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Showing posts from July, 2010

Two Amazing Foodie/ Wino/Literary Blogs

Let me introduce you to Paranoid Android first. He is obviously not a starving literary savant. He writes incredibly well, takes amazing photos, and likes to eat at the same places I like to eat. Since I am not they type that likes to take pictures everywhere I go, his blog is a wonderful place to visit. His pictures "taste" better than the real food I think.

Loved the parallel review of the new Cilantro with Sage. Best posting so far has to be on Nathalie's Studio, try and stop yourself from going to eat there after reading the posting. Good job dude!

(photos from Paranoid Android's site)

This second blogger is based in HK, Diary of a Growing Boy, and I have been following him for more than 2 years. He is in the hedge fund business and probably very successful at it, you need to be judging from the wines he has in his collection and the places he frequents.

"I picked a bottle of 1991 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses from the…

Malaysian Musicians and Jacky Cheung

Taken from pop pop music site, written by Leslie Loh:

some highlights on this jacky cheung's mini concert double-cd:

1) rogerwang's "love scale" is played by sham, another great malaysian guitarist

2) jz8's lydia chew sings backing vocals

3) jacky sings "lover's tears" in jazz style, delicious!

4) jacky sings his own classic "lei heong lan" in jazz and sam hui's "fut tew cheong" (an elvis presley's cover) in swing

5) malaysian great drummer, lewis pragasam plays drums

6) many songs with big-band backup in the album, fun!

4 malaysians involved in this project, you all should be darn proud!

get it!

The New Catalyst - Banks Stress Test

IMF welcomed the publication of European bank stress tests on Friday, saying it promotes transparency and boosts investor confidence in addition to helping beef up the financial system.

Seven of the 91 European banks examined for their strength to withstand a crisis failed, most of them in Spain. Overall, the European banks were judged to be financially sound. The key is the fact that only 7 failed, and secondly they are just Spanish banks mainly, plus a couple in Germany and Greece.
Governments are already working with the seven weak banks, five in Spain and one each in Germany and Greece, to help them shore up their finances, said the Committee of European Banking Supervisors, which carried out the stress tests. Failing the capital strength tests were German state-owned lender Hypo Real Estate, Greece's ATEBank and five regional savings banks in Spain. Germany's case is a state owned, so just rectifying one state owned bank is a non issue. Greece with just one bank is a delig…

A Wino's Diary

I am going to start to keep track of what I have been drinking. As one age, one tends to forget what one has drunk beforehand. I am no wine connoisseur, I only know I like it or not, don't ask me about the growth varietals, good years, etc... the subject matter is just way too wide.

Anyway, I had a mild drinking session with a couple of friends on Friday. Thought I should keep some notes.

Château Dutruch Grand Poujeaux 1996

This was the first, not knowing which of the 3 wines to taste first, we just went with the flow. It drank very well, not at all like an aged wine. The fruits were balanced. A bit salty but acceptable. (here come the snooty part) with notes of flowers and berries. Doubt the wine will get better with any more aging. Not bad 86/100.

Penfolds Bin 129 Coonawarra Shiraz 2002

One of only two Penfolds reds, Clare Estate being the other, to be matured solely in French oak - all other Penfolds reds make use of some American oak in the maturation process. Splendid wine. Can d…

Petronas To Put Bursa Back On The Radar

Petronas is Malaysia's premier state-owned company, but as a publicly owned company it could be worth more than $200 billion and would dominate the country's stockmarket.

According to Deutsche Bank, Petronas could potentially make up 40% of Malaysia's weighting in the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index if it was to list in its entirety (MSCI is a free float-adjusted market capitalisation index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of countries in the region).

Based on a price-to-earnings ratio of 15 times, Petronas could be worth up to $207 billion, according to Investment and Pensions Europe. This would make Malaysia's largest state-owned company close to the same size as the country's total equity market capitalisation today, almost doubling the total market size to $464 billion from $257 billion.

Publicly listing more of Petronas's operations, say analysts and market participants, is critical to stimulating greater growth in the markets. According to …

2V1G's Album Coming Out In August

The first album by 2V1G was spectacular, selling well over 10,000 copies. Unfortunately Regine has left the group. I was skeptical about her replacement. So I was very relieved when I heard the first few recordings, Jeffrey Lim was superb. You can hear his voice in the following two videos. Winnie Ho is just as spectacular, and she has slimmed down nicely, you go girl.

Roger Wang is Roger Wang, brilliant but more assured this time around, maybe he has gotten the hang of Chinese melodies. The album is coming out in early August I believe. Look for Roger's composition Love Scale, which was covered by Jacky Cheung as well in his last album.

Must Catch This - Junji Delfino Live!!!


It's been a long time coming but the imcomparable Junji Delfino - a celebrated singer, actress, writer and comedienne - will finally take the stage in her first on-woman show, rightly titled "Here I Am...Live". It's going to be a high voltage mix of music, hilarious commentary and fantastic autobiography that celebrates her 30th career anniversary and 50th birthday. Yes, she is turning 50 and she is going to raise the roof and tell the truth. Combining some of the greatest hits in jazz and theatre with her own brand-new material, she'll will be singing songs like "Papa Can You Hear Me", "Blame It On My Youth", "How Do You Keep The Music Playing", "Something Stupid" and the first single from her debut album "Here I Am". With a vocal brilliance best described as half laser beam, half lava flow, her show promises to swing with the vibrancy that has become synonymous with her name.

Reowned composers/pianists Da…

Messi Distracted During World Cup

Obviously the first one was doctored, but the Messi's photos had to be real ... sigh... talk about close marking.

