Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don't Fuck With Us :- We were professional

SC ticked off for questioning four journalists

The (SC) has been ticked off for using a legislative sledgehammer to question four journalists about their reports on recent trading in Kenmark Industrial Co (M) Bhd shares.



The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) said in a statement today that powers given to the investigating officer and SC under Section 134 of the Securities Commission Act 1993 (SCA) “are very wide and could be open to abuse”.

CIJ executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah questioned if the information sought by the SC could not have been sourced through other means that do not infringe media freedom and responsibility.

She also asked if the journalists had been informed that they are allowed to have legal counsel present while responding to the SC.

The Malay Mail reported yesterday that the SC had called BK Sidhu of Star and Azlan Abu Bakar of Business Times up for questioning.

In a blog post, Rocky's Bru claimed that two other journalists, Dalila Abu Bakar and Ishun P Ahmad of The Malaysian Reserve, have also been questioned.

Masjaliza highlighted the impact of Section 134:

  • Under Section 134(2), those brought in for questioning by the SC are legally bound to answer all questions. They cannot refuse to answer any question even on the grounds that it tends to incriminate them.
  • Under Section 134(3), if the person brought in for questioning does not agree with the written statement, the investigating officer can record the refusal and the reason for the refusal. While this is not problematic, under Section 134(4), any statement made and recorded under this section is admissible as evidence in any proceeding in any court. This appears to render the refusal irrelevant.
  • Under Section 134(5), if a person refuses to answer any questions, he or she can be punished upon conviction with a fine of up to RM1 million or up to five years' jail, or both.
Confidentiality crucial

Masjaliza also said the SCA should differentiate a journalist from an ordinary informant, explaining:

1) Journalists gather information from their sources to report on matters of public interest. Some of the information may be background information which is not published. Some information may have been given in confidence owing to concern for the safety of the source.

A journalist cannot be forced to reveal any information that may betray the source. Only for the most compelling of reasons related to immediate and demonstrable direct threat to public safety, can a journalist be compelled to provide information or reveal her sources, i.e when the benefit of such disclosure is greater than the harm to media freedom.

2) If journalists cannot protect their sources, it will be difficult to find people willing to speak to them. The protection of sources is a cardinal rule of journalism with good reason. If this trust is violated by the journalists, they would find it difficult to pursue stories of public interest.

3) Journalists will also think twice about taking on cases of public interest that may result in them being involved in lengthy and costly court battles, or being hauled in for questioning over their sources. Overall, there will be less information available to the public on important matters of public interest.

Masjaliza  criticised the SC for not recognising the main duty of journalists - to provide information to the public on matters of public interest and to honour their confidentiality agreement with sources.

“It is in the SC's interests to ensure that journalists can continue to write and highlight matters on corporate governance and responsibility. This incident shows yet another legal impediment on media freedom, underscoring the need for journalist protection under the law,” she added.



SC: We were professional



In a statement reported in Star today, the SC claimed that it was professional in handling the investigation of the four reporters.
“These are the rules and procedures prescribed by the law, which we abide by strictly. The statements from witnesses are taken by experienced officers and we have full faith that they have acted professionally throughout,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying.
“Our effective enforcement of the securities laws depends to a large extent on the assistance and cooperation given by witnesses. Given the nature of the cases we handle, we have had to call in people from all walks of life, including members of the media.
“We conduct interviews only during office hours, unless witnesses request to have their statement recorded after office hours or are willing to extend the statement recording session.”

This was an apparent response to the complaint that the journalists had been subjected to questioning for up to eight hours.


Malaysiakini



 

Sharia-compliant banking products a ‘huge flop’ in Britain

Hold back the tears, even when sharia fails in the open market, it creeps into government policy, via Sharia-compliant banking products a ‘huge flop’ in Britain | The Australian.

ISLAMIC bank accounts and other financial products have failed to take off in Britain, according to industry insiders.

This is despite hopes that the UK would become a pioneer in a new growth market.
New banks that were set up to appeal to the UK’s nearly two million Muslims and Sharia-compliant products created by the existing high street lenders have failed to make much of an impact, critics say.

Junaid Bhatti, part of the team that set up Islamic Bank of Britain, the first Sharia-compliant bank approved by the Financial Services Authority, says that the sector has been a big disappointment.

“As we now approach the sixth anniversary of IBB’s launch, I’m sad to finally have to admit that Islamic finance in the UK has been a huge flop,” he said. “IBB may still be limping on as probably the last bastion of the cause, but it’s difficult to imagine it holding out for much longer.”

Competitors have fared even worse and many had closed or scaled back their operations significantly, Mr Bhatti said.

However, there could be some improvement with legislative changes designed to make it easier for banks to offer Islamic products, which should reduce their price.
The Treasury has made changes in the tax law to accommodate Sharia products, Mr Qayyum said, and the FSA is consulting on a new framework for the issuance and regulation of sukuk, or Islamic bonds.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


What’s Going On? Fenty Administration Celebrates $2.7M in Renovations to Marvin Gaye Park with a Ribbon Cutting
Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Department of Parks and Recreation Acting Director Jesús Aguirre joined Ward 7 community leaders in unveiling the new $2.7 million Marvin Gaye Park, Minnesota Avenue and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE.

"We are making real investments in our communities – building stronger, safer, and healthier neighborhoods," said Mayor Fenty. "Residents in every neighborhood in our city deserve first-class recreation amenities and we are delivering just that with this new park."

Formerly Watts Branch Park, the recently re-named Marvin Gaye Park spans 2.2 miles across Ward 7. It stretches from Minnesota Avenue along Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue to Eastern Avenue. The two new sections of the park are the Lady Bird Johnson Meadows at Minnesota Avenue and the Heritage Green section located at the intersection of Division Avenue and Foote Street.

Improvements include a community stage, plaza, new shade trees, shrubs and ground covers as well as a bicycle trail that runs throughout the park. The District hired Fort Myer Construction and EDAW landscape architects to execute the improvements to the park.

