Finance

Finance

A Victorian survivor

WHEN the Foreign & Colonial Government Trust was launched in 1868, The Economist had its doubts. “The shape is very peculiar,” we worried, adding that “the exact idea upon which it starts has never been used before.” Some of the trust’s promises were “far too sanguine to ever be performed”. Nevertheless, we concluded that: “In our judgment, the idea is very good.” That turned out to be one of this newspaper’s more successful forecasts. One hundred and fifty years later, the trust is still going strong, having delivered a compound annual return of 8.1%. It now looks after a portfolio of £3.5bn ($5bn), rather than the £588,000 it raised at launch. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor’s Picks. In its own way, the trust is an example of ho...

A Victorian survivor in fund management

WHEN the Foreign & Colonial Government Trust was launched in 1868, The Economist had its doubts. “The shape is very peculiar,” we worried, adding that “the exact idea upon which it starts has never been used before.” Some of the trust’s promises were “far too sanguine to ever be performed”. Nevertheless, we concluded that: “In our judgment, the idea is very good.” That turned out to be one of this newspaper’s more successful forecasts. One hundred and fifty years later, the trust is still going strong, having delivered a compound annual return of 8.1%. It now looks after a portfolio of £3.5bn ($5bn), rather than the £588,000 it raised at launch. Get our daily newsletter Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor’s Picks. In its own way, the trust is an example of ho...

Six precepts every investor should remember

SIR ELTON JOHN has a three-year farewell tour planned. This columnist has only a few weeks to go, before heading off to a new Economist beat. So it seems like a good idea to summarise some of the themes which have dominated this blog.  To start, long-term investing. Here are a set of precepts every investor should remember. You can’t start too early. Albert Einstein may not have said that compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world but it is a good motto to remember. Buttonwood started a pension plan for his daughters when they were three years old. Let us assume a return of 4% a year. That means a sum doubles in 18 years, quadruples in 36 and rises eightfold in 54. Looked at another way, say you have a set sum in mind for retirement. If you start saving at 20, you need to co...

Coinbase gears up to jump through regulatory hoops with new CFO and other big hires

The Coinbase hiring spree continues. In the last week and a half, the company has picked up a new CTO, a new VP of communications, a global head of inclusion and now a new CFO. In a blog post today, the company announced the addition of Alesia Haas, who joins the team from New York-based alternative asset management firm Oz Management. Previously she held roles with Merrill Lynch and General Electric. “I’m incredibly excited to have Alesia join Coinbase as our new CFO. She brings deep financial services experience to our growing company,” Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said of the hire. “As a fintech company, finance is core to everything that we do. We plan to continue bringing the best and brightest from both finance and technology companies to help create an open financial system for the ...

One person dies after an engine explodes on a Southwest flight

[image|fid=236086|title=|alt=|caption=|use_original_size=|image_link=|slim_image= A SOUTHWEST AIRLINES flight became the stuff of nightmares on April 17th when a jet engine apparently exploded in mid-air and a passenger was partially sucked out of a window before being rescued by fellow flyers. The flight from New York’s LaGuardia airport was bound for Dallas, but at 11:30am, when it was near Philadelphia, the left engine blew up, according to multiple reports. Details are still unconfirmed, but according to reports by passengers and media, a piece of shrapnel from the engine shattered a window in the cabin, and a woman was partially sucked out of the hole. Other passengers scrambled to assist and pulled her back in. Oxygen masks were released in the cabin, and the plane dropped from 32,50...

Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse and Michael Arrington to talk cryptocurrency at Disrupt SF

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Arrington XRP Capital founder (and TechCrunch founder) Michael Arrington will be joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt SF in September to talk money. Garlinghouse has had a long and storied career in the tech industry, serving as a Senior Vice President at Yahoo!, President of Consumer Applications at AOL, and CEO of the file collaboration service Hightail. But in 2016, Garlinghouse was promoted from COO to CEO at payment services company Ripple. Ripple’s goal is to try to make it as easy as possible to transfer money between two stores of value. Right now, that process is incredibly tedious, with no unifying structure to send money overseas or to underbanked communities. The notion of a unifying ledger is not a new one, but it’s one that’s transformed Ripple in...

After a good run of growth, China’s economy braces for bumps

JUST a few years ago Wuhan, a sprawling metropolis in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, exemplified China’s economic woes. Municipal debt had soared. The most senior local official was known as “Mr Dig Up The City”, a reference to his zeal for grandiose construction projects. A movie theme park, intended as a landmark, closed after failing to draw crowds. It would take nearly a decade, it was estimated, to sell all of Wuhan’s vacant homes. These days, the city of 11m stands as a monument to China’s resilience. Its economy has accelerated even as the government has controlled debt more strictly. Five subway lines were opened or extended in the past two years alone; they are jammed in rush hour. Investment is pouring into semiconductor production, biotech research and internet-securit...

A plan to put beds on planes

Airbus recently announced that it has entered into a partnership with Zodiac Aeropsace, a French aviation-equipment company, to develop “lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths.” In other words, passengers in need of 40 winks might eventually be able to go below decks to the cargo hold and sleep in bunk beds. The video released by the companies shows a clean, white, modern, and comfortable-looking space, although one conspicuously devoid of windows. Starting in 2020, Airbus says, the beds will be available on its widebody A330 planes, and could possibly appear on A350s as well. The sleeper modules will be easily swapped in and out, the company promises, so airlines can decide whether to use the hold for cargo or for passengers to get some rest. They can also include areas for the...

New York’s programming ed tech startup, General Assembly, sells to Adecco for $413 million

The European human resources services company Adecco Group said that is acquiring the New York-based, programming, design, and management training startup General Assembly for $413 million. With the acquisition, Adecco adds to its ability to provide job training and re-skilling services for businesses. It’s proof that General Assembly’s own business has come a long way since its early days as a startup offering continuing education or training programs for new entrants into the tech-enabled white collar workforce. General Assembly was worth $440 million after its last, $70 million investment round, according to a report in Axios, which means that early stage investors will see a nice return on their investment while many later stage backers — including Wellington Management and Fresco Capi...

Subscription biller Zuora soars 43% following IPO

Subscription biller Zuora was well-received by stock market investors on Thursday, following its public debut. After pricing its IPO at $14 and raising $154 million, the company closed at $20, valuing the company around $2 billion. It was also much higher than expected. The company said in its filings that it planned to price its shares between $9 and $11, before it raised that range to $11 to $13. Founder and CEO Tien Tzuo told TechCrunch that he believes “a bet on us is really a bet on an entire shift to a new business model, to a subscription economy.” He is optimistic that subscriptions are the “business model of the future.” Zuora sees itself as an early pioneer in a growing category. The company believes that more businesses will shift their business models to subscriptions, across s...

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten struggles to retake the lead from Amazon

RAKUTEN is a jack-of-all-trades. Since pioneering e-commerce in Japan in 1997, it has been a rare example of a highly entrepreneurial Japanese firm. Today it spans more than 70 businesses providing credit cards, a travel agency, a golf-reservation system, matchmaking, wedding planning and insurance. It owns Viber, a calling and messaging app and has invested heavily in Lyft, a car-hailing service. Now it is adding another: on April 9th the government gave Rakuten a concession to operate Japan’s fourth mobile network (Rakuten currently runs mobile services using another operator’s infrastructure). Rakuten sees this as the next step in building its “ecosystem”. It reckons it retains its approximately 95m registered users in Japan by being a trusted brand that can provide customers with every...