11 October 2016: In defense of La Défense

la-defense-tdgAlthough the actual Brexit is still almost three years away, a lot of side activities related to the Brexit will take place as early as next year. Companies which have their European headquarters in London, will have to decide whether they will stay, go or open a second European headquarters within the European Union. For financial institutions, the decision to relocate to Frankfurt (Germany) looks like a no-brainer. Valérie Pécresse, présidente de la Région Île-de-France (the boss of greater Paris), is not ready to accept that and sent 4,000 UK-based companies a letter that opened with “Welcome to Paris Region” the day after the Brexit referendum. She would very much like it if innovative fintech companies were willing to find their way to La Défense, the futuristic looking business district of Paris. However, the position of Paris is not an easy one in this financial beauty contest: France is notorious for its bureaucracy and corporate taxes are at a higher level than the European average. Eurostar, a direct train connection from Paris to London, offers only limited solace. Constructors in Frankfurt can start warming up their concrete mixers…

white-chapel-logo-smallClinton and oil carried the markets higher yesterday. All major US indices gained around 0.5%. Volatility eased with the VIX closing 0.7% lower and our UVXY ETFs losing more than 4%. Return for the year dropped to just below 180%. Return for the quarter stands at -8.7%. Despite the good mood among investors, White Chapel sticks with its advice to hold securities which cherish volatility. So, the model did not give a signal at the end of yesterday’s trading session.

Accumulated capital at close of previous trading day

Return since start

Return this year

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Our initial capital was $10,000 at 1 January 2016. Our average Annual Return is 282%.

silhouetten tdgLast weekend, René and Tim went to a Japanese movie festival in Rotterdam, Camera Japan. It is one of the biggest movie festivals in Europe which feature movies from Japan. Before they arrived at the festival venue, René and Tim had a 10 kilometers walk from a Park + Ride facility in Rhoon to the city center of Rotterdam. Just before they arrived at the festival location, they had a look at the rapidly developing skyline at what is called the Kop van Zuid (the Southbank of the River Maas). In the middle of the picture below, The Rotterdam can be seen, a skyscraper designed by the famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.  From a distance, it looks like just another skyscraper, but the closer you get, the more you notice that all kinds of movements are going on. The 44-story building appears to consist of huge building blocks that are not stacked neatly onto one another. The result is a very dynamic building. It is not only dynamic from the outside, but also from the inside. The building combines a lot of different functions: restaurants, parking garages, apartments, offices and hotels.
The Rotterdam is situated on the north side of the Rijnhaven (Rhine port). On the south side of this port, some old warehouses can be found, which are now in use as creative hot spots and food courts. One of the warehouses features an apparently dislocated block at the top of the building. Tim wondered whether or not it had been an inspiration for the design of The Rotterdam.