Marvin Gaye Park is one of six public parks the District is building within the Anacostia River's watershed.  Earlier this year, the District completed the $8 million, half-acre Diamond Teague Park, which lies between Nationals Park and the Anacostia River. Later this summer, the District will break ground on the three-block long Canal Park near M Street and New Jersey Avenue SE. Nearby, along with its partners at Forest City Washington, the District will deliver the six-acre Park at The Yards, which will anchor a $1.3 billion mixed-use development that is under construction between Nationals Park, the Navy Yard and federal Department of Transportation headquarters.  

Along with the National Park Service, the District is also planning a 70-acre park and preserve east of the Anacostia River at Poplar Point. Next week, the District will open the $32 million Deanwood Recreation Center, the largest recreation center ever built in the city.
 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

KCPO :- The Market Stays Dead 28/6/2010


With the ADX flat and stays above both the D- and D+:- this market is oversold and its prior trend has stopped.
But this market is getting nowhere. As the MACD gets positive , the Stochastic has turned negative again.

If you had engaged long position when price went above the lower Bollinger Band with the Stochastic positive, I would maintain stop at its recent low of 2365. Otherwise I would advise to stay out of this market until something more concrete has developed. I personally would like to see a positive  MACD goes back nearer to its zero line to feel more bullish.

 

The weekly chart ADX remains very dead with it staying flat at a lowly 14's . The MACD has just crossed below its zero signal line which is usually a more bearish sign but it is not been supported by the lowly Stochastic and ADX.

As like the FKLI, maybe you should sit aside and wait for some concrete new signal.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

FKLI :- Short Term Downside Again ? 28/6/2010


As I noted that since the ADX has been falling, so I think the last up move should be a short lived one. So the taking profit at previous day low minus 1-2 points was prudent for you to take out the long positions on last Tuesday.

I had engaged an initial shorts position when price went below the upper Bollinger Band a that was accompanied by a negative Stochastic. But price went back up above the upper Bollinger Band at closing. In order to limit losses, placing a stop above the previous day high plus 2 point of 1328 would be prudent.

The negative Stochastic may be falling through its 80's signal line which will offer sell signal. The MACD remains positive. Contradicting indicators are classic evidence that the market is range bounding. But since the ADX has been falling and now gone below the 20's, I would pay more attention to the Stochastic for short term trading. 





The weekly chart's Stochastic has turned positive but the MACD remains negative. A repeat of a contradicting indicators as in the daily chart. The ADX continues to fall and may goes below the 20's soon which is also confirming the lack of trend here. Again I will watch out for price to close outside the upper or lower band to determine the market's next new directional move.

As mentioned last week, the 2 items to watch out here are the bearish divergence at the MACD and a possible formation of very bearish Head & Shoulder pattern.
 
Repackaging China Banks' Monstrous Loan Growth Debts Will Lead To China's 9-11 ?


China’s record loan growth and the repackaging and selling of debt by its banks has raised credit risks “considerably,” and might lead to another financial crisis, Fitch Ratings Ltd. said.

“Credit is disappearing from bank balance sheets, resulting in a pervasive understatement of credit growth and credit exposure,” Charlene Chu, Fitch’s senior director of financial institutions for China, said at a conference in Singapore today. “But credit risk has not disappeared, merely been transferred to investors.”

China’s government unleashed a record 9.59 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) lending boom last year to stimulate the economy amid the global credit crunch. The nation’s banking regulator has told lenders to report on their risk exposure by the end of this month to help prevent a pileup of bad loans.

Growing numbers of Chinese banks are entering increasingly complex transactions designed to circumvent regulations, according to Fitch. They involve banks selling loans to a trust company, which then creates a wealth-management product around them and gives these back to the bank to distribute. Banks then sell on the product to investors and with the money, pay off the loan, the risk assessor said.

“When we talk to banks about this they say, ‘We’ve sold on the loan and we have no exposure. If the product goes bad, it’s the investors who’ll wear the loss,’” Chu said. “Our view is, it sounds a lot like Lehman minibonds.”

Banks in Hong Kong and Singapore sold credit products guaranteed by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., known as minibonds, which crashed after the U.S. firm’s bankruptcy in 2008. Thousands of individual investors lost money on the notes, leading Hong Kong to crack down on sales techniques.

Less Data Flow

Chinese banks’ unwillingness to disclose loan information means the extent of problems could be worse than thought, Chu said. “Chinese banks have realized we’re tracking this and have begun to cut back data flow,” she said. “Disclosure about this issue is extremely poor and getting worse.”

Historically, Chinese banks have posted an average expected recovery rate of 34 percent on corporate non-performing loans, despite 72 percent of loans being supposedly backed by collateral, guarantees or pledged assets, a Fitch analysis of the 2009 financial statements of listed banks shows. Loans are typically termed non-performing after being in default for three months, depending on contract terms.

“Poor legal framework guiding such activity means unwinding these transactions in the event of a default could get very messy, particularly as the transactions become increasingly convoluted,” Chu said.

“Accelerating loan growth has considerably raised credit risk exposure,” Chu said. “Future asset quality deterioration is a near-certainty.” 




 

World's rich got richer amid '09 recession: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The rich grew richer last year, even as the world endured the worst recession in decades.

A stock market rebound helped the world's ranks of millionaires climb 17 percent to 10 million, while their collective wealth surged 19 percent to $39 trillion, nearly recouping losses from the financial crisis, according to the latest Merrill Lynch-Capgemini world wealth report.

Stock values rose by half, while hedge funds recovered most of their 2008 losses, in a year marked by government stimulus spending and central bank easing.

"We are already seeing distinct signs of recovery and, in some areas, a complete return to 2007 levels of wealth and growth," Bank of America Corp wealth management chief Sallie Krawcheck said.

The fastest growth in wealth took place in India, China and Brazil, some of the hardest hit markets in 2008. Wealth in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific soared to record highs.

Asia's millionaire ranks rose to 3 million, matching Europe for the first time, paced by a 4.5 percent economic expansion.
Asian millionaires' combined wealth surged 31 percent to $9.7 trillion, surpassing Europe's $9.5 trillion.

In North America, the ranks of the rich rose 17 percent and their wealth grew 18 percent to $10.7 trillion. The United States was home to the most millionaires in 2009 -- 2.87 million -- followed by Japan with 1.65 million, Germany with 861,000, and China with 477,000. Switzerland had the highest concentration of millionaires: nearly 35 for every 1,000 adults.

