Archive for December, 2020|Monthly archive page

Covid-19: Indians think British Indians are stupid?

In Uncategorized on 31/12/2020 at 5:35 am

Fake “Covid-19 immunity boosters” are being sold over the counter in London shops, a BBC investigation has found.

Coronil, a herbal remedy from India, was found on sale in shops in predominantly Asian areas across the capital.

Manufacturers Patanjali Ayurved claim the pills protect against “respiratory tract infections”. Tests carried out for the BBC show the pills offer no protection from coronavirus.


PAP needs this law in S’pore

In Public Administration on 30/12/2020 at 4:19 am

When I read that Zhang Zhan, a Chinese Kay Poh Queen (OK, OK a citizen journalist who covered Wuhan’s coronavirus outbreak: she’d never get a job with our constructive, nation-building ST etc), had been jailed for four years for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, I couldn’t help but think that this was the law the PM needs, but doesn’t have.

Best for Shan to bring in this law of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” so that PM doesn’t need to sue for defamation people like Terry Xu, Uncle Leong, and Roy Ngerng. Whenever PM rightly sues for defamation to clear his name, S’poreans someone get reminded that his siblings can make defamatory remarks about him, but not get sued. He just stands up and makes a parliamentary statement in response to their remarks.

Cue, anti-PAP paper warriors shout “white horses” and “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”.

And I dream of “white horses” shouting “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”.

Seriously, there’s a real advantage to the PAP govt of having this law against “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” which, btw, is a frequent charge used against activists in China. No need to charge people for one-person illegal assemblies, which does sound like something from Alice-in-Wonderland or from Kafka: absurd and surreal.

Singapore: Jolovan Wham charged for holding up a smiley face sign

There is no need for more magic realism from the PAP govt, especially as writers, anti-PAP or just those who oppose the PAP, talented or mediocre, love to write in the genre: example

A man learns that all the animals at the Zoo are robots. A secret terminal in Changi Airport caters to the gods. A prince falls in love with a crocodile. A concubine is lost in time. The island of Singapore disappears.

 These are the exquisitely strange tales of Lion City, the first collection of short fiction by award-winning poet and playwright Ng Yi-Sheng. Infused with myth, magical realism and contemporary sci-fi, each of these tales invites the reader to see this city-state in a new and darkly fabulous light.

(Btw, the above collection of short stories is good fun, read it.)

My reflections on one-person illegal assembly posts

PAP govt one up up on repressive central Asian republic?

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

Jolovan’s latest problem shows Sylvia Lim’s and my prescience

Jogging alone can be illegal?

PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

Coming back to Minister Shan, here’s a post by a anti-PAP, but usually clear-headed writer Worth a read.

Post Covid-19: India’s ascent but there’s a catch

In China, India on 29/12/2020 at 6:04 am

The UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said India will become the third largest global economy by 2030.

India had overtaken the UK as the fifth-biggest economy in 2019 but has slipped behind it again due to the pandemic’s impact. It won’t take over again until 2024, the CEBR says India’s economy will go on to overtake Germany in 2027 and Japan in 2030.

But the bad news for India is that China will overtake the US to become the world’s largest economy by 2028, five years earlier than previously forecast, according to the CEBR.

China’s management of Covid-19 would boost its relative growth compared to the US and Europe in coming years.

FYI in Cynical Historian: 1960: PAP turns S’pore into a Workers’ Paradise

The market relapse didn’t happen, did it?

In Financial competency on 28/12/2020 at 7:03 am

There were a lot of people on FB predicting the collapse of equity markets in February and March. Then when the market reversed around end March, they said they would wait for the W pattern to form before buying: the market would collapse a second time, and then it would time to buy. They even drew charts on FB explaining when they would start buying.

Well they are banging their balls in frustration waiting for the relapse that didn’t happen. And when they start BSing, the best way to get them to sit down and shut them up is to remind them about their predictions about the W.

FYI in Cynical Historian: Aristocrats (natural?) cut and ran when the Indonesians invaded

Why bears think a bust is on the way

In Financial competency on 27/12/2020 at 5:07 am

Hence they think there’ll be a reckoning like the dot-com era meltdown.

Covid-19: Why white racists must be happy

In Uncategorized on 27/12/2020 at 4:34 am

People from ethnic minorities in the UK are significantly less likely to take the coronavirus vaccine – with warnings of targeted online scaremongering the BBC reports.

