The financial market risk of climate change

We’ve mentioned it before – people are getting together with lawyers to focus on polluters in the same way cigarette makers were targeted. On the same day that US rates were lowered investors and NGOs petitioned the SEC to clarify whether firms had an obligation to disclose how climate change might affect them.  It is …
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Mishkin’s band-aid

Will the interest rate cut be seen as prescient salvation or impulsive band-aid in the coming months? The Fed, it seems, were swayed by Frederic Mishkin who, notes The Economist, argued forcefully in a recent speech that central bankers can cushion the impact of falling house prices on the economy, provided they act quickly and …
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US housing slump could raise headline inflation

 This extract from John Mauldin’s Thought’s From The Frontline suggests that the downturn in US housing could be bad for inflation: Indeed, there may be some concerns that the CPI (Consumer Price Index) number could come under pressure from the housing component. Given that home prices are falling, that may be considered odd by many. …
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5th Global Corporate Climate Change Report issued by CDP

The Carbon Disclosure Project released its fifth Global Corporate Climate Change Report, tracking carbon disclosure and attitudes toward climate change in the world’s largest companies. The CDP this year also launched the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, an honor roll for companies who are best addressing climate change issues. The launch coincided with the U.N. summit …
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After the FED dropped rates … the illusion continues

John Mauldin writes convincingly that the Fed is trying to preempt the negative consequences of the housing collapse. However, the players in the market are behaving as if a bail out had occurred. In order for the message to be correctly heard, other signals need to be forthcoming. The problem is that asset markets are …
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EU rates held at 4%

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at 4% on 7 September, but it is not clear that they will not be increased to 4.25%  soon. The ECB is reacting to the increase in perceived risk in financial markets, catalysed by the sub-prime meltdown.  At the same time as the hold on rates increase, …
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How We Got into the Subprime Lending Mess

This linked article, How We Got into the Subprime Lending Mess (published by my alma mater Wharton), describes the background to the changes in the mortgage industry that contributed to the dislocation between stated risk/return profiles and reality of the loans. The comments following are insightful too.

US Fed drops rates from 5.25% to 4.75% – oh dear …

Oh dear … Well, it wasn’t as if it wasn’t expected. Futures were pricing a 100% chance of a drop of 0.25% and a 50% chance of a drop of 0.5%. But I still think it was a dangerous mistake. Inflation is pulling at the rein and the speculative dynamic of stock markets continues to …
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More money than deals in clean tech

As we expected, there appear to be more money than deals in clean-tech. New Energy Finance reports: 2006 was another record year for Venture Capital and Private Equity investment in the clean energy sector, with $18.1 billion invested in companies and projects. This represented a 67% increase on 2005 ($10.8 billion), and beat New Energy …
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DJSI company survey available

The ninth annual survey of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes is available. More information about the report, as well as selected downloads about each industry leader and regional rankings, are available at http://www.sustainability-indexes.com.