Posts from Friday Feb 8 2013


This week on FT Alphaville,

Draghi’s comments and the EUR fall provided a Rorschach test for the markets. Read more

Choose your own adventure, sovereign debt trial of the century edition

A great resource from Shearman & Sterling, in their note marking the end of the briefing war in the Argentine vs holdouts pari passu saga.

It’s a schematic of the arguments which the Second Circuit will likely consider when deciding appeals against an order for Argentina to pay holdouts alongside restructured bondholders. Some of the arguments are key. Some are not so key. Read more

Employer power, high-skill immigration and what we’re really talking about

There’s a lot I disagree with in Ross Eisenbrey’s NYT piece on high-skilled immigration, but I’ll start with this:

The bill’s authors, led by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, argue that America would benefit from letting more immigrants trained in science, technology, engineering and math work in the country, with the sponsorship of high-tech companies like Microsoft and I.B.M. … Read more

Dear Ben, David and Doug, thanks but no thanks. Love, Sareb

When good opportunities are scarce, hedgies will seek them in rather unlikely places.

Take Sareb, the Spanish ‘bad bank’ in the process of raising €250m in new equity for the second round of asset transfers from the country’s beleaguered lenders. Read more

Markets Live: Friday, 8th February, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

EU leaders near €960bn budget deal || Apple under pressure on $137bn cash pile || Sony’s sells property rather than TVs || China denies targeting Japanese ship || Dell to repatriate $7bn of overseas cash || China trade growth hints at strong 2013 || Bloomberg’s British empire || Investments pay off for KKR || Markets update: Closing out a fairly volatile week in a more positive mood Read more

The Draghi Rorschach test

“Oh, Hollande…” said Mario Draghi as the rest of us wondered if he had or hadn’t entered the supposed currency wars. Or if, in fact, the question was redundant.

The euro’s dive on Thursday was impressive and clearly the result of ECB president Draghi’s comments after the ECB’s rate setting meeting. But whether it was justified or not is very much contested. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

Perverse incentives and productivity.

– The brief fashion that was housing investment.

Makers versus takers: an update. Read more

The 6am Cut London

A 6 per cent drop in Sony shares stood out as Asian stock markets fell. The Nikkei fell more than 1 per cent. Japan posted a current account deficit for a second month in December, leaving its 2012 annual surplus the lowest on record (Reuters). Sony posted an unexpected quarterly loss and cut its sales forecasts for TVs and games devices (Bloomberg).

Apple and David Einhorn clashed over its cash. The company said it would “thoroughly evaluate” Greenlight Capital’s call for it to issue preferred stock as a way of tapping its $137bn hoard, despite the activist fund’s decision to sue it over a proxy proposal that investors vote before this kind of share can be issued (Financial Times). “Apple has $145 per share of cash on its balance sheet. As a shareholder, this is your money,” Einhorn said in a letter to other investors. Greenlight has a 0.12 per cent stake in Apple, having advocated its shares since a fall in them began last year. But Einhorn has worked for months behind the scenes to convince Apple management of the preferred shares scheme, which they rejected for involving too high a dividend (Reuters). Read more