A study from the Royal Society for Public Health found 57% of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people said they would take the vaccine.

This compared with 79% of white people who would take a Covid vaccine. More at

In the US an FT reports is titled

Black Americans wary of Covid vaccine effort

History of institutional racism has made minority groups sceptical of vaccinations

It goes on to report that 42% of black Americans said they would take a Covid-19 vaccine, compared with 61% of white Americans, according to a recent Pew Research Center opinion poll.

Cynical Investor sidling into Cynical Historian

In Uncategorized on 26/12/2020 at 5:47 am

Started a new blog (My Christmas present to S’poreans) yesterday that aims to be snarky about how events in our past have relevance today.

A tale from the olden days showing why “Advising the ruling elite is not advisable”.

Btw, if TRE wants to republish Cynical Investor’s takes on S’pore’s History, pls feel free to do so.

Post-Covid-19, why West should give Indians a break on the use of coal

In Environment, India on 26/12/2020 at 3:39 am

Burning coal is a big contributor to climate warming. India is given a hard time by the West because of its expanding use of coal: even China is promising to use less of it. But Modi is proud to burn ever more coal even if the resulting pollution kills Indians.

India should point out that Hindus (most of the population, too bad about the beef eating Muslims and their cousins, whisky drinking Pakistani generals) are vegetarians.

Modi should tell the West “Do you want us to eat more meat? And help worsen climate change resulting from a warmer earth?” And to the human right activists complaining about the treatment of beef-eating Muslims, “Our policies keep the number of beef eaters from growing. We even hope to cut the numbers down. You want them to grow?”

In short, the deal with the West is “We remain vegetarians, so let us burn coal even if the pollution kills us. Oh and let us beat up the Muslims”.

Good ripostes to Minister Shan

In Public Administration on 25/12/2020 at 5:34 am

Christmas in the West is not only about food and alcohol. It’s also time to light a cigar or in these more PC days, a reefer.

This reminded me that the decision by the United Nations’ drug agency to reclassify cannabis is one driven by money and profits rather than science and rationality, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam: more at

And as though alcohol and tobacco don’t have $ behind them.

Btw, the science behind cannabis, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs: PAP really makes case for banning tobacco and alcohol. Seriously, I’m sure the absence of a ban in S’pore on alcohol and tobacco have nothing to do with money and profits, its driven by science and rationality.

What do you think?

Btw, I belive in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy and the 9th Immortal.

MSCI Asia-Pac keeps pace with S&P 500

In Uncategorized on 24/12/2020 at 5:02 am

Digital banking: Why SingTel and Grab are onto a winner

In Banks, Internet, Telecoms on 23/12/2020 at 6:34 am

The digital finance opportunity is huge. A joint survey from Alphabet-owned Google, Temasek and Bain & Company found that over a third of e-commerce consumers in the region’s top six economies only started to use online services because of the pandemic and over 90% plan to stick with their new habit. The same report forecast online payment transactions will rise 15% to $1.2 trillion by 2025, up from $620 billion in 2020.

In particular, think the opportunity to handle the remittances of FTs particularly the Indon and Pinoy maids. then the Indian FT and Bangladeshi FTs. Singtel has as associates telcos in Indon, PinoyLand and India. SingTel is oversold: go buy some. I own some shares.

(Btw, read the above link because it gives a glowing picture of the prospects for Grab. S’pore’s the cash cow for Grab after Uber surrendered.)

FYI, how FT reported the award of the digital banking licenses:

Singapore has finalised the award of digital banking licenses to four operators this month. In picking SeaAnt Group and a consortium between Grab and Singapore Telecommunications as three of the license winners, Singapore is harnessing some of the region’s biggest tech names.

“We expect the speed of innovation of the new digital banks to strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading financial hub in the region,” said Paul Ng, financial services lead for south-east Asia at Accenture.

The move could help boost digital financial services in south-east Asia (see chart). Online lending is expected to grow fourfold between 2020 and 2025, to $92bn, while online investment assets are set to increase to $84bn from $21bn over the same period.


FYI, SingTel, Hong Leong will get digital bank licences

S’pore drops 92 places

In Economy, Environment on 22/12/2020 at 6:37 am

In the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Index (HDI), S’pore is ranked 11. Something the local MSM and millionaire ministers crow about, while TOC, TRE and their ilk on social media pretend the HDI doesn’t exist or call it “fake news”.

