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Video: How fintech is changing consumer behaviour
FinTech
<p>How fintech is changing consumer behaviour from NexChange on Vimeo.</p>
Bonus idea #56: Lodge next to Ken Griffin at the Four Seasons Hualalai
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Looking for a place to spend your next family holiday? Why not park your brood next to Ken Griffin’s majestic Hawaiian pad?</p> <p>The Citadel chief, who’s been so pissed with his wife that he bought an unfinished apartment for $200 million, has been keeping a 5,600 square foot, Balinese-style retreat at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai the past four years – an unsurprising move, given how luxurious the place is.</p> <p>Set on Hawaii’s exclusive Kona-Kohala coast; the five-star resort boasts more awards than Meryl Streep, and is apparently a celebrity favorite, especially for honeymooners.</p> <p>Unfortunately, Griffin’s pad itself is not for rent, what you can do though is book the resort’s beautiful, oceanfront Presidential Villa, which boasts epic views of the Pacific Ocean and enough room for five. Check it out.</p> <p>Photo: stacibeck</p>
Vitaliy Katsenelson predictions from 2010: shadow over Asia
Asset Management
<p>Five years ago, almost to the day, I was interviewed by David Galland, who worked at Casey Research at the time. This interview covered three topics: the Chinese overcapacity bubble, the Japanese debt bubble, and my sideways markets thesis. Five years is a long time, but with the exception of updating some statistics (for instance Chinese debt has gone up fourfold since), I really would not change anything. I have not been writing much on Japan or China lately because things haven’t really changed much – their respective bubbles have just gotten much bigger.</p> <p>I hope you enjoy this interview. Don’t kill your eyes; kill a tree (print it). Or you can watch a presentation I gave on the same subject at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (link here).</p> <p>The Casey Report (TCR): Is China’s system better than everyone else’s? Is it really possible the Chinese economy can keep steamrolling along?</p> <p>Vitaliy Katsenelson (VK): A few months ago, I watched a movie about Ayn Rand and it talked about how Americans in the 1930s looked at the Soviet Union’s flavor of managed economy as being superior to the American version of capitalism. At the time America was just coming out of the Great Depression, so that view made a lot of sense. So in the short run, and especially after the ugly side of creative destruction has paid us a visit, the grass of managed economy may look greener.</p> <p>So when we look at China, the conventional wisdom says that the government is very, very smart, and therefore they can do a very good job in steering the economy in the right way. Chinese government may have the best intentions, its leaders may have IQs of 250 each on a bad day, but it is impossible to centrally manage an economy of China’s size.</p> <p>I am a big believer that in the boxing match between a visible and an invisible hand, though the invisible hand may lose a few rounds, it will win the match every time. Last century we had the most amazing economic experiment take place when after World War II, Germany was split into two countries with different economic and political systems. But they were the same people, with the same language and culture, separated by a wall. We know how that story ended.</p> <p>Of course, for a time, having government control over the levers of the economy can have advantages. For example, by taking prompt action, the Chinese government was able to pull the economy out of the recession remarkably fast, basically by fire-housing the stimulus package that was equivalent to 12% GDP. That’s the advantage. The only problem is that these kinds of short-term advantages come with long-term, painful consequences.</p> <p>For example, when you have a huge government presence in the economy, you also have a huge bureaucracy, and bureaucracy brings corruption. This is one of the reasons why China is rated so poorly on Transparency International’s annual corruption rating. Corruption breeds misallocation of capital, because the capital flows not to the best use, but it basically flows to whatever the political connection or whatever the bribe is directed to.</p> <p>In addition, when you have a government-managed economy, it creates excesses. China has huge excesses in the industrial sector, as well as in commercial and residential real estate. We see plenty of evidence of these excesses, but </p>
"We’re not trying to change the world with a rock song": Peter Cook talks to Finbuzz about Rock in the City
Lifestyle
