Tue, Apr 7, 2020
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Alternative Market Briefing

Double Black Swans

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Matthias Knab, Opalesque:

A comment from Ian Hamilton, Chairman, Scotstone:

The Corona Virus has put the world on hold with investors behaving like people fighting over toilet rolls.

But was it unexpected?

In 2007 Nassim Taleb, in his book "Black Swan" warned of such an event:

"as we travel more on this planet, epidemics will be more acute-we will have a germ population dominated by a few numbers and the successful killer will spread vastly more effectively."

He ends this paragraph with the following sentence:

"I see the risks of a very strange acute virus spreading throughout the planet."
Page 317

It has just been a matter of time for this to become true as we have witnessed the past two months.

As a frequent international air traveller, I have often returned home with illnesses picked up on flights. Modern technology luckily provides alternatives such as video conferencing etc. Tricky for board meetings particularly if one is chairing the meetings. Also, Regulators have strict requirements on having at least one person in the jurisdiction. Let's hope they take into consideration the current situation.

Currently I have put all international travel on hold. It is not because I am sixty-seven and possibly in the high-risk category for the infection. That is not my main reason. My main reason is being in being placed in self isolation in a foreign country.

The second Black Swan event is the oil price spat between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Is it short term or will it reach an amicable solution?

One must bear in mind that this is not necessarily only a consequence of Corona Virus. Saudi is an ally of the USA and much favoured by Donald Trump.

Russia is smarting under the sanctions imposed by the USA. This is an opportunity to hit back at the USA. It will put out of business the shale oil producers as well as the fracking proposals.

Donald Trump now has oil sludge on his face. He is a big supporter of the fossil fuel industry in the USA. Going to be difficult to wipe this off in the election year.

Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing

 



  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. Investing: Ray Dalio's Bridgewater scales down European short bets after $3.2bn windfall, Here's what top hedge funds are buying in the coronavirus stock market crash[more]

    Ray Dalio's Bridgewater scales down European short bets after $3.2bn windfall From Financial News: Bridgewater Associates, the world's biggest hedge fund, has retreated from shorting European stocks after making an estimated €2.9bn ($3.2bn), as its founder and co-chairman Ray Dalio c

  2. Bill Ackman writes letter to shareholders on coronavirus[more]

    Pershing Square Holdings (PSH)'s Bill Ackman wrote a letter to investors outlining his insight on the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. He revealed that PSH completed the process of exiting the hedges on 23 March, netting a gross $2.1bn for PSH, after turning 'increasingly positive on equit

  3. New Launches: LGPS Central sets up investment grade bond fund, Leeds Equity Advisors aims to raise $1bn for PE fund, RLI Investors to launch European last-mile logistics fund, DBL Partners IV targets $450m[more]

    LGPS Central sets up investment grade bond fund From IPE: LGPS Central, the asset pooling vehicle for eight local government pension schemes (LGPS) based in England's Midlands, has launched a global investment grade corporate bond fund in order to meet its partner funds' needs. The po

  4. Investing: Marathon sees cheap assets amid dislocation in credit, Deerfield's health care buying spree, It's time to buy shares again, says BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Fed is buying credit ETFs but one hedge fund is shorting them[more]

    Marathon sees cheap assets amid dislocation in credit From Bloomberg: Distressed-investment specialist Marathon Asset Management is buying beaten-up debt amid the greatest dislocation in credit markets since 2008, according to Bruce Richards, co-founder and chief investment officer of the

  5. People: Carlyle picks 2 deputy heads for Japan buyout advisory team, Ex-Kleinwort Hambros adviser takes senior role at multi-family office boutique[more]

    Carlyle picks 2 deputy heads for Japan buyout advisory team From PIonline.com: Takaomi Tomioka and Hiroyuki Otsuka were named deputy heads of the Japan buyout advisory team at Carlyle Group. The positions are new, confirmed a spokeswoman for the New York-based private markets investment g