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Showing posts from March, 2013

Must Watch Movies

Amid the tension surrounding the elections and the uncertain market conditions owing because of that, let's look at something else to take our minds to something different. For the last 3 months or so, there have not been any worthy English films to talk about, probably because the Oscar race is over and other blockbusters are awaiting the summer release. However, I have found 3 magnificent Canto/Mando films, highly entertaining to boot. Must watch.

The first is the sleeper hit from China, Lost In Thailand. Its a kind of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Steve Martin, John Candy) meet The Hangover. It was so successful, it has grossed more than US$200m in China alone. It has also caused the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand to jump manifold. It tells of two executives from a venture capital firm seeking the signature of their boss who has gone for a sabbatical at one of the monastery in Thailand for a critical deal. Its very funny in any language.

The Cold War, brilliant in the s…

Let's All Adopt This - How Car Drivers Say Thank You

There are very few cases of road rage in Japan. See how car drivers say thank you in Japan. If you let another car into your lane, the other driver will press the hazard lights and let it blink a couple of times to say thank you. So cool ... yet I think it will go a long way to de-stress those around us and lets make a step to try and change the Malaysian driving culture bit by bit.

Important To View: Can The Pakatan Manifesto Stands The Math Test

The simplest way to attack the Pakatan Manifesto is to say that it will not work, that there is not enough money to fund all that. Tony Pua, a learned person of business and strategist, explains why the Pakatan Manifesto is not a pipe dream. Excellent presentation and convincing too.

Jon Hamm's Penis Banned From Mad Men

Mad Men is a very good series, but the producers are having a hard time with Jon Hamm's little general, as men during those days wear much tighter trousers, so much so that his cowabunga had to be photoshopped out of posters..etc... What a wonderful positive PR problem to have.

When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole penis with him. A fleshy appendage, no less primitive than the prehensile tail we lost when we evolved, yet no less important than the heart that keeps us pumping. It makes a man feel whole. It drives a man. It’s the stick that chases the carrot. And when it hangs off of Jon Hamm, it causes problems simply because it stands up for itself. Conflicts between the Mad Men crew and Jon Hamm’s increasingly demanding companion, Little Dick Whitman, have apparently become so prevalent, the show’s producers have “politely” asked the notoriously freewheeling star to stifle his penis with a layer of restrictive underwear, after Hamm’s penis became too distractingly hea…

Where Is Cyprus?

To most of us, we do not even know the locations of Cyprus, maybe even the fact that it was admitted into the European Union as well. How can something so small be so significant? How can it drag markets down so much? In hindsight, the weaker markets gave the lawmakers a big signal. Its not so much that they can whack the depositors in Cypriot banks, they are scared that such tough and unreasonable measures may be employed at other difficult countries such as Spain or Italy.

What is likely to happen: the Cypriot lawmakers will vote down the rule. This will anger the ECB and may pave the way for Cyprus exit. I mean, seriously, in the whole scheme of things, its only $7bn. You may actually see a minor bank run at places such as Italy and Spain as well, which may bring back the ECB, IMF and EU finance ministers to the discussion room. Likelihood, the tax will only apply to deposits above 100,000 euros ... paving the way to tax the rich but not the poorer citizens - that may be acceptable,…

HIV - Important Developments

Many are trying not to jump to too many conclusions too soon, but we could possibly see significant developments in curing babies of AIDS soon. That should be a first step towards finding cures for adult patients.By RON WINSLOW (Wall Street Journal)The report that a 2½-year- old Mississippi baby appears to be cured of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has provoked intense interest, excitement and some skepticism among AIDS researchers and the community at large. The toddler's case, if confirmed in further research, could have important implications for treatment of more than 300,000 babies born with the virus each year—mostly in the developing world. The baby is the second person ever documented to be cured of the virus during the 32-year global AIDS epidemic. The first, a man named Timothy Brown and known as the Berlin patient, was cured as an adult as a result of a bone-marrow transplant he received to treat his leukemia. Here are answers to some questions raised by the report, whic…

Asset Class Returns As At End February 2013

As the table is based in USD, a stronger dollar last month clipped returns of foreign stocks and bonds from a U.S. currency perspective. U.S. equities and bonds, by contrast, posted respectable gains in February, although the domestic pop wasn't enough to offset the drag from foreign markets in U.S. dollar terms for a globally diversified portfolio. As a result, the Global Market Index (GMI) slipped 0.1% last month, although GMI is still up a handsome 2.4% for the year so far through February's close.

The big loser last month was commodities, which shed more than 4% overall. Meanwhile, REITs continue to rise, adding 1.2% in the U.S. market and gaining 1.0% on an offshore basis. Over the past year, REITs generally are in the performance lead among the major asset classes. Foreign REITs in particular are higher by a strong 24.6% through the end of February 2013. REITs has been on a tear for most of the past 12 months, a strong indication  of the recovery in commercial properties …