So Carillion has gone bankrupt. The interesting thing is why.
It’s Christmas and for me that means drinks parties. In the past, knowing that I was meant to be some sort of expert on finance, at least one or two people would ask me about the Euro or UK interest rates or bank stocks or, more usually, internships for their kids.
This year? It’s all been bitcoin: more particularly, bitcoin futures.
Continue reading “Emotionally short: the new bitcoin futures”
The Bank of England has announced that the UK banking system would be fine in the event of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.
Pardon me if I’m not comforted.
I recently saw a news item about a family whose elder members have sold up everything to make a big bet on bitcoin. While I applaud their daring, I am less certain of their wisdom. It reminded me of one of my favourite jokes – a joke that I always think of whenever I make decisions with my own money.
Here it is.
Bank CEOs – although the few I have met personally have all been delightful – are not normally noted for the bitingly controversial nature of their public statements. Anodyne CEO sentiments about ‘tactical downsizing’ or ‘seizing new growth opportunities in China’ are par for the course. Coruscating attacks less so.
So it was refreshing to see that Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan has not held back in his opinion of bitcoin.
Over my toast and marmite this morning, listening to the radio, I heard reports of the devastation caused by hurricane Irma (taking over after a few weeks from its older brother Harvey). Then an Oxford Professor called Myles R Allen came on and announced new research that can – via climate science – pin the blame on specific companies
To quote the Kaiser Chiefs: I predict a riot.
With the newspapers full of articles describing the onset of the Great Financial Crisis ten years ago (a few weeks late in my view), I’ve also started to see articles speculating on what will cause the next one.
So, for your guide and entertainment in this, the tedious heart of summer, I present the runners and riders along with some helpful odds.
Continue reading “Next Crisis Cup: Runners and Riders”
There will be lots of articles this summer and autumn about the start of the Great Financial Crisis ten years ago. But when did it actually kick off? What was the precise date? In my view, it was ten years ago today: July 12th, 2007.
My reason for choosing this particular date? The Rolling Stones, downgrades and CVIX.
Even in a week when there are plenty of other stories (poorly executed terrorism, Brexit negotiations, scandalously flammable buildings, hung parliaments) the news that four Barclays executives are being charged with fraud has made the front pages today.
This post starts with a speeding fine and ends with a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. In the middle there’s some stuff about terrorism where you might agree with me. Alternatively, I might very well piss you right off.
You have been warned.
There’s an election coming up in the UK, as those of us who live here will no doubt have noticed. I’ve even stooped to mentioning it in this blog. My aim is not to be party political in these posts, but, given my blog’s emphasis on finance, there is one policy that I think I can comment on.
We need to talk about the Robin Hood tax.
Continue reading “Robin Hood and the Golden Goose”
A new paper shines a light on medieval finance.
Conclusion? It operated in ways that are very familiar.
Before I retired I was an option trader for 24 years. Unfortunately it makes me think about the world in a slightly cockeyed way: it always gives me innocent delight to see people behaving in a way that is in line with option theory.
As the BBC dig up new evidence, we haven’t seen the end of the LIBOR story.
Daniel Drew, 1797-1879: ‘He who sells what isn’t his’n, must buy it back or go to pris’n’
Hearing odd things about finance very rarely surprises me any more, but today I was told something that did take me aback and which might, I think, have some bearing on the behaviour of markets.
The measurement of happiness has become vogue in economics and public policy. But is there any real use to it, or is it just a gimmick?