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Bloomberg Markets Magazine

Bloomberg Markets Magazine May 2015

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in this issue

2 min
the saudis’ middle game

GIVEN THE SPRAWLING importance of oil and the large number of people who track its every move—traders, executives, cabinet ministers, and armies of analysts and consultants—you’d think the world would do a better job of forecasting supply and demand. Remember “peak oil”? That was the theory, popular just a few years ago, that the world’s ever-increasing appetite for crude—notably in China—would surpass the ability to produce it. How wrong that turned out to be. Instead of supply shortages, we now have a global glut. Much of what’s happening has to do with a dramatic rise in production in the U.S. and with the actions —or, more to the point, inactions— of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude. Despite the global plunge in prices, the Saudis have kept the spigot…

2 min
“google ventures and the search for immortality”

APRIL 2015 Finding a solution to aging is important. Most of us will be stricken with chronic diseases that hamper our community involvement and consume three-quarters of developed economies’ health budgets. That doesn’t include the burden on families. In writing this article, you have potentially connected people that can make a difference. Therefore you have made a difference. MARK ROWSON LifeGene Project Melbourne “Will Tesla Ever Make Money?” APRIL 2015 Now that the hoopla has mostly subsided about the wonders of the Tesla automobile, the company is likely to discover that its business model (sales and finance in particular) presents risks no other automaker is willing to assume. The next year will determine whether Tesla can work out its financial commitments and raise enough capital to fund its new models and battery plant. MARYANN KELLER Maryann Keller & Associates Stamford,…

3 min
a world of easy money

AS THE WORLD celebrated the start of 2015, the Uzbekistan Central Bank got to work on its New Year’s resolution to provide more support for the economy, and it cut interest rates by one point to 9 percent. Monetary authorities around the globe have shown similar resolve in the months since. By mid-March, policy makers in more than two dozen countries, including China, Canada, Russia, and Australia, had cut. The European Central Bank, out of room to reduce its benchmark rate, moved forward with a €1.1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) bond-buying plan. All told, countries representing half the world economy have easier monetary policy now than they did at the end of last year. That’s quite a statement, given that the global recession ended half a decade ago. “Policy makers are responding to an…

3 min
can game of thrones save croatia?

MORE THAN TWO decades after Serbian-Montenegrin forces shelled Dubrovnik’s medieval ramparts, the sounds of battle are once again rumbling within its storied walls. Only this time, they’re welcome. The red-roofed city on Croatia’s southern coast is drawing new visitors as a filming site of HBO’s Game of Thrones. The hit show, based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, has gained legions of fans for its intricate story, power-obsessed characters, and gratuitous nudity. The fifth season, which was also shot in Spain and Northern Ireland, was set to premiere on April 12 in more than 170 countries. Dubrovnik, already Croatia’s top tourist destination, plays the part of King’s Landing, a city teeming with the Machiavellian Lannisters. The production has provided thousands of jobs to extras, support crew,…

2 min
the wall street–minded professor

PEOPLE ASPIRING TO work on Wall Street often try to get into “target schools”—top colleges for investment bank recruiters. Johns Hopkins University isn’t a target school. It doesn’t even offer an undergraduate degree in finance. But the Baltimore mecca for medicine has what could be called a target course: Applied Economics and Finance, taught by professor Steve Hanke. His prodigies have gone on to work at such institutions as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and hedge fund firm Third Point. In fact, Hanke—who selects just 12 students every semester— says he places 100 percent of each class in finance jobs. “I look for his name when I’m going through résumés,” says Brian Dietze, a senior investment banker at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. in Baltimore. “His students come in better prepared than…

2 min
a spider in the deep web

SLIPPING GIANT? Half of the 14 Chinese dot-coms that debuted on a U.S. exchange last year are trading below their IPO prices. As of March 20. ON A RECENT MORNING in London, a dozen young technicians are watching their pet “spider” at work. They’re employees of Digital Shadows, a four-year-old cyberthreat intelligence outfit that’s pioneering a new way to defend banks and investment firms from hackers. Rather than build taller and thicker firewalls, Digital Shadows goes on the offensive by hunting for potential problems. Encircling enterprises with digital force fields to protect against invasion is an outdated strategy, as the intrusions at JPMorgan Chase, Sony, and Target have demonstrated, according to James Chappell, Digital Shadows’ co-founder and chief technology officer. IT systems have simply become too open and diffuse to keep the bad guys out. “Social…