Sunday, May 26, 2013

Currencies That Could Tank As Commodities Collapse

A big story this year has been the decline in commodities.

That's bad news for countries and currencies that are closely tied to commodities.

In a note, Sebastien Galy has a quick rundown of what currencies are associated with what commodities:

Aussie Dollar : aluminum, coal & wheat
Canadian Dollar : oil and wheat
South African Rand : coal & platinum
Chilean Peso : copper
Mexican Peso: oil & silver
Russian Rubel: oil, nickel, platinum, wheat
Brazilian Real: oil
Norwegian Kroner: oil
Australia Deals With Islam Fascism

Harsh Sentence a Warning to Australia’s Youthful Muslim Zealots

Notice the similarities between these Australian Muslims and our very own UMNO NGOs ?
            against film mocking Islam
Greg WOOD / AFP / Getty Images People shout slogans in Sydney on Sep. 15, 2012, in protests sparked by the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims"

In almost any circumstance, pushing a police officer and kicking a police dog aren’t considered smart things to do. But does that behavior — even if it took place during the chaos and fury of a riot — deserve four years and one month in prison? Yes, say the Australian courts in what appears to be a draconian ruling for a country with a relatively progressive legal system.
Bear in mind it was no ordinary riot. Part of the worldwide protests that followed the publishing last September on YouTube of anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, the Sept. 15 riot turned Sydney’s central business district into a ’s war zone where Muslim protesters attacked police, destroyed public property and carried placards reading “Behead all those who insult the Prophet.” And it took place in Hyde Park, a lush green space consecrated to monuments honoring Australia war dead, including Sydney’s largest ANZAC War Memorial, the Pool of Remembrance. The wheels of justice finally turned on May 9 when a 26-year-old Australian man, plumber Mahmoud Eid, became the first of 12 defendants to be jailed over the affray. On handing Eid the maximum sentence for kicking a police dog and pushing a female police officer, New South Wales deputy chief magistrate Jane Culver said she would have locked him up for longer if the law allowed it.

The trial and sentencing throw into sharp relief the gulf that exists between the mainstream Australian public and an at times vocal class of disaffected, ethnically Arab youth. The sprawling, low- and middle-income suburbs of Western Sydney may be a long way from the Parisian banlieues and the grimy streets of East London, but each is home to disaffected migrants and locally born second generations, who consider themselves socially excluded from, and culturally at odds with, their new countries.
Granted, they are in the minority. Sitting in Al Andalas Cafe, a popular North African haunt in the southwestern suburb of Lakemba, an Algerian-born migrant in his 40s who identified himself as Jugurtha sums up the predominant sentiment of a largely law-abiding local community when he says, “In France, Muslim people feel marginalized. Here, my main concerns are soccer  training and the education of my kids.” In a nearby restaurant, 26-year-old waiter Bashir Ghazal condemns the violence. “I don’t support people going crazy like that,” he says.
But Eid’s lawyer Elie Rahme, an Australian-born Lebanese Christian, tells TIME his client’s actions and those of other protesters in the Sept. 15 riot are symptoms of the disenfranchisement and alienation becoming common among many Muslims in Australia. “We think because we are not shooting or hanging Muslims, we are not persecuting them,” he says. “But you can persecute people psychologically through prejudice and labeling that makes them feel out of place. All the TV stations around the country reported the riot as a ‘Muslim riot’ when it was only a small number of the 300 peaceful protesters there on the day that committed acts of violence. If I were Muslim, I would have felt persecuted listening to that.”
Repeated allegations of racial profiling by the New South Wales police force have added fuel to the fire. Last year, a Sydney criminal lawyer of Middle Eastern ancestry, Adam Houda received an undisclosed out-of-court settlement after he sued police for a 2010 incident where he was roughed up and arrested over a robbery while walking home from evening prayers. It was the sixth time Houda had been wrongfully arrested and the third time he’d sued the police. “It’s something that occurs on a daily basis,” he says. “When it happens to me, I am fortunate enough to have the resources and manpower to do something about it. I get complaints about it at my office every single day. It’s not something new. It’s part of a culture.”
Known as the go-to lawyer for Muslims charged under Australia’s controversial counterterrorism laws, including former Guantánamo Bay inmate turned serial litigator Mamdouh Habib, Houda visited Eid in detention this weekend to set in motion an appeal. “When you consider he handed himself in, pleaded guilty and showed remorse, the sentence was a stunning result,” Houda says of his new client, who was previously been jailed for a similar offense relating to the infamous 2005 Cronulla riots that saw racial clashes spread across different parts of Sydney. “We’ll be launching an appeal and I am expecting a huge reduction in the penalty,” he says. “It’s very hard for [non-Muslim] Australians to understand the emotion involved when someone insults the prophet’s name,” he adds, referring to the film that ignited the September riots.
Houda’s sentiments were echoed by Rebecca Kay, a Muslim convert who has run for state and local seats in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown and who witnessed the riots from close quarters. “Muslims feel ostracized here and some of them get seduced into a hardcore version of Islam,” she says. “You wouldn’t believe how much hatred we receive through social media and Facebook pages like Ban the Burqa. And talkback radio in Australia is the worst. The say really horrible things about us.” Although Kay understands the intensity of the passions involved, she, like most Australian Muslims, does not support last September’s violence. “With better leadership and better organization of the protests, the violence could’ve been prevented,” she says.
Condemnation of the rioters’ actions has even come from the unlikely person of Sheik Feiz Mohammed. A firebrand cleric watched closely by police, the sheik made global headlines last month when it was revealed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the deceased Boston-bombing suspect, had uploaded a video sermon of the sheik vilifying the Harry Potter series for promoting witchcraft among children. In another video, thought to be recorded in 2004, the sheik described Jews as “pigs” and grunted for effect. And at a 2005 town-hall meeting in Sydney, he said women who dress in “satanic skirts” have no one to blame but themselves if they are raped.
But following a lengthy self-imposed exile in the Middle East, the sheik has returned to Australia and apparently reinvented himself as a voice of reason. In a video interview with the nonprofit group Muslim Village, he described the Sept. 15 riot as unacceptable and contrary to the teachings of Islam. “Islam teaches us not to despair,” he said, “not to behave in a desperate way, not to take matters into our own hands and definitely not to behave in a foolish and repugnant manner.” As one of millions of Sydneysiders who raged with indignation after seeing footage of overzealous protesters trying to storm the U.S. consulate and a bloodied, unconscious policeman being dragged to safety by his colleagues, I find myself, a practicing Jew, oddly in agreement with the sheik. Once we’ve agreed on responsible behavior, everything else can follow: dialogue, tolerance and helping disaffected young Muslims find their rightful place in Australia’s many-hued cultural fabric.
China's Next War With India

After Fighting Over Mountains, India and China Lock Horns in the Indian Ocean

   Indian aircraft carriers

In mid-April, a platoon of Chinese soldiers trooped some 20 km into territory considered India’s and pitched tents and unfurled banners. When detected by Indian forces, the Chinese refused to leave, triggering a tense three-week standoff between the two Asian giants that ended only after both sides backed down from their windswept Himalayan posts and returned to the pre-existing status quo. The incident was the most dramatic flare-up between India and China in recent years, the latest reminder of how things can heat up along a vast, snowbound border that has for decades remained in dispute.
Indian neclear submarine
Top officials in both New Delhi and Beijing tried to play down what happened. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid described the border tensions as “acne” on the otherwise “beautiful face” of Sino-Indian relations. On a recent trip to Beijing, Khurshid insisted both countries “were on the same page” and “don’t have prickly issues of significant difference” regarding the unsettled border. Ahead of newly installed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s May 19 visit to India — his maiden foreign mission — the two countries have made conciliatory noises over resolving the thorny issue of the border, even though over a dozen rounds of talks have failed to achieve any real progress. In a measure to build trust, the two countries laid plans during the standoff to hold joint military exercises for the first time in five years.

The Indian government described the incident as “localized,” which suggests that it was the fault of an errant Chinese official or local military commander, and not that of Beijing. Official talking points in both capitals tend to emphasize shared economic interests — annual bilateral trade is expected to reach $100 billion by 2015. Why should colonial-era quibbles over glaciers and desolate mountain passes get in the way?

But while the Indian and Chinese governments have grown accustomed to managing a conflict frozen on the roof of the world, a whole new terrain of contest is emerging far away from the Himalayas: the Indian Ocean. An Indian Defense Ministry report published last month warned of the “grave threat” posed by an emboldened Chinese navy in India’s maritime backyard. China’s rapidly expanding submarine fleet — it counts 45 such vessels to India’s 14 — has widened its orbit of patrols beyond Chinese territorial waters. The “implicit focus” of China’s navy, the report suggests, is to jockey for control of “highly sensitive sea lines of communication” in the Indian Ocean. Last year alone, the Indian Defense Ministry documented 22 “contacts” in the Indian Ocean with vessels suspected to be Chinese attack submarines on extended patrol.

These concerns add to an existing paranoia in the Indian media of China’s “string of pearls” — an array of ports, listening posts and naval bases that Beijing is supposedly setting up in countries around the Indian Ocean, ostensibly in a bid to encircle India. China has a stake in naval facilities in Burma, Bangladesh, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and most notably in India’s old foe, Pakistan, where the Chinese-built port at Gwadar has furrowed many a brow in New Delhi. Chinese state companies are also developing key strategic ports in East Africa, including Lamu in Kenya and Bagamoyo in Tanzania. The day may not be too far off when a Chinese aircraft carrier makes routine pit stops at cities along the Indian Ocean littoral.

