April 14 2023 – Explorations & Discoveries

“Nothing is more disconcerting to the professionals than to have an amateur victim laugh at the outcome.”
~Eric Berne

Unexpected Articles from this Week 

HSBC has acquired the UK arm of Silicon Valley Bank, securing the deposits of thousands of British tech firms. This acquisition has ended the nightmare thousands of tech firms had been experiencing, and customers’ money is safe and secure. The acquisition strengthens HSBC’s commercial banking franchise and enhances its ability to serve innovative and fast-growing firms in the UK and internationally. Banks stocks dropped after the announcement, but the UK Financial Minister reassured investors that the UK banking system is secure and well-capitalized. Read more here.

There’s a recent increase of real estate investors across the US. Investor purchases have grown from 15-16% in 2012 to 24% in 2021 and 28% in 2022. Investors are taking advantage of the trillions of dollars sloshing around in the economy and real estate is seen as a good investment. This has caused a significant increase in housing prices and makes it difficult for individuals to buy a home. Legislators have begun to introduce bills to limit the amount of homes investment companies can purchase, but the issue is nuanced and there are benefits to having institutional investors in the market. Read more here. 

A Columbia University study has found that air pollution is causing increased bone damage in postmenopausal women, doubling the annual rate of bone mineral density reduction that age brings. Nitrogen oxides are a major contributor to this damage, and the lumbar spine is the most susceptible site. If air pollution exposure is improved, it could reduce the risk of fractures and health costs associated with osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Further research is needed to determine if certain individuals are at higher risk of damage from air pollution. Read more here.

In the first quarter of 2023, Dallas-Fort Worth homebuilders started construction on 9,691 homes, down 39% from the same period in 2022. This resulted in an annual start rate of 42,422 housing starts, a 28% decline year-over-year. Despite this, builders reported an increase in traffic and sales, likely due to discounts and mortgage rate buy-downs being offered. Builders are also facing new challenges with the availability of credit to private homebuilders and lot developers. Vacant lot supply is now at equilibrium, with two years of supply considered healthy. The existing home market is also muted, with 15,753 listings representing a 1.98-month supply. Read more here.

What I am reading

Headed for the Tail (Article)

Unknown Market Wizards (Book)

Strategy Rules (Book)

If you are looking for an investment in your startup, please tell me about your project.

As always – I would enjoy hearing from you (what you found interesting, the format of this email, notes from your own explorations, etc.), feel free to just respond to this email.  

Until next week, 
Ian Eliason