But a new report presents an adjustment to the HDI for planetary pressures.

The adjustment corresponds to multiplying the HDI by an adjustment factor, creating the PHDI where P stands for “Planet”.

“If a country puts no pressure on the planet, its PHDI and HDI would be equal, but the PHDI falls below the HDI as pressure rises. The adjustment factor is calculated as the arithmetic mean of indices measuring carbon dioxide emissions per capita, which speaks to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and material footprint per capita, which relates to closing material cycles.”

Go to for charts and an animation to explain this verbal garbage

Whatever, we drop 92 places. Many developed countries also like liddat but we fall the mostest. Go to page 255 of for table.

Global banks boost S’pore hiring

In Banks, Economy on 21/12/2020 at 9:03 am

They hedging Hong Kong risk.

But what will be % of jobs going to S’poreans, especially those who moan and groan on TOC, TRE and other anti-PAP sites, and social media that FTs gets all the jobs here?

Covid-19: Hegemon strikes back?

In Uncategorized on 21/12/2020 at 4:56 am

There is plenty in the Western media about Russia’s disinformation war against the West. But are the CIA and MI6 conducting disinformation campaigns against the Russian state?

The manufacturers of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine say they have fielded demand to produce doses for 1.2bn people internationally next year. But will anyone want them? Even the Pakistanis don’t seem to want the Russian vaccine: Covid-19: India has plenty of vaccines while Pakistan has to beg for vaccines.

But Russians don’t trust the vaccine even though Vladimir Putin said Sputnik V was “quite effective” when he approved it for use in August.  The vaccine has yet to complete phase 3 trials.

61% of Russians do not trust official data on coronavirus, while 59% do not plan to get the vaccine says an independent (non-govt) Russian researcher.

Meanwhile the rest of the world is trying hard to buy the US-approved vaccines.

The Hegemon is back.

Covid-19: India has plenty of vaccines while Pakistan has to beg for vaccines

In Uncategorized on 20/12/2020 at 10:13 am

India expects to begin vaccinating people against Covid-19 in January, Indian health officials told the BBC. Something for Indians to cheer as we enter the holiday season.

And gloat too: the BBC reports that Pakistan is too poor to afford vaccine doses. It hasn’t secured any dosages yet. It also doesn’t have as many friends as India. Even all-weather friend, China, is giving Pakistan the finger because it’s poor. Even the Saudis and Gulf states, fellow Muslims, got disputes with the Pakistanis. Saudis recalling a billion dollar loan.

Waz the point of nuclear weapons’? Who is a better protector of Muslims? Doubtless there will be Indian friends of Pakistan who will claim that Hindoos will be given priority in vaccination.

Sorry, back to why Pakistan can’t vaccinate its people:

Pakistan has been in talks with every vaccine manufacturer. “We definitely are competing with richer countries. And that was a given,” says Faisal Sultan, the special assistant to Pakistan’s prime minister on health, who has been central to those negotiations.

“Everybody is going for a finite pie. The pie is fixed for now and everybody wants a slice of it. And there’s obviously going to be some jostling and pushing.”

So far, he says negotiations are going well but they have yet to secure any doses. Pakistan can’t afford to pay for a vaccine before they know that it will work. “That’s a luxury,” says Dr Sultan. “I think there’s only a handful of countries who may do this. If we can get the right stuff, the right combination, we should be okay. But we cannot do blind bets.”

Leading universities in Pakistan have helped to run clinical trials on behalf of Chinese firm, CanSinoBIO and that may help secure a supply but it’s not a quid quo pro. And negotiations are not purely about money either. Ms Delgado admits that Mexico’s good diplomatic relations were an important part in her successful deals.

“Companies do exist within countries,” Dr Sultan agrees. “And when you’re talking countries, obviously politics and alliances and all these things do come into play. But at present, what we are trying to do is work above any geopolitical fray, it may or may not be truly possible.”

OK, OK, I exaggerate about the begging that the Pakistanis have to do. But it’s a fact that they can’t get any.

Where US beats China hands down

In Banks, China on 20/12/2020 at 5:44 am

Providing personal service in banking. In China, they prefer apps. More high tech. Besides personal service in Chinese banks sucks.

