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FT Alphaville

FT Alphaville

FT Alphaville is a free daily news and commentary service giving finance professionals the information they need, when they need it. In a world where market professionals are inundated with information there is a pressing need to edit and filter, and hopefully sow a few ideas along the way. That’s where the FT Alphaville team comes in.

Articles by FT Alphaville

Thought for the weekend

3 days ago

Priceless from Juncker to the BBC pic.twitter.com/7gPVb7LaYw— Danny Kemp (@dannyctkemp) March 24, 2017

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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Dear China, if you want some help sorting your markets out…

6 days ago

By Jennifer Hughes in Hong KongChina’s markets are among the biggest in the world – and also among the least-touched by foreign investors, not least because Beijing’s complex rules often make foreigners give up in sheer frustration.Helpfully Asifma, the Asian arm of the global markets lobbying group, has produced a 93-page guide to China’s bond, equity and currency markets, including its proposals for reform.If you want to know your CFETS from your Stock Connect programme, you’d best read the whole thing… but for those with less time we’ve highlighted some of the suggestions, as well as the idiosyncrasies, of China’s markets.So, in no particular order, here are some points that caught our eye:Stock trade settlementT+0, or on-the-day, settlement sounds remarkably efficient, until you factor

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Thought for the weekend

10 days ago

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Reminder: US Macro Live, Yellen presser edition at 2:20pm EST

12 days ago

Alex, Matt, and Cardiff are back to cover the Janet Yellen presser following the release of the FOMC statement for March.We’ll kick off the session at 2:20pm EST (6:20pm in London) to discuss the statement and look at the Fed’s new economic projections before the presser itself begins ten minutes later. You’ll find us at this link. See you then!And as always, we recommend the preview of the meeting from the Fed’s US economics editor Sam Fleming. An excerpt:The Federal Reserve’s ultra-cautious exit from super-easy monetary policy is likely to accelerate on Wednesday as the US central bank lifts short-term interest rates by another quarter point. What are the key signals to watch for as the Federal Open Market Committee meets?Policy change It would now be a significant shock if the US

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Thought for the weekend

17 days ago

I would like to speak to the boss of @TeslaMotors but impossible to get them on the phone. I have a great idea for them .— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) March 9, 2017

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The HR start-up founded by Bridgewater alumni — based on Bridgewater principles

20 days ago

By Sujeet Indap and Mary Childs The group of college seniors had gathered for a relaxed, celebratory dinner. Each of the roughly dozen students had survived a rigorous interview process to earn a coveted job offer from Bridgewater Associates, the wildly successful and wildly iconoclastic hedge fund based in Westport, Connecticut. The dinner was a chance for the new recruits to meet Bridgwater professionals and each other, as they decided whether to accept entry-level positions.Yet despite the variety of schools represented, the Bridgewater team was startled to learn that most of the kids were already acquainted with each other, having already met during their high school days. Two students had competed on the Teen Jeopardy television quiz show. Several others had met during Model United

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Thought for the weekend

24 days ago

Another tech worker feeling excluded from the real estate market was 41-year-old Michael, who works at a networking firm in Silicon Valley and last year earned $700,000.– Scraping by on six figures? Tech workers feel poor, 27 February 2017

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Thought for the weekend

February 17, 2017

Market insiders say that, despite a general trend away from lunchtime drinking elsewhere in the City, it is still popular in the insurance world. “It still goes on more than you might expect. There is still a short hours and long lunch culture in some places and there are stories of brokers sitting in pubs handing out contracts like Jabba the Hutt,” said one person close to the insurance market.– Lloyd’s of London bans alcohol during work hours, FT

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President gives press conference

February 16, 2017

[embedded content]A couple of notable quotes:Related links:President Trump uses phrase “nuclear holocaust” in a press conference, stock market trades flat – video from White House websiteMy very good black history month tribute to some of the most tremendous black people – Donald J Trump, via McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. 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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Down on China? Not Morgan Stanley

February 14, 2017

By Jennifer Hughes in Hong KongIf you’re going to be contrarian, might as well go big. Morgan Stanley has done just that with a monster 118-page report explaining how the world’s second biggest economy will avoid the sort of financial shock feared by western investors, and make it to official “high income” status in the next 10 years.Positive views on parts of China get more rare the further you travel from Beijing. As the report notes, international investors hold their most extreme underweight position on Chinese equities of any point in the past decade.With that in mind, few if any big international banks we can think of have nailed their colours to the mast quite so comprehensively as MS has just done.Notwithstanding Morgan Stanley’s caveats – summarised at the bottom – here are three

