Thanks a lot for this post – very interesting that Goldman are entering this market. I am pretty amazed at the pace with which MPLs have grown – to my mind it’s just an incredibly risky way for lenders to make a return on their savings. Taking direct counter-party risk to a consumer without having the ability to properly diversify (unless you have enormous amounts of cash), just seems like a bad investment to me! When interest rates eventually rise I wonder if there will be much of an incentive for lenders to keep using the platform or if they will choose to return to more traditional products? Time will tell. Cheers!
Very interesting – thanks a lot for this. It sounds like Bankinter have really excelled. I fear now however that with digital banking becoming a ‘mainstream’ rather than niche customer proposition that they will not be able to capitalise on their first mover advantage and will instead merely educate larger banks who are able to create digital offerings which can compete directly. Do you think that they will be able to hang onto their market share as other banks catch up? Cheers!
Thanks for this, really interesting to read about AfricaScan who I had not come across before. One thing I would be interested to know is whether the use of a digitalized inventory system is helping to reduce food wastage in the supply chain? This I believe is a larger problem than it may first appear in developing countries: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/food-waste-global-supply-chain. Perhaps better access to consumption data can help retailers make better decisions and feed this information back through their supply chains in order to minimise waste. Of course as with so many things in developing countries, it may be that without better transport infrastructure, there is only so much that digitization can really do. Cheers!
I totally agree that it’s odd that society is only now starting to think of sleep in the same obsessive way that we have regarded nutrition and exercise in recent decades. I do worry in some ways however that, through the use of such devices, apps etc, we are burrowing down on sleep quality to ultimately allow us to minimise the quantity side of the equation. Only through a cultural acceptance that five or six hours sleep a night is a bad thing for the vast majority of the population will we start to right that equation. I would love to see a return to the old concept of 24 hours being split into three equal sections of 8 hours for work, play and sleep!
Thanks for this mysterious author, and well done for your excellent name! As a total outsider, not only from healthcare but also from the world of IT, it does seem peculiar how difficult governments around the world are finding it to digitalise patient records and processes. The fact that Ontario chose to hire in consultants rather than build the expertise in house highlights th problem in my mind – public officials are regarding this as a one-off piece of work rather than recognizing that the digitization of their bureaucracies will be a permanent, ongoing and central part of their work for ever more. They need to develop the management expertise and technical functions in house and total cement this outlook – I fear that a continuing reliance on outsourced help will not only waste tax payer money going forward but also allow generation after generation of public servants to just not fully ‘get’ IT projects. Cheers!
Very interesting sir. I had not thought through the implications that a carbon tax gas through supply chains in any depth before and this is certainly an interesting example. Just such a shame that there wasn’t enough time here for competitive dynamics to play out properly and to see whether the carrot or stick approach would come to the fore. From first principles I like the idea of carbon taxes however if (or hopefully when!) they are introduced there are sure to be many casualties who aren’t able to alter their inputs fast enough and so take a hammering. It will also create a huge reliance upon reporting standards and I wonder if, in the almost entirely voluntary system we currently have, there is enough robustness in such monitoring that we can actual rely on companies to report accurately… Cheers!
Wow – definitely learned a lot from this Will, it certainly sounds like supply chain issues will only be a matter of time should Tesla continue on their Moon-wards trajectory. I really hope that they will be able to step up, as the previous poster suggested, and take an ethical stance on this, it would certainly seem in-fitting with the brand, but perhaps this is too much to imagine. There are just so many different battery technologies and my knowledge of chemistry is just so very weak, that it’s very hard to know whether Lithium-ion is the correct horse to be backing or whether Vanadium, Redox-flow etc. etc. will be better long term alternatives! Time will tell, but I agree that reliance on rare earths is a significant weakness. Cheers!
Thanks for this T.O.M. The issue of grid balancing and who pays for the grid is just such a quagmire, not just in the US but all over the developed world. Over the years hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested to develop a grid system which finds it pretty hard to integrate distributed generation. In the UK, the network operators can’t even get their heads around treating such generation as generation but always referred to it as ‘negative consumption’! Ultimately there just is no easy answer here and its such a dense complicated issue that any change of regulation is always going to upset one side or the other. It does make me feel hopeful about developing countries however as they may well be able to make the most of these newer technologies without being encumbered by the enormous (and historic) cost of the grid. Cheers!
Totally with you on this Nick – Tesla’s future chances for success are totally up in the air. It’s an incredible company (not least for it’s ability to dominate the media as TOM_LS points out), but for all it’s progress it is still an absolute minnow in the automotive market. Only a week now until another extremely important vote – that of Solar City’s shareholders to approve or reject the proposed merger with Tesla. It appears that investor sentiment is still pretty divided on the issue – http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-tesla-solarcity-deal-is-still-dividing-wall-street-2016-11-02 and the result will play a big role in shaping whether Mr Musk really will conquer the world. I can’t help thinking that he’s taking on too many things at once, but then again he’s done pretty much everything he’s set his mind to in the past…. We shall see soon!
Thanks for this – NextEra are certainly an interesting company. Regarding your thoughts on an international expansion, I believe NextEra were very shaken by their experience in Spain where due to policy change, they took a very big loss on projects there – something like $300m – http://www.csp-world.com/news/20130508/00856/nextera-s-csp-plants-spain-lead-300-m-impairment-charge-after-new-regulatory. With electricity generation being a (necessarily) heavily regulated industry, asset owners have to be very aware of the political environment in which they operate and from what I hear, at the current time NextEra are just not prepared to expose themselves to markets where they don’t have a deep understanding. It’s also a function of the curse of their investor base, who are predominantly drawn to them because of the regulated returns of Florida Light and Power. With an expectation to make steady, constant returns, it must be hard for the management to consider more ‘risky’ ventures overseas. A shame though as I’d quite like to work for them internationally! Cheers