Sunday, 27 July 2014

Stories we should be thinking about

A few stories we need to be thinking about before Monday morning:

Macro matters:

Very important story here in the Financial Times about Japan...

'Opinion surveys conducted this month by Japan’s major newspapers show Mr Abe’s support ratings have fallen below 50 per cent for the first time, while the number of people who say they disapprove of his government is approaching the number who say they approve'

...and what a chart (more stimulus required):


Another important Financial Times story is this sentiment related one where the newspaper notes:

'Investors are switching out of cash and pouring money into passive equity funds, bonds and relatively new assets that combine shares and fixed income in a show of confidence in the global economic recovery'.  Link here.  Hmmm. And there is a bubble in the mention of the phrase bubble...

I really enjoyed this fusion of the Tour de France and thoughts on the French economy (link here).  Here's the most thought-provoking excerpt:

' A quarter of all French live in one of the 31,590 communities that have a population of less than 2,000. To a greater degree than in Germany, these people are dependent on what they refer to as "terroir," the specifics of the place where they live. And they are noticing that something is threatening that existence...The digital revolution is "a new space," a non-space that has eliminated distance, Michel Serres, the French philosopher, at the Sorbonne in late January. This revolution is not a French one, the British columnist Roger Cohen added, continuing the thought. "It is, in fact, an anti-French revolution. It challenges fundamental French values, the French sense of self and the French attachment to the state." '

This story from VOX shows a shocking compression of corporate tax revenues

Onto some climate related issues now: 'The June global sea surface temperature was 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), the highest for June on record and the highest departure from average for any month'.  Interesting report here...and an interesting graphic:

From a similar perspective I was interested to see this interesting graphic on the Colorado water basin...does not look too good a few years out.  Water remains an undervalued commodity

What an interesting story: 'How my Bitcoin was stolen…and the hacker returned most back'.  Link here.
Company-related observations:
'Traders Mine for Rally in Rio Tinto' - consensual hopes building for the global mining stocks ahead of their numbers in August?  Link here

I am sure it is not political at all (!): 'McDonald's declared unsanitary and unhealthy by Russian food standards as political tensions continue'.  Link here

As this FT graphic shows the emerging markets are both an opportunity and a threat for the major fast food / related names:

Tesco announced a change of CEO in the last week.  This profile of the new CEO in The Guardian is an interesting read and includes the observation that:

'Tesco will want to avoid the fate of French supermarket giant Carrefour, which also looked to a consumer goods man to lead its turnaround. Carrefour's 2009 poaching of NestlĂ©'s Lars Olofsson as chief executive was quickly followed by five profits warnings and Olofsson was shown the door. "I think he will struggle," the retailer said of Lewis. "A Unilever lifer thrown into the blood and guts of UK grocery retail. Never been a CEO, never been a grocer – hmm." '

A different view on Apple:
"I need to know where a company is going to be in 5-to-10 years. I mean look at Apple, a company we all admire…I don't know where they are going to be in three years...It's a very competitive landscape. They might become obsolete in two-to-three years, as we've seen with dozens of technology companies."

A great Amazon infographic: 'Amazon is Now Twenty-Years-Old'.  Link here

Google still building a lead in search:

And finally...
This is a really thought-provoking read even for hardened financial types: '5 Reasons EVERYONE Should Take An Acting Class'.  Link here

 Have a good week


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. It was a fair criticism, no need to have deleted it!

  2. Apple created the personal technology sector and will remain a leader as GE has in industrial tech.The Great Lakes have an inexhaustible amount of water for the West to purchase via pipelines, but it won't be cheap!

    1. Totally agree, the pricing of water is all wrong especially taking into account the various 'pinch points' around the world. It is a commodity we cannot do without.

  3. Great profile of Amazon! Bezos doesn't
    have Steve Jobs' stature but eventually AMZN share price will.

    1. Yes, amazing infographic. The key is to embrace (extreme) vol in AMZN shares. Will be doubling the position I initiated in May sub $300 at a sub $300 print.