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What activist investing in 2015 was like
Asset Management
As of mid-December, there had been a record-setting 355 activist campaigns announced against U.S. companies, topping the previous record of 353 set in 2008. These high-impact activist campaigns – those focused on value creation, public short, board seat, and officer/director removal, hit a post-financial crisis low of 219 announced in 2010 but have steadily risen every year since. Despite the record
Daily Scan Asia: Light trading ahead of New Year; regional index set for annual decline
Capital Markets
Happy New Year from all of us at NexChange! Updated throughout the day December 31, 2015 The drop in oil prices on Wednesday weighed on Asia Pacific markets in light trading ahead of New Year's Day. Oil prices fell 3.4% to $36.60 a barrel after Saudi Arabia reaffirmed a commitment to high oil production, which coincided with data showing increased U.S. crude inventories. Australia’s
Darn it, Larry Summers is at it again!
Capital Markets
Larry Summers had an interesting blog post in the Financial Times this week, mostly exploring Senator Bernie Sanders’ blueprint for financial reform. What Sanders thinks probably is beside the point. But on financial regulatory matters, Summers carries weight in many quarters. Summers concluded his blog post with several points that he thought should be added to Sanders’ prescriptions. Here is
Daily Scan America: White House seeks new Iran sanctions; oil slumps, pulling down stocks
Capital Markets
Updated throughout the day December 30, 2015 The respite in the oil rout was oh, so brief, punched down by the Saudis and an unexpected rise in oil inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate crude closing down 2.8%, above its lows at $36.80/barrel after Saudi Arabia said it would not pull back on production. Stocks took back Tuesday's gains with the
Daily Scan America: Global stocks post gains; 17M under flood warnings in US
Capital Markets
Updated throughout the day December 30, 2015 A recovery in oil prices drove energy prices higher and lifted Australian markets on Wednesday. The S&P/ASX 200 was up 1% to 5319.90, with energy shares up 1.4%. The index has risen nearly 7% from a one-year low reached in mid-December, and its year-to-date loss is only 1.7% despite the carnage in the commodities markets. Japan’s market
Hong Kong shops suffer as mainlanders stay at home
Capital Markets
Hong Kong recently lost its proud, self-appointed status as Asia's world city. A PWC study  last month placed it 11th, well behind Singapore and Tokyo, and gave the territory dreadful ratings for culture and “social health”, welfare and environmental sustainability. No matter, complacent Hong Kongers shrug: Chinese tourists will keep coming, wasting their cash in our shops and bidding up property prices to ridiculous
Key role of family offices to help US billionaires dodge taxes
Multinational companies are routinely pilloried for juggling their revenues, lobbying politicians or even shifting their headquarters to cut their tax bills. But in the U.S., corporate maneuvering to dodge payments looks amateurish compared with the lengths parvenu financiers go to protect their vast personal fortunes. It's great news for the wealth management industry as well as lawyers and accountants skilled in identifying
The catastrophic threat of bail in
Capital Markets
It has now been more than two and a half years since the Cyprus Steal , the first “bail in” perpetrated in the Western world, occurred. Before reviewing the history of this newest financial atrocity, it is necessary to define the terms. The term ” bail in “ describes a scenario in which a bank confiscates private property to indemnify
Five business trends to watch in 2016—no matter how or where you work
  From big data to the gig economy, 2016 may be the year that familiar buzzwords start having real, mainstream impact. Depending on the sort of entrepreneur, employee, freelancer, or company leader you might be, the year ahead holds varying degrees of promise and pitfalls. Some of the changes afoot are already affecting some more than others. But optimism is