Why Queen Jos should make redeploying Robinsons’ sales staff an urgent priority

In Uncategorized on 19/12/2020 at 6:30 am

As Robinsons closes let’s remember that good retail staff have individual talents and skills that can be used in other settings: selling ice to the Eskimos is a unique skill. So helping redeploying quickly Robinsons’ sales staff is good MoM policy, not charity.

These tots were triggered when someone on FB shared these images from a booklet, circa 1970s:

Sadly, the above is something that most true blue S’poreans don’t do. It’s something that Pinoys know instinctively (I’ve lived in PinoyLand).

Many a time here, I bot something relatively expensive that I didn’t really need or want because the Pinoy salesperson treated me well, explaining the product, that I was interested in. So even though it wasn’t what I wanted or needed after the explanation, (nice leather insoles), I bot stuff because of the way I was treated.

Robinsons’ staff (S’porean or FT) are like that.

Post Covid-19, economic prospects for India and the Philippines are the most bleak

In China, Emerging markets, India on 18/12/2020 at 11:13 am

Emerging markets will feel most the economic impact of the pandemic, particularly India and the Philippines. Btw, looks like Spain, France, UK and Italy are not developed countries but China is.

Modi and Indians will not be happy with China’s success.

Inflation, what inflation? Why Bitcoin is flying?

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Gold on 18/12/2020 at 3:51 am

So it’s not surprising that serious investors are joining the chase for Bitcoin . Remember the supply of Bitcoin is limited, unlike that of gold, the usual inflation hedge.

Even DBS is trying to get onto the Bitcoin wagon:

Local brokers missing a trick/ Time for Temasek to let SGX be foreign owned?

In Corporate governance, Financial competency, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 17/12/2020 at 7:23 am

Local brokers are still dying even if retail punters are returning because Covid-19 lockdowns (Sorry “circuit breakers”) mean bored S’poreans e-trade. They should learn from Robinhood. No not free brokerage (It’s Pay And Pay Land here) but providing lists of trades that were the most popular among its customers in an effort to encourage trading on its app and site. And when trades are completed on the platform, customers are sent emoji-laden messages prompting them to purchase additional shares.

As to foreign ownership, after all FT’s run the place even if the CEO is the token local.

Seriously look at this chart

See how concentrated the ownership is. And “Others” include a couple of Chinese King Kongs: HKSE and the mainland exchanges.

Time for SGX to join the world: sell itself before it becomes irrelevant. Pigs will fly first though.

For the record: Over 20% of SGX shares are held by SEL Holdings, a special-purpose company wholly owned by Temasek Holdings under Singapore’s regulations that restrict the exercise of votes attached to shares of financial exchange companies. 

Smart Nation and Digital Government Group contradicts itself on app & token

In Public Administration on 16/12/2020 at 4:54 am

PM’s announcement of Phase 3 reminded me of “Ownself contradict ownself” statements from the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group: the elite team meant to remake S’pore.

(Is Li Hongyi on it? Secret Squirrel alleges that he’s on it and is one of its shining lights. But Secret Squirrel often gets things wrong.)

But first, some introductory comments:

The adoption of the TraceTogether app and tokens stand at more than 60 per cent, getting closer to the 70 per cent target required to move to Phase 3

CNA went on to say that SNDGG said a possible reason (one of several SNDGG gave) for not adopting TraceTogether

may be the belief that SafeEntry is sufficient, stemming from a lack of understanding that TraceTogether and SafeEntry are complementary tools that serve different functions.

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Excuse me Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, if liddat, why u/m statement?

No need to collect the token if you have the TraceTogether App

The statement implies that the token is an alternative to the app.

There’s more from the :

Contact Tracing

The TraceTogether Token complements the TraceTogether App by extending the protection provided by digital contact tracing tools to those who may not own or prefer not to use a mobile phone.

OK, OK, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group didn’t issue these statements, the S’pore govt did.

But surely the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group must have approved these statements. So why so cock, unless it didn’t vet the site.

Btw, I’ve been told that I cannot collect the token yet. Originally the date for collection in my area would have begun on 14 December. No new date has been given.

How to get to target of 70% liddat? So don’t suka suka blame public like the the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group implied in the CNA article.

How to have confidence in the $4G leaders? But let’s be far, PM and other 3Gs are still calling the shots. So 3Gs also are a bunch of mediocrities, not withstanding the million $ salaries: Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems.

For the record, the 4G leaders failed their legitimacy test: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote. (Btw, written in 2018: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power.)

