Camp Buba

Just 10 days after Camp Alphaville? Hmmm. We await a hat-tip from the Bundesbank.

From the WSJ:

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann reassured thousands of Germans who attended a weekend festival on the bank’s grounds that interest rates won’t stay at their current record lows any longer than absolutely necessary.

However, he reminded visitors–who flocked to the headquarters of the country’s revered central bank for a two-day extravaganza of food, music and children’s games mixed with serious policy talks—that Germany must make some concessions as a member of an 18-member currency bloc…

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Markets Live scratched — go to Lex Live instead. (Yes, it’s free)

Bryce is on holiday and Murphy’s ill. (Properly.) So there will be no Markets Live session at 11am today.

We suggest that instead you head over to Lex Live, where Joseph Cotterill is hosting a session on Shire / AbbVie. Read more

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning New York,


Quindell trading update

Quindell Plc (AIM: QPP.L), a leading provider of software, consultancy and technology enabled outsourcing in its key markets, being Insurance, Telecommunications and their related sectors is pleased to provide a pre-close statement and trading update for the six months ended 30 June 2014.

More on the numbers in a moment, but a new non-executive director arrives as well, David Currie, former head of investment banking for Investec. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Monday,

- China’s secret yuan paths.

- So now we know what lies beneath the recent Bulgarian bank runs. Fraud.

- Value is a highly subjective and evanescent thing, CYNK edition.

- LeBron and the theory of price controlsRead more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: Asia-Pacific equities made a modest rebound after breaking a two-month winning streak last week. Haven assets were out of favour, underscoring the improved sentiment. The price of gold was down 0.3 per cent at $1,334.80 per ounce, while the Japanese yen slipped 0.1 per cent to Y101.4 per US dollar. (FT’s Global Markets OverviewRead more

Camp on camera – I

Here’s a two-part round up of the videos produced at last week’s Camp Alphaville festival in London. We hope it was fun and informative for those attending. Next year we’ll fix the audio, have wifi that works and we might even introduce an evening dinner…


An introduction from Cardiff…

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Camp on camera – II

Izy talks cryptocurrencies and a future cashless society…

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Deaf ears at Quindell

There is a bull case for Quindell, the country club which founder Rob Terry has turned into a full service legal and technological insurance conglomerate: the deaf.

Claims for industrial deafness, it was explained at a recent investor teach-in, are the next big growth area for legal services. Perhaps it is, although some might be surprised to discover that a company billed as “a provider of sector leading expertise in Software, Consulting and Technology Enabled Outsourcing” expects to make big profits from personal injury suits. Read more

Markets Live: Friday, 11th July, 2014

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Banco Espirito Santo says solvency not at risk || Reynolds and Lorillard close to merger || UK Construction dips || Total warns of gas shortages || Friends life sells wealth unit to Blackstone || Markets rebound Read more

Temper tantrum, tempest, or teapot?

Banco Espirito Santo, the Portugese lender which had a few problems earlier this week to do with its complicated corporate structure and then saw its shares temporarily suspended on Thursday, has become this week’s goat on which all scapes may be laid.

Perhaps it is the summer quiet, but a sample of our inbox detects some caprine hitching. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

- Understanding the Caliphate.

- Nonsense on toast might actually happen.

- 75bn downloads and counting. Read more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: The meteoric rise of Cynk Technology, a former penny stock which appears to boast one employee and no reported revenues, stalled abruptly on Thursday when shares of the would-be social media company tumbled by as much as a third. Cynk listed for 5 cents a share in May and then saw its shares multiply by 36,000 per cent to give the practically unknown company a market value of $6bn – more than Sina, the Chinese operator of Weibo, a microblog with more than 100m active users. (Financial Times)

Banking: Barclays is ditching the role of the traditional bank cashier as part of its efforts to overhaul high-street banking as customers increasingly use digital services. The bank said its 6,500 cashiers would take on new positions focused on giving customers advice on managing their finances rather than processing simple transactions. (Financial TimesRead more

Money Supply: Fischer worries about macroprudential policy

Note: FT Alphaville is now playing host to posts from the FT’s Money Supply box. Enjoy (and argue away, if you see fit). Here’s Robin Harding, the FT’s US economics editor…

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Markets Live: Thursday, 10th July, 2014

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Hays reports UK recruitment growth || Japan machinery orders fall || Mothercare appoints chief executive || Creditors fret about Espirito Santo || Stocks down  Read more

Too many professional pessimists?

Some 231 pages of macroeconomic goodness has landed from the ECB. Click for the full July bulletin.

We turned straight to page 50, and the examination of predictions for economic recovery after recessions.

 Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Thursday,

- “Preserving financial stability is truly a Herculean task

- Every conversation, every webpage must be tracked. It’s an emergency,

- Searching for a theory of searchRead more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: The influential head of the US House Financial Services Committee has called on US Treasury secretary Jack Lew to investigate whether sweeping financial reform has impaired the $10tn market for US corporate debt and risks amplifying an interest rate shock for large companies.In a letter sent this week to Mr Lew, Congressman Jeb Hensarling argued that it was the responsibility of regulators to ensure that the Volcker rule, a core element of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms that bans banks from proprietary trading, does not harm US capital markets. (Financial Times)

UK ministers, led by business secretary Vince Cable, have ordered a review into the sell-off of state assets, just days before MPs publish a report that is expected to criticise last year’s privatisation of Royal Mail. Lord Myners, former City minister, will lead a panel of experts to examine alternatives to initial public offerings for privatising state assets, as well as whether the process of gauging what investors are willing to pay for shares can be improved. (Financial TimesRead more

The Fed as universal banker

The Federal Reserve’s June minutes are out and as usual offer good insight into the FOMC’s thinking when it comes economic confidence and recovery (more positive) as well as its opinion on rates (still dovish).

But they also reveal a new preoccupation with matters related to exit strategy and financial plumbing.

Here’s the section we’re referring to (H/T David Beckworth)

While generally agreeing that an ON RRP facility could play an important role in the policy normalization process, participants discussed several potential unintended consequences of using such a facility and design features that could help to mitigate these consequences. Most participants expressed concerns that in times of financial stress, the facility’s counterparties could shift investments toward the facility and away from financial and nonfinancial corporations, possibly causing disruptions in funding that could magnify the stress.

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Disrupting the rating agencies

Is this an S&P/Moody’s/Fitch killer? Maybe, in time.

Credit Benchmark, a London-based start-up, on Wednesday completed a $7m venture capital financing round, led by Index Ventures, to fund its initial expansion into the $6bn credit risk information market. Read more

The cronut-ification of banking

Tracy Alloway hosted a session on the “death of a financial intermediary” at last week’s Camp Alphaville.

The discussion featured Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club, Cormac Leech, bank analyst at Liberum Capital, Krishan Rattan, founder of Voltaire Capital and Matt Levine, Bloomberg View columnist.

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Don’t freak out about UST fails (yet)

Everyone in the market is suddenly talking about the spike in repo fails.

But here’s the thing. Repo fails need to be seen in context.

Yes, this chart from BoAML makes the recent June spike look significant:

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MoneySupply: Those innovative Scandinavians

A warm welcome to our colleagues from the FT’s Money Supply blog, who are now sharing their thoughts on FT Alphaville. First up, Chris Giles, the FT’s economics editor…

As far as “just fancy that stories” go, huge revisions to the national accounts of all EU countries have to be completed by the end of this year.

The US, Canada and Australia have already implemented changes to the way they measure GDP to conform to new international standards (the UN Systems of National Accounts 2008) and EU nations are in the process of implementing the European System of Accounts 2010, which is an EU-wide rulebook to implement SNA08. There are many changes, but the big ones that raise the level of GDP in most countries is to count research and development, as well as weapons systems, as final output (which contributes to GDP) rather than an intermediate part of the production process (which does not count). Read more

Markets Live: Wednesday, 9th July, 2014

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Widodo declares victory in Indonesia || Security theatre spreads to more airports || UK retailers say prices falling || House prices stabilise || Attacks on Gaza intensify || AbbVie forced to retract claims of support || Portugal bonds drop || Selling momentum for stocks fades Read more

Pre-zombie update: slow, steady and hungry they march

First-half performance numbers for the hedge fund industry as collated by HFR have arrived. Three up months and three down months leave the industry delivering after-fee gains to investors of 3.2 per cent, on average.

This first half performance is in line with 1H13 gain of +3.2 per cent, though hedge funds posted gains in only three of six months in 2014 in contrast to gains in five months in 1H13. The HFRI Fund of Funds Composite Index was up +0.9 per cent in June, concluding 1H14 with a gain of +2.0 percent but trailing the gain of +3.4 percent for the same period in 2013. Read more

Quindell and legal profitability

At the heart of the debate around Quindell, since it came under attack from Gotham Research, are a few simple questions. How was the Aim listed business built; are there inconsistencies in the accounts; and where does the group really make its money?

In pursuit of answers there are the accounts and presentations the company has published. There is the dossier from Daniel Yu’s short selling outfit Gotham Research. And there is the company’s long rebuttal.

We’re going to have a look at them and, in an attempt to work out what is going on, pick out some of the details where further clarity and context might be helpful.

First up: Legal ServicesRead more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Wednesday,

- Ferociously curious, mathematician, billionaire

- Through here is our show family, they don’t come with the house.

- ADHD does not an entrepreneur makeRead more