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Thought for the weekend

February 3, 2017

President Donald Trump has begun killing off an Obama-era retirement-savings rule unpopular with Republicans and some financial-industry executives who say it would harm consumers more than help…“We think it is a bad rule. It is a bad rule for consumers,” said White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “This is like putting only healthy food on the menu, because unhealthy food tastes good but you still shouldn’t eat it because you might die younger.”—Trump Moves to Kill Off Obama’s Landmark Retirement Rule, February 3 2017

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Thought for the weekend

January 28, 2017

Lonmin reached a deal with workers last year for the basic monthly pay of 4,000 rock drill operators to rise by 2018 to nearly 12,500 South African rand (£744), the amount they were demanding in the days leading up to the 2012 massacre.But one shareholder said she believed miners’ wage demands were “unreasonable”, comparing the sum to her own pension and disability allowance.“The bulk of my pension goes on utilities,” she said. “They [mine workers] say they don’t have electricity, gas or running water so I don’t understand what they want to spend it on.”— The Guardian

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Snap AV: The Supreme Court ruled

January 24, 2017

And the government lost.Do click here for the full thing:But the main pars are… Par 121, with our emphasis:Where, as in this case, implementation of a referendum result requires a change in the law of the land, and statute has not provided for that change, the change in the law must be made in the only way in which the UK constitution permits, namely through Parliamentary legislation.Par 90The EU Treaties as implemented pursuant to the 1972 Act were and are unique in their legislative and constitutional implications. In 1972, for the first time in the history of the United Kingdom, a dynamic, international source of law was grafted onto, and above, the well-established existing sources of domestic law: Parliament and the courts. And, as explained in paras 13-15 above, before (i) signing

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Thought for the weekend

January 21, 2017

I don’t think we’ve had a speech like that since Andrew Jackson came to the White House. It’s got a deep, deep root of patriotism… It was an unvarnished declaration of the basic principles of his populist and nationalist movement. It was given in a very powerful way.— Steve Bannon, White House chief strategist, discusses President Trump’s inauguration speech with the Wall Street Journal.

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Condolences to the #Fanniegate crowd

January 19, 2017

Steven Mnuchin doesn’t seem to have your back. Or, what he’s saying is, he’s never said he has your back.For context, the bone of contention is that the US Treasury bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without buying all the shares, just most of them. Yet the government currently collects all of the profits earned by the government-sponsored enterprises, with the justification that the state is on the hook for any future losses.The holdout shareholders, however, think they should get to collect the profits in exchange for being on the hook for future losses. In their view, the government-sponsored enterprises are being prevented from “recapitalising” and should be “released” from government control. (The beneficiaries of this move would mostly include a few hedge funds and Trump donors,

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Thought for the weekend

January 13, 2017

The deprostitutionalization of research can be done as follows. Force people who want to do “research” to do it on their own time, that is to derive their income from other sources. Sacrifice is necessary. It may seem absurd to brainwashed contemporaries, but Antifragile documents the outsized historical contributions of the nonprofessional, or, rather, the non-meretricious. For their research to be genuine, they should first have a real world day job, or at least spend ten years as: lens maker, patent clerk, mafia operator, professional gambler, postman, prison guard, medical doctor, limo driver, militia member, social security agent, trial lawyer, farmer, restaurant chef, high volume waiter, firefighter (my favorite), lighthouse keeper, etc., while they are doing their initial research.—

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Thought for the weekend

January 6, 2017

We could all benefit from listening and learning about how more people are living, working and thinking about the future. So my challenge for anyone who wants to join is: can you visit 12 new places you’ve never been, meet someone new and learn about their life?Visiting 12 new places is a lot — it’s one new place every month.— Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, January 4

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FTAV Person of Interest 2016: the longlist

December 20, 2016

The City’s most prominent Brexiteer, Odey made an unnecessarily high-risk bet on a logically dissonant outcome using other people’s wealth and lost nearly all of it. Also, his fund went down a lot.[All or nothing trades are not as easy as they sound – FT]Britain’s answer to Bill Gates, assuming the question is: “who might plausibly burn though $200m in three years without noticing?”[From UK tech darling to administration – FT]Founder and CEO of the parasi-tech pioneer, whose name is a portmanteau combining the words “therapy” and “nonsense”.[Agony, alarm and anger for people hurt by Theranos’s botched blood tests – WSJ]Former GS rainmaker in charge of gladhanding the 1MDB murkpit, and a man for whom the question “where are the customers’ yachts?” is not entirely rhetorical.[The rise and

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Thought for the weekend

December 16, 2016

Rogue One is the first Star Wars movie to acknowledge the whole franchise is about war https://t.co/Wz6sAaiaDb— Vox (@voxdotcom) December 13, 2016(See the replies for further weekend thoughts.)

