Media Worth Consuming – November 2022

Jonathan Rochford

Narrow Road Capital

Top 5 Articles

US inflation has likely passed the peak, but there’s good news and bad news for where it might level out at.

Private charity is more ethical and effective than government welfare.

In an OECD study, Sweden was found to have the least excess deaths in the Covid era out of 31 nations.

Voters in Pennsylvania re-elected a dead politician.

Parody accounts have proliferated on Twitter with hilarious results.

Finance

Credit Suisse sold US dollar bonds at over 9% yield. European banks are skipping calls on subordinated capital securities, instead offering investors the ability to switch to new issues with higher yields and longer maturities. Standard and Poor’s has been charged by the SEC for pressuring an analyst to inflate a credit rating.

Facebook and Google have spent billions in sterilising shares sold to employees. The CEO of Softbank borrowed $4.7 billion from the company to purchase stakes in tech companies and funds that have since had their valuations slashed.

The Chinese government’s plan to prop up the property industry includes extending debts and letting developers have greater access to presale deposit funds. The estimated combined wealth of China’s top 100 billionaires plunged by 39% in the last year. Swedish house prices are down 14% since their peak in early 2022.

Several smaller crypto exchanges and lenders have halted withdrawals after the collapse of FTX. There were more than a few signs that FTX had issues well before it failed leaving venture capital and hedge funds looking foolish for investing with little due diligence or basic controls. The list of major investors who torched their money on FTX. How Sam Bankman Fried stacks up against the Match King, one of the greatest fraudsters of all time. Thoughts on the crypto market from the guy who has been calling out its many fraudsters.

Politics & culture

Florida’s school voucher system has improved educational outcomes for kids who left government run schools as well as kids who stayed in government schools. San Francisco taxpayers are looking at paying $1.7 million and waiting three years to build a single public toilet. Three examples of government policies that show good intentions don’t lead to good outcomes. European governments are fighting back against quasi Chinese police stations operating in Europe.

Economics & work

QE had little benefit but many costs, central banks should admit their mistakes and never do it again. The Bank of England has started selling bonds to unwind QE. Austrian school economics explains why rising interest rates are likely to result in a recession as malinvestment unwinds.

US goods inflation is likely to slow as container movements on ship and rail are falling with FedEx and Maersk parking planes and cutting shipping routes. Italy is planning to cut off unemployment benefits for recipients who refuse reasonable job offers.

America’s budget problem is driven by excess spending not insufficient taxation. The UK’s budget problem is overspending, with cuts needed now that the pandemic is over. Argentina’s private sector is too small to support its bloated government spending, so money is printed to fill the gap leading to sky high inflation. If the world wants to help deadbeat borrowers like Argentina, the IMF needs to stop bailing them out. Keynesian policies have delivered high debt, high inflation and low growth. Politicians and the majority of the population choose big government and crony capitalism over free markets despite the clear evidence of the inferior outcomes.

Miscellaneous

Are harm reduction drug programs stopping addicts from getting sober? Despite Covid possibly emerging from a lab leak, several labs continue to modify the virus to create more virulent and lethal versions. A British man has been sentenced to six months jail for allowing customers to sit and eat rather than serving takeaway only during a lockdown. 

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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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