Central bankers in the US have long fixated on the equilibrium real interest rate (ERIR) as their lodestar, an obsession that GMO’s James Montier, in The Idolatry of Interest Rates, bemoans as “a massive exercise in navel gazing.” According to Montier, the broad acceptance of the theoretically dubious ERIR — the real interest rate consistent with full employment of labor and capital resources—is not an example of the wisdom of crowds, but rather “groupthink extraordinaire.” Further, investors’ collective preoccupation with interest rates as an economic “cure-all” and their “deification of central bankers” are equally misguided, says Montier.
The market for IPOs, traditionally a useful barometer of the collective appetite of investors, suggests a slowdown is at hand in the United States.
When investment is about capital alone, entrepreneurs have better alternatives today in the form of choosing nimble business models or crowdfunding. Conventional, money-only venture capital could indeed be considered a Giffen good. However, by contributing intellectual firepower and entrepreneurial networks, venture capitalists can accelerate the growth of start-ups better than capital alone.
A new technique called direct alpha may overcome key problems with some typically used private equity benchmarking methodologies.
Charlie Munger once said: "In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none. Zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads — and how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”
Recent news out of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) hasn't been promising as of late. What are some of the emerging trends in private equity and venture capital in MENA? What are some of the challenges? What are some of the most promising investment opportunities?
In a recently published paper, noted valuation authority Aswath Damodaran examines the discipline of growth investing and, in so doing, challenges the notion that growth investors are simply risk seekers who ignore valuation.
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