Media Worth Consuming – August 2022

Jonathan Rochford

Narrow Road Capital

Top 6 Articles

One in six US homes is in arrears on their utility bills and 40% of American small businesses don’t pay their rent on time.

Joe Biden’s college loan cancellation proposal is awful government policy on many levels and has attracted criticism from all sides.

The winner of an American lottery prize of $1.28 billion may only end up with $434 million after factoring in taxes and a discount for taking the prize upfront.

A Los Angeles community has seen strong results from using solar reflective paint to reduce ground temperatures.

Finance

The current labour shortage could reduce business margins from their near record high levels. Excluding “sin stocks” from portfolios has had little impact on their valuations or returns. The most expensive quartile of houses in Sydney and Melbourne have seen their prices fall much more than relatively cheaper houses.

Goldman Sachs is accused of retaliating with false allegations against highly profitable traders who left to join a hedge fund. The US Treasury has sanctioned a crypto mixer after it was used by North Korea to launder stolen funds. An American college student made a $110 million profit on a meme stock over his summer break. A long article on what prop trading firm Jane Street does.

Softbank has torched 5 years’ worth of gains in 6 months. Evergrande has been ordered to pay $1.08 billion to cover losses on debt it guaranteed. The financials of Saudi Arabia’s proposed futuristic city make Evergrande look rational. American tech company Avaya announced it might not be able to repay bonds due in June 2023, 6 weeks after it sold $600 million in debt to cover its refinancing needs.

Politics & culture

Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook supressed reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop story after the FBI warned the company about Russian disinformation. A Saudi woman has been sentenced to 34 years jail for tweeting about the country’s treatment of women. A British Police Commissioner has criticised her local police force for arresting two men over a tweet whilst burglaries often fail to get a police response. Why more “rights” can be bad and “free” stuff from governments isn’t free. Why do governments subsidise building houses in the path of floods and volcanoes?

Japan’s tax agency wants its citizens to drink more so it can collect more in alcohol taxes. Brexit was supposed to create increased growth in Britain like Singapore has seen, but the politicians stuffed it up by increasing taxes and government spending. Houston City Council ran a gun buyback program and a local man turned a profit by making and handing in 3D printed handguns.

Economics & work

The Bank of England has been frank in estimating that UK inflation could hit 13% later this year. Inflation in Turkey has hit 80% but its central bank is cutting interest rates. The US employment figures show that fewer people are working but more people are holding multiple jobs, including a record number of people holding multiple fulltime jobs. Part of the gap between earnings for men and women is explained by men choosing higher paying work and women choosing more fulfilling work. Thomas Piketty fails basic economics by promoting socialism, ignoring the long history of socialism bringing poverty and free markets reducing poverty.

Miscellaneous

Captcha questions are getting more bizarre like asking whether dogs are smiling, causing some users to give up. The most used password manager has been hacked. A 1989 Janet Jackson song has been proven to induce hard drive crashes on 2005 era laptops. 11 harsh facts about life that might change the way you live. Authentic self-esteem promotes realism and independence, not a mollycoddled mind. The Great Barrier Reef is flourishing after journalists wrote its obituary. 

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This article has been prepared for educational purposes and is in no way meant to be a substitute for professional and tailored financial advice. It contains information derived and sourced from a broad list of third parties and has been prepared on the basis that this third party information is accurate. This article expresses the views of the author at a point in time, and such views may change in the future with no obligation on Narrow Road Capital or the author to publicly update these views. Narrow Road Capital advises on and invests in a wide range of securities, including securities linked to the performance of various companies and financial institutions.

Jonathan Rochford
Portfolio Manager
Narrow Road Capital

Narrow Road Capital is a credit manager with a track record of higher returns and lower fees on Australian credit investments. Clients include institutions, not for profits and family offices.

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