Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Leading Economic Advisor Says Barbells Are Best Portfolios

Mohamed El-Erian,chief economic advisor at Allianz,says he has a barbell investment strategy for the current conditions.It consists of cash and then more high risk exposures to startups and hedge funds,because the most highly trafficked part of the risk-return is the public markets.Why? Because the Fed has been pushing everybody to the public markets,pushing up market prices.So if you look at long-term valuation,it makes more sense to become bar-belled and reduce your exposure to the most heavily trafficked and artificially lifted asset prices.That's why there's this barbell of cash and then hedge funds,startups and illiquids-and that's what a lot of investors are starting to do,by the way.
As long as we don't get the Fed fundamentals,we are more at risk of not validating the higher asset prices.At some point,you have to hand off to investing in equipment and hiring.I still think the Fed is going to raise rates in September.They're going to focus on this,the loosest tightening the Fed has ever done.*
Will the ECB pull the plug on Greece? No,because no one wants to go down in history as having done it.My greatest worry is,we get an accident in that world.The chance that Greece is pushed out of the Euro-zone is quite material.The fundamentals all call for a stronger dollar.In the short term,a Greek exit will shock the market.Long-term,it doesn't matter much.Take equity exposure to Europe,but not euro currency exposure,Mr.El-Erian advised.*
Mohamed El-Erian was born in Cairo,Egypt.He was manager of the Harvard Endowment,then co-CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO with Bill Gross before they had a falling out.Eventually,Gross himself was fired by the company he co-founded and went over to Morgan Stanley.*
Morgan Stanley (MS),Allianz SE SP/ADR (AZSEY)

General Dynamics Land Systems - Stryker Armoured Wheeled Vehicle Confirm...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ISIS gunfight footage RAW: Iraqi troops in battle for Ramadi

ISIL Has New Leader as Key Battles Continue in Iraq

Fighting against ISIL in both Ramadi and the Beiji oil refinery continued on Wednesday,even as ISIL adjusts to a new leader.Sniper fire and booby traps,as well as suicide bombers,were hindering the advance of Iraqi counterterrorist forces into the city.Still,they have managed to retake positions near the city's centre.
They are trying to drive ISIL militants away from the residential areas and toward open areas where they will be an easier target,a spokesman for the CT forces said.The militants captured Ramadi,which is the capital of Anbar Province,two weeks ago,even digging tunnels between houses to enable their hit and run tactics.
At the same time,at the Beiji oil refinery,which is Iraq's largest,ISIL seized an important installation in the northern section of the facility Tuesday,but were driven out by Iraqi troops.They still have a foothold near the refinery's south gate,however,and Iraqi forces within the complex are calling for reinforcements.*
According to an Iraqi government source,ISIL has a new leader in the person of Abu Alaa Afri,who has at least temporarily replaced Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.Al-Baghdadi was seriously wounded in a US-led coalition airstrike on his truck convoy in March,incapacitating him.Afri,a former Iraqi physics teacher and a reputed Islamist intellectual,had served as an ISIL provincial coordinator,linking the senior leadership with the provincial emirs.Afri,now believed to be residing in Mosul,Iraq,was previously a member of al-Qaida and highly regarded by Osama bin Laden,who favoured him to head al-Qaida in Iraq,ISIL's precursor organisation.*
In 2006,US and Iraqi troops,along with tribal militias,waged a pitched battle against al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies in the Mujahideen Shura Council for control of Ramadi.Indeed,an Islamic State was declared by the Council in October 2006 and chose al-Baghdadi as emir.By early 2007,the IS had been all but driven out of Ramadi,at the cost of the lives of at least 78 US troops and many others being wounded.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Avoiding the New Mediocre:The IMF,Doha and the New Multilateralism

