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These are some strange times. Look, we have $16 trillion of negative yielding bonds, that’s T, for trillion. I’m asked by non-financial people why anyone would want to buy negative yields (you pay to hold them, btw) and I reply, it’s not about income, it’s about trading that rates will fall further.
The popular opinion has been that many large American companies are flush with cash. In fact, surveys from some reputable institutions support this view. The AFP’s corporate cash survey found during the second quarter of 2019, U.S. businesses continued to build their cash and short-term investment holdings. This is intuitively supported by events like the corporate tax cut last year.
The phrase ‘it's better to be lucky than good’ must be one of the most ridiculous homilies ever uttered. In nearly any competitive endeavor, you have to be damned good before luck can be of any use to you at all.”
What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient … highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate.
“The phrase ‘it's better to be lucky than good’ must be one of the most ridiculous homilies ever uttered. In nearly any competitive endeavor, you have to be damned good before luck can be of any use to you at all.” ― Garry Kasparov, “Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins”
There was some recent shaming of some very large companies by the UK government that did not comply with the Prompt Payment Code (PPC). Seventeen large companies, including heavyweights such as Vodafone, Rolls Royce, SSE and British Sugar, were suspended pending promises to fall into line.
When we look at source-to-pay solutions, we tend to look at it from one side, that is, how this is going to improve the accounts payable department, reduce cost, be more efficient and improve supplier collaboration.
Funding has grown more sophisticated with supply chain finance programs to large companies, driving margins down in many cases. There are several interesting issues around pricing:
As we pointed out in our last post, payment companies are looking to convert paper checks to cards, and this is drawing interest from many firms, from private equity investing into payment companies to acquisitions (e.g., Fleetcor acquiring Nvoicepay, Visa buying Earthport).
We hear so much about how flush American companies are with cash. Pundits are out there talking about how much cash corporate America has.