Yet as portfolios bounced back, investors remained wary after a collapse that erased a decade of stock gains, fueled a contraction in the global economy and sent unemployment soaring.

The report, based on surveys with more than 1,100 wealthy investors with 23 firms, found that the rich were well served by holding a broad range of investments, including commodities and real estate.
"The wealthy allocated, as opposed to concentrated, their investments," Merrill Lynch head of U.S. wealth management Lyle LaMothe said in an interview.

Millionaires poured more of their money into fixed-income investments seeking predictable returns and cash flow. The challenge ahead for brokers is convincing clients to move off the sidelines and pursue riskier, more fruitful investments.

"There is still a hesitancy," LaMothe said. "Liquidity is incredibly important and people need cash flow to preserve their lifestyle -- but they want to replace that cash flow in a way that does not increase their risk profile."

The report found that investor confidence in advisers and regulators remains shaken. The rich are actively managing their investments, seeking customized advice and demanding full disclosure about the securities they buy.

There were signs that investors were shaking off their concerns. Families that kept money closer to home during the crisis began shifting money to foreign markets, particularly the developing nations.

North American and European investors are expected to increase their exposure to Asian markets, which are projected to lead the world in economic expansion. Europe's wealthy are seen increasing their U.S. and Canadian holdings. More wealthy clients also are taking a harder look at large companies that pay healthy dividends, as an alternative to bonds and their razor-thin yields. "Investors are open to areas they hadn't thought about before as they try to preserve their ability to be philanthropic, to preserve their lifestyle," LaMothe said. "To me, the report underscored clients are involved and they're not inclined to stay in 1 percent savings accounts."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

 
Yuan Climbs Most in 20 Months - a "Whopping" .37 Percent; Are we Supposed to be Impressed?

Stock and commodities futures are up headed into Monday's trading on news that China has "unpegged" the Yuan. Please consider Yuan Climbs Most in 20 Months After China Signals End to Peg.

    The yuan climbed the most in 20 months against the dollar and forwards jumped after China’s central bank relaxed a two-year peg before a Group of 20 summit this week.

    The currency advanced 0.37 percent to 6.8010 per dollar as of 3:54 p.m. in Hong Kong, the biggest gain since Oct. 7, 2008, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System. The 12- month non-deliverable yuan forward rose 1.3 percent to 6.6276, implying traders are betting on a 2.6 percent appreciation.

    The People’s Bank of China said on June 19 it will allow greater currency “flexibility.” Yesterday, it ruled out “large changes” in the exchange rate and said it will prevent “excessive” fluctuations. The central bank, which has accumulated $2.4 trillion in reserves by intervening in currency markets, said it will maintain the trading band and curb inflows of short-term speculative capital.

    Intervention Risk

    “We can’t exclude the possibility of yuan depreciation,” said Shen Jianguang, Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd.’s chief economist for Greater China, who said a 2.5 percent drop is possible this year if the dollar-euro rate is unchanged. Even so, he added, China needs to show flexibility in its currency before the G-20 summit in Toronto on June 26-27.

    U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said lawmakers will push ahead with proposals for trade sanctions until they are convinced the advance is fast enough to allow fair competition.

    Textiles makers stand to lose the most from appreciation and some would “face bankruptcy” with profit margins as low as 3 percent, Zhang Wei, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said in March. Europe’s debt crisis has added to pressure on their earnings. Swift Umbrella Co., based in the southern Chinese province of Fujian, was forced by European buyers to cut prices 6 percent this year, Xu Youchuan, sales manager, said in a June 2 interview.

Given that China pegged the Yuan for nearly a year, of course this is the biggest move in 20 months. Moreover, before anyone celebrates with champagne, please note the Yuan advanced 0.37 percent, hardly a big deal.

The Euro has been swinging more than a percent a day and five percent a week.

China Buys Time at G-20 With Yuan Announcement

One way good way of looking at this situation is China’s Hu Buys Time at G-20 With Yuan Announcement

    Chinese President Hu Jintao may have succeeded in removing the yuan’s valuation from debate at this week’s Group of 20 leaders’ summit, economists and political analysts say. How much time he’s bought depends on how flexible the currency will become.

    “I think the announcement is in a sense preemptive and will probably keep currency off the agenda at the G-20 meeting, a well advertised Chinese goal,” said Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “My view is that they have at a minimum bought some time.”

China Plays Obama like Violin


An even better way of looking at the situation is China Plays Obama like Violin on Yuan Exchange Rate

    You have to hand it to China for the way it played Obama like a violin. On Thursday and Friday China Warned Against Finger-Pointing while announcing the "yuan exchange rate of no concern to others" setting a confrontational tone for the G-20.

    Today, China says Dollar peg is dead and vows yuan flexibility.

    China got exactly the praise it wanted from US and European leaders in exchange for essentially nothing.

    China did not agree to a timetable or an amount. In essence it was a hollow statement. By acting extremely tough, then throwing Obama a bare bone, it made it appear as if the action was meaningful.

    It wasn't. I am not in favor of tariffs but I expect to see Schumer pressing ahead with protectionist legislation.

Whether this buys China some time with the protectionists in Congress remains to be seen. However, it is clear that China played its hand as good as conceivable possible with an extremely tough hard-line stance, followed up a day later with seemingly large concession.

Had China not played these games, no one would have been impressed with a pissy .37 percent move. Now, everyone is going gaga.


Monday, June 21, 2010

 
Are Israel and America Going To Jump Iran Soon?
 
