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 […]

The ingeneous man Don Trump of la Mancha

Just like Cervante’s classic “The ingeneous man Don Quixote of la Mancha”, Don Trump will provide many enjoyable hours of entertainment as he tilts at the establishment windmill that is ‘the US Government’.  Just like Don Quixote, Don Trump will find his windmill impossible to beat…an impossible dream. But whereas Don Quixote led a self-important […]

A property developer’s approach to policy

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 […]

Low cash rates and manager skill….plus the First Degree US election special

Low cash rates and manager skill The Finance field has many strong statements about the structure of relative returns but it is weak when it comes to statements about absolute returns.  For  example, the risk-return paradigm suggests that asset classes which exhibit low volatility should have relatively low returns compared with high volatility asset classes. […]