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Home / Tag Archives: stock market and equities

Tag Archives: stock market and equities

Norbert’s gambit

I executed one of the oddest financial transactions of my life earlier this week. I did Norbert's Gambit.These days a big chunk of my income is in U.S. dollars. But since I live in Quebec, my expenses are all in Canadian dollars. To pay my bills, I need to convert this flow of U.S. dollars accumulating in my account to Canadian dollars. Outsiders may not realize how dollarized Canada is. Many of us Canadians maintain U.S. dollar bank accounts or carry around U.S. dollar credit cards....

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Store of value

LSD tabs like these ones have an incredibly high value-to-weight ratioWhen bitcoin first appeared, it was supposed to be used to buy stuff online. In his 2008 whitepaper, Satoshi Nakamoto even referred to his creation as an electronic cash system. But the stuff never caught on as a medium-of-exchange: it was too volatile, fees were too high, and scaling problems resulted in sluggish speeds. Despite losing its motivating purpose, bitcoin's price kept rising. The bitcoin cognoscenti began to...

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The siren call of T+0, or real-time settlement

The NYSE's clearinghouse in 1898, six years after its founding Traditional financial systems often get mocked for being slow. In North America, for instance, securities markets have recently switched from T+3 to T+2 settlement. Before, if you sold a stock the cash would only appear in your account three days after the trade—now settlement been moved to a blazing fast two days. In an age where mail is transmitted in milliseconds, this delay seems terribly old fashioned. Or take automatic...

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When a rising stock market is a bad thing

If the world had a single cauldron for mixing various monetary phenomena, it would be Zimbabwe. Over the last two decades, it has experienced pretty much everything that can happen to money, from hyperinflation to deflation, demonetization to remonetization, dollarization and de-dollarization, bank runs, bank walks, and more. Adding to this mix, the Zimbabwe Industrial Index—an indicator of local stock prices—has recently gone parabolic, having more than tripled over the last twelve...

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A modern example of Gresham’s Law

Sir Thomas Gresham Anyone who makes an effort to study monetary economics quickly encounters the concept of Gresham's law, or the idea that bad money can often chase out good. Gresham's law is usually used to explain the failures of bygone monetary systems like bimetallic and coin standards. But the phenomenon isn't confined to ancient times. I'd argue that a modern incarnation of Gresham's law is occurring right now in Zimbabwe.Zimbabwe's stock market has blown away all other stock markets...

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The strange mania for Swiss National Bank shares

The shares of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland's central bank, have almost doubled since July, despite there being no real news. Yep, you read that right, the SNB is listed on the stock market. There are four other central banks with listed shares: Belgium, Japan, Greece, and South Africa. I discussed this odd group back in 2013.Why are SNB shares catapulting higher? This is a staid central bank, after all, not a penny stock.Let's look at the fine print. Swiss National Bank...

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The French shareholder revolution

I recently stumbled on a new and innovative capital structure that, as far as I can tell, only exists in France.Since 2011, French beauty giant L'Oréal has been rewarding long-term investors with a loyalty bonus. It goes like this: if you buy L'Oréal shares, register them before the end of 2016, and hold them till 2019, you'll start to enjoy a 10% dividend bonus come January 1, 2019. So if L'Oréal declares a dividend of €1.00 in 2019, anyone who has held since 2016 gets €1.10. Not bad,...

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What finance can learn from automakers

Arnold Kling is appalled by Lynn Stout, who accuses Wall Street of providing too much liquidity: Wall Street is providing far more liquidity (at a hefty price—remember that half-trillion-dollar payroll) than investors really need. Most of the money invested in stocks, bonds, and other securities comes from individuals who are saving for retirement, either by investing directly or through pension and mutual funds. These long-term investors don’t really need much liquidity, and they...

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