April 9, 2018

Trying a new approach. Thoughts?

 

Trade War. Chinese Aviation. Japan Sex Industry. Facebook. Investment Management. Interest Rates. Solar Installations. US Treasuries. Shipping. Ireland. Britain. Former presidents Park and Lula.

Perspective

FT – US companies on edge over China tariff threat to supply chains – Ed Crooks 4/5

Worthy Insights / Opinion Pieces / Advice

Economist – Chinese aviation takes off – Leaders 4/7

Economist – Japan’s sex industry is becoming less sexual 4/5

  • “An ageing population and a protracted economic slump have changed the face of the business.”

NYT – Don’t Fix Facebook. Replace It. – Tim Wu 4/3

  • “Facebook, at its core, is a surveillance machine, and to expect that to change is misplaced optimism.”
  • “What the journalist Walter Lippmann said in 1959 of ‘free’ TV is also true of ‘free’ social media: It is ultimately ‘the creature, the servant and indeed the prostitute of merchandizing.’ But social media itself isn’t going away. It has worked its way into our lives and has come to help satisfy the basic human need to connect and catch up. Facebook, in fact, claims lofty goals, saying it seeks to ‘bring us closer together’ and ‘build a global community.’ Those are indeed noble purposes that social media can serve. But if they were Facebook’s true goals, we would not be here.”

Pragmatic Capitalism – The Most Important Investment Factor – Behavior – Cullen Roche 4/6

  • “…a suboptimal strategy that you can execute is better than an optimal strategy you can’t execute.” – Bill Bernstein

Markets / Economy

FT – US stock funds suffer third straight week of outflows – Joe Rennison and Robin Wigglesworth 4/5

  • “Investors shift money to emerging market equities and short-term bond vehicles.”

WSJ – Investors Punish Shares of Companies Most Vulnerable to Rising Rates – Sam Goldfarb 4/4

Energy

WSJ – Home Solar Dims as Tesla, Others Curb Aggressive Sales – Russell Gold 4/4

  • “The number of U.S. homeowners putting solar panels on their roofs declined last year after leading installers including Tesla Inc. abandoned aggressive sales practices that had helped drive breakneck growth.”
  • “Residential solar had been on a tear, averaging 49% annual growth between 2010 and 2016, but the number of megawatts added last year dropped by 16% compared with the year before, according to new data from GTM Research, a firm that tracks renewable energy. It was the first annual decline since at least 2000, which is as far back as GTM tracks figures.”
  • “The race to build a dominant national solar brand led companies to burn through cash. Unable to maintain that pace, companies scaled back and focused on profits over growth, or in some cases, got out of the rooftop solar business altogether.”
  • “Solar executives and industry analysts believe annual residential solar growth will resume in 2018. But two developments risk hurting sales in coming years, say industry analysts. First, new Trump administration tariffs on imported solar modules, mostly from China, are expected to marginally raise costs. Second, a federal government tax incentive to homeowners worth 30% of the value of the solar array is set to end by 2021.”

Finance

WSJ – Daily Shot: FRED – US Treasury Securities 4/6

Shipping

FT – Shipping groups boost Ireland-EU routes ahead of Brexit – Arthur Beesley 4/5

  • “Shipping companies are ramping up direct freight services between Ireland and continental Europe as the country’s haulers make plans to bypass British ports after Brexit.”
  • “The preparations come despite the British government’s promises of frictionless trade after Brexit and a planned transition that will mean the UK observing EU rules until 2020.”
  • Either 1) time to look into industrial real estate around the Ireland docks, or 2) if you believe the  Brexit will reverse, buy English industrial real estate once the negative expectations get built in.

Politics

FT – S Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye to serve 24-year prison term – Bryan Harris 4/6

  • “Impeached leader convicted on 16 counts after year-long corruption trial.”
  • “Park is the fifth South Korean leader to be accused or convicted of graft in a country plagued by cronyism and abuse of power.”
  • “Lee Myung-bak, her presidential predecessor, is currently in jail awaiting trial on allegations that he received bribes worth $10m from some of the nation’s biggest institutions, including Samsung Electronics and the National Intelligence Service.”
  • “Park’s father, the former dictator Park Chung-hee, also met a sad demise. After ruling the country with an iron fist for almost 18 years, he was assassinated by his security chief during a banquet in 1979.”

NYT – Ex-President ‘Lula’ of Brazil Surrenders to Serve 12-Year Jail Term – Manuela Andreoni, Ernesto Londoño, and Shasta Darlington 4/7

  • “After vowing for months that a conviction on corruption charges would not stand in the way of his bid for a third term as Brazil’s leader, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva surrendered to the police on Saturday evening to begin serving a 12-year sentence.”
  • “His imprisonment was an ignominious turn in the remarkable political career of Mr. da Silva, the son of illiterate farmworkers who faced down Brazil’s military dictators as a union leader and helped build a transformational leftist party that governed Brazil for more than 13 years.”
  • “Mr. da Silva is the first former Brazilian president to be remanded into custody since democracy was restored in the mid-1980s and the first former president to have been convicted of corruption.”
  • “His imprisonment represents perhaps the biggest triumph in the years long effort by a team of crusading judges and prosecutors to upend the endemic graft that has long been a staple of politics and deal making in Brazil.”
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