Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Archive for 21. Juli 2019

The future of insurance is happening without insurance firms

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juli 2019

Date: 18-07-2019
Source: The Economist

The industry’s plodding giants face mounting threats from restless reinsurers and Big Tech

Every morning, from a room in Birmingham, some of the world’s largest firms are briefed by phone on the weather in store. As continents, arrows and weather fronts flicker across their screens, meteorologists at The Weather Company (twc) help British grocers decide whether to stock soups or salads, and Chinese energy firms when to operate wind turbines. Yet such sessions are getting rarer. Computed by 172 models crunching 400 terabytes of data—33 times the amount Twitter stores every 24 hours—most of twc’s 25bn daily forecasts now feed directly into customers’ computer systems.

Big data has turned weather into a big business. twc, which was bought by ibm in 2016, serves governments, media channels and 40% of the world’s airlines. But many property insurers, whose fortunes rely on forecasting climate-induced losses, are still learning how to use the information, says Leon Brown of twc. Their cluelessness is symptomatic of a problem for all insurance lines, including casualty, life and health. Reinsurance firms (which insure the insurers) and Asian insurance champions are almost the only innovators in an industry that is moving at a glacial pace. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Lots of investors bet on “factors”, such as size, value and momentum

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juli 2019

Date: 18-07-2019
Source: The Economist

But what if the crowd catches on?

The final of the European Football Championship in 1976 was settled by a penalty shoot-out. The winning kick, scored by Antonin Panenka of Czechoslovakia, was a thing of beauty. From Panenka’s long run-up and body shape, the West German goalkeeper, Sepp Maier, guessed that the kick would go hard to his left. He dived in anticipation. But Panenka did something novel. He calmly chipped the ball down the centre of the goal, which Maier had just vacated.

Armed with this story, we come scrambling back to the present to contemplate another game of fine margins: investment. Here too success often depends on the ability to outwit others. Indeed proponents of factor investing—buying baskets of stocks with characteristics that have been shown to beat the market averages—say it works by exploiting the enduring weaknesses of investors. If the dumb money keeps shooting for the corners, you profit by going down the middle. Just hold your nerve. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Many think the European Central Bank will cut rates soon

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juli 2019

Date: 18-07-2019
Source: The Economist

But for a significant stimulus, the bank will need to break self-imposed rules

The european central bank’s firepower is sadly depleted. The interest rate on the reserves that banks hold with it is sub-zero; its quantitative-easing (qe) scheme has hoovered up assets worth €2.6trn ($2.9trn)—equivalent to over a fifth of the euro area’s gdp. Even so, in June Mario Draghi, the bank’s boss, promised further stimulus if the economy does not buck up. Statistics published since then suggest little recovery. Cue much speculation about another attempt to revive growth.

Many expect an announcement at the bank’s meeting in September, along with updated economic forecasts. But its next gathering on July 25th could still surprise, or at least lay the groundwork for stimulus. With individual instruments nearing limits, it is expected to deploy a combination. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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