Posts from Thursday Oct 17 2013

The Closer


– Is aid a roadblock to development? Read more

Data delayed, taper too?

Anyone fiending for economic data after the shutdown delays might be disappointed.

Here’s a guide from Capital Economics, based partly on the experience of the 1990s, about the anticipated return of certain indicators: Read more

All our dreams will come true, next year

We are beasts of the calendar. January nurtures dreams and good intentions, while October is the month that slaps you round the face and demands you get a grip before the year is out.

US stock analysts are no exception, as can be seen by this chart from Morgan Stanley that is startling in how completely it fits our preconception about the cycle of hope and experience: Read more

Modeling the “safe asset mechanism”

A recent paper by Ricardo Caballero and Emmanuel Farhi challenges some of the assumptions underpinning the current stance of monetary policy in the developed world, arguing that both quantitative easing and forward guidance are unlikely to be very effective.

The authors also add new dimensions to the commonly accepted New Keynesian wisdom on liquidity traps and fiscal policy, which they only partly agree with. Read more

Extremely cheap shots, House recalcitrance edition

Here’s a list of the 144 Nays on last night’s House debt ceiling vote (so implicitly, then, 144 votes to find out how long the US could have gone before defaulting). Click to enlarge.

 Read more

Subprime irony, m’lud

As opening paragraphs go in English court cases involving subprime lending — they surely don’t come more sublime than this (hat-tip PreachyPreach).

In 2011, the first two claimants (“Mr Shearer” and “Mr Dawes”) were enjoying large country houses and expensive London flats while bogus solicitors were attempting to collect money due on high interest loans on behalf of their money-lending business, Logbook Loans. They could hardly have imagined that, in 2013, they would be asking real solicitors to invoke equity on their behalf to escape the burden of interest rates on their own debts which are at a level which Logbook Loans’ erstwhile customers might have thought modest…

And there’s much more in Shearer & Others v Spring Capital Ltd & Others: Read more

California approves this message, Herbalife edition

California has nurtured Herbalife for more than three decades. From Los Angeles, the multi-level nutritional-milkshake marketing and distribution scheme has spread to 75 countries worldwide.

Yet the state was not always friendly. In 1986 it won a permanent injunction against the company that is still in force, and we wonder if — following a more recent California court ruling — it might look at that injunction once again. Read more

Markets Live: Thursday, 17th October, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning New York,


The greatest pound for pound investor you ever saw

Where then should Neil Woodford lie in the pantheon of great investors?

The UK’s superstar investor has run the Invesco Perpetual High Income fund since October 1988, but will part ways with the firm next year to set up his own shop.

He has a pretty good record, built in the last 15 years on two good calls in particular: avoiding tech stocks in the late nineties bubble, then applying a similar skepticism to banks before the more recent bear market.

But how would he have fared atop an Omaha insurer? Or picking cheap growth stocks in the US, like the once great Bill Miller? Could he steer a bond market behemoth while writing provocatively, changing his mind and getting away with it? Read more

You’ve been Dagonged, debt-ceiling edition

Why might Dagong — the rising rating agency from a country holding a massive amount of Treasuries — be so annoyed with the United States?

It’s downgraded the US to A- from A — on a par with Dagong’s Brazil and Panama sovereign ratings. (And it appears to have caused a kneejerk reaction in gold and the dollar early on Thursday.) Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

– The fallacies of immaculate causation.

– “You can’t just kill someone’s revolutionary nihilism.”

– 11 trillionaires within two generations. Read more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: Asia-Pacific markets were higher across the board, with Japanese stocks in the lead, joining a relief rally that began in the US in response to an agreement to end the budget impasse in Washington. (Financial Times) (BloombergRead more