As indicated last week we're going to talk about potential takeover targets on the ASX this week and in particular a comment on the odd gold stock or two. I'd like to start with some general comments in relation to takeovers, and rather than re-invent the wheel I thought it would be useful to share some recent commentary from Tom Elliott, the managing director of MM&E Capital
The Wrinkle recently came across an interesting article from David Potts, the SMH business writer profiling some research from a company called FinaMetrica at one of its websites www.riskprofiling.com.
Here’s an interesting fact to finish the week on, a study amongst students at Cornell University by communication expert Jeff Hancock indicated:
- 14% of people lied in emails
- 27% lied in face to face conversations, and
- 37% lied in telephone calls.
For those of us in business it seems we have a constant battle trying to bridge the “expectation gap” between clients, staff, and suppliers. Robust and strong communication is obviously helpful, but the road to consensus can often be difficult and painful. In the west in particular we tend to think in terms of black and white, or winner and loser. While middle ground can sometimes be achieved it’s never a “given”.
Several weeks ago there was a “left field” seminar on lateral singing in Tasmania. Alan Kohler was there as a participant and summarised the views of one Jonathan West, a former Harvard associate professor who now lives in Tasmania. Mr. West has done various work on innovation type projects for Access Economics and the NSW government (maybe best not to go there) among others. However as the Wrinkle is always interested in the unusual, or less obvious I thought it was worth sharing the four most important innovations of the 20th century as outlined by Mr. West.
If you look around the world both now and throughout history, the persecution of minorities whether by race, religion, or social strata is an underlying key to unrest and in many cases war.
In recent market activity the “chartists” have had a bit of excitement, as there have been both “Death Crosses” and a Hindenburg Omen appearing in the US charts. A lot of people have heard of death crosses, this is were on a daily chart a 50 day moving average moves below a 200 day average, or on a weekly chart a ten week moving average crosses under a 30 week moving average.
If you believe the pundits Mr. Abbott has shot himself in the foot with his dodgy costings and the odds on the election have reversed with Labour at $1.50 and the Coalition on $3.00. Still as some quip said today with the “Katter amongst the pigeons” who knows.
Well the Wrinkle certainly under-called the grassroots dissatisfaction in the Australian electorate last week. We are now left with the prospect of either a hung parliament or a minority government. The next month will prove interesting as the jockeying for advantage continues.
With all the current spin and activity out there surrounding the election, it’s interesting to see where people are putting their money. Labour is still paying $1.50 to the Coalition's $2.98 and someone during the week put $200k on Labour through Sportsbet at $1.50. The equal spread is minus 3 seats to Labour.
While the economic bears and the earnings bulls fight it out on the markets, and the politicians race each other to the bottom, I thought it might be a nice change of pace to look at something a little more cheerful.
Apart from the obvious comments about straw men or woman, “what price the lack of courage” is an interesting overlay to the current federal election campaign. Labour’s catch phrase “moving forward” was obviously designed to distance themselves from Kevin Rudd, and now that they are in trouble in the polls it’s all about our great handling of the economy during the GFC (hold on, wasn’t that when Kevin Rudd was in charge?). So the marketing difficulty is now how do you pitch your success during this time, while everyone knows you stood the architect of this success up against the wall and shot him.
I doubt the Wrinkle would be alone in rating lobbyists on a par with some lawyers, who in turn have been compared to catfish (this is the old lawyer joke, what's the difference between lawyers and catfish? None, they are both bottom feeding...you get the picture). As the headline went in the SMH last weekend, this election is really "The Battle of the Blands". Accordingly the "spin doctors" on each side have gone into overdrive to try and create some interest.
While politics’ is often little better than a circus, with clowns trying to out do each other in the ring, regardless of your political beliefs the current level of spin being generated is frankly insulting to those of us who believe we at least have the resemble of an IQ.
During the week I received an email about CFU and whether it would be best to purchase it on the local exchange or in London where it’s also listed (note: if you do want to ping the Wrinkle a mail, email@example.com will find its way to me). Accordingly I thought it might be worthwhile to share some of my thoughts around local vs. overseas purchase of shares, both in the dual listed sense and the direct ownership sense.
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