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David Keohane

David Keohane

(Spending some time as FTAV’s Bombay wallah. Noticeably sweatier but not much else has changed.) David studied economics, politics and journalism before joining the FT in 2011 as a Marjorie Deane fellow. He covered emerging markets, equities and currencies before making the jump over to FT Alphaville in May 2012. In between his degree and masters he wandered into the real world of business where he learnt how to manipulate a spreadsheet and organise meetings where nothing gets decided.

Articles by David Keohane

Taxi for Uber

September 22, 2017

TfL has today informed Uber that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence. pic.twitter.com/nlYD0ny2qo— Transport for London (@TfL) September 22, 2017

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Further reading

August 4, 2017

Elsewhere on Friday, – An honest business news update:Analysts warned of several metric tons of dopamine and cortisol careening through the global economy, which they said created a near certainty of poor financial decisions. At some point, Blake said, these bad decisions create social proof and feed on each other, leading to recessions. “When is the next recession?” he asked. “I don’t know. Whenever the second mortgage you took out to buy a boat to appease your insecurity convinces your brother in-law to do the same, and his boat gives the boat salesman enough misguided confidence to become a day trader, and then all three of you crack under a collective bout of geopolitical bad luck or something. But we’ll move on.”– Further watching: “Ten years ago today, Jim Cramer lost it on the

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Further reading

August 3, 2017

Elsewhere on Thursday, – Levine on attempts to game the BTC fork: Bitcoin exchange had too many bitcoins.– Also do read Levine’s linkwrap* if only for the opening riff on the news that a fund has finally been named after the ancient Egyptian goddess of accounting, math and knowledge.– Ricardo Hausmann on Venezuela’s unprecedented collapse.– Can we use volatility to diagnose financial bubbles? Lessons from 40 historical bubbles.– How far does American Samoa have to go to get a bank?– David Einhorn still labouring under sad misconception that Tesla is subject to basic logic.– Bloomberg longread: A decade after the financial crisis, veterans of the $48.5 billion leveraged buyout of Bell Canada trade war stories.– From the New Yorker: What the Enron emails say about us.– Here’s how unicorns

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Further reading

August 2, 2017

Elsewhere on Wednesday, – Reuters on how China’s biggest bank became ensnared in a sprawling money laundering probe.– Mark Dow on credit spreads and sticker shock:Credit markets aren’t as rich as you might have thought, and in any event, the credit cycle is likely to end around the time the economic cycle in the US turns, irrespective of valuations.– Imagine the next bear market… with examples from the last two.– Arnold Kling: Scarcity of financial intermediation?– From the WSJ, with founder-biased tech IPOs in mind: “S&P said Monday that it would no longer consider companies with multiple share classes for its main U.S. stock indexes.”– Bloomberg longread on Stripe and the two Irish brothers turned tech billionaires.– Miles Kimball urges the senate to not confirm Randal Quarles as the

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Further reading

July 31, 2017

Elsewhere on Monday, – Cliff Asness: Please stop talking about the Vix so much.– Krugman goes back and looks at the Heritage health plan from 1989.– Twitter thread du jour from Matt Stoler: “Ok, let’s talk about the Democratic Party’s deep state. Not the politicians, not the consultants, but BigLaw. That’s where power lives.”– Kevin D. Williamson on the illusion of Trump: Death of a f*cking salesman.– Foxconn cashes in for $3 billion plus.–After Meg Whitman’s exit, Uber’s CEO search is down to only male candidates — as its board struggles and Travis Kalanick meddles.– Questions that keep getting asked, include: Is Amazon getting too big?– Where Friedman was wrong: “A new paper by Oliver Hart and Luigi Zingales argues that a company’s objective should be the maximization of shareholders’

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Further reading

July 28, 2017

Elsewhere on Friday, – When the Mooch called the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza on a leak-hunt things got slightly out of hand:“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus — if you want to leak something— he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ” (Priebus did not respond to a request for

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Shock me 111 times, fool on… ?

