Showing posts with label Anderson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anderson. Show all posts

Apr 28, 2009

Hoax Investment Management

You and I always wanted to believe that in banking or investing business, with an overdue of compliance and regulations, we could trust on management, based on highly ethical standards.

Geraint Anderson – a successful star analyst -makes an end to that believe.

Anderson was so outraged by the greed and lust of the Square Mile that he resigned from his immoral job.

After his resign he published a book - Cityboy - about the excesses and wrongdoings within London’s financial market.

Anderson truly believes the credit crunch is a direct result of short-term gambling and the bonus culture.

Investment Technique Examples

Now, as interested actuaries, let's dive a little deeper.

To 'level up your actuarial skills' and to 'open up your eyes', just two simple examples Geraint Anderson gives of the sick making list of secret modern investment techniques:

  • Pump & Dump
    Manipulation of shares is chiefly done by small teams of hedge fund operators spreading false rumours. Day in, day out, you see the shares rise slightly. Rumours go round that a certain company will be taken over. These nasty little toerags work in little groups, on mobiles, and it’s very difficult to prove who started the rumour. The shares would go up by 30%. Then they would sell.

  • Trash & Cash
    The opposite of Pump & dump – Trash & Cash – also happened quite a bit. You would spread false rumours that shares were going down. At which point the hedgies would “short” the shares, namely borrow them from, say, a pension fund, sell them, watch the rumour do its work and then buy them back.

The reason why these techniques are so nasty is that they lead to financial instability, according to Anderson.

Hoax marketing
The most frightening aspect is however that no matter how strong the design of a regulation or supervisory system, it can not prohibit the negative effects of the above mentioned hoax marketing techniques.

As our investment models become more and more sophisticated, it looks like 'informal market information' is the only option to get an outperformance and 'make the difference'. At least in case of a a 'short performer'.

The solution to this problem is therefore very simple:

Set out a long term investing strategy, so you don't have to worry about (short term) volatility and never ever act on rumours or incidental high risk opportunities in the marketplace.

As actuaries - for decades - we proved that we could manage the right side of the balance sheet long term. Now let's apply that same kind of advise and strategy on the left side of the balance sheet. Success!