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Forex (FX) Definition and Uses
Top 5 Most Famous Traders Of All Time
In all industries there are people credited to being the simplest . In design, the late Steve Jobs is credited to being the simplest in his industry. In boxing, Muhammad Ali was credited to being the simplest boxer of all time. In U.S. politics, there's a consensus that Lincoln was the nation’s greatest President by every measure applied. In the trading world, a variety of traders are known worldwide for his or her skills. From Jesse Livermore to George Soros, we are sharing these tales of past and present traders who had to claw their thanks to the highest . Here, we'll check out the five most famous traders of all time and canopy a touch bit about each trader and why they became so famous. Jesse Livermore Jesse Livermore jumped into the stock exchange with incredible calculations at the age of 15, amassed huge profits, then lost all of them , then mastered two massive crises and came out the opposite side while following his own rules, earning him the nickname “The Great Bear of Wall Street.” Livermore was born in 1877 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Visit شركة اكويتي السعودية He is remembered for his incredible risk taking, his gregarious method of reading the potential moves within the stock exchange , derivatives and commodities, and for sustaining vast losses also as rising to fortune. He began his career having run far away from home by carriage to flee a lifetime of farming that his father had planned for him, instead choosing city life and finding work posting stock quotes at Paine Webber, a Boston stockbroker. Livermore bought his first share at 15 and earned a profit of $3.12 from $5 after teaching himself about trends. George Soros George Soros has a fantastic backstory. Born in Hungary in 1930 to Jewish parents, Soros survived the Holocaust and later fled the country when the Communists took power. He went on to become one among the richest men and one among the foremost famous philanthropists within the world. Most day traders know him for his long and prolific career as a trader who famously “broke the Bank of England” in 1992. Soros made an enormous bet against British Pound, which earned him $1 billion in profit in only 24 hours. Along with other currency speculators, he placed a bet against the bank’s ability to carry the road on the pound. He borrowed pounds, then sold them, helping to down the worth of the currency on forex markets and ultimately forcing the united kingdom to crash out of the ecu rate of exchange Mechanism. It was perhaps the quickest billion dollars anyone has ever made and one among the foremost famous trades ever taken, which later became referred to as “breaking the Bank of England”. Soros is believed to have netted a complete of about $44 billion through financial speculation. And he has used his fortune to find thousands of human rights, democracy, health, and education projects. Richard Dennis There are only a couple of traders which will take a little amount of cash and switch it into millions and Richard Dennis was one among them. Known as the “Prince of the Pit”, Dennis is claimed to have borrowed $1,600 when he was around 23 years old and turned it into $200 million in about 10 years trading commodities. Even more interesting to notice , he only traded $400 of the $1,600. Not only did he achieve great success as a commodities trader, he also went on to launch the famous “Turtle Traders Group”. Using mini contracts, Dennis began to trade his own account at the Mid America commodities exchange . He made a profit of $100,000 in 1973. The subsequent year, he capitalized on a runway soybean market to earn $500,000 in profits. He became an impressive millionaire at the top of the year. However, he incurred massive losses within the Black Monday stock exchange crash in 1987 and therefore the dot-com bubble burst in 2000. While he's famous for creating and losing tons of cash , Dennis is additionally famous for something else – an experiment. He and his friend William Eckhardt recruited and trained traders, a couple of men and ladies, the way to trade futures. These so-called Turtle Traders went on to form profits of $175 million in 4 years, consistent with a former student. Paul Tudor Jones Paul Tudor Jones thrust into the limelight within the 80s when he successfully predicted the 1987 stock exchange , as shown within the riveting one hour documentary called “Trader”. The legendary trader was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1954. His father ran a financial and legal trade newspaper. While he was in college, he want to write articles for the newspaper under the pseudonym, “Eagle Jones”. Jones began his journey within the finance business by trading cotton. He started trading on his own following 4 years of non-trading experience, made profits from his trades but got bored, and later hired people to trade for him so he would not get bored. But the trade that shot him to fame came on Black Monday in 1987, when he made an estimated $100 million whilst the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 22%. He became a pioneer within the area of worldwide macro investing and was an enormous player within the meteoric growth of the hedge fund industry. He's also known for depending on currencies and interest rates. He founded his hedge fund, Tudor Investment Corp, in 1980. The fund currently has around $21 billion in assets under management and he himself has an estimated net worth of nearly $5.8 Billion. John Paulson Super-trader John Paulson built a private fortune worth $4.4 billion from managing other people’s money. Born in 1955, Paulson made his name and far of his money betting a huge amount of money against the U.S. housing market during the worldwide financial crisis of 2007–2008. Paulson bought insurance against defaults by subprime mortgages before the market collapse in 2007. He netted an estimated $20 billion on the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, dubbed the best trade ever. However, his diary since that bet has been patchy at the best . Within the years following the financial crisis, Paulson struggled to match this success. Failed bets on gold, healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks caused investors to escape his hedge fund Paulson & Co, cutting its assets under management to $10 billion as of January 2020 from a high of $36 billion in 2011. Earlier this year, Paulson announced the fund would stop managing money for outdoor clients and switch it into a family office. He launched the fund in 1994.
No, the British did not steal $45 trillion from India
This is an updated copy of the version on BadHistory. I plan to update it in accordance with the feedback I got. I'd like to thank two people who will remain anonymous for helping me greatly with this post (you know who you are) Three years ago a festschrift for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri was published by Shubhra Chakrabarti, a history teacher at the University of Delhi and Utsa Patnaik, a Marxist economist who taught at JNU until 2010. One of the essays in the festschirt by Utsa Patnaik was an attempt to quantify the "drain" undergone by India during British Rule. Her conclusion? Britain robbed India of $45 trillion (or £9.2 trillion) during their 200 or so years of rule. This figure was immensely popular, and got republished in several major news outlets (here, here, here, here (they get the number wrong) and more recently here), got a mention from the Minister of External Affairs & returns 29,100 results on Google. There's also plenty of references to it here on Reddit. Patnaik is not the first to calculate such a figure. Angus Maddison thought it was £100 million, Simon Digby said £1 billion, Javier Estaban said £40 million see Roy (2019). The huge range of figures should set off some alarm bells. So how did Patnaik calculate this (shockingly large) figure? Well, even though I don't have access to the festschrift, she conveniently has written an article detailing her methodology here. Let's have a look.
How exactly did the British manage to diddle us and drain our wealth’ ? was the question that Basudev Chatterjee (later editor of a volume in the Towards Freedom project) had posed to me 50 years ago when we were fellow-students abroad.
This is begging the question.
After decades of research I find that using India’s commodity export surplus as the measure and applying an interest rate of 5%, the total drain from 1765 to 1938, compounded up to 2016, comes to £9.2 trillion; since $4.86 exchanged for £1 those days, this sum equals about $45 trillion.
This is completely meaningless. To understand why it's meaningless consider India's annual coconut exports. These are almost certainly a surplus but the surplus in trade is countered by the other country buying the product (indeed, by definition, trade surpluses contribute to the GDP of a nation which hardly plays into intuitive conceptualisations of drain). Furthermore, Dewey (2019) critiques the 5% interest rate.
She [Patnaik] consistently adopts statistical assumptions (such as compound interest at a rate of 5% per annum over centuries) that exaggerate the magnitude of the drain
The exact mechanism of drain, or transfers from India to Britain was quite simple.
Drain theory possessed the political merit of being easily grasped by a nation of peasants. [...] No other idea could arouse people than the thought that they were being taxed so that others in far off lands might live in comfort. [...] It was, therefore, inevitable that the drain theory became the main staple of nationalist political agitation during the Gandhian era.
The key factor was Britain’s control over our taxation revenues combined with control over India’s financial gold and forex earnings from its booming commodity export surplus with the world. Simply put, Britain used locally raised rupee tax revenues to pay for its net import of goods, a highly abnormal use of budgetary funds not seen in any sovereign country.
The issue with figures like these is they all make certain methodological assumptions that are impossible to prove. From Roy in Frankema et al. (2019):
the "drain theory" of Indian poverty cannot be tested with evidence, for several reasons. First, it rests on the counterfactual that any money saved on account of factor payments abroad would translate into domestic investment, which can never be proved. Second, it rests on "the primitive notion that all payments to foreigners are "drain"", that is, on the assumption that these payments did not contribute to domestic national income to the equivalent extent (Kumar 1985, 384; see also Chaudhuri 1968). Again, this cannot be tested. [...] Fourth, while British officers serving India did receive salaries that were many times that of the average income in India, a paper using cross-country data shows that colonies with better paid officers were governed better (Jones 2013).
Indeed, drain theory rests on some very weak foundations. This, in of itself, should be enough to dismiss any of the other figures that get thrown out. Nonetheless, I felt it would be a useful exercise to continue exploring Patnaik's take on drain theory.
The East India Company from 1765 onwards allocated every year up to one-third of Indian budgetary revenues net of collection costs, to buy a large volume of goods for direct import into Britain, far in excess of that country’s own needs.
So what's going on here? Well Roy (2019) explains it better:
Colonial India ran an export surplus, which, together with foreign investment, was used to pay for services purchased from Britain. These payments included interest on public debt, salaries, and pensions paid to government offcers who had come from Britain, salaries of managers and engineers, guaranteed profts paid to railway companies, and repatriated business profts. How do we know that any of these payments involved paying too much? The answer is we do not.
So what was really happening is the government was paying its workers for services (as well as guaranteeing profits - to promote investment - something the GoI does today Dalal (2019), and promoting business in India), and those workers were remitting some of that money to Britain. This is hardly a drain (unless, of course, Indian diaspora around the world today are "draining" it). In some cases, the remittances would take the form of goods (as described) see Chaudhuri (1983):
It is obvious that these debit items were financed through the export surplus on merchandise account, and later, when railway construction started on a large scale in India, through capital import. Until 1833 the East India Company followed a cumbersome method in remitting the annual home charges. This was to purchase export commodities in India out of revenue, which were then shipped to London and the proceeds from their sale handed over to the home treasury.
