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Showing posts from April, 2012

The 7 Puzzles Of The Global Economy

JPMorgan's Jan Loeys and others are out with a cool note looking at "seven puzzles" regarding the global economy.
In each case, they lay out a question, and then give their best stab at an answer. The not so humble me will also offer my own take (in colour). Here's our condenses/summarized version of each one: Why haven't Greece or Germany left the Euro yet? Basically, the monetary union was always the first step to full-on political union. Leaving the Euro would be a return to the dark days of a divided Europe. (Greece cannot leave because the alternative is disastrous for Greece, it would have to go back to their drachma, which will see massive higher inflation day to day for a long time; making it near impossible to raise any drachma bonds, thus creating an economy that really runs on black market USD and Euros anyway. Germany can exit but having an undivided Europe is a major platform which they have taken leadership from the start. Its almost come to the poin…

Heard Of MetroVocalGroup?

Put a lot of native speakers to shame. They are a pure acapella group, all the sounds, vocals and instrumentation are done aurally.

Metro is a versatile and dynamic vocal group originally hailing from the United States. Now based in Hong Kong, they have performed internationally for the past 13 years. Eric, Kevin, Sean and Michael are supremely talented individuals who present high-energy, uniquely arranged music of the world's most popular tunes. Their songs embrace such genres as Pop, Doo-Wop, Classic Rock, Barbershop, R&B, Broadway and Jazz.

In addition, Metro also serves under the umbrella of the American Vocal Studio, passing on their extensive knowledge to all generations through teaching vocal classes, clinics and master classes.

Be There - Double Take (Roger Wang & Mia Palencia) Concert

The photo on the banner was the standing ovation Double Take got from the vibrant Kota Kinabalu crowd. Come and experience the wonderful talents of Roger Wang and Mia Palencia this Saturday. Have you bought your tickets???
Roger Wang, possibly Malaysia's best guitarist next to Paul Ponnudurai, rehearsing with Mia Palencia at my friend's place today. Have you got your tickets???

KUALA LUMPUR Date   : Saturday, 21 April 2012
Venue : Bentley Music Auditorium, Mutiara Damansara, The Curve 
Time   : 3.00pm - 4.30pm (matinee)
            8.00pm - 9.30pm (evening) RM80 and RM50 admission pass available at or call 012-2083790 To book online:

Malaysia’s premier vocal/guitar duo, Double Take, will celebrate t

A Spell Binding Performance

If you managed to catch last night's HK movie awards, you would have also caught a spell binding singing performance by the multi Best Actress awards winner, Deanie Ip Tak Han. Though many music lovers never really appreciate her tone and her style, but her performance in a song tribute to people in the movie industry and to movie lovers, was nothing short of spectacular. It was most moving, emotions tinged, goose bumps all over kind of heartfelt, real rendition. Superb.

Even the normally very staid and laid back crowd woke up and was mesmerised.

Various Investing Methods

After the seminar, someone said that maybe what Koon Yew Yin said about investments and what I said about investing do not quite gel with what Glen Arnold had been talking the whole time.

Well, the seminar was about the gurus of investing, what they did and why they did what they did. Koon Yew Yin shared how he make his investing decisions. They may not be an exact replica of most of the investment methods of the guru but the essence of it remains.

I don't think Mr. Koon or I must follow these methods exactly. We learn from experienced teachers, we take what we think its suitable for ourselves. We may be wrong, so can the gurus. Who is to day Mr. Koon or I may not be able to generate even greater returns than the gurus?

If we were to follow the Fischer or Buffett methods religiously, we might as well just invest in Berkshire Hathaway, why bother learning. Time tested investment methods are tools we can use to our advantage. I do not see Mr. Koon or myself violating much of the princi…

MBA Debate Ignited

Walla said some points which brought another reader, whom I respect and is an avid reader of the blog, to bring forth his views. His views are in blue, pretty solid points. My previous reply to Walla in yellow.

:33 PM
walla said...
It's the old academic-practical question. But there is a difference. The MBA can with observation and mentoring become more street-smart but the street-smart without proper training cannot do the academic things the MBA can.

Kuok was a savvy commodity trader during his days. But if he is to present at an analyst conference today, he won't be able to answer with industry-wide terms the questions they will throw at him.

