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Understanding International Family Offices as an alternative source of investment capital

The role of the family office has often been misunderstood, even though the concept has been around (in a variety of forms) for hundreds of years. Still today, as this industry controls billions of dollars in assets under management, there are many intelligent, experienced finance professionals who cannot offer a complete definition of what a family office is exactly. Today, the family office industry is expanding at an impressive pace, with new family offices opening every month and assets continuing to…

The six biggest trends in global agriculture

The agricultural sector undoubtedly has its challenges; the impact of over taxation, increasing input costs, drought, waste, plastics, energy sourcing, labor, over-processing and methane emissions just to name a few. Equally, however, there are also many opportunities. So, what are some of the exciting trends we are seeing in agriculture today? Below I highlight six trends that we have identified, providing interesting insights into the rapid change underway in the sector and the potential investment opportunities…

” Open veins of Latin America” A must read for anyone thinking of doing business or living in Latin America

This translated book begins with a foreword by left-wing writer Isabel Allende, and here is  just one quote from her  introduction of the book: “His work is a mixture of meticulous detail, political conviction, poetic flair, and good storytelling.” The translation by Cedric Belfrage merits special note. This book sings in English, and the translator has done justice to the original. A major recurring theme throughout the book is that of capital squandered by the few while the many actually producing…

The Estrugamou in Buenos Aires – The Pinnacle of French Classical Architecture

image of Vida cosmopolita en Buenos Aires
On the corner of Juncal and Esmeralda streets, in the Retiro neighborhood of Buenos Aires, sits a stately and imposing relic of an era of French architecture in Buenos Aires, a city often dubbed the “Paris of South America.” The residential Estrugamou Building, or Edificio Estrugamou, resembles an aristocratic French mansion, with its chimneys, mansard roof, cornices, and three-story classical columns. The first wave of French architects came to Argentina in the 1820s, shortly after independence from Spain…

Argentina’s soybean crop forecasts increase to 53.1 million tons on favourable moisture conditions

Last years 2018/19 harvest was affected by a cruel drought which with along a very strong US dollar, damaged the Argentine economy, making it easier for the left-wing Peronist/Kirchner government to return to power. This year it is a normal harvest but too late to help the struggling economy. Argentina’s soybean harvest for the 2019/20 season is forecast at 53.1 million tonnes, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said last week, an improvement from a prediction it made towards the end of last year. The forecast…

The Agricultural dilemma as disruptive Technologies take hold

A September 2019 report by RethinkX, an independent think tank based in London and San Francisco, predicts major disruption in food and agriculture over the next decade. Rethinking Food and Agriculture 2020-2030, the Second Domestication of Plants and Animals, the Disruption of the Cow, and the Collapse of Industrial Livestock Farming forecasts the wholesale collapse of dairy and cattle industries by 2030 as animal protein production is replaced by “precision fermentation” (also known as synthetic biology…

Top farmland investors name South America a top place to buy, lease and manage agricultural lands for profit

  Farmers’ fields in South America are among the most prized assets in a new global market for agricultural land that has sprung up alongside soaring commodity prices. Private equity and fund managers at a farm investing conference in Geneva named South America a top place to buy, lease and manage agricultural lands for profit. “The South American marketplace is really booming along right now,” said Mark Zenuk, managing director of the $3 billion NGP Global Adaptation Partners fund. Black…

Vaca Muerta led surge in December oil and gas output in Neuquen, Argentina

Neuquen, the most productive oil and gas province in Argentina, saw oil production surge 23.4% to 160,445 b/d in December year on year, led by the development of the giant Vaca Muerta shale play, Governor Omar Gutierrez said. “In 2019, around 30,000 additional barrels per day were produced, allowing us to reach values not reached since 2005,” he said in a statement late Tuesday. The shale oil blocks that posted the most growth included two operated by the country’s state-backed YPF: Bandurria Sur with…

Argentine wheat exports to Asia a record between February and March 2020

More than half of the 1.2 million tonnes of wheat that will arrive in the region between February and March are destined for Indonesia Shipments of Argentine wheat to Asia are rising to record levels over the next two months as the drought slows Australian production and other offshore inventories. Indonesia, Asia’s largest importer, is expected to Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines to receive nearly 1.2 million tons of wheat from the South American country, operators said, that have access to shipping…

Chinese beef importers seeking to renegotiate lower prices with Brazil and Uruguay suppliers

Folha de S.Paulo reported that some Chinese importers are refusing to pay for shipments that already arrived in China, seeking a discount from exporters Chinese beef importers are seeking to renegotiate prices previously agreed when they closed deals to buy dozens of shipments from Brazil and Uruguay because values are too high, according to a report in the online edition of local newspapers on Monday. The website of Folha de S.Paulo reported that some Chinese importers are refusing to pay for shipments that…

10 property tips when buying

My thoughts from 30 yrs in the real estate industry. Tip 1: Contact your broker, don’t wait for them to contact you – Good properties always sell even in a tough market. Your ability to buy the best properties that tick all of your boxes comes down to the relationships you have with the local brokers, so take the lead and make sure they always think of you first when they become aware of that perfect property. Tip 2: Buy when you can afford to buy – You will never get: (1) High growth,…

The artificial-food debate has lost sight of the fundamental biological and physical sciences

In recent months Professor Keith Woodford has received many emails asking if he has seen the RethinkX report demonstrating how in ten years’ time animal proteins will have been largely replaced by artificial foods. By 2030, demand for cattle products will supposedly have fallen by 70%. At that time the global grasslands can be returned to nature. This is his response. Then this last week the emailers have been asking if I have seen George Monbiot’s report in The Guardian on how artificial foods…

Who is to blame for the high inflation in Argentina

Most of the opinion polls tell us that after government corruption high inflation is the public’s Number One worry shortly followed by insecurity. We shouldn’t need the pollsters to tell us that. We can listen to the complaints in the lines at the supermarkets, read the headlines in newspapers, or hear the pronouncements of business leaders and political candidates. Inflation is terrible cancer that must be brought under control, we are constantly warned, or we face a bleak future and perhaps an economic…

Buenos Aires City Neighborhoods Explained

Buenos Aires is divided into a number of “barrios”, which means neighbourhoods or suburbs. Each one of them has something special to offer and has an important story that identifies the spirit and characteristics of its citizens. To find your way around the city, you can quickly navigate the cities Map of Buenos Aires neighbourhoods. Where to Stay in Buenos Aires? Insider information of the most popular Buenos Aires neighbourhoods: Recoleta: firmly established as the most cultured neighbourhood…

Doug Casey’s Top 7 Predictions For The 2020s

#1 Demographics First, it’s good to remember that demographics have a life of their own. That’s not good from the point of view of those of us of European descent. We’re only 10% of the world population and falling rapidly. Worse, it seems we’re responsible for all the world’s problems and therefore aren’t very popular. In Europe, I expect the ’20s will have a lot of mass migration, the largest in scale since the barbarian invasions of the fifth century. This time there will be millions, then…
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