While Roy's earlier point argues better paid officers governed better, it is honestly impossible to say what part of the repatriated export surplus was a drain, and what was not. However calling all of it a drain is definitely misguided. It's worth noting that Patnaik seems to make no attempt to quantify the benefits of the Raj either, Dewey (2019)'s 2nd criticism:
she [Patnaik] consistently ignores research that would tend to cut the economic impact of the drain down to size, such as the work on the sources of investment during the industrial revolution (which shows that industrialisation was financed by the ploughed-back profits of industrialists) or the costs of empire school (which stresses the high price of imperial defence)
Since tropical goods were highly prized in other cold temperate countries which could never produce them, in effect these free goods represented international purchasing power for Britain which kept a part for its own use and re-exported the balance to other countries in Europe and North America against import of food grains, iron and other goods in which it was deficient.
Re-exports necessarily adds value to goods when the goods are processed and when the goods are transported. The country with the largest navy at the time would presumably be in very good stead to do the latter.
The British historians Phyllis Deane and WA Cole presented an incorrect estimate of Britain’s 18th-19th century trade volume, by leaving out re-exports completely. I found that by 1800 Britain’s total trade was 62% higher than their estimate, on applying the correct definition of trade including re-exports, that is used by the United Nations and by all other international organisations.
While interesting, and certainly expected for such an old book, re-exporting necessarily adds value to goods.
When the Crown took over from the Company, from 1861 a clever system was developed under which all of India’s financial gold and forex earnings from its fast-rising commodity export surplus with the world, was intercepted and appropriated by Britain. As before up to a third of India’s rising budgetary revenues was not spent domestically but was set aside as ‘expenditure abroad’.
So, what does this mean? Britain appropriated all of India's earnings, and then spent a third of it aboard? Not exactly. She is describing home charges see Roy (2019) again:
Some of the expenditures on defense and administration were made in sterling and went out of the country. This payment by the government was known as the Home Charges. For example, interest payment on loans raised to finance construction of railways and irrigation works, pensions paid to retired officers, and purchase of stores, were payments in sterling. [...] almost all money that the government paid abroad corresponded to the purchase of a service from abroad. [...] The balance of payments system that emerged after 1800 was based on standard business principles.India bought something and paid for it.State revenues were used to pay for wages of people hired abroad, pay for interest on loans raised abroad, and repatriation of profits on foreign investments coming into India. These were legitimate market transactions.
Indeed, if paying for what you buy is drain, then several billions of us are drained every day.
The Secretary of State for India in Council, based in London, invited foreign importers to deposit with him the payment (in gold, sterling and their own currencies) for their net imports from India, and these gold and forex payments disappeared into the yawning maw of the SoS’s account in the Bank of England.
It should be noted that India having two heads was beneficial, and encouraged investment per Roy (2019):
The fact that the India Office in London managed a part of the monetary system made India creditworthy, stabilized its currency, and encouraged foreign savers to put money into railways and private enterprise in India. Current research on the history of public debt shows that stable and large colonies found it easier to borrow abroad than independent economies because the investors trusted the guarantee of the colonist powers.
Against India’s net foreign earnings he issued bills, termed Council bills (CBs), to an equivalent rupee value. The rate (between gold-linked sterling and silver rupee) at which the bills were issued, was carefully adjusted to the last farthing, so that foreigners would never find it more profitable to ship financial gold as payment directly to Indians, compared to using the CB route. Foreign importers then sent the CBs by post or by telegraph to the export houses in India, that via the exchange banks were paid out of the budgeted provision of sums under ‘expenditure abroad’, and the exporters in turn paid the producers (peasants and artisans) from whom they sourced the goods.
Sunderland (2013) argues CBs had two main roles (and neither were part of a grand plot to keep gold out of India):
Council bills had two roles. They firstly promoted trade by handing the IO some control of the rate of exchange and allowing the exchange banks to remit funds to India and to hedge currency transaction risks. They also enabled the Indian government to transfer cash to England for the payment of its UK commitments.
The United Nations (1962) historical data for 1900 to 1960, show that for three decades up to 1928 (and very likely earlier too) India posted the second highest merchandise export surplus in the world, with USA in the first position. Not only were Indians deprived of every bit of the enormous international purchasing power they had earned over 175 years, even its rupee equivalent was not issued to them since not even the colonial government was credited with any part of India’s net gold and forex earnings against which it could issue rupees. The sleight-of-hand employed, namely ‘paying’ producers out of their own taxes, made India’s export surplus unrequited and constituted a tax-financed drain to the metropolis, as had been correctly pointed out by those highly insightful classical writers, Dadabhai Naoroji and RCDutt.
It doesn't appear that others appreciate their insight Roy (2019):
K. N. Chaudhuri rightly calls such practice ‘confused’ economics ‘coloured by political feelings’.
Surplus budgets to effect such heavy tax-financed transfers had a severe employment–reducing and income-deflating effect: mass consumption was squeezed in order to release export goods. Per capita annual foodgrains absorption in British India declined from 210 kg. during the period 1904-09, to 157 kg. during 1937-41, and to only 137 kg by 1946.
If even a part of its enormous foreign earnings had been credited to it and not entirely siphoned off, India could have imported modern technology to build up an industrial structure as Japan was doing.
This is, unfortunately, impossible to prove. Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication that India would've united (this is arguably more plausible than the given counterfactual1). Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication India would not have been nuked in WW2, much like Japan. Had the British not arrived in India, there is no clear indication India would not have been invaded by lizard people, much like Japan. The list continues eternally. Nevertheless, I will charitably examine the given counterfactual anyway. Did pre-colonial India have industrial potential? The answer is a resounding no. From Gupta (1980):
This article starts from the premise that while economic categories - the extent of commodity production, wage labour, monetarisation of the economy, etc - should be the basis for any analysis of the production relations of pre-British India, it is the nature of class struggles arising out of particular class alignments that finally gives the decisive twist to social change. Arguing on this premise, and analysing the available evidence, this article concludes that there was little potential for industrial revolution before the British arrived in India because, whatever might have been the character of economic categories of that period,the class relations had not sufficiently matured to develop productive forces and the required class struggle for a 'revolution' to take place.
Yet all of this did not amount to an economic situation comparable to that of western Europe on the eve of the industrial revolution. Her technology - in agriculture as well as manufacturers - had by and large been stagnant for centuries. [...] The weakness of the Indian economy in the mid-eighteenth century, as compared to pre-industrial Europe was not simply a matter of technology and commercial and industrial organization. No scientific or geographical revolution formed part of the eighteenth-century Indian's historical experience. [...] Spontaneous movement towards industrialisation is unlikely in such a situation.
So now we've established India did not have industrial potential, was India similar to Japan just before the Meiji era? The answer, yet again, unsurprisingly, is no. Japan's economic situation was not comparable to India's, which allowed for Japan to finance its revolution. From Yasuba (1986):
All in all, the Japanese standard of living may not have been much below the English standard of living before industrialization, and both of them may have been considerably higher than the Indian standard of living. We can no longer say that Japan started from a pathetically low economic level and achieved a rapid or even "miraculous" economic growth. Japan's per capita income was almost as high as in Western Europe before industrialization, and it was possible for Japan to produce surplus in the Meiji Period to finance private and public capital formation.
The circumstances that led to Meiji Japan were extremely unique. See Tomlinson (1985):
Most modern comparisons between India and Japan, written by either Indianists or Japanese specialists, stress instead that industrial growth in Meiji Japan was the product of unique features that were not reproducible elsewhere. [...] it is undoubtably true that Japan's progress to industrialization has been unique and unrepeatable
So there you have it. Unsubstantiated statistical assumptions, calling any number you can a drain & assuming a counterfactual for no good reason gets you this $45 trillion number. Hopefully that's enough to bury it in the ground. 1. Several authors have affirmed that Indian identity is a colonial artefact. For example seeRajan 1969:
Perhaps the single greatest and most enduring impact of British rule over India is that it created an Indian nation, in the modern political sense. After centuries of rule by different dynasties overparts of the Indian sub-continent, and after about 100 years of British rule, Indians ceased to be merely Bengalis, Maharashtrians,or Tamils, linguistically and culturally.
But then, it would be anachronistic to condemn eighteenth-century Indians, who served the British, as collaborators, when the notion of 'democratic' nationalism or of an Indian 'nation' did not then exist.[...]Indians who fought for them, differed from the Europeans in having a primary attachment to a non-belligerent religion, family and local chief, which was stronger than any identity they might have with a more remote prince or 'nation'.
