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.

Behold! A regulatory clampdown in Cyprus

Yes, really.

Well sort of.

Ok, some might see it as less than swingeing. Read more

An end to dropped US cellphone connections? Well, maybe

There’s a chance here to revisit that failed bear raid on Markets Live favourite Allied Minds.

Back in September, Kerrisdale Capital of New York issued a scornful report, suggesting this London-listed Boston-based venture capital business focused on university and military R&D, was a sack full of duds trading at 3x NAV. The stock price reacted with a 37 per cent crash, but Allied Minds subsequently staged a partial recovery — helped by some buying by long-term backer Neil Woodford and also the lack of any follow through attack from Kerrisdale, who have gone rather quiet. Read more

Shkreli’s new target market: 1100 Americans-a-year

The name should ring a bell — Martin Shkreli — that smirking chap at Turing Pharmaceuticals who jacked the price of anti-parasite drug Daraprim 50-fold, and in the process brought the widespread practice of pharma profit gouging into the public eye.

Now he’s gone and done this:

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A Glencore-o-meter, courtesy of Liberum

Online interactive models offered up by brokers are usually rubbish. This one, from Liberum, isn’t. Click to play.

Spoiler: at spot prices it’s a *fail*. Read more

Pfizer, having its drug-laced cake and eating it

The formal announcement is out on Pfizer’s planned takeover of Allergan. It’s an all paper deal which values the Dublin-based target at $160bn.

The guff starts right up there in paragraph one, referencing…

a leader in a new industry model – Growth Pharma

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An HBOS curiosity…

Pages and pages and pages of re-investigations into repeated past investigations on Thursday into the violent death of HBOS — the merged Halifax/Bank of Scotland — way back in October 2008.

The PRA/FCA report on the failure of the bank is here.

The report by Andrew Green QC on the failure of the FSA to feel more than one collar in the wake of the affair (Peter Cummings) is here.

TL/DR: former HBOS chief executives Sir James Crosby and Andy Hornby will belatedly get it in the neck; former FSA CEO Sir Hector Sants, meanwhile, is simply made to look a fool.

But consider this single page from an annex to the Green report… (click to enlarge) Read more

92, Piccadilly

The guy was coming at me, aggressively, so this is was a ‘snatch’ in snapper-parlance, rather than a carefully framed shot. Read more

On Lonmin, the full eye-watching detail

If you want to know how cash-strapped Lonmin is, go to the website of the world’s third largest platinum producer and try to download the freshly-pixelated prospectus for the company’s latest rescue rights.

Actually, don’t! The site’s clunky as hell and will probably crash. We’ll do our bit here and donate some bandwidth. The full prospectus — all 576 pages — is available after the jump. Read more

Lonmin: a miner, plundered

Modern science keeps people alive longer, but it’s not always certain that extended human animation is necessarily a good thing.

A similar force seems to be at play in the corporate world — and it too comes with a fancy price tag. Read more

Fragile, gameable markets and a psychotic SEC

As Bloomberg Screamed On Friday…

Scottish Man Faces 25 Years in U.S. Jail Over Stock Tweets

The Scottish man in question is one James Alan Craig. He lives here, at the “Back O The Wall Farm,” Wigtownshire…

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Solo’s silence is anything but golden (Updated)

The National Crime Agency would like to contact this chap…

That’s Sanjay Shah, a retired City trader who owns Solo Capital, a small stockbroker that last year took over Old Park Lane Capital, the natural resources broker run by Michael Parnes (yes, the son of The Animal). Read more

BS, Inc

Welcome to Barry Silbert’s new bitcoin incubator, Digital Currency Group, which comes with a singular promise…

Our mission is to accelerate the development of a better financial system.

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Globo: ‘Yes, we’ve called the cops’

A statement on Wednesday confirmed that London’s AIM-listed mobile internet security business Globo have contacted the appropriate law enforcement agencies in the UK, Greece and Cyprus. The company is also under investigation by the FCA.

