinks twice before saying nothing” – WInston Churchill “He would be there, he would be running his country, his country would be very rich.” – Donald Trump 17 May 2018 on his vision for Kim Dong-Un’s role in a future North Korea Kim Il-Sung established the modern North Korea […]

Coase in CryptoLand : a convertible ecurrency is born

Facebook makes its money by selling its users’ data to advertisers without compensating users for that information. In micro-economics this is labelled a ‘free ride’ and ‘an externality’ and is an example of market breakdown. Markets have a habit of rectifying themselves and, indeed, Ronald Coase won the Nobel prize for discovering that markets will […]

Out damn Spotify!

“Without underwriters, Spotify shares won’t debut with a price based on investor feedback, with buyers lined up.” Bloomberg January 4, 2018. Spotify, the digital music platform, intends to list publicly this quarter. Instead of an Initial Public Offering, where the company simultaneously lists its shares and raises capital at the same time, Spotify intends to […]

Did Crypto’s crash or did they just have a bad hair day?

October 18 1987 goes down as the worst day in the US Stock Market when the S&P500 lost 22.6%. This was nearly twice the decline experienced in 1929’s ‘Great Crash’. The panic that followed occupied the financial pages for months. On January 16, 2018, the CryptoCurrency CCI30 index of the 30 most traded currencies fell […]

Throwing the FinTech baby out with the Crypto-bathwater

I remember walking back from a conference at the European Central Bank in late 2008 accompanied by the then Head of Risk Management for the ECB. We discussed what the long-term impact of the Global Financial Crisis that we were experiencing was likely to be. My comment was that regulation would take centre stage post-crisis, […]

Who is driving the Singapore property market up?

After over 4 years of successive quarterly declines in residential property prices, the Singapore market has finally seen a reversal. From its peak in September 2013, the property market fell nearly 14% before registering its first increase of 0.7% in September 2017. Reports suggest that the December 2017 quarter will add to this gain. Property […]

The Nobel Prize for nothing

Q: Why did the monkey sit in the tree? A: That’s what he does. Its behavioural. Today is a sad day for the field of Economics in particular and for Science in general. Richard Thaler, the populist champion of the embarassing branch of economics labeled ‘behavioural’, was named 2017 Nobel Laureate for Economics. It seems […]

Pink Elephants, Bank Runs and Bond ETFs

Pink Elephant statements are of the form “I see a Pink Elephant. Prove to me that I don’t see a Pink Elephant”. Pink Elephants are subjectively held false premises that somehow become accepted fact. I chaired 2 sessions on Bond ETF’s last week at the WBR Fixed Income Leaders APAC seminar in Singapore. The sessions […]


Cyber-currencies are hot. The Initial Currency Offering (ICO) craze is bigger than the finger-spinner. Should you ‘invest’ and what are cyber-currencies really worth? The basic logic behind a cyber-currency is that it serves as a medium of exchange to ease the physical difficulties associated with barter. You may have some coconuts that I want, but […]

The 3-point field goal and UBER’s IPO conundrum

The National Basketball Association introduced the 3-point field goal for the ’79-80 season. An extra point could be earned for shots that originated from outside the ‘D’ therefore encouraging shooters to take more spectacular long shots. While initially criticised as a gimmick, the 3-pointer has become a key weapon for a team’s offense with an […]