The last part of what the blogger wrote to say the street-smart can do this and that ..actually how many nonMBA street-smarts think enough like that to be able to know what to do next to get quantitative answers to acceptable levels of confidence?

Unless what is being pushed here is some zen-like qualitative personal insight seared out of…

Why MBA Is Not All Good

Ivan said...

What was so important about academic, if MBA is not so call important? 11:23 AM Academic achievement is good provided it is part of an well rounded education. I have had to hire many people for various roles, analysts, sales traders, etc... To me, a degree tells me you can read and write (I hope), thats all. Nowadays, a number of graduates can read and write, maybe write horribly, but cannot even carry a conversation in simple English. I say that as English is a business language, and I am talking about business graduates primarily.In some developed nations and some high-esteemed corporations / GLCs, they value the pedigree degree from the Top 20 universities globally because they get to pick from the cream of the crop. Fine, if thats the kind of graduates you want. In the end, you want performers, enthusiastic workers, people who think outside the box, people who can work around issues and problems, good interpersonal skills ... street smartness. We all know that a…

What Has Happened To My Good Friends?

Just got back from a short trip to Singapore. I meet my good friends there 3-4 times a year, all of them are Malaysians who studied in NUS, some may have married other Malaysians or Singapore girls. Plus I worked in Singapore for 3 years in the early 90s, mixing with the same group of friends.
I do not have many good friends, maybe less than 20 but the group in Singapore (some taken on citizenship there even) has evolved like Darwin's best pets.They are still inherently the same people but the stuff they talk about PISSED me off no end:
a) "waaa... so cheap" - everything to them is so cheap, one must be empathetic enough to visualise how their attitude or even genuine statements make themselves appear in the eyes of other
b) "flaunting of brands, labels, airline miles, etc.." - you can be a consumerism victim, you may even say what things you bought or which ski lodge you holidayed at ... BUT NOT ALL THE FUCKING TIME ... these are THINGS. If I come to visit an…

Ubuntu ... Do We Have It In Us?

Ubuntu sounds so much like many swear words in our mlulti lingual society. Sounds like buntut, pundek ... Are we all conditioned not to have ubuntu in our capitalistic, survival of the fittest, winner takes all, meritocracy only society???
Give me a Ubuntu society anytime. Naturally, its hard to just have unbuntu in the modern world, just that no matter how tiny the flicker of flame of ubuntu we all may have, just don't let it die out. If we can pass on "courage, survival, interpersonal, integrity" skill sets and values to our children, make sure you pass on the essence and beauty of ubuntu to your kids ... to be totally human and to live well.

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they ran like th…

The Hunger Games, Yes and No

To many in the Western world, The Hunger Games will be a massive hit and its going to be a trilogy as the author has 3 books out on the subject. As usual, given the horrendous dysfunctional utopian theme, moral issues abound with the books and the movie. For pure entertainment, its very good 9/10. Those who cannot take gore, brutality, senseless killings (who does), ... will find it a turn off. For ethical reasons: its disturbing to say the least.

To me, movies tell stories and make us think, and entertain at the same time. The Hunger Games accomplishes all. The fact is this kind of scenario where the powers to be keep pulling strings to "manufacture" empathy, restore political balance, gain power over the people ... are all evident in various facets of life. You take that scenario and mesh it with the reality TV craze over the past 10 years, you get The Hunger Games. Reality TV intrudes private space, people generally like to watch "others suffer and/or pull through har…

STFU Man City

Famous football teams benefit from favourable refereeing decisions when playing at home, it has been claimed this week. Is that true? That was the complaint after Fulham were denied a penalty against Manchester United in a Premier League 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford, Manchester, last Monday. The Fulham manager Martin Jol said afterwards that referees needed to be "brave" to give a visiting team a penalty at Old Trafford. And two days later, Manchester City executive Patrick Vieira gave voice to a widely held belief when he said: "When United play at home, they may get some advantage that some other teams do not get." The assumption among some fans has long been that big refereeing decisions tend to favour the big clubs when they play in front of their large and fervent home crowd. "If you go to Spain it's the same, if you go to Italy, it's the same," said Vieira, who played for Arsenal for many years. Emphasising that he hadn't seen the incident in th…