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2016, a year in absurdity

December 15, 2016

This year featured many moments of obvious absurdity.It was a great honour to spend time with @realDonaldTrump. He was relaxed and full of good ideas. I’m confident he will be a good President. pic.twitter.com/kx8cGRHYPQ— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 12, 2016But the danger is that, amidst such massive silliness, other worthy bits of daft news get forgotten. This is our limited attempt to make sure that doesn’t happen.In no particular order, here are our arbitrarily chosen standout moments of 2016 absurdity:— This guy, who here serves as a mascot for the anti-expert brigade of 2016:Experts, soothsayers, astrologers are all in much the same category – Jacob Rees-Mogg #AutumnStatement #Newsnight https://t.co/TbCm1HV2jz— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) November 23, 2016— Theranos

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Thought for the weekend

December 9, 2016

LORD PANNICK: Can I come on to the fifth topic which is De Keyser and the other case law.LADY HALE: Have I been mispronouncing that case all my adult life?LORD PANNICK: Would your Ladyship like to tell me the correct —LADY HALE: De Keyser.LORD PANNICK: I will call it De Keyser.LADY HALE: I may be wrong, I am often wrong.LORD PANNICK: You say De Keyser, I say De Keyser.LORD CLARKE: Down here we think it is De Keyser.THE PRESIDENT: We can each stick to our own because the transcript will not give away what we have called it.

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Thought for the weekend

December 3, 2016

“FREEDOM LIVES,” writes Vernon W. Hill II, founder of the former Commerce Bank, from his parttime exile in London, where he runs Metro Bank Plc, in response to my query about the improved climate for founders like him under President-elect Donald Trump in Washington.

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Reported Trump Treasury pick is “oasis of blankness” Steve Mnuchin

November 30, 2016

The New York Times has reported that Steve Mnuchin will be Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary, which prompted the following reaction from one of our sources in the nearly $14tn market: “It could’ve been way worse.”That’s because we no longer face the risk — however small — of a Treasury head that favours policies like returning to the gold standard, or eliminating deposit insurance. And in these turbulent times, there’s something sort of soothing about having yet another former Goldman Sachs partner in the Treasury, right? (Though it’s possibly not super comforting that he ran a mortgage lender that was called, um, a “foreclosure machine.”)In case you’re keeping track, Mnuchin would be one of three billionaires, with possibly more to come, in Trump’s cabinet if the President-elect

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Thought(s) for the weekend

November 25, 2016

Some turnarounds clocked in at less than an hour. Development Specialists Inc. President Bill Brandt Jr., a bankruptcy consultant and friend of the Clintons, spent about 20 minutes in a state of devastation. “And then I moved on,” he said. “I’m in the restructuring industry and I’m going to get a tax cut. What a double-good thing,” he added. “It’s all good for me.”

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Thought for the weekend

November 11, 2016

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Facebook is capping one of the longest weeks in American history by telling everyone that they are dead. Log on to your profile and there’s a good chance it will have a memorial banner sitting on top of it, urging your friends and family members to remember you. “We hope people who love Casey will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life,” the banner reads, because I am dead. — Casey Newton, The VergeContinue reading: Thought for the weekend

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We don’t always cover people moves…

October 31, 2016

But we’ve heard George Harrington, global head of fixed-income trading at Bloomberg LP, has left the company. The line of green text in the photo below appears to back that up.

We redacted his photo and contact information because we’re nice people. But if you’re interested, here’s an interview with him from 2014, where he discusses the tradeoffs between CLOBs (central limit order books — basically exchange-style trading) and RFQs (requests for quote). Not sure where he’s going, or what prompted the move, but you know where to reach us!

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Canadian federal election due in late 2019, Bank of England announces

October 31, 2016

Mark Carney has said he will extend his period as governor of the Bank of England to June 2019, declining to serve a full eight-year term and instead standing down once Britain leaves the EU…Earlier on Monday, Theresa May had backed Mr Carney to stay on until 2021, with her spokeswoman saying she would “certainly be supportive” if he decided to serve his full eight-year term.
–“Mark Carney to stay on as Bank of England governor until 2019” Financial Times October 31, 2016
The 43rd Canadian federal election is scheduled to take place on or before October 21, 2019. The October 21 date of the vote is determined by the fixed-date procedures in the Canada Elections Act but the Act does not preclude the Governor General of Canada from issuing the writs of election at an earlier date.
–“43rd

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