SAM Risk-free Rate Workshop

The Technical Provisions Task Group and KPMG ran a workshop for industry participation on risk-free rates recently. The idea was to see whether we could improve the extent and quality of industry comment on key, controversial areas of the proposed SAM regime. Turnout was good, but not great, but the discussion and points raised were …

Emerging Markets and Equity Performance

The astoundingly useful guys at FT Alphaville pointed me towards this Gerard Minack analysis of emerging market returns yesterday. The message is that high growth economies don’t necessarily translate to high equity returns. The argument can be summarised as this: Earnings growth is correlated with economic growth Valuation changes contribute significantly to equity returns and …

Gold ain’t happening yet

Paulson and Soros still think Gold is a buy, adding to their stakes as the price declines. It’s also not very brave of me to blog about this now as gold has declined when for much of the financial crisis it was increasing in price. I’ve been watching other things. The idea that the gold …

More on gender and analytical problems

Here is another interesting story with a gender angle. A study shows that stockholders in companies with women in the Board achieved better returns than those without. The obvious and likely correct point is that women add something valuable to the Board and is the company performs better. Diversity is a good thing in general, …

Lose a Million

The Make a Million competition, as I’ve mentioned before, is an awful idea. It doesn’t promote investing or even “normal” trading, but rather massive, speculative risk-taking trading because the prize for performing well is nothing and the prize for performing best is significant. I’m continually disappointed that Moneyweb continues to partner with this distraction. As …

What is best practice for matching annuities in Greece in 2012?

Best practice for matching non-profit annuities in most countries, certainly from a risk perspective, is still to cash flow match (or at the very least, match key durations) using government bonds. The theory is that the insurer isn’t then exposed to changes in the term structure on interest rates, only exposed to illiqudity/reinvestment risk to …

Greek default?

So European politicians have more or less agreed a deal which may, more or less, push some of their problems to one side for a period. Yes, I’m not madly optimistic about this as a cure-all. ┬áThis is not the end of the Euro problems. Part of the deal is a “50% loss for private …