Daily Archives: June 13, 2014

by Henry Foy, ‎Automotive Correspondent

Henry Ford, the grandfather of the car industry and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, its current saviour (or enfant terrible depending on your point of view and stockholding) had similar views on spreading warm and fuzzy love around with rivals.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself,” Ford once said. “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business,” another Ford pronouncement, is certainly a view shared by Musk – who has said making electric cars successful is more important to him than making his company successful.

But Ford would be turning in his Detroit grave at Musk’s latest decision to make all of Tesla’s patents availble, free of cost, to its rivals.

Ford — who ironically broke the famous Selden patent monopoly that allowed the US car industry to get off its feet — loved patents. He racked up more than 150, and liked to be in control of every aspect of his cars. That control has percolated throughout the car industry since, as rivals look to corner emerging technologies.

But what exactly is in the box of secrets that Musk has opened to the world — and to his competitors? Read more

On the back of intervention by central banks the returns across a range of asset classes are the least volatile for nearly a decade.

In particular the so-called Wall Street fear gauge, the Vix index, which attempts to measure volatility in the S&P 500 is hovering around its lowest level since 2007. Shortly after, volatility returned with a vengeance thanks to the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Market volatility is mean reverting, it is more likely to go higher when it is currently low, and it has a tendency to spike dramatically upwards — when markets become volatilie, they become very volatile.

So the lack of volatility is making headlines due to worries about complacency. On Monday a chart showing the Vix over the last ten years was on the front of the print edition of this newspaper.

But what is the Vix actually measuring? Read more