MISSION INTANGIBLE

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MISSION:INTANGIBLE, the blog of the Intangible Asset Finance Society, offers critical comments on intangible asset, corporate reputation, and finance; supplemented by quantitative reputation metrics. Intangible assets include business processes, patents, trademarks; reputations for ethics and integrity; quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience; and comprise 70% of the average company's value. MISSION:INTANGIBLE is a registered trademark of the Intangible Asset Finance Society.

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Bitcoin: The ultimate intangible asset - 18 Apr 10h00 EST Mission Intangible Monthly Briefing

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Briefing Friday 18 April at 10h00 ET

Program: Bitcoin: The Ultimate Intangible Asset


As described by CNN's Money, "Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks!" Is this a net benefit?

Tyler Winklevoss, one of the victim/villians at the founding of Facebook as portrayed in the movie, Social Network, and a Bitcoin enthusiast explains, “… it’s a transaction free, borderless global payments system…its intrinsic value is that it takes all those costs out of the legacy system we’ve known for so long.” Free is the upside of anarchy. The FBI has raised concerns about the use of virtual currencies in illegal marketplaces. A major Bitcoin exchange, Mt.Gox, collapsed after it was (virtually) robbed. And the IRS is treating the virtual currency as a taxable property.

Joining the program to explore this intangible asset/currency are Vance Crowe, Founder, Articulate Ventures; and Paul Liebman, Chief Compliance Officer, University of Texas, and also a member of the Society's Reputation Leadership Council. Jonathan Salem Baskin,  Managing Director of Consensiv, moderates. Learn more.

Screw Up, Cough Up

C. HUYGENS - Monday, April 07, 2014
When the big banks screwed up, taxpayers felt the pain. Much was made of the observation that those who could, or should, have seen the disaster coming were financially rewarded in the interregnum. There is no monopoly of socializing risk. The New York Times observed over the weekend that "While shareholders of G.M. will shoulder the costs of fines, settlements and the loss of trust arising from the mess, the executives responsible for monitoring internal risks like these are unlikely to be held to account by returning past pay."

The word is clawback. Two years ago, as the crisis of the London Whale was engulfing JPMorgan Chase, Bloomberg reported "that “New York City Comptroller John Liu said that JPMorgan should tell shareholders it will ‘aggressively claw back every single dollar possible from the executives responsible for the $2 billion loss.’” Huygens observed that employees subject to the clawback would probably have other opinions.

Fast forward, and it is deja vu all over again-but different. In additional to financial shenannigans, Scott M. Stringer, the current New York City comptroller, who oversees five municipal employee pension funds with assets of $140 billion, has successfully negotiated expanded thresholds for clawbacks at five companies this year including both banks and non-banks: Allergan, Halliburton, Northrop Grumman, PNC Financial and United Technologies.

According to the New York Times, "Under the agreements, pay can be retrieved from a wider array of senior executives than is typical. And recoveries can be sought not only for intentional misconduct and gross negligence, but also for violations of law or company policies that cause significant financial or reputational harm to the institution." Failures in governance, controls, and risk management are actionable causes.

Huygens has often suggested that reputational value metrics, such as those published by Consensiv,  could be useful tools for managing reputation. The New York City comptrollers have identified another application: measuring loss to trigger punishment.

Read more.

RepuStars 2014 April 4

C. HUYGENS - Saturday, April 05, 2014

Weekly Reputation Index Metrics


At the close of trading April 4, 2014, REPUVART and REPUVAR stood at 3582.18 and 2991.11 respectively. Over the past four weeks, the former has changed by 0.41%, while the latter has changed by 0.29%. The benchmark S&P500 Composite Index stood at 1624.53 (31 Dec 2001=1000) and has changed over the past four weeks by -0.69%. The current calendar year spread between REPUVAR and the S&P500 is -2.85%.

Over the trailing twelve months, REPUVART and REPUVAR have, respectively, changed by 11.57% and 8.55% respectively; the S&P500 Composite Index has changed by 19.56%. The trailing 12-month spread between REPUVAR and the S&P500 is -11.01%.

Over the trailing 36 months, the REPUVART and REPUVAR have changed by 33.11% and 26.45% respectively; the S&P 500 Composite Index has changed by 39.96%.

