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Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson anchored several business programs at Bloomberg Television over five years, interviewing CEOs, heads of state, and Nobel laureates. His daily video investment blog, Insight and Action was sponsored by a major U.S. lender. Previously he managed global risk assets for ING Furman Selz and Louis Dreyfus, trading oil futures, listed equities and equity options. Adam began his career at Merrill Lynch with a degree in economics at Princeton.


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Copper, Cars & Lily Pads

Who’s Most Levered to Growth

  • Copper demand correlates closely with global population growth and industrial expansion
  • Electric vehicles (EV) consume significantly more copper than internal combustion engines
  • EV sales cross an important threshold in the U.S. as a percentage of total light vehicle sales
  • Even a modest 4% growth in global copper demand could create a supply deficit as early as 2018

Best-selling Author & Futurist Jack Ulrich likes to explain the concept of exponential growth using lily pads. At a recent conference I attended, he asked: If one lily pad covered one one-billionth of a pond on Day One, and lily pads replicated every night –so on Day 2 there’d be 2, and on Day 3 there’d be 4– what percentage of the pond would be covered by lily pads on Day 20? Seeing him ask the question to a room full of analysts and portfolio managers is priceless. First, because they clearly think they should know the answer, and second because they all start banging on their iPhone calculators. Suffice to say lily pads would cover 1% of the pond on Day 20… and 100% by Day 30. THAT’s exponential growth, and it’s an important concept for those who’ve noticed electric vehicles (EV) just crossed the 1% threshold of total cars sold in the U.S. If you’re kicking yourself for not having bought Tesla (TSLA) two years ago, don’t worry. The game has only just begun, and there are plenty of assets left to buy… like all the copper that goes into those new Teslas, and Volts and BMer i8s. With copper still half its 2011 high, it’s time to think lily pads.


April 22, 2017

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Risk Assets Say BUY

Insight & Action Revisited

  • Equity indicies remain resilient as no fewer than 18 geo-political challenges fail to spark declines
  • U.S. 10-year Treasury yields rally 40 basis points for an eighth time in three years
  • CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) futures invert amid stress yet remain low in absolute terms
  • Gold fails to penetrate short-term resistance and long-term downtrend

He ranked #1 for 16 years… the Most Watch Man on Cable TV… but not anymore. The swift decision by FOX founder Rupert Murdoch to fire Bill O’Reilly on allegations of harassment was the right thing to do, and FOX will continue to dominate. True, the mood backstage was palpably sober last Thursday as I waited to join Trish Regan on her top-rated program at 2pm, but the winds of change blow fast and furious in media. Weekend co-anchor Tucker Carlson replaced unstoppable Megyn Kelly and ratings rose. Now the wildly popular Five shifts to 9pm and Tucker becomes Bill at 8… Greta van Who? In New York the show must go on, and in London it gets bigger. Mr. Murdoch aims to boost FOX earnings 12% by acquiring the 61% of Sky Broadcasting he doesn’t already own, which is ultimately my point. FOX is bigger than a man, and its impact is growing. FOX is also cheap, down 5% this month and well below it’s historic earnings multiple. I enjoyed O’Reilly, but I prefer what I’m getting: Value and Growth.


April 22, 2017

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NO’Reilly… No Problem

Growth & Value at FOX

  • Bill O’Reilly generated $200M annually but accounted for less than 1% of total revenue at FOX
  • FOX earnings are still on track to post a second consecutive annual increase of 5%
  • The pending acquisition of Sky PLC by FOX could boost pro forma earnings by 12%
  • FOX currently trades at a discount to peers as well as its own historic valuation

He ranked #1 for 16 years… the Most Watch Man on Cable TV… but not anymore. The swift decision by FOX founder Rupert Murdoch to fire Bill O’Reilly on allegations of harassment was the right thing to do, and FOX will continue to dominate. True, the mood backstage was palpably sober last Thursday as I waited to join Trish Regan on her top-rated program at 2pm, but the winds of change blow fast and furious in media. Weekend co-anchor Tucker Carlson replaced unstoppable Megyn Kelly and ratings rose. Now the wildly popular Five shifts to 9pm and Tucker becomes Bill at 8… Greta van Who? In New York the show must go on, and in London it gets bigger. Mr. Murdoch aims to boost FOX earnings 12% by acquiring the 61% of Sky Broadcasting he doesn’t already own, which is ultimately my point. FOX is bigger than a man, and its impact is growing. FOX is also cheap, down 5% this month and well below it’s historic earnings multiple. I enjoyed O’Reilly, but I prefer what I’m getting: Value and Growth.


April 22, 2017

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13

As in Mattel reports Barbie sales fall 13% during the holidays, resulting in a substantial loss for the quarter and a 10% decline for the stock.
#BarbieApp?

49

As in Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov wants to sell 49% of his last place Brooklyn Nets basketball franchise. No word on what a 20 and 62 team should cost.
#ValueTrap

13,000,000,000,000

As in the combined balance sheets of the Fed, ECB and BoJ total $13T, which may explain why Janet Yellen has recently suggested balance sheet runoff might have more impact than 25 basis point rate hikes.
#UncharteredTerritory 

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“Providing ongoing, high-quality feedback is at the heart of our culture, teamwork and excellence.”
–Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein on the bank’s new real-time performance reviews for employees at all levels, encouraged 24/7 and 360 degrees.

#BackStabbingNightmare

“We hope the extended parental leave benefits will further improve work-life balance for our employees at such a major development in their lives.”
–Microsoft India’s HR Head Ira Gupta announcing a host of flexible work/life balance initiatives

#Progress

“The President wants to make clear to the American people we are going to fix the tax code.”
–Treasury Secretary Mnuchin ahead of a promised “major” tax plan announcement by April 30.
#ThisWillTakeALoooooooongTime