Biography
Latest posts

(Spending some time as FTAV’s Bombay wallah. Noticeably sweatier but not much else has changed.)

David studied economics, politics and journalism before joining the FT in 2011 as a Marjorie Deane fellow. He covered emerging markets, equities and currencies before making the jump over to FT Alphaville in May 2012.

In between his degree and masters he wandered into the real world of business where he learnt how to manipulate a spreadsheet and organise meetings where nothing gets decided.

He has spent time in France, learning French, and India, learning how to cross roads, and enjoys nothing less than writing about himself in the third person.

His hobbies include reaching things on top shelves, running long distances at slow speeds, growing beards and trying to live up to a rash claim he made as a twelve-year old that “he had read all of the books”.

If you wish to know more about David please do pick up the phone and call him for a chat in the first person. Be warned though: he tends to talk at pace and in an Irish accent.

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

- Brexit, and what’s wrong with the WTO option.

- Steve Keen and Alex White on Brexit — both to be found at a Camp Alphaville near you tomorrow.

- Koo, 92 pages of Koo: Can we bend the arc of global capital toward justice?

 Read more

Your shorter (but more detailed) Rajan replacement cheat sheet

We promised we’d only return to this when we had a bit more clarity about who might step into Raghuram Rajan’s shoes at the RBI when he leaves in September.

Well, does this from the Times of India yesterday count?

NEW DELHI: The government has narrowed its long list of candidates for the next Reserve Bank of India governor to just four.

The four short-listed candidates are: Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Urjit Patel, former deputy governors Rakesh Mohan and Subir Gokarn and State Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya.

Yes. At the least, it’s three less names to deal with than we had last time. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Wednesday,

- Because Shkreli, that’s why:

- DeLong on the thinkers which will define our futures — Keynes, Polanyi and de Tocqueville.

- Very good piece on Sunderland as a microcosm of Leave.

- A great European painting has just been unveiled in Britain. It feels like forbidden fruit. Read more

Of vol, GBP and meaningless numbers [updated with some VaR qualification]

H’t to Katie over at Fast for the spot…

Here’s what a volatile DM currency move looks like:

 Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday,

- When you dial 911 and Wall St answers.

- Interfluidity: “the alleged “good guys” — the liberal, cosmopolitan class of which I myself am a part — have fallen into habits of ridiculing, demonizing, writing off, or, in our best moments, merely patronizing huge swathes of the polities to which we belong.”

- Streetwise Prof: “But are the elites learning from this lesson? The first indications are negative.”

- The S&P view of the UK, ctrl+fing for “current account” and “FDI” recommended. Also recommended, a look at Gilt yields. Read more

Nice banking passport you had there…

‘Passporting’, per Citi, “allows financial institutions incorporated in one member state to establish branches in other member state and provide cross-border services to clients.”

The fact that system now most probably needs to be renegotiated — where once there was cohesion, now there is confusion — is bad news for UK banks and the EU/ US banks that operate out of London. It’s why they say things like, “in all likelihood we would ”. They being Goldman there in 2013 but whatever, the risk is obviously real.

So how would it all work? Read more

Does Leave really mean Leave?

Basically… yes, according to Morgan Stanley, who have however outlined one tortuous alternative path:

We do see a political route to reversing the decision –

 Read more

Whispering sweet intervention warnings in Japan

A reminder of the BoJ’s intervention tendencies, from Nomura:

And yes, they really might pull the trigger — what with Y100 against the dollar being broken this morning as Brexit roiled everything — just not quite yet. Read more

Finger in air, GBP forecasting edition

The pound is already down 10 per cent against the dollar, which is totally normal for a developed markets currency pair, but it could get worse.

In summary, you are now entering The Forex and nobody really knows what’s going to happen. That said, for entertainment purposes at the least, have some guesswork from our inboxes.

We’ll add them as we see them… Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

- Possible names for EU exits for all members of the EU. We were going to make this a Brexit free zone, but we’re allowing ourselves one.

- Also, ok, this one on why sense will prevail in the EU and the markets.

- Hedge fund still wants its tax-avoidance profits. Read more

These are your markets. These are your markets on Brexit

Updating as this is being called for Leave:

 Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

- Falling in out of love with TARP.

- Beyond meritocracy.

- Sorry, we can’t do much about growth.

- How to smear your enemies and silence your critics, China style.

- Inside Trump’s most valuable tower: Felons, dictators and girl scouts. Read more

Peak Brexit?

We’d really like to move on now, thanks. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Wednesday,

- When Moody’s took Trump’s economic plan seriously: “The upshot of Mr. Trump’s economic policy positions under almost any scenario is that the U.S. economy will be more isolated and diminished.”

- Niall Ferguson, Brexit, divorce, WWI, oh my.

- Mark Dow on an EM sweet spot.

- Balding: outflows from China this year have already exceeded last year’s total to November.

- Credit Suisse CEO pulls a Dick Fuld.

 Read more

Your Raghuram Rajan potential successor cheat sheet

Courtesy of Nomura’s Sonal Varma:

 Read more

Abenomics as epic fantasy

Once upon a time (well, 2012) in a realm of falling or flat prices and stalling economic growth, one man had the courage to face reality with only three arrows — of monetary stimulus, fiscal stimulus and structural economic reform — and a popular mandate to his name.

