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.

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…

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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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Protecting the message on petroleum

Fresh out of Riyadh…

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Nuaimi Sunday proposed establishment of an association dedicated for petroleum media, which comprised of Gulf and Arab journalists covering energy affairs. Saudi Arabia is ready to support the establishment of this association with the objective of boosting transparency among GCC countries and prepare oil strategies of the Arab Gulf countries… Read more

Have we just seen the last $ spike?

Quite a bit of motion sickness in the world of FX on Thursday, with the sharp pullback in the dollar that followed Chair Yellen’s dropping of the Fed’s “patient” pledge on Wednesday now all but reversed…

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The unfrothing of Alibaba

There’s a parallel reality thing going on with Alibaba, the sprawling Chinese e-commerce conglomerate.

On the one hand it’s deals, deals, deals. Here it is reportedly pouring $1bn into an Indian online retailer, Snapdeal, so said company can continue waging a price discounting battle with India’s biggest online retailer, Flipkart. Here it is forging a trade finance partnership with an entity called ezbob, which was formerly the business finance arm of pay-day lender Wonga.

And here’s the company’s market performance since September’s frenzied, record-setting IPO: Read more

“Sand Hill is the New Wall Street”

The conceit comes from Silicon Valley, but you knew that already.

Irritatingly, right now we’re in a queue, with 1441 people ahead of us in the wait for access to the future home of finance…

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Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday,

– “The role of the state in modern capitalism has gone beyond fixing market failures.”

– A decent Apple liveblog, now expired

– A watch with characteristics appealing to Chinese customers Read more



Ever wonder where your Bloomberg terminal $$$s are going?

Click and gawp.

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Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday…

- Closer to the rise

- The case against killer robots Read more

So at what point do we see corporate yields going to zero?

Rhetorical question, just to share this chart from Dominik Winnicki and team at Barclays (click to enlarge)…

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Slaughter of the shells

Officials from the SEC have been out with axes and clubs across 24 states and also Canada, effectively putting 128 inactive penny dreadfuls or Pink Sheets out of their corporate misery.

Trading suspensions on Monday brought the number of micro cap companies suspended since the regulator began Operation Shell-Expel in 2012 to 800 — some 8 per cent of the OTC market, where all these previously traded. Read more

A handy Greek payment timeline

Given the pressure on Vani et al, this cash requirement schedule might be useful….

H/T Malcom Barr at JP Morgan. Read more

“If it were a museum, some say that it would probably be the best museum in the world”

This fab alleged art market fraud story is fast developing…. While it does so, here’s the Bouvier brochure. Click to read:

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Bad Bob Morton, censured

Worth noting this, since Arthur Leonard Robert Morton (73), commonly known as “Bob,” has been a fixture at the smaller end of the London stock market for as long as anyone can remember…

This is a public statement of censure by the Panel Executive of Mr Bob Morton for his failure to make an offer under Rule 9 of the Takeover Code (the “Code”) in compliance with the Code in connection with the purchases of shares in Armour by Mr Morton’s four sons in June and August 2011, and certain associated breaches of Rule 5 and Rule 2.

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Camp Alphaville 2015 — URGENT

This is not just a save-the-date. It’s a save-the-date-and-grab-a-bargain.

Camp Alphaville at the Honourable Artillery Company, EC1 — July 1, 11 till 8.


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Here’s why Bwin.Party was in freefall on Friday…

Given some readers will have followed our November report that Amaya Gaming Group of Canada seemed to be preparing a £1.2bn takeover offer for London-listed Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, it’s only fair that we now share the following — from erstwhile colleagues at Dealreporter:’s [LON:BPTY] potential suitors are rumoured to have lost interest in acquiring the company, two bankers following and an industry source with knowledge of the situation said. Read more


We’re not allowed to do this in the UK, so we’ll let fellow financial bloggers from across the pond take over from here….

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A global, ten year, flow of funds heat map

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Worthington — the wait goes on

We’ll admit that this is disappointing news. We have pixels to fill and this company has done us proud.

Worthington, the wannabe global conglomerate built on a legal claim against Rangers football club, has been told it will have to reapply for its main market listing in London… Read more