<p>The music group Rock in the City writes songs about monetary policy, stocks, and banking, and is made up of finance professionals as well as career musicians. A mix between Led Zeppelin and Neil Young, the group performs in London and most recently, is collaborating with Richard Branson, writes FinBuzz.</p> <p>Sentance, the former Monetary Policy Committee Member for The Bank of England, formed the band with Peter Cook, an MBA tutor, founder of the Academy of Rock and author of business leadership books. On the group’s music page, they state their mission as “Humanising the City of London through Music”.</p> <p>The band includes Haydn Jones, Client Managing Director at Fujitsu, and three other musicians: singer Zee Fincham, a professional session musician, Rick Benbow, and drummer Pete Stephens. The combination of finance professionals and rock music has brought some amazing results. The band has just released two songs: The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and New Normal with lyrics dedicated to fiscal policy, quantitative easing. The group says they are influenced by Led Zeppelin and Neil Yong.</p> <p>FinBuzz spoke with the band’s musical director Peter Cook.</p> <p>Peter, how did this begin? </p> <p>Rock In The City started in 2011 as an accident really when a CEO friend of mine recommended I connect with Andrew after he had been inspired by one of Andrew’s talks. I found Andrew on the internet and sent him an email. Quite surprisingly he wrote back asking me to come for coffee. So it wasn’t a rock’n’roll style beginning either – we didn’t go bombing Jack Daniels! We met at PwC and talked about business and rock music. He liked the idea of getting a band together with people who have high-flying jobs in the City. I advertised for musicians on Twitter and soon Rock In The City was born.</p> <p>How did you persuade Andrew to write songs about economics?</p> <p>Two years ago I was asked by the BBC to write a song called Fiscal Cliff – a hard rock song for hard times. I offered the job of lead singer to an ex MBA student of mine – a City banker from Canary Wharf who worked for Credit Suisse. It turned out that he also wrote poems about management, business and banking in his spare time. This inspired Andrew and he said: “Let’s write an album of songs about macroeconomics and money.”</p> <p>What was the purpose of creating the band?</p> <p>We wanted to use the band to support good causes and to lead others in the City to do the same. This inspiration comes from Andrew’s own charitable activities in the Church. Each member of the band has nominated a charity for the current release, ranging from The Stroke Association through a Children’s Hospice care to Build It International, a charity that helps people in Africa. We are also offering to perform concerts for City institutions with a donation to good causes, allowing City firms to realise their CSR ambitions whilst having a lot of fun.</p> <p>So the band was set up out of the pure enthusiasm?</p> <p>Yes indeed. Andrew has made economics a little bit more interesting and accessible by mixing it with music. He frequently appears on national TV and Radio and this gives him a more popular angle to this specialist subject which affects all of our lives.</p> <p>Where do you perform?</p> <p>We have done some charity performances to date. We will next augment the band with some major rock stars to offer corporate entertainment packages next. We deliver these events anyway via the Academy of Rock. You can see one of our “aftershows” at Henley Business School.</p> <p>What about Haydn Jones?</p> <p>Haydn is an amazing person. He is a top manager at Fujitsu, but he spends a lot of his time outside of work developing theatre productions. He’s written an entire theatrical play and he also likes writing poetry. He sent me a poem called The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and had expected me to throw it away because the words were incredibly complex and he did not think I’d be able to write a melody for them. When I looked at the poem I realised that the words were reminiscent of a Led
Weekend Scan: Emerging markets currencies rise; US markets top off strong week
Capital Markets
<p>October 10</p> <p>Good morning. US markets topped off a strong week for global markets yesterday with the S&amp;P 500 US equity index up 3.3% over the five-day period following a 0.1% gain on Friday. The upbeat mood is thanks to a better outlook for commodity prices and hopes that central banks will be more accommodating in the short term. Added bullishness has also given a lift to emerging market currencies. The Indonesian rupiah stood out with a 3.3% rise against the U.S. dollar, a gain of 8.5% since the start of the month.