Asset Management & Market Research

Weekend reads & daily charts ...

We scour the best of publications that cover the markets & economy, the world of business & finance, asset & wealth management, monetary & fiscal policy, Europe & Asia, the news & politics, science & technology … and throw in a bit of arts & entertainment, just to keep it light. Here’s what we found particularly compelling in the last 24 hours:

The Great De-Leveraging That Never Happened: the US still has a debt problem (BlackRock)

Making Sense of Friedrich A. von Hayek (WCFEG)

Reports of Silicon Valley’s Unpopularity Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (NY Magazine)

Credit card debt growth exceeds wage growth in the US (SoberLook)

Federal Reserve Finds US Households Are Unwell (FT Alphaville)

The Characteristics Of High-Return Stocks (AAII)

S&P might drop some Russian stocks from indexes (Investment News) 

Will the US inflate away its public debt? (vox)

Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived? (NY Times Magazine)

Fire Putin As Russia, Inc. CEO For Mismanagement (Forbes)

Italy’s triple-dip recession has wiped out all its growth since 2000 (WonkBlog)

Why Nixon matters (Reuters)

Olympics: Athens venues lie empty as tenth anniversary nears (BBC Sport)

The charts below are courtesy of FT Alphaville, Statista and the NYT.

FT Alphaville ran a piece about the Federal Reserves recently released its first “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households (see reads above). A few particularly dispiriting highlights:

  • Among Americans aged 18-59, only a third had sufficient emergency savings to cover three months of expenses.
  • Only 48 per cent of Americans could come up with $400 on short notice without borrowing money or sell something.
  • 45 per cent of Americans save none of their income.

Also noteworthy is the demographic breakdown of how people expect to retire, based on their current age. Young people are optimistic they will be able to stop working when they get older and live off their nest egg, while those on the verge of retiring are much more likely to expect having to toil for the rest of their lives

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Statista ran an interesting piece about tourist spending in the UK. “Out of the  hordes of tourists arriving on Britain’s shores every year, US residents are the highest spenders by a considerable distance. They contributed £2.5 billion to the UK economy in 2013, which was 4.6 percent more than in 2012. Even though the United States remains the most-valuable inbound market, Europeans also spend their fair share on visits to the United Kingdom. German residents are the second highest spenders with £1.4 billion while the French come third with £1.35 billion. French tourists make the most visits, followed by the Germans. Even though US tourists come third in overall visitor numbers, they still beat Germany and France by far in the spending stake.

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The NYT ran a series of charts in a piece about M&A activity this year, which underscores that cheap credit, lower tax bills and a desire for revenue, more than economic optimism, may be behind this year’s surge in corporate acquisitions.

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Author: Kevin Lane

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