Monday, November 16, 2015

So Who Owns Park Place?

Craig Karmin and Liz Hoffman report in the Wall Street Journal that Marriott will buy Starwood Hotels for $12.2 Billion (11/16/2015.) By acquiring rival Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Marriott will create the world's largest hotel company with more than one million rooms globally.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Swedish auto maker Volvo has as a key component of its strategy to gain a competitive advantage by providing a car safer than its rivals' offerings. Volvo reckons people, at least the more affluent ones,will pay more for a car preserving their human capital. Differentiation improves markups. 

In Australia, Rob Taylor tells us in the wall street Journal, the Swedish firm is developing a technology that could help minimize car collisions with kangaroos, a perennial nuisance:

Monday, November 09, 2015

Dipti Kapadia Asks Whether the Jumbo Jet Era Is Coming to an flight over vast distances problem.

In the 1960s, Boeing introduced the world's first jumbo jet.  This met two key needs of global travel.  The Boeing 747 could carry 450 people and it could fly vast distances such as crossing the Pacific.  For decades, the only way to connect two cities seven or more thousand miles apart wast a jumbo jet. Over time both 747s and various wide aisle twin engine planes extended their range, but jumbo jets were the only solution to the direct flight over vast distances.

Both Airbus and Boeing project global passenger growth at or near 5% a year for the next two decades. This would require both more available seat miles and airports that could accommodate the growing passenger throughput. Airbus and Boeing made different strategic decisions about how their customers, the world's airlines, would respond to meeting this growth.  Airbus decided the global air carriers would continue their hub-and-spoke systems and overcome the resulting choke points at those hubs by flying a yet bigger jumbo jet.  Thus they committed to building the A380, the world's largest jet, which, in one configuration, can seat 950 people.  Boeing figured airlines would increase their international point-to-point flights garnering more business travel with its higher revenue per passenger mile. thus they bet the company on building the boeing 737 Dreamliner, a largely composite (thus more fuel efficient and less costly) plane with a long range and 350-450 seats.

Who is winning?

in this November 9th, 2015, Wall street Journal video, the Journal's Dipti Kapadia wonders if "The Jumbo Jet Era Is Coming to an End?"

Jet Deals Fall at Dubai Air ShowConcern about slowing aircraft sales has risen in recent months

Monday, October 12, 2015

India's Stock Market Outlook

During its October 10th, 2015 Asia Form, Barron's Isabella Zhong interviews Invesco's Paul Chan on what's ahead for India stocks, interest rates and the spending power of India's growing number of consumers.

Must One Be Bearish About China's Stocks and the Yuan?

Yuan Devaluation? Think Again. 10/10/2015 12:05AM Isabella Zhong asks Gavekal's Louis Gave talks about China's correction, what's ahead for the yuan, and why he likes Chinese airport stocks in this October 10th, 2015 video:

David versus Goliath: Bollywood's new challange

India has one of the world's fastest growing economies and its second largest population, a population projected to overtake China in the not too distant future. Bollywood's produces far more movies, though less revenue, than Hollywood and is known for its fantasy feeding extravaganzas. Now it is experiencing a new genre facilitated by the digital revolution.

Short films in India are attracting investors and established Bollywood players, spoiling audiences for choice. On October 6, 2015, the FT's Jyotsna Singh reported from Mumbai on how the explosion of digital access has fueled their popularity:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How the Interest Rate "Super Cycle" Pressures Insurance Comapnies: Allianz

Allianz is one of  the World's largest insurers.  Here Allianz's chief executive, Oliver B├Ąte, speaks with Alistair Gray, who covers insurance the FT, talks to  about ultra-low interest rates, asset bubbles, M&A activity and Pimco after the departure of Bill Gross in this September 27, 2015 View from the Top.  Do credit bubbles have to burst? Is the interest rate "super cycle" driving investors into foolishly risky investments and insurance companies into mergers they will regret?