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Reuters (December 18)

2018/ 12/ 20 by jd in Global News

“British business has issued a stark warning to MPs that they risk plunging an ill-prepared economy into chaos unless they stop playing politics at Westminster…. As ministers agreed to a dramatic escalation of preparations for a no-deal Brexit, including putting 3,500 armed forces personnel on standby, the leaders of the UK’s five leading employers’ groups said the country was nowhere near ready.”

 

The Economist (December 8)

2018/ 12/ 09 by jd in Global News

“Already at risk of unraveling,” the unsteady truce between China and the U.S. has just become more precarious. “Even before news of Ms Meng’s arrest, global stocks see-sawed as investors wondered if hostilities might resume.” For China, at least her arrest “looks like a political salvo. Huawei is a pillar of the Chinese economy—and Ms Meng is the founder’s daughter. The fate of the trade talks could hinge on her encounter with the law.”

 

Bloomberg (December 3)

2018/ 12/ 03 by jd in Global News

Trump and Xi gave “markets the most they could have expected,” which wasn’t that much. Still, they avoided the “risk of a serious downside (an angry confrontation and a meeting ending with recriminations and no agreement).” While some may see justification for “risk on” investing, it’s worth noting that this truce is only temporary, “in the longer term, all the risks remain in place.”

 

Reuters (August 29)

2018/ 08/ 30 by jd in Global News

“The prospect of a no-deal Brexit is becoming increasingly feasible in the eyes of investors who are hedging against the risk of the currency tanking if Britain is left isolated from the EU, its largest trading partner.” Bank of America Merrill Lynch has warned that central bank selling of more than 100 billion pounds in reserves “could be a major catalyst for a significant sterling downturn” should the UK leave the EU without a deal.

 

Institutional Investor (August 6)

2018/ 08/ 08 by jd in Global News

“For the world of institutional investing, the topic of our time is none other than fees.” Most of the solutions being touted, such as 1-or-30, are anything but revolutionary. “Any magic is really just sleight-of-hand meant to distract us from realizing how low our expectations are for any meaningful improvement in the existing misaligned fee structures.” We must overcome this built-in bias and “expand the window of possible choices to include those that will be seen as utterly unthinkable by today’s standards.” For example, a “rent” system could be adopted in which “the allocator no longer pays fees to the manager for the use of its own capital and is assured of receiving the investment outcome it seeks (i.e., the negotiated rent). The manager gets the capital and potential revenue it needs to run its business.” Such a revolutionary move would place the risk directly where it belongs: on the asset manager.

 

Financial Times (June 26)

2018/ 06/ 28 by jd in Global News

U.S. “intelligence agencies have for several years identified cyber threats as a bigger risk than terrorism.” Though huge, the threat is little understood. Such is “the opacity of cyber space that the risks of massive miscalculation resulting in catastrophic escalation” are “hair-raisingly high” and the “ultimate nightmare” is “that we might sleepwalk into a cyber-Armageddon, just as Europe’s political leaders had stumbled into the first world war.”

 

Financial Times (April 11)

2018/ 04/ 13 by jd in Global News

“For decades, Japan has struggled to remove barriers to the growth of technology start-ups,” but risk aversion and social pressure caused job seekers to focus on established companies. “That may be changing” as economic stagnation “threatens lifetime employment at big companies. More young people are joining start-ups or even going freelance to enjoy flexibility in their working life. Part-time or contract workers now account for about 40 per cent of Japan’s workforce.”

 

Institutional Investor (April 4)

2018/ 04/ 06 by jd in Global News

On February 5, after a placid 2017, “the VIX surged from the previous trading day’s close of 17.3 to 37.3…the largest daily percentage increase in the three-decade history of the index, more than doubling in one day.” Some investors have been overreacting to the detriment of performance when they should be simply tuning out the noise. “Volatility can create a risk: that we reduce our market exposure at the point of maximum psychological pain; in other words, we sell at the bottom…. Sometimes the best thing we can do is simply nothing.”

 

Harvard Gazette (January 18)

2018/ 01/ 19 by jd in Global News

“What’s new in the current phase of the ongoing North Korean nuclear crisis is the Kim regime’s early stage capability to put the continental U.S. at risk…. North Korea is no longer viewed mainly as a threat to U.S. allies and interests in Northeast Asia. If diplomatic efforts collapse, we’re likely to see a dramatic increase in U.S. military pressure on North Korea, with the goal of compelling the regime to rapidly denuclearize.”

 

Nordic Business Insider (November 17)

2017/ 11/ 19 by jd in Global News

“Norway’s $1 trillion pension fund wants to ditch all oil and gas stocks.” The irony of the proposed move is that the Government Pension Fund of Norway has become the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund by investing Norway’s oil and gas revenue. The move is not being proposed as a bet against petroleum, but rather to mitigate risk through diversification. “The fund’s exposure to fossil fuel markets is currently double that of a standard global fund.”

 

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