Archive for January, 2021|Monthly archive page

Reminds me of Kee Chiu Chan

In Uncategorized on 31/01/2021 at 1:36 pm

A mouth not keeping shut, and lips not keeping closed, bring trouble to the jaws.”A Yoruba proverb.

GameStop in charts: Riding the tornado

In Financial competency on 30/01/2021 at 5:02 am

I’m sure you’ve heard about Gamestop

The firm’s share price has spiked from a few dollars in 2020 to a peak of more than $350 on January 27th, transforming a firm that was valued at less than $200m in April 2020 into a $24bn middleweight. This meteoric rise has been chronicled on every front page, pored over on financial television and even discussed in the halls of power.

Here’s what the retail traders from the r/WallStreetBets community achieved in charts as of Wednesday. On Thurday, the shares fell as the establishment tried to keep control. On Friday, the shares rose.

The traders remind me of Pecos Bill, a comboy who rode a tornado:,managed%20to%20lasso%20a%20tornado.&text=Pecos%20Bill%20is%20a%20fictional,%2C%20Southern%20California%2C%20and%20Arizona.

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind

Hosea 8:7

Applies to the hedgies that got taken to the cleaners, and will apply to the retail traders of the r/WallStreetBets community.

Ride the whirlwind cowboys.


Trump’s record in the time of Covid-19:

In Uncategorized on 29/01/2021 at 4:09 am

“The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.”

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

What went wrong in the US: many people died and many jobs were lost (but the latter is the American way when the economy slows down)


Electrivc vehicles not going to save planet

In Uncategorized on 28/01/2021 at 5:11 am

Petrol driven cars rule OK even in 2040.

Says a lot about Trump

In Uncategorized on 27/01/2021 at 10:51 am

Donald Trump was the first US president in more than 100 years not to have a pet.

Bitcoin’s decentralisation is a big problem

In Financial competency on 26/01/2021 at 5:39 am

Bitcoin was built on an unregulated network to decentralise power but banks do a better job safeguarding valuables.

In Bitcoin: born loser tales, I told the tale of a programmer who forgot the password of the e-wallet with $240m worth of bitcoin

He told the New York Times: “The whole idea of being your own bank – let me put it this way, do you make your own shoes?” “The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all those things that banks do.”

Here’s another sad tale: an entrepreneur who lost about 800 bitcoins when a colleague reformatted a laptop containing the private keys to his wallet.

Why DJI flying

In Uncategorized on 25/01/2021 at 6:42 am

 Goldman Sachs now expects US GDP to expand 6.6% this year, with the unemployment rate ticking down to 4.5″. No wonder markets are flying.

Beat that Loser Trump. Sleepy Joe trumps Loser Trump

Tai tai forgot this

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 24/01/2021 at 5:31 am

Remember Tai tai’s luck runs out, heading for Woodbridge?. She took a big loss on the SPH shares her then 50-yr old husband gifted her on their marriage when she was a 25 kampong gal. She bot DBS shares and then sold DBS shares because she tot UOB paid better dividends (it doesn’t, DBS pays dividends quarterly, UOB semi annually) only to see DBS shares fly.

I tot of the arrogant, clueless tai tai when I read this

It is not about having lots of money, it’s about knowing how to manage it.

Private banker quoted in the FT

Btw, the tai tai told her “best” friend she knows to manage money better than professional managers when said friend suggested she made a mistake in not entrusting her $ to a professional fund mgr.

She said that they cost $ and only buy blue chips. She said she also know this.

When asked why then did she didn’t diversify out of her SPH shares given to her on her marriage by her husband, even after it started losing $ on its media operations in 2017, she said she was confident the govt would “help” it out.

PAP govt played her out.

Tai tai like this? Perception Is Reality: The Looking-Glass Self,,worth%2C%20values%2C%20and%20behavior.

China snooked Trump

In China on 23/01/2021 at 5:30 am

Trump wasn’t Putin’s chimp, but was Xi’s running dog.

No wonder Trump’s a LOSER. US equity markets kept moving up after Biden’s inaugration, somepthing the Koser tried to stop, He failed.

HK delaying use of Sinovac vaccine

In Public Administration on 22/01/2021 at 7:08 am

Further to One of vaccines chosen by the PAP govt is cheap but not that effective, int’l media but not our constructive, nation-building media (I stand happy to be corrected) report that HK is likely to delay using tbecause of a lack of trial data, raising transparency concerns over a shot Beijing wants to sell internationally.

If it’s approved which minister will be jabbed with it to show us SingHealth users that its safe?

Secret Squirrel tells me that VivianB and Darth Mugam are pressing for junior minister Desmond Tan to get the jab to show us plebs it’s safe.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) can obtain TraceTogether data for criminal investigations, said Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan. Replying to an MP’s question in Parliament on Monday (Jan 4), he said the SPF is empowered under the Criminal Procedure Code to obtain any data, including that of TraceTogether. He said the Government is the custodian of TraceTogether data submitted by individuals. Stringent measures are in place to safeguard it.

CNA on 4 Jan

This set the cat among the pigeons and the govt is legislating to ensure that only serious crimes will trigger the use of this data,

Morocco Mole (Secret Squirrel’s sidekick) says his second cousin removed working in the Home Affairs ministry claims that Shan is upset that Desmond did not take the trouble to explain that only serious crimes would have triggered the use of the data.

Police will restrict use of TraceTogether data to ‘very serious offences’, says Shanmugam

ST two weeks ago

Whatever, Desmond Tan had better look for a new job. When he gets sacked, no parachuting into a cushy TLC or GLC pretend job.

