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.

We’ve gone Camping…

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What to wear at Camp Alphaville

Well, you won’t need your wellies. Here’s the forecast for Wednesday…

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Yay! The Sand Hill Exchange is back

Despite having been shuttered, brutally, a month ago by the SEC, a Silicon Valley start-up that tried to offer trading in derivatives linked to private SV companies like Uber and Snapchat is suddenly back in business. But there’s a catch.

Sand Hill Exchange had wanted to be the new Wall Street; instead it will now settle for being the new fantasy Las Vegas. Read more

Queen plays Berlin – offering an obvious caption comp…

Two fab, access-all-areas tickets to Camp Alphaville on Wednesday available to the winner here.

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Wanna show us your artistic side?

At the up and coming Camp Alphaville festival (July 1, HAC, City of London, it should be in your diary), we’ll have one of these…

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Kirk Kerkorian, 1917-2015

Kerkor “Kirk” Kerkorian

Is Bloomberg digitally drunk? (updated)

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A late entry in the punny Greek headline comp…

It’s from Michael Hartnett, of BoA Merrill Lynch, but you probably would have guessed that if asked.

My Big, Fat Greek Dreading (and other risks)
To the upside: concerns over Greece prove misplaced, investors over-hedge Fed risks, passage of TPP boost investor & corporate confidence, tech’s creative disruption = higher PE, lower CPI. To the downside: inflation surprises to upside.

Hartnett doesn’t have much to add specifically on Greece, other than this intriguing chart. Read more

Information for Camp Alphaville ticket holders only

Just a quick note.

There’s a pre-Camp dinner at the lovely Bleeding Heart restaurant on the evening of June 30.

Early purchasers of Camp Alphaville tickets have been offered places — on the understanding that the dinner is primarily aimed at those flying in to London for the event… Read more

It seems it’s time to get un-bored again with Greece

A flurry of fresh headlines: Greek stocks pummelled; “Air of unreality” as IMF quits talks. A seemingly credible report from Germany’s Bild saying Angela has resigned herself to possible Grexit.

There was that aggressive Giavazzi op-ed in the FT.

Oh, and 10,000 Greeks have taken their own lives over the past five years of crisis, according to Theodoros Giannaros, a public hospital governor, whose own son committed suicide after losing his job.

Maybe this is the end, end game. Read more

Another AIM laughing stock (updated)

This is a placeholder post while we wait for “news” from Gate Ventures, a curious company with a £35k investment in a West End show, an £80m market cap and a bunch of seemingly enthusiastic Chinese shareholders invested via Tortola registered entities…

After the latest crazy share price spike, the stock was suspended on Thursday pending an announcement.

Update: the news is now out, but we see little reason to temper our original headline… Read more

On the ongoing incarceration of Trader Sarao…

For the eighth time in eight weeks, futures day trader Navinder Singh Sarao was driven from London’s Wandsworth prison to appear in court on Tuesday and hear that his latest application to vary his bail conditions had been turned down. He faces life in a US jail, several times over, for the supposed crime of “spoofing.”

But look how the US authorities actually deal with repeat offenders of such disorderly market activity… Read more

Accounting for ketchup in Caracas

Given the speculative frenzy around a supposed bid for Diageo from “Brazilian buyout specialist” 3G Capital (despite the source of the frenzy being a one paragraph news-in-brief), it’s perhaps worth casting an eye over 3G’s special treatment of previous acquisitions — such as Heinz.

And where better to start than Note 15 to the HJ Heinz Corporation II and Subsidiaries Q1 condensed consolidated financial statements, covering treatment of one of Heinz’s more important South American subsidiaries…

Venezuela – Foreign Currency and Inflation

The Company has a subsidiary in Venezuela that manufactures and sells a variety of products, primarily in the ketchup, condiments and sauces and infant feeding categories. The Company applies highly inflationary accounting to its business in Venezuela…

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About that “last, best offer”…

Greece’s creditors tabled their alleged take-it-or-leave-it proposals on Wednesday evening, but Greece has now also come up with its own final proposals. Thanks to leaks through the Greek press on Thursday afternoon, you can now compare the two draft proposals side-by-side.

The Troika stuff comes in two parts, policy commitments and prior actions, courtesy of Tovima. Click the images tow read: Read more

For Greece, a (temporary) post-dated cheque solution…

A post-dated cheque without the drawing rights, that is.

As Tsipras and co stagger towards the next IMF payment deadline on Friday, all the while spitting furiously about the supposed abolition of democracy in Europe, it seems extraordinary that Greece has made it thus far without an event. Consider the payment schedule so far, from JP Morgan, published at the beginning of March… Read more

Calling out white males, aged 45-54, working in the Washington DC area…

The naive/conceited Sand Hill Exchange, which promised to offer speculation on the value of private web 3.0 companies, was closed down by the SEC on Monday. Posts on the matter, published by the company, have since been taken down.

