Posts from Tuesday Dec 10 2013

The Closer


Matt Levine and Mike Konczal on the Volcker Rule. Read more

Past performance is no guarantee

With thanks to the eagle eyed Tracy Alloway, the year in asset class returns illustrated in shades of Deutsche Bank blue.

(Spoiler: not such a good year for gold, commodities, or A-Rod baseball cards). Read more

Sticky Fingerprints, redux

Something odd this way comes from Sweden, via South Korea…

Fingerprint Cards (FPC) clarifies press release dated December 6, 2013

In respect of the press release issued on December 6, 2013 relating to Bloomberg, the company would like to make it clear that the release was a confirmation of the design win announced by the company in a press release dated January 28, 2013, in which it was stated that the launch of the solutions containing FPC’s fingerprint sensors was scheduled to take place in the second half of 2013.

For further information, contact:
Johan Carlström, President and CEO, Fingerprint Cards AB (publ), +46 31-60 78 20,

Sound familiar? It was only two months ago that a fake press release on the Fingerprint Cards website claimed that the company, which makes mobile verification tech, was being bought for $650m by Samsung. The shares rose 50 per cent before the day’s trades were cancelled. Read more

Markets Live: Tuesday, 10th December, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Riot police encircled central Kiev on Monday night || Bank of England’s Carney looks beyond rates to steer UK upturn || Jump in mortgage borrowing a good for US consumption || Bullard says chances of taper higher || Draft Volcker rule gives leeway on hedging || Frank says Wall St attempts to derail Volcker will fail || Improving UK economy boosts Whitbread sales || Lululemon billionaire founder quits || China to increase cash subsidies for scrapping obsolete ships || Markets Read more

Everything must have a reason, even banks

Another good snippet from the BIS quarterly review that’s worth highlighting comes in the observation that banks are losing their raison d’etre due to the erosion of their funding advantages versus non-banks. Which means they’re increasingly resembling listless entities devoid of purpose in a capital shadowland that’s not willing to let them move onto another more deathly plane.

From the survey (our emphasis):

The erosion of banks’ funding advantage limits their effectiveness as intermediaries. There are indications that euro area banks, for instance, passed on some of their relatively high borrowing costs. The average interest rate on euro area bank loans stalled at levels above 3% over the past three years, in spite of falling policy rates. As the cost of funding in bond markets trended downwards, large corporates increasingly faced incentives to bypass banks and tap markets directly (Graph 6, left-hand panel).

 Read more

FX evolution

The BIS quarterly review came out this weekend, providing some good analysis of the FX and OTC derivative data which was gathered by the Triennial Central Bank survey.

Two notable observations on that front.

One: No mention of virtual currencies.

Two: The BIS’s overview of the ongoing decentralisation of the FX market: Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday,

– The (US) balance sheet recession is over.

– Nepotism has a proud and prominent place in investment banking.

– A black-market Sotheby’s in stolen Indian art. Read more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: A record-high close for the S&P 500 in the US did little to support markets in Asia, which were mostly adrift in the absence of fresh economic data. (Financial TimesRead more