Unbelievable Risk Discounts Rates

Setting discount rates is a crucial and subjective exercise. This is true for life insurance embedded values too. Many researchers are comfortable with a range for Equity Risk Premiums of between 3% and 5%. Many corporate finance practitioners use a range from 5% to 8% or even higher. My nearly eight year old blog post […]

Ghosts of bullets dodged

I have never owned Steinhoff shares. I was surprised then, when going through some old blog uploads (dealing with a separate copyright issue that I may touch on in another post) to find this share price graph of Steinhoff from 2007 I don’t remember looking at this, but the blog entry was actually about insider […]

Just what are ancillary own funds?

Reading the Financial Soundness Standards for Insurers (FSIs) is an exercise that can only end in madness. I’m sufficiently familiar with them now that I mostly refer back to them for particularly tricky or thorny issues. Without fail, the words fail to clearly communicate exactly what was intended. Take ancillary capital as an example. To […]

ERP update – delayed response to a blog reader

I reader asked why so many practitioners use high Equity Risk Premiums in their valuations and fairness opinions. In particular, he mentioned a specific assumption set he had seen including: ERP of 6.8% company specific risk premium of 4% He also commented on how haphazard the use of risk premiums can be and referenced a […]

Modelling one side of a two-sided problem

Ah models, my old friends. You’re always wrong, but sometimes helpful. Often dangerous too. A recent article in The Actuary magazine addressed whether “de-risking in members’ best interests?”  I say “recent” even though it’s from August because I am a little behind on my The Actuary reading. In the article, the authors demonstrate that by […]

The worst insurance policy in the world

Aviva in France is still dealing with having written the worst insurance policy in the world. From the sounds of things, they weren’t alone in this foible. It’s also hard to say as an outsider what the right or reasonable resolution to their current problem is, but here is the policy that they wrote. Buy […]

Banking failures in South Africa

South Africa has a pretty rich history of banking failures.  This paper, part of a masters, by Sipho Makhubela, provides an interesting over of banking failures since 1994. I haven’t read the entire paper yet, but Section 4 (starting on page 72) outlines  the background behind banking failures in South Africa and is fascinating reading […]