Cyreenik Says

June 2017 issues

Not much surprise: finance is going elsewhere

In a year of surprises this isn't one. The stock market is disappearing.

This 23 Jun 17 WSJ article, Stockpicking Is Dying Because There Are No More Stocks to Pick by Jason Zweig, talks about the declining number of stocks in the stock market.

From the article,

"In less than two decades, more than half of all publicly traded companies have disappeared. There were 7,355 U.S. stocks in November 1997, according to the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Nowadays, there are fewer than 3,600."

and the reason, one I wholeheartedly agree with,

"Several factors explain the shrinking number of stocks, analysts say, including the regulatory red tape that discourages smaller companies from going and staying public; the flood of venture-capital funding that enables young companies to stay private longer; and the rise of private-equity funds, whose buyouts take shares off the public market."

One goal of stock markets is to raise money for companies so they can grow even more. (another is to provide returns to investors) The higher the grief level gets with any particular method of raising money the more these ambitious people running the companies are going to look for, and spend time and attention on, other less grief-filled methods.

Over this timeframe stock issuing has been rocked by the Sarbanes–Oxley and Dodd-Frank laws and lots more regulation. In response those seeking money have searched for and developed alternative financing methods, the various venture capital methods that have produced the lots and lots of "unicorns" we live with today.

This is no surprise, and if we want stocks and stock markets to get popular again then we need to be working hard at reducing the grief level associated with this traditional public financing method. If we don't it will become an anachronism, a "remember this?", like eight track tapes and buggy whips.

The surprise completes in France

The surprise in France's elections completes. Not only have the French elected a surprise president, Emmanuel Macron, they have endorsed their choice fully by electing a majority of La République en Marche (LRM) representatives for the French parliament. Wow! Most surprising considering LRM was only formed fourteen months ago.

This surprise has some elements in common with Trump's election and Brexit, but a whole lot more in common with Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860 because the Republican party had started only six years earlier in 1854 -- it and LRM were both surprise parties electing surprise presidents and legislatures.

Now we get to see what surprises this surprise election will bring to France and the EU. Hopefully, they will be much more pleasant than the surprises Lincoln and the Republicans' election brought to the United States.

This 19 Jun 17 Economist article, Emmanuel Macron wins a majority, though not a record one Despite low turnout, France’s president will have more than enough seats to carry out his agenda, describes the election results.

From the article, "THE final piece of France’s electoral puzzle fell into place on Sunday evening, when voters handed Emmanuel Macron’s party a solid majority of seats in the National Assembly. After polling stations closed on June 18th, it soon became clear that La République en Marche! (LRM), the president’s political movement, had won about 359 of the 577 seats. This gives Mr Macron a handsome working majority with which to start work on his programme of reforms."

The Year of Election Surprises continues

The year of election surprises continues. Brexit, Trump, French president, and now Theresa May doesn't get more backing in a snap election in the UK.

I have pointed out earlier: this is why we have elections. We have them because the results are often surprising. And this year has been demonstrating that most vigorously.

This 9 Jun 17 Economist article, Theresa May’s failed gamble The Conservatives’ botched campaign will bring chaos—and opportunities, gives some on-the-spot details as the world sorts out what has just happened.

Terrorism gets more confusing: ISIS claims everything while it gets reduced to nothing

The world of terrorism is getting surprising and confusing. The latest surprise is a pair of attacks in Iran at its Parliament building and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. These attacks are a first for Iran for many decades.

ISIS is claiming these attacks, just as it has the attacks taking place over the last few months in England, Europe, Afghanistan and other places throughout the world. Wow! If it's violence that makes media headlines ISIS is claiming it.

The confusion part is this claiming is happening even as ISIS is loosing its grip on ruling actual real estate in Syria, Iraq and Libya. And, again, Iran is new real estate for ISIS activity. This brings up the serious question: Is there a real ISIS with some real people acting as a government, and some real real estate for the "caliphate" to rule? Or is the real part vanishing, and instead it is becoming a legend -- just an icon for boogeyman violence that small isolated groups around the world are perpetrating for their own local agendas?

This question is the confusion part. What is real about ISIS these days, and what is now legend?

This 7 Jun 17 WSJ article, Iran’s Parliament and Shrine of Ayatollah Hit by Terrorists in Deadly, Rare Attacks At least 13 killed by gunmen, suicide bombers in Tehran; Islamic State claims responsibility by Aresu Eqbali in Tehran, Iran, Farnaz Fassihi in New York and Asa Fitch in Dubai, outlines a lot of the details on the Tehran attack and current ISIS standing.



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