China’s naval presence in the Indian Ocean began in earnest in 2006, when Chinese vessels joined the international task force aimed at curbing Somali piracy in the Gulf of Aden and securing pivotal global shipping routes. Much of China’s booming economy is fueled by oil shipped from the Persian Gulf, through the Indian Ocean, and Beijing policymakers see the necessity of securing sea-lanes and access beyond the Strait of Malacca. It’s a typically realist posture, one which can be gleaned from the first ever Chinese “Blue Book” on India — a semiofficial policy document — published this month. It says New Delhi is preparing for the eventuality of a “two-front war” with China and Pakistan and notes the developing strength of India’s blue-water navy. It warns, as the Chinese often do, of the inherent instabilities of India’s democracy, which could lead to further tensions.

Many Indian strategists do seem to accept now that China’s widening naval scope is a natural consequence of its growing global presence; its expanding operations are that of any budding power seeking to safeguard far-flung economic interests. “There’s a maturation of Indian thought on the string of pearls,” says Jeff Smith, an expert on Sino-Indian relations at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington. “Many recognize now that these are genuine [Chinese] commercial interests. The biggest reason India is also looking seaward is its own growth.”

But the parallel rise of China and India is still taking the world into uncharted waters. Theorists and analysts squint back at the era of Great Game rivalries, pointing to the now in-vogue writings of Alfred Thayer Mahan, a 19th century American naval officer and geostrategist who has become popular in both New Delhi and Beijing.

Mahan championed the need for a state to protect its merchant fleets with robust naval power — the blueprint for global domination used by the British Empire and later the U.S. But if China and India follow that same path, they’ll surely bump up against each other. Away from China’s expansion into the Indian Ocean, India has caused alarm in Beijing by stepping up its economic interests in the South China Sea and military ties with Vietnam, the main rival claimant to a body of water Beijing considers its sovereign territory. “Neither [India nor China] is really capable yet of operating in each other’s backyards,” says Smith. But the current course of action suggests further tensions may lie ahead.

In Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific, a book published in late 2012 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, veteran Indian geopolitical analyst C. Raja Mohan deploys a parable from ancient Hindu mythology to explain the current strategic conundrum between China and India. Rival gods and demons churn the oceans in search of heavenly ambrosia, but the process yields poison. It takes the subtle interventions of the Lord Vishnu to first deal with the poison and then help manage the discovery of ambrosia.

In Raja Mohan’s metaphor, Vishnu ought to be interpreted as the U.S., still the dominant power in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans. But it remains unclear to what extent Washington, burdened with shrinking defense budgets and complex relationships with both China and India, could or would want to smooth out the hard edges of Sino-Indian competition. It’s certain that such a role would be unwelcome not just in Beijing, but also New Delhi, where policymakers have no desire to be drawn into the orbit of a Western superpower. And American ambivalence was on display last month as well. “Through the whole border dispute, there was not one word mentioned out of Washington,” says Smith. It’ll be up to Indian and Chinese politicos to make sure the geopolitical churn of the Indian Ocean doesn’t become poisonous.




今年3月底时,中国新任总理李克强公开重 申,政府有决心控制房价上涨并防止再度形成房地产市场投资过热的局面
但不论从哪种指标来看,中国房地产市场4月份仍继续走强,住宅价格、销售量以及房地产开发投资的增速较3月份都有所加快。野村证券 (Nomura) 根据中国国家统计局(National Bureau of Statistics of China)公布的部分数据所做测算显示,4月份全国70个大中城市的新建商品住宅价格较上年同期平均上涨了4.3%,增速快于3月份的3.1%。
瑞信(Credit Suisse)房地产行业分析师杜劲松表示:“4月份的数据显示,房地产市场并无增长放缓迹象,房价上涨势头与前几个月持平甚至更强。即使中国经济绝大多 数其他领域的投资增速都有所减慢,房地产市场的投资增速仍然维持在较高水平。”
这种鲜明对照提供了一种可能的解释,以说明为何李克强控制房价上涨以及房地产投资的努力似乎都毫无成效。由于贸易、制造业、投资以 及消费领域的表现 都未达到政府期望,今年3月正式接班的中国新一届领导层感到,除了允许房地产市场轻度泡沫以拉动整体经济增长以外,他们几乎别无选 择。
李克强在上月所做的一项关于经济的重要讲话中,悄无声息地去掉了所有关于控制房地产 市场的提法。此举被很多分析师解读为一种未公开宣布的政策转向。
瑞银(UBS)驻香港的中国区首席经济学家汪涛表示:“今年4月,中国经济唯一的亮点就是房地产市场,房产销售以及新屋开工数据都 表现强劲。中国的 领导层面临一个困境——他们既不希望房地产市场出现泡沫,也不希望过度抑制这一领域,让房地产市场在当前疲软的经济环境之下出现萎 缩。”
中国政府确实避免了在全球金融危机过后某些地区性房产市场房价上涨两倍甚至三倍的现象,但这一结果是在多个城市出台严厉的限涨措施 或者限购二套住房的背景下才实现的。
资金紧张的地方政府无法直接从资本市场上融资。但是地方政府以及腐败官员可以征用农田、将其用途改为价格更高的住宅用地并出售给房 地产开发商,从而获取大把资金。
过去十年中,这一模式创造出了巨额财富,驱动了中国的城市化进程,成为了中国经济最主要的增长源泉,并催生出了对于工业大宗商品似 乎无法填满的需求。这一模式还是导致社会形势紧张以及抗议活动快速增长的主要因素。
中国政府担心,掠夺土地的行为以及快速上涨的住房价格会削弱中共的执政合法性,并助长反政府情绪。这正是近些年来中国政府试图干预 房地产市场的重要原因。
但新的限制措施以及今年2月出台的房屋交易税,并未在除了北京以外的任何其他城市得到真正执行。鉴于中国政府因担心导致整体经济增 长停滞,不愿再次 打压房地产行业,某些分析师担心,新一轮信贷推动的房地产市场泡沫正在形成当中。杜劲松指出:“短期之内,人们认为房地产市场必须表 现坚挺,才能支撑经济 其他领域的增长,但从长期而言,这是不可持续的。”

Divided Soul

What’s Going On: Marvin Gaye’s Singular Vision for a Classic Album

Buy the Book At:

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This week in 1971, Marvin Gaye's album What's Going On was released by Tamla Records, a subsidiary of Motown. The unified concept album,  consisting of nine linked songs, was inspired by the experiences of Gaye's brother Frankie, who had witnessed sickening death and destruction during what he deemed to be an unjust and useless war in Vietnam, according to music writer David Ritz, author of Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye.
The 2003 biography is compiled largely from interviews for Gaye's planned autobiography, which Ritz intended to co-write until Gaye was killed in 1984 by his own father.
"Looking at a crazed America at the start of the seventies, he asked, 'What's going on?', convinced that he had the answer," Ritz writes. The planned autobiography wouldn't have been the first collaboration between the two; Ritz is credited as a co-writer of Gaye's hit song "Sexual Healing." The biography's cast of characters includes Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder, and is buoyed by confessional insights from Gaye himself.
"I wanted to treat the album as an album, not as a string of small songs," Gaye told Ritz about the conception of What's Going On. "So I found a theme, and I tried to explore it from different angles. At first, I was afraid, because I didn't know whether this had ever been done before, but when I got started I actually found the process came naturally. It was easy. Don Juan was right: I was traveling down a path of the heart."
The introspective album, covering subject matter considered totally radical by 1971 standards, was an instant commercial and critical success. Although his first self-produced, self-written opus was career and life-altering,  Gaye's struggles with marijuana and cocaine addiction, the IRS, his marriages, and his relationship with his record label continued.
Upon hearing What's Going On for the first time, Motown didn't like the album. Ritz quotes Gaye's recollection of the experience: "They didn't like it, didn't understand it, and didn't trust it. Management said the songs were too long, too formless, and would get lost on a public looking for easy three-minute stories. For months they wouldn't release it. My attitude had to be firm. Basically I said, 'Put it out or I'll never record for you again.' That was my ace in the hole, and I had to play it."
Music history proves that Gaye was wise to trust his instincts in writing from his immediate experience. What's Going On, which topped Rolling Stone's year-end list as album of the year, was set in America's black urban neighborhoods. The title song begins with festive sounds fresh from the streets of his childhood, and during the recording of the album over ten days, Marvin's friends created an intimate atmosphere in which he could be most comfortable. Through loyalty to his own life story and his immediate circle's support for that vision, Gaye created a classic album that led to his recognition as a nuanced and serious artist beyond the confines of R&B, across the borders of country and race.
The "Experts"


