Sunday , June 16 2019
Home / FT Alphaville

FT Alphaville

Cœuré on ECB reinvestments

At the end of last year, the European Central Bank stopped its net purchases of government bonds, though it pledged to carry on reinvesting maturing debt. You might, naively, have expected this to increase yields in the eurozone.Nearly six months on, they're at their lowest levels ever. As in, of all time.The German 10-year Bund yield is today at -0.27 per cent. Movement in the periphery is even more extreme. The equivalent Portuguese bonds are now yielding 0.6 per cent, whereas before...

Read More »

CFA Meme Competition: the early contenders

Alphaville's inbox has been buzzing over the past 24 hour as candidates, from far and wide, submit their best CFA memes. Seeing as it's Friday afternoon, we thought it best to post some of the front-runners so far ahead of Monday's 10am deadline.To start off, here's one from Sabeek Pradhan — we think this is really in the spirit of the competition: The chance to get (vaguely) famous from making a meme made Sean Tuffy very excited. Here's one of his best entries: And last but not least,...

Read More »

How blockchain takes us back to medieval times

The marketing spiel about blockchain distributed ledger technology (DLT) often promises to liberate financial institutions from the costly burden of having to pledge billions of dollars in margin to clearing houses on the basis that trades complete instantaneously, meaning counterparty risks are eliminated. But this, according to a new report by Greenwich Associates' Ken Monahan, is a wrong-headed way to think about things. Monahan, who in other respects is quite complimentary of DLT, notes...

Read More »

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday...-- Boris Johnson turns orange-- The strange dealings of an ex-ESPN reporter-- The World Economic Forum produces...something...useful?-- HEY NOW. YOU'RE AN ALL-STAR.-- Valuing Beyond Meat-- UK: mafia state-- Google kills a crypto site-- The dark history behind Krispy Kreme donuts-- Monzo-mania crosses the Atlantic-- What music can never do-- Song of the day: Built to Spill -- Conventional Wisdom...

Read More »

It’s that time again! The CFA meme competition returns!

This weekend there are more than 250,000 candidates taking the three Chartered Financial Analyst exams (aka the CFA). With those participating probably feeling like there's a swimming pool of equations and ethical codes balanced on their heads as they sit at their desks, trying to do a passable job, we thought it was high-time for some light relief.So, without further ado, welcome to FT Alphaville's second ever CFA meme competition.We ran a similar event back in 2013, and so for some...

Read More »

Help (those who were already able) to buy

The Lord helps those who help themselves. And the government helps those who didn’t need the help. Or whose parents already helped them.The UK’s National Audit Office has today released a report on Help to Buy. It includes the striking statistic that the majority of people who bought using the scheme — a measure designed to boost home ownership — would have been able to buy anyway.This is self-reported, and the government does have some claim to have achieved its aim: 37 per cent of...

Read More »

Here’s how much Izzy paid to move $19.1 worth of Bitcoin

Something cryptocurrency supporters don't admit to enough — mostly to their own detriment — is just how user unfriendly most of their services are.This is a major error. It's this issue, along with price volatility, users' exposure to scams and the system's affiliation with the black market, that is really holding back mass adoption.It becomes all the more apparent when you compare the usability of the average crypto service to mainstream alternatives like Venmo and PayPal (or even, for that...

Read More »

SegWit and the bitcoin transaction fee conspiracy theory

Bitcoin was supposed to make finance cheap and accessible.But then in 2015 the network got jammed (mostly with spam, not real-world transactions) and transaction fees began to spike.The mystery of who was spamming the network was never really solved. But the whole thing seemed calculated. Some believed it was initiated by powers who wanted to push bitcoin's scaling limitations to the forefront of developer agendas. But nobody could be sure.Either way, fees kept soaring, peaking in 2017 at...

Read More »

An update on the auto finance boom

Wednesday brought with it a profit warning for Pendragon, the biggest car retailer in the UK. Part of the problem was unsold used cars. From the FT this morning:Pendragon had £458m worth of used car stock at the end of 2018, compared to £372m a year earlier, and “an excess of stock held across the business,” the group said on Wednesday.Some wider context for the used car market. May brought with it the largest used car price decline since 2012, according to Cap HPI, which was blamed in part...

Read More »