The 4-week, trailing 12-month, and trailing 36-month returns for REPUSPX are 1.77%, 23.51%, and 84.51% respectively. The trailing 12-month spread between REPUSPX and the S&P500 is 3.95%.

The spreads between the S&P500-only index informed by reputation metrics, REPUSPX, and the broad market index informed by reputation metrics, REPUVAR, for the calendar year and for the trailing twelve months respectively are 0.32% and 14.96%.

Other interval changes in the magnitude of the indices are shown in the tables and charts below.

Analysis

If not popping, the bubble is at least hissing. Time reports that the NASDAQ composite index, "which is down 1.2 percent in 2014 after two weeks of losses, fell 2.6 percent to 4,127.73, its largest one-day plunge since June 2012. Other indices also dropped Friday, with the S&P 500 down 1.25 percent the Dow Jones down nearly 1 percent.

The market's loss these trailing four weeks is not being shared by the reputation-linked indexes. After one quarter, the greatest gains in the RepuStars Variety portfolio for 2014 year are being reported by Cavium (CAVM), which holds on to first place with returns of 20.99%. Veolia Environmental SA (VE) moves up to second place with Napoleonic returns of 18.12% year to date. Weatherford Intl Ltd slips to third with returns of 18.00%. These are three of the 41 firms identified by the RepuStars Variety algorithm at the start of 2014 as value opportunities.

As for those whose reputational value may have been overestimated, Pharmacyclics (PCYC) is in the cellar with returns of -26.44, Rent-A-Center (RCII) slips back to -17.08% for the year, and Mobile Telesystems (MBT) moves down with returns of -13.78%.

Turning to RepuSPX whose constituents are limited to the S&P500 members, the top three performers in a portfolio of 35 names are Garmin (GRMN) at 19.40%, Entergy Corp (ETR) at 12.53% and Ameren (AEE) at 11.69%.

Side Note: A description of the portfolio constituents and historical returns data from December 31, 2001 can be obtained on request from Technology Option Capital, its manager. Click Here.

Background

The RepuStars® Variety Corporate Reputation Index calculated by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes is the first-ever composite equity index based on a quantitative value strategy informed by the Steel City Re Reputational Value Metrics. The metrics comprise non-financial indicators of reputational value (RVM) and ranking (CRR). These are the same metrics that power the reputation controls provided by Consensiv, and the league table of reputational value, the Consensiv 50,  published periodically, and most recently January 1, 2014, by CFO.com.

The RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Index has two versions: a total returns index and a price index, whose ticker symbols are, respectively, REPUVART and REPUVAR.  Click on the ticker names for real time quotes.

The RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Index tracks up to 57 company stocks that appear to be underpriced relative to  Steel City Re’s proprietary Reputational Value Metrics™, which track 7400 companies weekly. The principles behind measuring reputational value are described in the book, Reputation, Stock Price, and You: Why the market rewards some companies and punishes others (2012, Apress).

The RepuStars indices are reconstituted annually in the first week of January and posted by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes in the third week. The Indices were last reconstituted 18 Jan 2014.

REPUSPX  is a pocket index with portfolio constituents being selected algorithmically by the same criteria as the constituents for REPUVAR and REPUVART, except that the field of eligible companies is limited to constituents of the S&P500 composite equity index.

The strategy used to pick the constituent members of REPUSPX, REPUVAR and REPUVART is discussed in the book, Reputation, Stock Price and You: Why the market rewards some companies and punishes others (Apress, 2012). (Link below)

Reputation, Risk and Finance

Reputation management through superior control of a company's intangible assets may be one of the best paths to value creation today. If it is not on your agenda, perhaps it should be. Here are several things you can do right now to start creating value for your organization:

1. Become better informed. Participate in our regular Mission Intangible Monthly Briefings held on the second Friday of every month, read the book, Reputation, Stock Price and You: Why the market rewards some companies and punishes others (2012)  or its predecessor, Mission: Intangible. Managing risk and reputation to create enterprise value (2010), available at the IAFS Store, specialty finance sector retailers, or other leading online book retailers
2. Become a member of the Intangible Asset Finance Society and engage.
3. Join our community on Linked-In and stay in the information flow.