July 27, 2017

The ongoing effort to push the definitional boundaries of phrases like “tail risk” and “marker shock” continues, this time from Barclays:Their actual point is that although everything seems pretty calm and “the environment generally remains supportive of carry, positioning and valuation suggest it would be prudent to add tail risk hedges.”More in the usual place on that.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and

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Further reading

July 27, 2017

Elsewhere on Thursday,– Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair on Rick Perry and the, rather important but neglected, US Dept of Energy: Why the scariest nuclear threat may be coming from inside the White House.– Bloomberg on how to make a fortune drinking, gambling and napping… featuring Mike Ashley.– Sadly, the Shkreli trial is wrapping up: “Until this week, the case had been, in some respects, a fun-house mirror version of a normal fraud trial.”– Innovation thy name is cryptocurrency:BitBounce, an anti-spam e-mail provider, is planning to raise as much as $20 million through an initial coin offering of digital tokens on the ethereum network. Founder Stewart Dennis says he may have millions of dollars worth of tokens left over from the ICO, which will need safekeeping. Recent hacks have revealed

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Further reading

July 26, 2017

Elsewhere on Wednesday,– JP Koning with a gold hack to fix the debt ceiling:Not on the official list of measures for finessing the debt ceiling is a rarely-mentioned option that I like to call the gold trick. The U.S. government owns a lot of gold. Beware here, because a few commentators think that the idea behind the gold trick is to sell off some of this gold in order to fund the government. Nope—not an ounce of gold needs to be sold. The only thing that the Treasury need do is raise the U.S.’s official price for gold. By doing so, it automatically gets “free” funding from the Federal Reserve, funding which doesn’t count against the debt ceiling.– The Bond Vigilantes on debt ceiling tremors in the Treasury market.– Kocherlakota: Don’t let the dollar fool you, Fed.– Say it ain’t so:Martin

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Further reading

July 25, 2017

Elsewhere on Tuesday, – The Guardian on the insidious creep of pseudo-public space in London.– Blanchard and Zettelmeyer: Will rising interest rates lead to fiscal crises?– An Economist longread on China’s underwhelming SOE reform:SOEs, far from retreating, are on the march, drawing on government support to compensate for their weakness. They are making conquests at home and abroad. Cutting state firms down to size and opening them up to competition ought to be the point of SOE reform. Instead, China is beefing them up and driving them into new territory.– Brad Setser: “The big picture is that the combination of controls, stronger growth, and an apparent commitment to keep the yuan basically stable… has brought pressure on China’s reserves down to trivial levels.”– Simon Wren-Lewis on

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Further reading

July 24, 2017

Elsewhere on Monday, – Buchheit and Gulati paper on how to restructure Venezuelan debt. From the conclusion:Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 was a large undertaking. Restructuring Venezuela’s public sector debt will be a very large undertaking.– JP Koning on dictionary money.– A dozen lessons on investing from Ed Thorp.– The real reason Dimon went berserk about America’s “stupid shit”.– From the NYT on Trump’s stalled infra plan: “Infrastructure remains stuck near the rear of the legislative line, according to two dozen administration officials, legislators and labor leaders involved in coming up with a concrete proposal.”– Possible presidential pardon scenarios.– The Mooch takes the wheel, hot mic, pardons, and deescalation with the media included:According to the transcript,

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Further reading

July 21, 2017

Elsewhere on Friday, – Nate Silver filing from the alternate universe where Hillary Clinton won.– An Axios scoop: Trump expected to make Scaramucci communications director.– Reversing QE and asymmetric policy making.– An honest debate about austerity and tax.– Cochrane on Thornton on interest rate humility.– The Macro Tourist: Vol sellers branch out.– Shkreli updates remain the best updates… this time featuring an accountant complaining of, amongst other things, “Shkreli repeatedly sending ‘changes in the stock ownership tables,’ that caused an exasperated Massella to write ‘WTF?’ in an email.”– Tabb response to an NYT piece we put here yesterday: Bias and misrepresentation in Yale’s op-ed on market structure.– “Steven Cohen is one of many managers preparing to write huge checks in early

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Bond crash fear ascendant

July 19, 2017

This month’s competition to see who tops the table of definitionally problematic ‘tail risks’ in Bank of America’s fund manager survey has been won by “fear of a crash in bond markets”.“Fear over Chinese credit tightening” was apparently inconsolable at pixel time.More in the usual place.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

