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 […]

Who loves ya Donald?

As the Global press corps and the US Democrats gloat over President Trump’s travails this week, one would think that ‘the Donald’ has lost the confidence of everybody in the world. The accusation that the President attempted to pervert the course of justice in a conversation with the former FBI chief Comey has raised the […]

Uh-oh: Emmanuel ‘anti-establishment’ Macron joins the establishment

Within minutes of polling the highest vote tally of the French Presidential hopefuls, the Independent Emmanuel Macron received a slew of endorsements from the defeated conservatives, socialists and communists, as well as the leaders of the EU, the media and even the German chancellor Angela Merkel. Welcome to the Establishment M. Macron. The outpouring of […]

The free traders dirty little secret PLUS what happens when the Fed starts selling?

Free traders’ dirty little secret It all started with Adam Smith and David Ricardo who together formulated the theory of absolute and comparative advantage. Basically, they opined that the reason countries experience rapid growth is because they get to specialise in the industries which have the lowest resource cost to themselves, and then trade with […]