And based on what PM, Lawrence Wong and Shanmugan said the PAP is very aware that their legitimacy is waning: Legitimacy problem for the PAP as 9% of voters get smarter

But the bad, sad news is how they are trying to fix the legitimacy problem. Instead of listening to Tharman’s views (see below), the PAP are trying to shift the goal posts, lowering the high water mark of success: now only aiming for 65% of the popular vote as their high water mark of popularity and success, not -70%+ mark of the past: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

And we must be a more tolerant democracy, with greater space for divergent views, and a more active civil society, without the public discourse becoming divisive or unsettling the majority.It will be good for Singapore if we evolve in these three ways. They will each help ensure stability in our democracy in the years to come. And they will tap on the energies and ideas of a younger generation of Singaporeans and their desire to be involved in public affairs.

Part of Tharman’s FB post

I’m not using this Big Brother Service

In Banks, Financial competency, Financial planning on 15/12/2020 at 11:42 am

S’pore residents can now view financial information from various banks in one place, with launch of new tech structure


The authorities on Monday launched a tech infrastructure called the Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex). It uses SingPass — the national passcode system for e-government services — and a centrally managed online consent system that will help individuals access their financial information across different government agencies and participating financial institutions. 

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (The guy with THE plan for his East Coast GRC which many residents didn’t care for: the PM in waiting nearly lost the GRC winning only 53.4% of the votes) said that the process to consolidate finances is often onerous. But this new underlying technology allows data from each source, which is encrypted, to be transmitted through SGFinDex without being stored, Singaporeans and foreign residents with a SingPass will be able to view their consolidated financial information.

Whatever, as I understand it, whoever is providing the user with the consolidation can see the data. This means the banks and MoneySense (A Singapore Government Agency Website) can see the consolidated numbers, if I’m correct.

I don’t see any advantage for someone like me. It’s so easy via e-banking to see how much $ I have in my various accounts with different banks. And transfer.

I also don’t want any one bank or Moneysense to see how rich I am to suka suka market to me. I assume that if it wants to, the ISD or the police can access details of all my accounts but that’s a different matter. That’s the price of living in S’pore. But I don’t have to make things any easier for millionaire ministers.

Revenge of the old economy

In Energy on 15/12/2020 at 10:02 am

Remember this chart?

 Clean energy group NextEra surpassing ExxonMobil in market capitalisation: The World Turned Upside Down

Well Exxon’s shares have risen by a third since then, and the market now judges it to be worth $40bn more than NextEra.

“Biden orders exorcism of Trump from White House”

In Uncategorized on 14/12/2020 at 4:20 am

As Biden is a Catholic, is he asking the Pope to do an exorcism to ensure that no traces of the Trump genie remains? They are both no friends of capitalism, the Trump version. The Pope may even be a closet Marxist.

No, nothing so spectacular. It’s more prosaic.

The UK’s Mail on Sunday reports that the US President-elect has asked that the White House be deep-cleaned, after Donald Trump leaves in January. A spokesman for Joe Biden’s transition team says this is because “Mr Trump’s administration has been riddled with coronavirus”. The spokesman says a team in protective clothing will go as far as replacing door knobs and removing soft furnishings.

HK ordered 22.5m doses of Covid-19, waz PAP govt’s ordered?

In Public Administration on 13/12/2020 at 4:27 am

When I read

Singapore will invest S$25 billion – or 1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) – in research, innovation and enterprise for the next five years. 

The Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan (RIE2025), announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat at a press conference on Friday (Dec 11), includes a new national programme to prepare for future epidemics.

I remembered reading that Hong Kong has ordered 7.5m doses from Pfizer and BioNTech, and 7.5m doses from the Chinese pharmaceutical group Sinovac. It’s planning to order a similar amount from AstraZeneca.

Meanwhile, as for S’pore’s orders, S’pore won’t be last in the queue for any vaccine, according to PM.

American soft power versus Russian and Chinese

In Uncategorized on 12/12/2020 at 4:12 am

America wins hands down in its traditional enemy Iran.

Int’l media reports that Iranians have started a campaign on social media against the govt buying Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines. Seems they want US approved Covid-19 vaccines, despite the US being the enemy and Russia and China friends.

America is great again. With enemies like Iran, it doesn’t need parasite friends like Germany.