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Further reading

July 19, 2017

Elsewhere on Wednesday, – A Buzzfeed longread on Uber’s rather demanding corporate culture (“of fear”).– Can anyone bury Bloomberg?– On rebates… or how Wall St profits by putting investors in the slow lane.– Chris Dillow on the CAPM… and facts, frictions and ‘mainstream’ economics.– Pimco on housing finance reform, including:We would argue that only once a vibrant private, non-agency mortgage market returns would it be appropriate for policymakers to turn their focus to the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. After all, if no private, alternative market exists, shrinking the GSE footprint would necessarily mean contracting the housing sector and creating a headwind to economic growth, which seems contrary to the objectives of policymakers in Washington.– Sov debt restructuring and

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Further reading

July 18, 2017

Elsewhere on Tuesday, – DeLong on how to think like an economist (assuming you want to).– Emanuel Derman on Twitter on low vol: “This isn’t deep, but I think part of the reason vol is low is because vol has become an asset class.”– Today in eggless mayonnaise startups that occasionally buy back their own products: The entire Hampton Creek board has left except for the CEO.– The young entrepreneur myth?– Adam Ozimek gently suggesting there is a tech bubble by spending some time on the many online sub offers currently available:I gotta ask, what’s the absolute maximum number of dog collars you’d like to buy this year? Probably less than twelve?The boxes are usually pretty cheap, but the most expensive are also very telling in how bubbly this market has gotten. The single most expensive is

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Further reading

July 17, 2017

Elsewhere on Monday,– Gavyn Davies: US inflation decline is too persistent to ignore.– Interesting: “A 27-year-old transport planner has won the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize for a plan to improve Britain’s roads.”– Cliff Asness vs Rob Arnott, redux:His repeating (and repeating) this specific, very damning, and very broad accusation against most of the factor researching world really surprises me. I thought I put it to bed as “without merit” here by showing that since factor portfolios are dynamic, not static, and part of valuation changes are changes in fundamentals, not price, the effect Rob keeps asserting can only account for a tiny fraction of historical average factor performance, not the near 100% (“or all”) that he alleges.– So… he asks knowingly… how did cryptocurrencies do

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Further reading

July 14, 2017

Elsewhere on Friday, – If you were wondering how the copyright case between Peta (trying to represent a monkey) and an apparently broke photographer was going…Among the points of contention were whether Peta has a close enough relationship to Naruto to represent it in court, the value of providing written notice of a copyright claim to a community of macaques, and whether Naruto is actually harmed by not being recognized as a copyright-holder.– Krugman on “formerly true” ideas: “That is, ideas that were either good descriptions of the world the classical economists lived in, or had been good descriptions of the world just before the classicals wrote.”– Alex Tabarrok suggests a Golden Age of Conservative Intellectualism.– The Macro Tourist on Yellen trying to ride into the sunset/the

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Further reading

July 13, 2017

Elsewhere on Thursday, – JP Koning on money in an economy without banks.– Someone held up a ‘buy bitcoin’ sign during Yellen’s testimony to Congress.– A Toby Nangle thread on the BoE’s Broadbent’s globalisation speech.– The year so far in vol (which may be picking up, or at least that’s the hope in some quarters):If the year ended today, this would be the smallest daily price change since 1965! It’s hard to imagine a period in which there’s been such a wide gap between daily political volatility and daily stock market volatility.– “The man running Sweden’s biggest security firm was declared bankrupt this week after his identity was hacked.”– Once again: Do not insider trade while posing as your own mother.– Dying hedge fund can take final secrets to the grave.– E*Trade advert… and the

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Further reading

July 12, 2017

Elsewhere on Wednesday,– Mark Dow on where we are in the market right now, including:Central Bank normalization means they have won and the doomsday scenarios lost. Basically. This too drags on precious metals over time.– Cryptocurrencies collapsed.– Vinicultural market analysis.– Apparently, “Gary Cohn is now the leading candidate to succeed Yellen”.– DeLong with fifteen theses on the “The Wealth of Humans” and “After Piketty”. Features occasional AI optimism.– Relatedly, Noahpinion on young men giving up work for video games: Be Skeptical.– Also maybe relatedly, bored traders on Tinder apparently a symptom of Wall St revenue dip:In interviews, 20 senior traders at more than a dozen major investment banks and hedge funds said that sometimes left staffs with too little to do, prompting