They miss out almost every terminal points and everything else. Making one wonders what they actually know :-
信用评级机构曾为高风险的抵押贷款支持证券 (MBS)美言,某种程度上造成了金融危机,因而受到了猛烈抨击。现在,它们再次面临批评,这一次是因为误判了美国住房市场反弹的影响。
美国几乎所有城市房价出现上涨,意味着许多曾被认为几乎毫无价值的抵押贷款支持证券(MBS),现在可能适合给予投资级的信用评级,这样一 来,养老 金或共同基金等传统投资者就可以购买它们。然而,越来越多不依赖这类评级的投资者表示,包括标准普尔(Standard & Poor’s)、穆迪(Moody’s)和惠誉评级(Fitch Ratings)在内的评级机构,都没有跟上不断改善的基本面。
“它们对于我们如何在这一市场中部署额外资金已变得如此不重要,可以说它们完全无关紧要,”对冲基金Pine River的科林•泰奇霍尔茨(Colin Teichholtz)表示。该基金管理着140亿美元资产。
美银美林(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)估计,成千上万支不受政府担保的抵押贷款支持证券中,大约10%现在被认为具有投资级。这些证券构成的市场规模达到9000亿美元。
400 Capital创始人克里斯•亨特曼(Chris Hentemann)估计,至少四分之一的抵押贷款支持证券(即将抵押贷款捆绑打包,然后分割成风险和回报不同的级别)可能具备投资级的特征。400 Capital管理着7.5亿美元资产。
“眼下,只有一次彻底的灾难,才会对这些结构性安排中处于顶级的债券造成较大损失,”Hayman Capital的凯尔•巴斯(Kyle Bass)说,“评级机构没能跟上形势,提高评级。”Hayman Capital管理着15亿美元资产。
惠誉美国住房抵押贷款支持证券(RMBS)主管鲁伊•佩雷拉(Rui Pereira)表示,惠誉“2013年升级的住房抵押贷款支持证券比过去四年加起来还多”。

Harry Potter actress lands role in Marvin Gaye biopic

Harry Potter actress Elarica Gallagher has been cast as Marvin Gaye's wife in director Julien Temple's much-anticipated biopic about the tragic soul legend.
Gallagher, who appeared in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has joined a cast that features Brendan Gleeson and S. Epatha Merkerson, who will play Gaye's mother. Jesse L. Martin will portray the soul man.
The untitled project is among the films being presented to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Temple's film will focus on the 18 months Gaye spent in Belgium recording the album Midnight Love.




如果中国政府想让艾未未噤声,他们显然没能如愿。 艾未未在2011年曾遭非法拘禁81天,在获释时被告知要“保持安静”。但这名叛逆的艺术家却提高嗓门,发布了一首嘲讽中国当局的歌曲。
昨日,艾未未发布了一段名为《傻伯夷》的音乐视频,重现了他遭拘禁期间的场景。这是一组令人胆寒的喧嚣画面,时长五分多钟,充斥着粗俗的语 言(即便以艾未未的标准来衡量也颇具挑衅性)。这个视频势必会让外界关注中国新一届领导人对待政治异见人士的态度。
在视频的开头,艾未未戴着手铐,坐在一间黑暗的屋子里,面前站着两名穿着制服的看守。他头戴黑色头套,上面清晰地写着“疑犯”二字。在画面 中,他受到审讯,而且不管是睡觉、吃饭还是淋浴,都始终有人监视。
视频下半段展示的是在艾未未的想像中,出现在看守脑海中的画面,包括艾未未身旁两侧站着穿着黑色内衣、极具挑逗性的女人,以及这名艺术家穿 着女装翩翩起舞,歌词则把国家称为“鸡”。
在一个画面中,一只河蟹在艾未未刚刚用过的马桶上爬行。“河蟹”与中共一心想维护的“和谐” 双关,让人联想到中国的审查官员以及其他负责压制异见声音的官员。
2011年,中国互联网上出现号召“茉莉花革命”的呼声后,一些社会活动人士遭到打压,艾未未就是在那时遭拘禁的。获释后,他的公司被处以 240万美元漏税罚款。
很多中国异见人士对国家派来监视、骚扰和监禁他们的人产生了浓厚兴趣,2008年,环保及医疗卫生活动人士胡佳制作了一段六分钟的视频,记 录了遭软禁期间负责监视自己的看守的一举一动。
不过,艾未未并不打算就此罢手。他表示:“这段视频是献给那些不能提高嗓门说话的人的。”昨日发布的这支单曲,是从他的首张专辑《神曲》中 挑出来的。《神曲》将于6月22日发行。这名艺术家已开始制作他的第二张专辑。


变化中的中国 这是BBC国际台2005年展开该项民调以来对中国持负面看法比例最高的一年。


这一调查由总部设在加拿大的民调公司GlobeScan和美国马里兰大学国际政策态度项目(PIPA)进行,于2012年12月至2013 年4月间对全球26299人进行问询,让他们对25个国家影响力进行“正面和负面”的评估。
这是BBC国际台2005年展开该项民调以来对中国持负面看法比例最高的一年。8%的“负面增幅”也让中国与印度一道成为本年度民调负面看 法增幅最高的两个国家。


民调报告说,中国的国际形象在经过几年的改善后,2013年出现急剧下滑,在被访的25个国家中,12个国家对中国基本持正面看法,13个 持负面看法。
对中国持正面看法比例最高的国家是巴基斯坦(81%),比去年上升5个百分点;其次是尼日利亚(78%)、加纳(68%)和肯尼亚 (58%)。
“金砖国家”对中国的正面看法较去年持续提升,巴西比例最高(54%),比去年上升6个百分点;俄罗斯对中国正面看法比例为54%、负面为 24%;在印度,这一比例分别为36%和27%。


对朝鲜印象最好的国家是加纳(48%)。中国对朝鲜的正面、负面看法平分秋色,各为32%。日本对朝鲜的态度则是“一边倒”的负面 (92%),持正面看法的比例为0(中性观点忽略不计)。


45%的受访者对美国的国际影响力持正面看法,比去年下滑2个百分点;持负面观点的则小幅上升至34%。在25个国家中,对美国持正面观点 的为13个,7个国家持负面态度,另外5个正反参半。
过去一年,英国的国际形象好转,55%的人持正面看法(上升4个百分点,增幅最高), 负面观点的占18%。报告说,这得益于伦敦奥运会的举办。

God, Argentina Really Need A New War

Argentina's Inflation Lies Are Getting More And More Absurd

        Cristina Kirchner

The issue of inflation is complex everywhere. Official rates are disputed. People can’t reconcile them with what they see at the store. There are different formulas and data sets, resulting in different rates, and everyone picks and chooses what suits their needs.

But nowhere is the issue as “complex,” infested with lies, and shrouded in obscurity as in Argentina.

The debacle took on hilarious overtones when a Greek reporter, in her soft, harmless-looking manner, began to crucify Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino during an interview at his office: “I have a very simple question for you, which seems very complicated these days: how much is Argentine inflation at this moment?”

His response was an epic journey into obfuscation that got him entangled in such verbal spaghetti that the video, when it was released in April, went viral instantly. “We never speak about inflation, not even with the Argentine media,” an unseen aide explained after the minister had skedaddled.

His jab at official inflation, however, was on target. The interview took place late last year. By April, inflation, as reported by the Instituto Nacional de Estadista, was 10.5%, down from 10.6% in March, and from 11.1% in January, its recent peak, nicely heading once again in the right direction, after having been below 10% for much of 2012.

But it’s a joke – though not nearly as hilarious as Lorenzino’s verbal spaghetti.

In early 2007, the staff at the statistical agency were booted out and replaced with political appointees who would toe the line on inflation and other inconvenient statistics. Since then, official inflation has been decided by edict.

Private economists, brushing off these figures with a nervous smile, kick around 25% as the current annual inflation rate.

Mid-May the government nodded. With elections coming up in October, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has to hand some goodies to her base to buy their votes. So during the impeccably timed wage negotiations, she personally met with leaders of six unions representing 2 million workers, and struck the same kind of deal she’d made with the Railway and Bus Drivers’ unions, a deal that might get close to preserving purchasing power: wages would be increased by 24%! The closest to an official and somewhat realistic CPI that Argentina has.

To pour some oil on the fire, Torcuato Di Tella University (UTDT) – a non-profit private university in Buenos Aires – publishes the Inflation Expectation Survey. It measures what the public expects inflation to be over the next 12 months. For much of 2006, when the surveys began, median inflation expectation was 10%. The just-released index for April came in at 30%; and average inflation expectation rose from 34.2% to 34.9%.

UTDT concedes that the public has a tendency to overestimate changes in consumer prices. Nevertheless, it’s another ray of light in an obscure environment where the government has done its darnedest to replace any visibility with lies. Yet ordinary people, managers, and investors alike need to make decisions daily based on their understanding of inflation. And they’re making those decisions – just not the way the government wants them to.

The impact on the peso has been, let’s say, noticeable. In 1999, when I first traipsed around Argentina, the peso was interchangeable with the dollar one-to-one. ATMs would distribute both, depending on the button you pushed. Quite impressive. But Argentina seemed expensive, compared to other Latin American countries. And the economy was bogging down. Something was amiss.

The peso mirage ended in 2001, when people cleared out their bank accounts, converted pesos to dollars, and sent them overseas. To stop this torrent, the government froze all bank accounts; only small amounts of cash could be withdrawn. The people didn’t accept this quietly, which led to the declaration of a state of emergency, and more riots. In January 2002, the government lifted the dollar-peso parity, and set an exchange rate of 1.4 pesos to the dollar. People with money still frozen at the bank had been robbed.

And it never stopped. In early May on the black market, the peso fell through yet another floor: for the first time ever, it took over 10 pesos to buy a dollar. People have been scrambling to convert every peso they didn’t need at the moment into dollar bills. The official exchange rate is 5.25 pesos to the dollar. But it too is a lie, for most people. In one of those ironies that follow reckless deceitful governance, the government is running out of dollars and few people can buy them at the official rate – though the country is awash in dollar bills.

Since I write so much about financial fiascos, debacles, and nightmares, I’ve been asked about ways to protect assets in this environment. Thankfully, I don’t give financial advice. Even if I did, I wouldn’t have all the answers. But I just finished reading an excellent book on precisely that topic, so I decided to review it.

中国人与狗禁止进入 ?

