A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web
Academic economist-turned-pundit Noah Smith explores whether the proliferation of ETFs could eventually have disastrous effects similar to mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis,
"A recent study by finance researchers Doron Israeli, Charles Lee and Suhas Sridharan found that being included in an ETF often makes an asset less liquid, and reduces the correlation between its price and its fundamental value. That implies that ETFs make the market more careless -- just as securitization lulled lenders into ignoring the quality of individual mortgages, ETFs might be causing investors to ignore the fundamentals of individual assets. Other academics have focused on the ways passive investing might stifle industry competition."
Mr. Smith goes on to explain why his biggest concerns regarding ETfs revolve around liquidity.
Gadfly's Nir Kaissar notes that stocks are really expensive on trailing earnings, ok on forward price to earnings, making the upcoming path of earnings growth vital to markets.
"The Stumble of Bull Run" – Gadfly
Goldman Sachs research effectively summarizes my feelings on the oil market – where refiner-led inventory draws are only partially offset by production increases (and gasoline demand is key).
"@SBarlow_ROB GS sees $55 WTI ... – (research excerpt) Twitter
"@kxviswan123 If refinery run rate stays this high, severe crude draws will occur. The difference is 900K/day in May between 2016 and 2017." – (chart) Twitter
"Oil Drops on U.S. Gasoline Supply Gain, Nigeria Output Recovery" – Bloomberg
Sony Corp. is part of a video game theme that has been hugely lucrative for other companies in the sector. One analyst thinks Sony is about to join the party.
"Undervalued Sony Poised to Rise 39%, Oasis's Fischer Says" – Bloomberg
One of America's top business schools turns its attention to Canada's housing market.
"Is Canada on the Brink of a Housing Bubble?" – Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
From the category of 'Things I agree with entirely': "Reality Check: Companies Need to Invest in Wages and Training" – Strategy + Business
Tweet of the Day: "@pradeeepk China marginal debt to GDP chart has gone exponential" – (chart) Twitter
Diversion: "Why the 'End of TV' Is Great for Facebook and Google" – The Atlantic (Derek Thompson is my pick as best writer about modern media, for what that's worth)