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Further reading

July 11, 2017

Elsewhere on Tuesday, – Want your 7-year-old to be a banker? There’s a camp for that. From the WSJ:He is also 8 years old and starting third grade later in the year. He’s unapologetic about why he’s devoting his summer to high finance when many children his age will be playing sports and singing campfire songs.“I like money,” said Kashious, who goes by Kash. “And you could get really rich.”– Slumping Goldman Sachs trading desk now rallying around the best dumb motto in the history of finance.– Guardian longread by John Rapley: How economics became a religion.– Jared Kushner tried and failed to get a half-billion-dollar bailout from Qatar.– The book that predicted Trump’s rise offers the left a roadmap for defeating him.– In the US: “Just 0.18% of deaths triggered estate tax liabilities in

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Markets can stay frothy longer than you can stay… sceptical?

July 10, 2017

We’ve heard concerns about market froth before but Deutsche’s Mikihiro Matsuoka thinks it’s time to actually get worried as central banks appear serious about unwinding their monetary accommodation.With our emphasis:Stock market capitalization in the developed countries as a percentage of GDP has already approached levels very close to previous peaks recorded in 2000, 2008 and 2015. We believe that the financial markets seem to have entered frothy territory (even if not being in a bubble). In the first place, we would never know if this is a bubble until it bursts. The reason we believe it is entering frothy territory is that an eventual turnaround of monetary policy after a long period of post-GFC accommodation is under way in major developed countries, which in our view, raises the

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Further reading

July 10, 2017

Elsewhere on Monday, – Gavyn Davies: What’s driving the global expansion?– Uber vs FedEx:The idea of Uber becoming a logistics magnate played an important role in the company’s valuation swelling to $69 billion and was an key component of Kalanick’s own vision for the company. But those who worked on Rush say it’s failed to live up to its promise of becoming the big business Uber needs.– Jared Kushner for Fed Chair? Spoiler: It’s mostly Kevin Warsh bashing.– A Bloomberg longread on the remaking of Donald Trump.– Germany’s current account and global adjustment, redux.– Sell gold.– There is no such thing as a bad tick, silver’s recent ‘flash crash’ edition.– Chris Dillow on the crisis of postitive-sum capitalism.– Krugman: When was the golden age of conservative intellectuals?– Belated happy

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Snap AV: Twenty years after the Asian financial crisis, charted

July 7, 2017

That was then. This is now.Big chart, lots of detail, from Nomura:More in the usual place, including some important points not in that chart. For example, the simple reality that we have better data these days: “in 1996-97 FX reserves were released with long lags, while many countries lacked comprehensive external debt data which, along with credit rating downgrades, probably contributed to many investors assuming the worst.”Nomura are not the first out with Asian Financial Crisis notes, of course. There was Albert Edwards of SocGen on Thursday attempting to look forward through a perennial gloom:On the 20th anniversary of the start of the Asian crisis it is certainly clear to me that the mess we are now in is a linear progression of the monetary madness that followed the 1997 Asian bust.

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Further reading

July 7, 2017

Elsewhere on Friday, – Dan Davies on why regulators should be spread bettors:I want margin calls to be regulated by someone who gets it. Someone for whom the simple two-word phrase “margin call” produces a faint visceral reaction. Someone who understands that it’s not just a risk management tool, or a means of enforcing mark-to-market policies, or a stochastic variable subject to boundary conditions — it’s a margin call, and it’s one of the most frightening things in the financial world.– Nickels in the urinal (with notes on wheat prices).– Shkreli ordered to stop discussing trial around courthouse.– Are deferred bonuses legal? A Morgan Stanley vs ex-Morgan Stanley banker case is asking that question of a French employment tribunal. Worth watching in view of Brexity events.– Meanwhile in

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Snap AV: An options menu for the BoE

July 6, 2017

An exercise in tick-counting below from Barclays’ Fabrice Montagne.In Barc’s view “three strategies stand out” for the Bank of England:the “one and done” is consistent with strong credit growth and above consensus forecast; the overpromise and under-deliver strategy is consistent with the mitigation of inflation risks under the high degree of uncertainty scenario; finally, the volatility argument makes sense given historically low volatility despite the high level of risks facing the UK economy.”You may as well also take their MPC gauge while you’re here too:More on each of the strategies in the usual place.