</p> <p>Here is what else you need to know:</p> <p>Global tax deal targets multinationals. The world’s leading finance ministers agreed on Friday to change the rules on taxing profits, and warned multinational companies they could no longer use their size and international presence to dodge taxes. Under the rules, companies such as Starbucks, Amazon, and Google will find it harder to concentrate their profits in low-tax countries and tax havens — a shift that promises to raise up to $250 billion a year in extra tax revenues, according to the OECD. Financial Times (paywall)<br /> North Korea to hold huge parades for 70th anniversary. The hermit state is holding what is expected to be one of its biggest celebrations ever, to mark the 70th anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party. A cavalcade of armoured vehicles and ballistic missiles is expected to rumble through the capital Pyongyang accompanied by marching troops. BBC<br /> Malaysia’s prime minister fights for his political life. Najib Razak, Malaysia’s embattled prime minister, is fighting for his political life after open warfare broke out within the country’s state institutions over a corruption scandal that has engulfed him. Financial Times (paywall)</p> <p>India rages after Saudi employer hacks off maid's arm. India's foreign ministry has complained to the Saudi Arabian authorities following an alleged "brutal" attack on a 58-year-old Indian woman in Riyadh. Kasturi Munirathinam's right arm was chopped off, allegedly by her employer, when she tried to escape from their house last week, reports say. BBC</p> <p>Oil crosses $50, dollar slips on dovish FOMC meeting notes. The Fed's policy-making body showed concerns about weak global growth and low inflation. Gold posted its highest settlement in seven weeks. Forecaster PIRA Energy sees oil headed to $70/barrel by the end of 2016. WBP Online</p> <p>Alcoa earnings disappoint; outlook for China car production slashed. The aluminum giant posted third quarter earnings after the close of trading on Thursday of 7 cents/share -- well below the estimates of 13 cents. Sales dropped 11% as Alcoa battled softer prices. Alcoa sees China car production dropping to 1%-2% from earlier expectations for growth of 5% to 8%. CNBC, </p>
Video: Lexus builds origami-inspired electric car
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>The UK arm of Lexus - the luxury car division of Japan's Toyota - has just built a working electric car almost entirely out of cardboard.</p> <p>Lexus employed a team of  designers who used 1,700 laser-cut  pieces of card - crafted from a digital model of the regular car - and stuck them all together with wood glue over a steel and aluminum frame. The impressive peice of art and craft took three months to build.</p> <p>The project is an ode to the revered craftsmen of the Lexus production lines — known as takumi. Lexus explains that a test of a takumi's manual dexterity is to have them fold an origami cat using only the non-dominant hand.</p> <p>Sadly, the car is not for sale. It's really just Lexus showing off. Even if it were available, the idea of having just a few layers of cardboard between you and the road would probably make for some very careful driving (and forget about wet conditions). Which perhaps explains the excruciatingly slow speed at which the engineer in the video below is driving.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Photo: Lexus UK</p>
People Moves: Credit Suisse makes two senior IB hires, Mizuho loses Asia ex-Japan origination chief
Capital Markets
<p>Credit Suisse bags two senior bankers in HK. Richard Kao, a former director within Credit Suisse’s investment banking department, is set to return to the Swiss firm as a senior member of its Greater China corporate finance team. Kao was previously head of solutions for Standard Chartered’s Greater China operations, and was an executive director within Goldman Sachs’ corporate finance team prior to that.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Alain Lam, another investment banking heavy, will be joining the firm as its new head of technology for Asia. He was managing director for Morgan Stanley’s global capital markets group prior to his move. Finance Asia</p> <p>Mizuho’s Asia ex-Japan origination chief departs. Rupert Manduke-Curtis, Mizuho’s head of origination for non-Japan Asia, has reportedly left the Japanese firm. His replacement has yet to be announced.</p> <p>Hong Kong-based Manduke-Curtis spent a good chunk of his career at Mizuho, joining the Japanese lender back in 2005 after a one year stint at ING in London. He was with CIBC World Markets for three years prior to that. Global Capital </p> <p>For Asset Management moves, click here.<br /> Photo: Wendy</p>
People Moves: Henderson beefs up its Asian equities team; T. Rowe poaches sales chief from UBS GAM
Asset Management