 新西兰、越南、秘鲁、日本和美国有 两个共同之处。首先,它们全都希望加入一个初具雏形的贸易协定,即《跨太平洋战略经济伙伴关系协定》(TPP),这是自世贸组织(WTO)多 哈回合谈判破裂以来自由贸易舞台上上演的最大一出戏。其次,它们全都不是中国。
这 两个共同之处密切相关。尽管没有人会公开这么说,但TPP的目标其实就是创建一个将全球第二大经济体排除在外的“高标准”贸易协定。目前希望 加入TPP的 12个国家(除了上述5国,还包括加拿大、墨西哥、智利、马来西亚、新加坡、文莱和澳大利亚),其经济产值合计占到全球的40%,贸易额合计 占到全球的约 三分之一。这是一个“禁止中国入内”的大型俱乐部。
这么做的动机有两个。第一个动机是想把时钟拨回到2001年中国加入WTO之前。许多政 客、工会和企业现在都对准许中国加入WTO后悔不已。获准进入全球市场让中国获得了巨大的提振。但有人认为,中国为此付出的代价却很小。加入 WTO并未阻 止中国“操纵”人民币汇率,未阻止它操纵招标程序,未阻止它将廉价资金输送给大型国企,也未阻止它系统性地藐视知识产权规则。有人认为,中国 只知索取不知 付出、而且还搞欺骗。这些人其实忽略了一个事实:今天的发达经济体(包括英国、美国和日本),全都在其经济腾飞阶段大力推行过重商主义政策。 但这些人就是 要这样认为。
第二个动机听起来正好与第一个相反。它是想创建一个极其强大、极有吸引力的组织,从而让中国感到有必要改正其错误做法以加入该 组织。为了推动这一目标,TPP的规则将在某些领域对中国不利。一个例子是原产地规则。按照TPP的规定,产于(比如说)越南并输往美国的服 装,其关税将 降为零。这将对越南规模业已可观的服装业产生潜在的巨大提振。但要想享受零关税,越南就必须得从TPP成员国(可能性最大的是美国)进口制衣 原料,比如棉 花。就目前而言,没错,越南庞大服装业所需的很大一部分棉花是从中国进口的。
那 么,你如何设计一个可将中国排除在外却能向越南之类国家敞开大门的俱乐部呢?毕竟,越南也是一个拥有庞大国企、监管不透明而且极度藐视知识产 权的指令性经 济体。TPP旨在消除这种种“罪恶”。了解越南TPP谈判内情的人士表示,TPP的目标是推动越南政府彻底改革其国有部门。往好里说,这是一 厢情愿,往坏 里说,这是自欺欺人。到了紧要关头,能够决定是否接纳越南以及其他几个潜在TPP成员国的,将更多的是政治因素、而非经济因素。
之所以这么 说,是因为TPP本身至少在一定程度上是一个政治项目。TPP是一个“只禁止中国入内的俱乐部”,这一事实对日本来说具有决定性意义。走民族 主义路线的日 本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe),将TPP成员国身份视为与那些大国拉近关系的一个机会。最近他宣布日本会加入TPP谈判时表示,TPP将有助于日本的“安全”(这几乎不在 TPP的正式职能范围内);他还提到了TPP成员国享有共同的“自由、民主、基本人权和法治价值观”。这段描述刻意把中国排除在这类国家之 外,但不知怎地 把越南(一个威权主义共产国家)和文莱(一个伊斯兰苏丹国)包括了进来。
由于需要接纳如此五花八门的国家,TPP谈判谈了这么长时间也就不足为奇了。本周,相关国家将在利马举行第17轮谈判。完成谈判的截止日期 已经过去一年有余。人们预计,最早也得到2014年上半年才能完成谈判。
与 所有好的自由贸易协定一样,TPP自然会在很大程度上限制保护主义以及对特殊利益集团的迁就。日本将不再保护大米产业,而美国将不再保护糖 业。毫无疑问, 加拿大和新西兰将希望保护本国的奶农。TPP还需要谨慎斟酌关于“操纵汇率”的措辞以让美国制造商感到满意:这里的窍门是把中国剔除出去(人 民币兑美元在 8年时间里上涨了40%),把日本包括进来(日元兑美元在不到8个月的时间里就下跌了25%)。
由于需要保持这种巧妙的“灵活性”,因此 TPP最终协定中不会包含什么太具挑战性的内容。尽管如此,反对TPP进程的人士仍表示,TPP已被大企业劫持、而且谈判过程很不透明。他们 声称,TPP 规则违背了国内法律,可能危及从劳工标准到全面保健等各个事项。他们表示,专利保护规则或导致使用仿制药的难度加大,卫生标准规则可能影响粮 食安全。严格 遵守版权保护规则可能影响网络自由。这样的担忧还有很多。由于有这些担忧,若想让TPP有一丝希望得以签署(更别提随后还需得到各成员国议会 批准),往协 定内容里“掺水”似乎是不可避免的。
即使遭到稀释,TPP也可令越南之类的国家以及日本受益,办法是给予前者优惠市场准入、推动后者进行工农业改革。不过,它无法把时钟拨回到 从前。中国这只“猫”早已钻出了口袋。



美娱乐节目恶搞人民日 报新大楼

虽然外界关于这栋大楼的严肃性问题颇有争议,但鸡毛认为这栋建筑物的外形十分平常(不信你摸摸)。摄制组拿着这大楼的照片来到好莱坞大 道,让小朋友们说说它像什么,纯真无邪的小朋友都给出了自己的答案




(香港/ 北京報道)中國經濟在減速貨幣增長卻在加速從2008年金融危機 至今廣義貨幣供應量M2增加了一倍多到今年3月末M2已突破100萬億元(人民幣,下同),M2/GDP超過200%。 內地經濟學家昨日在中國國際經濟交流中心舉辦的「經濟每月談」上指出,高貨幣令中國呈現虛 擬經濟惡性膨脹、近半信貸資金空轉未能進入實體經濟、企業和政府負債大幅飆升的三大失衡,導致實體經濟生產力 下降、貧富分化。如今需深化改革、嚴控金融風險,並要看好國門,防止國際資本熱錢過度流入和突然抽逃。

 近年中國貨幣供應過快、流動性氾濫,國家統計局原局長李德水歸納主要四因素造成:一是美歐日的寬鬆貨幣政策,致使國際資本流入中國,中國央 行為保持匯率穩定不得不被動收購外匯。其次,中國人有儲蓄的良好傳統,個人存款比重達45%以上。

根本原因:靠投資拉動 發鈔滯後 「第三即根本原因是『依靠投資拉動,投資靠貸款,貸款就是印鈔票,發行貨幣的方 式轉變滯後』。第四則是因為資金在金融體系內部空轉,跟實體經濟毫無關係的『殭屍銀行』、『殭 屍貸款』大量存在,比如『地方投融資平台借新債還舊債跟實際投資活動沒有發生關係, 是一種殭屍狀態,是虛增』」。

 李德水分析,目前中國的百萬億貨幣暫時可控,不必驚慌。很多是沉澱資金,沒有直接進入流通,「央行存款準備金、央行票據等就有將近20萬億 元沉澱在央行的大池子裡」;「一些高收入階層,包括貪官把贓款用塑料袋套著窖藏起來」;而巨額存款則「如動物園裡的老虎」,有國家信用的擔 保,正常情況下是不會跑出來的。

李德水:續擴大開放 控熱錢進出

 李德水認為,貨幣供應量高企,但小微企業貸款難,一季度有銀行借款需求的小微工業企業中66.1%的企業沒能從銀行借到貸款。他建議,解決 此問題要深化改革轉變發展方式,規範金融市場。此外,發達國家寬鬆貨幣政策增加發行的貨幣90%以上流到國外,主要是新興經濟體。中國要密切 關注國際金融市場的變化,堅持擴大開放的同時要看好國門,防止國際熱錢過度流入和突然抽逃。

大部分跟實體經濟沒有關係,實際的信貸資產只有64萬億元,一些國企容易拿到信貸資金,卻借給別人買銀行 理財產品、購買房地產等。

 向松祚還認為,除了國際貨幣極度寬鬆外,中國亦需檢討自身政策。外匯佔款高企,很大一個原因是「近年人民幣單邊升值預期所起的作用」, 「2009年應對金融危機的政策用藥過猛,有人說是藥三分毒,我們這個『藥』起碼七分毒」。

向松祚:沒有定價權 轉型難成功

 中國已是全球第一大製造中心和出口大國,但美歐仍控制著貨幣金融中心,控制著定價權,控制著收入分配的權利。中國農業銀行首席經濟學家向松 祚昨日就提出擔憂:沒有定價能力,中國的經濟轉型很難成功。他認為,中國經濟失衡的一個核心原因是過度依賴美元。中國自古重視稅收卻忽視金 融,而今全球一體化背景下,金融的本質是定價權。中國沒有國際貨幣金融體系,話語權很弱,盈利能力差。向松祚呼籲,中國新一屆的領導人應有全 球性的金融戰略,關鍵點是推進人民幣的國際化。



埃及3500年神庙被刻简体 字"丁锦昊到此一游”

【“丁锦昊到此一游”】地点:埃及卢克索神庙!@空游无依 称,这是他在埃及最难过的一刻,让他无地自容."
我对埃及导游说:‘实在对不起!’没想到吃惊得嘴里叨叨‘怎么能这样怎么能这样’的导游返过头来安慰 我……我们试图用纸巾擦掉这羞耻,但很难擦干净,又不能用水,这是三千五百年前的文物呀!”(都市快报)

