Lunch with hedge fund manager Rob Luciano

His decade-old hedge fund VGI Partners, which now manages $2.1 billion, largely for hundreds of wealthy families, is set to list on the Australian Securities Exchange. Rob Luciano and family love to dine at Otto.Credit:James Brickwood Since 2016, VGI has come to a prominence that belies its size – compared to market giants such as Perpetual and the Hamish Douglass-chaired Magellan Financial – by making big bets on the declining fortunes of listed companies. It’s aggressive case against former legal giant Slater & Gordon – that the firm was inflating…

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Left for dead, bitcoin is back

The Winklevoss twins hawked crypto swag to promote their payment network. Fund manager Mark Yusko dusted off his call for Bitcoin. A presidential hopeful spoke of digital currency’s inevitable future. Even a recent hack that saw $US40 million evaporate was praised as evidence of blockchain’s immutability. On Sunday, 60 Minutes will air a segment to its gray-haired audience reminding them of Pizza Guy. A 14 per cent rout overnight was just a “Friday discount,” for one noted bull. “A lot of people say ‘party like it’s 1999,’” Yoni Assia, chief…

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Despite warning signs, investors worry about missing out on a rally

This week, after traveling 91 points between a low of 2,801 on Monday and a high of 2,892 Thursday, the market finished the five sessions 0.8 per cent lower, even as Chinese equities fell for the fourth time. After closing at a four-month high on Monday, the Cboe Volatility Index declined three of the next four days. Loading Monday was one of the worst sessions of the year, with the S&P 500 dropping 2.4 per cent on news that Beijing will retaliate with higher Chinese tariffs. But as traders in…

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Wall Street falls as trade anxieties spike again

“The possibility of something weird happening over the weekend leads people to take money off the table as the week comes to a close,” he said. China added fuel to the fire of the increasingly rancorous trade war with the US, striking a more aggressive tone and suggesting further talks could be fruitless unless Washington changes course. Elsewhere in the multi-front US tariff war, President Donald Trump confirmed he would delay imposing imported auto tariffs by as much as six months, and agreed to lift metal tariffs on Canada and…

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Boeing crashes eerily familiar for ex-Qantas captain who saved plane

Mr Sullivan was captaining a Qantas A330 on a flight from Singapore to Perth in 2008 when an air-data unit sent incorrect information to other systems, leading to a flight-control computer twice commanding the aircraft carrying 303 passengers to nosedive. He has written a vivid account of the near disaster in a book, No Man’s Land. It also examines the risks posed by automation and his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Passengers on Qantas Flight 72 were propelled into the cabin roof of the A330 after a computer malfunction caused…

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Tesla shares tumble as Musk promises ‘hardcore’ cost review, analyst sends Autopilot warning

Tesla shares recorded their lowest close in almost 2 1/2 years after Elon Musk called for a “hardcore” review of all the electric-car maker’s expenses and an analyst warned of potentially severe fallout from a fatal crash involving Autopilot. Elon Musk has promised a ‘;hardcore’ review of the company’s expenses. Credit:Natan Dvir Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, wrote in an email to staff late Thursday that he and new Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn will review “literally every payment” that leaves the company’s coffers to confirm that expenditures are critical.…

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Trump reaches trade breakthrough with neighbours, delays tariffs on cars

Trump still is hoping to use the threat of auto tariffs to pressure Japan and the European Union into making concessions in ongoing trade talks. “If agreements are not reached within 180 days, the president will determine whether and what further action needs to be taken,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. Loading In imposing the metals tariffs and threatening the ones on autos, Trump was relying on a rarely used weapon in the US trade war arsenal — Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act…

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Hammer falls on Sydney Road hardware house

The son of patriarch Sid, Charlie Charalambous had been running the shop since his father and his brother Stan recently passed away. Changing demographics aside, the shop’s fate was inevitable after Bunnings in 2015 opened an outlet at the old Spotlight premises at 415 Sydney Road. Given a Mitre Ten outlet opposite Bunnings closed within few weeks after the behemoth’s opening, it’s a wonder the Charalambouses managed to hold out for so long. Savills’ Jesse Radisich said the “favourable characteristics” of the Charalambous site included rear access and a 30…

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Cubes capture Monash Uni’s biosciences building

“We looked at a variety of learning and teaching facilities in this field, both within Australia, as well as overseas models,” says architect Adrian FitzGerald, design director at DCM, who worked closely with Sonja Syre, associate at the helm of the project, known as the Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building. “It’s a series of ‘superlabs’, each one designed to accommodate between 180 and 220 students,” says Syre. Instead of students from a broad range of disciplines, including physiology and biochemistry, focused in the one direction, there’s one key lecturer operating…

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Safe-haven real estate trusts feel investor pressure

Sholto Maconochie, head of Australian real estate at CLSA, says he expects A-REITs to outperform the general equities market this year, with a total return of 5 to 10 per cent. He said current “lower for longer” sentiment was expected to remain in 2019, with the Australian 10-year bond rate to remain in the 2 to 2.5 per cent range and the cash rate to be held at 1.5 per cent, with risk of a cut from weak consumer sentiment. In the past week, amid trade tensions between the United…

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