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Showing posts from August, 2009

China's Domestic Consumption - Glass Half Full or Half Empty

The following table by McKinsey was highly illuminating. It puts into sparkling perspective how important private domestic consumption is to each country as a percentage of GDP. One should always strive to be more led by domestic consumption as that usually means a better grasp and control of an economy's fortunes. China has been desperately trying to lead the world back from the diminished global trade due to the recent global financial crisis by shifting from an investment led economy to a more domestic driven type. As the table shows, its a long uphill climb still. Thats the negative way of looking at things - the half full view would be that there is still a lot China can do (and will do) to ramp up its domestic economy, and it will only means more consumption of global goods and services in the long run. Its going to be the Asian century mainly by moving just 10%-20% of the rural folks in China and India into the middle class consumption category.

On a side note, Malaysia'…

Monetary Authority of Singapore Tries To Sue Pheim

Morningstar ranked Pheim ASEAN Emerging Companies Growth Fund ranked No. 1 for the 1-year, 3-year, 7-year, 10-year and 14-year periods for the Morningstar Category ASEAN Equity Funds as at June 2009.

First, let me say that I like CK Tan a lot, I think he is quite a brilliant fund manager. Besides being an outstanding long term outperformer, I also absolute share his view on the local market, this was uttered by Tan some 13 years ago: Pheim Asset Management CEO Tan Chong Koay believes that a buy-and-hold strategy is not appropriate for Malaysia's volatile market. Tan states that investors need to bet on the sharp swings of the market if they are to succeed in Malaysia.

It is being closely watched in the investment community, as Tan is well-known in fund management circles. Also, the case touches on the practice of “window-dressing” where big investors may try to ramp up or push down share prices — a key concern at the year-end when the value of a fund is determined.

Pheim Malaysia…

Ooops! We Didn't Mean For You To Find Out

Many investors regard analyst reports with a lot of reservation and cynicism, and rightly so. Finally, somebody has dug up enough dirt and evidence. The fact that its Goldman Sachs will mean the regulators and politicians will be sharpening their knives for the kill. Goldman Sachs will get a major major fine here. When an investment bank relies so much on trading for such a huge slice of their profits, and where profits contribution is regarded so highly, where you bonuses and promotion will be materially affected when you "contribute well", its hard not to have shenanigans sprouting everywhere - the smart ones don't get caught. There are always someone somewhere who will get the tip earlier than you, and by the time it is printed, rest assured the thing has been double-dipped already.

WSJ: Goldman Sachs research analyst Marc Irizarry's published rating on mutual-fund manager Janus Capital Group Inc. was a lackluster "neutral" in early April 2008. But at an …

Farmers, Sex Workers, Religious Workers, Soldiers & Students Can Be Trusted Best

This has to be the article of the year, and from China's China Daily no less http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2009-08/04/content_8515596.htm :

At a time when shamelessness is pervasive, we are often at loss as to who can be trusted. The five most trustworthy groups, according to a survey by the Research Center of the Xiaokang Magazine, are farmers, religious workers, sex workers, soldiers and students.

A list like this is at the same time surprising and embarrassing. The sex business is illegal and thus underground in this country. The sex workers’ unexpected prominence on this list of honor, based on an online poll of more than 3,000 people, is indeed unusual.

It took the pollsters aback that people like scientists and teachers were ranked way below, and government functionaries(i.e civil servants / politicians), too, scored hardly better. Yet given the constant feed of scandals involving the country’s elite, this is not bad at all. At least they have not slid into the least c…

I Have A Date With Spring / dama orchestra

Possibly the best Canto musical we have. The musical was based on a play by Raymond To Kwok Wai and was adapted into a film of the same name in 1994, directed by the under-rated Clifton Ko Chi Sum. The film had some of the better actresses (most of them grads from HK's Rep Theatre school) such as Law Koon Lan, Lau Ngar Lai and So Yuk Wah.

