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Showing posts from August, 2011

Irresistible Devils

Even as Manchester United was winning titles and cups over the last 5 years, something was missing, it was a good team but not great. This year had the same feeling as in the early 90s when the team was made up of mostly young guns. Except that I think the young guns this time is even better than Butt, Scholes, Nevilles and Beckham ... except for Giggs, no one can be better than Giggs.

All the highlights:

As much as I like Evra, Silvestre, Ferdinand and Vidic, they are out and out defenders, give them the ball they would only know to whack it up or pass to a midfielder. Seriously only Vidic should get back his place when he is fit. The marked difference is the number of interceptions by the backline, and the way they move the ball forward almost immediately and not just squaring it. The energy is palpable. Ashley Young was soooo goood. Cleverly is a star in the making. Smalling and the rest of the young guns were mor…

Things Not So Bad?

In the midst of all the gloom and doom, a couple of tables/charts seem to be indicating something else.
The Baltic Dry Index is often cited by economists as a bellwether of global economic activity.  The index, which measures the price of transporting raw materials by sea, has now risen by more than 21% from its recent lows and is also up 16% in the last week alone.  The index, however, is not immune from critics who argue that the index is extremely volatile and has often provided false alarms on both the upside and downside.  That being said, in an environment where investors are beginning to price in a global recession, the increase in the Baltic Dry Index calls that view into question.

The following is even more astounding. In light of recent events, five strategists at top houses have adjusted their year end targets for SP500 higher. Only two have adjusted down, while six have left the unchanged.

There appears to some kind of disconnect between the macro issues and the corpo…

Me and Dali

Too bad that the movie, Me and Marley came out first. Yes, people, my dog's name is Dali, an English bulldog. Unlike Marley in the movie, my dog is very well behaved and listens to instructions well enough. Since my blog is like a diary of sorts, I thought I should have at least one post of her.

The first two photos were taken right after I bought her, barely 5 weeks really, and technically a bit too young to be sold by pet shops. Was already determined to get myself a dog again, its been many years since I had a dog or two. I went to a pet fair thingee at Mid Valley and she was in a cage with two of her brothers. The way I chose my dog, I was always certain that there had to be an eye to eye connection, not a woof-woof enthusiastic jumping dog saying "take me". Its a life long thing so there has to be a deeper connection. When we met, we kinda stared at each other for more than 15 seconds, no barking (not by me anyway). Done deal there and then, all in 30 seconds. 

She w…

Are We There Yet

Naturally, friends have been asking if I am bearish now as I have not been writing about the markets of late. Well, first of all, there's nothing much to write home about. Nothing much has changed, I have said most of what I wanted to say. While I am slightly bullish on emerging markets, there is very little impetus for buyers to move in until the big boys stop being so volatile.

Then some would say if this was going to be contained or localised, i.e. much of the hurt and pain being in Europe and the USA. To a large extent, that is true. While I think emerging markets may go a bit ballistic when the dust settles, it is also a scenario which we are likely to see an overbought situation, or rather a premium valuation in store. The danger lies in the inherent inflation within emerging markets. Owing to the very low interest rates in the US, Japan and Europe, the rest of the emerging markets cannot really hike their own rates without causing a stampede for their currencies.

China has al…

Funny Thai Commercials Part 2

Nobody's Worth It

This is a true story as published in Sydney Morning Herald, about one lady who stepped off the beautiful cliffs of The Gap @ Watson's Bay Sydney. I chose the title: Nobody's Worth It, the line from the song by Queen .. "Don't Try Suicide, Nobody's Worth It" ... seriously folks, nobody's worth it.
SMH: It is one of those things. Sometimes you write something that seems to touch a chord with readers, and in 25 years of writing for the SMH, I don't think I have ever had a greater, nor more poignant response than this piece. All of us have been touched by the subject of suicide in some measure, and my best hope is that this story might give hope to those who contemplate it. And I am quite serious, by the way, about there being a need to have a plaque at the Gap, at the spot Nellie jumped, telling something of her story. 

It can be a place of tragedy but The Gap has witnessed miracles, too. Advertisement: Story continues below Nellie Bishop is not the patron sa…

Funny Thai Commercials

Do the Thais have a funnier sense of humour than us? I think not, sigh, its our self censoring ozone layer. Still, gotta applaud the Thais' great sense of humour.

Manchester United To List In Singapore

Do I mind that MU is going to list on SGX? Not particularly because seriously, Malaysia was NEVER under the radar for consideration. That is just the plain truth. It was always going to be between HK and Singapore. Imagine the consternation among fans from the UK to hear of this listing.

Will you make money from this IPO, probably if you got in at IPO level as the frenzied trading on listing would provide enough room to get out. Will the company make real money in the long term term? Not likely. In the end, the shares are likely to stay in the hands of staunch supporters, and scheming rich billionaires slicing some stake in the hope that MU's controlling shareholders will someday sell or just pass on.

Errrol Oh from StarBiz, did his funniest write up on Saturday in a wacky letter to Alex Ferguson. Here are some of the must read paras:

"If you (Ferguson) had not joined the Red Devils, the United fans would have nothing but past glory to sustain their love for the club. In other w…

Nostalgic Trip

Found some songs that I particularly liked from the 30s till the 60s, the so called golden era for Shanghai themed / early movies Chinese melodies. Take a trip back to an era when we weren't even around, its so pure and clear, what a wonderful era for music.

Mona Fong's near perfect English diction and exquisite Yeh Lai Siang

Tsin Ting's heart wrenching biggest hit

and my all time favourite from the 30s-60s Chinese songs of yesteryear, by Wu Ying Yin

Who Owns Facebook?

Facebook, looking at planning a $US100 billion IPO next year, is it all froth. The valuations have jumped every other month thanks to bits and pieces being transacted in pre-IPO shares market. To invest in Facebook on sites like SecondMarket or SharesPost you needed to be "qualified as a sophisticated or professional investor" with about $US2.5 million in net tangible assets or $250,000 annual income over the last three years "for a start".

Would I be buying pre-IPO Facebook shares at US$65 billion valuation. My gut feel is YES. There is one Google, and there is one Facebook. I am not saying Facebook will end up with the same valuations as Google, but I think the momentum is there and the shares could go to US$150 billion valuation post IPO. Then I would sell if I had the shares - euphoria is predictable, riding the trend is risky but OK if you can stomach it, but always have in mind the exit strategy.

On its most recent valuation, Facebook has grown by $US15 billion…