This of course follows the weekend confession from chief executive Costis Papadimitrakopoulos that the books are cooked and that he’s quietly dumped more than 50m shares – revelations that were triggered by a hedge fund bear raid and the asking of certain questions…

But something rather important was missing from Wednesday’s update: there’s no word on the state of Globo’s cash balances. Read more

Crisis PR, compare and contrast — Valeant and Theranos

You’ll hopefully know the news context here. Thanks to Hempton et al, Canada’s Valeant stands accused of stuffing its drug sales channel through a shadowy network of “specialist pharmacies”; Silicon Valley’s Theranos, meanwhile, has found itself on the end of a detailed WSJ investigation into claims that, essentially, its supposedly revolutionary finger-prick drug testing kit doesn’t work. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

– On the Bank of England’s ability to fulfil its mission to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom

– The Zombie-mobile

– Corporate tax dodging Read more

Saluting the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation (and also a certain hedge fund blogger…)

You can read the brochure explaining what this young but nevertheless worthy institution set out to do when founded in 2012.

Or you can just look at what it’s gone and done to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International… Read more

An invitation to Putin regarding Ukraine: Do the maths

Martin Wolf was fuming about Russia on Wednesday — incensed specifically about its stance towards Ukraine’s attempted debt restructuring. He really doesn’t like the fact that Russia’s refusal to join August’s $18bn deal with private bond holders will block Ukraine’s access to IMF money, promising to collapse the country’s economy.

Along the way, Wolf notes that there’s a solution on the table here, albeit one that Russia is unlikely to accept. It comes from Adam Lerrick of the American Enterprise Institute — a man with some form in coming up with elegant solutions amid sovereign debt crises. (See Iceland, Greece and also Argentina.)

Here’s Lerrick’s detail on Ukraine, along with a table for Putin and pals… Read more

Celebrity endorsement, charted

We thought the news about Oprah Winfry buying into Weight Watchers was a ‘yesterday’ story, but then the stock’ took off again on Tuesday…

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A Zomato going rotten?

Have a read through this corporate memo from online food takeaway site Zomato and then consider what the news is here… (H/T TechCrunch). Read more

TeliaSonera, targeted

Some Swedish upset on Thursday, thanks to Muddy Waters…

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Those ring-fencing proposals in full

Here are the two consultation papers on ring-fencing British retail banks from their investment banking counterparts. But in case you are wondering whether there’s a fresh joined-up-ness to financial regulation in the UK, see below a statement from the FCA… Read more

Wal-Mart, whacked

Developing quickly, this one. Shares in Wal-Mart were down 8.5 per cent at pixel after the grocer warned of flat sales and raised the spectre of asset sales. Read more

Click here for the Complete Savings Shakedown ᵀᴹ

Why do we allow such shabby business practices as this? (Click to enlarge.)

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For Glasenberg, market ignominy…

In a table:

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About that ‘flash surge’ in Glencore

Which idiots do we blame for this?

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William Macaulay, the reluctant Glencore insider

On the face of it, another Glencore director has done the decent thing: following the example this week of fellow directors Tony Hayward and John Mack, Glencore non-exec William Macaulay has picked up a parcel of distressed Glencore stock.

And it looks substantial — 1.7m shares, purchased on Thursday at 90.91p — until you look at what Macaulay trousered barely three months ago… Read more

A Fullerton deal, finally, for Eros?

Back in July, Eros International, the Bollywood specialist that came across our radar just a week ago, issued the following muddling statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange:

Clarifies on News item Read more

Spasms in Zug

Seems worth capturing the action in Glencore stock on Friday afternoon…

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Allied Minds, maligned

So, late last week word went round the equity short-seller community that Kerrisdale Capital, a New York-based hedge fund, was planning an attack on Allied Minds, the London-listed US-focused research IP group that has featured extensively in FTAV’s Markets Live discussions.

Publication of a critical report from Kerrisdale was slated for Tuesday. What did they have? Dodgy accounting? Boardroom misbehaviour? Outright fraud?

Well, now we’ve got the report. Spoiler alert: it’s crapRead more

Glencore, the un-billionaire maker

Just watching this with a sort of grim fascination…

Glencore stock was struggling (and failing) to hold above 108p at pixel, down 9.5 per cent. Read more