 
I was thinking to myself that Israel's unconventional sudden back down from the West Banks' blockage smells . I immediately thought of they may be preparing something new. And this just flashes :-


12 American Warships, Including One Aircraft Carrier, And One Israeli Corvette, Cross Suez Canal On Way To Red Sea And Beyond

Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi reports that 12 American warships, among which one aircraft carrier, as well as one Israeli corvette, and possibly a submarine, have crossed the Suez Canal on their way to the Red Sea. Concurrently, thousands of Egyptian soldiers were deployed along the canal to protect the ships. (our local Mullahs should know this:- how their Arab Muslim brothers are helping the great Satans) The passage disrupted traffic into the manmade canal for the "longest time in years." The immediate destination of the fleet is unknown. According to Global Security, two other carriers are already deployed in the region, with the CVN-73 Washington in the western Pacific as of May 26, and the CVN-69 Eisenhower supporting operation Enduring Freedom as of May 22. It is unclear at first read what the third carrier group may be, but if this news, which was also confirmed by the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, is correct, then the Debka report about a surge in aircraft activity in the Persian Gulf is well on its way to being confirmed. There has been no update on the three Israeli nuclear-armed subs that are believed to be operating off the coast of Iran currently.

 
>From the original article, translated by Google:

    Shipping sources in the city of Suez on Friday have said that 12 U.S. warships, including a giant Israeli warship, have crossed the Suez Canal in the early hours of dawn on Friday, en route to the Red Sea coast, at the same time as the channel has seen large numbers of soldiers. According to sources and eyewitnesses 'The Suez Canal traffic was disrupted for hours in the morning during the crossing of U.S. Navy, which includes a giant aircraft carrier, soldiers, ships and infantry, armor and ammunition, coming from the Mediterranean Sea on its way to the Red Sea'. The sources revealed that many merchant ships were disrupted outside the channel until the completion of the Navy passage, which observers said was one of the longest since several years. The sources added that the movement of fishing boats in the Bitter Lakes and Lake Gator and navigation between the two shores of the Suez Canal over the Peace Bridge and ferries of individuals and vehicles may be stopped completely.

    Egypt deployed thousands of soldiers on both sides of the Suez Canal for insurance; witnesses said 'The Israeli warships were seen among the U.S. warships but official sources have not confirmed the information'.

    Maj. Gen. Amin Radi Secretary of the Committee on National Security in the People's Assembly made an exclusive statement to to Al Quds Al Arabi, that the "decision to declare war on Iran is not easy, but Israel was known for her Beslvha and Arabdtha may provide to the war in order to maintain its leadership in the region as nuclear weapons are the only deterrent."

    Radhi said, 'should be the scourge of Israel tend to be left a free hand should be forced by the international community to disarm its nuclear weapons before calling for strike on Iran'.  In a related development, the opposition warned from various that the Egyptian regime that allows a repeat of the historica mistake when opening the Suez Canal to cross the fleet-American attack on Iraq in this context, Abdullah said Alsnanwi editor of 'Arab Nazareth' for 'Al Quds Al Arabi' that 'the Egyptians will not stand idly by this time they see the system of government in a major scandal in coordination with Israel and America to open the Suez Canal to attack Iran and Islam." He expressed surprise at the crossing of a huge number of American battleships, along with an Israeli sub carrying nuclear warheads, and wondered, what is the secret channel those huge numbers of warships to the Gulf, and he believed the difficulty to enter the U.S. facing big problems in Afghanistan and Iraq to open a front with Iran.

    For his part, the leader of the Brotherhood warned of the consequences of a strike on Iran,(but what the fuck can they do ?) stressing that accept the Arab and Muslim world such a thing is unacceptable and should not be silent if the masses bowed to the will of the governments in Washington and Tel Aviv.

    The international media has pointed to the direction of an Israeli nuclear submarine model 'Dolphin' carry nuclear warheads and warships to the Gulf region in light of tensions with Iran.

    With Iran warned Friday that any act against the interests of the Iranian people, legal and legitimate will result in legal response and appropriate action by Iran, said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that U.S. intelligence that indicates that it is likely to possess Tehran the ability to attack Europe ' tens or even hundreds of rockets' (it is not about WMD this time) taken into account in the Government's decision to modify the Obama system for missile defenses.  The United States has cited the growing threat of Iranian missiles when it announced in September (September) last plans to integrate missile defenses at sea and ashore in the member states of NATO in Europe and around the States in what was dubbed 'adaptive phased approach'. Gates said in a hearing on Congress 'among the elements of information that contributed to the decision to approach the interim adjustment to recognize that if Iran actually launched a rocket attack on Europe would not be just a missile or two or a few. He added, 'but is likely to be attacked with a barrage of missiles because of its potential to deal with tens or even hundreds of rockets'.

We have submitted a query to Hillary Clinton for confirmation, in advance of her meeting with Israel defense minister Ehud Barak, who flew in to the US on Saturday for meetings with the former first lady, as well as Robert Gates and Chairman of the JCS Mike Mullen. And yes, the Joint Chiefs of Staff don't really get involved in high level "diplomacy" all that often.

Update: it appears the Aircraft Carrier crossing the Suez is almost certainly CVN-75 Harry Truman, which until recently was in the Mediterranean according to Stratfor. According to Wikipedia, "the super carrier can accommodate approximately 80 aircraft."

 
Finally A Big Gun Thinks Same on RMB as My Chart Reading
 
人民幣可能不升反跌
 
 
(紐約20日訊)有「末日博士」之稱的紐約大學經濟學家魯比尼認為,中國決定放寬人民幣匯率釘牢美元的匯率政策,可能代表人民幣兌美元走弱,而非美 國希望的升值。
美國政府與世界各國長期以來不斷呼籲中國放寬人民幣匯率政策,魯比尼在電子郵件中告訴路透社:「這是多年來,中國首度強烈暗示貨幣政策會有所改 變。」

不過,他提到,中國如何實施新制度仍有待觀察,包括北京用來作為人民幣匯價參考用的一籃子貨幣,以及這些貨幣的基準日期。他說:「他們並未改變先前 所定的正負0.5%的浮動區間,中國在週一很有可能允許人民幣兌美元浮動。」

由於歐洲債務問題造成歐元劇貶,最近數月以來人民幣兌歐元大幅上漲,因此不能想當然爾的認為人民幣會升值。如果歐元繼續貶值,必須允許人民幣兌美元 貶值,而出現與升值期望相矛盾的現象。

魯比尼還說:「即使中國讓人民幣兌美元逐步升值,未來一年的幅度可能不大,不會超過3%或4%,而貿易出超減少,中國經濟成長可能緩步,勞工糾紛仍 是中國擔心的社會問題。」

Sunday, June 20, 2010

 

Hugh Hendry Busts Out Tolstoy, TS Eliot, And Buchan To Win An Argument At Hedge Fund Conference

Hugh HendryEclectica's Hugh Hendry and Mike Novogratz, principal of Fortress Investment Group, got into a war of the words yesterday at one of the hedge fund industry's biggest conferences, GAIM.

