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Introduction to QuantLib training with Luigi Ballabio

19-21 October, London

Musings on Markets's Blog

MOOCs and Books: Spanning the Digital Divide

August 30, 2013 Comments (0)

As those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know, I post just before the start of a new semester about my upcoming classes and ways in which you can, if you so desire, be part of the experience.  In just under a week, on September 4, I will start the fifty first iteration of my valuation class to the second year MBAs at the Stern School of Business at New York University.  I am just as excited today, as I was when I taught my first version of this class in the 1980s, and I...

Market Mood Swings: Facebook Euphoria

July 31, 2013 Comments (0)

Facebook's stock price briefly hit $38, its IPO price, just before today's opening bell. In the 15 months since it went public, the stock had certainly had its ups and downs as evidenced in this graph: As some of you who have tracked my blog posts over the last couple of years know, I have tried to make sense of Facebook's value and how the market has been pricing it. Given today's news, I thought it would be useful to go back first to these earlier posts and then do a fresh valuation of the...

Market Multiples: Global Comparison and Analysis

July 30, 2013 Comments (0)

In my last two posts, I looked first at measures of country risk, both from a default risk and an equity market perspective, and then at stock pricing, using earnings and book value multiples, across developed and emerging markets. In summary, the conclusion that I drew was that the shift away from emerging markets in the last six months may be obscuring a much larger shift towards convergence between emerging and developed markets over the last decade. Thus, we can debate whether this...

Developed versus Emerging Markets: Convergence or Divergence?

July 29, 2013 Comments (0)

In my last post, I looked at country risk first from both a bondholder perspective (with ratings, default spreads and CDS spreads) as well as an equity investor perspective (with my estimates of equity risk premiums by country). While default spreads in sovereign bonds and differences in CDS spreads are explicit and visible to investors, the question of whether equity markets price in differences in equity risk premiums is debatable. In fact, there are quite a few analysts (and academics) who...

Rediscovering risk in emerging markets: A Country Risk Premium update

July 10, 2013 Comments (0)

Investors have a mixed relationship with risk, forgetting that it exists in the good times and obsessing about in bad times, and nowhere is this dysfunction more visible than in emerging markets. After a few years where investors seemed convinced that emerging markets were no riskier than developed markets, they seem to have woken up to the existence of risk with a vengeance in the last few months. As emerging markets around the world have been pummeled, analysts have sought to assign blame....

A tangled web of values: Enterprise value, Firm Value and Market Cap

June 29, 2013 Comments (0)

Investors, analysts and financial journalists use different measures of value to make their investment cases and it is not a surprise that these different value measures sometimes lead to confusion. For instance, at the peak of Apple's glory early last year, there were several articles making the point that Apple had become the most valuable company in history, using the market capitalization of the company to back the assertion. A few days ago, in a reflection of Apple's fall from...

The Fed and Interest Rates: Lessons from Oz

June 21, 2013 Comments (0)

In my last post on equity risk premiums and the market, I argued that the equity markets have been priced on the presumption that the Fed has the power to control where interest rates will go in the next few years. Wednesday’s press conference by Ben Bernanke was a perfect example of how the Fed has become the center of the equity market universe and how every signal (intentional, implied or imagined) of what the Fed plans to do in the future causes large market gyrations. The Fed speaks and...

Equity Risk Premiums (ERP) and Stocks: Bullish or Bearish Indicator

May 19, 2013 Comments (0)

If you have been following my blog postings, you are probably aware that I have an obsession with equity risk premiums (ERP), and have done an annual survey paper on the topic  every year since 2008 (with the 2013 update here). I also post a monthly update for the ERP for the S&P 500 at the start of the month on my website. As a consequence, my attention was drawn to a post by Fernando Duarte and Carlo Rosa, economists at the Fed in New York, on the topic. They argue that...

Apple: News, Noise and Value

April 30, 2013 Comments (0)

As has been the case for much of the last two years, the Apple earnings report on April 24, 2013 was a media event, previewed endlessly on investment sites, covered heavily by the media and tweeted about by both Apple fans and foes. While I try to stay away from the hype around earnings reports, this is a good occasion to revisit my earlier posts on Apple, and especially the one I made at the start of this year on its valuation. The Signal amidst the Noise 0 0 1 255 1454 Stern School...

The Golden Rule? Thoughts on gold as an investment

April 20, 2013 Comments (0)

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, gold is a "riddle, wrapped up in a mystery inside an enigma", at least as far as I am concerned. I don't understand what moves the gold price and I have never held gold in my portfolio. That does not mean, however, that I am not fascinated by the price of gold and immune from its movements. That was brought home last week, when the price of gold dropped by 9% on April 15, 2013, the biggest one day drop in thirty years. Not only did the prices of other precious...