Chakrabarti, Shubra & Patnaik, Utsa (2018). Agrarian and other histories: Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri. Colombia University Press Hickel, Jason (2018). How the British stole $45 trillion from India. The Guardian Bhuyan, Aroonim & Sharma, Krishan (2019). The Great Loot: How the British stole $45 trillion from India. Indiapost Monbiot, George (2020). English Landowners have stolen our rights. It is time to reclaim them. The Guardian Tsjeng, Zing (2020). How Britain Stole $45 trillion from India with trains | Empires of Dirt. Vice Chaudhury, Dipanjan (2019). British looted $45 trillion from India in today’s value: Jaishankar. The Economic Times Roy, Tirthankar (2019). How British rule changed India's economy: The Paradox of the Raj. Palgrave Macmillan Patnaik, Utsa (2018). How the British impoverished India. Hindustan Times Tuovila, Alicia (2019). Expenditure method. Investopedia Dewey, Clive (2019). Changing the guard: The dissolution of the nationalist–Marxist orthodoxy in the agrarian and agricultural history of India. The Indian Economic & Social History Review Chandra, Bipan et al. (1989). India's Struggle for Independence, 1857-1947. Penguin Books Frankema, Ewout & Booth, Anne (2019). Fiscal Capacity and the Colonial State in Asia and Africa, c. 1850-1960. Cambridge University Press Dalal, Sucheta (2019). IL&FS Controversy: Centre is Paying Up on Sovereign Guarantees to ADB, KfW for Group's Loan. TheWire Chaudhuri, K.N. (1983). X - Foreign Trade and Balance of Payments (1757–1947). Cambridge University Press Sunderland, David (2013). Financing the Raj: The City of London and Colonial India, 1858-1940. Boydell Press Dewey, Clive (1978). Patwari and Chaukidar: Subordinate officials and the reliability of India’s agricultural statistics. Athlone Press Smith, Lisa (2015). The great Indian calorie debate: Explaining rising undernourishment during India’s rapid economic growth. Food Policy Duh, Josephine & Spears, Dean (2016). Health and Hunger: Disease, Energy Needs, and the Indian Calorie Consumption Puzzle. The Economic Journal Vankatesh, P. et al. (2016). Relationship between Food Production and Consumption Diversity in India – Empirical Evidences from Cross Section Analysis. Agricultural Economics Research Review Gupta, Shaibal (1980). Potential of Industrial Revolution in Pre-British India. Economic and Political Weekly Raychaudhuri, Tapan (1983). I - The mid-eighteenth-century background. Cambridge University Press Yasuba, Yasukichi (1986). Standard of Living in Japan Before Industrialization: From what Level did Japan Begin? A Comment. The Journal of Economic History Tomblinson, B.R. (1985). Writing History Sideways: Lessons for Indian Economic Historians from Meiji Japan. Cambridge University Press Rajan, M.S. (1969). The Impact of British Rule in India. Journal of Contemporary History Bryant, G.J. (2000). Indigenous Mercenaries in the Service of European Imperialists: The Case of the Sepoys in the Early British Indian Army, 1750-1800. War in History
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I was contacted by someone from iMarketsLive/IM Mastery Academy and crashed a few of their zoom calls
I was recently contacted by someone on my personal IG account who I didn't follow and who didn't follow me back, asking me if I was interested in learning about trading and making money while doing it. Turns out I'd actually been researching the company for about a week for my podcast. He probably found my account because for that purpose I followed a few of their influencers, even though when I asked him how he found me, he lied and said he's go through hashtags about trading and entrepeuneurship and message the people who used them. Since I wanted to dig a little deeper, I told him I was interested and he invited me to a zoom call later that same day, where some team leaders would talk about the opportunity more in depth. I got into the call and there were about 150 people at the start. Later that number would go to 250. The speaker was 24 years old and in the rank of chairman 10, which means he makes 10 thousand a month. That number though, is exclusively due to bringing more people in, not from trading. First thing he did was quote Rich Dad, Poor Dad from Robert Kiyozaki. He quoted the bit of the book that says that 5% of the people on the world own 95% of the money, and that's because they have their money working for them. Basically this was the set up to say "If you want to be part of that 5%, this is your chance." I atended a few more calls, they all had the same tone, and the same predatory nature of all of the messages I've been seeing in this subreddit for years: be your own boss, have financial freedom, flexible hours, talking about people who have a normal job with a normal schedule "aren't truly free", and how trading, bitcoin and forex is the future, and anyone who doesn't jump at the opportunity right now is just missing out. Even though I've been consuming antiMLM content for a while and could see right through all of their bullshit, it was truly disheartening to be on those calls and go though their social media and see how many people who are really vulnerable, specially due to the pandemic, are being bamboozled by all of this. From my research into them, I've learned that, as is the case with most MLMs, most of the people who join end up losing money, that their executive VP, Alex Morton is an absolute sleazeball who was in two MLMs before this one (Vemma and Jeunesse) and that the product they offer, the trading courses doesn't seem to be hight quality (I don't know much about trading, so I googled "best online trading courses" and they didn't show up in any rankings, even though they claim to be the #1 online academy worldwide in their presentation without citing any source) and there are services who offer the same for a fraction of the price and without the incentive to recruit anyone. This MLM is absolutely blowing up in my country (I'm from Chile). Recruits have been trained to ignore any sort of criticism as jealousy, negativity of just ignorance, and while they incentivize their members to "study and expand their knowledge" this invitation seems to be limited to their pre approved list of self help and millionaire mindset books, and the very bottom of the barrel content their own influencers produce. I haven't seen much about this MLM on this subreddit, so I'll leave some of the resources I used when reasearching them: -Truth in advertising's analysis of the company: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/what-you-should-know-about-imarketslive/ - Can you make money with IM Mastery Academy? https://www.finance-guy.net/streetonomic/im-mastery-academy-review -Is IM Mastery Academy a scam? Most people make $52 for the year https://theaffiliatedoctor.com/is-im-mastery-academy-a-scam-most-people-make-52-for-the-yea
https://preview.redd.it/gp18bjnlabr41.jpg?width=768&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6054e7f52e8d52da403016139ae43e0e799abf15 Download PDF of this article here:https://docdro.id/6eLgUPo In light of the recent fall in oil prices due to the Saudi-Russian dispute and dampening demand for oil due to the lockdowns implemented globally, O&G stocks have taken a severe beating, falling approximately 50% from their highs at the beginning of the year. Not spared from this onslaught is Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus), a listed oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production (E&P) company. Why invest in O&G stocks in this particularly uncertain period? For one, valuations of these stocks have fallen to multi-year lows, bringing the potential ROI on these stocks to attractive levels. Oil prices are cyclical, and are bound to return to the mean given a sufficiently long time horizon. The trick is to find those companies who can survive through this downturn and emerge into “normal” profitability once oil prices rebound. In this article, I will explore the upsides and downsides of investing in Hibiscus. I will do my best to cater this report to newcomers to the O&G industry – rather than address exclusively experts and veterans of the O&G sector. As an equity analyst, I aim to provide a view on the company primarily, and will generally refrain from providing macro views on oil or opinions about secular trends of the sector. I hope you enjoy reading it! Stock code: 5199.KL Stock name: Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad Financial information and financial reports: https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Corporate-Infomation.aspx?securityCode=5199 Company website: https://www.hibiscuspetroleum.com/
Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL) is an oil and gas (O&G) upstream exploration and production (E&P) company located in Malaysia. As an E&P company, their business can be basically described as: · looking for oil, · drawing it out of the ground, and · selling it on global oil markets. This means Hibiscus’s profits are particularly exposed to fluctuating oil prices. With oil prices falling to sub-$30 from about $60 at the beginning of the year, Hibiscus’s stock price has also fallen by about 50% YTD – from around RM 1.00 to RM 0.45 (as of 5 April 2020). https://preview.redd.it/3dqc4jraabr41.png?width=641&format=png&auto=webp&s=7ba0e8614c4e9d781edfc670016a874b90560684 https://preview.redd.it/lvdkrf0cabr41.png?width=356&format=png&auto=webp&s=46f250a713887b06986932fa475dc59c7c28582e While the company is domiciled in Malaysia, its two main oil producing fields are located in both Malaysia and the UK. The Malaysian oil field is commonly referred to as the North Sabah field, while the UK oil field is commonly referred to as the Anasuria oil field. Hibiscus has licenses to other oil fields in different parts of the world, notably the Marigold/Sunflower oil fields in the UK and the VIC cluster in Australia, but its revenues and profits mainly stem from the former two oil producing fields. Given that it’s a small player and has only two primary producing oil fields, it’s not surprising that Hibiscus sells its oil to a concentrated pool of customers, with 2 of them representing 80% of its revenues (i.e. Petronas and BP). Fortunately, both these customers are oil supermajors, and are unlikely to default on their obligations despite low oil prices. At RM 0.45 per share, the market capitalization is RM 714.7m and it has a trailing PE ratio of about 5x. It doesn’t carry any debt, and it hasn’t paid a dividend in its listing history. The MD, Mr. Kenneth Gerard Pereira, owns about 10% of the company’s outstanding shares.
Reserves (Total recoverable oil) & Production (bbl/day)
To begin analyzing the company, it’s necessary to understand a little of the industry jargon. We’ll start with Reserves and Production. In general, there are three types of categories for a company’s recoverable oil volumes – Reserves, Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources. Reserves are those oil fields which are “commercial”, which is defined as below: As defined by the SPE PRMS,Reservesare “… quantities of petroleum anticipated to be commercially recoverable by application of development projects to known accumulations from a given date forward under defined conditions.” Therefore, Reserves must be discovered (by drilling, recoverable (with current technology), remaining in the subsurface (at the effective date of the evaluation) and “commercial” based on the development project proposed.) Note that Reserves are associated with development projects. To be considered as “commercial”, there must be a firm intention to proceed with the project in a reasonable time frame (typically 5 years, and such intention must be based upon all of the following criteria:) - A reasonable assessment of the future economics of the development project meeting defined investment and operating criteria;- A reasonable expectation that there will be a market for all or at least the expected sales quantities of production required to justify development;- Evidence that the necessary production and transportation facilities are available or can be made available; and- Evidence that legal, contractual, environmental and other social and economic concerns will allow for the actual implementation of the recovery project being evaluated. Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources are further defined as below: -Contingent Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets discovered volumes but is not (yet commercial (as defined above); and)-Prospective Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets as yet undiscovered volumes. In the industry lingo, we generally refer to Reserves as ‘P’ and Contingent Resources as ‘C’. These ‘P’ and ‘C’ resources can be further categorized into 1P/2P/3P resources and 1C/2C/3C resources, each referring to a low/medium/high estimate of the company’s potential recoverable oil volumes: - Low/1C/1P estimate: there should be reasonable certainty that volumes actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate;- Best/2C/2P estimate: there should be an equal likelihood of the actual volumes of petroleum being larger or smaller than the estimate; and- High/3C/3P estimate: there is a low probability that the estimate will be exceeded. Hence in the E&P industry, it is easy to see why most investors and analysts refer to the 2P estimate as the best estimate for a company’s actual recoverable oil volumes. This is because 2P reserves (‘2P’ referring to ‘Proved and Probable’) are a middle estimate of the recoverable oil volumes legally recognized as “commercial”. However, there’s nothing stopping you from including 2C resources (riskier) or utilizing 1P resources (conservative) as your estimate for total recoverable oil volumes, depending on your risk appetite. In this instance, the company has provided a snapshot of its 2P and 2C resources in its analyst presentation: https://preview.redd.it/o8qejdyc8br41.png?width=710&format=png&auto=webp&s=b3ab9be8f83badf0206adc982feda3a558d43e78 Basically, what the company is saying here is that by 2021, it will have classified as 2P reserves at least 23.7 million bbl from its Anasuria field and 20.5 million bbl from its North Sabah field – for total 2P reserves of 44.2 million bbl (we are ignoring the Australian VIC cluster as it is only estimated to reach first oil by 2022). Furthermore, the company is stating that they have discovered (but not yet legally classified as “commercial”) a further 71 million bbl of oil from both the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, as well as the Marigold/Sunflower fields. If we include these 2C resources, the total potential recoverable oil volumes could exceed 100 million bbl. In this report, we shall explore all valuation scenarios giving consideration to both 2P and 2C resources. https://preview.redd.it/gk54qplf8br41.png?width=489&format=png&auto=webp&s=c905b7a6328432218b5b9dfd53cc9ef1390bd604 The company further targets a 2021 production rate of 20,000 bbl (LTM: 8,000 bbl), which includes 5,000 bbl from its Anasuria field (LTM: 2,500 bbl) and 7,000 bbl from its North Sabah field (LTM: 5,300 bbl). This is a substantial increase in forecasted production from both existing and prospective oil fields. If it materializes, annual production rate could be as high as 7,300 mmbbl, and 2021 revenues (given FY20 USD/bbl of $60) could exceed RM 1.5 billion (FY20: RM 988 million). However, this targeted forecast is quite a stretch from current production levels. Nevertheless, we shall consider all provided information in estimating a valuation for Hibiscus. To understand Hibiscus’s oil production capacity and forecast its revenues and profits, we need to have a better appreciation of the performance of its two main cash-generating assets – the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field. North Sabah oil field https://preview.redd.it/62nssexj8br41.png?width=1003&format=png&auto=webp&s=cd78f86d51165fb9a93015e49496f7f98dad64dd Hibiscus owns a 50% interest in the North Sabah field together with its partner Petronas, and has production rights over the field up to year 2040. The asset contains 4 oil fields, namely the St Joseph field, South Furious field, SF 30 field and Barton field. For the sake of brevity, we shall not delve deep into the operational aspects of the fields or the contractual nature of its production sharing contract (PSC). We’ll just focus on the factors which relate to its financial performance. These are: · Average uptime · Total oil sold · Average realized oil price · Average OPEX per bbl With regards to average uptime, we can see that the company maintains relative high facility availability, exceeding 90% uptime in all quarters of the LTM with exception of Jul-Sep 2019. The dip in average uptime was due to production enhancement projects and maintenance activities undertaken to improve the production capacity of the St Joseph and SF30 oil fields. Hence, we can conclude that management has a good handle on operational performance. It also implies that there is little room for further improvement in production resulting from increased uptime. As North Sabah is under a production sharing contract (PSC), there is a distinction between gross oil production and net oil production. The former relates to total oil drawn out of the ground, whereas the latter refers to Hibiscus’s share of oil production after taxes, royalties and expenses are accounted for. In this case, we want to pay attention to net oil production, not gross. We can arrive at Hibiscus’s total oil sold for the last twelve months (LTM) by adding up the total oil sold for each of the last 4 quarters. Summing up the figures yields total oil sold for the LTM of approximately 2,075,305 bbl. Then, we can arrive at an average realized oil price over the LTM by averaging the average realized oil price for the last 4 quarters, giving us an average realized oil price over the LTM of USD 68.57/bbl. We can do the same for average OPEX per bbl, giving us an average OPEX per bbl over the LTM of USD 13.23/bbl. Thus, we can sum up the above financial performance of the North Sabah field with the following figures: · Total oil sold: 2,075,305 bbl · Average realized oil price: USD 68.57/bbl · Average OPEX per bbl: USD 13.23/bbl Anasuria oil field https://preview.redd.it/586u4kfo8br41.png?width=1038&format=png&auto=webp&s=7580fc7f7df7e948754d025745a5cf47d4393c0f Doing the same exercise as above for the Anasuria field, we arrive at the following financial performance for the Anasuria field: · Total oil sold: 1,073,304 bbl · Average realized oil price: USD 63.57/bbl · Average OPEX per bbl: USD 23.22/bbl As gas production is relatively immaterial, and to be conservative, we shall only consider the crude oil production from the Anasuria field in forecasting revenues.
Valuation (Method 1)
Putting the figures from both oil fields together, we get the following data: https://preview.redd.it/7y6064dq8br41.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=2a4120563a011cf61fc6090e1cd5932602599dc2 Given that we have determined LTM EBITDA of RM 632m, the next step would be to subtract ITDA (interest, tax, depreciation & amortization) from it to obtain estimated LTM Net Profit. Using FY2020’s ITDA of approximately RM 318m as a guideline, we arrive at an estimated LTM Net Profit of RM 314m (FY20: 230m). Given the current market capitalization of RM 714.7m, this implies a trailing LTM PE of 2.3x. Performing a sensitivity analysis given different oil prices, we arrive at the following net profit table for the company under different oil price scenarios, assuming oil production rate and ITDA remain constant: https://preview.redd.it/xixge5sr8br41.png?width=433&format=png&auto=webp&s=288a00f6e5088d01936f0217ae7798d2cfcf11f2 From the above exercise, it becomes apparent that Hibiscus has a breakeven oil price of about USD 41.8863/bbl, and has a lot of operating leverage given the exponential rate of increase in its Net Profit with each consequent increase in oil prices. Considering that the oil production rate (EBITDA) is likely to increase faster than ITDA’s proportion to revenues (fixed costs), at an implied PE of 4.33x, it seems likely that an investment in Hibiscus will be profitable over the next 10 years (with the assumption that oil prices will revert to the mean in the long-term).
Valuation (Method 2)
Of course, there are a lot of assumptions behind the above method of valuation. Hence, it would be prudent to perform multiple methods of valuation and compare the figures to one another. As opposed to the profit/loss assessment in Valuation (Method 1), another way of performing a valuation would be to estimate its balance sheet value, i.e. total revenues from 2P Reserves, and assign a reasonable margin to it. https://preview.redd.it/o2eiss6u8br41.png?width=710&format=png&auto=webp&s=03960cce698d9cedb076f3d5f571b3c59d908fa8 From the above, we understand that Hibiscus’s 2P reserves from the North Sabah and Anasuria fields alone are approximately 44.2 mmbbl (we ignore contribution from Australia’s VIC cluster as it hasn’t been developed yet). Doing a similar sensitivity analysis of different oil prices as above, we arrive at the following estimated total revenues and accumulated net profit: https://preview.redd.it/h8hubrmw8br41.png?width=450&format=png&auto=webp&s=6d23f0f9c3dafda89e758b815072ba335467f33e Let’s assume that the above average of RM 9.68 billion in total realizable revenues from current 2P reserves holds true. If we assign a conservative Net Profit margin of 15% (FY20: 23%; past 5 years average: 16%), we arrive at estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves ofRM 1.452 billion. Given the current market capitalization of RM 714 million, we might be able to say that the equity is worth about twice the current share price. However, it is understandable that some readers might feel that the figures used in the above estimate (e.g. net profit margin of 15%) were randomly plucked from the sky. So how do we reconcile them with figures from the financial statements? Fortunately, there appears to be a way to do just that. Intangible Assets I refer you to a figure in the financial statements which provides a shortcut to the valuation of 2P Reserves. This is the carrying value of Intangible Assets on the Balance Sheet. As of 2QFY21, that amount was RM 1,468,860,000 (i.e. RM 1.468 billion). https://preview.redd.it/hse8ttb09br41.png?width=881&format=png&auto=webp&s=82e48b5961c905fe9273cb6346368de60202ebec Quite coincidentally, one might observe that this figure is dangerously close to the estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion we calculated earlier. But why would this amount matter at all? To answer that, I refer you to the notes of the Annual Report FY20 (AR20). On page 148 of the AR20, we find the following two paragraphs: E&E assets comprise of rights and concession and conventional studies. Following the acquisition of a concession right to explore a licensed area, the costs incurred such as geological and geophysical surveys, drilling, commercial appraisal costs and other directly attributable costs of exploration and appraisal including technical and administrative costs, are capitalised as conventional studies, presented as intangible assets. E&E assets are assessed for impairment when facts and circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount. The Group will allocate E&E assets to cash generating unit (“CGU”s or groups of CGUs for the purpose of assessing such assets for impairment. Each CGU or group of units to which an E&E asset is allocated will not be larger than an operating segment as disclosed in Note 39 to the financial statements.) Hence, we can determine that firstly, the intangible asset value represents capitalized costs of acquisition of the oil fields, including technical exploration costs and costs of acquiring the relevant licenses. Secondly, an impairment review will be carried out when “the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount”, with E&E assets being allocated to “cash generating units” (CGU) for the purposes of assessment. On page 169 of the AR20, we find the following: Carrying amounts of the Group’s intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO are reviewed for possible impairment annually including any indicators of impairment. For the purpose of assessing impairment, assets are grouped at the lowest level CGUs for which there is a separately identifiable cash flow available. These CGUs are based on operating areas, represented by the 2011 North Sabah EOR PSC (“North Sabah”, the Anasuria Cluster, the Marigold and Sunflower fields, the VIC/P57 exploration permit (“VIC/P57”) and the VIC/L31 production license (“VIC/L31”).) So apparently, the CGUs that have been assigned refer to the respective oil producing fields, two of which include the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field. In order to perform the impairment review, estimates of future cash flow will be made by management to assess the “recoverable amount” (as described above), subject to assumptions and an appropriate discount rate. Hence, what we can gather up to now is that management will estimate future recoverable cash flows from a CGU (i.e. the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields), compare that to their carrying value, and perform an impairment if their future recoverable cash flows are less than their carrying value. In other words, if estimated accumulated profits from the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are less than their carrying value, an impairment is required. So where do we find the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields? Further down on page 184 in the AR20, we see the following: Included in rights and concession are the carrying amounts of producing field licenses in the Anasuria Cluster amounting to RM668,211,518 (2018: RM687,664,530, producing field licenses in North Sabah amounting to RM471,031,008 (2018: RM414,333,116)) Hence, we can determine that the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are RM 471m and RM 668m respectively. But where do we find the future recoverable cash flows of the fields as estimated by management, and what are the assumptions used in that calculation? Fortunately, we find just that on page 185: 17 INTANGIBLE ASSETS (CONTINUED) (a Anasuria Cluster) The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for Anasuria Cluster during the current financial year. In the previous financial year, due to uncertainties in crude oil prices, the Group has assessed the recoverable amount of the intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO relating to the Anasuria Cluster. The recoverable amount is determined using the FVLCTS model based on discounted cash flows (“DCF” derived from the expected cash in/outflow pattern over the production lives.) The key assumptions used to determine the recoverable amount for the Anasuria Cluster were as follows: (i Discount rate of 10%;) (ii Future cost inflation factor of 2% per annum;) (iii Oil price forecast based on the oil price forward curve from independent parties; and,) (iv Oil production profile based on the assessment by independent oil and gas reserve experts.) Based on the assessments performed, the Directors concluded that the recoverable amount calculated based on the valuation model is higher than the carrying amount. (b North Sabah) The acquisition of the North Sabah assets was completed in the previous financial year. Details of the acquisition are as disclosed in Note 15 to the financial statements. The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for North Sabah during the current financial year. Here, we can see that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field was estimated based on a DCF of expected future cash flows over the production life of the asset. The key assumptions used by management all seem appropriate, including a discount rate of 10% and oil price and oil production estimates based on independent assessment. From there, management concludes that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field is higher than its carrying amount (i.e. no impairment required). Likewise, for the North Sabah field. How do we interpret this? Basically, what management is saying is that given a 10% discount rate and independent oil price and oil production estimates, the accumulated profits (i.e. recoverable amount) from both the North Sabah and the Anasuria fields exceed their carrying amounts of RM 471m and RM 668m respectively. In other words, according to management’s own estimates, the carrying value of the Intangible Assets of RM 1.468 billionapproximates the accumulated Net Profit recoverable from 2P reserves. To conclude Valuation (Method 2), we arrive at the following:
Accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves
RM 1.452 billion
RM 1.468 billion
By now, we have established the basic economics of Hibiscus’s business, including its revenues (i.e. oil production and oil price scenarios), costs (OPEX, ITDA), profitability (breakeven, future earnings potential) and balance sheet value (2P reserves, valuation). Moving on, we want to gain a deeper understanding of the 3 statements to anticipate any blind spots and risks. We’ll refer to the financial statements of both the FY20 annual report and the 2Q21 quarterly report in this analysis. For the sake of brevity, I’ll only point out those line items which need extra attention, and skip over the rest. Feel free to go through the financial statements on your own to gain a better familiarity of the business. https://preview.redd.it/h689bss79br41.png?width=810&format=png&auto=webp&s=ed47fce6a5c3815dd3d4f819e31f1ce39ccf4a0b Income Statement First, we’ll start with the Income Statement on page 135 of the AR20. Revenues are straightforward, as we’ve discussed above. Cost of Sales and Administrative Expenses fall under the jurisdiction of OPEX, which we’ve also seen earlier. Other Expenses are mostly made up of Depreciation & Amortization of RM 115m. Finance Costs are where things start to get tricky. Why does a company which carries no debt have such huge amounts of finance costs? The reason can be found in Note 8, where it is revealed that the bulk of finance costs relate to the unwinding of discount of provision for decommissioning costs of RM 25m (Note 32). https://preview.redd.it/4omjptbe9br41.png?width=1019&format=png&auto=webp&s=eaabfc824134063100afa62edfd36a34a680fb60 This actually refers to the expected future costs of restoring the Anasuria and North Sabah fields to their original condition once the oil reserves have been depleted. Accounting standards require the company to provide for these decommissioning costs as they are estimable and probable. The way the decommissioning costs are accounted for is the same as an amortized loan, where the initial carrying value is recognized as a liability and the discount rate applied is reversed each year as an expense on the Income Statement. However, these expenses are largely non-cash in nature and do not necessitate a cash outflow every year (FY20: RM 69m). Unwinding of discount on non-current other payables of RM 12m relate to contractual payments to the North Sabah sellers. We will discuss it later. Taxation is another tricky subject, and is even more significant than Finance Costs at RM 161m. In gist, Hibiscus is subject to the 38% PITA (Petroleum Income Tax Act) under Malaysian jurisdiction, and the 30% Petroleum tax + 10% Supplementary tax under UK jurisdiction. Of the RM 161m, RM 41m of it relates to deferred tax which originates from the difference between tax treatment and accounting treatment on capitalized assets (accelerated depreciation vs straight-line depreciation). Nonetheless, what you should take away from this is that the tax expense is a tangible expense and material to breakeven analysis. Fortunately, tax is a variable expense, and should not materially impact the cash flow of Hibiscus in today’s low oil price environment. Note: Cash outflows for Tax Paid in FY20 was RM 97m, substantially below the RM 161m tax expense. https://preview.redd.it/1xrnwzm89br41.png?width=732&format=png&auto=webp&s=c078bc3e18d9c79d9a6fbe1187803612753f69d8 Balance Sheet The balance sheet of Hibiscus is unexciting; I’ll just bring your attention to those line items which need additional scrutiny. I’ll use the figures in the latest 2Q21 quarterly report (2Q21) and refer to the notes in AR20 for clarity. We’ve already discussed Intangible Assets in the section above, so I won’t dwell on it again. Moving on, the company has Equipment of RM 582m, largely relating to O&G assets (e.g. the Anasuria FPSO vessel and CAPEX incurred on production enhancement projects). Restricted cash and bank balances represent contractual obligations for decommissioning costs of the Anasuria Cluster, and are inaccessible for use in operations. Inventories are relatively low, despite Hibiscus being an E&P company, so forex fluctuations on carrying value of inventories are relatively immaterial. Trade receivables largely relate to entitlements from Petronas and BP (both oil supermajors), and are hence quite safe from impairment. Other receivables, deposits and prepayments are significant as they relate to security deposits placed with sellers of the oil fields acquired; these should be ignored for cash flow purposes. Note: Total cash and bank balances do not include approximately RM 105 m proceeds from the North Sabah December 2019 offtake (which was received in January 2020) Cash and bank balances of RM 90m do not include RM 105m of proceeds from offtake received in 3Q21 (Jan 2020). Hence, the actual cash and bank balances as of 2Q21 approximate RM 200m. Liabilities are a little more interesting. First, I’ll draw your attention to the significant Deferred tax liabilities of RM 457m. These largely relate to the amortization of CAPEX (i.e. Equipment and capitalized E&E expenses), which is given an accelerated depreciation treatment for tax purposes. The way this works is that the government gives Hibiscus a favorable tax treatment on capital expenditures incurred via an accelerated depreciation schedule, so that the taxable income is less than usual. However, this leads to the taxable depreciation being utilized quicker than accounting depreciation, hence the tax payable merely deferred to a later period – when the tax depreciation runs out but accounting depreciation remains. Given the capital intensive nature of the business, it is understandable why Deferred tax liabilities are so large. We’ve discussed Provision for decommissioning costs under the Finance Costs section earlier. They are also quite significant at RM 266m. Notably, the Other Payables and Accruals are a hefty RM 431m. What do they relate to? Basically, they are contractual obligations to the sellers of the oil fields which are only payable upon oil prices reaching certain thresholds. Hence, while they are current in nature, they will only become payable when oil prices recover to previous highs, and are hence not an immediate cash outflow concern given today’s low oil prices. Cash Flow Statement There is nothing in the cash flow statement which warrants concern. Notably, the company generated OCF of approximately RM 500m in FY20 and RM 116m in 2Q21. It further incurred RM 330m and RM 234m of CAPEX in FY20 and 2Q21 respectively, largely owing to production enhancement projects to increase the production rate of the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, which according to management estimates are accretive to ROI. Tax paid was RM 97m in FY20 and RM 61m in 2Q21 (tax expense: RM 161m and RM 62m respectively).
There are a few obvious and not-so-obvious risks that one should be aware of before investing in Hibiscus. We shall not consider operational risks (e.g. uptime, OPEX) as they are outside the jurisdiction of the equity analyst. Instead, we shall focus on the financial and strategic risks largely outside the control of management. The main ones are: · Oil prices remaining subdued for long periods of time · Fluctuation of exchange rates · Customer concentration risk · 2P Reserves being less than estimated · Significant current and non-current liabilities · Potential issuance of equity Oil prices remaining subdued Of topmost concern in the minds of most analysts is whether Hibiscus has the wherewithal to sustain itself through this period of low oil prices (sub-$30). A quick and dirty estimate of annual cash outflow (i.e. burn rate) assuming a $20 oil world and historical production rates is between RM 50m-70m per year, which considering the RM 200m cash balance implies about 3-4 years of sustainability before the company runs out of cash and has to rely on external assistance for financing. Table 1: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and exchange rates https://preview.redd.it/gxnekd6h9br41.png?width=670&format=png&auto=webp&s=edbfb9621a43480d11e3b49de79f61a6337b3d51 The above table shows different EBITDA scenarios (RM ‘m) given different oil prices (left column) and USD:MYR exchange rates (top row). Currently, oil prices are $27 and USD:MYR is 1:4.36. Given conservative assumptions of average OPEX/bbl of $20 (current: $15), we can safely say that the company will be loss-making as long as oil remains at $20 or below (red). However, we can see that once oil prices hit $25, the company can tank the lower-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 50m (orange), while at RM $27 it can sufficiently muddle through the higher-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 70m (green). Hence, we can assume that as long as the average oil price over the next 3-4 years remains above $25, Hibiscus should come out of this fine without the need for any external financing. Customer Concentration Risk With regards to customer concentration risk, there is not much the analyst or investor can do except to accept the risk. Fortunately, 80% of revenues can be attributed to two oil supermajors (Petronas and BP), hence the risk of default on contractual obligations and trade receivables seems to be quite diminished. 2P Reserves being less than estimated 2P Reserves being less than estimated is another risk that one should keep in mind. Fortunately, the current market cap is merely RM 714m – at half of estimated recoverable amounts of RM 1.468 billion – so there’s a decent margin of safety. In addition, there are other mitigating factors which shall be discussed in the next section (‘Opportunities’). Significant non-current and current liabilities The significant non-current and current liabilities have been addressed in the previous section. It has been determined that they pose no threat to immediate cash flow due to them being long-term in nature (e.g. decommissioning costs, deferred tax, etc). Hence, for the purpose of assessing going concern, their amounts should not be a cause for concern. Potential issuance of equity Finally, we come to the possibility of external financing being required in this low oil price environment. While the company should last 3-4 years on existing cash reserves, there is always the risk of other black swan events materializing (e.g. coronavirus) or simply oil prices remaining muted for longer than 4 years. Furthermore, management has hinted that they wish to acquire new oil assets at presently depressed prices to increase daily production rate to a targeted 20,000 bbl by end-2021. They have room to acquire debt, but they may also wish to issue equity for this purpose. Hence, the possibility of dilution to existing shareholders cannot be entirely ruled out. However, given management’s historical track record of prioritizing ROI and optimal capital allocation, and in consideration of the fact that the MD owns 10% of outstanding shares, there is some assurance that any potential acquisitions will be accretive to EPS and therefore valuations.
