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Jalb

Jalb
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  • Lloyd's Still Aiming To Harness Alternative Reinsurance Capital Trend [View article]
    Fair comment. I didn't address that issue because it's been a factor so long that it's like wallpaper to me. Lloyd's *has* lost share in the world market more often than not in the dozen years I've been covering it, but it has still grown, more often than not, because the world insurance market is growing. However I do think that the adequacy of net premium rates (i.e. net of brokers' commission) is the key factor: in a good year a Lloyd's syndicate or company can grow faster than the world market by reinvesting profits and/or raising new capital - Beazley which suffers less cut-price competition in its core Specialty Lines business is a case in point, having grown premiums from £400m in 2004 to $2 billion in 2014.
    Mar 30, 2015. 08:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lloyd's Still Aiming To Harness Alternative Reinsurance Capital Trend [View article]
    "... might it suggest that companies needing these "higher returns for shareholders"...?"
    A misunderstanding based on a misquote. Amlin, Beazley and Hiscox, the three leading quoted Lloyds insurers all returned chunky amounts of capital to shareholders this year out of supernormal profits earned in 2014 because the downturn in premium rates means that they have limited (not no) opportunities to expand and they have capital in excess of that needed to underpin their growth.
    Since Lloyds of London is consistently more profitable than the US P&C Insurance sector, the sustainability question should be directed at the latter, not the former.
    Mar 28, 2015. 12:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Happy Days Are Here Again [View article]
    Impressive-looking chart - pity about the facts.
    Growth from 1997 to 2010 is overstated and growth from 2010-15 is *not* slower than 1997-2010.
    Firstly there was an error in calculating RPI due to a change in the method of calculation in 1997 that was "only discovered" in the second half of 2010 which understated the rise in RPI and thereby overstated growth in "real GDP" [Source: The Royal Statistical Society]. Secondly because there is no market price for the civil service, health service etc all government employees are included in GDP at cost so New Labour's policy of increasing public sector pay (especially that of MPs) faster than inflation or private sector pay increased nominal GDP and the reported rate of growth in "real GDP" without any benefit to society as a whole (but a lot to public sector workers at the expense of private sector taxpayers). Thirdly (far less important but most blatantly wrong) Gordon Brown dictated a change in tax accounting for banks so that they could only provision for losses on loans that the expected to crystallise within one year of balance sheet date: this had the desired (by Brown) impact of bringing forward tax payments by the banks so as to conceal the extent of his structural budget deficit but it also had the effect of overstating GDP because bank profits are a small component thereof - not to mention its role in triggering the 2008-10 recession when Alastair Darling demanded more realistic loss provisions and draining all the capital available for investment via the stockmarket to strengthen bank balance sheets.
    Put some accurate data into the chart and it will look different.
    Mind you, just drawing a line starting in mid-1997 on this palpably inaccurate (according to RSS) data will give you one that fits pretty well with 2010-15 data.
    Perhaps every adult in the UK should see a graph showing real GDP growth from 1945 to 2015 with the 1997-2010 data corrected for the RPI error. 1945-51 in red, 1952 (the 51 election was October) to 1964 in blue, 1965 to 1970 in red, 1970-73 in blue 1974(feb election) to 1979 in red, 1979-97 in blue, 1997 to 2010 in red, 2010 to 2015 in blue. Perhaps you should?
    Mar 18, 2015. 08:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Refiners sue BNSF Railway over $1,000 oil tank car surcharge [View news story]
    A lot less apparently
    Mar 18, 2015. 11:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Refiners sue BNSF Railway over $1,000 oil tank car surcharge [View news story]
    How much extra does its public liability insurer charge BNSF to insure it against third party liability if it drags older tank cars that are less safe? [Oh, yeah there is its own risk as well but public liability is more expensive]
    Mar 17, 2015. 10:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anglo American posts $2.5B 2014 loss, with $3.9B in writedowns [View news story]
    No, I should have sold in 2007 when the price had trebled.
    Feb 14, 2015. 11:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anglo American posts $2.5B 2014 loss, with $3.9B in writedowns [View news story]
    Is Mark Cutifani kitchen-sinking or did Cynthia Carroll get it horrendously wrong, or both? - the write-downs are so huge that both could be true.