Hendy's used to fighting (and winning) with professors, who he seems to think are useless as economic commentors.
But according to the GAIM conference's blog, Hendry had to bust out the big boy refences to win the prize for the smartest argument against Novogratz and started quoting ts eliot, Buchan and Tolstoy.
He said that he had had to face the twin axis of financial evil that is Germany and France, transporting himself across the European Socialist citadel (we think that's the reference to Tolstoy's War and Peace) to get to our stage.

“The Euro is finished” he concluded. He said gold should be 10% of a fund's assets.

“In the long run, there will be a bail out” he said. “The Euro will go lower and there will be more European political mishaps before they get bailed out.” Novogratz proposed a long Sterling versus the Euro trade.

Novogratz believes that we are on a global mega trend of globalisation with the so-called emerging markets coming to the fore. “That force could carry us through” he said.

But Hendry came out on top adding these two super-smart allusions:
Hendry’s referenced Buchan's Gap In The Curtain to explain our inability to see into the future or what would happen if we were able to.
“How does life play out?” he asked, and answered himself: “In our haste to make money, we rush to the end.”

And there, we may find, he said, Eliot’s Wilderness of Mirrors, which is a reference to Eliot's poem, Gerontion.

Someone commented:- " I now work on the buy side, but I come from a poor background, and did not attend all "the right schools." Believe me when I tell you that the 95% of people in this business that are blue-blood snobs think that referencing literature makes you smarter than everyone else. Even when they are blowing up clients' portfolios."

Ethanol: The latest Incarnation of Snake Oil

You may never have never heard of Patricia Woertz, or Archer Daniels Midland. Woertz is the CEO of ADM, America’s 27th largest company, and it’s the largest company headed by a female in the US. The reason you ought to care is that Woertz and ADM have the power to make your life more expensive – much more expensive. And they have been aggressively exercising that power for over 30 years.

ADM is the largest primary food processor in the country – it turns corn and soybeans (among other products) into a host of consumer products: corn flakes, cornstarch, corn syrup, corn meal, popcorn, and hundreds of other items. One of those other items is ethanol. Ethanol is a pure grain alcohol that, when blended with gasoline, yields gasohol – the E10 or E85 blends. Ethanol has long been touted as a path to energy independence, the way to reduce, or even eliminate, oil imports.

More accurately, though, ethanol is the latest incarnation of snake oil. It is an inferior product in every facet, and the entire ethanol industry would disappear overnight if the federal government would perform its intended function – the service and protection of its people – and end ethanol subsidies once and for all.

The origin of ethanol as a national fuel source can be traced back to the national hysteria surrounding the oil shocks of the 1970’s. An enterprising Dwayne Andreas (then-chairman of ADM) managed to convince President Carter that a domestically produced fuel substitute could reduce or even eliminate dependence on foreign oil. Andreas managed to secure massive federal subsidies for both the production and consumption of ethanol – and a new “industry” was born, albeit one that would not survive off the omnipresent life-support of the federal government. Sadly, as can only be expected of a product that cannot compete on its own merits, ethanol has proven to be a success only as a case in corporate welfare, not as a viable form of alternative fuel.




Ethanol is the greatest bust in the history of this country joining the ranks of the Edsel, New Coke, the USFL and Ishtar -- all are great names in failure, but none can compare to the sweeping and encompassing flop that is ethanol. Ethanol disappoints functionally, economically, socially, and, perhaps worst of all, ecologically.

Ethanol has only about 67% the energy of a similar volume of gasoline. Thus, E85 (a 15% ethanol blend) has less energy than gasoline – and delivers only about 75% of the mileage that gasoline would in the same “flex fuel” car. Ethanol does not perform in cold weather without special additives and lubricants that are not required in traditional gasoline. Ethanol results in higher NOx emissions (a significant component of smog) than gasoline and also has the potential to damage engines not specifically designed for ethanol use.


While the current national average prices for gasoline ($2.72/gallon) and E85 ($2.20/gallon) might falsely imply that E85 is cheaper, when adjusting for mileage delivered, the true price of E85 ($2.20/.75 = $2.93/gallon) can be seen to be almost 10% higher than gas. This price delta continues to exist despite billions of taxpayer dollars annually given to ethanol producers to artificially create a market for this otherwise worthless product.

Ethanol is currently derived almost exclusively from corn. While there is much hype about generating ethanol or biodiesel from other non-edible sources (e.g. algae, cornstalks, grasses), those processes are not yet in place at anything approaching a commercial level. Because corn pricing behaves as a function of supply and demand, any significant increase in demand (e.g. ethanol production) without a corresponding increase in supply will necessarily lead to increases in price.

Multiple studies from such varied sources as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US Department of Agriculture, Kraft Foods, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, have found that ethanol production has led to spikes in global food prices – not just foods used directly in ethanol production (e.g. corn, soy, and sugar), but substitute foods as well (e.g. wheat, rice, etc). A June 2009 Oxfam study concluded that global food price increases directly attributable to ethanol production were responsible for pushing an additional 30 million people into poverty. In a competition for resources, the world’s richest 700 million people (drivers) will necessarily outcompete the world’s poorest 3 billion (those living at or near the poverty level), and exacerbate what are already dire living conditions among those subsisting on minimal diets.

All of this aside, however, the greatest offense of ethanol lies in its fundamental deceit. If the yellow brick road of the green movement is the ideal of cleaner and renewable energy sources, then ethanol is not the wizard, but the man behind the curtain.

Outside the US, the push for biofuels is causing serious damage. In Asia, peat bogs are being drained and burned to make more room for oil palm production. These efforts to create more land for biofuels are inherently carbon-intensive operations, not to mention massively destructive from an environmental perspective. As much as 98% of the Indonesian rainforest could be degraded or destroyed by 2020, much of that due to the planting of palm oil for biofuel production. The biofuel industry has, ironically, created the world’s most carbon intensive fuel, all in the name of saving the planet.