Notices

S&P Dow Jones Indices is a registered trademark of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a part of McGraw Hill Financial; RepuStars and Steel City Re” are registered trademarks of C. Huygens & Co. LLC. The method underpinning the RepuStars Variety indexes is subject to a pending patent assigned to C. Huygens & Co. LLC. S&P McGraw Hill Financial and its affiliate (S&P Dow Jones Indices) makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the ability of any index to accurately represent the asset class or market sector that it purports to represent and McGraw Hill Financial shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of any index or the data included therein. Past performance of an index is not an indication of future results. All information provided by S&P Dow Jones Indices is general in nature and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group of persons. S&P Dow Jones Indices receives compensation in connection with licensing its indices to third parties. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Exposure to an asset class represented by an index is available through investable instruments offered by third parties that are based on that index. S&P Dow Jones Indices does not sponsor, endorse, sell, promote or manage any investment fund or other investment vehicle that seeks to provide an investment return based on the performance of any Index. Investment products based on the RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Indexes are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC, or their respective affiliates and none of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC and their respective affiliates make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such products. Inclusion of a company in any of the indexes in this piece does not in any way reflect an opinion of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC or any of their respective affiliates on the investment merits of such company. None of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC or any of their respective affiliates is providing investment advice in connection with these indexes.

Brazil: The cost of a bad reputation

C. HUYGENS - Friday, April 04, 2014
The central bank, which does not enjoy formal independence in Brazil, has increased the interest rate by 375 basis points since April 2013. The most recent increase this past Wednesday, ranks Brazil at the top of the league table for the most rate rises globally over the past year, according to Bloomberg data.

Reputation is a reflection of governance, controls and risk management. Weak governance comes at a cost. The Financial Times reports that "Brazil has been under pressure to regain the trust of the market. In March, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s credit rating to BBB-, one notch above junk status, blaming several factors including the economic team’s lack of credibility."

Brand v. Reputation: Auto repair edition

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, April 03, 2014
Tuffy, a brand of auto-repair franchises, acquired a terrible reputation affirmed when its local franchise owner was arrested on felony charges for stealing from customers. A new owner bought the brand. Then he had to rebuild its reputation.

Read more.

Planning to attend RIMS 2014 Denver 29 April? Come learn more on enterprise reputation risk.

Brand v. Reputation: CSI edition

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, April 02, 2014
A buyer of illicit drugs with a reputation for toughness meets stakeholder expectations by stabbing repeatedly a dealer who failed to honor his commitment to sell. Not to do so would create reputation risk and in certain markets, reputation risk can be costly, indeed.

Read more.


Planning to attend RIMS 2014 Denver 29 April? Come learn more on enterprise reputation risk.

Brand v. Reputation: Nissan edition

C. HUYGENS - Tuesday, April 01, 2014
British car buyers would rather buy Japanese-made Japanese branded cars than British-made Japanese branded cars. As the Consensiv blog explains, it was the reputation of Japanese workmanship and quality that sold the cars, not the brand.

Read more.


Planning to attend RIMS 2014 Denver 29 April? Come learn more on enterprise reputation risk.

JPMorgan Chase: You're doing it wrong

C. HUYGENS - Monday, March 31, 2014
"Doing it," a double entendre used extensively in the arts, rarely raises an eyebrow nowdays. But when used in banking?

Last week, start-up condom company Lovability learned that Chase Paymentech, an operating company of JP Morgan Chase, would not handle its credit card transactions. Lovability’s founder, Tiffany Gaines, who started the company as a way to discreetly sell condoms to women, told the Huffington Post that a representative told her on the phone that they would not work with her because doing so posed a “reputation risk” to the company.

The financial sector is under orders from the Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC) to manage financial risk where "reputation risk" is a named component. But reputation risk, in this context, is a risk of negative future expectations -- which in the financial sector, means liquidity risk. Confounding reputation risk with social concepts such as likability and cultural acceptability, as Jonathan Salem Baskin wrote in Forbes,  is simply "doing it" wrong.

Planning to attend RIMS 2014 Denver 29 April? Come learn more on enterprise reputation risk.

Reputation Value: Sovereign nation edition

C. HUYGENS - Sunday, March 30, 2014
Recently, Huygens has shared stories on reputation value associated with the behavior of sovereign states (Illinois) and local school districts (Texas). Today, completing the Rule of Three, sovereign nations (Brazil).