    I bought into Anglo because I had to buy or sell after inheriting two shares and it was striving to improve conditions for its black workers by acting in matters not covered by apartheid laws and circumventing some of them. One should expect that if there is prejudice against female CEOs, those who do get to the toip will be better than the *average* male CEO: sadly the data does not support our hopes.
    Feb 13, 2015. 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett/Munger look to next 50 years for Berkshire [View news story]
    This should be fun, like the better-quality Science Fiction (Heinlein, 70 years ago when he was good, predicted solar PV which arrived after his death)
    Dec 12, 2014. 04:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett saving a fortune in taxes on Duracell deal [View news story]
    No, I am saying that he shouldn't go "holier than thou" over other people's taxes as long as they are being honest and legal as he is.
    Nov 14, 2014. 08:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buffett saving a fortune in taxes on Duracell deal [View news story]
    This is the guy who complains about the tax code being too generous to other millionaires (oh, sorry, I shouldn't call Buffet a millionaire - millionaires are guys who are only worth 0.1% of his fortune).
    Nov 13, 2014. 04:02 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: BP's Q3 Oil Spill Payout Will Be Tiny [View article]
    As I have said before, more Americans than Britons are individual shareholders of BP (one reason why it changed its name from British Petroleum although every year since Prudhoe Bay came on line it has had more production in the USA than in the UK). So Obama's rhetoric against "British Petroleum" was not just xenophobia bur *incompetent* xenophobia
    Oct 1, 2014. 06:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: BP's Q3 Oil Spill Payout Will Be Tiny [View article]
    A Transocean BOP failed again a few months later for Chevron offshore Brazil. Nothing to do with BP so zilch reporting in the USA about two of their companies causing the worst pollution of Brazilian waters in history. A commentator here *does not know* that Transocean has *already* made the same mistake again.
    And some of you wonder why the European left-wing elite think Americans are stupid? I do my best to deny such slanders but some of you make it difficult.
    Oct 1, 2014. 05:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP Still Needs To Clean Up Its Reckless Act: Another $18 Billion In Fines On The Horizon [View article]
    The Queen carefully avoids involvements in politics except when consitutional propriety needs to be upheld.
    Shareholder class actions are moronic since any claim is paid out of shareholder funds and the legal costs diminish the value of the company.
    Yes, there is a lack of fair play, which is why BP is appealing many of Judge Barbier's decisions and even a US court is frequently declaring that Judge Barbier is so way off both US law and natural justice that his judgements must be overturned. The low level of tolerance of US court decisions means that failure to over-rule one of Judge Barbier's decisions does not mean that he is right, just that it takes more time than the appeals court wants to spend before lunch to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was, as usual in this case, wrong.
    Sep 10, 2014. 05:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • BP Still Needs To Clean Up Its Reckless Act: Another $18 Billion In Fines On The Horizon [View article]
    So Judge Barbier thinks BP was "Grossly Negligent" but TransOcean less so. If BP was grossly negligent it was in hiring TransOcean in the first place. Have you, Don Dion, noticed the Chevron catastrophe offshore Brazil? TransOcean's BOP failed causing massive pollution.
    There may have been another BOP failure that I have failed to notice but the only failures of the "fail-safe" BOP that I have read about were BOTH down to grossly negligent maintenance failures by TransOcean.
    Halliburton faked the results of its cement tests, but Barbier seems to think that is 5% the fault of Halliburton and 95% the fault of BP.
    Last time I looked BP had far more individual shareholders in the USA than in the UK - which is one of the reasons why it changed its name from "British Petroleum" to "BP" - but Obama found it politically convenient to abuse it as a "foreign" company.
    This is not merely xenophobia - it is *incompetent* xenophobia.
    Sep 10, 2014. 02:12 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Statement of Warren E. Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. [View article]
    What a ridiculous comment!
    If the leak pumped up the stock then the BH filing would have done the same, so the only way BH could have profited would be buying USG stock - which would have triggered a filing - and then selling it after the leak.
    FYI I do not and never have held any BH stock directly or indirectly.
    Aug 20, 2014. 04:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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