Saturday , October 21 2017
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FT Alphaville

Venmo’s peer-to-peer payments problem

PayPal executives are talking up plans to “monetise” Venmo, the peer-to-peer social payments network it bought years ago as part of its acquisition of Braintree.But it’s still unclear whether the app will have a significant effect on the company’s top line.There is one simple reason for this: PayPal doesn’t charge fees for peer-to-peer payments, so transactions don’t generate direct revenue! (Venmo’s business probably did end up juicing a couple of metrics in PayPal’s latest quarterly report,...

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Harking back to Prestiti stock — eight centuries of the risk-free rate

Here’s the chart…And here’s the fascinating Bank of England staff paper, penned by Paul Schmelzing.Abstract:This paper presents a new dataset for the annual risk-free rate in both nominal and real terms going back to the 13th century. On this basis, we establish for the first time a long-term comparative investigation of ‘bond bull markets’. It is shown that the global risk-free rate in July 2016 reached its lowest nominal level ever recorded. The current bond bull market in US Treasuries...

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Opening Quote: Daimler profits down

Daimler profits down. FT Opening Quote is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here. Daimler profits fell in the third quarter, owing to a car recall, upgrades for existing diesel vehicles and higher expenses on new technologies.The parent of Mercedes-Benz reported €3.46bn in operating earnings, “significantly below” the €4.04bn a year ago but ahead of forecasts at €3.25bn.The group posted record unit sales and revenue – up 6 per cent to €40.8bn – but...

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Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,— Psychopaths underperform.— More on macro pie — and more!— The Taylor rule and Taylor’s record.— “When glitzy recruitment videos yield to the reality of suburban cul-de-sacs…”— “An utter transformation of human habitation across the globe within one generation.”— The (unvarnished) Trump White House policy wish list.— Lucy, seven weeks in.— Further listening....

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Trouble in ICO paradise

Back in July, we highlighted a little blockchain startup called Tezos, which had raised $230m worth of cryptocurrency in an initial coin offering. If you recall, it had big ideas about persuading “a small nation-state” to accept their Tezos token as its official state currency.Now a dispute has reportedly bubbled up between Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, the startup’s founders, and Johann Gevers, the president of the Swiss foundation set up to take the project forward. Here’s Reuters:Under...

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Is “growing the pie” overrated, and does that explain why everything is terrible?

The most important question in all of economics is: what can societies do to get richer? Sadly, nobody has a great answer. Only a handful of countries* have ever moved from “significantly poorer than the richest” to “about as rich as the richest”.There has been plenty of research on differences between rich and poor countries, gaps in prosperity within countries, and even how to improve productivity within individual businesses. But there is no consensus on what governments can do to improve...

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Opening Quote: Unilever is “Connected 3 Growth”

Unilever is “Connected 3 Growth”. FT Opening Quote, with commentary by Matthew Vincent, is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here. Unilever adheres to the 1990s rule of corporate strategy and parental text messages: try to use numbers for words, because that makes you appear modern, vital and dare one say ‘with it’. It’s ‘snazzy’. Hence, Unilever’s latest strategy is not called “Connected for Growth”, but “Connected 4 Growth”. Or “C4G”. Can U C what they...

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