Wednesday , January 22 2020
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FT Alphaville

Markets not live, Tuesday 21st January 2020 

Gods be praised, there’s a new Lekoil story. You remember Lekoil, right? Nigerian oil thing. Paid a Bahamas and/or Accra-based fixer $600k to arrange a $184m loan from the QIA that never arrived. “[A] picture is emerging of how Lekoil was scammed by people pretending to be from the Qatar Investment Authority, according to people familiar with the matter,” the story says, perhaps redundantly. Here’s a brief outline of the matter with which the people are familiar. An oil industry “player” in...

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Germany’s spending finally. But how green is it? 

© AP Some of Europe’s traditionally parsimonious northern member states are finally waking up to the fact that the European Central Bank’s monetary policy allows them to borrow on the cheap.Both the Netherlands and Germany have recently announced big public spending projects. Both have labelled them “green”.The Netherlands has set up a €50bn fund with the aim of investing in projects to help combat climate change. Germany, meanwhile, announced last week that it will spend €86bn over...

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Calpers and the ‘illiquidity premium’

© Getty Images In 2019 we took a quick look at some comments by Calpers, the $401bn Californian pension megafund, regarding its private equity book.Chief investment officer Ben Meng was bullish on the asset class, telling the fund’s investment committee that Calpers needed more exposure to PE “and we need it now”.Meng reiterated the idea to the FT in December, stating that he wants private equity to represent over 10 per cent of Calpers’ assets, up from around 7 per cent today.Private...

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Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday...-- The internet of beefs-- China coal powers on-- The ballet that incited a riot (video)-- Bain on PE-- Are bioplastics the future?-- Aztec loot re-appears, 500 years later-- The price of a slave-- Interviewing Bernie on Tik-Toc-- What Labour should do now-- The song economy-- Song of the day: The Wrens -- Happy...

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Markets not live, Monday 20th January 2020

Let’s start by getting Fevertree Drinks out of the way. The tonic water maker with the same hyphen ambiguity as Rebecca Long Bailey has had a big, ugly profit warning. It blames a “challenging Christmas” with “the mixer category not immune from the weak consumer confidence and corresponding slowdown in spending”. An uptick in Christmas spending “did not materialise with the macroeconomic uncertainty leading to a subdued end to the year across both the on and off-trade.”Group 2019 revenue...

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The Witcher is not a freelancer

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have a semi-productive life, you might have noticed a show called The Witcher was released on Netflix just before Christmas.Adapted from a string of successful fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, the show documents the adventures of Geralt of Rivia — a white-haired, mutated, monster-killer for hire — as he slays beasts, courts witches and delivers gruff one-liners.The fantasy yarn has proved popular, with Parrot Analytics estimating in...

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What Abkhazia’s crypto dalliance teaches us about monetary sovereignty 

© Alamy Stock Photo This is a guest post by Maximilian Hess, a fellow in the Eurasia programme at the Foreign Policy Research Institute exploring the connections between realisable monetary returns and true monetary sovereignty in the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia in Georgia, and lessons from the arrival of cryptocurrency in the region. Carry trade investors are always on the lookout for new havens. Low interest rates in developed markets have accelerated capital flows into ever more...

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How too much virtue signalling hinders stakeholder capitalism 

© AFP via Getty Images This is a guest post by Lutfey Siddiqi, a visiting professor-in-practice at the London School of Economics and Member of the WEF Global Future Council on the New Economy, in which he argues ahead of this week’s World Economic Forum that while Milton Friedman may have won the sprint when it comes to corporate responsibilities, Forum founder Klaus Schwab and his brand of stakeholder capitalism may be winning the marathon. Milton Friedman versus Klaus Schwab - it...

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Further reading

Elsewhere on Monday,-- Malta’s technicolor blockchain dream has turned an ominous shade of grey.-- Is the future of Hollywood quick clips and tiny screens?-- ’Woke coke’ dealers target middle-class drug users.-- Davos clinics that treat burnout.-- The wood wide web.-- What interest rates dating back to 1311 tell us about today’s global economy.-- On the negative externalities of accepting broader collateral. -- MIT and Epstein.-- Why Americans once supported prohibition....

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