Market Round Up: Imran Khan’s sticky Pakistan wicket, Tech stocks’ rout, Boring Billionaires
1. Imran Kan’s sticky wicket
If there is one thing to learn from cricket it is that perseverance pays off. And former Pakistan cricket captain and 1996 Wold Cup winner, Imran Khan, has just proved it.
In what was once described by Time magazine as the toughest and most dangerous job on the planet, it has taken Imran Khan 22 years to reach his second captaincy – this time as prime minister. If all goes according to plan, he will captain a country on the brink of economic failure afters 70 years of corruption.
Whilst doubters say his alliance with hard right conservatives, including the Taliban, does nothing more than further strengthen the power of the military families, others hope he will lead by example and offer his country its first and only chance of a social and economic resurrection. After all, Imran Khan has already proved to be a good role model by the fact that he’s the first leader to have made his fortunes abroad while keeping his money in Pakistan. That’s the nation’s challenge. Trust in itself so that the money flight can be reversed.
Related: INVSTR TOPICS: EMERGING MARKETS
2. Tech stocks take a tumble
Wall Street took a tumble yesterday with the Nasdaq tech exchange dropping to its lowest close in a month. Top of the butchers bill were the so-called FAANG companies, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google.
All the benchmark sectors were down, but the tech sector suffered the most, theoretically pushing some of them into bear market territory. The question is whether this negative sentiment will become a self-sustaining spiral or just a summer vac price correction.
The fact is there are doubts been sown into the market; primarily around the impact of trade wars, but also the sustainability of tech company user numbers like Facebook. And there is nothing worse than uncertainty for the market. It makes investors risk averse as they head for the safe-haven hill tops. Most hope for a quiet summer holiday season. This one may see a few more heatwaves and thunder storms before the end.
3. Oh so boring billionaire
Let’s be a little more precise. Why are tech billionaires so boring? That’s the question raised by Bloomberg as it recently scrutinised its ‘Bloomberg Billionaires Index’.
In its 500 top rich-list, Bloomberg notes that 64 of them made their fortunes through technology. Besides those who just inherited their fortunes, it is the industry sector with the most rich kids. In fact, this year alone, tech has created 11 more billionaires. But, it notes, there’s something lacking about these self-made men. Yes. They are all men!
Earlier generations of fortunate fortune winners generally had interesting backstories of struggle, risk taking and eventual gargantuan success. Today’s tech billionaires seem to share the same banal upbringing: an upper middle-class childhood, early access to a computer and an elite education – even if some of them dropped out of college. Does this mean the days of plucky lower-class strivers who succeeded through honesty and hard work are over?
In the era of the tech nerd, someone from a poorer background may find it tougher to emulate the brilliance of a Zuckerberg, Musk, Bezos or Dorsey. But they can still emulate the hard graft of rag-to-riches successes like Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein who was brought up in Brooklyn housing projects. Sadly, we are more fascinated by the stories of those who made it big and not on the fact that as the uber-rich get richer, they are pulling up the drawbridge for others to be wealthy, or at least comfortably off. But at least the rest of us can shrug our shoulders at the inequality of opportunity and look on the the brighter side of life – or try to change it!
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