This is nuts. When’s the revolution?

Over in Russia:

This is illegal interference with my personal life, with my information,” Yakunin told state television. “We are a natural monopoly, we live according to decisions taken by the state, so we make as much as the state allows us to make. Read more

This is nuts. When’s the crash?

This is an urgent Alphaville appeal: kill this trend now.

 Read more

Your 2007-2009 BoE

Today we get the minutes of the BoE Court from June 2007- May 2009 (minus a redacted 3 per cent, of course).

The apologia news release gives a hint of what’s to come:

In the period covered by these minutes the Bank was operating within the statutory framework established in 1998. Court was much larger than the present Court, a number of members had standing conflicts of interest, and there was no provision for a non-executive chairman (to compensate for that, the Governor established the practice of having all Court business discussed first in the non-executive directors’ committee). At the time, the Bank had no powers to take actions to manage macro-prudential risks. It was not responsible for banking supervision and there was no bank resolution authority. The roles, in a crisis, of the Bank, the Treasury and the FSA were ill-defined. These deficiencies were rapidly identified during the period covered by the minutes, and were addressed both by the 2009 Banking Act and subsequently by the 2012 Financial Services Act, which radically changed both the role of the Bank and the structure of its governance.

Click here for the actual PDFs. Read more

Of doves, hawks and Mary Poppins

Ever wondered how and why the terms dovish and hawkish got applied to central banking-speak?

FT Alphaville’s Izabella Kaminska took some time out to track down the source and in the process found herself on an exploratory journey that touches everything from the Cold War and Game Theory to comic books and Mary Poppins. Here’s the vid:

 Read more

FirstFT (the new Lunch Wrap)

Opec ok with $20 oil, Santa bucks and Palestinian bagpipers

We may never see $100 oil again. That’s according to Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi, who said Opec producers would not cut production even if the price of oil fell to $20 a barrel. (FT) Read more

The FT Alphaville Christmas Podcast

It’s that time of year when FT Alphaville invites you, our dear readers, to take the plunge into podcast “review of the year” territory.

This year we asked our contributors to bring along sound-effects to acoustically enhance their stories so as to, you know, better imprint them on your neural network. Read more

“Alphaville Person of Interest 2014″ — you decide!

With Tim Cook out of the way, we can get on with the main award this holiday season. Introducing the inaugural…

 Read more

CBR rate hike in keeping with orthodox policy… for now

The reactions from research shops and sell-side analysts to the Russian rate hike will soon be flooding your inbox, but one of the first to land in ours comes from Alex Kliment, FT Tilt alum and director of emerging markets strategy at the Eurasia Group:

What happened: At an emergency midnight meeting, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 650bp to 17%, tightened ruble liquidity provisions, and increased allotments of USD to the Russian market, effective 16 December. Read more

Rouble, re-routed

The rouble tumbled more than 10 per cent in its biggest fall since 1998 as the implications of the fall in oil prices for the country’s energy-dependent economy triggered a rout across Russian markets.

In the bleakest official forecast yet from Moscow, the Russian central bank warned that the country could see a 4.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent contraction in GDP next year if oil prices remained at $60 a barrel. Read more

FCA = British Transport Police

Remember Jonathan Burrows? The ex-Blackrock serial fare dodger?

Well, the FCA are on it:

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned Jonathan Paul Burrows from performing any function in relation to any regulated activities for not being fit and proper.

 Read more

Holding over London…

London airspace at pixel time:

 Read more

What’s “catch a falling knife” in Greek?

A snap presidential election — and the chances of Syriza coming into power if the government fails to win enough support to push its candidate through — are all it took to push the ASE down over 10 per cent on Tuesday.

Which makes it a 27 per cent drop for the Athens bourse this year. Only the Portuguese, Nigerian, Russian (in US dollars), and Ukrainian stock markets have done worse in 2014. Read more

November payrolls: + 321k, unemployment rate stays at 5.8%

Lots of good news in this report:

– A huge payrolls number, the best since January 2012 Read more

African Minerals, Kontillo Resources and the strange story of GIO

This is a collaboration between the OCCRP and FT Alphaville. By Dan McCrum and Paul Radu.

Cypriot public filings for Global Iron Ore, a commodity trading firm at the heart of a controversy surrounding large payments made by the London-listed African Minerals, raise fresh questions about the ownership and control of a group paid $50m in 2012 to walk away from its contracts with the company. Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as The 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here. Read more

Questions from last night’s New York pub quiz

Thanks so much to everyone who attended last night’s pub quiz at Ainsworth Park in New York. Below we post all the questions we used. The winning team, which styled itself Lower Expectations, scored 45/60 in the first three rounds, and then 7/10 in the tie-breaker.

See if you can beat them! The questions without the answers are first, followed by both the questions with the answers further down. Read more

FirstFT, the emailing briefing formerly known as the 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as The (early) Lunch Wrap

There is bad news ahead for oil producers, with the International Energy Agency predicting prices are set to slip further in the first half of next year, after dropping 30 per cent to below $78 a barrel since June. Sluggish demand in Asia and Europe, as well as surpluses in the Atlantic Basin and the North Sea, will more than offset problems among Middle Eastern exporters. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said ahead of this weekend’s Brisbane G20 summit he was bracing for a “catastrophic” slump in production. Opec nations will meet at the end of November to discuss any cutbacks to support prices. (FT) Read more

FirstFT, the emailing briefing formerly known as the 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as The (early) Lunch Wrap

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the emailing briefing formerly known as the 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as The (early) Lunch Wrap

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as the 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as the 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly knows as The (early) Lunch Wrap

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as the 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as The (early) Lunch Wrap

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as the 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should now be receiving it in their inboxes. If that isn’t happening do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.  Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly knows as The (early) Lunch Wrap

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should have found it in their inboxes for the first time today. If that didn’t happen for any reason do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.

FirstFT: Read more

FirstFT, the email briefing formerly known as the 6am Cut

This is FirstFT, the FT’s new email briefing written by Amie Tsang in Hong Kong which is replacing the Lunch Wrap and the Cut. All Cut subscribers should have found it in their inboxes for the first time today. If that didn’t happen for any reason do please email firstft@ft.com or alphaville@ft.com.

If anyone reading this is not yet subscribed do please click here.

FirstFT: Read more