Reputation is an odd intangible asset. By itself, it is nothing more than an expectation of behavior. Its value depends on the action or inaction it elicits from stakeholders. Capital markets capture some of this forward-looking expectation of stakeholder behavior. Lest this read like the opening paragraph of a PhD dissertation in Behavioral Economics, consider this report from Reuters this past Thursday, 27 March 2014.

Brazil's currency and benchmark stock index skyrocketed on Thursday after a poll showed a decline in President Dilma Rousseff's approval rating, fueling investor optimism that the nation's economic policies could take a market-friendly turn.

Thiago Montenegro, a trader at Quantitas Asset Management in Porto Alegre, Brazil, explained the market behavior to Reuters:

Any change in any percentage point that points to the possibility of the (Rousseff) government not being re-elected helps these shares. The market is starting from the premise that the state firms couldn't possibly be treated any worse.

For followers of Huygens and this blog, the above is crystal. If expectations are for rock bottom behaviors, and stakeholders are favorably surprised with news suggesting their expectations have been excessively pessimistic, the revised expectations will raise values. It is a form of insight not unlike that developed by Mike Milken years ago on bond performance. AAA bonds can only disappoint. BBB bonds have the potential to surprise.

Bond investors hate surprises. Equity investors live for them. When stakeholder expectations signal value, and equity investors have not come around to share that expectation, there is equity value to be discovered. The potential for discovery is the theory behind the design of the reputation index-linked portfolios, RepuStars and RepuSPX.

RepuStars 2014 March 28

C. HUYGENS - Saturday, March 29, 2014

Weekly Reputation Index Metrics


At the close of trading March 28, 2014, REPUVART and REPUVAR stood at 3538.03 and 2955.44 respectively. Over the past four weeks, the former has changed by 0.41%, while the latter has changed by 0.31%. The benchmark S&P500 Composite Index stood at 1618.02 (31 Dec 2001=1000) and has changed over the past four weeks by -0.10%. The current calendar year spread between REPUVAR and the S&P500 is -3.62%.

Over the trailing twelve months, REPUVART and REPUVAR have, respectively, changed by 8.13% and 5.77% respectively; the S&P500 Composite Index has changed by 18.38%. The trailing 12-month spread between REPUVAR and the S&P500 is -12.61%.

Over the trailing 36 months, the REPUVART and REPUVAR have changed by 34.98% and 28.26% respectively; the S&P 500 Composite Index has changed by 40.79%.

The 4-week, trailing 12-month, and trailing 36-month returns for REPUSPX are -0.35%, 21.30%, and 83.38% respectively. The trailing 12-month spread between REPUSPX and the S&P500 is 2.92%.

The spreads between the S&P500-only index informed by reputation metrics, REPUSPX, and the broad market index informed by reputation metrics, REPUVAR, for the calendar year and for the trailing twelve months respectively are -0.76% and 15.54%.

Other interval changes in the magnitude of the indices are shown in the tables and charts below.

Analysis

Consumer behaviors drive the lion’s share of the economy. Consumer expectations which shape behaviors are therefor very important for prognostication.

Politico, the business and politics-centered news journal, reported yesterday that the real state of the consumer is not very good, notwithstanding what appear at first blush to be cheery numbers from the Conference Board.

At first glance, it’s hard to tell from recent data just how people feel about their economic prospects. On the one hand, the Conference Board this week reported that its index of consumer confidence rose to 82.3 in March, the highest level since January of 2008. Happy days are here again, right? On the other hand, Gallup recently found that just 19% of Americans rate current U.S. economic conditions as excellent or good, while 34% say they are poor. Gallup also found that 44% say the economy is getting better while 51% say it is getting worse. Sounds pretty bad. And it is.

Read more from Politico.

The rising tide that has floated all ships, or at least the index-associated securities, for the past 18 months is about to recede. More rational expectations will prevail. For now, however, the fun continues.

The greatest gains in the RepuStars Variety portfolio for 2014 year are being reported by Cavium (CAVM), which holds on to first place with returns of 18.89%. Weatherford Intl Ltd leaps up to second with returns of 18.34%. Veolia Environmental SA (VE) is in third place with Yankee Doodle returns of 17.76% year to date. These are three of the 41 firms identified by the RepuStars Variety algorithm at the start of 2014 as value opportunities.

