Posts from Friday Mar 8 2013


This week on FT Alphaville,

– We celebrated International Women’s Day. Twice… Read more

A $200m Friday afternoon JNK sale

Further to our markets story from earlier this week (Investors ready for high-yield selloff), a massive $200m block of 5m shares in State Street’s SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond Fund ETF crossed the market this afternoon. According to one source, an ETF market-maker, the transaction came from one seller. (see graph/arrow). Read more

JPM: stress is what other banks feel

A grateful hat tip to the FT’s Shahien Nasiripour for constructing and sending us the following basic spreadsheet.

It shows the discrepancy between the Fed’s estimates of how the largest banks would perform in its latest stress test scenario, versus how the banks themselves said they would fare (click to enlarge): Read more

La brutta figura

Italy has finally fallen out of the ‘A’ ratings and into the Bs, at Fitch Ratings.

Here’s the explanation for cutting it to BBB+, outlook negative: Read more

Ms Penny Hughes writes…

Probably best to just get on and crowd-source the analysis and commentary on this one:

On stabilising the gold price

Almost a year ago the Telegraph’s Thomas Pascoe put out an interesting piece on gold. We’ve decided to reprise it this Friday because we think it offers an interesting and useful perspective on current developments in the gold market:

One of the most popular trading plays of the late 1990s was the carry trade, particularly the gold carry trade. In this a bank would borrow gold from another financial institution for a set period, and pay a token sum relative to the overall value of that gold for the privilege.

 Read more

He isn’t the Prime Minister, he’s a very naughty economist

(This is getting to be a genre.)

Robert Chote, head of the Office for Budget Responsibility – the UK’s independent fiscal watchdog – writes to David Cameron about this speech… Read more

Happy women’s day! You’re paid less than men! – Part 2

In Part 1, we looked at the Futuretrack data that showed female graduates in the UK earning less than their male colleagues. This appears to hold even when graduates did the same degree, went to a similar university, and so on. It is particularly concerning to see data that show women start out on lower pay, given the potential knock-on effects for one’s future earnings.

In this post, we move on to look at a few academic studies about why this might be, particularly around pay negotiation. Read more

February payrolls: +236,000, unemployment rate down to 7.7 per cent

A welcome surprise, with private sector payrolls up a healthy 246,000, including a big boost from construction with 48,000. A few more notes:

— The rise in construction jobs supports the arguments made by Calculated Risk and Goldman economists: the effects of labour hoarding in the sector are diminishing, and more hiring is needed. We added some thoughts on this a couple of weeks ago. Read more

Kafka at the ECB

M. found himself waiting for Draghi surrounded by fellow journalists. He passed on a short piece of the conversation (we’ve protected the imaginary sources, naturally):

But we do often speak about the OMT, which I’ve never seen; you know D. doesn’t like me and never let me look at it, still its appearance is well known in the ECB, some people have seen it, everybody has heard of it, and out of glimpses and rumours and through various distorting factors an image of the OMT has been constructed which is certainly true in fundamentals. But only in fundamentals. In detail it fluctuates, and yet perhaps not so much as the OMT’s reality.

 Read more

Happy women’s day! You’re paid less than men! – Part 1

Hurrah, it’s International Women’s Day! Time for a bunch of reports informing us of much less we earn than men! Aren’t you excited?

The formula:

  1. Sample data finds that women aren’t paid as highly as men, while holding various factors constant.
  2. Off into the tumbleweeds of academic studies that try to determine why.
  3. A pundit in question writes about it. (Why, hello…)

 Read more

Markets Live: Friday, 8th March, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Goldman result surprises in Fed’s stress tests || OECD predicts Brent price of $190 by 2020 || China warns over fresh currency moves || Japanese GDP rose 0.2% || China’s exports far exceeded expectations || BP warns of higher settlement costs || Barclays chief wants 30% staff reduction || Kenyan election set for tight finish || BofA looks to play catch-up in Asia corporate banking || Troika discusses transactions tax for Cyprus, Russia may contribute || Top pension funds are reconsidering the size of their Aviva investments || Horse meat sales… up || L&G ex-trader jailed for insider dealing || Markets roundup || AV wrap Read more

Where is the EEMEA flow?

An interesting anomaly is popping up in the world of Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EEMEA) flows, note Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Friday:

Investors are puzzled by the lack of EEMEA FX appreciation in spite of G-10 central bank printing. Waiting for the flow may be like Waiting for Godot: you wait and wait, but he never comes. Global rebalancing, deleveraging and higher US rates are responsible for this, in our view. In sum, the flow trends are consistent with the poor performance of EEMEA FX—and insofar as they are unlikely to change, currencies are likely to remain weak.

 Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

– To boldly go to the moon for $30m.

– iBias, iLeverage, iFail spectacularly.

– And one day, when rates rise… Read more

The 6am Cut London

Asian shares rise led by Japan || Japan grew in Dec quarter || China’s February exports beat, imports miss || Fed stress tests || BP warns of higher settlement costs || Troika discusses Cyprus capital gains tax || Pensions reconsidering Aviva holdings || Drax biomass support Read more