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Hmm, so I had a job interview this Wednesday for a finance job. I’m not entirely sure how well I did, because I mostly answered well but made one or two critical screw-ups. One of which was asking for the wrong person at the front desk. Oops.

Anyway, as always in finance interviews, I was asked a lot of questions about my views on how this stock I mentioned will perform. I think I performed well, but I’m worried I might not have communicated clearly. Sometimes I tend to just throw facts at people loosely arranged, without quite tieing together the logical strands which are seem evident to me. Anyway, one of the questions related to Consolidated Media Holdings, Packer’s company which Kerry Stokes (owner of 7) has been mounting a hasty attack upon. I was asked what I thought would happen. I replied that Stokes had a slight upper hand because he mounted the first attack, and that Packer was on the defensive. I then elaborated by saying that it was difficult to see how Stokes could do anything, given Packer’s tenacity by selling long-held assets to defend his position and the fact the stock market has gone up since Stokes began his assault (making it harder for Stokes to launch a takeover). I then put the view that Stokes would probably just sit there as a silent threat,  earning dividends. It seems like today my view has been validated: Stokes has essentailly called a truce in exchange for two seats on the board, who will get outvoted at every turn. In other words he’s going to sit on the stock and earn a dividend.

I also put forward the view that the current confidence in the Australian economy is overstated and will probably fall. We began the week on Monday with record high levels of business confidence for this year, and also strong consumer confidence numbers. As a result, the Aussie dollar reached almost 90c against the USD in the belief that Australia is amongst the few resilient economies in the world, and the only developed country. Yesterday, the unemployment figures came out and that rocked the boat a bit. The dollar retreated and the stock markets wobbled a bit (though it ultimately ended 1% higher) as a result. The reason? Not that unemployment rose, but that it stayed steady. THe surprise? The number of full time workers fell marginally. It’s also dampened rate rise expectations:

Hmm, I wonder if the fact that I was right gives me brownie points.  I somewhat doubt it given that they’ll have forgotten th specifics of what I said. So my last prediction? The property market will stagnate given that debt constraints prevent people buying, and that the upwards pricing trend has entrenched into people’s minds the idea that prices won’t fall (so sellers will refuse to lower prices, unless selling for time-sensitive reasons like financial distress or to move house).


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