As for those whose reputational value may have been overestimated, Pharmacyclics (PCYC) crashes into the cellar with returns of -25.67, Staples (SPLS) holds with returns of -18.14%, and Rent-A-Center (RCII) is up 2% to -16.42% for the year.

Turning to RepuSPX whose constituents are limited to the S&P500 members, the top three performers in a portfolio of 35 names are Garmin (GRMN) at 19.10%, Ameren (AEE) at 12.80%, and PPL Corporation (PPL) at 10.45%.

Side Note: A description of the portfolio constituents and historical returns data from December 31, 2001 can be obtained on request from Technology Option Capital, its manager. Click Here.

Background

The RepuStars® Variety Corporate Reputation Index calculated by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes is the first-ever composite equity index based on a quantitative value strategy informed by the Steel City Re Reputational Value Metrics. The metrics comprise non-financial indicators of reputational value (RVM) and ranking (CRR). These are the same metrics that power the reputation controls provided by Consensiv, and the league table of reputational value, the Consensiv 50,  published periodically, and most recently January 1, 2014, by CFO.com.

The RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Index has two versions: a total returns index and a price index, whose ticker symbols are, respectively, REPUVART and REPUVAR.  Click on the ticker names for real time quotes.

The RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Index tracks up to 57 company stocks that appear to be underpriced relative to  Steel City Re’s proprietary Reputational Value Metrics™, which track 7400 companies weekly. The principles behind measuring reputational value are described in the book, Reputation, Stock Price, and You: Why the market rewards some companies and punishes others (2012, Apress).

The RepuStars indices are reconstituted annually in the first week of January and posted by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes in the third week. The Indices were last reconstituted 18 Jan 2014.

REPUSPX  is a pocket index with portfolio constituents being selected algorithmically by the same criteria as the constituents for REPUVAR and REPUVART, except that the field of eligible companies is limited to constituents of the S&P500 composite equity index.

The strategy used to pick the constituent members of REPUSPX, REPUVAR and REPUVART is discussed in the book, Reputation, Stock Price and You: Why the market rewards some companies and punishes others (Apress, 2012). (Link below)

Reputation, Risk and Finance

Reputation management through superior control of a company's intangible assets may be one of the best paths to value creation today. If it is not on your agenda, perhaps it should be. Here are several things you can do right now to start creating value for your organization:

1. Become better informed. Participate in our regular Mission Intangible Monthly Briefings held on the second Friday of every month, read the book, Reputation, Stock Price and You: Why the market rewards some companies and punishes others (2012)  or its predecessor, Mission: Intangible. Managing risk and reputation to create enterprise value (2010), available at the IAFS Store, specialty finance sector retailers, or other leading online book retailers
2. Become a member of the Intangible Asset Finance Society and engage.
3. Join our community on Linked-In and stay in the information flow.

Notices

S&P Dow Jones Indices is a registered trademark of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a part of McGraw Hill Financial; RepuStars and Steel City Re” are registered trademarks of C. Huygens & Co. LLC. The method underpinning the RepuStars Variety indexes is subject to a pending patent assigned to C. Huygens & Co. LLC. S&P McGraw Hill Financial and its affiliate (S&P Dow Jones Indices) makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the ability of any index to accurately represent the asset class or market sector that it purports to represent and McGraw Hill Financial shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of any index or the data included therein. Past performance of an index is not an indication of future results. All information provided by S&P Dow Jones Indices is general in nature and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group of persons. S&P Dow Jones Indices receives compensation in connection with licensing its indices to third parties. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Exposure to an asset class represented by an index is available through investable instruments offered by third parties that are based on that index. S&P Dow Jones Indices does not sponsor, endorse, sell, promote or manage any investment fund or other investment vehicle that seeks to provide an investment return based on the performance of any Index. Investment products based on the RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Indexes are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC, or their respective affiliates and none of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC and their respective affiliates make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such products. Inclusion of a company in any of the indexes in this piece does not in any way reflect an opinion of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC or any of their respective affiliates on the investment merits of such company. None of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC or any of their respective affiliates is providing investment advice in connection with these indexes.

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