An activist in the VC woodpile signals MPT is on its way

Paul Singer, the billionaire activist investor, just announced that his Elliot Investment Fund has taken a 20% stake in Masayoshi Son’s Softbank Ventures.  Activist investors make a living out of forcing efficiencies on inefficiently run companies. Softbank is a legend in VC-land, yet it trades at a 50% discount to NAV.  Masayoshi Son is a […]

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 […]

Crypto just joined the establishment and sunk the Fed

Many traders and portfolio managers began their careers on the Cash desk. This is a place where you can learn the markets without getting into too much trouble. Cash is variously defined as fixed income securities with maturities ranging from 91 days for the most secure portfolios out to 397 days for portfolios with slightly […]

Beware: Libra threatens to stabilise the World’s monetary system!

“We have security concerns with this initiative ” is every IT department’s Ace of trump’s for effectively stopping any project in its tracks. No board of directors will dare challenge said “security concerns ” since their personal liability is too great to risk it. Those of us old enough to remember the Y2K soap opera […]

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 […]

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 […]