That name was Abe and he…

No. Let’s just cut to Morgan Stanley on the ‘tragedy’ of Abenomics so far, and its potential ‘rebirth’: Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday,

-Taibbi: “The collapse of the Republican Party and its takeover by the nativist Trump wing poses all sorts of problems, not the least of which being the high likelihood that the Democrats will now get even lazier when it comes to responding to their voters’ interests.”

- Rajan, speaking last night in Mumbai, defending his record on inflation.

- Star Trek as fantasy.

- Kill the old, Venn diagram edition.

- Does Uber want to starve its rivals of capital? Or, is the financing game zero-sum too? Read more

This is 78 per cent nuts. When’s the crash?

From JP Morgan’s Flows & Liquidity, a chunk of negative rate stats that are pointing us somewhere. It’s just unclear exactly where right now:

Splitting by region, the stock of Japanese government bonds trading with negative yield reached $6.1tr. This brought the proportion of JGBs trading at negative yields to 78% of the total outstanding amount.

 Read more

The Monday morning after the RBI governor before [updated]

It has been a difficult Monday morning for India’s bankers, economists and analysts. Not only has the Rajan-era come to an unexpected close but the monsoon has thumped into the country. Now, where once certainty and clean pants existed, a world of confusion and splashed trouser legs sits soddenly.

The usual notes are coming through into our inbox too, most expressing said confusion and near-term worry, even though markets are shrugging a bit so far. Here’s a one month view of the INR and the Sensex: Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Monday,

- The evolution of private loan agreements.

- Blockchain company’s smart contracts were… dumb.

- Interfluidity on the blockchain, just a parliament without a parliamentarian.

- Andrew O’Hagan on the many lives of Satoshi Nakamoto.

- Henry Farrell: The age of EM (emulated personalities) won’t happen. And Hanson responds.

- Venezuela’s school system is falling apart, damning a generation who deserved better. Read more

Raghuram Rajan: “I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as Governor ends on September 4, 2016″ [updated]

Rajan is going ex-RBI.

A chunk from the statement that has just gone up on the Indian central bank’s website:

I took office in September 2013 as the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. At that time, the currency was plunging daily, inflation was high, and growth was weak. India was then deemed one of the “Fragile Five”.

 Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

- Full transcript of disappeared HK bookseller Lam Wing-kee’s opening statement at his Hong Kong press conference.

- Are negative rates a “calamitous misadventure”? ECB economists say no.

- Hedge fund consultant bantered for inside information.

- Did Michael Gove’s father’s business fail?

- The top American coal companies have lost 99 per cent of their value since 2011? Read more

Rajan, the Fed and the rules of the monetary game

Raghuram Rajan, the luddite at the RBI (for now at least) has been banging on a particular drum for a while.

He told the world — at an IMF conference in Delhi earlier this year — that a system of rules governing the effects of monetary policy (or behaviour, if you will) would be nice. It would be based primarily on spillovers and ranked according to a Green, Orange, Red system familiar to anyone who has ever had a work-review of anything, ever. Green equals good, for those who have understandably repressed previous encounters with this type of system.

In a subsequent paper Rajan put more meat on the bones of his idea and now here it is in handy table form laying out those suggested rules for the monetary game, courtesy of Prachi Mishra, also of the RBI and Rajan’s occasional co-author: Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

- The attacks on RBI governor Raghuram Rajan: Lessons from Stanley Fischer as a central banker.

- Rumbling, grumbling and the Fed.

- Global bond yields continue to head downhill.

- Ships have gotten too big. Read more

Bunds, since 1807

Here’s Germany’s 10yr, charted by Deutsche:

As you’ll know, they went negative for the first time yesterday. Read more

Chin up, China. Just consider Pakistan

Here’s a chart explaining why MSCI just, once again, said no to China entering its emerging market indices club:

In short, you’ll need to be a little freer letting capital out as well as in. Also, some other stuff since this is a rules based system, which we’ll let Citi tell you more about: Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Wednesday,

- Wicksell or Fisher: a century on, who is going to be right?

- Brexit and democracy.

- And Brexit pricing precedents.

- Do people read bond docs? Apparently yes, Venezuela edition.

- China, where you can now use your nude pics as collateral for a loan (just don’t dwell on the discounting) and where “Manipulating the garlic market and hyping the price is pretty simple compared to the stock market and real estate.” Read more

China’s big ball of money is rolling over the little guys

Let’s all pause for a moment and remember the Great Fall of China’s stock market, one year ago this month, and remember that this evening is when MSCI tells China’s A-shares if they are to be allowed into its club after all.

Done?

Right, let’s all pause for a longer moment and consider the plight of the small Chinese investor who doesn’t quite have the same government support as some of the larger forces around him. Read more

So you want to buy more Bunds Mr Draghi?

Yeah. Fun. This is also fun:

 Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday,

- Ha: “According to data from Bloomberg, 600 options to buy LinkedIn shares at $160 were bought in two trades on Friday afternoon for a total of $135,100. Those same options are now worth just over $2 million, for a less than one trading day profit of nearly $1.9 million.”

- Paul McCulley: “I’ve had it with my profession, macroeconomics. More specifically, I’ve had it with the consensus of practitioners in my profession.”

- Related, which labour market data should you believe.

- Globalisation is fraying. Look under the Elephant Trunk.

- An escort scandal/ guerrilla PR campaign hits a tech conference. Read more