FirstFT – AT&T deal dissected, Wallonia v Canada and a fatal feline attraction

AT&T plans digital platform but investors remain sceptical Read more

Thought for the weekend

In an aside, Mr. Scaramucci compared the DOL rule to an 1857 Supreme Court ruling which held that African Americans were not U.S. citizens.

“It’s about like the Dred Scott decision,” Mr. Scaramucci said. Read more

Markets Live is back at 11am on Thursday

Two nightmares end. Trump’s finished (yeah?) and Murphy’s finally got out of his sick bed. Join us at 11am for Markets Live.

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Stupid Markets Live hiatus continues…

Bryce is still on holiday.

Murphy is still claiming to be ill. Read more

No Markets Live session on Tuesday

Apologies, but Murphy’s still ill and Bryce is on holiday. So there is no Markets Live session today.

Check back in a day or two or read some past transcripts.

Monday’s Markets Live is cancelled

Bryce is off this week.

Murphy, meanwhile, is at death’s door, with a cold. Read more

Thought for the weekend

This paper focuses on the structure of mediatized discourses on the former Greek minister of finance Yanis Varoufakis, which are labeled Varoufakiology.

Through a multimodal discourse analysis of cartoons and photographs, which have been collected systematically in social and mainstream media through hypermedia ethnography, it is argued that neolectal stylistic features, including body posture, clothing and negotiation style are the emerging themes that prevail in mediatized communication with and about Varoufakis. Read more

FirstFT – Wells Fargo chief steps down, the world’s toughest school exam and the problem with positive thinking

Decision to replace John Stumpf with two longstanding insiders drew immediate political fire Read more

Virtual training for real life bankers


That’s an actual non-virtual press release from actual non-virtual part-government owned UK bank Lloyds, put out earlier this week. The otherwise unfeasible situations candidates will be placed into aren’t specified, but judging from these pictures provided to Wired UK, they include ‘pointing while in an empty room’, ‘looking at space ships and skyscrapers’ and ‘hunting for gold bricks in Ancient Rome’: Read more

Thought for the weekend

Markets will go up and down – markets respond to noises

UK chancellor Philip Hammond on Friday’s sterling flash crash

Taxi for Carney?

We dunno, but if we were the Canadian governor of the Bank of England we’d be getting a touch nervous…

Between the migrant worker bashing and now this from UK prime minister Theresa May:

While monetary policy with super low rates and quantitative easing have provided emergency medicine, we have to acknowledge some of the bad side effects. People with assets have got richer, while people without have not…

A change has got to come, and we are going to deliver it because that’s what a Conservative government can do.

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Fessing up to foreign workers

One of the things we pride ourselves on at FTAV is our ability to tell which way the wind is blowing. Some might call it cowardice, we call it survival. Read more

Thought for the weekend

Asked about any concerns about the course of Greek banks in case of Deutsche Bank collapse, Mr. Stournaras replied that “both the Greek system and the international one are protected. We have tools in our hands that we didn’t have a few years ago. “ He clarified that he is not worried about the international banking system and “this assured the prime minister.”

–“Stournaras: the case of Deutsche Bank does not worry us”, September 29, 2016 (with some help from Google translate)

Deutsche’s new market cap, in context

Bear with us, it’s down here somewhere…

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 13.22.28 Read more

Thought for the weekend

Brace yourself, Peckham

Today in online urban culture dispatches Bloomberg flashes:


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Millions cheated by binary reporting scam

Like the movement of a currency in 30 seconds time, The Mail’s editorial stance on binary-option trading is impossible to predict. Read more

Thought for the weekend

In 1789 the French revolution signaled to Europe and the rest of the world that monarchy was on its way out and new democratic age was beginning. Now, with Online Public Offerings made possible thanks to the JOBS ACT, Washio can raise capital directly from the public. So why did they not do it ?

– from a Medium blog post by Howard Marks, executive chairman at StarEngine and co-founder at Activision/Blizzard.

Where does David Cameron go now?

