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.

Just another downside indicator…

…and a volatile one at that: the Baltic Dry Index

It was down 1.3 per cent on Thursday at 827. It’s now fallen 20 days in a row. Read more

Comic release

Worthington Group plc (“the Company” or “Worthington”)

12th December 2014


Update Further to the Company’s announcement on 24th November 2014, the Company has, in relation to Listing Rule 5.6.4 (Reverse Takeovers), submitted details of a number of transactions and contemplated transactions to the FCA. The FCA has asked the company to provide further information and comment before reaching any final conclusions as to whether any of the transactions, or contemplated transactions, amount to, or may on completion amount to, a reverse takeover. The Company expects to provide this additional information and comment no later than Tuesday 16th December 2014.

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Reminding readers about the existence of Russell Brand…

The former comic in central London yesterday…

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A clusterFCA

It’s a day of flagellation at the British financial regulator…

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NFP guesses, groomed (updated)

This is our second experiment with Myriada’s new prediction aggregator. Participants in Friday’s Markets Live session at 11am will be invited to contribute their considered estimates for the final US jobs report of 2014.

Non-farm payrolls are due to be announced at 1.30pm London Time / 8.30am New York, and the clunky old Bloomberg economists’ consensus says 230,000 new jobs were created in November, against 214,000 a month earlier. Read more

Dear Jim

Does the’s Jim Cramer really enjoy the services of a perfumed sedan driver, while assorted assistants spray ionised lavender water upon his barren cranium?

We’re not so sure. But this activist missive from Cannell Capital’s Carlo Cannell certainly makes fun reading… Read more

Introducing Myriada… (updated)

We’ve hooked up with a young startup, Myriada, founded a year ago by Arjun Hassard and team.

Their aim is simple: offer an intuitive way to capture the intelligence of crowds. Read more

How dumb is the Markets Live crowd?

Or how smart, even?

Visitors to FT Alphaville’s regular markets chat at 11am on Monday should get a chance to find out as we introduce Myriada, a new prediction tool that aims to tap into the wisdom (or otherwise) of smart (or dumb) crowds.

Click here at 11am to get a full rundown from Myriada’s Arjun Hassard. For a bit of a preview, register here in advance. Read more

Chicago, the last refuge of light touch regulation?

Friday, November 28th. It’s the day after Thanksgiving in the US – possibly the lightest trading session of the year. And here, buried under the turkey leftovers, we find two statements (click to read) …

That’s the CME handing out disciplinary action against Mr Igor Oystacher, one of the biggest individual fish in the deep Chicago derivatives pond. He’s been landed with a $150,000 fine and a one month trading ban. Happy Holidays Igor! Read more

Object 2014-28E — the possible Russian killersat — track it here, NOW!

Dunno what we’re talking about?

Read the otherworldly (and exclusive) story from Sam Jones: Object 2014-28E – Space junk or satellite killer? Russian ‘UFO’ intrigues astronomersRead more


For a scene-setter, take a glance at the intro to Thursday’s Markets Live transcript.

Basically, Spruce Point, a shorting specialist run by a former Barclays trader, Ben Axler, pre-announced in hyperbolic fashion that it was issuing a bearish report on a big unnamed US firm. The news now is that the firm in question is Ametek, an 84 year-old electronic device maker with a deeply ingrained acquisition habit.

True to its word, Spruce has now published a suitably hammy “sell” note, the full text of which is reproduced below.

You can make your own mind up on the investment case here, but be aware that Ametek stock was off an unshattering 2.3 per cent at pixel.

We sense that the investment world is fast becoming like those clone city restaurants, with no tablecloths and too many diners, all talking increasingly loudly to each other in an attempt to be heard. Volume control someone? Read more

Markets Live, raw alert (updated)

The speculative news on Markets Live earlier was that Amaya Gaming Group of Canada is preparing a £1.2bn takeover offer for London-listed Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.

Bwin subsequently issued the following statement: Read more

So Tesco stock surges on confirmation of SFO probe…

We guess this is the regulatory version of those occasions where a self-regarding company chairman or chief executive announces their retirement, only to watch the company’s share price rise in relief.

From Tesco on Wednesday afternoon, following a report on Kleinmanwire:

Tesco confirms that it has been notified by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) that it has commenced an investigation into accounting practices at the company. Tesco has been cooperating fully with the SFO and will continue to do so. Tesco has been notified by the Financial Conduct Authority that, in light of the SFO investigation, its investigation will be discontinued.

