Sunday, 31 May 2015

Stories we should be thinking about

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

Macro matters:

Want to get a real insight into the realities on the ground with the Greek banks?  An excellent piece here from Tom Winnifrith gives real colour:

'At the side of the room, shielded by a glass screen sat a man behind a big desk. He tapped away at his screen and made phone calls. Ocassionally folks wandered over, shook papers in his face and harangued him having got no joy elsewhere. So I guess he was the bank manager. I rather expected him to end one phone call and stand up to say "That was Athens - all the money has gone, its game over folks." But he didn't. He may well do so at some stage soon'.

Everyone recall the debt levels?  A big week for Greece as the first IMF repayment in June comes due...

Still, hopes springs eternal that Europe's money supply expansion will come to the rescue...

(h/t @fwred)

...just as it has in the US?! On this point of the status of the US economy, remember Friday's shabby US GDP number?  A great link here to summarise all the reasons why it happened...

...but the more worrying aspect is just how relatively poor the current recovery has been:

The 'Buffett indicator' is not looking too beguiling...

I liked the candour in this comment from a senior Indian economic adviser... an economy of course which is now outgrowing China 
Still China can claim leadership in something...share trading.  Will this be peaking though as volatility starts to potentially kick in?

Nice energy charts from Bespoke.  The year-on-year statistic should start to improve from here but the seasonals have possibly seen their best based on history...


Today is Tax Freedom Day, the day when Britons stop working to pay their taxes and start earning for themselves...The Adam Smith Institute estimates that 'Britons will work 150 days this year solely to pay their taxes. This is one day later than 2014′s Tax Freedom Day, which is not statistically significant. However, the UK’s Tax Freedom Day falls more than a month later than it does in the United States, where citizens started earning for themselves on 24th April'.

June is historically not a good month for stock markets:

(h/t @ukarlewitz)

Thoughtful on asset allocation choices 'Categories like small caps, emerging-markets stocks, and junk bonds capture a lot of attention, but they're small fry in the scheme of things'

How the Islamic extremists see the world...and certain differently named countries: 

Company-related observations:

Tricky backdrop as share prices easily outpace earnings...

'Global bank card operators including Visa and Mastercard can seek licenses to clear domestic Chinese payments starting on Monday, following a long-running struggle to penetrate a market dominated by a powerful state-backed incumbent'. Good link here.  

Luxury brand values have in many cases wilted in the last year.  Is a tricky area...

In my own recent brand analysis I also concluded Altria was a buy lower down (link here):

'Altria, due to its current 4% yield and long history of dividend growth, remains an attractive choice. This is a blue-chip investment and a long-term winner. While a tad expensive at current prices, Altria could enter the buy zone with another 10% decline or so'.  A nice report here

Lovely report on Mondelez which I talked positively about a while back.  Saying that I never mused upon a PepsiCo/Frito Lay - Mondelez merger!

Why a billion plus Android users is not necessarily good news for Google (link here):

And finally...

The first facial recognition ATM... (link here)

Super on excessive and growing 'to do' lists.

And the conclusion? "Skip the to-do list and schedule your time. If you must have a to-do list, keep it short".  

Have a good week

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