9 June 2018 FT — Articles to Read

9 June 2018

Question: According to MSN:BestLife, what are suicide warning signs hidden in plain sight?

‘Bitcoin whales’ control a third of market with holdings of $37.5bn – Pg. 1

  • A mysterious cluster of 1,600 investors known as “bitcoin whales” collectively hold $37.5bn of the cryptocurrency, or close to a third of the available total, revealing the extent to which wealth is concentrated in the nascent market
  • That the bitcoin market is so tightly held stands at odds with bitcoin’s mission to democratize finance by setting up an alternative monetary system free of central bank control and open to all. It also brings risks for smaller speculators
  • Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, enjoyed a dramatic bull run last year as retail invfestors rushed to try to cash in on its rise. Its price rose more than 1,000% in 2017, peaking at about $20,000 in mid-December, but it has since fallen back to trade at around $7,500 as regulators begin to circle the freewheeling sector

Chef who built global media franchise found dead in Paris – Pg. 6

  • The 61-year-old was found dead in his hotel room in Paris yesterday morning…Anthony Bourdain….cause of death was suicide
  • Bourdain sometimes struggled with his success. In the Sardinia episode of Parts Unknown, he asked in a voiceover: “What do you do after your dreams come true?”
  • (Prof Note: It seems we have had two high profile suicides, i.e. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, in as many days. These have shaken me as they, at least from my external perspective, seem to have occurred to two individuals that had the world by the tail.  I do not understand mental health but wonder if we, as a society, should be doing more.  Why are people who are seemingly at the pinnacles of careers, offering the world so much, leaving us so early?  Are these losses symptoms of a much larger issue(s)?  Personally, I believe every person has much to offer.  I am saddened by all of these losses.)

Investors risk missing out on US small-cap rally if they back wrong index – Pg. 14

  • Small companies are setting a record pace on Wall Street this year, but many investors are missing out on the cream thanks to a divergence between the two main benchmarks that define the sector
  • US small companies tend to be more domestically focused than their larger counterparts, bringing a host of benefits in the current economic and fiscal climate
  • This year’s corporate tax cuts and strengthening US economic recovery are hefty tailwinds for smaller companies, in contrast to the outlook for multinationals…
  • The result is that small-cap equity benchmarks have set fresh all-time highs and have left the S&P 500’s performance well behind so far this year: the S&P 500’s 3.5% rise pales when compared with 10.6% for the S&P 600 index and 8.6% for the Russell 2000, the two main indices tracking small-caps
  • …more money tracks the Russell 2000 – $1.6tn versus the S&P 600’s $89bn, including money in index funds and mutual funds whose managers use the indices as a benchmark,…
  • Proponents of the Russell index say it is indicative of the broad university of small companies, but critics argue that the quality of its constituents – it contains 1,966 companies, of which one-third are unprofitable – makes it easy for fund managers to beat
  • In contrast, the smaller S&P 600 contains companies that need to meet certain performance requirements….its members must have turned a profit in the aggregate over the past four quarters and in the previous quarter,…
  • The S&P 600 is more heavily weighted to areas benefiting from the brightening outlook, such as industrials and consumer discretionary secdtors…
  • Other notable variations between the indices relate to biotech, which has been underperforming sector this year. Biotech companies have a 7.3% weight of the Russell 2000, but 2.4% of the S&P 600
  • It trades [S&P 600] at 18.9 times forward earnings versus the Russell’s 24.3 times, …

Answer: (1) They talk more frequently about “The Meaning of Life”; (2) They are perfectionists to a fault; (3) They spend too much time with technology; (4) They complain of physical pain; (5) They’re partying more; (6) They obsess about their figure; (7) They are becoming increasingly hostile; (8) They suffer from a mental disorder; (9) They have nightmares; (10) They’ve stopped hanging out with friends; (11) They’ve slashed their calorie intake; (12) They suffer from insomnia (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (800) 273-8255)