Taking on the ‘Godzilla Economy’

first_imgThe president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas delivered a somber economic message Monday night (Feb. 23) during the annual Albert H. Gordon Lecture at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. But while Richard Fisher admitted that policymakers should have heeded the signs of financial stress long ago, he expressed hope that central bankers can play a key role in bringing the global economy back to health.“Only yesterday, it appeared that the economy was cruising along in the most tranquil of seas,” Fisher said. “To be sure, there were some signs of friction developing … but to the unsuspecting world, all was well.”Everything changed last year, Fisher said, when the housing market collapsed, credit markets seized, Wall Street crashed, workers began losing their jobs, and entire industries suddenly became vulnerable.“There are plenty of armchair quarterbacks who now claim to have seen all this coming,” Fisher explained. “Indeed, we must acknowledge that many in the financial community, including those at the Federal Reserve, failed to either detect or act upon the telltale signs of financial system excess.”And today, Fisher remarked, the U.S. and many of the world’s other largest and typically most productive economies are contracting.“We might call this the ‘Godzilla Economy,’” Fisher said. “It presents a monstrous challenge.”In response, the central bank has initiated several programs over the past year aimed at injecting liquidity into the markets and attempting to stabilize the banking systems of the United States’ top 14 trading partners. While the ultimate results of those actions are still unknown, Fisher says the bank is willing to consider further actions if necessary.“These are complex, trying times. Our economy faces a tough road,” he said. “We are the nation’s central bank and we are duty bound to apply every tool we can to clean up the mess that has soiled the face of our financial system and get back on the track of sustainable economic growth with price stability.”Yet Fisher also warned that the bank must be cautious in deploying all of the weapons in its arsenal, and must avoid undermining confidence in its independence and its commitment to long-term economic stability and growth.“Most important of all,” he said, “we must continue to make clear that we will unwind our interventions in the market and shrink our balance sheet back to normal proportions once our task is accomplished, for this is, indeed, our unanimous and unflinching intention.”Fisher was introduced at the podium by Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood. The forum was sponsored by the Institute of Politics.last_img read more

Jamie Murray retains mixed doubles title at US Open

first_imgThe 32-year-old claimed a second consecutive mixed doubles crown here 12 months ago with Martina Hingis, who watched from his box on Arthur Ashe Stadium having retired at the end of last season.Pole Rosolska and Croatian Mektic were both playing in their first grand slam final and had chances but it was Murray and Mattek-Sands who proved just the stronger in the big moments to win 2-6 6-3 11-9. Jamie Murray has successfully defended his US Open mixed doubles title. The Scot and Bethanie Mattek-Sands came from a set down to defeat Alicja Rosolska and Nikola Mektic.The victory means Murray has now won four grand slam mixed doubles titles, three of which came in the last two seasons.Murray also has two men’s doubles titles to his name which he won with Bruno Soares in 2016.last_img read more

Free screenings of

first_img7 July 2014South Africans will be able to watch a free morning screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at selected cinemas across the country on 18 July, Nelson Mandela International Day.The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Ster Kinekor have partnered for the screenings, enabling members of the public to watch the 9.45am show of the award-winning biopic at any of 31 selected cinemas, on a first come, first served basis.The film, which covers Mandela’s extraordinary life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his election as president of South Africa, pays tribute to the revered world statesman who dedicated his life to the struggle against apartheid and the fight for freedom.“We are delighted to host South Africans for free in our cinemas to be inspired by this magnificent film based on our Madiba’s magnificent legacy,” Ster Kinekor CEO Fiaz Mohamed said. “We hope that many will leave our cinemas motivated more readily to serve others and serve our country.”Producer Anant Singh said his company had partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Mandela Day activities since its inception, and was delighted to continue the association.“We hope that the audience watching the film will be inspired to give back to their communities by following Madiba’s example,” Singh said.Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang said Madiba’s value system “rests on three pillars: free yourself, free others and serve every day. Let us all emulate the servant leader we loved by all becoming servant leaders ourselves.”The film will be screened at the following cinemas: Blueroute; Bridge; Brooklyn; Carlton; Carnival City; Cavendish; Cresta; Eastgate; Festival Mall; Gateway; Greenstone; Mall Of The North; Maponya; Mimosa; Mooi Rivier; Musgrave; N1 City; Northgate; Northmead; Parow; Promenade Mall; Riversquare; Rustenburg; Sandton; Secunda; Shelly Beach; Southgate; Sterland; Westgate; Wonderpark; and [email protected] Mandela International Day was officially adopted as an annual international day by the United Nations in November 2009.The idea is to do something of benefit to those around you on the day, which was inspired by Mandela himself when he said, at his 90th birthday celebration in London’s Hyde Park in 2008: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