For those ardent supporters of ethanol, consider, finally, this: Each bushel of corn can yield approximately 2.8 gallons of ethanol. Each acre of land can yield approximately 150 bushels of corn. Therefore, each acre can produce approximately 420 gallons of ethanol. Adjusted for mileage concerns, that equates to roughly 315 gallons of gasoline. In 2009, the US consumed approximately 140 billion gallons of gasoline. At 315 gallons per acre, that equates to nearly 700,000 square miles of land devoted to growing corn dedicated to ethanol production. Texas covers only 270,000 square miles of land.

The Lower 48 covers about 3.2 million square miles. To satisfy this nation’s thirst for gasoline, nearly 20% of the entire country – mountains, cities, plains, and lakes – would have to be covered in corn slated for ethanol production. The numbers don’t lie – ethanol is prohibitively expensive, ill-performing, carbon-intensive, and fundamentally unsuited as a replacement for oil-derived gasoline. But ADM hopes that you – or at least your senators and representatives – won’t realize that anytime

Greg Scheurich is a professional engineer based in Fort Worth.


 
Jewel in the croon: Music is key to love, say scientists
PARIS — French researchers have provided scientific backing to would-be seducers who instinctively know they have to swap rap or heavy metal for Marvin Gaye to improve the odds for lurv.

In an unusual piece of research, investigators from the universities of Southern Brittany and Southern Paris recruited 87 single women aged 18 to 20.

The volunteers each spent five minutes in a waiting room where one of two carefully-selected tunes played in the background.

Lurking in another room was a young man, who had also been carefully selected, by another panel of women, to be "average" in looks.

After exposure to the background music, the woman was instructed to discuss the difference between two food products -- an organic cookie and a non-organic cookie -- with the young man.

At the end of their conversation, the young male used a standard chat-up line, asking the girl for her phone number and saying he wanted to ask her out for a drink.
What swayed his chances of success was the music that had been played in the waiting room, the researchers found.

When a "neutral" song -- "L'heure du the" ("Time for tea") by Vincent Delerm -- was played, only 28 percent of women responded positively.

But when the romantic ballad "Je l'aime a mourir" ("I love her to death") by Francis Cabrel was played, his success rate nearly doubled, to 52 percent.

"Our results confirm that the effect of exposure to media content is not limited to violence and could have the potential to influence a high spectrum of behaviour," said Nicolas Gueguen, one of the three researchers.
"The results are interesting for scientists who work on the effect of background music on individuals' behaviour."

The research appears in a peer-reviewed journal, Psychology of Music.

 

 

Cyndi Lauper's had a strange dream

NEW YORK (Billboard) – Best known for her "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" hit, Cyndi Lauper veers off in a new direction with "Memphis Blues."

Out Tuesday (June 22) on Downtown Records, the album is a big change from 2008's dance-oriented "Bring Ya to the Brink." The set features 12 classic blues covers, recorded in Memphis under Lauper's direction with such legends as Allen Toussaint, B.B. King and Charlie Musselwhite and veteran Stax Records session players including Lester Snell and Skip Pitts.

Lauper spoke with Billboard about her vision for the album, her new record deal and her recent appearance on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice."

Billboard: After all these years as a pop star, why did you decide to record a blues album?

Cyndi Lauper: Years ago, I had a dream that (jazz pianist) Oscar Peterson came to me and said, "You know, Cyn, I really like your version of (Marvin Gaye's) 'What's Goin' On' (from her 1986 album, "True Colors"). Then he just looked at me and said, "I think you should do some old songs, and make them modern, the way (Janis) Joplin did." So for years, I've wanted to go back and make a blues record.

Billboard: What were your priorities for the recording process in Memphis, to create the record you wanted?

Lauper: It was a very big priority that we walk in and play live. This album was all about the moment and what happens when the groove is exact and the key is right. It's like a portal into another time and space -- that's what music in its purest sense does, and it's the basis of what I learned all my life.

Billboard: After being on Epic for so many years, you've struck a deal with indie label Downtown. What drew you to the imprint?

Lauper: Downtown founder Josh Deutsch is a blues aficionado, and I also wanted to be part of something new. Now I own my own music, and I say no more compromises ... In my life I know I've said all the wrong things to the right people. I spent a career doing that because I felt trapped -- I just wanted to be free and to create.

Billboard: Why did you do "Celebrity Apprentice," and what did you get out of it?

Lauper: I did it because I wanted to promote and bring awareness to the fact that gays and lesbians are still denied basic civil rights. I raised $45,000 for the True Colors Fund, half of which I got from the sales of ("Celebrity Apprentice" makeover subject) Emily West's single "Blue Sky."

Billboard: Was there anything negative about your experience on the show?

Lauper: It was very high school, how they treated me. Sometimes they would all turn their backs and talk amongst themselves, and I was really like the outsider. But I'd do it again. I just got a message that (fellow contestant and series winner) Bret (Michaels) left on my machine; he said, "I just wanted to tell you, you're really loved and I thought you were great. Rock on!"

Billboard: Do you have any upcoming TV or film plans? Will you at least be making the TV rounds to promote the album?

Lauper: I'm going to try and weasel my way back onto (Fox crime series) "Bones." Tell them why I think they need the psychic to come back. I'm also going to do 'Regis & Kelly' -- I've just got to take a five-minute song and cut it down to two minutes. That's going to be a miracle. But I can do it. I'm a professional.




KCPO:- Another Possible Up Move-21/6/2020


I am changing my stop and will close off my shorts on 2404 on coming Monday. This is due to the ADX has now gone above the D- which is usually a sign that the market has gone oversold. The Stochastic has also crossed up above its 20's level and the MACD , though remains negative but has begun to hook up.



Since the weekly chart ADX is now flat and below the 20's, I would call this market a sidway market. With this observation, I would pay more attention the Stochastic which has now gone to 15's. So there is a possibility that we may see a temporary bottom forming for now. You should pay attention to the lower Bollinger Band which is also happen to be the trendline resistance, any breaches above that area may signal a new upswing move.

