Random Reads - week ending Dec 9

Warren Buffett says, “I just sit in my office and read all day.” Not everyone can afford to devote themselves to reading to that extent so here's a shortcut - the headlines that caught our eye this past week and compelled us to click and read.

View from above

More than $11tn of sovereign and corporate bonds traded with a yield below zero at the end of November, despite quickening global growth and a view among investors that central banks will begin to remove their extraordinary accommodation.

How To Read Financial News | Collaborative Fund
October 27th, 1929. It’s the day before the Great Depression begins. One of the most important days in market history. Let’s go back in a time. What would you find? Dig through the New York Times that day, and the entirety of stock market coverage is summarized on one page, a third of which is a Chanel shoe ad.

The proportion of merger and acquisition activity involving all-share deals has dropped to a record low this year, as access to cheap cash and doubts over US equity market valuations complicate what can already be a fraught option for dealmakers.

Business confidence is at its highest level since the beginning of 2015, according to illion’s latest Business Expectations Survey, with companies set to boost employee numbers in the first quarter of 2018 on the back of bumper expectations for profits.

... the latest report from the Grattan Institute finds claims about Australia being dominated by oligopolies are overblown. Only about 15% of the economy is dominated by large firms.


In the field of play

Capitol Health’s hostile takeover bid for Integral Diagnostics — which would create one of Australia’s biggest diagnostic imaging groups — is shaping up as a battle of the funds.

Shareholders are getting tough on explorers and miners, with several receiving first strikes against their remuneration reports and directors getting the chop in the latest round of annual general meetings.


Bitcoin

If you’re gunning to be the only entity in town prepared to sell bitcoin futures, it would be in your interests to start “pre-hedging” physical bitcoin as soon as possible with a view to locking in a risk-free basis return once the ability to sell futures on a regulated venue becomes possible.

NiceHash, the marketplace for cloud-based mining of cryptocurrencies, said hackers breached its systems and stole an unknown amount of bitcoin from its virtual wallet.

Bitcoin seems to be everywhere these days. Finding a place to spend it is another matter entirely.That flies in the face of popular perception that businesses are trumpeting the acceptance of the digital currency as a form of payment. Looking for a mate? OkCupid stopped accepting cryptopayments a year ago. 

The gravity-defying rise of bitcoin has been drawing in new money from people who appear to know nothing about the cryptocurrency other than the fact that its price has gone up a lot in a hurry.

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