We shared Sand Hill’s version of events earlier. Here now is the company’s analysis of traffic to its site — from the SEC.

And sheesh, you can see why they had second thoughts on publication! Read more

Maybe Sand Hill is not the new Wall St after all…

A Silicon Valley start-up that tried to offer trading in derivatives linked to private SV companies like Uber and Jawbone has been shuttered by the US authorities.

For the backstory here, you might want to first read this post from March on the Sand Hill Exchange.

Here’s the company’s version of what happened — published on Monday night, but since then “censored.”

We hope to have more on this a little later… Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday,

- Never speak to an officer from a three-letter agency without a lawyer. (SuppressedRead more

This post will not be indexed by Google

noindex, ok? noindex

Hello, Read more

From $350bn to…

We’ll share this prime piece of pre-nuttiness, if only for those who don’t know what “AOL” is or was.

DULLES, VIRGINIA and NEW YORK, NEW YORK January 10, 2000 – America Online, Inc. [NYSE:AOL] and Time Warner Inc. [NYSE:TWX] today announced a strategic merger of equals to create the world’s first fully integrated media and communications company for the Internet Century in an all-stock combination valued at $350 billion. Read more

Camp Alphaville — a line-up teaser…

You should have the date in your diary already: Alphaville’s annual festival of finance, Camp Alphaville, July 1, Honourable Artillery Company, London EC1. But you’ll also want to know something about what’s promised on the day.

We’ll have about 60 speakers and panelists, spread across the main stage and a series of specialist ‘tents,’ so you can get up close and personal with those debating the ideas and issues.

Here’s just a taste of our eclectic line-up: Read more

Squashing Afren shareholders in five easy steps…

Click to enlarge…

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About that Wunderbund….

FT Alphaville would like to recall a post series entitled “Wunderbund,” which purported to follow the 10 year German sovereign benchmark bond all the way to a yield of zero.

We come out with our hands up. This was clearly the wrong call.

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Saving Trader Sarao

Picture the scene in the London borough of Hounslow on Tuesday lunchtime, as police moved in to arrest one Navinder Singh Sarao, holed up in a humble end-of-terrace post-war semi.

There’ll have been prior discussion of the possible need for a special forces sniper overwatch. Someone will have remarked on the security implications of having a man like this, with a Muslim-sounding name, apparently living so close to one of the world’s major transportation hubs, airliners passing just a few hundred feet overhead every 90 seconds or so on their way to Heathrow.

Because Sarao stands accused of declaring Jihad on the S&P Futures market, the Apple Pie of American finance. Read more

Secret Camp Alphaville 2015 discount code

You’ll have to be quick to take advantage of this.

The early bird half price ticket offer for Alphaville’s annual finance festival in London (July 1 in the grounds of the HAC) expired on Sunday.

But an email extending the £99 offer to members of the Long Room went out late, on Monday, with this discount code… Read more

Wunderbund watch (0.072)

This is the first in what will probably be a short-lived series watching the miracle German 10 year benchmark bond head to zero. (It’s not about Eight Insane Most Breath-Stealing Rolex Day-Date Watches. You’d have to go to Buzzborg for that.Read more

About that ELA rulebook (all two pages)

With Greek sovereign yields blowing wider on Thursday (and pretty much staying there), it’s worth revisiting what exactly might happen if, say, May 1 arrives and Greece fails to pay the €200m due to the IMF that day.

Received wisdom has it that the ECB will withdraw the ELA — emergency liquidity assistance — currently propping up the Greek banking system, which will promptly collapse; Tsipras and Co would then be forced to bring back the Drachma (or similar) and Greece would exit the eurozone.

But what do the “rules” here say? In the case of the ELA they run to all of two pages. Click the image to read in full. Read more

Dumb money update, Greek edition

Bond Vigilantes reminds us of this:

Greece has raised €3bn in a five-year bond deal after attracting in excess of €20bn in orders for its eagerly anticipated return to the bond market. The yield on the deal was confirmed at 4.95 per cent – much lower than most analysts expected. Read more

Another immediately comic release

Yay! Emoticon A fresh “update” from Worthington, the wannabe global conglomerate.

The Company provides the following clarification of its announcement on 31st March 2015, which stated that “the Company is therefore pleased to inform shareholders that it has been negotiating to merge with an overseas listed company on terms that would represent a significant premium to the Company’s suspended share price”. Read more

Er, what exactly was the ‘UK plan’?

From the British prime minister’s official Twitter feed on Tuesday…

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