Zombie companies can be harmful

The term “zombie company” has recently entered people’s lexicon as the phenomenon manifests itself in China. Yet this issue did not start with China, it is closely linked to the problems faced by Japan that started in the early 90’s, called Japan’s Lost Decade and sometimes the lost two decades, which arrested the development of their economy for at least

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SWFs as endowments

Different sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have different mandates. The largest are presumed to have a mandate similar to that of an endowment. The idea is that the state owns a large but fixed amount of a valuable commodity, usually oil, and that this oil is the property of not just the living citizens but also of all future citizens. Therefore,

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Your idea of success is completely wrong

There is this idea that success is 100% correct decision making. For some people, they understand this to be 90% or even 80% correct decision making. This idea is completely wrong. A success rate of 56%, implying 44% incorrect decisions, is a great result. Here’s why. Let’s simplify things. Assume that you are the chief executive of a company and that each decision you

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Why corporate governance fails

I am about to take my annual break from writing to refresh and energise. It reminds me of the summer holidays I used to have as a child at school. The first school I attended was The British School – Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, where I was one of a handful non-British students. I remember the class covering the children’s tale

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Chelsea Football Club Innovates Financially

I just found out that Chelsea Football Club is applying ideas from financial leasing to their football player lending programme. I was shocked. The analysis is quite interesting. To me at least. The movie Moneyball, based on the book by the same name, showcased the use of financial ideas in sports, in this particular case baseball. There are two parts to it.

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Buying bitcoins is going long bitcoin deflation

Buying bitcoins as an investment means going long bitcoin deflation. That’s it. Let me explain. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital currency made hard to forge using cryptography, and also a payment platform such as those used by Visa, ATMs and if you’ve done wire transfers, the Swift system. The bitcoin technology platform is not new, it was first released

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The UAE's banking paradox

In this section I look at the UAE banking system and come to some startling conclusions. It seems that banks are grabbing market share in a market with deteriorating margins and increased risks. Last week I took a look at Union National Bank’s Q2 financial results. The focus was to look beyond the headline numbers and try to understand the underlying fundamentals

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