Monday , August 19 2019
Home / FT Alphaville

FT Alphaville

Thought for the weekend

Greta is no Wazza: We were promised flying cars, we got: Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. 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...

Read More »

Oh, Inverted World (Update)

This article has been updated since publication to include some new BIS data.The big story in global finance over the past 48 hours has been an inversion of the US and UK yield curves — with the news the yield on the ten-year bond had dipped below shorter maturities often seen as a harbinger of recession.Alphaville will assume that most of our readership understands terms such as yield and inversion (and for those who haven’t the foggiest, we would recommend this explainer from Vox).While it...

Read More »

From pianos to insurance: revisiting the 1983 Baldwin bankruptcy

Over the past few months, we’ve been looking into pianos. One anecdote we came across involved a director of exports at Baldwin, a piano company, who visited London in the 1970s. He’d been through the Yellow Pages, and seen that there were more piano shops in the city than in the entire state of New York. It seemed to him that most of them couldn’t last. He wasn’t wrong. But a decade later, in 1983, Baldwin’s holding company also went into bankruptcy, in what was at the time one of the...

Read More »

Overheard in the long room: trade war worries

“I worry about you Donny, sometimes I worry about you a lot” is a paraphrased line from the televised mini-series of Stephen King’s seminal novel IT.*And, as it turns out, some are really worried about Donny at the moment.From the latest edition of BAML’s fund manager survey, published Tuesday: Yep, the trade war once again leads the “biggest tail risk” question from the survey of 224 panellists with assets under management of $553bn.It’s not much of a surprise. Global equity markets seem...

Read More »

Rethinking bank profitability

Today, the ECB has an article out on bank profits.It serves as a reminder of an easily-forgettable point: that financial profitability is a state of affairs that regulators, as well as shareholders, have a deep interest in achieving. From the piece:…profitable banks are more attractive to investors. They can increase their capital ratios by retaining earnings or accessing the markets directly – which can be critical when they’re required to adjust capital levels to meet future supervisory...

Read More »

WeWork’s S-1: some quick observations

OK, we should probably hold fire until we’ve had a think.But here are a few more interesting titbits from WeWork’s S-1 filing, spotted by ex-Alphavillain Joseph Cotterill.First, under the “Charitable Giving” section on page 199. For context, Adam Neumann is WeWork’s founder and Rebekah is his wife [with our emphasis]:In connection with this offering, Rebekah and Adam are dedicating additional resources to amplify the positive global impact of our organisation. This effort is designed to...

Read More »

WeWork’s IPO document lands

So it begins. Filed a few moments ago, WeWork’s S-1 for its upcoming IPO.The opening lines are hopefully indicative of the rest of the document: We are a community company committed to maximum global impact. Our mission is to elevate the world’s consciousness.While we read through the 28 pages of risk factors, elevating our minds, here’s the organisation chart for you, the intrepid investor, to decode: Looks pretty tax efficient.Thoughts, comments and captions welcome below, we’ll be up...

Read More »

Meat tax gives Germans something to chew on

Tacked up next to Frankfurt’s Schreiber stall, famed for the Bratwurst in buns it sells by the hundreds each lunchtime, is this: Alphaville won’t provide a full translation. But let’s just say the meat of it is that everyone from lawyers and professors to painters and poets loves the city’s sausages. A look at the queue this weekday lunchtime at the Kleinmarkthalle, made up of a dozen men and women of all ages, suggests this mid-19th century Ode to Wurst still holds.Politicians think that...

Read More »

The Tumblr tumble

Remember Tumblr? The microblogging site which, for a brief period earlier this decade, seemed like a potential challenger to the established social media platforms. It was so popular, in fact, that even perennial latecomers to the party Alphaville set up a page.Then, along came Yahoo.The lagging search engine/Alibaba surrogate had spent the best part of the dotcom boom, bust and revival missing the proverbial boat in social media. And it needed a quick fix. So in May 2013, Yahoo, and its new...

Read More »