27 March 2019 FT — Articles to Read

27 March 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what is the average mortgage debt?


Purdue agrees landmark $270m settlement for role in opioid crisis – Pg. 1

–          Purdue pharma and its owners, the Sackler family, did not admit guilt in the civil settlement

–          …more than 183,000 Americans died from an overdose involving a prescription opioid between 1999 and 2015

–          The company faces more than 1,000 lawsuits over the opioid crisis, including from 35 other states.  The latest wave of litigation over a decade after it was sued by the US justice department over alleged deceptive marketing practice4s, which resulted in a  fine of $634.5m


Investing – Pg. 7

–          …DE Shaw has evolved dramatically from the algorithmic, computer-driven “quantitative” trading it helped pioneer in the 1980s

–          It is now a leader in combining quantitative investing with traditional “fundamental” strategies driven by humans, such as stockpicking.  This symbiosis has been dubbed “quantamental” by asset managers now attempting to do the same

–          …DE Shaw is the fourth-highest grossing hedge fund group of all time, having made over $29bn for tis investors since those early days…..

–          It currently employees about 1,300 people, which includes more than 80 Ph.Ds. and 25 International Math Olympiad medal holders

–          Nearly every traditional investment company is scrambling to hire data scientists, programmers and technologists, and turn themselves into human-machine hybrids


We must stop fighting over scarce educational spoils – Pg. 9

–          ….non-college-educated people in US cities are employed in substantially less skilled jobs than they were 40 years ago

–          …young people (and their parents) worry that a mediocre college degree might just land them with a lot of debt and a low-skilled job … it is not an irrational fear…

–          …15% of UK university students went to an institution that had a negligible or negative impact on their earnings by age 29

–          …scarcity of routes available to young people who want a better future

–          …list of fixes would include better state schools, more affordable higher education that is less variable in quality, a broader range of alternatives to university that still lead to decent jobs, and a revival of broad-based economic growth that lifts all boats, not just the yachts (Prof Note: this “list of fixes” is the issue, in my opinion.  Everything seems to focus on “jobs”.  Why not focus on business creation and ownership?!  That is where the real $$$ is!  Define success as # of employees, as that translates to # employees * 4 (family #) being fed.)


Wall St braced for ‘earnings recession’ – Pg. 12

–          US profit margins are on track to suffer their first fall since 2015, as companies increasingly struggle to pass on the rising costs of labour, transport and raw materials to customers

–          The retreat from the post-crisis peak margins reached in 2018 signals a turn in the profit cycle that has powered the US market’s bull run and undermines an important prop for equity valuations ahead of the upcoming first-quarter reporting season

–          It also marks a reversal from the confidence many executives had expressed last year that customers would continue to absorb rising wage and fright costs in a tight labour market and the impact tariff battles have had on raw material prices


Answer: $201,811