Posted inNewsFSA Spy

The FSA Spy market buzz – 21 December 2018

The Spy has the last word by ending the year with his own wish list.

We are now near the end of 2018 and Spy wishes to thank everyone in Asia’s financial community who has contacted the Spy with bits of news or shared drinks with him while surreptitiously mentioning things to think about.

Also thanks go to all the private banks and asset managers for the 2019 global outlooks, which Spy keeps as bedside reading during the holidays while nursing the hangover that somehow recurs!

This year the Spy has decided to issue his own 2019 report, but it is a wishlist instead of a forecast.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. Until next year…


Things the Spy would like to see happen in 2019:

1. Vanguard and Jupiter debate passive and active strategies on stage at an FSA Investment Forum.

2. Ashley Alder at Hong Kong’s SFC follows Ravi Menon at Singapore’s MAS by going tie-less and wearing a clip-on ear microphone to deliver Ted Talks-style commentary and shed the image of the dusty, shrouded regulator.

3. Modesty and detail are sprinkled into more fund manager presentations. They share a time when they got it wrong and avoid vague phrases like “increasing demand” and the self-evident “market uncertainty” or “opportunity in a downturn”.

4. The over-used word “disruption” is dropped from all themed presentations.

5. Temasek and GIC become aggressive ESG investors and loud advocates of sustainable investing in the region.

6. BlackRock drops the middle-of-the-word capital R and becomes Blackrock, PineBridge and others follow. The move prompts JPMorgan to become JP Morgan and ChinaAMC turns into China AMC. Grammatical rules triumph over marketing.

7. Artificial intelligence platforms, not economists, forecast the probability of recession. AI couldn’t do any worse.

8. Corporations that have issued “high yield” bonds shed their junk bond label by paying down debt on schedule despite rising interest rates.

9. Research notes from banks and asset managers use humor in the commentary.

10. Your Spy uncovers a manager of a poorly-performing product who has cheekily shifted strategy to invest only in the equities of the strongest competing funds!


Part of the Mark Allen Group.