“I’m a winner. I can win this,” the then British Prime Minister David Cameron told fellow European leaders last December. Read more

FirstFT – Clinton diagnosed with pneumonia, the increasing risk of turbulence and how your personality emerged

Disclosure comes after campaign aides had insisted that the chronic cough was nothing serious Read more

Thought for the weekend

In a sign of the style he was accustomed to as a wealthy investment banker, he deemed it “unacceptable” that a bartender at a Middle East hotel refilled his assistant’s cocktails with a shot of bourbon and left the “old orange peel and old ice” instead of supplying a fresh glass.

Globetrotting Obama official traveled in luxury. Taxpayers footed the bill.The Washington Post

FirstFT – Carney’s concerns, ritual humiliation in China and the most important minute of the day

BoE chief Mark Carney has left open the possibility of further cuts in UK interest rates Read more

FirstFT – Warnings over Bayer mega deal, the turning tide of globalisation and why you shouldn’t google medical symptoms

German group told it must raise takeover bid — despite concerns it is proposing too high a price Read more

Thought for the weekend

In one of the key speeches of his short Presidency, JFK in 1961 set an ambitious target: ‘I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth…we choose to go to the moon and do other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard.’ What challenge should we set for ourselves? As JFK was racing against the Soviets, we are racing against consequences of over leveraging and technological transition (all reflected in a new secular stagnation). One suggestion could be: ‘this world should commit itself to achieving the goal of colonizing Mars…we need to do it not because it is easy but because we have no choice as alternatives might be deglobalization, border closures, stagnation, communism, fascism, war or a combination thereof’.

It is not as crazy as it sounds. Whilst JFK was facing the unpalatable prospect of Soviets conquering space, we are facing unpalatable consequences of ‘fiat money’ and the structurally and socially unacceptable consequences of what we describe as the new ‘age of declining returns on humans’. Essentially, we are awashed in capital and liquidity and as a result face an inexorable decline in return on capital in almost every area of the economy whilst also having to adjust to the rapidly changing nature of labour markets. If we have a surplus of capital and people, the answer is to export both to another universe, and what is a better and more constructive way of doing it then to explore space?

 Read more

Thought for the weekend

Jennifer Aniston is one of the millions of Americans who experience symptoms consistent with Chronic Dry Eye. Commonly referred to as Dry Eye, Aniston has revealed how the condition gets in the way of her daily life. In partnership with Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG), Aniston is encouraging people to make eye health a priority, and is raising awareness and understanding about Chronic Dry Eye symptoms, like the ones she experiences. She hopes to educate and inspire people to chat with their eye doctor about what’s really going on with their eyes.

— Shire’s campaign to raise awareness of dry eyes.

Opening Quote: Final Premier Farnell offer

By Jonathan Guthrie

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Swiss electronics group Datwyler has signalled it will take its £615m bid for Premier Farnell, distributor of the Raspberry Pi, no higher. The company has defined its offer as “final”, which means shareholders can take it or leave it. They are likely to leave it, since US rival Avnet has bid £691m. Read more

FT Opening Quote: Admiral continuity, Cobham change and tax clampdown

Sign up for Jonathan Guthrie’s Opening Quote daily by email here.

Admiral’s half year results are a terrible disappointment. It isn’t the numbers – group profit before tax is up 4 per cent to £193m – so much as the absence of bon mots from founder Henry Engelhardt, who stepped down as chief executive of the motor insurance group earlier this year. He likened prior results to “a snowball running like an express train” and his career to hot buttered toast.

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FT Opening Quote – RIT reduces equities exposure

By Jonathan Guthrie: Lord Rothschild is pulling in his horns. The veteran investor has reduced the equities exposure of RIT Capital Partners, his family’s £2.5bn London-quoted vehicle, from 55 to 44 per cent. He has cut sterling-denominated positions to 25 per cent and raised outlay on gold and precious metals to 8 per cent. Read more

An Alphapause

Yeah, it’s mid August. News flow is light. Izzy and Murphy are off (separately) for a week’s holiday; the rest of the team will be sorting through off-site stuff like email backlogs, catching up on reading material and doing some important contact development work. So expect a very light posting schedule from us. Normal service will be resumed on Monday, August 22. Read more

Thoughts for the weekend, and some links

A twofer this edition, as FT Alphaville is on a summer semi-holiday next week.

First: Read more