Posts

Showing posts from May, 2015

The Bigger Short?

Image
Lawrence Delevingne of CNBC reports, This is the new 'big short':
Billionaire investor Paul Singer says he has spotted the next big thing to bet against: bonds.

"Today, six and a half years after the collapse of Lehman, there is a Bigger Short cooking. That Bigger Short is long-term claims on paper money, i.e., bonds," Singer wrote in a letter to investors of his hedge fund firm Elliott Management obtained by CNBC.com.

"Bigger Short" is a play on "The Big Short," the book by Michael Lewis describing how a tiny group of investors made huge sums of money for their contrarian bets against mortgage-backed securities before the collapse of the housing market in 2007 and 2008.

"Central bankers have chosen, and doubled down on, a palliative (super-easy money and QE), which is unprecedented and extreme, and whose ultimate effects are unknowable," Singer wrote of governments stimulating markets, in part through the purchase of bonds.

Singer has lo…

Is The CPP Proposal Doomed to Fail?

Image
Don Pittis of the CBC reports, CPP plan won't help savers or stop the pension crisis:
If as many suggest, the government's latest plan to expand the Canada Pension Plan is pure politics, perhaps the details don't matter.

But based on the little we know so far, you should not expect the new scheme to solve what many worry is a coming Canadian pension crisis.

At first glance, the plan is enticing, especially after CPP's recently announced truly fabulous return on its (our) investments.

The plan, famous for being fully funded and managed by competent professionals without political interference, made a stunning 19 per cent return this year.

The Conservatives aren't saying it, but that huge return — better than almost anyone is earning from their private sector investment accounts — may be one reason the government abruptly changed direction and announced what appears to be an ill-thought-out way to let Canadians top up the CPP.

Magnificent returns

The magnificent CPP…

Tories Backtracking on Enhanced CPP?

Image
The CBC reports, Joe Oliver to consult on 'voluntary' Canada Pension Plan boost:
Finance Minister Joe Oliver says his government is ready to start consulting Canadians on allowing larger, "voluntary," contributions to the Canada Pension Plan.

"We are open to giving Canadians the option to voluntarily contribute more to the Canada Pension Plan to supplement their current retirement savings," he told the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Oliver said the move would build on the Harper government's record of creating more options for retirement savings, including the pooled pension plans and tax-free savings account alternatives championed by the Conservatives. A statement released by his office said that "by providing voluntary, flexible savings tools, Canada's retirement system is, in fact, now among the best in the world."

No more details were provided in his brief answer to a planted question from a Conservative caucus colleague. It's unclea…

CPPIB Gains a Record 18.3% in FY 2015

Image
Benefits Canada reports, CPPIB posts record 18.3% return:
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) delivered a net investment return of 18.3% for fiscal 2015—the biggest one-year return since it was created.

The CPP fund ended the year with net assets of $264.6 billion, compared to $219.1 billion at the end of fiscal 2014. The $45.5 billion increase in assets for the year consisted of $40.6 billion in net investment income after all CPPIB costs and $4.9 billion in net CPP contributions.

Multiple factors contributed to fiscal 2015 growth, including all major public equity markets, bonds, private assets and real estate holdings.

Combined, all three of CPPIB’s investment departments delivered substantial investment income to the Fund. International markets, both emerging and developed markets, advanced significantly, boosting returns further as CPPIB continues to diversify the fund. The benefit of the fund’s diversification across currencies also played a role in its returns, as …