Paul Murphy

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Paul Murphy is the founding editor of FT Alphaville and an associate editor of the Financial Times. He joined the FT in London in 2006 as development editor of, concentrating on the expansion of the online business. Prior to that, he served as the Guardian’s financial editor for seven years. He has also held senior positions in business journalism at the Sunday Business newspaper and the Daily Telegraph. Murphy is a graduate of the London School of Economics.

A graphical display of some very nervous VW execs and engineers…

James Robert Liang, a Volkswagen engineer, pleaded guilty on Friday in a Motown court for his part in Dieselgate, where Volkswagen allegedly used special devices to cheat US emissions tests in hundreds of thousands of supposedly “clean diesel” vehicles. Read more

Just another South Seas operator in plain City of London sight…

Here’s Majuro, a coral atoll in the South Pacific that forms part of the Marshall Islands. The US Navy used it as a prime anchorage after troops had driven back the Japanese in 1944, and it remained under US control until independence of the Marshall Islands in 1986. Read more

This is nuts. PIK toggle edition

From IFR/Reuters on Thursday…

Schaeffler is looking to price the largest post-crisis PIK toggle bond, in a 2.5bn-equivalent deal that is expected to have the lowest coupons yet seen for the risky instrument. Read more

Parts of the City of London are in serious decline

Once every three years the Bank of England — working with the BIS — comes out with the results of a survey providing a snapshot of FX and rates trading volumes in London. The latest summary is out. Usually we just gawp a the size of the notional numbers involved and maybe bask in the knowledge that, in this area at least, London comfortably outflanks New York. But not this time. Read more

Of Sherpas and Chairs — welcome to the EFSCAC

On occasions, when confidential documents drop into the FTAV inbox, we’re minded just to share them, without much additional comment. So here goes…click to read… Read more

About that persistent slowdown in productivity…

Trapped by low productivity, MS strategists reckon longer-term annual growth potential across the developed world currently stands at just 1.25 per cent, compared to the 2.75 per cent typically seen 20 years ago. So, instead of doubling about every 25 years, GDP might take 56 years to double from here. Read more

Any thoughts on where this chart is heading..?

Welcome to the PPF 7800 Index. It’s compiled by the Pension Protection Fund in the UK, charting the estimated funding position for defined benefit schemes in Britain.  Read more

Inmarsat bid five times Avanti Comms’ market cap before withdrawing last month

Yes, really. On Wednesday last week Patrick McDougal, Inmarsat’s head of business development and strategy, got in touch with Dominic Lester, joint head of investment banking in Europe at Jefferies & Co, Avanti’s advisory. He wanted to table a second takeover offer for Avanti after a previous low-ball bid for the rival satellite operator had been rejected. Inmarsat was ready to pay at least 140p a share in cash for Avanti, subject to due diligence. At the time, shares in Avanti were trading just below 30p. Read more

This Bundless world…

One of the little-remarked consequences of the Brexit vote in the UK is that the subsequent generalised tightening of sovereign yields across the eurozone means that even less euro-core government paper qualifies for Draghi’s QE programme. There are dangers in the ECB ignoring this looming problem. Here’s a cheat sheet on action that could be taken.

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Saving Italy’s banks

How long has the Italian banking system been in trouble? Seriously? Why has no-one supposedly in charge come up with a proper plan?

Instead, Italian bank stocks ping around, up and down every day, like penny dreadfuls reacting to the latest speculation of a political fix or some sort of blind eye treatment from Brussels. Witness Unicredit — up 14 per cent or so at pixel, having previously fallen by a third over the preceding three weeks as the latest stage of this eight-year-old crisis has intensified:

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Elizabeth Holmes: still absolutely, resolutely in denial…

First the quote from the Theramos founder herself….

We accept full responsibility for the issues at our laboratory in Newark, California, and have already worked to undertake comprehensive remedial actions. Those actions include shutting down and subsequently rebuilding the Newark lab from the ground up, rebuilding quality systems, adding highly experienced leadership, personnel and experts, and implementing enhanced quality and training procedures. Read more

“Previously nicknamed the ‘Uber’ or ‘Netflix’ of air travel…”

Before moving the relevant puff release to the bin, an open question: is there really a market in Europe where people will pay a set £2,500 monthly fee to fly as often as they want from Luton Airport to Cannes or Switzerland? The company concerned is Surf Air. Read more

Sky News goes feral (and why Ken Clarke is just terrific)

Click this before some higher up at Sky intervenes…

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On panics past…

The Bank of England has taken to ‘pre-releasing’ quaint articles from its forthcoming Quarterly Bulletin, which sounds like good, modern marketing — until you remind yourself that it’s been released on the day the intended audience are still ploughing their way through the 50 dense pages that make up the twice-a-year Financial Stability Report.