晚报讯“在埃及最难过的一刻,无地自容。”网友“空游无依”的一条微博迅速引发热议,他在埃及卢克索神庙的浮雕上看到有人用中文刻上 “丁锦昊到此一 游”,为国人轻易毁坏千年文物的行为感到震惊和羞愧。许多网友对此均表示气愤,大呼“丁锦昊,你要火了”。曾带队赴埃及多次的资深导游张 先生表示,毁坏和 私藏文物出入境已经触犯了当地法律,一旦被发现且情节严重,可能要坐牢。
据“空游无依”描述,他是在埃及卢克索神庙最里面一个圣殿,往右边通道、左手的石壁上发现刻字。“我们试图用纸巾擦掉这羞耻(的字 迹),但很难擦干 净,又不能用水,这是三千五百年前的文物呀。”今天上午,记者联系上“空游无依”,据他透露,自己是在今年5月3日到埃及旅游、5月6日 在卢克索游玩时拍 到这张照片的。“看到此情此景谁也没有多说,当时我们一团人都觉得特别羞愧,导游也不愿触到伤处,就带我们走了,我留存此照并发布在微博 上是想提醒大家不 要轻易毁坏文物,没想到传播得这么快。”
曾去过埃及旅游的网友“VicHo”心生感慨:“新近画上去的?上年到过卢克索神庙,没看到,也可能是因为不在主要道路上……埃及的神 庙浮雕几乎都 这么裸露着,看多了也真会有很想伸手摸一摸的冲动……有时很替这些古文物心痛,但又没什么办法……”而知名博主“蜡笔小球”今天通过微博 披露了其查询得到 的“丁锦昊”的身份资料,称其是来自南京的一名中学生,许多网友直言如果身份属实,希望孩子和家长能就此道歉。
“之前去埃及的中国人比较少,素质也普遍较高,从没看见过这种行为的游客。卢克索神庙附近很少有旅游警察,估计没想到会有这种事情发 生。”资深导游张先生说,“到此一游”的行为是一些国内游客的陋习,他们可能没想到这样做会严重毁坏文物。
“类似的不文明行为还有很多,比如卢浮宫外会有中文标示写着禁止随意大小便,荷兰的花展上也一直见到中国人‘辣手摧花’,有时候真的挺 难为情的。”张先生说,以前最多发生过中国人私带文物出境被罚的案例,旅行社出行前都会提醒游客注意不要随意购买文物,但没想过提醒客人 不要刻字。“其实国外的法律相当严格,一旦被抓到很有可能被罚款,情节严重的甚至要坐牢,这不是说着玩的。”

中国游客丁锦昊因在埃及千年神庙3000年前文物刻上汉字“到此一游”爆红 网络,丁锦昊是谁?经人肉搜索,曝光其详细身份资料:丁锦昊,南京人,1999年10月20日生,现年15岁,小学毕业于南京市游府西街 小学。
卢克索神庙是一座巨大的古埃及神庙,它坐落在尼罗河东岸的卢克索城内(古时称底比斯)。它是在新王國時 期建成的。
在埃及语中它被被称作ipet resyt(“阿蒙南方的闺房”),这座神庙是专门为底比斯的三神太阳神阿蒙、自然神姆特和他们的儿子月亮神孔斯所修,在新王国时期它是每年奥皮特节的中 心。在节日中,一座太阳神的雕像会从附近的卡纳克神庙延尼罗河游行至此,并且会和他的配偶自然神在这里停留一段时间以庆祝丰收。
建造历史通过神庙中重新被使用的建筑材料可以推导出在埃及第十二王朝时这里就已经有一座神庙了。法老图特摩斯三世在这里建造了新神庙的 第一个部分。
阿蒙霍特普三世命令他的建筑师阿蒙霍特普在今天神庙的南部建造了圣殿、柱殿和第二个内院。柱廊也是他统治时期开始建造的。阿蒙霍特普四 世时神庙被关闭,阿蒙的名字被涂抹,在神庙的边缘建造了一座阿頓的神庙。图坦卡蒙继续了神庙的建造,哈伦海布完成了柱殿。
亚历山大大帝下令改造圣殿,将支撑屋顶的四根柱子改为一座小堂。在罗马帝国时期整个神庙被结合到一座要塞中。公元后一开始的几个世纪里 整个神庙内还建造了四座教堂。
瑞士银行保密制的丧 钟被敲响




其它国家或许会认为瑞士的银行保密制无异于给不义之财提供了避风港,成为来路不明、贪污腐败或者是逃税等所得的藏匿之地。但对瑞士来说,要放 弃这一传统犹如断臂,瑞士认为,这种制度是国家和市民之间信任的最好诠释。



那些希望继续保留这一制度的人说,保密制在1930年代实施,当时就是为了保护在德国的犹太人,为了防止纳粹没收他们的财产,很多犹太人将资 产存放在瑞士的银行。




比如,濒临破产的希腊得不到继续的税收,反而看到大量资金流向瑞士银行,希腊希望能以最快地速度追回未缴的税收,这无疑给瑞士施加了巨大压 力。








对瑞士政府而言,这一问题成了烫手山芋。他们一方面需要与美国和欧盟保持好的关系,另一方面迫于国内情绪,也不能向外低头——瑞士陷入两难境 地。




他说:「比如,我们可以提出担保希腊的债务,不是偿还,而是担保。我们是唯一能这么做的国家,这样,希腊的债务评级就会提升为AAA。只要瑞 士的银行保密制度得以保存,我们就能提供这种担保。」



瑞士私人银行家协会主席米歇尔·德罗贝尔说:「我们不能在这一问题上与邻国对抗,全球趋势是朝着一个标凖走,如果的确如此,我们则必须适应这 个标凖。」


在官民一致的「搶金大合唱」中,「中國大媽」們十天買入300億美元黃金,雖然勇猛,和國際黃金 市場的交易規模比較起來,卻是微不足道。

除了把所有休班員工都叫來加班外,還致電倫敦的經紀,緊急買入金條,甚至要向印度的關係商 家借入24K金飾。

「前些天搶奶粉,終於輪到我們金鋪了。」望著排隊排到門外的大陸「搶金」遊客,黃老闆感嘆萬分。媒體報導說,為應付黃金短缺,香港金銀業貿易場緊 急向倫敦和瑞士金庫購入四倍於平時的金條。


4月15日,國際金價在持續上升了多年之後突然出現急劇下跌。紐約期金從2012年頂峰時的每盎司1800多美元跌至1450美元,最低時竟然觸 及到1310美元。這個幅度接近20%的波動,牽動了數億人,黃金瘋了?!

不僅在香港,中國大陸城市的黃金銷售店鋪存貨幾乎都被搶購一空。福建省金店售出的黃金製品不低於30噸,10萬到20萬元是常見單子。可觀黃金福 州分公司 總經理表示,九家店4月12日到18日的銷售量大增,是平常的五、六倍,上周金價有所回彈,銷售量也基本維持在平常的兩三倍。

「廣州一大亨3000萬買金條」,「重慶商人一次買入50公斤」,「福建投機客入市,搶購了30噸黃金」,類似的消息在網路上鋪天蓋地。官方資料 說,不到兩個星期之內,中國人投入1000億人民幣買進了約300噸黃金,超過中國大陸全年的產金量,占全球年產量的10%。



「華爾街做空黃金,金價應聲暴跌之後,亞洲卻出人意料的鬧起了金荒。身處亞洲的中國跟印度正好是世界上黃金消費的大國,特別是中國的購買力驚人, 在短短十幾天時間裡,以1000億人民幣橫掃300噸黃金。」中國媒體如此報導說。


4月份金價暴跌時的最低價1320美元左右,5月初反彈至1460美元左右。每盎司160美元的差價,其實並未讓中國大媽們賺到很多錢。有中國媒 體計算了 一下:「假如有人當時在最低價時抄底了一公斤投資金條,現在應該賺1萬至1.5萬元,與28萬元的購買成本相比,賺這點錢並不算多。」

面對黃金的「中國大媽」反彈,西方投資大戶似乎並未為之所動。知名微博博主「美國李山泉」在觀察了國際金市近幾日的走勢後表示:大體上來說,金價 在澳洲開 市後基本上是以美國市場的收盤價小範圍波動,無大作為,緊接著香港開市,常常是買進為主,推高金價。等倫敦開市後,常常把金價推得更高些。但等到 美國開市 後,拋售的壓力又往往把金價壓低一些。

投資大鱷巴菲特表示,即使金價跌到每盎司800美元,他也不會心動。他再一次重申,黃金完全無法重新創造價值,投資者只能期待有其他人花更高的價 錢買下它。有分析師認為,來自美國的賣壓不斷,使得黃金價格的反彈岌岌可危,未來金價繼續下跌的可能性較大。



1988年,李先生在深圳的工藝品商店獲得出售K金的牌照,他和兩位香港人合作,從香港買金賣給內地遊客。當時,黃金仍是中國政府控制的統購統銷 產品,因 此李先生的生意並不完全合法。「但因為中國不禁止黃金進口,所以只能說是灰色地帶。」他把人民幣在黑市換成港幣,而兩位香港人從香港帶入黃金首 飾,以略高 於港金的價格交易,李先生再在商店偷偷出售。

「當時每克黃金70至80元,到89年初,因為物價漲得太厲害,一度漲到110元。」李先生回憶說:「那時到深圳的內地人主要還是買彩電,金飾也 搶手,但熱度比不上進口電器。」


目前和1988年類似的情況,是中國同樣出現了明顯的通脹。雖然官方CPI數字只有3%,但民眾的感覺卻和當時十分相似。所不同的,是當年的消費 品恐慌搶購,變成了如今的投資恐慌。