LinkedIn and The Strange Case of The Disappearing Market

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#enterprise#Features#social networks#web Is LinkedIn worth $1bn? Yes. Why? Because Bain Capital says it is. The stock is not public, so you and I cannot trade it. The whole notion of the average punter trading tech stocks (or the average punter’s pension fund trading it on your behalf) seems rather quaint, from some bygone era. But why has the public market for tech stocks disappeared? Where has it disappeared to? Will it ever return? The LinkedIn financing offers some clues to these questions.LinkedIn has a dominant market position, their revenues are growing like a weed, they are profitable and they have growth ambitions that require lots of capital. For the last hundred years or so that has meant a company is ready for an IPO. LinkedIn management did say something about private financing being better, due to the “distractions” of quarterly reporting. I have seldom known people refuse the IPO “golden ticket” because of “distractions”. What we are really witnessing is a strange reversal of normal market rules.The rules used to be:The real stars went for IPO, where you got the highest valuation. Management also got to keep some independence and could use their public currency to make acquisitions. Everything else was second best. Next best was to get bought by a public company with a mix of cash and stock, the idea being that the public company’s stock would do well and you would get wealthy from that. If the public company acquiring you had an inflated “bubble” currency, the trick was how to get quickly to cash – ask Mark Cuban how to do that.Next best was to get an all cash deal from a private company. As these companies usually don’t have too much cash and hoard it carefully, these deals are smaller. But if you showed some strategic value you could do well.If you grew slowly and made some profits you fell into a category that VCs call “the living dead”. Not dead, as the business is profitably self-sustaining. But not hot enough for deals 1,2 or 3. This was where a very unfashionable firm called a Private Equity (PE) Fund stepped in. They had lots of spreadsheets showing net present value, all of which are designed to show you that your business is worth an awful lot less than you thought. These rules determined valuation. IPO got you the highest multiple. If you have real profit growth you could get a PE multiple of 60 to 100. If your profits were growing at 60% that PE of 60 would be a PEG of 1.0 and that is viewed as a bargain. In the Private Equity world, an EBITDA multiple of 6 is bargain time and 10 is considered “frothy”. EBITDA is not quite the same as PE, but it is good enough to show that these worlds (public and private) used to have 10x factor difference in valuation.Clearly these rules no longer apply. Bain Capital is a Private Equity Fund, a rather special example of the breed and sharing some characteristics with VC Funds, but still a Private Equity Fund. And they appear to have given LinkedIn a multiple that is in the 60 to 100 range. (My calculation is based on LinkedIn statements that revenue in 2008 will be in the range $80m to $100m and an assumption that profits are in the 10% range i.e. $8m to $10m.) In other words, a Private Equity Fund is giving a public market valuation.In which case, LinkedIn management got a good deal. They got the valuation premium normally associated with a public market without any of the hassles and uncertainties of a public market. Given the big tasks ahead for management (more on that later) that seems like a smart move.Which begs the question, did Bain Capital get a good deal? This was Series C, so earlier investors – all of whom are top tier VC – got a paper increase in value and probably put in more cash to maintain their % (“re-upping” in deal terms). So the earlier investors did well on paper. What about Bain Capital?Bain Capital has a first class reputation. They are separate from Bain Consulting but grew out of that strategic consulting stable. So they are not passive investors, they really look for ways to build a ton of value and historically they have done that. So it is reasonable to assume they looked at this very carefully and have a shot at making a lot of money from this investment.However, these are clearly strange times and the strangeness is reflected in what PE Hub called the ” late night infomercial”, where all the investors are on YouTube proclaiming over and over again that $1bn was a screaming bargain. So, did Bain Capital get a bargain? Well, it all depends on what management does with the money. LinkedIn is the dominant business networking site in America. That is a hugely valuable asset as switching costs are high. You could argue, correctly that LinkedIn misses key features and they are still learning how to monetize fully. But those are execution issues and they have a strong management team who can fix those issues. The simple fact of switching costs makes LinkedIn a valuable asset that, if properly managed, will generate a lot of profits. LinkedIn dominates in America and other English-speaking markets. But we live in global markets and LinkedIn has an equivalent in Europe – Xing – that on some metrics is stronger than LinkedIn, as we have outlined here.And the huge Asian markets are still up for grabs, with no obvious pan-Asian champion.Using private financing for an acquisition-led global expansion is the sort of thing Bain Capital knows how to do. It is slightly foreign territory for LinkedIn’s earlier investors. So, this deal seems to make excellent strategic sense.So, this is a two horse globalization race. The American horse – LinkedIn – has private capital. The European horse – Xing – has public market investors. This does illuminate some of the bigger market questions:Why has the public market for tech stocks disappeared? Because a bunch of slick promoters hyped up tech stocks in the 1998 to 2000 era and some of them turned out to be outright scams. The bar is now really high – as it should be. But, on historical standards, LinkedIn looks strong enough for IPO.Where has it disappeared to? To Europe and Asia, which did not have the same wild boom and bust and which therefore is not suffering the same regulatory and investor pushback that we see in America.Will it ever return? It has to. Private Equity needs a public market at some stage for their exits to get maximum return. Public markets are still the best way for ordinary investors to operate in a level playing field and for companies to raise large amounts of capital. Related Posts center_img bernard lunn Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