<p>Henderson adds two new hires to its Asian equities team. Wee May Ling, an 18-year veteran of the asset management space, is set to join Henderson Global Investors as an investment manager within its Asian equities team. Prior to joining Henderson, May Ling was with Lloyd George Management in Hong Kong, serving the firm as its portfolio manager running Greater China equities. She began her career in Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein Securities in Singapore.</p> <p>Also set to join the British asset manager is Mervyn Koh, an ex-GIC man who will be working as one of the firm’s associate investment managers.  Koh was previously with Franklin Templeton Investments in Singapore, and was most recently a VP within its emerging markets group. He apparently co-managed the firm’s Southeast Asia fund as well. He began his career in the aforementioned GIC.</p> <p>On the firm’s new hires, Andrew Gillan, Henderson’s head of Asia ex-Japan equities, had this to say:<br /> “I am delighted to welcome May Ling and Mervyn to the team. They reflect Henderson’s commitment to increased resource within the region as we look to grow our Asia ex Japan equity products in the coming years.”<br /> They will be both based in Singapore. Henderson</p> <p>UBS GAM managing director moves to T. Rowe. Elsie Chan, a highly regarded player in the asset management intermediary market, has been named head of intermediary sales, Asia by the U.S. firm T. Rowe Price. Scott Keller, the firm’s head of global investment services, Asia Pacific, had this to say:<br /> “Providing top-quality investment solutions to intermediaries throughout the region is one of the key pillars to developing a successful and sustainable business in Asia. Elsie Chan is highly regarded and a very experienced practitioner in the intermediary market. Her deep knowledge and experience of the relevant markets in the region, in particular Hong Kong and Singapore, will enable us to accelerate our offering to intermediaries across the Asia region.”<br /> As previously mentioned, Chan was a managing director for UBS Global Asset Management prior to her jump to T. Rowe, and was responsible for the Swiss firm’s wholesale distribution in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Before that, she had stints at Allianz Dresdner Asset Management as well as in ABN AMRO Asset Management, though she apparently began her career in the U.S. at Merrill Lynch. She will report to Scott Keller. Asia Asset Management</p> <p>For Capital Markets moves, click here.<br /> Photo: Luke Ma</p>
Video: Understanding the difference between fintech and techfin
FinTech
<p>Understanding the difference between Fintech and Techfin from NexChange on Vimeo.</p>
Daily Scan: US stocks post best weekly returns since Feb; House approves oil exports
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day.</p> <p>October 9</p> <p>U.S. stocks ended modestly higher Friday, posting the biggest weekly gains since February. European markets also notched their longest string of gains since July, with the Stoxx Europe 600 gaining 4.3% higher for the week after rallying for six straight sessions. Risk traders are counting on lower rates to power stocks higher. The S&amp;P 500 looks headed to close about 3.5% higher this week after finally closing above its 50-day moving average on Thursday. The Hang Seng gained 4.54% and the Shanghai Composite rallied 4.3%. The Nikkei 225 rose 3.87%. European markets, however, were hanging on to gains of about 1% as the dovish Fed outlook launched a commodities rally. On the calendar Friday:  Chicago's Charles Evans.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>House okays bill to export oil but White House veto possible. The measure passed 261 to 159 on largely partisan lines. Obama had threatened to quash the bill, saying the U.S. should focus on clean energy. Reuters</p> <p>Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart sees rate liftoff soon. In a speech to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Lockhart said: "I see a liftoff decision later this year at the October or December FOMC meetings." He also said consumer data hold the key to giving the Fed confidence to move forward with higher rates. Atlanta Fed</p> <p>Oil crosses $50, dollar slips on dovish FOMC meeting notes. The Fed's policy-making body showed concerns about weak global growth and low inflation. Gold posted its highest settlement in seven weeks. Forecaster PIRA Energy sees oil headed to $70/barrel by the end of 2016. WBP Online</p> <p>Sharpen your crochet needles. Amazon is launching a competitor to Etsy. Handmade at Amazon launched with 80,000 crafted item from 5,000 sellers in 60 countries. New York Times (paywall)</p> <p>Alcoa earnings disappoint; outlook for China car production slashed. The aluminum giant posted third quarter earnings after the close of trading on Thursday of 7 cents/share -- well below the estimates of 13 cents. Sales dropped 11% as Alcoa battled softer prices. Alcoa sees China car production dropping to 1%-2% from earlier expectation sof 5% to 8%. The stock is set to open 4% lower. CNBC, MarketWatch</p> <p>Glencore slices zinc production. The company said in a statement that it would reduce output by one-third -- 4% of the total world output. Zinc prices, at a five-year low, promptly rallied 6%. Glencore is struggling to prove that it can handle its hefty $30 billion debt load. It's shares are up 11% in response to the latest move. BBC</p> <p>Dell would need $40 billion in debt to complete EMC merger. The $50 billion+ merger with the storage company would be the biggest tech deal ever and create a co</p>