No matter. The QB proper is published on July 12 and in the meantime this is a fascinating little piece of history about the original Black Friday… Read more

Dumb Buzzfeed-style list of 10 reasons to come to the FT’s Festival of Finance

1. You get a goody bag when you leave that won’t just contain corporate guff.

2. There’s an after party.

3. Your boss is probably friendly with one of the speakers/panelists.

Nah, listicles and FTAV just don’t go. Whereas the wonderful Sandra Rupp does!.. Read more

Camp Alphaville tickets are selling out… (updated with latest schedule)

When they’re gone, they’re gone. There’s only so many people we can house, comfortably, under canvas in the lovely grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company, London EC1, at the FT’s Festival of Finance. The event is this Friday. Doors open at 10am.

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What lurks beneath (the Footsie)

Sure, the FTSE 100, that non-barometer of corporate health in the UK, was down another 1.35 per cent at pixel — off 83 points at 6054. And there are some big falls amongst some well known constituents: M&S and Next are down circa 15 per cent apiece, for instance.

But Brexit reaction is most visible in an index more truly representative of domestically-focused British business. So take a look at the FTSE Mid 250: Read more

We’ve reloaded the Brexit research pack in the Long Room…

It’s on the Strategists table, in the usual place.

The Long Room is our virtual library, reserved for finance professionals. Membership is free, but you have to fill out a form here and wait for us to ok your application.

Applications are processed quicker if you’ve bought a ticket for Camp Alphaville — which is happening in London on Friday, July 1. Read more

Yep, Markets Live as usual at 11am

Click here at 11am.

This is the sense in the FT newsroom a moment ago. Read more

Brexit sell-side research pack — in the Long Room

Yes, you’ll be wishing you filled out that stupid little registration form already.

Long Room membership is free, but access is usually restricted to finance professionals. Read more

Footsie off 8.36 per cent at pixel

A chart, just for now…

Britain, what have you done? Read more

“Am I eligible for Irish citizenship?”

We have tables and we have further information…

First the bad even worse news. Read more

Idris Dayo Mustapha — a creative alleged stock scamster, if nothing else…

We’ll let the SEC do the talking here, since the news is box fresh and the full name of a UK-based individual called “Idris Dayo Mustapha” doesn’t seem to have an internet history. He’s supposedly been hacking into the accounts of US investors, placing price-moving trades and then profiting via his own trading account. Which is sneaky and advanced hacking.

The SEC statement:

Washington D.C., June 22, 2016 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced it has obtained an emergency court order to freeze the assets of a United Kingdom resident charged with intruding into the online brokerage accounts of U.S. investors to make unauthorized stock trades that allowed him to profit on trades in his own account.

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A late, unexpected, extended, exclusive pre-Camp AV dinner offer

Priority here is offered to those flying in to London specially for Camp Alphaville’s Festival of Finance on July 1. Tickets are very limited.

This post first went up three weeks ago, but we held a few dinner seats back while we sorted speaker / FT staff numbers. Hence some late availability…. Read more

Some ‘pop-up’ puffery

And so to 25 Berkeley Square…

Art Secret is a unique platform that connects contemporary art with luxurious properties all over the world. These exclusive pop up events have been a global success in major capitals such as Moscow, Monte Carlo and Dubai etc.Last week Art Secret finally arrived in London, launching in Mayfair with prestigious partners St George of the Berkeley Group and Rolls Royce, and exhibiting the unique financial themed art work of Fabio Lattanzi Antinori.

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Boiler rooms that just continue to simmer

Prosecution news on Thursday out of the FCA… Read more

A Brexit EU referendum countdown calendar

We’ve been trying to keep FTAV a Leave/Remain-free zone. But this, courtesy of Allan Monks at JP Morgan, is actually useful in that it extends beyond polling day. Click the image to enlarge…

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Hey, look! Gate Ventures is trying to sneak back onto the London market

It’s a persistent corporate comedy, this one.

While clicking around the entertaining (and alleged) Chinese bid for Aston Villa FC, we thought we’d revisit Johnny Hon, the enthusiastic chap fronting Gate Ventures, that bizarre “theatre investment” company that was thrown off the AIM market last summer. Read more

A chance for some real world virtual reality

How about this for a wheeze?

Tell your boss that on July 1 you are going to some boring conference called the FT’s Festival of Finance in the City, where you’ll be able to focus on some potentially market-moving remarks from the ECB’s chief economist, Peter Praet, and also catch a discussion with one of the sharpest financial brains on the planet, Hyun Song Shin.

But really it’s Camp Alphaville, so you can also grab a VR headset and play this as well! Read more

“Welding student Oliver Smith had one of the mega boxes and said it was a benefit to the area”

Endless pixels are spilt discussing the digital evolution/revolution/degradation of media. Here’s a fresh example of the New Journalism. Courtesy of Katie Martin, a live blog covering the opening of a KFC chicken shop in Nottingham…

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