大陸一位經濟專欄作家評論道:在物價持續上漲背景下,中國老百姓手頭閒散資金急需找到一條保值增值通道。然而至少是在目前,這條通道還真難找。存 銀行等於 是放任其縮水,存款一年,其價值已經抵不上當初本錢。投資股市,勞形傷神不說,十有八九虧損讓人「談股色變」。銀行理財產品據說能夠幫助投資者跑 贏 CPI,但頻頻出現的違約、不誠信乃至詐騙事件,令不少投資者對其敬而遠之。受限購政策措施不斷出臺、剛性需求有所下降、買房者謹慎出手等因素影 響,當下 房地產利潤已今非昔比,投資房地產市場已不被人們看好。此外,在實業投資方面,伴隨國有資本不斷發展壯大,民間實體投資渠道也不斷收窄。


然而,黃金的保值功能非常值得懷疑。以美國期金為例,目前每盎司1400多美元的價格,雖然數字上比1980年的850美元高,但經過通脹調正之 後,價值卻遠遠低於當年。1980年的850美元,相當於今天的2500美元。

這種情況在中國更為明顯。1988年中國人平均工資不到100元,如今已經超過2000元,而金價只從當年(黑市市場價)的100元一克漲到 290元。黃金投資的優點是安全,尤其在負利率的時期更是如此,而缺點則是沒有利息,在經濟擴張的年代,黃金無法分享經濟增長。


英國《金融時報》對倫敦金市場所做的調查顯示,倫敦金2011年第一季度交易了12億盎司黃金,以1400美元的價格計算,每天約為253億美 元。但是, 這並未計算各個大戶之間的暗藏交易數量。根據倫敦金交所對世界主要黃金玩家的統計,大戶,包括各國央行之間的暗藏交易,大約為櫃檯交易的十倍,他 們估算 2011年第一季度,各大戶之間的交易規模為109億盎司,價值152萬億美元,這包括實物交易和期貨交易。


倫敦金市場每天交易約253億美元,全世界每天金交易約2.3萬億美元。與此相比,「中國大媽」們十天買入300億美元黃金,對世界黃金 價格影響有限。
與此相比,「中國大媽」們十天買入的300億美元黃金,對世界黃金價格的影響實 在有限。

黃 金未來走勢分析

作為對華爾街瞭解到骨子裡的我,不得不說一句:別說「散兵游勇」似的散戶,就是歐美政府在和華爾街「爭鬥」時都常處下風。其實,金飾店內的黃 金量,本來就 不和整個黃金市場在一個數量級內;而「中國大媽」買入的黃金量根本無法從根基上撼動整個金市。——央視紀錄片《華爾街》顧問陳思進


從黃金和美元脫鉤之後的走勢中,可以看到黃金價格在過去30多年有兩次大幅波動。上世紀70年代到80年,黃金價格從每盎司35美元上升至最 高850美元;80年代黃金價格跌回到300至400美元,而到2002年開始再次飆升。

黃金炒家認為,黃金的價格和美元匯率呈反向運作,和石油呈同步正向關係。每當美元匯率下跌而石油價格上升的時候,黃金會出現上升;而美元強 勢,石油價格疲軟,則黃金價格會下跌。這種黃金、石油和美元的關係,過去30多年被視為鐵律。

有趣的是,黃金價格的兩次大幅上升,都和美國展開大型戰爭有關係。上世紀70年代,美國深陷越戰泥淖,軍費耗巨,政府債務大幅增加,美元呈現 弱勢,而黃金 價格出現大漲。而2002年,美國在伊拉克和阿富汗同時展開兩個「反恐戰爭」,同樣是軍費耗巨,債務增加,黃金價格再次大幅上升,再加上08 年金融危機, 更刺激美元疲弱,黃金價格則一飛沖天。


由此推斷,2014年美國從伊拉克和阿富汗全部撤軍,削減軍費開支,減少國債,有可能導致美元趨強,黃金價格恐怕難以繼續上升。如果美國經濟 復甦強勁,則未來黃金走勢看低無疑。這種大趨勢,或許才是華爾街大鱷看空黃金的真正原因。◇


黃 金的故事

黃金的化學符號是Au,原子序數是79。由於它的化學惰性,使黃金具有常溫下不氧化生鏽的特徵。根據維基百科的介紹,黃金也可能是人類最早使 用的金屬,被 廣泛用於裝飾及儀式。早在公元前2600年的埃及象形文字已經有金的描述,米坦尼國王圖什拉塔(Tushratta)稱金在埃及「比泥土還 多」。埃及和尼 羅河中上游的努比亞等國家和地區擁有的資源令它們在大部分歷史中成為主要的黃金產地。已知的最早的地圖是在公元前1320年的杜林紙草地圖 (Turin Papyrus Map),顯示金礦在努比亞的分佈及當地地質的標示。

公元前1320年的杜林紙草地圖(Turin Papyrus Map),顯示金礦在努比亞的分佈及當地地質的標示。(維基百科)
古羅馬帝國崛起之後,大量黃金流入羅馬,使得羅馬在很長一段歷史時期中成為世界「金主」。直到東羅馬帝國時期,首都君士坦丁堡仍是世界的金都,其 黃金擁有量和打金技術,遠遠領先世界其他地區和民族。

中國是一個貧金國,黃金知道大約唐朝之後才日益重要。中國史籍中,晉代之前的金,據考證往往指的銅。作為一種稀有的貴重金屬,黃金只在少有的場合 中出現。

哥倫布橫跨大西洋發現美洲之後,大量的黃金和白銀被搶奪至西班牙和歐洲,再經貿易流入中國。由於中國和歐洲的貿易保持巨額順差,有歷史學家估算, 近八成歐洲人從美洲搶奪的白銀和一半左右的黃金進入了中國。所以中國從明朝開始以銀和金作為貨幣使用。

金本位 貨幣體制

黃金曾經作為近現代貨幣的基礎,對世界經濟發揮過巨大的作用。大英帝國以黃金為基礎的金本位英鎊體系,曾經壟斷了世界(主要是歐洲)金融一百多 年。
維多利亞時代後期,黃金和英鎊脫鉤,英鎊貶值大大損害歐洲大陸新列強的債權,也是促成第一次世界大戰的原因之一。第二次世界大戰之後,以美國為首 的西方集團建立布列頓森林體系,規定一盎司黃金固定為35美元,使美元成為世界各國貨幣的基礎,是為全球金本位2.0版。

1971年,美國總統尼克松宣佈美元和黃金脫鉤,再一次結束所謂金本位貨幣體制,這不僅使全球貨幣匯率進入瘋狂浮動階段,也促成了80年代的全球 高通脹。


FCPO -  Bulls May Getting Ready To Strike Soon -5/227/2013

The bulls have been hesitating but they seem to be getting stronger. All the indicators are positive and rising and complimenting the current upmove. Price was able to close above the recent fractal high and begin to pull away from that area.

The only indicator that has not join in the party is the ADX which stays flat below the 20's signal line. This is telling us that the trend is still not present in the market. With the lowly ADX and the Stochastic now has already entering into the overbought area, we may see some congestion ahead before we can get the real blowup. Place stop at the top band minus 3 points.

The weekly chart is finally turning more biased to the bulls as price is able to stay above the bottom band . Price went higher than last week's high is a confirmation of a buy signal. The Stochastic has now crossed above its 20's signal line, by itself is another initial buy signal. Since this is now complimenting the price above the bottom band singal, so we officially has a solid buy signal. The MACD continues to stay positive and rising and it is now confirming the formation of a bullish divergence with a multiple bottoms that have been formed since 5/10/2012, 16/11/2012, 14/12/2012 and 10/5/2013. But I would not jump with joy yet as the DMI remains negative and the ADX stays flat. The flat ADX means that there is still no new trend in the market yet.

Regardless of what the foreign experts have been saying about this market, I have been getting increasing bullish base on all the subtle signals from chart readings. And now we just may see a new market bullish cycle soon.
FKLI -  After The Party Reality Setting In -5/27/2013

By following my trading rules, the previous short position was closed off when price went above the top band on last Monday. No new long position was considered because the Stochastic did not confirm that buy signal as it remains negative.  The following day price went back below the top band which triggered another new sell signal and it was confirmed by the negative Stochastic and MACD. I entered a new sell on the following day when price went below the signal day low.

The ADX has stopped rising and this may mean the prior trend may has stopped, at least temporarily. Since the DMI remains positive, I would consider the current movement as a retracement.

The weekly chart continues to be uncertain as the Stochastic is negative and falling but the MACD remains positive and it is still rising. The DMI is positive and ADX continues to rise. The contradicting MACD and Stochastic is a classic sign of a listless market. The Japanese Candlestick is another small body candlestick which is not telling much.

Summarily , the weekly chart is telling us that it is a listless market. The daily chart is confrming a retracement in progress. I have sold the market and now placing a stop at above the top band.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Where Are the Risks In The World


Risk management firm and insurance broker Aon has just released its Terrorism And Political Violence risk map for 2013.

The news is that apparently, the U.S. is in no danger of the latter kind of disturbance.

Instead, the only risk to America is terrorism.

Meanwhile in Europe, the overall risk levels in France and Spain are actually equivalent to China and Russia, presumably on the basis of the former countries' recent, heated demonstrations protesting austerity.

And the sleepiest countries in the world? Denmark, Finland, Japan, Australia, Iceland, Uruguay and Botswana — the risk of anything happening there is negligible.