In the 14th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards, the film was heavily nominated and ended with 3 trophies:
Winner - Best Supporting Actress (Law Koon-Lan)Winner - Best New Artist (Alice Lau Ar-Lai)Winner - Best Screenplay (Raymond To Kwok-WaiThey missed out on the following but being nominated for a musical is a pretty big thing already:
Nomination - Best PictureNomination - Best Actress (Alice Lau Ar-Lai)Nomination - Best Supporting Actress (Fung Wai-Hung)Nomination - Best New Artist (Hui Fan)Nomination - Best Original Score (Lee Hong-Gum, Wan Hol-Geen)
I thought I will be among the first few to book the tickets, but guess what, the better seats for the fi…

Most Successful Quant Hedge Funds Guy ... Ever

Degree from MIT; taught at Harvard. Worked as code breaker for Department of Defense during Vietnam. Founded Renaissance Technologies hedge fund firm 1982. Flagship Medallion fund averaging 34% annual returns since 1988. Most expensive fees in the business: 44% of profits, 5% of assets. Hires Ph.D.s instead of M.B.A.s; employees use computer modeling to find market inefficiencies. Launching fund for institutional investors that could handle $100 billion. Chairs Math for America; group donated $25 million last year to train 180 New York City math teachers.James Simons, the founder of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund, once said, “Luck plays a meaningful role in everyone’s lives.” Simons, a 71-year-old former university professor and a celebrated mathematician, has been blessed with the stuff. His flagship fund, Medallion, has had average annual gains of more than 35% for 20 years. Last year he was named the best-paid hedge-fund manager in America by Alpha, a hedge-fund magazine, r…

Why Asians Do Not Win Miss Universe Titles More Often

(Miss Indonesia Zivanna Letisha Siregar poses on the runway in the evening gown segment of the 2009 Miss Universe Preliminary Competition in the Bahamas)



Asians had a strong showing in the pageant in 2000, when India's Lara Dutta won. In 2007, Japan's Riyo Mori took the crown, while Korea's Honey Lee came in as third runner-up, and India's Puja Gupta made it to the top 10. The tide began to turn last year in Vietnam, when South Americans dominated the top spots. Still, two Asian faces were in the top 15 - Japan's Hiroko Mima, and Vietnam's Nguyen Thuy Lam.
Despite a strong showing in online voting, Indonesian Miss Universe candidate Zivanna Letisha Siregar didn't figure in the beauty contest's top 15 in the pageant held in Nassau, the Bahamas.
In fact, no Asian faces graced the pageant's top 15 on Monday, though the Miss Congeniality title went to Miss China, Wang Jingyao, 19, while Miss Thailand, Chutima Durongdej, 23, got the Miss Photogenic ti…

Velly Important ... Best Food Places Are Relocating!!! Meng Kee & Max Kitchen

Where in the world is the world's best charsiu (barbecue pork)??? Of course its Meng Kee at Tengkat Tong Shin (parallel to Jalan Alor). You would think that HK which probably has the best siulap in the world, would also have the best charsiu... WRONG... HK is the best place for all your roast goose, roast duck, paikuat, yaukai, etc.. but they cannot get the charsiu right. I have brought my friends from overseas to eat charsiu at Meng Kee, and no matter where they are from, they have never tasted such perfection - perfection has to mean that its moist meat, the outer layer is lightly burned, always with at least 1/3 fat, the burnt edges are not burnt really but rather the exquisite carmelisation of sugar/ caramel/ honey (or whatever their secret ingredient is), I suspect from what I see, they do a two-three time barbecue on the outer layer, baste-barbecue-baste again-barbecue-but it has to be swift and the fire controlled so that the inside meat does not get dry.

http://epicurious.…

When My Jewish Friend Ended Up In Pyongyang

Travel Channel eat your heart out... how about this for a scoop, a Jewish New York fund manager visiting Pyongyang, North Korea. A place I will never ever get to visit, or even want to visit. I am not even going to speculate why, maybe my friend has a secret "internet bride" he was meeting up (but did not tell me)???? ; ) Anyways, it was a very interesting email I got from him. Yea, put this up without his permission, anyway, if he starts bitching about this, then I will have to take it down ... ROFL... till then ... enjoy:

Wednesday I returned from five days in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK. Despite feeling constant unease while there- it's a military state, foreigners may not bring in cell phones, internet is forbidden, and even the friendliest youngsters believe the United States to be their sworn enemy- it was the most incredible trip I’ve taken.
I visited in a group of 19 Americans, mostly in their early twenties but some older, including a 78-yr-old woman who lived …