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A Requiem for the Stiff Upper Lip

With the passing of Prince Philip on April 9, the United Kingdom may have lost its last exponent of the stoic attitude that has defined so much of its modern history. To take just one of many notorious examples, Philip couldn’t understand why service...
Project Syndicate
Project Syndicate 17 April 2021
A Requiem for the Stiff Upper Lip
A Requiem for the Stiff Upper Lip

The Virus, Vaccine, and Economic Velocity

The fact that neither the dollar nor US interest rose after the stronger than expected March CPI and real sector that prompted upward revisions to GDP forecasts may be saying something about market sentiment and positioning. It fell to 1.55% before t...
Marc to Market
Marc to Market 17 April 2021
The Virus, Vaccine, and Economic Velocity
The Virus, Vaccine, and Economic Velocity

Africa in the news: Uganda oil pipeline, (fewer) locusts in East Africa, and political updates

On Sunday, April 11, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Tanzanian President Samia Hassan Suluhu signed an agreement to contruct the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). Following a devastating locust swarm that inundated East Africa with the c...
Brookings
Brookings 17 April 2021
Africa in the news: Uganda oil pipeline, (fewer) locusts in East Africa, and political updates
Africa in the news: Uganda oil pipeline, (fewer) locusts in East Africa, and political updates

Ready to go: Introducing Tellimer's Readiness for Reopening Index

This week, I received an email offering me the chance to win an Airbnb gift card in return for filling out a survey. This sets the stage for a broad, and sustained, reopening, provided that foolish rejection of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Jo...
Tellimer Research Paul
Paul Domjan @ Tellimer Research 17 April 2021
Ready to go: Introducing Tellimer's Readiness for Reopening Index
Ready to go: Introducing Tellimer's Readiness for Reopening Index

The Consensus

With government cash being shoveled into personal and corporate bank accounts, US consumers have reported that they are being more optimistic about the state of the economy. Both consumers and the investment consumers of TIPS instruments seem to agre...
Alhambra Investments
Alhambra Investments 16 April 2021
The Consensus
The Consensus

How British Columbia implemented its computer science education program

Computer Science (CS) education helps students acquire skills such as computational thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration and has been linked with higher rates of college enrollment (Brown & Brown, 2020;Salehi et al., CS education can also red...
Brookings
Brookings 16 April 2021
How British Columbia implemented its computer science education program
How British Columbia implemented its computer science education program
Problem based learning

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This morning's briefing

IMF Covid-era lending flatters to deceive.
We've looked at the total amount of financial assistance provided so far by the IMF, and its composition, since the pandemic began just over a year ago. The numbers flatter to deceive. According to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, in her opening remarks to the Spring Meetings last week, the Fund has now supported 86 countries with financing of over US$110bn in a variety of instruments since the pandemic began. But we think this total overstates its lending – half of it comprises credit lines to just four Latam countries. And while the IMF puts its Covid-era programme lending at US$23bn, we think the real amount is less than half that. Get the full story →
IMF Covid-era lending flatters to deceive.
Community group buying: The new battleground for China's internet giants.
Catalysed by the pandemic in 2020, ‘community group buying’ – where people living in the same community buy fresh produce and other groceries in bulk at a discount, arranged through WeChat groups – has become increasingly popular and has attracted the attention of internet giants, such as Alibaba, Pinduoduo and Meituan. Currently, China’s e-commerce giants are the major players and the most likely eventual winners, as they have financial advantages and large customer bases. Analysts at EqualOcean take a closer look at this burgeoning business. Get the full story →
Biden hits Russia with tough new sanctions.
The new US sanctions include restrictions on Russia's sovereign debt market and the expulsion of 10 diplomats for alleged election interference and hacking. According to Tellimer’s Hasnain Malik, restrictions on purchases of new sovereign debt is hardly a potent punishment for an economy running less than a 1% fiscal deficit and with under 20% debt to GDP. At best, it is a signal that the US can escalate its financial measures against Russia, but there is little here to shake the investment case in non-sanctioned Russia. For more on the potential impact of the sanctions, click here to read ING Think’s key takeaways. Get the full story →
Biden hits Russia with tough new sanctions.
Africa digital payments: telco spin-offs to create more listed investment options.
Africa remains one of the world's most attractive hunting grounds for digital payments, given poor rates of financial inclusion, a young, fast-growing population and increasing smartphone penetration. Telcos have traditionally had a big advantage in this area, given their large customer bases and data-handling capacity. Airtel Africa recently confirmed that it was looking to separately list its mobile money arm, and now MTN is following suit. If these transactions are successful expect other regional telcos, such as Sonatel, to repeat the exercise. We think separate listings of African telcos’ mobile money arms could generate significant investor interest, and also help remove the substantial conglomerate discounts that we think currently exist. Get the full story →
Africa digital payments: telco spin-offs to create more listed investment options.
Asia is now firmly on the SPAC map.
After weeks of speculation, Grab Holdings is merging with Altimeter Growth Corp, a US-listed SPAC. Grab will be valued at US$40bn, making it the largest SPAC deal ever. It will also be the first Southeast Asian tech unicorn to list through a SPAC. There are other Southeast Asian tech companies mulling SPAC listings, including Traveloka and Tokopedia, while consolidation between e-commerce and other tech sectors could accelerate. Get the full story →
Asia is now firmly on the SPAC map.
In case you missed it

