Soc Gen Black Swans – June 2014

Societe Generale is out with its famous quarterly black swan chart.

Black swan events are those that have a low probability of occurring, but also have the potential to roil financial markets if they occur.

With a 30% probability, a Chinese hard landing (four straight quarters of below 5% growth) poses the most significant downside risk, according to SocGen.

They think the likely triggers will be domestic issues.… Read more

Another Oil Shock?

Possibly yes.

Here’s a quick review of what’s currently impacting oil pricing.

The violence in Iraq continues as radical Islamist militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) try to seize more territory in the northern part of the country. Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC (after Saudi Arabia) and the conflict is likely to affect production in the region.… Read more

Making “a few words” memorable

“and now a few words from our sponsor” (audible groans I as ascend the stage)

… or   “Les, we thought we’d kick of the training session -as you’re here- with a few words from you”

I think I’ve been introduced this way over a hundred times in my management career. I was rarely warned, and rarely prepared. But I coped. At the beginning badly, but as time and experience wore on, I coped better.… Read more

Who’s the Golden Boot?

Lionel Messi of Argentina is the betting favorite for top goalscorer at the World Cup in Brazil according to odds at

Messi is followed by his Barcelona teammate Neymar (Brazil) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) who plays professionally for Barcelona’s top rival, Real Madrid, in Spain’s La Liga.

Here are the odds for the top 20 players:

Lionel Messi (Argentina) — 7/1
Neymar (Brazil) —10/1
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) —12/1
Sergio Aguero (Argentina) —14/1
Luis Suarez (Uruguay) —18/1
Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina) —20/1
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) —22/1
Fred (Brazil) —25/1
Karim Benzema (France) —25/1
Robin Van Persie (Netherlands) —25/1
Thomas Muller (Germany) —25/1
Diego Costa (Spain) —28/1
Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) —33/1
Hulk (Brazil) —33/1
Mario Balotelli (Italy) —33/1
Miroslav Klose (Germany) —33/1
Fernando Torres (Spain) —40/1
Jo (Brazil) —40/1
Olivier Giroud (France) —40/1
Wayne Rooney (England) —40/1
To be the top goalscorer at the World Cup, a player must not only be great, but it helps if he plays for a team that is expected to go deep into the tournament.… Read more