Sunday , April 22 2018
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FT Alphaville

Thoughts for the weekend

FDR is “the real 'Make America Great Again' President because of it weren't for him, older Americans wouldn't even get Social Security.” - @iamcardib pic.twitter.com/6FPjVRsKrF — SocialSecurityWorks (@SSWorks) April 9, 2018 Cardi B is right. If we are really going to make America great we need to strengthen Social Security so that seniors are able to retire with the dignity they deserve. https://t.co/B8cOkoOdLc — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 18, 2018...

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NYSE: What’s a girl got to be scared of?

The thing about art is that you can read into it whatever you want. Take the Fearless Girl sculpture that first appeared in front of New York's Charging Bull last year. To some it was an instant symbol of women's empowerment and a call for greater gender diversity in corporate America. To others, it was a disingenuous corporate branding exercise meant to cover up gender inequalities in the financial industry. To the creator of the Charging Bull statue, it was an infringement of copyright. And...

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March sadness

The coaches and other professionals who work in college sports are some of the best-paid individuals found in the athletic pursuits, thanks in large part to rules that say the kids can't accept a dime. But the case of Sean Miller, the controversial University of Arizona basketball coach, shows that the ability to write big cheques doesn't always translate into intelligent incentive structures. Look closely at a $1m good behaviour penalty clause and it becomes clear that not all $1m are...

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Encore podcast: Geoffrey West on why some things stop growing and other things don’t

This is an encore podcast and book review of Why things stop growing, and why other things don’t, first published in June 2017. Enjoy.Alphachat is available on Acast, iTunes and Stitcher.Geoffrey West, theoretical physicist turned complexity scientist at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, first became fascinated with the idea of Scaletwo decades ago as he began to approach his 50s. Coming from a long line of short-lived males, he says this age more than any other triggered a foreboding...

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Elsewhere in unusual interest-rate moves…

While much has been made of the rise in the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), there have been dislocations elsewhere in the “plumbing” of financial markets as well.A pair of US repo rates have climbed above the top of the Fed's designated policy range this month: First, a quick refresher on why this is strange. US interest rates are essentially the cost of dollars over time. In normal times, the Fed adjusts the cost of dollars over time by changing borrowing costs for bank reserves,...

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Further Reading

Elsewhere on Friday, -- Reading the fiduciary rule-- Cash is a cure...-- ...but a bitter pill to swallow-- Palantir knows everything-- Global income distribution-- Homeopathy and poor prescribing practices-- Ah, you do realise they're a donor-- After it rains men, the flood-- Fresh towels, a breakfast buffet, and Mossad-- What a lovely surprise-- Happy Cannabis day-- Farewell, ye scribbly scrawl-- Aged fake news...

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These hedge fund numbers can’t be right

Assets entrusted to the care of hedge funds have been rising in a steady flow for the past year, according to data provider HFR. At the end of last month there was a record $3.2tn entrusted to the fee-extraction industry.Net inflows to funds were $1.1bn in the first three months of the year, “the fourth consecutive quarter of net inflows”, according to HFR. So performance must be pretty good, right? Lets have a look: Huh, the average fund has increased the value of its investor's capital by...

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Now NASDAQ gets in a tangle

Last month we published a story on Longfin, a Nasdaq listed trade-finance company with a tenuous link to blockchain technology and hence an excessively high market capitalisation. To recap, FTSE Russell decided to add Longfin to its Russell 2000 and 3000 small-cap indexes. Index funds then bought shares for their various products.There was one problem though.FTSE Russell had calculated the available free float of Longfin at 22 per cent, exceeding the 5 per cent required for its indexes, when...

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We ran away with your bitcoins!! LOL, JK

Yesterday, the website and Telegram channel of a hitherto unknown crypto token called Savedroid suddenly went down. Nobody was quite sure whether this was an elaborate marketing ploy, the site had been hacked, or investors had fallen prey to the kind of exit scam that has tarnished the reputation of an otherwise ~totally credible and legit~ industry: that of the initial coin offering (ICO), in which money is raised in return for absolutely nothing digital tokens and kitties.All that was left...

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