Despite Covid-19, India in fast food eating frenzy

In India on 11/12/2020 at 10:55 am

An Indian bread supplier to McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC will launch its IPO next week. Mrs Bectors hopes to raise Rs5.4bn (US$73m). Should not be a problem. Indian investors love Western fast food made the Indian way.

Last week, Burger King India’s initial public offering drew bids of US$9.5 bn, or more than 150 times the shares on offer. Investors are bullish about the country’s food service sector despite a slowdown inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IPO had aimed to raise US$110m, US$60.5m from the publi

Btw, India’s stock market has been on a record-breaking run since November. The Tantallon India Fund closed 11.29% higher in November

Only in India

In India on 10/12/2020 at 4:35 am

Living in the 4th China, which is uniquely for a Chinese society, multiracial and multi-religious, and as someone who knows that most of our laws have Indian origins (I trained as a lawyer), I find this quaint, amusing and chilling.

Indians of different faiths cannot easily get married:

India’s Special Marriage Act, which allows interfaith marriages only after a month’s notice to the authorities containing the couple’s personal details. So couples fear that their families will intervene to prevent the wedding.

Where be unicorns? Not India or Western Europe

In China, India, Indonesia on 09/12/2020 at 11:19 am

But America and China. And in SE Asia, Indonesia.

Related posts:

Time for India to ban Paytm, Zomato, Byju and Dream11?

Can India afford to boycott Chinese investors?

A thousand tweets too far

In Uncategorized on 08/12/2020 at 6:28 am

Ms Neera Tanden was nominated by Sleepy Joe to head the Office of Management and Budget in his incoming administration. Ms Tanden has reportedly deleted 1,000 tweets that disparaged Republican senators she now has to count on to confirm her in the job.

Besides Covid-19, what else is hurting elderly Indians? Chinese? And Japanese?

In Uncategorized on 07/12/2020 at 5:15 am

A warming world.

Heatwaves are killing a record number of people globally. Exposure to extreme heat is getting worse as a result of climate change.

Look at the u/m and you’ll notice that elderly Indians are the most exposed to heatwaves. As are Chinese, Japanese and Indonesians.

India and China were among the worst affected, thanks to large populations and already hot regions. Heat-related deaths among the elderly, meanwhile, have risen by almost 54% between 2000 and 2018, according to the researchers’ estimates. In 2018, the most recent year for which figures are available, heatwaves killed around 296,000 people over 65. Again, China and India suffered the most, with 62,000 and 31,000 deaths, respectively. Germany and America were the worst-affected Western countries, suffering around 20,000 deaths each.

My emphasis.

Riding the melt up tornado

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 06/12/2020 at 4:00 am

Goldman Sachs said it believed the US S&P 500 equity index would go as high as 4,300 by the end of next year: 20% more than present level.  But some of its clients balked at the 4,300 target, arguing it should be even higher. others say 3800, 5% more

But some felt it was too bullish, unnerved by the potential for rising inflation expectations push up government bond yields and in turn chip away at equities.

Jeremy Grantham a well respected fund manager thinks a melt up is happening: markets have smashed past the “full bull” stage and are in a late-bubble “melt-up” phase that rivals the two biggest bubbles of the past century.

Btw in late 2019, he was predicting a melt up this yr. When the market fell in March 2020, he looked silly.

Grab and Gojek can’t be both right/ Consumers get screwed

In Emerging markets on 05/12/2020 at 4:05 am

Grab and Gojek both claim to be negotiating from strength in their merger talks.

Grab and Gojek, who dominate ride-hailing and food delivery in south-east Asia, each told their staff that they are in a position of strength ahead of a potential merger. Grab is valued at US$10bn twice that of Gojek.

The two start-ups have been urged to combine forces by their investors, in particular SoftBank, after fierce and expensive rivalry for market share.

Grab operates in 8 countries, while Gojek operates in 5 but it’s the biggest player by far in Indonesia, the region’s largest and fastest growing market. They are the top two players in most markets. 

My money is on no deal. This is good for consumers: A merger creates a monopoly with more expensive services for customers.

Diabolical: When healthtech and fintech combine

In Financial competency on 04/12/2020 at 4:23 am

When my mum was hospitalised in Raffles (Bill: Private hospital treatment, public hospital fees ), the bill would have been about $15,000 for nine days’ stay and treatment. Thanks to the PAP govt, she paid “peanuts”: a few months earlier our dog’s hospital bill was more, more a lot more. I joked that the Gods saw how well we treated our mongrel that they gave my mum a treat when she was hospitalised. How she struck Toto: Private hospital treatment, public hospital fees.