And Tesco’s share price on Wednesday…

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Still waiting for the Great Rotation? Stop

Mark Schofield and his team of macro strategists at Citi have a new watchword: diversification. The bank has a major new paper on the matter (one of its occasional Citi GPS series), arguing that we’ve all been wrong to sit about expecting, at some point, a sudden rush for the exit in bond markets and a consequent rebalancing of equity allocations. Read more

Now showing: last ever episode of Barroso TV

Catch it now:

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FREE e-book offer for FT Alphaville readers

Numbers are limited, so no more than 6 downloads per registered user please. (Before you click, it’s an 8meg file.)

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Dear ECB, see Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act III, Scene II…

Landon Thomas and Jack Ewing of Dealbook have happened across a delicious leak of ECB council minutes, running from May 2012 to January 2013.

Here’s the ECB’s response:

The E.C.B. neither provides nor approves emergency liquidity assistance. It is the national central bank, in this case the Central Bank of Cyprus, that provides E.L.A. to an institution that it judges to be solvent at its own risks and under its own terms and conditions.

In this specific case, there was full consensus in the governing council on the need to get assurances from the Central Bank of Cyprus that this bank was solvent. The solvency was confirmed explicitly by the Central Bank of Cyprus, which also confirmed the proper valuation of collateral after an intense dialogue between it and the E.C.B.

The E.C.B. was not the supervisor and fully relied on the assessment of the Central Bank of Cyprus. Therefore to draw conclusions about the E.C.B.’s future banking supervision role on the basis of E.L.A. to Cyprus is tendentious.

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This is nuts. When’s the real crash?

Alibaba this week…

The calm after Wednesday’s one-day storm is downright weird. No?

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A fresh session low for the S&P 500…

1,823.06 -54.64 (-2.91%)

- at pixel. DJIA off by a similar margin. What to say? Let’s fall back on charts…

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Had to share. It’s doing the rounds by email…

The original title of this post read: What do you call a stock market crash that only lasts half an hour? Read more

And the special Credit Suisse wealth topic this year is…

Inequality. Obviously.

The CS annual Wealth Report is now in its fifth year. Click the pyramid to read. Read more

“Nine out of ten clients lost money”

We’re talking retail forex trading here — through legitimate, authorised forex trading houses, not fraudsters.

Do places like the UK need hard leverage caps — like those imposed in the US — to cut the abuse of naive speculators?

The stat in the headline is from the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, the French regulator, which has made rather more effort than others in Europe in trying to combat online financial spivvery. Read more

A Chanos chart (and chat)

It’s from the second installment of The New House of Money, which is being published chapter-by-chapter by Drobny Capital’s Steve Drobny. Read more

Just click here for the cheese eating North Korean fatso who may well be dead already

Journalism today, courtesy of the Telegraph. A n0te to staff aimed at improving online readership…

Good morning. Kim Jong Un has been rolling his way into the news recently, and google trends shows people love searching for him at the weekend… so I’ve prepped some SEO advice. Read more

Penny delusions

We take much stick on here for pointing out the bleeding obvious to people seemingly blind to the speculative risks they are taking in certain corners of the equity market.

But we’ll persevere. Here’s the Friday afternoon investor bonfire in iron ore prospect London Mining…

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The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning New York,


The London 6am Cut

Mick Davis, the former head of Xstrata, attempted a dramatic comeback earlier this year, approaching BHP Billiton with an offer to buy a bundle of mines from the world’s largest natural resources group, said people familiar with the matter. BHP rebuffed the bid from X2 Resources, Mr Davis’ new investment vehicle, and instead stuck by a plan to spin-off unwanted assets into a new listed company. (Financial Times)

Brussels is challenging the “double Irish” tax avoidance measure prized by big US tech and pharma groups, putting pressure on Dublin to close it down or face a full-blown investigation. (Financial TimesRead more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: US stocks, gold and shorter-dated Treasury bonds rallied strongly while the dollar sank following the latest indication that the Federal Reserve was in no hurry to raise interest rates. (Global Market Overview)

Britain won EU approval for a new nuclear power plant in Somerset on Wednesday, allowing the government to commit to 35 years of financial support for Europe’s biggest and most controversial infrastructure project. (Financial TimesRead more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: Nagging concerns about the outlook for global growth and doubts about the effectiveness of central bank policy responses undermined risk appetite, driving global equity and industrial commodity prices lower but enhancing the appeal of US government bonds and the yen. (Global Market Overview)

The outlook for the global economy has darkened, the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday, as it estimated there is now a four in 10 chance the eurozone will slide into a third recession since the financial crisis. (Financial TimesRead more

Spritz meets Bloomberg? FAIL

Wouldn’t it be useful if you could consume information at double or triple speed? Imagine Reading Reimagined®! Got the SPRITZLET yet?

Maybe you shouldn’t bother. Read more