2V1G and JZ8 Double Bill Concert

This is your early and possibly last chance to get tickets to this intimate evening of absolute great Chinese music. A double bill featuring JZ8 and 2V1G, bearing in mind both groups have minimal instrumentation, ala Tay Cher Siang on piano and Roger Wang on guitar, it has to be an intimate setting as a large auditorium will lose a lot of intimacy. Capacity is 400 and I can tell you that more than half has been sold by word of mouth alone. Get yours early.

I have featured Lydia and Cher Siang's JZ8 album and you can have a listen to their songs on the audio box on the right. I was a bit hesitant with 2V1G as Regina has left the group and when Leslie said a guy is replacing her, I was more apprehensive. 2V1G's second album should be out in the first week of August, and I got to have an early listen to it in Leslie's car a few days back. My verdict: the new guy is very good, the second album is still very good even though it may not have as many popular big hits like the firs…

The Big Mac Index

The Economist's Big Mac index is a fun way to keep track of relative purchasing power parity. Though the index has its weaknesses, its still a reliable rough guide to what your currency could buy. The cost of a Big Mac, representing the cost of producing one will somehow include rental, distribution and transportation costs, cost of ingredients, wages, advertising, etc. Hence you could be earning less effectively but you could be buying a lot more in reality.

Malaysia is supposed the second cheapest place on the index followed by China. Is this a reflection of competitiveness? Or a reflection of how many "things are subsidised" in that country? We all know the answer.

Now, let's do a Big Mac index of our own but this time use the cost of buying a car - I bet you we'd rank second from the top, just below Singapore compared to the rest of the world. How in the world do we get to be one of the most expensive place on earth to buy a car??? Again, we all should know th…

Henderson Land Under Fire

You can decide if its a scam, or high-handed marketing tricks, or a coincidence of the greatest proportions. Billionaire Lee Shau Kee, HK's second richest man, is under fire from all sides on accusations of forged sales created to boost the artificial sustained interest in the marketing of their luxury properties.

On Tuesday, blue-chip property developer Henderson Land said that all but four of the 24 luxury condominiums it had sold last October for record prices at its 39 Conduit Road project were canceled by the buyers. The company, which is controlled by billionaire Lee Shau-kee, booked a loss of 734 million Hong Kong dollars (US$94.2 million) from the cancellations. Bonnie Ngan, a spokeswoman for Henderson Land, said Wednesday that the cancellations were "very standard" in the industry, and that "there was nothing un-transparent about what happened." Ms. Ngan said the company had pocketed these buyers' initial deposits and would put the condominiums back…

Property Bubbles According To The Economist

If you were to just look at year on year rate of change, you can make a guesstimate on the amount of froth in property prices in a particular property market. But its a shallow estimate. Never mind, let's look at the "frothiest markets":
1) Singapore
2) HK
3) Australia
4) South Africa
5) China

Mish correct said that a better measure would be the long run price to rent ratio, which is the last column on the table provided by The Economist. If you are not staying in it and you can't rent it, there is no accrued value, its just speculation. We find empty apartments and houses throughout Asia, but prices are hovering on the high side still. I find one of the weakest argument is the foreign buyers argument, yes if they are buying to stay or rent, but if its empty, its empty demand.

Another hole with the foreign buyers argument is "its so cheap compared to their own markets" - sooooo what???!!! People may have a lot more opportunity to make 5x your salaries, do you? Whe…

Goldman Sachs Headhunts Paul

Goldman Sachs Eyes Paul
By Sefal Opod – July 8th, 2010, 4:32PM
$4 Million p.a. Package on OfferNEW YORK, NEW YORK–Top US Investment Bank Goldman Sachs is said to be offering a US$4 million per year package for the Paul the Oracle Octopus to head up its proprietary trading book.

Goldman will convert part of its trading floor in its New York Headquarters into a fish tank for Paul and put boxes representing different markets, stocks, indices, equities and bonds for Paul to choose from. They hope this will translate into more profitable business from them. Paul will work closely with the Head of Global Strategy to recommend asset allocation strategies.

Also the rounds is a rumour that Merrill Lynch are bidding for Paul to replace their entire research team.

Paul Picks Spain

Psychic' octopus Paul picks Spain to win World Cup July 10, 2010 Viva Espana ... "psychic" octopus Paul picks Spain to win over the Netherlands. Photo: AFP Let the fiesta begin. Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history, according to Paul, the "psychic" octopus with a perfect prediction record.The eight-legged oracle, who has become a World Cup sensation by correctly predicting all six Germany games, very quickly plumped for Spain live on national German television.Earlier, the two-year-old mollusc medium also said that Germany, his country of residence, would defeat Uruguay in the third-place play-off game.Making his prediction ... Paul picks Germany to beat Uruguay. Photo: AFP In the now familiar routine, two boxes were lowered into his tank, each containing a mussel and the flags of the two opposing teams.The tentacled tipster went straight to the Spanish box, wrenched open the lid and gobbled the tasty morsel.But…

Marketocracy Portfolio Updated - July 9, 2010

price history

SMFm100 S&P 500 DJIA Nasdaq

recent returns vs. major indexes

0.41%3.88%3.88%-4.79%S&P 5000.19%3.90%3.90%-3.01%DOW0.09%3.73%3.73%-2.77%Nasdaq0.30%3.14%3.14%-4.13%
recent returns

RETURNSLast Week4.54% Last Month0.76% Last 3 Months-12.86% Last 6 Months-8.96% Last 12 Months25.44% Last 2 YearsN/A Last 3 YearsN/A Last 5 YearsN/A Since Inception20.27% (Annualized)9.89%