What You Need To Know This Week — December 14th, 2019

What You Need To Know This Week

A weekly recap to keep you informed on the most important events this week impacting markets, business, tech and the global economy.

ROCK BOTTOM INTEREST RATES TO REMAIN AS THE FED AND ECB KEEP RATES STEADY
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at its meeting this week, in line with market expectations. Fed officials also indicated their desire to keep rates on hold through next year, opting to see inflation rise before hiking rates. Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde kept the European Central Bank’s policy interest rate unchanged in her first meeting as the Bank’s president, citing muted inflation pressures and weak economic growth in Europe.

LEGENDARY CENTRAL BANKER PAUL VOLCKER PASSES AWAY WHILE BOC GOVERNOR STEPHEN POLOZ PASSES THE TORCH
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who led the central bank from 1979 to 1987, passed away at the age of 92. He is remembered for breaking the back of U.S. inflation in the early 1980’s by hiking interest rates to record levels. Meanwhile, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz announced that he will step down when his term ends in June 2020. The leading contender to replace him? His right-hand woman, Carolyn Wilkins, who is the senior deputy governor at the Bank.

SAUDI ARAMCO HITS $2 TRILLION VALUATION AFTER IPO
Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) shares were listed on the Riyadh stock exchange on Wednesday at a $1.7 trillion valuation. After two days of trading in which the shares closed limit-up (the exchange limits moves of plus or minus 10%), the company achieved Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s dream of a $2 trillion valuation. Many remain skeptical of the robustness of the company’s valuation, given how few shares traded.

BORIS JOHNSON WINS UK ELECTION, DECLARING BREXIT A CERTAINTY
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won a decisive election victory, clinching a healthy majority to govern. Johnson declared a “new dawn” in Britain while claiming, with certainty, an exit from the EU in January “no ifs, no buts, no maybes.” The pound jumped to an 18-month high while the FTSE 250 index of UK shares jumped 5% on the news.

Recommended Articles, Podcasts, Books and Tweets

In case you missed it, listen to my discussion with Jim Beqaj, the CEO Coach, on the Absolute Return Podcast.

Innovation continues to occur in Canadian markets, with a new merger arbitrage ETF announced.

Bank of America forecasts that U.S. ETF assets will soar over 10x to $50 trillion by 2030, up from $4.3 trillion currently.

Canadian ETF inflows are having a “blowout year”, as ETF purchases are poised for a record with assets crossing the $200 billion mark.

Power Corporation of Canada finally eliminates its holdco structure and amalgamates Power Financial.

Despite the ongoing provincial recession, this Alberta real estate company’s stock is up 73% year-to-date.

The flopped IPOs of GFL and Triple Flag marked a poor year for Canadian initial public offerings, which are down -44% in 2019 and on course for their lowest level in three years.

Excess returns of active fixed income strategies come from passive exposures to traditional risk premia, according to AQR.

The mutual fund business is a sunset industry, however Jeff Gundlach’s DoubleLine stands out in having grown to $150 billion over the past 10 years.

Lawyers for bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga asked the RCMP to exhume founder Gerald Cotten’s body. Cotten allegedly died under mysterious circumstances one year ago, taking over $200 million in cryptocurrency and cash with him.

Private equity firm Blackstone’s 2019 holiday video features their new mascot, Mr. Stone.

Mutual funds are “slowly dying a death by a thousand cuts”, being replaced by ETFs and managed accounts.

A profile of cryptocurrency hedge fund operator Olaf Carlson-Wee, who founded Polychain Capital and cashed out $60 million before he turned 30.

Influential proxy advisory firm ISS recommends Hudson’s Bay shareholders vote against the privatization bid, while proxy advisory competitor Glass Lewis recommends shareholders vote for the deal.

Goldman Sachs plans on launching a roboadvisor next year for clients with assets as low as $5,000.

Detour Gold’s shares are trading through the consideration offered by Kirkland Lake, but its CEO sees no need to raise the bid at this time.

Citron Research announces a $5.00 target price and sell recommendation on Peloton, representing downside of over -80%.

If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check out Gregory Zuckerman’s book about Renaissance Technologies’ founder Jim Simons: “The Man Who Solved the Market”.

-The Accelerate Team

Founder and CEO of Accelerate Financial Technologies. Learn more at AccelerateShares.com