Markets Live: Monday, 5th October, 2015

Live markets commentary from 

About that ‘flash surge’ in Glencore

Which idiots do we blame for this?

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Further reading

Elsewhere on Monday,

- In which the IMF worries about EM corporate leverage.

- Uncle Sam spam.

- People. Get. A. Grip: Glencore is not the next Lehman.

- “Streetlamp corruption” in China.

- China’s middle-class dream is in peril.

- “The Turing scandal has shown just how vulnerable drug pricing is to exploitative, rent-seeking behavior.”  Read more

FT Opening Quote – Tories time Lloyds retail sale

Lloyds bank shares will be sold to the public at a 5 per cent discount by the Treasury, as George Osborne prepares to address the Tory conference today. FT Opening Quote, with commentary by City Editor Jonathan Guthrie, is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here. Read more

FirstFT – Russia scuppers no-fly zone plans, the gun-buying rush and the prospect of a mega tsunami

Moscow has in effect scuppered US coalition plans for a no-fly zone over Syria Read more

Negative rates as a precursor to death of banking, redux

Back in 2012, we argued that:

“The simple fact of the matter is that in a negative carry world – or a flat yield environment for that matter there is no role or purpose for banks because banks are forced into economically destructive practices in order to stay profitable.”

Which was short for: banks and zero interest rates don’t get on. Read more

Yieldcos and interest rates

When is a yieldco actually a money-printing device? And when is it not?

Or put differently: how sensitive are yieldcos to interest rate and tax changes?

[Yieldcos are pitched to investors as dividend growth-oriented companies which distribute predictable cash-flows to investors on tax efficient terms.]

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When energy inventory snaps looks like this

Simply amazing exploding crude inventory charts from BNP Paribas:

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Markets Live: Friday, 2nd October, 2015

Live markets commentary from 

William Macaulay, the reluctant Glencore insider

On the face of it, another Glencore director has done the decent thing: following the example this week of fellow directors Tony Hayward and John Mack, Glencore non-exec William Macaulay has picked up a parcel of distressed Glencore stock.

And it looks substantial — 1.7m shares, purchased on Thursday at 90.91p — until you look at what Macaulay trousered barely three months ago… Read more

Alphachat: Anne-Marie Slaughter on gender equality, invisible Xi, and Emily Parker on the Internet in Cuba

We’re thrilled to announce that today we are launching a new longform-only* podcast about economics and business — a kind of spinoff from Alphachat, which will continue to run weekly.

We received a lot of suggestions throughout the last two months of producing Alphachat consistently, but the two most common kinds of feedback were directly contradictory. On the one hand, a lot of people asked for more long-and-wonky chats like our hour-long conversation with Joe Stiglitz. On the other hand, many other listeners also wanted a slightly shorter Alphachat: an hour was too long for them. Read more

Why fintech is a jobs story

McKinsey have warned banks are facing a wipeout scenario in some financial services because of the challenger threat from fintech.

As the FT’s Martin Arnold reported this week:  Read more

That was yen, this is now

A brief history of Japan’s stock market, charted by Nomura. Do click to enlarge/ to spot the bubbles:

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Is it time for our readers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?

From Credit Suisse’s James Sweeney and team: Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

- Prisoners of derp.

- Going long Sun Edison.

- The “temptation to teach products to lie strategically will be as impossible to resist for companies in the near future.”

- Lagarde-ian of the galaxy. Read more

FT Opening Quote – Equiniti registers £1bn IPO

Share registrar Equiniti has registered its own IPO, while those daily payment protection insurance calls may be coming to an end at last, thanks to the FCA. FT Opening Quote, with commentary by City Editor Jonathan Guthrie, is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here. Read more

FirstFT – EMs suffer record outflow, the city of ruins and why it was easier to be skinny in the 1980s

Emerging markets are projected to suffer a net outflow of capital this year Read more

Assessing “Abenomics”, again

Jeff Megall: Do you know what time it is in Tokyo, Nick?
Nick Naylor: No.
Jeff Megall: 4 pm tomorrow. It’s the future, Nick.

Thank You For Smoking (film)

Back when Japan first entered the world of zero inflation and zero interest rates, many Western economists and policymakers thought it was a freak event never to be experienced in their own countries.

But it turned out Jeff Megall was right: far from being unusual, Japan was simply further along in the process of debt-fueled boom and slow deleveraging. Hence the attention paid to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s efforts over the past two-and-a-half years or so to boost growth, particularly the ambitious programme of monetary stimulus called Quantitative and Qualitative Easing. Read more

Why the outrage over Carney’s climate speech?

This guest post is from Kate Mackenzie, a former Alphavillian who now works with The Climate Institute in Australia.


Anytime a public figure mentions climate change, you can guarantee a fierce response — and, sure enough, it happened again with Mark Carney’s speech on climate risk. Read more

Markets Live: Thursday, 1st October, 2015

Live markets commentary from 

NY Pub quiz warmup — take our interactive practice quiz #FTPubQuiz

We’re terribly excited to be hosting next Wednesday’s FT Pub Quiz in New York.

Most of the Alphaville gang will be there, along with about twenty-five teams competing, more questions than last year, and a special guest appearance by Paul Volcker — yep, that Paul Volcker, who will be co-hosting the economics history round alongside the night’s MC, Gillian Tett. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

- Why it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

- We are living in a robot moment — rejoice, cower, and copulate?

- Children of the yuan percent.

- Unsure of what to do, Chavez retreated to a monastery in northern New Mexico to clear his head. In the midst of cleaning toilets, he had an epiphany: “God told me to go to Goldman Sachs.”

- Yelp for people. Read more

FT Opening Quote – Numis bucks gloomy broker trend

Daniel Stewart’s shares have been suspended again, but Numis is bucking the gloomy trend for mid-cap brokers. FT Opening Quote, with commentary by City Editor Jonathan Guthrie, is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here.  Read more

Q3 charted (and best forgotten)

By Deutsche’s Jim Reid:

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FirstFT – Russian air strikes raise tensions, the Martian microbes of doom and amnesia reversed

Washington rejects Moscow’s claims that Russian air strikes in Syria were aimed at Isis Read more

Slater & Gordon and some numbers in contrast

Slater & Gordon, the Australian legal group, delivered a fully audited set of results on Wednesday, the deadline to do so. Shares in the company — which have collapsed since it swallowed almost all of UK corporate train wreck Quindell — barely budged on the day, closing up 2 per cent.

So what happened? We suspect the lack of market enthusiasm is related to how many of the numbers reported in August were different to those on which the auditors signed off this week.

We’ll pick out a few below (and offer a quick reminder of why this all matters), but here is what may be the most important: somehow A$12.5m of underlying revenues and A$8.5m of underlying net profit fell out of the accounts in the last month. Read more

It’s not the 1930s so…

Currency wars are either everywhere or nowhere. We know that much.

What we also probably know is that currency devaluations in today’s environment are indeed approaching beggar thy neighbour policy without commitments to be irresponsible and/ or supportive fiscal action.  Read more

How to choose the IMF’s next Managing Director

This guest post is from Peter Doyle, an economist and former IMF staffer.


As the International Monetary Fund readies itself for its Annual Meetings in Lima next week, perhaps the key issue in its governance—the end of Christine Lagarde’s term as Managing Director in mid-2016—remains largely off the radar screen. It deserves prominence now. Read more

China’s economic leadership

Consider these educational stereotypes, all entirely accurate:

The US is led by a Harvard-trained lawyer. Read more

Markets Live: Wednesday, 30th September, 2015

Live markets commentary from