FTSE CNBC Global 300 Index

This morning, CNBC was discussing their new global index, creted in partnership with the FTSE. This was the first I heard of it; it has apparently been trading since September 1.


Why did CNBC create an index? And, why go with FTSE, when they are half owned by Dow Jones? I’ll assume DJ didn’t want the co-branding relationship, but that’s just a guess.

Here’s the overview:

"The index will maintain a fixed number of constituents, which are derived from the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (incorporating developed and emerging markets).
The index comprises the largest 15 stocks by full market capitalisation from each of the 18 Industry Classification Benchmark Supersectors (using FTSE All Cap Developed Index), aswell as the 30 largest stocks from the emerging markets (using FTSE Emerging All Cap Index)."

Top 10 holdings are the mega caps:  Exxon, GE, Microsoft, Citigroup, BP, B of A, HSBC, Pfizer, J&J, P&G. US companies make up 52% of the index, UK firms another ~12%, with Japan just over 7.3%.

I’ll see if I can dig up sometihng more specific later today . . .


UPDATE September 18, 2006 10:07 am

Here are the top 20 components:

ICB investability CNBC Global
Rank Constituent name Country Industry Group weight 300 Index
1 Exxon Mobil Corporation USA 1000 $404,851.58 0.06%
2 General Electric USA 2000 $352,439.48 0.13%
3 Microsoft Corp USA 9000 $259,505.81 0.49%
4 Citigroup USA 8000 $245,872.47 0.16%
5 Bank of America USA 8000 $235,750.51 0.04%
6 BP UK 1000 $224,363.34 0.06%
7 HSBC Hldgs UK 8000 $208,610.53 0.25%
8 Pfizer USA 4000 $203,868.98 0.11%
9 Procter & Gamble USA 3000 $203,628.80 0.12%
10 Johnson & Johnson USA 4000 $189,307.41 0.11%
11 Altria Group USA 3000 $173,566.57 0.04%
12 American Intl Group USA 8000 $168,001.10 0.19%
13 GlaxoSmithKline UK 4000 $165,012.57 0.19%
14 Total FRA 1000 $163,928.07 0.05%
15 JPMorgan Chase & Co USA 8000 $158,891.35 0.35%
16 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial JA 8000 $147,679.09 0.04%
17 Toyota Motor JA 3000 $145,846.07 0.02%
18 Chevron USA 1000 $143,698.09 0.07%
19 Wal-Mart Stores USA 5000 $141,922.97 0.09%
20 Cisco Systems USA 9000 $136,794.52 0.16%

FTSE CNBC Global 300 Index    
FTSE:FCNBCG      5090.1

FTSE CNBC Global 300 Index (pdf)

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Zune, Microsoft and Corporate Culture

What do you think of the new Zune?

That question led to fascinating discussion about Microsoft on Thursday. What they do, how they work, brainstorm, etc. It also covered how Microsoft develops new products (notice I didn’t say innovate).

A few quick thoughts on the Zune: The coolest thing is its owners ability to zap songs back and forth via a Wi-Fi
connection — but those songs expire after "three plays or three days, whichever
comes first," which is kinda poor. The 3 inch screen versus the 2.5 inch on the iPod also looks pretty nice. Other than that, its not a particularly compelling piece of hardware.

Brown? How long til that gets cancelled? 

We don’t know the price yet, but I expect it to be in the $249 – 349 range, and a function of how much MSFT is willing to lose/subsidize each unit.

What I found most fascinating about "This Week in Microsoft" were the 3 separate products that leaked out over the past few days:

• The Zune iPod challenger (in classic "steal the other guys thunder" following Apple’s event)

Soapbox: The Microsoft YouTube Clone;

Live: The Microsoft Google challenger;

Let’s get a few things straight about Mister Softee. First, forget all the chatter coming from Redmond about innovation. They are now and have always been uttery shameless copycats. They do not innovate; They do not create cool products; They are boring code writing cubicle dwelling drones — and that’s what they should be.

The second thing you need to know about Microsoft: They print money like they were a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department.

That is the bottom line for investors, and the cash ain’t coming from all these other products attempting to recapture lighting in a bottle. Its Windows 1st, Office 2nd, and then a big 4 way tie for SQL, Hardware (mouses etc.) Server SW, and then everything else. All these other products — including Xbox, hotmail, MSN, etc. — are what happens when you have more money than God and still want to be one of the cool kids.

And, they’d probably get just as much criticism if they didn’t make all these attempts at imitating other successful innovators. Otherwise, they would just be a mature company milking their monopoly products until the next paradigm shift came along.

Understand my complaint about Redmond: I don’t begudge them these many attempts to stay relevant and hip, to keep pressing buttons until they find the next thing that works. Hey, after you become one of the most successful firms in the history of Capitalism, it becomes hard to repeat that performance every quarter.

I’m just tired of the bullshit about all their terrific innovations (Spare me the techno-babble about multithreading processors or dynamic ram usage).

To understand how Microsoft got to be the "innovator" it is today, you need to have some background into the psychology of its leadership. My favorite example comes via Robert Cringely

If there is a reason, it has to come from the competitive nature of Bill
Gates as Microsoft’s spiritual and ethical leader. Everything is a competition
to Bill, and every competition has a winner and a loser. Microsoft people have
always been encouraged to see the game, not the consequences, and to win the
game even if winning this way makes no sense.

Let me give an example of this behavior. In the early days of Microsoft, one
of the popular games was to see how late the boys could leave work for the
airport and still make their flights. These weren’t people who were habitually
late, they were playing a game. The eventual winner was Bill Gates, of course,
but to win he had to abandon his car [a new Porsche 911] at the departures curb.

Tht pretty much says it all. They are competitive to a fault — its in their DNA. Its also why they have been such a vast money machine. But please: Spare us the sanctimonious garbage about Microsoft the innovator, and keep the focus on Microsoft the moneymaker.

Here’s some more recent ideas out of the innovation factory:

Soapbox: The next YouTube?


MSN Live: Where ever did they get the idea for that interface?

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