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Further reading

July 6, 2017

Elsewhere on Thursday,– This is not a great look: Hobby Lobby agrees to forfeit 5,500 artifacts smuggled out of Iraq. HL has agreed “to forfeit to the government an additional $3 million, resolving the civil action.” And here’s some more detail from the DoJ:Earlier today, the United States filed a civil complaint to forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae. As alleged in the complaint, these ancient clay artifacts originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and were smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, contrary to federal law. Packages containing the artifacts were shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (“Hobby Lobby”), a nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and two of Hobby Lobby’s corporate

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Snap AV: Don’t fear the (ECB) taper

July 5, 2017

A trio of reasons to stay calm from HSBC’s Chris Attfield after Draghi’s Sintra speech — you know the one that some analysts suggest heralds “a co-ordinated shift by developed world central banks in a more hawkish direction”.From AttfieldECB President Mario Draghi’s speech at Sintra shook the market out of complacency about the future of QE, causing yields to spike higher. But are we right to fear the taper? We give three reasons why a further reduction of QE could be less disruptive for the non-core than some investors assume, focussing on Spain and Italy.First, reinvestment flows will increase even as we expect PSPP buying to decrease. The Eurosystem may be at the maximum 33% limit for Spanish and Italian bonds maturing in the next two years, meaning that under this “max” scenario the

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Further reading

July 5, 2017

Elsewhere on Wednesday, – Shkreli trial update from the NYT:Federal prosecutors have asked the judge overseeing Mr. Shkreli’s fraud trial to issue a rule of silence, arguing that Mr. Shkreli has “embarked on a campaign of disruption” and has made “a spectacle of himself and the trial directly on the courthouse grounds.”– Emmanuel Macron is taking this power thing in his stride:Macron himself has said he plans a “Jupiterian” presidency – as a remote, dignified figure, like the Roman god of gods, who weighs his rare pronouncements carefully. It would be a marked break from his unpopular and often-mocked predecessor Francois Hollande’s man-of-the-people style– Seven signs of over-hyped fintech.– DeLong: How leveraged should your stock market investments have been?– Tony Yates on accounts at

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Further reading

July 4, 2017

Elsewhere on Tuesday,– Questions that hopefully will soon be answered: Why are all these tech companies displaying a stock price of $123.47?– Krugman on Trump’s tariff excitement: Oh! What a lovely trade war.– Simon Wren-Lewis on whether neoliberal overreach was/is inevitable.– The BoE on central bank balance sheets, past present and future.– Jonathan Algar with some rough policy notes on Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza.– Regulating the credit rating agencies? Less would be more.– Adam Tooze reading Varoufakis: Frustrated strategist of Greek financial deterrence.– Variations on a worrying theme: Male and female entrepreneurs get asked different questions by VCs — and it affects how much funding they get.– Tracking Elon Musk’s projects.– Allegations about Mike Ashley’s unique

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Further reading

June 28, 2017

Elsewhere on Wednesday, – From Noahpinion: “The example of Uber demonstrates how the illiquidity of private markets makes them much worse than public markets for communicating information about a company.”– Against ride-sharing: “What Uber and its ride-sharing fraternity want cannot exist alongside a democratic society; only one vision can prevail.”– China already proudly living out your future dystopian fears:Gan Liping pumped her bike across a busy street, racing to beat a crossing light before it turned red. She didn’t make it. Immediately, her face popped up on two video screens above the street. “Jaywalkers will be captured using facial-recognition technology,” the screens said…“These security steps appear in American movies,” said Xie Yinan of Megvii Technology Inc., a Chinese tech

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