Madame Christine Lagarde,Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund,addressed the Atlantic Council in Washington on 9 April.She spoke about the "new mediocre" she feels the global economy is falling into for reasons including aging populations and falling productivity growth.Reversing that decline in developed markets takes improving access to finances for SMEs,small and medium-sized enterprises,which represent most of the employment.The same applies to China.In Japan and the euro area,there are too many tax disincentives for them.
In too many countries,legal inequities still exist preventing access by women to the labour market.There are potentially huge global gains to be had by trade reform and integration.Completion of the Doha Round could give an economic boost of a trillion dollars.
The Doha Round is a series of trade negotiations among the World Trade Organization membership.It aims to achieve major reform of the international trading system through the introduction of lower trade barriers and revised international trade rules.The negotiations were named after the WTO's Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha,Qatar,where they officially began in November 2001.The Doha Ministerial Declaration that came out of the Conference set forth the mandate for the negotiations,including on agriculture,services and an intellectual property topic,which had already begun.
The ministers at the Fourth Ministerial Conference also agreed on how to address the problems developing countries face when implementing the current WTO agreements.A fundamental objective of the Doha Round is to improve the trading prospects of developing countries.
How to dispel this new mediocre that is lurking on the horizon? We can only win by working together,Madame Lagarde insisted.The challenge for policy makers is to combine the policies that create growth with those that boost tomorrow's prospects.If countries strengthen their banks,it will reinforce the global financial system.If they implement climate-friendly policies,it will benefit their people and lower the global level of emissions.There is simply no alternative to the new multilateralism.The emerging markets and developing countries must have a seat at the table.Virtually our entire membership agrees,and they all await ratification by the United States Congress-if only to assert US leadership to a major institution for global financial stability,enhancing cooperation with new institutions in Asia and other places,the integration of dynamic emerging markets into the global economy through:
1.Financing for development.
2.New,sustainable development goals.
3.Addressing climate change.
They all interlink in many ways.How can we contribute on the IMF's three core deliverables?
1.Financing:we recently gave 390 million euros to the Ebola-affected countries from a catastrophe and containment relief trust that was set up.
2.Policy advice and analysis such as on domestic resource mobilisation;the role of inequality;energy subsidy reforms;carbon taxation-the time is right to price it right.
3.Technical assistance and training,such as our Massive Online Open Courses,which range from debt sustainability analysis to removing energy subsidies.Success will require a recommitment to international cooperation.In conclusion,Madame Lagarde quoted Winston Churchill,"I never worry about action;only inaction."

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Masters:Will McIlroy Be Good Enough This Year?

World number one golfer Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland,who turns 26 on May 4,has been competing in The Masters tournament since 2009.He'll be playing alongside Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore in the first round on Thursday afternoon.McIlroy spoke with journalists at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia on Tuesday.
I feel like I've done a lot of good work the past couple of days to prepare,McIlroy said.It's such an intimidating place the first time you get here.I'm playing my usual game-that's one of the biggest things I've learned.I'm just ready for the gun to go off on Thursday morning.
You just realise there's holes out here where par's a good score,and you move on.I'm here and have a great opportunity to do what few people in golf have done (win a career grand slam of the four majors).I've just really tried to keep on winning the next one.Golf's a very fickle game,so you don't take anything for granted.
My weight training is about longevity and trying to prolong my career.I originally got into it because of my bad back.It helps me to practice more.
I'd say Bubba Watson is my favourite to win.He has the perfect game for this course.He's won it two of the last three years.He tees it up really well.
I enjoy playing with Phil Mickelson.There's a good buzz around Phil,he's won it so many times (three).I enjoy his company,and his caddy Bones Mackay's as well.I've played with Ryan Moore a few times.
I talked with Tiger Woods on the practice tee.He feels good.He's been working hard.Like everyone else,I'll be looking at his score to see how he does.
You guys can write the stories and I won't read them.*
McIlroy would be the sixth player in history to win the career grand slam,should he win The Masters.Last year,he won two majors,the Open Championship and the PGA Championship.He's won the most PGA tournaments since 2010-nine.In his last fifteen starts,he's achieved four wins and four second place finishes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ISIL Defeated In Tirkrit

After a month-long battle,the Iraqi army has retaken the city of Tikrit.With the help of the US-led coalition's air strikes and various militia groups,a major blow has been dealt the ISIL militants.The win is also seen as a significant validation of the ground combat forces' ability to recapture ISIL's biggest gain so far in Iraq,the country's second largest city,Mosul.
Tikrit was heavily booby-trapped by the Islamist extremist group ISIL,whom many Arabs and their friends call Daesh.Many of the abandoned buildings were rigged with explosives.A few pockets of resistance remain,firing potshots now and then.Few civilians have stayed in the war-blasted streets of Tikrit,however,the hometown of the late dictator Saddam Hussein.
At the same time,ISIL has stormed a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus,the Yarmouk camp,having fought with a Palestinian faction in the camp.The ISIL militants reportedly now have control of nearly all of the camp,which is home to some 18,000 Palestinian refugees.It is their most serious incursion into Damascus to this point.