Norway’s $810-Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Warns of Stock Market Correction

Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Warns of Stock Market Correction

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, warned that stock market gains may reverse as Europe’s biggest equity investor said it won’t use new inflows to buy more shares. “Our share in the stock market has been stable or falling even though markets are rising, and that means in practice that we’re not using inflows to buy stocks,” Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of Norges Bank Investment Management, said at a press conference today in Oslo. The fund is preparing for a “correction” in stock prices, he said. Read more of this post

Weitz to Yacktman Hold Cash as Managers Find Few Bargains

Weitz to Yacktman Hold Cash as Managers Find Few Bargains

Wally Weitz, the mutual-fund manager who beat 90 percent of rivals in the past five years by buying stocks he deemed cheap, says bargains are so scarce these days that he’s letting his cash holdings swell. “It’s more fun to be finding great new ideas,” Weitz, whose $1.1 billion Weitz Value Fund (WVALX) had 29 percent of assets in cash and Treasury bills as of Sept. 30, said in a telephone interview from Omaha, Nebraska. “But we take what the market gives us, and right now it is not giving us anything.” Read more of this post

Companies rush to build ‘biofactories’ for medicines, flavorings and fuels; Amyris has created 3 milllion new organisms that do not exist in nature

Companies rush to build ‘biofactories’ for medicines, flavorings and fuels

By Ariana Eunjung Cha, Friday, October 25, 8:50 AM

For scientist Jack Newman, creating a new life-form has become as simple as this: He types out a DNA sequence on his laptop. Clicks “send.” And a few yards away in the laboratory, robotic arms mix together some compounds to produce the desired cells. Newman’s biotech company is creating new organisms, most forms of genetically modified yeast, at the dizzying rate of more than 1,500 a day. Some convert sugar into medicines. Others create moisturizers that can be used in cosmetics. And still others make biofuel, a renewable energy source usually made from corn. “You can now build a cell the same way you might build an app for your iPhone,” said Newman, chief science officer of Amyris. Read more of this post

Euro zone suffers from integration fatigue

Euro zone suffers from integration fatigue

7:40am EDT

By Jan Strupczewski and Martin Santa

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone is suffering from integration fatigue and banking union might be the last big push for the foreseeable future, officials in the currency bloc say. After three years of tightening policy cooperation, forced by a sovereign debt crisis, the single currency area may be reaching the limits of how much power governments are willing to cede. Read more of this post

New blockbuster movie shows why Pakistan loves to hate India

New blockbuster movie shows why Pakistan loves to hate India

6:57am EDT

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Militants overrun a Pakistani police academy and kill 100 officers. An Indian spy and her accomplice waltz in a glitzy flat in Islamabad to celebrate the success of their mission. This is a scene from Waar (“Strike”), Pakistan’s first big-budget movie which opened this month to enthusiastic audiences in the nuclear-armed South Asian country of 180 million. Read more of this post

Indonesia Pledges Budget Prudence as Ministers Avoid First Class

Indonesia Pledges Budget Prudence as Ministers Avoid First Class

Indonesia will seek to rein in state spending next year to tackle a record current-account shortfall that has hurt the rupiah. The government is aiming for a budget deficit of 1.69 percent of gross domestic product in 2014, compared with an earlier target of 2.4 percent, Finance Minister Chatib Basri told reporters in Jakarta today after the parliament approved the budget. Authorities accept growth next year will be slower, he said, with the expansion target reduced to 6 percent from 6.4 percent. Read more of this post

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Explains Why We Love Some Companies And Fear Others

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Explains Why We Love Some Companies And Fear Others

MAX NISEN OCT. 24, 2013, 3:33 PM 1,953 1

Amazon has grown rapidly from e-commerce pioneer and bookseller to a behemoth that sells just about anything you can think of. And considering Amazon Web Services, which helps run everything from Netflix to DropBox, there are more services than most people would imagine. According to Brad Stone’s new book “The Everything Store,”  that omnipresence made its CEO Jeff Bezos wonder how Amazon could avoid becoming one of those companies that people hate for its size and power. The company had already been criticized for how it pays sales tax, eBook pricing, certain acquisitions, and ill-thought out marketing efforts, like an aggressive price comparison app. He wanted to know how the company could be “loved, not feared.” Bezos wrote a memo called “Amazon.love,” which Stone was able to obtain, that he distributed to his “S-team” of top executives. In it, he highlighted the fact that some multibillion-dollar companies have managed to remain beloved, or at least thought of as “cool” by customers. Think Apple, Whole Foods, Costco, Nike, and Google. Others get piled on, rather than defended, if things go badly. Think Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, and Wal-Mart. Both sets of companies do very well. But the core of Amazon’s ethos and culture is that the customer always comes first. Because the customer loses trust if they fear that you’re out to take advantage of them, Amazon’s sheer size makes that a worry. Bezos laid out the core differences between the two types of businesses in the memo. It’s a playbook for any business that aspires to be loved, instead of feared. Via “The Everything Store”:

  • Rudeness is not cool.
  • Defeating tiny guys is not cool.
  • Close-following is not cool.
  • Young is cool.
  • Risk taking is cool.
  • Winning is cool.
  • Polite is cool.
  • Defeating bigger, unsympathetic guys is cool.
  • Inventing is cool.
  • Explorers are cool.
  • Conquerors are not cool.
  • Obsessing over competitors is not cool.
  • Empowering others is cool.
  • Capturing all the value only for the company is not cool.
  • Leadership is cool.
  • Conviction is cool.
  • Straightforwardness is cool.
  • Pandering to the crowd is not cool.
  • Hypocrisy is not cool.
  • Authenticity is cool.
  • Thinking big is cool.
  • The unexpected is cool.
  • Missionaries are cool.
  • Mercenaries are not cool.

After ranking companies on those attributes, Bezos concluded that customer focus alone isn’t enough. Being inventive isn’t enough, either. Beloved companies manage to make what he describes as “that pioneering spirit” perceived and felt by their customers. When customers believe the company has a vision of the future that they want to be a part of and trust it can deliver on that vision, then they are more likely to support it.

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