But in future, need $ to pay private hospital bill?

Patients of India’s Apollo Hospitals can use an app to get drug refills, tele-consultations and remote diagnoses—and even secure a medical loan through Apollo’s partnership with HDFC Bank.

Deflation? What deflation?

In Economy on 03/12/2020 at 7:09 am

We keep reading of deflation

Singapore’s core and headline inflation both weakened last month, continuing a deflationary trend seen in previous months.

Inflationary pressures are likely to remain muted for the rest of the year, experts said.

Core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport costs, came in at -0.2 per cent year on year last month, slightly below the -0.1 per cent seen in September, according to data released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) yesterday.

Constructive, nation-building ST in late November

, yet for most of us the prices of daily necessities (no more discounts from Fairprice on French butter or cream cheese)), or small luxuries keep creeping up: think Old Chang Kee’s curry puffs or fish balls. SAD.

No, it’s not the PAP govt “fixing” the data, it’s something Europeans have a problem with too

The prices of things that matter to us go up, the prices of things we don’t think about (even if they are important to us), go down.

Uniquely S’porean: Chicken nuggets without the chicken

In Uncategorized on 02/12/2020 at 2:25 pm

Singapore has given regulatory approval for the world’s first “clean meat” that does not come from slaughtered animals.

The decision paves the way for San Francisco-based startup Eat Just to sell lab-grown chicken meat.

The meat will initially be used in nuggets, but the company hasn’t said when they will become available.

Eat Just’s product is different because it is not plant based, but instead grown from animal muscle cells in a lab.

30% are really stupid as are 52%

In Financial competency on 02/12/2020 at 5:01 am

No I’m not talking of the 30% who die die must vote for the likes of Lim Tean.

Around 30% of people in the West get this question wrong in multiple studies:

“Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 per cent per year. After five years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow?”

• More than $102
• Exactly $102
• Less than $102
• Do not know

This question is part of three financial literacy questions

1) Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2% per year. After 5 years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow?
 More than $102
 Exactly $102
 Less than $102
 Do not know
 Refuse to answer
2) Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account was 1% per year and inflation was 2% per year. After 1 year, how much would you be able to buy with the money in this account?
 More than today
 Exactly the same
 Less than today
 Do not know
 Refuse to answer
3) Please tell me whether this statement is true or false. “Buying a single company’s stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.”
 Do not know
 Refuse to answer
  1. Source: Lusardi and Mitchell (2011b)


1 More than $102

2 Less than today

3 False

Are S’poreans any better? I doubt it because we could be a lot worse

Only 48 per cent of households have signed up with a new electricity provider two years after the market was liberalised

Those who did not switch said they found it troublesome to compare prices and are worried a new provider might close down


Covid-19: Why the AstraZeneca vaccine is a blessing for India from Ram and pals

In India on 01/12/2020 at 6:27 am

Interim data suggests the AstraZeneca vaccine provides 70% protection, but the researchers say the figure may be as high as 90% by tweaking the dose. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed 95% protection.

But the vaccine is cheap compared to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine: it’ll be sold at cost. India doesn’t have much $ unlike the Americans. The other vaccines are priced for the West, not for India

Better still, it can be kept for at least six months in a normal fridge. The Pfizer vaccine needs ultra-cold storage of -70°C, and can be kept in a fridge for only a few days. The Moderna vaccine can be kept in a fridge for a month.

This means that the AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored in any surgery or pharmacy in a third world country like India.

Richard Hatchett, the head of CEPI, a foundation that funds research into vaccines for pandemics, said he thought this vaccine had the potential to significantly alter the course of the global pandemic and could be delivered anywhere, including poor countries.


And that’s not all. The best news is that the Serum Institute, an Indian maker of drugs and vaccines, committed itself to mass-manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine as long ago as April. And it seems half of what it makes can be kept by India, to be used in India.

India’s ordered it:

India has to pay the Serum Institute for the vaccine but Modi’s thugs are already thinking about how not to pay. A minister has talked loudly of seizing the vaccine when the Serum Institute said India had yet to allocate funds to buy it.

Sounds like India is imitating China’s grandpa Xi.

Whatever, Hindoos should be breaking more coconuts. After an Indian US VP, this vaccine shows that Ram and pals love India, not withstand the many Muslims. LOL.