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This is the official Perth blog site for posts, comments, and other contributions about leadership, behavioral finance and economics, and about management generally, as well as other related topics that take our fancy.

A New and Practical Pathway to Immortality?


Well here’s an intriguing piece of research. It turns out that at least some genes in both animals and humans are still alive even after the animal itself is dead. So far it looks like they can remain active for up to 48 hours after their host has given up the ghost. ( New Scientist, “Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life two days after death ”)....
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BREXITed - UK Gain, EU Pain


So ok the UK is out. The pundits tell us that was a really bad move by the Brits. I beg to differ. Actually I think that BEXIT is going to lead to the British economy experiencing its biggest growth spurt in a century. It’s the EU we need to be worried about. How so? Leaving the EU is going to result in an epochal rollback of regulations in England...
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A Turing Test for Leadership?


Did you notice that the next Apple developer’s conference will focus on Siri ? Meanwhile the digital assistants’ wars have heated up with Google Assistant , Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa . These all aim to create a human-like assistant that can interact through voice. Nor are these the only entries. We also have Watson from IBM, NELL from ...
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Would Trump be a Billionaire without his Inheritance?


Is this the elephant in the room? Trump's frequent allusions to his vast wealth and to how smart he is sounds awfully like the rich son who inherited it all but wants to convince everyone else – and himself – that really he did it all himself. So I thought I would do an analysis of this question. I think I’m well qualified to do that. For the past ...
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Space will be the New Driver of Global Economic Growth


So Yellen and the Fed just wimped out of raising interest rates, yet again again. What does that tell us? The world is in an economic funk. Nothing's working. China’s about to crash big-time so its role as a growth driver has definitely ended. The emerging markets are in an even worse pickle – Russia a total mess about to implode yet again, the Bra...
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An Inconvenient Truth - Alpha Financial Styles Beget Ginormous Returns


Apologies to Al Gore for another inconvenient truth. There’s been a lot of talk about alpha these days, but not just about investments. Trump, Putin - alpha is definitely in vogue. As in alpha male. Like Tarzan. Does that tell us something about the investing world? Yep it does. Check out my book The Three Financial Styles of Very Successful Leader...
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No Thrills Mom - Towards the Giving Car


All this stuff with new-fangled autos has become overwhelming. Self-driving cars, connected autos, car-sharing, electric vehicles, and so on. But the big question is, what does it do for me? Self-driving cars will change everything. It used to be all about thrills. Hmmm, if I have a high-performance car, I want to drive it myself. Don’t trust anyon...
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Is widespread pill usage actually making us more disease prone?


Did you see that employers looking to hire are having a hard time finding them free of drugs , especially marijuana? Meanwhile the House of Congress looks like it’s going to pass a bill to help recovery by drug addicts , especially those who use prescription drugs. But for the moment, it looks like Congress is focused more on helping people to reco...
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Could Genetically-Modified Humans Re-Ignite Global Growth?


I’m sure you’ve heard about the Vermont law that says that all foods that include genetically-modified ingredients must be disclosed on the label starting July 2016. Of course most of Europe doesn’t allow GM foods. China officially bans GM crops, although in fact the vast majority of them are in fact GM . So the movement to ban all GM foods is pret...
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Fast fashion for Wall Street? Spice up investing with synthetic sectors!


Are you into fashion? You’ve probably noticed that retailing icons like Banana Republic and The Gap are getting crushed by the fast fashion guys like Zara and H&M. I mean, who wants something that’s a week old anyhow? Hmm, tell that to the guys on Wall Street. The same old asset classes, the same old sectors. I was just reading an analyst repor...
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High Frequency Trading Trashed by Quantum Computers?


I’m sure you’ve all heard of high-frequency trading (HFT). We now realize that  HFT could actually bring down the stock market . As it is, HFT accounts for at least half of all the stock trading in the US. This isn’t to complain about HFT. It is what it is. Maybe it makes it hard for small investors. It’s certainly changed the nature of equity...
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We need the Interplanetary Monetary Fund now!


So finally SpaceX made it and soft-landed its booster rocket. An epochal achievement. And Bezos’ Blue Origin did much the same although on a lower orbit. So now the race is on. Next it will be the Russians, Chinese, Japanese, maybe even the North Koreans, God forbid. It’s now obvious that we have pretty much everything we need up there to keep body...
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Sleeping with the enemy – should central banks adopt bitcoin?


Hands up anyone who hasn’t heard of Bitcoin. No takers of course. So far it has been a qualified failure. Its most faithful users are the wrong kind of people who use if for money laundering and criminal activities. Yet bitcoin has many good uses and there are even legitimate companies that are starting to use it. But there is a use for bitcoin whi...
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Less Algebra More Fudge Brownie - What Will Managed Investing 2.0 Look Like?


Did you see the article in the Wall Street Journal lately about how investors are pulling cash from hedge funds?   Seems like their returns are lagging the stock market. Of course that’s hardly new. The era of managed investing seems to be coming to a close as index funds take over. Far better to do as badly as everyone else than to once in a ...
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Are recessions contagious?


We're in one of the longest economic expansions in history right now. So of course the forecasters are jumping off the bandwagon to predict the next recession. The only thing though: economists are tragically unsuccessful at predicting recessions. According to the IMF, in the 1990s private economists only predicted correctly 2 of 60 recessions one ...
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What’s Your Next but One Career?


I guess you just saw that Hulk Hogan was awarded $115 million for having his sex videos publicly uploaded by Gawker? My thought on this is I wonder whether this will form the basis for a new career. Celebrity litigant? Sexpert? Another reality show? The Hulk has had a few careers so far , starting with his wrestling career. Naturally dropped out of...
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Behavioral M&A – Yahoo Needed It But Too Late Now


So what’s behavioral M&A anyhows? See here for the skinny , will tell you more below. When Marissa Mayer was appointed CEO I predicted she would fail. Right on the money (“ Yahoo – Product Bling 1, Business Acumen 0 ”). Was the problem Ms. Mayer or something else? How about the 70 or so acquisitions she made? They cost around $4 billion; it’s n...
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Should exercise be compulsory?


Did you hear the latest about the benefits of exercise? Seems it reduces cancer tumors, in whole or in part (“ A run a day keeps the tumor at bay ”)? It was a study in mice but it looks like it will extend to us humans. As well as this the study showed yet again that exercise has a major impact in boosting the immune system. So it just doesn’t impa...
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Gravitational Waves Reveal We’re Worth Reconnoitering


See that scientists have just discovered the existence of gravitational waves ? Well, hopefully. They also announced the same discovery a couple of years ago but then retracted it (see my post “ Dust on Your Lens: Gravitational Waves and Cognitive Biases ”). But assuming this time it’s for real; it’s a pretty amazing feat. To wit, they detected two...
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Index Investing an Even Worse Fate than Stock Picking?


By now everyone knows that stock picking doesn’t work – on average. That’s why hedge funds and the like are doing so poorly. Active investing is just about finished. In response the so-called smart money has headed into index funds and ETFs. That way you are supposed to be able to keep pace with the S&P or whatever index you care to choose. Let...
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