Since both the daily and weekly Stochastic are oversold , so there is a chance that this market may see another up move again. If a new buy is triggered keep stop at 2365.


 
FKLI:- Get Ready To Take Profit 21/6/2010



My stop at 1288 was taken out on lat Tuesday, but I would re-engage new long position on the next day when price went up above the upper Bollinger Band. The Stochastic has now gone into the overbought zone, so we would want to be more cautious on our long positions. Since the daily ADX is falling near the 20's signal line which is warning us whatever trend in this market is fast fading, so I would keep my stop at yesterday's low minus 2 points to protect profit , i,e at 1308.

Though the MACD is still rising but since the ADX is falling, so I would keep an eye on the Stochastic more. When if Stochastic is to cross down its 80's level or price crossing down below the upper Bollinger Band, I will turn short again.


The weekly chart is still bearish as both the Stochastic and MACD remain negative; the D- is still above the D+. The falling ADX with prices stuck within the Bollinger Band are telling us that this market is in a trendless mode. Watch out for prices to go outside the upper or lower band for new direction.

In the weekly chart, the current up move may be forming a right shoulder to complete an extreme bearish head and shoulder pattern. And remember the bearish divergence at the MACD is still intact. If it is really the case here, then you should really turn off any remaining bullish thinking in this market.


Friday, June 18, 2010




(1) American economy is far from dead.

At Least America Industrial Output Is Breaking Record Highs In One Category

Markets were happy with today's May U.S. industrial production report, which rose by 1.2%, above consensus expectations of just a 0.8% increase. Industrial production has been rebounding quite strongly since early 2009.

But here's a dose of perspective -- U.S. industrial production remains well below its peak level. In addition, different parts of the U.S. economy are performing differently.

The most stark example is America's manufacturing output of equipment. As shown above, business equipment output (in black) remains well below where it was in 2007 and at a similar level to what was once achieved back in 2000. Ie., it hasn't really gone anywhere in a decade.

In the meantime, America's output of defense and space equipment (in red), mostly tools of war, is at record levels. Industrial activity is clearly booming in the wrong place.

(2) That brings us to the next item :- is America getting ready for another war ?


Thursday, June 17, 2010

 
 
ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE'S  500 GREATEST SONGS OF ALL TIME.


I don't really know what is the difference between this one and the one that they released some years ago, but I checked on the date of this news, it is current:-

Rolling Stone Magazine’s “special collectors edition” that came out a few weeks ago, here is the Top 10:-


#1 – Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
Writer: Bob Dylan
Producer: Tom Wilson Released: July ’65, on Columbia
12 WEEKS AT NUMBER 2


#2 – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
Writer: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Producer: Andrew Long Oldham Released: May ’65, on London
14 WEEKS AT NUMBER 1


#3 – Imagine – John Lennon
Writer: John Lennon
Producers: John Lennon & Phil Spector, Yoko Ono
Released: October ’71
9 WEEKS AT NUMBER 3


#4 – What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Writers: Marvin Gaye, Renaldo Benson, Al Cleveland Producer: Marvin Gaye
Released: Feb ’71 on Tamla
13 WEEKS AT NUMBER 2



#5 – Respect - Aretha Franklin
Writer: Otis Redding Producer: Jerry Wexler
Released: April ’67 on Atlantic
12 WEEKS AT NUMBER 1


#6 – Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
Writers: Brian Wilson, Mike Love
Producer: Brian Wilson
Released: October ’66 on Capitol
14 WEEKS AT NUMBER 1


#7 – Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
Writer: Chuck Berry
Producers: Leonard and Phil Chess
Released: April ’58 on Chess
15 WEEKS AT NUMBER 8


#8 – Hey Jude – The Beatles
Writers: John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Producer: George Martin
Released: August ’68 on Apple
19 WEEKS AT NUMBER 1

#9 – Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Writer: Kurt Cobain
Producer: Butch Vig
Released: September ’91 on DGC
20 WEEKS AT NUMBER 1


#10 – What’d I Say – Ray Charles
Writer: Ray Charles
Producer: Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler
Released: June ’59 on Atlantic
15 WEEKS AT NUMBER 6


How I Wish I Have Some Of These Records !

Northern Soul, blues records dominate online auctions

By Susan Sliwicki
Buyers had fun mixing it up in online auctions this week, with Northern Soul and blues taking a front seat, but The Beatles coming along for the ride with two less-frequent flyers on the Market Watch roundup.

1. $6,766.66 — Larry Clinton, “She’s Wanted” b/w “If I Knew” 45. Paint specks aren’t a typical flaw you find detailed on reports records for sale, but the presence of green paint right on the vinyl of this 45 apparently didn’t matter to bidders as much as the record itself. According to the seller, this stock copy is a “real rarity,” and the paint barely makes a sound, as evidenced by sound clips posted with the record. Despite the paint, the record has a visual grade of Very Good but plays at Very Good Plus and has great, loud sound all the way through, the seller said.

2. $4,749.99 — Charley Jordan, “You Run and Tell Your Daddy” b/w “Keep It Clean No. 2″ 78. It’s no secret that blues records can draw pretty pennies from collectors, and this record is no exception. The seller doesn’t share much about the record except it is Vocalion 1611, grades in Excellent Plus condition and is “Early and great!”

3. $4,500 — Johanna Martzy Plays Bach Unaccompanied Violin Sonatas, three LPs. This three-part lot features original British first-edition mono pressings on the Columbia label, reportedly from the 1950s, according to the seller. Each LP comes with its original plastic inner sleeve. The vinyl grades at Excellent to Near Mint, and the records look unplayed, the seller says. The covers clock in at EX- to EX condition, with some ring wear, stickers, minor handwriting and the occasional bump or bend here or there.