And here is their list of countries with notable changes in their risk ratings:
aon 1

Porn Stars  Being Denied Loans And Bank Accounts

Chanel Preston

Chanel Preston knows not everyone approves of her chosen profession. That's one of the risks that go with being one of the biggest stars in porn.
But she never thought it would affect her ability to open a bank account.
Preston recently opened a business account with City National Bank in Los Angeles.
When she went to deposit checks into the account days later, however, she was told it had been shut down, due to "compliance issues."
She found the manager she had originally worked with and asked what had happened. The bank, she was told, was worried about the Webcam shows she had on her site and had revoked the account.
(City National declined to comment on Preston's accusations and on whether it had any policy regarding accounts tied to the porn industry.)
Preston is hardly the only porn star who has had trouble with the banking industry. Several performers and porn insiders (who were afraid to go on the record due to possible repercussions from their banks) said they have been denied accounts from a variety of financial institutions.
(Related: Most Popular Adult Entertainment Stars)
"The people within my [local] bank have urged me to downplay the nature of my business because corporate frowns on it," said one long-time industry veteran.
The issue seems to be reaching a boiling point, though. Earlier this week, Marc Greenberg, founder of the soft porn studio MRG Entertainment, filed suit against JPMorgan Chase in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the bank violated fair lending laws and its own policy for refusing to underwrite a loan for "moral reasons."
Greenberg says he was approached by a representative of the bank about refinancing an existing loan. But once he started the process, he says he saw repeated delays for four months. That's when he said he reached out to a JPMorgan vice president for an explanation.
The vice president "was evasive in his response to plaintiff's application status requests and finally informed plaintiff during a telephone conversation that plaintiff's loan application was refused due to 'moral reasons,' because of JPMorgan's disapproval of plaintiff's former source of income and occupation as an owner of a television production company that produced television programs that dealt with the subject of human sexuality," the complaint reads.
(MRG was sold to New Frontier Media in 2006 for $22 million.)
(Related: The Power Brokers of Porn)
Greenberg's attorneys claim they were told by the vice president that the application was denied because of the potential "reputational risk" to the firm.
The rejection, noted the suit, was confounding since Chase had long held the original deed of trust on the home, without any comment on Greenberg's career.
"JPMorgan purports to be so ashamed of nudity and human sexuality that it cannot process a refinance of a home loan of plaintiff, secured by plaintiff's house, because plaintiff's source of income six years ago included production of television programs that contained nudity and human sexuality," the suit reads.
JPMorgan Chase declined to comment on the accusations due to the pending litigation.
Preston noted she, too, has been denied a loan because of her profession—though at a different bank.
"[The loan officer] asked me 'are you affiliated with the adult entertainment industry?' When I said yes, she said 'We will not give you a loan.'," she said.
Whether the decision to deny Preston's business account or Greenberg's refinance application is discriminatory lending is a matter of debate—and, in Greenberg's case, something the courts will have to decide.
David Barr, a spokesperson for the FDIC, however, said institutions are permitted to make their own calls on who they work with to a certain degree.
"The decision to open or maintain an account is up to the individual institution," he said. "The rules are not prescriptive, which means that the bank must make its own assessment to determine the risks associated with an account and whether that account should be terminated or not opened in the first place."
And it is not uncommon for many businesses to take a moral stand about who they do business with. Indeed, some investment firms make it a point to avoid getting involved with tobacco producers or gun manufacturers because of the social issues tied to those industries.
Porn stars and adult entertainment industry insiders do note that the troubles they've experienced are tied to business—not personal—accounts. That may be because personal accounts are opened under their real names, which typically don't raise an eyebrow, while business is done under more well-known pseudonyms, which is when people take notice.
"It's kind of obvious about what I do when a young girl goes into a Valley bank with a different female name than the one on [their] driver's license," said Preston.
But such friction between people involved in the adult entertainment industry and banking institutions are likely to become more common. With the advent of the Internet, the $14 billion adult entertainment industry is undergoing a transformation.
Film and video distribution is giving way to Internet sites and Web cams. As a result, barriers to entry in the industry are being lowered and more of the industry is being based out of homes and being run through small business arrangements and partnerships, necessitating banking services.
"What Stock to Buy? Hey, Mom, Don’t Ask Me" Economist Answers.

OVER the last few weeks, as the stock market has reached new highs, my thoughts have turned to my 85-year-old mother.

“O.K. Mr. Smarty-Pants,” she often asks me, “what stock should I buy now?”

She first asked me this question when I was an undergraduate at Princeton, majoring in economics. She asked again when I was a graduate student at M.I.T., earning a Ph.D. in economics. And she has asked it regularly during the last three decades when I have been an economics professor at Harvard.

Unfortunately, she has never been happy with my answers, which are usually evasive. Nothing in the toolbox of economists makes us good stock pickers.

Yet we economists have written countless studies about the stock market. Here is a summary of what we know:

THE MARKET PROCESSES INFORMATION QUICKLY One prominent theory of the stock market — the efficient markets hypothesis — explains how answering my mother’s question would be a fool’s errand. If I knew anything good about a company, that news would be incorporated into the stock’s price before I had the chance to act on it. Unless you have extraordinary insight or inside information, you should presume that no stock is a better buy than any other.

This theory gained public attention in 1973 with the publication of “A Random Walk Down Wall Street,” by Burton G. Malkiel, the Princeton economist. He suggested that so-called expert money managers weren’t worth their cost and recommended that investors buy low-cost index funds. Most economists I know follow this advice.

PRICE MOVES ARE OFTEN INEXPLICABLE Even if changes in stock prices are unpredictable, as efficient markets theory suggests, we should be able to explain these changes after the fact. That is, we should be able to identify the news that causes stock prices to rise and fall. Sometimes we can, but often we can’t.

In 1981, Robert J. Shiller, a regular contributor to this column and an economics professor at Yale, published a paper in The American Economic Review called, “Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to Be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?” He argued that stock prices were too volatile. In particular, they fluctuated much more than a rational valuation of the underlying fundamentals would.

Mr. Shiller’s paper prompted a storm of controversy. My reading of the subsequent academic literature is that his conclusions, though not all his techniques, have survived the debate. Stock prices seem to have a life of their own.

Advocates of market rationality now say that stock prices move in response to changing risk premiums, though they can’t explain why risk premiums move as they do. Others suggest that the market moves in response to irrational waves of optimism and pessimism, what John Maynard Keynes called the “animal spirits” of investors. Either approach is really just an admission of economists’ ignorance about what moves the market.

HOLDING STOCKS IS A GOOD BET The large, often inexplicable movements in stock prices might deter someone from holding stocks in the first place. Many Americans, even some with significant financial assets, avoid stocks altogether. But doing so is a mistake, because the risk of holding stocks is amply rewarded.

In 1985, Rajnish Mehra and Edward C. Prescott, both now at Arizona State University, published a paper in the Journal of Monetary Economics called “The Equity Premium: A Puzzle.” They pointed out that over a long time span, stocks have earned, on average, about 6 percent more per year than safe assets like Treasury bills. This large premium, they said, is hard to explain with standard economic models. Sure, stocks are risky, so you can never be certain you’ll earn the premium, but they are not risky enough to justify such a large expected return.

Since the paper was published, economists have made some limited progress in explaining the equity premium. In any event, the large premium has convinced most of us that stocks should be part of everyone’s financial plan. I allocate 60 percent of my financial assets to equities.

Stocks may be an especially good deal today. According to a recent study by two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, given the low level of interest rates, the equity premium now is the highest it has been in 50 years.

DIVERSIFICATION IS ESSENTIAL Every time a company experiences a catastrophic decline — consider Enron or Lehman Brothers — reports emerge about employees who held most of their wealth in company stock. These stories leave economists slapping their heads. If there is one thing we know for sure, it is that sensible financial management requires diversification.

So, if you have more than 5 percent of your assets in any one company, call your broker and sell. Doing otherwise means exposing yourself to extra risk without extra reward.

SMART INVESTORS THINK GLOBALLY One widely documented failure of diversification is what economists call home bias. People tend to invest disproportionately in their home country.

Most economists take a more global perspective. The United States represents a bit under half of the world’s stock portfolio. Because Europe, Japan and the emerging markets don’t move in lock step with the United States, it makes sense to invest abroad as well.

Which brings me back to my mother’s question: If I could pick just one stock for someone to buy, what would it be? I would now suggest something like the Vanguard Total World Stock exchange-traded fund, which started trading in 2008. In one package, you can get low cost and maximal diversification. It may not be as exciting as trying to pick the next Apple or Google, but you’ll sleep better at night.