As with the existence of risk, the presence of material opportunities also looms over the company. Some of them are discussed below: · Increased Daily Oil Production Rate · Inclusion of 2C Resources · Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating Increased Daily Oil Production Rate The first and most obvious opportunity is the potential for increased production rate. We’ve seen in the last quarter (2Q21) that the North Sabah field increased its daily production rate by approximately 20% as a result of production enhancement projects (infill drilling), lowering OPEX/bbl as a result. To vastly oversimplify, infill drilling is the process of maximizing well density by drilling in the spaces between existing wells to improve oil production. The same improvements are being undertaken at the Anasuria field via infill drilling, subsea debottlenecking, water injection and sidetracking of existing wells. Without boring you with industry jargon, this basically means future production rate is likely to improve going forward. By how much can the oil production rate be improved by? Management estimates in their analyst presentation that enhancements in the Anasuria field will be able to yield 5,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 2,500 bbl/day). Similarly, improvements in the North Sabah field is expected to yield 7,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 5,300 bbl/day). This implies a total 2021 expected daily production rate from the two fields alone of 12,000 bbl/day (current: 8,000 bbl/day). That’s a 50% increase in yields which we haven’t factored into our valuation yet. Furthermore, we haven’t considered any production from existing 2C resources (e.g. Marigold/Sunflower) or any potential acquisitions which may occur in the future. By management estimates, this can potentially increase production by another 8,000 bbl/day, bringing total production to 20,000 bbl/day. While this seems like a stretch of the imagination, it pays to keep them in mind when forecasting future revenues and valuations. Just to play around with the numbers, I’ve come up with a sensitivity analysis of possible annual EBITDA at different oil prices and daily oil production rates: Table 2: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and daily oil production rates https://preview.redd.it/jnpfhr5n9br41.png?width=814&format=png&auto=webp&s=bbe4b512bc17f576d87529651140cc74cde3d159 The left column represents different oil prices while the top row represents different daily oil production rates. The green column represents EBITDA at current daily production rate of 8,000 bbl/day; the orange column represents EBITDA at targeted daily production rate of 12,000 bbl/day; while the purple column represents EBITDA at maximum daily production rate of 20,000 bbl/day. Even conservatively assuming increased estimated annual ITDA of RM 500m (FY20: RM 318m), and long-term average oil prices of $50 (FY20: $60), the estimated Net Profit and P/E ratio is potentially lucrative at daily oil production rates of 12,000 bbl/day and above. 2C Resources Since we’re on the topic of improved daily oil production rate, it bears to pay in mind the relatively enormous potential from Hibiscus’s 2C Resources. North Sabah’s 2C Resources alone exceed 30 mmbbl; while those from the yet undiagnosed Marigold/Sunflower fields also reach 30 mmbbl. Altogether, 2C Resources exceed 70 mmbbl, which dwarfs the 44 mmbbl of 2P Reserves we have considered up to this point in our valuation estimates. To refresh your memory, 2C Resources represents oil volumes which have been discovered but are not yet classified as “commercial”. This means that there is reasonable certainty of the oil being recoverable, as opposed to simply being in the very early stages of exploration. So, to be conservative, we will imagine that only 50% of 2C Resources are eligible for reclassification to 2P reserves, i.e. 35 mmbbl of oil. https://preview.redd.it/mto11iz7abr41.png?width=375&format=png&auto=webp&s=e9028ab0816b3d3e25067447f2c70acd3ebfc41a This additional 35 mmbbl of oil represents an 80% increase to existing 2P reserves. Assuming the daily oil production rate increases similarly by 80%, we will arrive at 14,400 bbl/day of oil production. According to Table 2 above, this would yield an EBITDA of roughly RM 630m assuming $50 oil. Comparing that estimated EBITDA to FY20’s actual EBITDA:
FY21 (incl. 2C)
Daily oil production (bbl/day)
Average oil price (USD/bbl)
Average OPEX/bbl (USD)
EBITDA (RM ‘m)
Hence, even conservatively assuming lower oil prices and higher OPEX/bbl (which should decrease in the presence of higher oil volumes) than last year, we get approximately the same EBITDA as FY20. For the sake of completeness, let’s assume that Hibiscus issues twice the no. of existing shares over the next 10 years, effectively diluting shareholders by 50%. Even without accounting for the possibility of the acquisition of new oil fields, at the current market capitalization of RM 714m, the prospective P/E would be about 10x. Not too shabby. Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating Hibiscus shares have recently been hit by a one-two punch from oil prices cratering from $60 to $30, as a result of both the Saudi-Russian dispute and depressed demand for oil due to coronavirus. This has massively increased supply and at the same time hugely depressed demand for oil (due to the globally coordinated lockdowns being implemented). Given a long enough timeframe, I fully expect OPEC+ to come to an agreement and the economic effects from the coronavirus to dissipate, allowing oil prices to rebound. As we equity investors are aware, oil prices are cyclical and are bound to recover over the next 10 years. When it does, valuations of O&G stocks (including Hibiscus’s) are likely to improve as investors overshoot expectations and begin to forecast higher oil prices into perpetuity, as they always tend to do in good times. When that time arrives, Hibiscus’s valuations are likely to become overoptimistic as all O&G stocks tend to do during oil upcycles, resulting in valuations far exceeding reasonable estimates of future earnings. If you can hold the shares up until then, it’s likely you will make much more on your investment than what we’ve been estimating.
Wrapping up what we’ve discussed so far, we can conclude that Hibiscus’s market capitalization of RM 714m far undershoots reasonable estimates of fair value even under conservative assumptions of recoverable oil volumes and long-term average oil prices. As a value investor, I hesitate to assign a target share price, but it’s safe to say that this stock is worth at least RM 1.00 (current: RM 0.45). Risk is relatively contained and the upside far exceeds the downside. While I have no opinion on the short-term trajectory of oil prices, I can safely recommend this stock as a long-term Buy based on fundamental research.
Just 2 more Conspiracy Theories that turned out to be True
(i couldn't post in the previous one , word limit )
1.Big Brother or the Shadow Government
It is also called the “Deep State” by Peter Dale Scott, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. A shadow government is a "government-in-waiting" that remains in waiting with the intention of taking control of a government in response to some event. It turned out this was true on 9/11, when it was told to us by our mainstream media. For years, this was ridiculed as a silly, crazy conspiracy theory and, like the others listed here, turned out to be 100% true. It is also called the Continuity of Government. The Continuity of Government (COG) is the principle of establishing defined procedures that allow a government to continue its essential operations in case of nuclear war or other catastrophic event. Since the end of the cold war, the policies and procedures for the COG have been altered according to realistic threats of that time. These include but are not limited to a possible coup or overthrow by right wing terrorist groups, a terrorist attack in general, an assassination, and so on. Believe it or not the COG has been in effect since 2001.After 9/11, it went into action. Now here is the kicker, many of the figures in Iran Contra, the Watergate Scandal, the alleged conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, and many others listed here are indeed members of the COG. This is its own conspiracy as well.
The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World is a book written by Air Force Col. L Fletcher Prouty, published in 1973. From 1955 to 1963 Prouty was the "Focal Point Officer" for contacts between the CIA and the Pentagon on matters relating to military support for "black operations" but he was not assigned to the CIA and was not bound by any oath of secrecy. (From the first page of the 1974 Printing) It was one of the first tell-all books about the inner workings of the CIA and was an important influence on the Oliver Stone movie JFK. But the main thrust of the book is how the CIA started as a think tank to analyze intelligence gathered from military sources but has grown to the monster it has become. The CIA had no authority to run their own agents or to carry out covert operations but they quickly did both and much more. This book tells about things they actually did and a lot about how the operate. In Prouty's own words, from the 1997 edition of The Secret Team: This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, and when needed, the full support of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they have been able to operate under the canopy of an assumed, ever-present enemy called "Communism." It will be interesting to see what "enemy" develops in the years ahead. It appears that "UFO's and Aliens" are being primed to fulfill that role for the future. To top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA, itself, has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations. "He is not the first to allege that UFOs and Aliens are going to be used as a threat against the world to globalize the planet under One government."
The Report from Iron Mountain
The Report from Iron Mountain is a book, published in 1967 (during the Johnson Administration) by Dial Press, that states that it is the report of a government panel. According to the report, a 15-member panel, called the Special Study Group, was set up in 1963 to examine what problems would occur if the U.S. entered a state of lasting peace. They met at an underground nuclear bunker called Iron Mountain (as well as other, worldwide locations) and worked over the next two years. Iron Mountain is where the government has stored the flight 93 evidence from 9/11.A member of the panel, one "John Doe", a professor at a college in the Midwest, decided to release the report to the public. The heavily footnoted report concluded that peace was not in the interest of a stable society, that even if lasting peace, "could be achieved, it would almost certainly not be in the best interests of society to achieve it." War was a part of the economy. Therefore, it was necessary to conceive a state of war for a stable economy. The government, the group theorized, would not exist without war, and nation states existed in order to wage war. War also served a vital function of diverting collective aggression. They recommended that bodies be created to emulate the economic functions of war. They also recommended "blood games" and that the government create alternative foes that would scare the people with reports of alien life-forms and out of control pollution. Another proposal was the reinstitution of slavery. U.S. News and World Report claimed in its November 20, 1967 issue to have confirmation of the reality of the report from an unnamed government official, who added that when President Johnson read the report, he 'hit the roof' and ordered it to be suppressed for all time. Additionally, sources were said to have revealed that orders were sent to U.S. embassies, instructing them to emphasize that the book had no relation to U.S. Government policy. Project Blue Beam is also a common conspiracy theory that alleges that a faked alien landing would be used as a means of scaring the public into whatever global system is suggested. Some researchers suggest the Report from Iron Mountain might be fabricated, others swear it is real. Bill Moyers, the American journalist and public commentator, has served as White House Press Secretary in the United States President Lyndon B. Johnson Administration from 1965 to 1967. He worked as a news commentator on television for ten years. Moyers has had an extensive involvement with public television, producing documentaries and news journal programs. He has won numerous awards and honorary degrees. He has become well known as a trenchant critic of the U.S. media. Since 1990, Moyers has been President of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy. He is considered by many to be a very credible outlet for the truth. He released a documentary titled, The Secret Government, which exposed the inner workings of a secret government much more vast that most people would ever imagine. Though originally broadcast in 1987, it is even more relevant today. Interviews with respected top military, intelligence, and government insiders reveal both the history and secret objectives of powerful groups in the hidden shadows of our government. Here is that documentary: vid For another powerful, highly revealing documentary on the manipulations of the secret government produced by BBC, click here. The intrepid BBC team clearly shows how the War on Terror is largely a fabrication. For those interested in very detailed information on the composition of the shadow or secret government from a less well-known source, take a look at the summary available here.
2. The Federal Reserve Bank
The fundamental promise of a central bank like the Federal Reserve is economic stability. The theory is that manipulating the value of the currency allows financial booms to go higher, and crashes to be more mild. If growth becomes speculative and unsustainable, the central bank can make the price of money go up and force some deleveraging of risky investments - again, promising to make the crashes more mild. The period leading up to the American revolution was characterized by increasingly authoritarian legislation from England. Acts passed in 1764 had a particularly harsh effect on the previously robust colonial economy. The Sugar Act was in effect a tax cut on easily smuggled molasses, and a new tax on commodities that England more directly controlled trade over. The navy would be used in increased capacity to enforce trade laws and collect duties. Perhaps even more significant than the militarization and expansion of taxes was the Currency Act passed later in the year 1764.
"The colonies suffered a constant shortage of currency with which to conduct trade. There were no gold or silver mines and currency could only be obtained through trade as regulated by Great Britain. Many of the colonies felt no alternative to printing their own paper money in the form of Bills of Credit."
The result was a true free market of currency - each bank competed, exchange rates fluctuated wildly, and merchants were hesitant to accept these notes as payment. Of course, they didn't have 24-hour digital Forex markets, but I'll hold off opinions on the viability of unregulated currency for another time. England's response was to seize control of the colonial money supply - forbidding banks, cities, and colony governments from printing their own. This law, passed so soon after the Sugar Act, started to really bring revolutionary tension inside the colonies to a higher level. American bankers had learned early on that debasing a currency through inflation is a helpful way to pay off perpetual trade deficits - but Britain proved that the buyer of the currency would only take the deal for so long... Following the (first) American Revolution, the "First Bank of the United States" was chartered to pay off collective war debts, and effectively distribute the cost of the revolution proportionately throughout all of the states. Although the bank had vocal and harsh skeptics, it only controlled about 20% of the nation's money supply. Compared to today's central bank, it was nothing. Thomas Jefferson argued vocally against the institution of the bank, mostly citing constitutional concerns and the limitations of government found in the 10th amendment. There was one additional quote that hints at the deeper structural flaw of a central bank in a supposedly free capitalist economy.
"The existing banks will, without a doubt, enter into arrangements for lending their agency, and the more favorable, as there will be a competition among them for it; whereas the bill delivers us up bound to the national bank, who are free to refuse all arrangement, but on their own terms, and the public not free, on such refusal, to employ any other bank" –Thomas Jefferson.Basically, the existing banks will fight over gaining favor with the central bank - rather than improving their performance relative to a free market.
The profit margins associated with collusion would obviously outweigh the potential profits gained from legitimate business. The Second Bank of the United States was passed five years after the first bank's charter expired. An early enemy of central banking, President James Madison, was looking for a way to stabilize the currency in 1816. This bank was also quite temporary - it would only stay in operation until 1833 when President Andrew Jackson would end federal deposits at the institution. The charter expired in 1836 and the private corporation was bankrupt and liquidated by 1841.While the South had been the major opponent of central banking systems, the end of the Civil War allowed for (and also made necessary) the system of national banks that would dominate the next fifty years. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) says that this post-war period of a unified national currency and system of national banks "worked well."  Taxes on state banks were imposed to encourage people to use the national banks - but liquidity problems persisted as the money supply did not match the economic cycles. Overall, the American economy continued to grow faster than Europe, but the period did not bring economic stability by any stretch of the imagination. Several panics and runs on the bank - and it became a fact of life under this system of competing nationalized banks. In 1873, 1893, 1901, and 1907 significant panics caused a series of bank failures. The new system wasn't stable at all, in fact, many suspected it was wrought with fraud and manipulation. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is not shy about attributing the causes of the Panic of 1907 to financial manipulation from the existing banking establishment.
"If Knickerbocker Trust would falter, then Congress and the public would lose faith in all trust companies and banks would stand to gain, the bankers reasoned."
In timing with natural economic cycles, major banks including J.P. Morgan and Chase launched an all-out assault on Heinze's Knickerbocker Trust. Financial institutions on the inside started silently selling off assets in the competitor, and headlines about a few bad loans started making top spots in the newspapers. The run on Knickerbocker turned into a general panic - and the Federal Government would come to the rescue of its privately owned "National Banks.
"During the Panic of 1907, "Depositors 'run' on the Knickerbocker Bank. J.P. Morgan and James Stillman of First National City Bank (Citibank) act as a "central bank," providing liquidity ... [to stop the bank run] President Theodore Roosevelt provides Morgan with $25 million in government funds ... to control the panic. Morgan, acting as a one-man central bank, decides which firms will fail and which firms will survive."
How did JP Morgan get so powerful that the government would provide them with funding to increase their power? They had key influence with positions inside the Administrations. They had senators, congressmen, lobbyists, media moguls all working for them. In 1886, a group of millionaires purchased Jekyll Island and converted it into a winter retreat and hunting ground, the USA's most exclusive club. By 1900, the club's roster represented 1/6th of the world's wealth. Names like Astor, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Pulitzer and Gould filled the club's register. Non- members, regardless of stature, were not allowed. Dignitaries like Winston Churchill and President McKinley were refused admission. In 1908, the year after a national money panic purportedly created by J. P. Morgan, Congress established, in 1908, a National Monetary Authority. In 1910 another, more secretive, group was formed consisting of the chiefs of major corporations and banks in this country. The group left secretly by rail from Hoboken, New Jersey, and traveled anonymously to the hunting lodge on Jekyll Island. In fact, the Clubhouse/hotel on the island has two conference rooms named for the "Federal Reserve." The meeting was so secret that none referred to the other by his last name. Why the need for secrecy? Frank Vanderlip wrote later in the Saturday Evening Post,
"...it would have been fatal to Senator Aldrich's plan to have it known that he was calling on anybody from Wall Street to help him in preparing his bill...I do not feel it is any exaggeration to speak of our secret expedition to Jekyll Island as the occasion of the actual conception of what eventually became the Federal Reserve System."
At Jekyll Island, the true draftsman for the Federal Reserve was Paul Warburg. The plan was simple. The new central bank could not be called a central bank because America did not want one, so it had to be given a deceptive name. Ostensibly, the bank was to be controlled by Congress, but a majority of its members were to be selected by the private banks that would own its stock. To keep the public from thinking that the Federal Reserve would be controlled from New York, a system of twelve regional banks was designed. Given the concentration of money and credit in New York, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York controlled the system, making the regional concept initially nothing but a ruse. The board and chairman were to be selected by the President, but in the words of Colonel Edward House, the board would serve such a term as to "put them out of the power of the President." The power over the creation of money was to be taken from the people and placed in the hands of private bankers who could expand or contract credit as they felt best suited their needs. Why the opposition to a central bank? Americans at the time knew of the destruction to the economy the European central banks had caused to their respective countries and to countries who became their debtors. They saw the large- scale government deficit spending and debt creation that occurred in Europe. But European financial moguls didn't rest until the New World was within their orbit. In 1902, Paul Warburg, a friend and associate of the Rothschilds and an expert on European central banking, came to this country as a partner in Kuhn, Loeb and Company. He married the daughter of Solomon Loeb, one of the founders of the firm. The head of Kuhn, Loeb was Jacob Schiff, whose gift of $20 million in gold to the struggling Russian communists in 1917 no doubt saved their revolution. The Fed controls the banking system in the USA, not the Congress nor the people indirectly (as the Constitution dictates). The U.S. central bank strategy is a product of European banking interests. Government interventionists got their wish in 1913 with the Federal Reserve (and income tax amendment). Just in time, too, because the nation needed a new source of unlimited cash to finance both sides of WW1 and eventually our own entry to the war. After the war, with both sides owing us debt through the federal reserve backed banks, the center of finance moved from London to New York. But did the Federal Reserve reign in the money trusts and interlocking directorates? Not by a long shot. If anything, the Federal Reserve granted new powers to the National Banks by permitting overseas branches and new types of banking services. The greatest gift to the bankers, was a virtually unlimited supply of loans when they experience liquidity problems. From the early 1920s to 1929, the monetary supply expanded at a rapid pace and the nation experienced wild economic growth. Curiously, however, the number of banks started to decline for the first time in American history. Toward the end of the period, speculation and loose money had propelled asset and equity prices to unreal levels. The stock market crashed, and as the banks struggled with liquidity problems, the Federal Reserve actually cut the money supply. Without a doubt, this is the greatest financial panic and economic collapse in American history - and it never could have happened on this scale without the Fed's intervention. The number of banks crashed and a few of the old robber barons' banks managed to swoop in and grab up thousands of competitors for pennies on the dollar. See:
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Forex trade India defined as trading in foreign currency. Investors invest to take advantage of currency trading in the short and medium term. Indian exchanges like NSE, BSE, MCX-SX trade forex and forex trade India is legal, only if it is through registered Indian forex brokers. The main currency pairs are EURINR, USDINR, JPYINR and GBPINR. You can also trade with the help of brokers but they should have membership in mentioned exchanges.
How Does Forex Trading from India Work?
Forex trading is the same as equity trading. In forex trading exchange rate matters but in equity trading rate of shares matters. Further, investors can buy or sell their currency pair as per movement in currencies.
Some Examples To Understand Forex Trade India clearly:
Let’s take the dollar if you want to take the benefit of the growing dollar. You have to buy USDINR contract on the exchange at the present price. If the price of dollar increases then you can sell it to take the profit but if you sell it in decreased value then you lose some of your invested money.
An investor can square off their position whenever they want during the period of the contract. By selling currency future contract investor can short close their position.
The investor can take a similarly short and long position in EURINR, JYPINR or GBPINR.
Foreign currency trading is done with registered Indian brokers. The most common exchanges are the NSE (National Stock Exchange) and MCX-SX (Multi-Commodity Exchange). COMEX is used as regulators at the international level exchange. RBI and SEBI regulate currency market.
Some of the best Forex brokers:
SBI FX Trade
Risk In Forex Trading
Forex trade in India may not suit everyone and carries a high-level risk. Before investing in forex trading you should know your risk-carrying capacity, investment objectives and level of experience. If you are interested in forex trading then you should take advice from a financial advisor.
How Are Currency Prices Determined?
Various political and economic conditions are responsible for the change in currency prices. But, apart from these, international trade, interest rates, political stability and inflation are also responsible for currency prices. Many times governments also participate in the foreign exchange market to affect the value of their currency. They do this by lower or raise the price of their domestic market. These factors are highly responsible for currency prices. Must Read:SMALL FINANCE BANK IN INDIA Therefore if you know your objectives then you can make money by forex trade in India. Some examples of hard currencies are – the Euro, the US Dollar, the Japanese Yen, and the Pound. The central bank of the country like Federal Reserve Bank of US, Reserve Bank of India etc. issues the currency for every country. Some investors have a myth that only the US dollar in the base currency in currency trading. But it is not necessary you can use any currency as the base currency. So the investors who are looking for forex trade India should know their aims and then only invest in this.
[Shibe Market Analysis] Manipulation & the Resilience of Markets
First off, I'm terribly sorry to have essentially disappeared and stopped publishing the Shibe Market Analysis. I've been "undercover", if you will, studying how the market is manipulated by the actor called "Wukong", and other so-called "whales". Here are my findings - Signs of Whale Activity The first signal of whale activity is a sharp increase in the traded volume, typically volumes will spike as much as 10x the normally traded amounts as the whale rapidly floods the market with orders to push the price in a certain direction. Typically this begins by removing a "wall", a large amount of BTC placed as orders at a certain price, which seemingly resists price movement in a direction. The whale often owns the majority of these orders, and by cancelling them causes regular traders to observe that there is suddenly much less resistance to price movement in a certain direction, and this in conjuction with the whale rapidly filling those orders which were not his causes the price to rapidly jump or fall, which in turn triggers "panic buying/selling" on the part of traders watching the price movement and the removal of this wall, which compounds the rapid price movement and causes the market to enter a state of hysteria. A Historic Case The best example of this is on the night of January 20th and early morning January 21st. You can actually see these bars on Dogemonitor. Throughout the day session on january 20th, volumes were noticeably higher, slowly pushing prices upwards. Following this, the first massive price spike occured at 19:00, and BTC was continually pumped into the market to a price of 242 satoshis - this is the effect of the market hysteria caused by those initial large purchases knocking down "sell walls", while simultaneously publicizing the fact that a mysterious chinese investor has come to "pump" doge. Then, an orchestrated effort on their part quickly causes a massive panic selloff, whereupon a few large sell orders "juke" traders into panic selling as they fear the rapid rise will be followed by a rapid fall, and the whale grabs the panic sells as traders panic in a process known as a "shakeout" or "washing", or zhencang. This allows the whale to recapitalize their investment at a lower price, essentially juking traders into selling their assets out of fear, while the whale knows full well when the dust is settled the price will be higher. With regard to the psychological game Wukong plays, he tells those in the IRC to "hold no matter what", serving two purposes - one, it makes sure he remains in control of the bounce back, namely that no one in the IRC "jumps the gun" and pushes prices up before he has a chance to start buying at the rock bottom, and two - those who do fall for his shakeout, despite his warning, are more inclined to trust him and not themselves, as they were just juked out of gains (without realizing it was Wukong who juked them in the first place). Daily Whale Tactics Nevertheless, such a large investment ("pump") on their part is quite expensive, and to recoup and profit from their antics whales have a more insidious and profitable method of profit-generating manipulation than simply "pumping". Studying the chart over the history from January 20th to today, you will notice that within the overall down trend from the high, there are also periodic cycles downwards, where the price holds for some time, followed by upwards, where the price holds for some time. This is how the whale makes money. The process consists of placing a "wall", a large amount of BTC discouraging traders from betting on price movement in that direction, and encouraging greedy traders to bet in the same direction as the wall - e.g. a sell wall at 165 encourages traders to sell at 164, to try and "undercut" the wall. The whale knows this, and happily will buy up all the sell orders coming in at 164, causing the market to "stall", essentially pausing any movement while the whale quietly accumulates doge. Occasionally a whale will allow prices to fall even further, should the selling ramp up, and then move the sell wall down, allowing the whale to continue racking up doge at cheaper and cheaper prices. Once the whale has accumulated a hefty position in doge, he removes the sell wall and simultaneous places large buy orders at prices higher than market, pushing the market up and inciting traders to quickly buy in, in anticipation of a pump. This causes a rapid escalation in prices, and further large buys placed by the whale allow him to influence the other traders to push the market to whatever price target the whale has in mind. At this point, the whale locks in the price by placing the remaining BTC he has as a "buy order" at a price slightly lower than market, encouraging the traders to place buy orders slightly above his wall. The whale slowly sells the doge he bought earlier when prices were lower to this trickle of buyers, and can then continue to repeat this process by using walls to influence the market before rapidly changing the price, all the while extracting smaller traders' capital. This process is akin to how wolves or predatory whales intentionally herd and then trap their prey, and is very much rooted in influencing the psychology of other traders, particularly by spreading disinformation and by taking advantage of the fact that crypto-traders have less experience with valuations based on fundamentals, and are more akin to rely on technical analysis, the information immediately presented before them on cryptsy, and rumors and hearsay in making their trading decisions. It also makes great use of herd mentality and the tendency of inexperienced traders to panic. Whale Signals You may wonder what happens when two whales are present, and how whales are able to coordinate their efforts - I've found that this is done through the chart, and that before a major price movement, a whale will announce their intent to other whales that may be in the market through a high volume bar, much higher volume than those surrounding it, that will rapidly push the price in the intended direction and then bring it back down immediately, which appears on the chart as an "arrow", marked by high volume and a large extruding wick in the intended direction. Should another whale disagree, they will use the same process to signal in the opposite direction, or if they agree will re-signal the same arrow. I am murky on the details, but through this process they reach an agreement and will move the price in the intended direction once all the whales have finished their transactions at the current price. Whales realize it is to their benefit to work together, and so will swallow their pride and allow the market to move against them in the short-term in order to continue the highly profitable "milking" of smaller traders in the long-term. Extreme Price Manipulation In addition to the usage of walls, I have observed a second, more extreme technique used to move the market when the strength of small traders is not enough, which Wukong refers to as "one hand to the other". The process, when intended to push the market up, has the whale place a sell order at a certain price, and simultaneously place a larger buy order at that price, rapidly causing the price to escalate to that price and consuming all sell orders in between, including the sell order placed by the whale. This causes an even more extreme movement of small traders than simply walling, as traders watching the price rapidly flock to the movement caused by the whale, causing an even more extreme price change. Repeated usage of this technique can cause the price to soar or tumble very rapidly, and is possible because it constantly recycles the holdings of BTC and doge in the whale's portfolio. However, there is a limit set by those orders which have to be eaten in order to move the price, and this places a constraint on how far the whale can move the price with their singular portfolio - it is possible that a group of whales combining their portfolio values to move the market can cause stupendous movements, like the one on January 20th - 21st. Notes about walls It is important to remember that the "walls" that are placed can be seen by everyone, and since a whale does not want you to catch onto their activities, the walls are meant to trick you. I have observed that whales actually place very small, typically 1000-10000 doge orders, repeatedly very quickly through the use of automated "bots", programmed using the cryptsy and other exchanges API. The walls are a distraction to allow their true trades to go undetected, and smart shibes will make it a point to discount the information gleaned from analyzing the dealbook. It is much more informative to instead study the actual market order history, as these are the orders than have been placed and can't simply be removed by pressing a button - often times you will find that even though a large sell is in place, the market order history shows that BTC is flowing in to doge - meaning prices will rise shortly. What it means to you These tactics are not reserved to dogecoin, and while doge may be past the point that a single group can manipulate the price, these same tactics will be used in other crypto-markets until exchanges take it upon themselves or governments mandate that the same rules governing forex and futures markets be applied in crypto-markets. Traders should be wary in the mean time. A small trader can still compete in this environment, especially armed with the above knowledge. In the IRC, I noted one specific small trader using the moniker "WhaleWhisperer", who was able to accurately read the whale signals and profit from their manipulation. Nevertheless, constantly watching the market and playing the psychological warfare game of the whales is taxing, and being wrong without solid risk management can rapidly erase value from a trader's portfolio. Traditional advice and strategies of finance are the most solid protective measure a small trader can take against manipulation, namely portfolio diversification (try to hold a good chunk of your portfolio in BTC, perhaps some LTC or other scrypts, and never more than 50% of your crypto net worth in doge, no matter how strongly you believe in it), re-allocating your portfolio after large price movements, and proper risk management on trading (never trade more than 10% of your portfolio value, and you should aim to only actively trade 2% or less). AFK trading, by which I mean deciding on good entry and exit prices beforehand, placing your orders, and then leaving your computer, is also an excellent strategy to avoid the mind games played by whales on tired and impulsive traders glued to their screens. Finally, having a fundamental valuation method allowing you to create your own "fair value" of DOGE is probably the strongest weapon against market manipulation. If your model is sound and correct in the long-run, prices will converge to your forecast, and your mind will be all the more stronger against manipulative tactics because of your deep-seated faith in your model. Put shortly, a fundamentals-based valuation is the defining line between "trading" and "investing". In subsequent articles I will outline how you can construct and use such a fundamentals based model. Happy trading shibes, and I'm glad to be back to this wonderful community. It's truly the community at /dogecoin and the related subs that instills long-lasting value in doge, and I hope that long after we get past market manipulation and have reached the moon that the same supportive community still exists. Disclaimer: I am not psychic and do not actually know where the market is going; I'm pretty sure the market doesn't know where its going either (except TO THE MOON!). Please do not base your trading decisions solely on the above analysis, and never trade more than you're comfortable losing. Finally, please do not hate/sue me if trades don't go your way, but if they do go your way, it was totally because you read this article :) If you're looking to learn how to trade or just want a quick refresher, check out my ongoing series, or if you just want to subscribe to these market analyses check out DogeTrader.
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Net Present Value - NPV, Profitability Index - PI, & Internal Rate of Return - IRR Using Excel
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