This morning's briefing

IMF Covid-era lending flatters to deceive.
We've looked at the total amount of financial assistance provided so far by the IMF, and its composition, since the pandemic began just over a year ago. The numbers flatter to deceive. According to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, in her opening remarks to the Spring Meetings last week, the Fund has now supported 86 countries with financing of over US$110bn in a variety of instruments since the pandemic began. But we think this total overstates its lending – half of it comprises credit lines to just four Latam countries. And while the IMF puts its Covid-era programme lending at US$23bn, we think the real amount is less than half that. Get the full story →
IMF Covid-era lending flatters to deceive.
Community group buying: The new battleground for China's internet giants.
Catalysed by the pandemic in 2020, ‘community group buying’ – where people living in the same community buy fresh produce and other groceries in bulk at a discount, arranged through WeChat groups – has become increasingly popular and has attracted the attention of internet giants, such as Alibaba, Pinduoduo and Meituan. Currently, China’s e-commerce giants are the major players and the most likely eventual winners, as they have financial advantages and large customer bases. Analysts at EqualOcean take a closer look at this burgeoning business. Get the full story →
Biden hits Russia with tough new sanctions.
The new US sanctions include restrictions on Russia's sovereign debt market and the expulsion of 10 diplomats for alleged election interference and hacking. According to Tellimer’s Hasnain Malik, restrictions on purchases of new sovereign debt is hardly a potent punishment for an economy running less than a 1% fiscal deficit and with under 20% debt to GDP. At best, it is a signal that the US can escalate its financial measures against Russia, but there is little here to shake the investment case in non-sanctioned Russia. For more on the potential impact of the sanctions, click here to read ING Think’s key takeaways. Get the full story →
Biden hits Russia with tough new sanctions.
Africa digital payments: telco spin-offs to create more listed investment options.
Africa remains one of the world's most attractive hunting grounds for digital payments, given poor rates of financial inclusion, a young, fast-growing population and increasing smartphone penetration. Telcos have traditionally had a big advantage in this area, given their large customer bases and data-handling capacity. Airtel Africa recently confirmed that it was looking to separately list its mobile money arm, and now MTN is following suit. If these transactions are successful expect other regional telcos, such as Sonatel, to repeat the exercise. We think separate listings of African telcos’ mobile money arms could generate significant investor interest, and also help remove the substantial conglomerate discounts that we think currently exist. Get the full story →
Africa digital payments: telco spin-offs to create more listed investment options.
Asia is now firmly on the SPAC map.
After weeks of speculation, Grab Holdings is merging with Altimeter Growth Corp, a US-listed SPAC. Grab will be valued at US$40bn, making it the largest SPAC deal ever. It will also be the first Southeast Asian tech unicorn to list through a SPAC. There are other Southeast Asian tech companies mulling SPAC listings, including Traveloka and Tokopedia, while consolidation between e-commerce and other tech sectors could accelerate. Get the full story →
Asia is now firmly on the SPAC map.
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