There is no doubt the rise of the robots has thrown the future of work itself into question. Will we see a rise of the useless class?
It seems the drumbeat of the robot and jobs apocalypse grows ever louder by the day, but while some workers have been replaced by machines, elsewhere the human has proven more resilient than perhaps expected. And perhaps the elimination of menial tasks has freed us up to do more interesting work. Simultaneously, cheap labour has made it more efficient to turn humans into automatons than to displace us entirely. Read more
And is the connection between China Molybdenum and Freeport, one of Africa’s largest copper mines — which it bought for $2.7bn earlier this month — also something to do with cobalt? It surely is too. China’s security of cobalt supply. Read more
A couple of weeks ago, Bank of America Merrill Lynch put out a research note titled: “The Silver Economy — Global Ageing Primer”.
The document, by equity strategists Beija Ma, Sarbjit Nahal and Felix Tran, is long. Really long. Like, 232-pages long. And people are scared they might be subsumed into the silver economy before they finish it.
In the run up to Camp Alphaville on July 1, we’re profiling the panels and discussions we’ve got lined up by trying to explain why we chose the subject in the first place.
So here’s the rationale and background to the “End of the Free Internet” panel which I will be moderating at noon on the day, featuring the FT’s chief commercial officer, Jon Slade, Deutsche Bank’s chief data officer JP Rangaswami, Ctrl-Shift’s strategy director Alan Mitchell, and Felix Salmon, senior editor at Fusion and general besserwisser.
The premise is simple: the days of free content, free web platforms, free digital services and freemium generally may be coming to an end.
The key to this about turn is the long term un-sustainability of cross-subsidised business models based on advertising or data resale, as well as the true cost of supporting and protecting our internet infrastructure from tragedy of the commons side-effects. When the bow breaks — and it will, because fixed costs are a real thing, people don’t like watching ads, and privacy is a big deal — the economic impact could be much more severe than anyone expected. Read more
Tell your boss that on July 1 you are going to some boring conference called the FT’s Festival of Finance in the City, where you’ll be able to focus on some potentially market-moving remarks from the ECB’s chief economist, Peter Praet, and also catch a discussion with one of the sharpest financial brains on the planet, Hyun Song Shin.
But really it’s Camp Alphaville, so you can also grab a VR headset and play this as well! Read more
The authorities here had led the Alphaville team to believe there would be no special price reductions for the FT’s Festival of Finance (née Camp Alphaville) on July 1, at the Honourable Artillery Company, London EC1. There was supposed to be just one high-value rate: £120, including VAT.
The 2014 Great Alphaville Quiz was such a hit that we decided to team up with Marketcolor – a London-based news app and content marketing agency. They developed a spiffy new real-time multiplayer quiz for CampAV 2015.
By popular demand — we’ve put the app up online*. Read more
Last one — a chat with Zoltan Pozsar (in front of the Faces of Alphaville shooting gallery) on the safety of the US financial system, global regulatory architecture, and the Fed’s reverse repo facility:
Cardiff Garcia chats with Diane Coyle, the head of the consultancy Enlightenment Economics about the diminishing relevance of GDP. They also touch on the risks of big data and the ethical issues surrounding it. Diane highlights what building strategies we should be adopting from the Victorians.
Cardiff Garcia and George Magnus take a tour of the world’s market from a marquee at Camp 2015 — covering why EMs need to get more growth from less input, why although China has a plan, there’s very little proof it has a good plan, why the difference between Greece today and Greece in 2012 is Spain and why the US story is less depressing than the rest. Read more
In which FT Alphaville’s Izabella Kaminska and Henry Farrell, political economy professor at George Washington university discuss the process by which anarchic markets self-organise into governmental structures… whether they like it or not. Read more
We too can rip up our promised programme to respond to the evolving wants and desires of the Camp Alphaville polis.
As of pixel time, Wednesday’s “The Untouchables: The Saga of Weird Emerging Market Sovereign Bonds” debate becomes the “Last minute Greek emergency session” panel — to be moderated by our resident sovereign default expert Joseph Cotterill (who also doubles up as the FT’s private equity correspondent).
Joseph will be joined by:
Paul McNamara, Investment Director, Emerging Markets, GAM Holding AG
Gabriel Sterne, Head of Global Macro Research, Oxford Economics
Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal, Professor of Banking and Finance Law, Queen Mary University London
Ok, only a mystery because we hadn’t announced it before, but Dan Yu of Gotham City Research will be joining us at Camp Alphaville next week to chat about his work, the business of digging into companies which are less than they seem, and the outlook for short selling more generally.
You can read some of his thoughts on the latter here, a response to our post on the need for more shorters, and the New York Times on the lonely life of the short seller, six years into a bull market.
We’ll be on the Alphaville couch at 4pm, so mark your agenda. Expect discussion of Dan’s latest target, Endurance International, as well as Plus500, Gowex, Hanergy, and Blinkx, along with everyone’s favourite technological conglomerised Aim market shambles. We may have some new ideas to talk about as well… Read more
Selling flashy apartments in London is good business. As the FT’s Lex column reported last week, Berkeley Group, one of the most well known premium house builders, achieved a pre-tax return on equity of 29 per cent in its latest year-end results. Read more