FEG's Research Review brings you the monthly economic and market commentary, as well as an in-depth focus on a current topic of significance.
February 28, 2015
Bob Harris, Bill Murray’s character in the 2003 cult classic Lost in Translation, is an aging American action movie star who travels to Tokyo to film an advertisement for Suntory whiskey. In the above exchange, the director of the commercial gives a long and impassionate speech in Japanese, which is invariably followed by brief and incomplete translations from the interpreter. In several scenes throughout the movie, Bob frequently, and comically, becomes lost in the ways of Japan. Late last year, two FEG research team members took an eleven-day trip to Asia, spending several days in Tokyo. English is widely spoken in the former British colonies of Hong Kong and Singapore, and traveling there was relatively straightforward. In Tokyo, the experience was different and much more challenging. The trip was productive and insightful, but several times during our travels, we certainly empathized with Bob Harris.
FEG's Capital Quarterly Review delves into alternative investments such as natural resources, private equity, and private real estate.
December 31, 2014
It is that time of year when every publication takes stock of the old and prognosticates on the new. I confess to being jealous of the apparent certainty expressed by the newsstand publications. With so much complexity, so many variables, how do they know? I am comforted to be in good company. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin wrote in his book, In an Uncertain World, “Some people are more certain of everything than I am of anything.” Contemplating the unknown or unknowable is a worthwhile exercise when investing, although perhaps the antithesis to selling headlines. So, what went right and what went wrong in 2014? Events impacting the private capital markets in 2014 generally fell in line with expectations—until the shock in oil prices late in the year. Liquidity remained plentiful, public equity returns attractive, and global interest rates remarkably low.