World Cup 2015: Upbeat Ireland looking to upset in-form India

first_imgIreland will lock horns with India in the ICC World Cup, Pool B clash on TuesdayDefending champion India has the consolation of knowing it has a quarterfinal place securely booked before it takes on over-achieving Ireland at the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.If India’s qualification for the knockout stage was still in the balance, the team would likely be far more concerned about its match against Ireland at Seddon Park. But so far, India’s progress through Pool B has been untroubled: it is unbeaten in four matches with impressive wins over Pakistan (by 76 runs) and South Africa (by 130 runs).India also disposed of the United Arab Emirates by nine wickets and the West Indies by four wickets.Ireland still remains in quarterfinal contention with three wins from five matches in pool play. The Irish struck the first blow of the tournament for second-tier nations when they beat the West Indies by four wickets and then followed that by topping Zimbabwe by five runs in a thriller decided in the final over.Though Ireland was badly beaten by South Africa and scraped past UAE by two wickets with four balls left, its performances have shown that associate nations can not only hold their own against full members of the International Cricket Council, but also beat them.India fast bowler Mohit Sharma made it clear that his teammates would go into Tuesday’s match expecting a major challenge.”They played good games earlier, like two or three games, and still, they have a chance to qualify.” he said. “They have a good team. We have to play well to beat them, and we’ll try to do it.”advertisementFrom Ireland’s side, the mindset is equally positive. While some associate nations came to this World Cup with moderate goals of winning a match or two or beating a test-playing nation, Ireland has set its sights much higher.Ireland has established a giant-killing reputation with wins at previous World Cups over Pakistan, Bangladesh and England, but captain William Porterfield said before Ireland won its opening match against the West Indies this year that such victories should no longer be regarded as major surprises.”We go into every game (thinking) there is two points up for grabs,” Porterfield said. “We’ve just got to keep all the momentum going and keep on improving at the little things we want to and keep taking things forward.Porterfield said although India has already qualified for the quarterfinals, he doesn’t believe it will put forth a sub-par effort against Ireland.”They’re not going to look to lose any momentum,” he said. “We’ve just got to look to restrict them with the ball and take wickets.”We’ve got to go out there with than mentality of taking wickets throughout the 50 overs. Whatever we do first, with the bat or with the ball, we have to start the game well and get into it.”last_img read more

The High And Low Points For Every NFL Team

We rolled out our NFL Elo ratings last week, giving us a set of computer power ratings for each team, each week, going back to the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. There are a lot of cool things we can do with these numbers; for example, I used them Monday to quantify how upset-heavy Week 1 of the 2014 season was compared to past opening weeks.But one of the best features of Elo ratings is that they represent a rolling estimate of a team’s strength, informed by new outcomes and previous results. After computing them, we can measure when a team appeared to be at its strongest (or weakest). So, in this edition of “Fun With NFL Elo Ratings,” let’s pinpoint when each NFL franchise hit its all-time (well, since 1970) high and low points.For example, the Seattle Seahawks currently have an Elo rating of 1685, which is very nearly the best they’ve ever had as a franchise (their all-time high, 1761, was achieved the night of their dominant Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos in February). Meanwhile, Washington’s current rating of 1374 is very nearly the worst in the team’s post-merger history (a mark the team set in December after a 20-6 loss to the New York Giants). And for some franchises, such as the New York Jets, their current rating (1470) is almost exactly halfway between their all-time high (1680, achieved after a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999) and their all-time low (1250, achieved after a loss to the Miami Dolphins in 1996).We’ve summarized that information for each team in the following chart. The gray dots represent the best and worst Elo ratings achieved by the franchise since 1970, and the red dot represents the team’s current rating. It’s a good way to show where on the spectrum of its historical performance a team is residing, as well as the kind of variance it has had between good and bad teams in its history.A few observations: The New England Patriots have experienced the highs and lows of the NFL like no other team — the difference between their best (1845) and worst (1238) rating was bigger than that of any other franchise. At the other end of the spectrum, the Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans have had the smallest range of Elo values, which makes sense, given all three came into existence in the mid-1990s or later.Among long-standing teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had the smallest range; their worst-ever Elo rating (1390) was easily higher than any other team’s worst mark. That fact plays a major role in why the Steelers also have the highest midpoint between their best-ever and worst-ever ratings (1582). Meanwhile, the poor Detroit Lions have the lowest midpoint between their best and worst ratings (1431), and they also have gone the longest time since achieving their high-water mark. read more