Sunday, 8 March 2015

Stories we should be thinking about

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

Macro matters:

Great posting on why older investors could well be better stock pickers based on the broad value profile of their preferred stock picks.

Talking about the broader US indices some good insights from this Gallup survey which indicates a high level of 'buy and hold' optimism... doubt based on indices being at/around all-time highs.  Interesting to see in the high flying technology space that companies are buying back shares whilst insiders sell...

'Based on the weekly data, six-month growth of real M2 probably rose to 4.0% in February, or 8.1% annualised – the highest since December 2011'.  Hmm, very true...but am trying to spot correlations on the attached chart and struggling a bit.  (Conclusion: money supply velocity remains low). 

Meanwhile in Europe the can is still being kicked down the road despite calls for a European army to 'uphold European values'.  Interesting that 'Greece could call a referendum or have early elections should its euro zone partners reject its debt and growth plans, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a newspaper interview on Sunday'.  These games of high brinkmanship are going to continue and continue because it has not become consensus that debt rescheduling/haircuts has to come onto the agenda if the euro single currency area is going to retain its current form.  

Where China appears on a distribution curve of credit creation.  A problem?  Well it is a fast-evolving economy but after every big rise comes at least a period of consolidation at some point. That's why the microeconomic reform is so important...

(h/t @PIIE_com)

Are US treasuries really trading at a generation plus spread high versus German bunds?  Just telling you that Europe needs more growth.  

As for the world...a nice chart showing the rise and rise of deflation versus inflation: 

Good Stratfor report here on observations about life in the Ukrainian capital Kiev with the observation that in the last six months inflation has become much more of a problem and today there are many more military personnel around.  Unfortunately I think economically Ukraine is very close to an overt economic collapse (as the very high implied default rates in their CDS products show). 

Robert Main's weekly made some important points about the EuroStoxx index...

...and look at that EUR/USD chart!  No much chart support (but the fundamentals as it falls further creates bigger and bigger problems for the world)

Company-related observations:

Interesting (ahead of its launch on Monday) on the Apple Watch here: 'You’re not going to give up your smartphone…But the Apple Watch can return some of that attention and, more importantly, time back to you…If you argue the Watch isn’t going to sell or do well, it’s worth pointing out that there are very, very, very few products that allow you to hand someone cash and be given back TIME…This will be the Apple Watch metric to track: time saved'

Fascinating for all Amazon shareholders (including myself): a report by a temp who is 'a cog in the Amazon machine'

Should General Electric be broken up?  A good report here on this.  Certainly I would agree cheap on a sum-of-the-parts basis...

Tougher scrutiny of European telecoms deals (and there are lots of them ongoing at the moment) to come as per this report in The Financial Times.

And finally...

Stuck for what book to read next?  Maybe you should read this article...

Have a good week

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