China in Africa: A Modern Story of Colonization?

However China’s increased presence in East Africa has gradually raised concerns about the economic development of these countries as well as the environmental and social sustainability of their natural resources; what remains unclear is whether China’s recent FDI in East Africa has any real intention in helping to promote economic growth and development in these countries. In recent times, China has undertaken multiple investments in sub Saharan Africa that most people believe is due to China’s search for natural resources to feed its industrial output. But it has not always been the case.

→ Economonitor

Art: An Alternative Asset Wealth Managers Can Do Without

“Making money is art,” Andy Warhol once wrote :

Another reason for advisers’ hesitance is the unique due diligence skillset that art fund investments require. Investors must evaluate the fund’s financial structure and its investment potential. Wealth managers can readily grasp the finance projections, but few are equipped to gauge the fund manager’s art market expertise, proposed acquisition market or strategy for buying and selling profitably, Beard notes.

→ Institutional Investors

Al Gore : The Green Warren Buffet

The most sweeping way to describe this undertaking is as a demonstration of a new version of capitalism, one that will shift the incentives of financial and business operations to reduce the environmental, social, political, and long-term economic damage being caused by unsustainable commercial excesses. What this means in practical terms is that Gore and his Generation colleagues have done the theoretically impossible: Over the past decade, they have made more money, in the Darwinian competition of international finance, by applying an environmentally conscious model of “sustainable” investing than have most fund managers who were guided by a straight-ahead pursuit of profit at any environmental or social price.

Note : title edited

→ The Atlantic

The Crash of Trump Air

“The bathroom was a work of art,” joked Nick Santangelo, who ran maintenance and engineering at the shuttle. “They used ideas from the hotel business, which wasn’t bad, but they didn’t always work.” Older jets in particular guzzle fuel and airline executives are obsessed with saving even a few ounces of weight. Not so Trump: “At first they wanted to put in a ceramic sink, that was too heavy,” said Santangelo. “Then one of his henchman decided they were going to put brass handles on the doors you use to get out in an emergency. Normal handles weigh a few ounces, and these things probably weighed five pounds each… you’d kill to save one pound, and they wanted to add 20 to 30 pounds to each plane.”

→ The Daily Beast

The Art World’s Biggest Lie: A Dealer Apologizes for Collecting as Investing

Adam Lindemann :

Just over the horizon was a whole new group of people who would change the game. Appearing as if from nowhere, like a biblical swarm of locusts: The art advisors. When I wrote my collecting book, there were just a few of them, influential and very knowledgeable, so I included some (Mark Fletcher, Thea Westreich, Sandy Heller among them). But, in the last few years, advisorshave popped up literally everywhere and now outnumber collectors 2 to 1. There are almost as many of them as yoga instructors.

The art-advisor phenomenon is a direct result of the change in the way buyers view their art buying. Today, the “collecting” audience no longer needs to be convinced their money is being well spent; they have bought into the art-as-investment thesis hook, line and sinker. So, in the same way you hire an investment advisor to manage your portfolio, and a management consultant to streamline your business, you now must hire an advisor to help you decide what art to “invest” in.

Gone are the days of “I simply must have it,” today there are two serious types of buyers. The mega art buyers who want international trophy art, who have no budget limit and only want the artistic equivalent of oceanfront property. Then there’s the hot money players: Wise guys, hooligans and celebrities. They go for what’s hot, what’s going to make them look smart and make them fast money.

Credit : Hanna Barczyk

→ The Observer

Wall Street Banks Admit They Rigged CDS Prices Too

Tyler Durden :

Here is a system that ultimately allows banks to control the pricing for the instruments they use to bet against securities that they themselves create. This is just part and parcel of a never-ending paper wealth creation machine which generates billions in fiat money profits without creating anything in the way of tangible value and before it’s all over, this financialization of the US economy will likely end up bringing the world to its knees unless someone, somewhere puts a stop to the madness.

Is there anything left to be manipulated ?

→ Zero Hedge

Risky Strategy Sinks Small Hedge

Follow-up on some less successful investment strategies by hedge-funds, to say the least :

The back-tested results for the Spruce Alpha fund may not have taken into account how markets and investors would react given the kind of circumstances that took place in August. The hypothetical results could have underestimated the fact that some E.T.F.s are used as trading instruments that big money managers move quickly in and out of in times of extreme market volatility.

In a disclaimer to its marketing materials, Spruce Alpha also noted some of the unreliability of back-tested returns. The hypothetical results “do not represent the results of actual trading” and “were achieved by means of the retroactive application of a hypothetical model that was designed with the benefit of hindsight and could be adjusted at will until desired or better performance results were achieved,” the disclaimer reads.

→ The New York Times