中国东方证券首席经济学家 邵宇 

某种程度上,我们都生活在货币幻觉下,以及私人债 务、公共 债务、银行信用创造的庞氏骗局中,全球国内生产总值不过70万亿美元,广义货币供应65万亿美元(GDP的92%),而各种债务价值100万 亿美元 (GDP的1.4倍),各种金融衍生产品的名义价值则达到640万亿美元(GDP的9.1倍)。历史来看,任何国家其实从来也没有真正清偿过 他们的债务, 信用本位以后,各主要存续着的经济体的负债率就一直都在上升,它们中央银行的资产负债表也在不断膨胀。借新债还旧债以外,通常消解债务的方法 就是通胀,使 得本代或者下代居民来承担债务成本,有储备货币发行权的国家还可以向外国人转嫁成本,只要再融资成本不是高过钞票印刷成本太多的话,这个游戏 就可以一直玩 下去。
日前中国M2突破了百万亿,大家终于发现中国似乎是全球经济体中最能印刷货币的 那位——这其中存在误解,主要源自于中国特殊的货币供 应方式。一般而言,政府并非可以任意开动印钞机,央行的货币发行必须有相应的资产做支撑,它只能存在于三个渠道。其一,对应政府的债权(一般 都是本国国 债),这是以政府的税收征管权作为发行保障的;其二,对应金融机构的再贷款,这是以金融机构的盈利能力作为保障的;其三,外汇占款,央行在发 行本币兑换等 值外币同时具有了对国外商品的要求权。因此央行的货币发行机制本质上是资产创造货币,这与商业银行用负债创造货币的机制完全相反。
改革开放 以来,中国的流动性演进大致分为四个阶段:第一阶段的主题是“经济货币化”(1979-1991),这一阶段中原来的计划经济和实物配给被货 币交换和商品 贸易全面替代,这迅速扩大了对货币的交易需求;第二阶段的主题则是“资产资本化”( 1992-1997),标志之一是上海和深圳股票交易所的建立,另一个则是房地产市场的出现,1998年7月,国务院宣布全面停止住房实物分配,实行住房 分配货币化,中国就此进入波澜壮阔的房地产时代,这些资产就开始大量吸附流动性,这是出现了所谓“失踪的货币”这一奇特现象,即货币供应虽 多,但通胀也不 是很高;
第三阶段则是“资本泡沫化”和继续资产资本化(1998-2005),1998年央行取消对国有商业银行的贷款限额控制, 实行资产负债比例管理,商业银行释放流动性的大门就此完全打开,紧随其后的入世、股改、大型国有企业上市都需要大量流动性的支持。特别是,据不完全统计, 这些年来地方政府累计获得20万亿以上的土地出让收入,而这就是撬动天量信贷和货币的资本金来源;第四阶段就是“泡沫全球化”了 (2005-2011),2005年人民币对美元再次打开升值窗口,随后的全球经济和资产泡沫同步升腾然后跌落深渊,危机迅速经历了一 (2008私人部 门)、二(2010-11公共部门)两波,各经济体之间存在高度的同步性,目前还都在衰退复苏的泥潭中艰难跋涉。
30 年间,中国经济在流动性战车上一路狂奔,电闪雷鸣般地经历了发达市场上百年演化的经济货币化、资产资本化、资本泡沫化和泡沫全球化的全过 程,1985-2011年,广义货币供应量M2年复合增长率高达21.67%,决策者、监管者、投资者还有普通民众无一不瞠目结舌,目眩神 迷。
对 于中国这样的非储备货币国,外汇占款无疑是其经济全球化以后,流动性急速扩张的源泉,从1994年开始,中国外汇储备呈现第一次增长高峰,这 一方面由于国 际收支双顺差的态势在这一年得以确立,另一方面这一年实行了汇率并轨,改革之后外汇向央行集中。因此中国一度采用的强制结售汇制度最终形成了 奇特的流动性 供给机制 。美元一旦结售汇,就形成了所谓的双重投放:一方面,在中国,这些美元兑换为人民币基础货币,或者说美元成为中国货币投放的基础,中国央行就相当于美联储 的一个大储备区分行,货币政策多年被劫持,而其能做的就是不断对冲再对冲。
2002年是又一个分水岭,在此之前外汇资产占比还出现过下降态 势,在此之后则呈直线上升态势。这实际上表明,央行在2002年之后就缺乏足够的工具进行资产内部的冲销操作了。央行2003年开始被动发行 央票冲销,后 来不断提升准备金进行更廉价也是更有效的对冲。即便如此,流动性总量仍然不断膨胀,进而刺激资产价格和投机情绪,这时出现了人民币的“对外升 值,对内贬 值”,以及所谓的流动性过剩现象,人民币之所以对外升值就是因为热钱围城、定向投赌的结果,而对内贬值就是被迫进行货币投放、冲销不力的结 果。
大 家肯定还记忆犹新,2003-2007年,那貌似是中国制造和贸易的最甜蜜时刻,也是全球资本豪赌人民币升值的最高峰,2005年重新打开的 升值窗口就如 同总攻的集结号,全球套息交易产生的热钱滚滚而来,房产价格和股票价格扶摇直上。但更加诡异的是 ,另一方面,强制结汇产生的美元储备成为中国央行的资产,由外汇管理局负责日常管理和投资,由于中国外汇储备投资渠道狭窄,大量的美元储备用于购买美国国 债。
2008危机后,市场把美联储直接购买国债的行为叫做量化宽松(QE),那么从这一点上看,不管美联储愿不愿意,中国央行很早以前也一 直在买入美国国债,相当于中国(还有日本、东南亚、石油国等)向美国不断投放美元基础货币,替美联储执行量化宽松政策。这就是美元的双重投放 和循环膨胀, 它在中国和美国创造出了双重信用——不同仅仅在于,美国人得到了廉价的信贷可以不断挥霍消费,中国得到更多的货币进行投资和生产,G2相互需 要相濡以沫, 真是一个完美的循环。直到泡沫全球化,货币总量多到可以推动中美两国各自的地产价格和股票价格失控形成2008年金融危机,这其实就是所谓全 球失衡的真相 和金融危机的根源。中国的流动性其实不过是全球流动性的一个镜像,这也是理解世界经济和金融市场运行规律的新范式。正如格雷斯顿所说,受恋爱 愚弄的人,甚 至还没有因钻研货币本质而受愚弄的人多。一旦流动性被证实是经济分析中的重要元素,那么很多我们传统的经济学理论都将需要做出改变。
在实践 中,宏观流动性对各种资产价格的影响是深远的,即便是遵循最简单的相对定价的市盈率分析框架:P=EPS*(P/E),或者绝对定价的DCF 模 型:V=EPS/(1+r),资产价格的推动因素,不外是盈利上升或者估值提升。流动性膨胀不仅是从估值角度推动了资产价格,或者通过降低贴 现率来吹大现 值,它在推动盈利增长(EPS)方面也功劳巨大。不论是资源性企业,例如有色煤炭;还是资产密集型企业,例如泡沫丰富的房地产,以及高杠杆率 企业,例如银 行。他们哪一个EPS的大部分不都是由流动性堆积出来的。面对这波巨大的流动性狂潮,除了冬虫夏草可以勉强跑赢外,几乎所有投资者都是输家, 被印钞机打得 满地找牙,对于屌丝级的普通老百姓而言,逆袭的唯一机会就是尽量买更多的房子,还通过加杠杆(贷款)来实现,这种近似本能的选择也是目前房价 居高不下的动 力来源。
展望未来,笔者预期中国流动性的供给机制(从外汇占款到再贷款、以中国国债为基础的公开市场操作)和供给水平(从22%到14% )都会有重大变化发生,特别是当人民币开始双向波动时。十余年主动加被动(存在“善意”的忽视)的流动性盛宴可能就要谢幕。流动性的转折点意味着大变革时 代即将来临,这涉及经济发展模式的改良、货币供应方式调整,资本管制政策的变化、人民币国际化的布局以及资本市场的投资理念和风格的转变,转 型、脱钩和去 杠杆化将成为未来一个时期经济和市场运作的题中之义。但是决意要刺破房地产泡沫的决策者必须特别小心,当系统性风险来袭时,其实是没有B计划 的。这么多年 来,针对中国房价的唐吉可德式的攻击之所以没有任何效果,是因为它面对的对手是每个卖地为生的全部城市的地方政府和每个慷慨资助地方政府和买 房人的整个商 业银行体系,他们和地产商一起都通过同一条脐带相连,而这条脐带中流动的血液就是来自中央银行源源不断发行出来的货币
这同2008年美国 金融危机前夜的形势没什么差别。最终掌握唯一钥匙的就是中央银行的看门人,此项责任特别重大。一个货币管理者要青史留名或者说善始善终,不仅 仅是因为在危 难关头,他可以放出流动性,还在于他是否能够收,这同样需要巨大智慧和勇气(伯南克的任期将近,估计很难了)。最近四部委463号文(制止地 方政府违法违 规融资行为)、银监会8号文(清理银行非标产品和理财通道)、以及10号文(加强地方融资平台风险监管)就像捅了马蜂窝一样,让各种融资诉求 急切地倾巢出 动,但这很可能是结束的开始。

Ray Manzarek Of The Doors dies at 74

The Doors was among one of those rock acts that my cousin brother "forced" me to listen to during the early 70's. He lent me their LA Woman record but I just could not quite learn how to appreciate them. But their "Light My Fire" track forever burnt into my mind, most probably til the day I die. That song has been covered by almost every so and so in the music world. (I have at least a dozen covers by Motown artistes in my collection)

Ray Manzarek
        performing at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in August 2012 Manzarek's keyboard skills helped The Doors sell 100m albums

Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founder member of the 1960s rock band The Doors, has died aged 74.
He formed the band with lead singer Jim Morrison in 1965 after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.
Manzarek, who had suffered from bile duct cancer for many years, died in a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, with his wife and brothers at his bedside.

The Doors found fame in the 1960s with hits such as The End, Break on Through to the Other Side and Hello I Love You.
They sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and Manzarek became one of the best-known keyboardists of his era, his artistry colouring tracks like Riders on the Storm and Light my Fire.
The death of Morrison of heart failure in a bath in Paris on 3 July 1971 effectively spelled the end for the band, although Chicago-born Manzarek took on singing duty.
The front man had moved to the city to write. A doctor's report stated the cause of his death was heart failure aggravated by heavy drinking.
In his latter years, Manzarek played in other bands and, in 1998, wrote a best-selling memoir, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors.