Category Archives: Business and Investment

Janet Yellen’s taper, scissors, rock challenge

It’s official. Janet Yellen is the first woman chair of the US Federal Reserve and that’s no mean feat! As Barack Obama’s choice to succeed Ben Bernanke, she took the reins on 1 February 2014 after the US Senate not surprisingly confirmed her appointment! Her biggest short-term challenge? To pare back (or taper) the US […]

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Riding toward the US debt ceiling cliff

When US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warns the US Congress to raise the debt ceiling limit, he means it! After all, his options for applying any further conventional monetary policy to manage the US economy are limited, as evidenced by his recent move to set his own ‘fiscal framework’ tied to the US unemployment rate. With […]

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Managing the fiscal cliff to avert a sky fall

“This is the end. Hold your breath and count to ten.” When Adele sings those opening lyrics in the new James Bond movie Skyfall, some similarities come to mind between the movie’s conclusion and the deadline for the US ‘fiscal cliff’! In both cases, the world has to take a very deep breath! While Daniel Craig’s mission ended […]

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Facebook growing in global brand value

      Any business that can build a social media platform of one billion monthly active users must be doing something right. Last month Mark Zuckerberg did just that! After carefully managing the growth of his Facebook company since 2004, the biggest database in the world has so far generated 1.13 trillion ‘likes’, 140 billion friend […]

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Managing the monetary policy message

Mario Draghi has developed his own brand identity but has some way to go when compared with the professionalism of his US counterpart, Ben Bernanke. Remember Draghi’s famous statement made at a London investment conference on 26 July 2012 that the European Central Bank (ECB) would “do whatever it takes to preserve the euro”? Whilst the statement elevated […]

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Margin Call makes a call on leveraged debt

“Be careful.” It took some time for the movie Margin Call to be released in Australia, but its arrival is a powerful reminder of the global financial crisis (GFC) and lessons to be learned. Authentic and sophisticated in its portrayal of Manhattan in 2008, it follows US investment bank employees over a 24 hour period during […]

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It’s all about the brand

Everyone has an opinion on the brand. Just ask some high powered global Chief Marketing Officers entrusted to manage and develop a company’s brand! In a recent LinkedIn discussion group there was spirited debate among the CMOs on the best brand in the US today. One argued that ‘Barbie’ was the best (which averages over 80% market share […]

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US monetary policy with a twist

C’mon let’s twist again…Ben Bernanke’s much talked about ‘Operation Twist’ has been given the green light on a new maturity extension program and reinvestment policy announced by the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on 21 September 2011. The program is designed to lower longer-term interest rates by shifting US$400 billion of the US Federal Reserve’s portfolio from short-term […]

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Investments come in all shapes and sizes

One of the great ‘investment’ stories announced recently was the colt born to Makybe Diva and Lonhro on 16 August 2011. These two outstanding racehorses and public icons need no introduction, such is their stature in Australian racing and around the world. As racing royalty, and a match made in heaven, they have produced arguably […]

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Recession 101, US style

New York, August 2009. Erected in Times Square was a massive, three storey high billboard called ‘Recession 101’. With the US in the grip of the GFC, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this economic history lesson with ‘attitude’. A lesson that listed the starting dates of recessions, then ended with the words “…and […]

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