4. $3,923.06 — The Beatles, “Yesterday and Today” LP. The seller brags that this is an “immaculate” Butcher Cover copy, and bidders appeared to take him at his word. Thirty bids passed before the sale closed on this mono record, Capitol T2553, which features a professionally peeled “Third-State” cover and a Capitol recall letter. The lot includes the original, fully-intact “Trunk” cover peel that is free of tears and repairs but shows some thin areas and crinkles, according to the seller. The record itself comes in at a VG with light surface marks and hairlines. The seller insists it plays way above its visual grading. “Being honest, the record is of secondary importance to the cover. Better play the UK originals and savour this rare cover for what it is, because the difference finding that so pristine is far more difficult,” the seller writes. The handsome selling price comes three times higher than the $1,200 list price for a comparable near-mint Third State copy in Goldmine’s Standard Catalog of American Records 1950-1975″

5. $3,550 — Mississippi John Hurt, “Praying on the Old Camp Ground” b/w “Blessed Be The Name” 78. Here’s another seller who let the record (and images of it) do the talking. The entire description reads “Mississippi John Hurt on Okeh 8666. “Near Mint.” Store stock. Greate masterpieces.” Apparently, that was all bidders needed to know.

6. $3,500 — Los Beatles “Twist Y Gritos” b/w “La vi Parada” 78. Beatlemania really did sweep the world, as Argentinian pressing can attest. Released on the Odeon “Pops” label of EMI in Argentina, this record features “Twist and Shout” and “I Saw Her Sanding There,” and it is considered a “holy grail” for every Beatles collector, the seller insists. The 78 had sold out by March 16, 964, and it was replaced by a normal 33-1/3 RPM single, which was the South American standard, the seller says. The record is in one piece, but it has a hairline crack in about one-third of the record’s diameter. The seller believes it might be playable, but didn’t test that theory. The record has “perfect” labels, according to the seller, that contain the phrase “edicion promocional,” or “promotional edition.”

7. $3,038.99 — Billy Byrd “Silly Kind of Love” b/w “Lost In The Crowd” 45. This Northern Soul single on the Scream Records label is a “super rare outstanding” Northern Soul record that is produced by Calvin Arnold, according to the seller. A few light paper sleeve scuffs prevent the record from achieving a Mint grade, but it comes in at a solid VG+ to Near Mint, the seller says.

8. $2,606 — Half-Way House Orchestra, “Pussy Cat Rag” b/w “Barataria” 78. With a band name like the “Half-Way House Orchestra,” this record just begs for a listen. Of course, the fact that this copy of Okeh 40318 comes in Excellent Plus condition doesn’t hurt either. “You may never see a better copy of one of the greatest of all New Orleans jazz records,” the seller touts.

9. $2,599.02 — Professionals, “That’s Why I Love You,” b/w “Groove City” 45. The seller brags that “This record is EX+ in every way the best copy on sale anywhere!” The bidders must’ve agreed, because it didn’t take long for this record to find a home.

10. $2,526 — Al Williams, “I Am Nothing” b/w “LA Beat.” Other than some slight rub marks on the B-side label, this record grades at Mint Minus overall. The owner mentioned he was selling it off to make room for other items from his want list.
 
 
殺貪官已成中國全民共識

 

     零一零年 上半年,中國連續發 生校園學童遭屠殺的案件,這些案件被中共壓制,犯案者多被描述為「精神異常」;緊接著又發生了湖南永州市零陵區三名法官遭槍殺的案件,網民譏諷中共又要祭 出「精神病」的台詞了……我們不得不問,如果這些犯案者都是精神病患,是誰讓他們在人群中成為不定時炸彈?

任何社會都存在著矛盾,也存在著精神疾病患。正常的社會將精神病患安置在精神病院裡,施以藥物控制其狀態,同時將這些患者與社會大眾隔離,既保護了患者也 保全了社會。但在中共所控制的那個中國社會,卻將正常的民眾置入精神病院投以藥物,將正常人迫害成精神病患。

朱軍,永州法院的行兇者,在行兇後飲彈自殺。第二天,二零一零年六月二日下午,數百當地民眾與上訪者圍堵法院,有人手持「朱軍一路走好」的花圈,高喊「朱 軍是人民大英雄」,有人燃放鞭炮慶賀貪官之死,更多的民眾則趁機向媒體訴說自己的冤情。沒有人罵朱軍,沒有人同情死去的法官。沒有人相信朱軍是精神異常。 兇手沒有瘋狂,民眾也不是瘋子,那麼誰瘋了?

湖南零陵永州市不是個大地方,在出事前很多人連這個城市名都沒聽過。這樣一個永州市卻在朱軍的行動後立即跑出這麼多的冤民。這些人充滿了憤怒與悲傷,這些 無處得訴的怨恨,只是永州市民所獨有嗎?全中國的法院,只有永州市出過事嗎?

上網檢索了之後,令人震驚的訊息跳入眼簾:二零零五年湖北永州市村民黃運財自製「禮品炸彈」寄給法院,主審案件的法官曹華當場被炸死,縣法院院長李 開清被 炸眼瞎,法院辦公室主任曹興虎腳被炸斷……原來這已經是永州市有案可稽的第二起針對法院的攻擊。

然而不僅是湖南永州,二零一零年二月十六日,大年初三,陝西安康市白河縣一農民攜炸藥包至白河縣政府大門口附近引爆,造成縣政府大門門廳被炸毀並波及三名 路過者致傷;二零零九年十月十四日,貴州遵義市中級法院遭血洗;二零零六年 四月五日,四川廣元殘疾人士夏玉開在中級法院引爆炸藥,與一名法官同歸於盡;二零零六年一月六日,甘肅民樂縣殘疾人士錢文昭身綁炸藥闖入縣人民法院,導致 五死 二十二傷,死者包括該縣縣委副書記、縣工委副書記、法院院長、法院辦公室主任;二零零零年陝西省西安市中級法院院長險遭勒殺……


想到中共對網路的嚴控,我們確信這些散佈不同省市的殺法官案,不是所有的案件。筆者不禁想到福建南平「三二三」事件八名兒童被殺之後,南平市一位小學生寫 給凶兇手的那段話:「你要真忍不住仇恨,你就去殺那些貪官,你怎能殺掉這麼多可愛的孩子……」

這種民與官的對立,民與官的集體矛盾,已成了一呼百應的衝突力量。連小學生都明白的道理,已成為中國全民共識。俗諺說「羅馬不是一天造成的」,共識的形成 不易,共識的消滅更不易。這股不可逆的共識,正一記記敲響中共政權喪鐘