Posts from Monday Aug 20 2012

Man U, a stake for Soros

Hat-tip to Sam Jones — it’s a 7.85 per cent stake (in the ordinary class A shares) by George Soros.

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The Closer


Markets crawled to a close on Monday on light trading, as Eurozone news confused investors. The S&P 500 closed down 0.03 per cent. Meanwhile, yields on Spanish yields fell to their lowest levels since early June, with 10 year notes dropping to 6.28 per cent (Financial Times). Read more

Going for (long-run) Greek growth

Troika negotiations drone on. Meanwhile:

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Now, that is one mighty fine interest rate sensitivity disclosure

While interest rates are likely to stay low for some time yet, they can’t be that way forever. When rates finally go up, banks could be in a position to profit — provided their balance sheets are ready.

An investor could attempt to research which banks will be best placed for such a shift. For retail banks in particular, since their business models are not as diverse as investment banks, a handy disclosure to look for in financial statements would be net interest income sensitivity. Read more

Paul Ryan and Hayek vs Rand

Colourful language warning – well, it is Ayn Rand:

[Rand] thinks Hayek’s definition of a person’s “own sphere” in which his views are supreme could be narrowed down to “mere breathing”; Hayek’s rejection of “dogmatic laissez-faire attitude” gets him called “The God Damned abysmal fool”. When Hayek accepts that certain goods, like roads and pollution abatement, need to be supplied by government, he is “so saturated with all the bromides of collectivism that it is terrifying”. When Hayek talks of the “very defined limits” in which individualism “allows” people to follow their “own values and preferences rather than somebody else’s,” Rand thunders, “Oh God damn the total, complete, vicious bastard! This means that man does exist for others, but since he doesn’t know how to do it, the master will give him some ‘defined limits’ for himself”.

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Shorting, shorting Man United

Dearie me – what an atrocious headline.

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Nadir guilty, but will he serve time?

Well, that didn’t work out.

Former Polly Peck boss Asil Nadir, who skipped to northern Cyprus almost 20 years ago, only to return to Britain in 2010 to finally face fraud charges, has been found guilty of three theft-related counts. The jury found Nadir not guilty on one charge and on Monday they retired to consider nine remaining counts. Read more

Spiegel, Buba, the ECB and a rather predictable back and forth

Alternate title:”Vergemeinschaftungen von Solvenzrisiken” — which means, apparently, “mutualization of solvency risks” (h/t our own Joseph Cotterill).

So Germany’s Spiegel magazine gave markets some froth earlier this morning via this story. It said, without citing any sources, that the the European Central Bank is considering placing a cap on peripheral bond spreads over German Bunds. Read more

Woe is Italy’s labour market

A couple of years is a significant delayed reaction. Or maybe it’s not when looking at Italy’s labour markets, with all the structural rigidity embedded therein.

In a note published on Monday, SocGen’s James Nixon looked beyond the gigantic pile of sovereign debt to squint at the country’s productivity. He noticed that in the first crisis-induced slump, unemployment didn’t rise as much as it perhaps should have (emphasis ours): Read more

Markets Live transcript 20 Aug 2012

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning, New York


China’s economy growing in the wrong places

Namely, property:

China property prices - NBS 70-city survey - Also Sprach Analyst Read more

Markets Live returns at 11am

Yes, Bryce Elder and Paul Murphy have returned from their summer hiatus.

Markets Live gets underway again at 11am on MondayRead more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Monday,

– ‘China is different. Don’t ask, just buy‘. Read more

The 6am Cut London

There are calls to limit the role of Chinese investors in consortiums bidding for UK nuclear contracts. Several people familiar with the sale process said UK officials had signalled a preference for the two competing consortiums’ Chinese partners to be minority investors in the project (Financial Times).

The ECB is considering setting interest rate thresholds to trigger purchases of peripheral eurozone bonds, according to a report in Der Spiegel. “Germany’s weekly Spiegel magazine, which did not name its sources, said on Sunday that the ECB would decide whether to implement such thresholds at its September meeting.” The ECB said it had no comment (Reuters). Read more