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.

Beyond corporate finance 101

Fascinating discussion here from the Bank of England’s Andy Haldane on the stresses and strains facing shareholder-controlled corporate entities pretty much everywhere.

A quick taste:

These criticisms have deep micro-economic roots and thick macro-economic branches. Some incremental change is occurring to trim these branches. But it may be time for a more fundamental re-rooting of company law if we are to tackle these problems at source. The stakes – for companies, the economy and wider society – could scarcely be higher.

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The FT newsroom — braced

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More on Pluto-esque gullibility

So yes, we’re glutton for inter-planetary punishment. But step back and down for a moment from that dwarf sphere at the edge of our solar system that may or may not be pink, to a (relatively) pint-sized example of how those interested in the heavens seem to swallow any old crap.

Consider Comet 67P.

And consult the BBC… Read more

Brace yourself. The next Gate Ventures episode airs tomorrow

One day, someone might pen a musical farce, destined for a premier West End stage, featuring a geriatric lovie whose listed theatre production company is hijacked by mad Chinese investors intent on turning his corporate baby into some sort of escape hatch for businessmen fleeing the Peoples’ Republic.

In the meantime, Gate Ventures seems to have decided to go ahead and try this for real. Read more

The evisceration of one Mike Rees

In one chart. Click to enlarge.

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Ooma, oops!

Not all US tech IPOs head directly to the moon…

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NASA’s Pluto fraud, conducted in plain sight

You can Google it yourself — “NASA Pluto – images” — or click below…

Not one of those Plutos is real. Every single image has been doctored. Here are the most recent real picture of Pluto from the New Horizons probe, which arrived at NASA HQ in black and white… Read more

“Tamayo…chewed up or ate post-it notes or napkins after using them to show the stockbroker the ticker symbol…”

It happened (allegedly) below the clock, atop the information booth at New York’s Grand Central Station…

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Greece is gimped, and yet the euro rots…

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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