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Showing posts from June, 2018

Jawboning the Fed?

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Greg Robb of MarketWatch reports, It’s been decades since the White House has warned the Fed the way Kudlow just did:
It has been a long time —the early 1990s in fact— since a White House tried to influence Federal Reserve policy the way Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow did on Friday.

In an interview with Fox Business Network, Kudlow jawboned the Fed, saying: “My hope is that the Fed, under its new management, understands that more people working and faster economic growth do not cause inflation.”

“My hope is that they understand that and that they will move very slowly,” he added.

It was the senior advisers to President George Bush, particularly Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, who pushed the Fed to cut rates at a faster pace in the run-up to the recession that lasted from July 1990 until March 1991.

In fact, Bush blamed former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan for his defeat to Bill Clinton in 1992.

Financial markets were roiled by Brady’s warnings, said Lewis Alexander, chief economi…

OPTrust vs BCI on Climate Change?

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Benefits Canada reports, OPTrust sets out climate change action plan:
The OPSEU Pension Trust is setting out a climate change action plan, including eight areas of focus that aim to make the pension fund more resilient and agile in taking on the problem.

“Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing us today,” said Hugh O’Reilly, president and chief executive officer at the OPTrust, in a news release. “As investors in so many sectors around the world, we need to better understand its impact so we can protect our members’ interests.”

“We don’t yet have the data or tools we need to determine whether, and if so to what extent, climate change poses a risk to our members’ pensions. We are committing to build climate change risk into our investment approach, starting now.

The areas for action, which the OPTrust plans to implement over the next five years, include:
Continuing to drive for better disclosure of the information investors need to price carbon risk;Collaborating …

Is Your Pension Cyber-Secure?

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The Canadian Jewish News reports, Fund invests $30 million in Israeli cybersecurity firm:
Claridge Israel, an investment firm founded by Stephen Bronfman and the Quebec Deposit and Investment Fund, is investing US$30 million ($38.7 million) in Cyberbit Ltd., a cybersecurity company based in Ra’anana, Israel.

Cyberbit, a subsidiary of the high-tech company Elbit Systems Ltd., was founded in 2015. It is described as a leading provider of cybersecurity training and simulations.

With this major new funding, Cyberbit will expand its sales and marketing, primarily in North America, boost product development and enhance customer and partner support, according to an announcement released on June 4.

Claridge Israel, which is based in Tel Aviv, was created in 2015, as a partnership between Claridge Inc., the private investment firm headed by Bronfman, and the Caisse, the Crown corporation that managers numerous public pension funds and insurance programs in Quebec, with the aim of finding busine…

OTPP and IMCO Beef Up Senior Ranks?

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Rick Baert of Pensions & Investments reports, Ontario Teachers picks new CIO:
Ziad Hindo was named chief investment officer of the C$189.5 billion ($142.7 billion) Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Toronto, the plan announced Tuesday in a news release.

Mr. Hindo was senior managing director, capital markets at OTPP.

He replaces Bjarne Graven Larsen, who left the pension plan in April. Ron Mock, president and CEO, had served as interim CIO.

Also, Jo Taylor was named executive managing director, global development at the pension plan, according to the release. That position is new; the news release did not detail Mr. Taylor's new responsibilities. Mr. Taylor was senior managing director, international at OTPP.

Messrs. Hindo and Taylor will report to Mr. Mock.

An OTPP spokesman would not provide further details, including who will replace Messrs. Hindo and Taylor. OTPP put out a press release which you can read below:
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers') is …

Another Dangerous Tech Mania?

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A couple of weeks ago, Kellie Ell of CNBC reported, The tech sector now is reminiscent of the 1990s dotcom bubble:
Warning signs in today's tech sector are reminiscent of the dotcom boom of the late 1990s that eventually went bust, market veteran Jim Paulsen told CNBC on Friday.

The current "character and attitude of the marketplace" are similar to the belief then that "tech can't lose," said the chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group.

"What I find interesting, is that there's been significant narrowing of participation in the S&P 500 as these FANG stocks have really taken over," Paulsen said on "Squawk on the Street."

In 2013, Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money," popularized the term FANG, which stands for shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, now part of Alphabet. More recently, another "A" was added to FAANG, representing Apple, and there's been talk about how to incorporate …

BlackRock's Pan-European Pension Push?

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Crina Boros of the Investigate Europe reports, How a US firm pushed for EU €2.1trn pension fund:
The European Commission is about to create a private pension fund, worth €2.1trillion - justifying their decision by pointing to the increasingly large and more elderly European Union population.

This arrangement, which was absent from the European Commission president's list of official top 10 priorities in 2015, will impact on some 240 million savers.

The PEPP (Pan-European Personal Pension Product) will be a private, portable, pension product across EU member states.

It follows an idea launched by the US financial services corporate giant BlackRock, the world's largest asset fund manager that built some two-thirds of its $6trn empire on pensions.

Headed by Larry Fink, BlackRock back in 2015 proposed the creation of a "cross-border personal pension fund".

BlackRock wrote, in a paper, that the EU should be "reviewing demand for, feasibility and key features of a …