Covid-19: Indian doctors reject Indian developed vaccine

In India on 21/01/2021 at 1:42 pm

They want the British developed vaccine.

International and Indian media reported that in some hospitals, frontline health workers have refused to take Covaxin, demanding access to Covishield instead.

The reason? India has not fully approved Covaxin: India’s Covid-19 vaccination: Do you feel lucky?

How FT restrictions hurt economy

In Economy, Public Administration on 20/01/2021 at 4:57 am

And no the person saying it is not a millionaire minister or a PAP social media or msm media running dog. It’s an economist from an int’l bank.

All this talk of a recoverying economy (Example:”Singapore economy looks to rebound in 2021″and STI recovering to last yr’s highs, reminds me of what a Jap economist was saying late last yr: the FT restrictions was no good for the economy. (Skip the next 10 or so paras to “Hiromasa Matsuura …” if you know the facts and the PAP govt’s spin on the data.

First a recap of the restrictions.

Singapore tightened its labor rules last September. But there’s a problem. FTs make up nearly 40% of the labor force — far higher than in most of its neighbors.

Its citizens are also rapidly aging, meaning that by 2030, nearly a quarter will be 65 or older. If a graying Singapore accepts fewer foreign workers amid reduced interaction with the outside world, can it maintain economic growth?

According to the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore had 1,351,800 foreign workers as of June last yr, of which 14% were Employment Pass holders — professionals, managers and executives like — while another 14% were S Pass holders, or mid-level staff with skills. Almost all of the rest possessed a Work Permit, which includes laborers from lower-income countries engaging in construction and shipyard work as well as domestic helpers such as maids and nannies.

If it accepts fewer foreign workers amid reduced interaction with the outside world, can it maintain economic growth?

PM says no, saying the Government must convince the sheep S’poreans that the best way to protect livelihoods and families is to keep Singapore open for talent and business. He said, “If we just close ourselves up and send away the work pass holders, it will result in fewer jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans, and more hardship for our workers and their families.” He was speaking at the People’s Action Party (PAP) biennial conference on 8 November last yr.

PM says he understands S’porean fears

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the worry S’poreans have about job competition coming from “foreign talents”.

He said he fully understood the pressures faced by S’poreans with regard to foreign work pass holders competing against Singaporeans for jobs in Singapore.


But’s that not juz PAP propaganda.

Hiromasa Matsuura, a Singapore-based economist at Mizuho Bank, said there are two ways the restrictions could weigh on the economy.

“If a foreign worker’s role is not successfully replaced by a local, the growth of the total labor force would weaken, resulting in a negative impact on the economy,” Matsuura told Nikkei. The other, he said, is that a decline in foreign workers would mean a slowdown of total population growth, which would lead to shrinkage in consumption.

“If employers’ needs and local job seekers’ needs do not match, a tightening of foreign labor rules may not be very effective,” Matsuura stressed. “The replacement of foreigners with locals should take place in tandem with the growth of relevant human capital.”

More at

My take: The business reaction so far suggests there is no guarantee of more jobs for locals. Our education system that screwed up?


*From September 2020, the minimum salary requirement for an Employment Pass applicant was raised to 4,500 Singapore dollars (us$3,300) a month from the previous SG$3,900. That followed an increase from SG$3,600 to SG$3,900 in May. In the financial sector specifically, the threshold was set even higher, at SG$5,000, from December. Visa applicants in senior positions must earn even more. Similarly, the minimum salary for the S Pass was also raised to SG$2,500 from October, compared with SG$2,400 previously. “You may of course adjust your EP or S Pass employees’ salaries upon renewal,” Manpower Minister Josephine Teo told employers in a Facebook post explaining the new requirements. Still, the message was clear: “But consider the missed opportunities of building up your local employment, and the strong government support to do so,” she said.

Is Donald Trump the Antichrist Damien?

In Uncategorized on 19/01/2021 at 4:36 am

Is there a link between Damien Thorn (Look up the The Omen series of movies) and Donald Trump?

I tot of the possible (probable?) connection when I read that the White House is being deep cleaned for Biden, the incoming resident, after after Trump, and dozens of others at the White House,

were infected with the coronavirus over the past several months, and the six-floor building, with its 132 rooms, will be thoroughly scrubbed down. Everything from handrails to elevator buttons to restroom fixtures will be wiped and sanitised, according to a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, the federal agency that oversees the housekeeping effort.

But maybe more should be done I tot?

Biden’s a Roman Catholic, so he ask the Pope to send over the Pope’s best exorcist to perform an excorcism of the White House to remove any demons that Damien Trump may have left behind. Think racism, divisiness, falsehood, boasting and greed, among others.

That reminded me of Damien, wannabe president of the US of A.

Oldies might remember the Omen and its sequels. The movie series is about Damien Thorn, a child born of Satan. Satan’s plan is for him to be the president of the US of A.

He didn’t become POTUS: the good guys killed him. Or maybe the series got it wrong?

One of vaccines chosen by the PAP govt is cheap but not that effective

In Public Administration on 18/01/2021 at 4:07 am

(Breaking news at 5.35 am on 18 January 2021: Brazil has approved Sinovac’s CoronaVac.)

It also has not been submitted to the US, UK or EU authorities for approval.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Wednesday (13 January) that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) will review CoronaVac before rolling it out to public: i.e. giving it to the plebs.

Several countries, including Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, M’sia and Singapore, have placed orders for the coronavirus vaccine (CoronaVac) developed by China’s Sinovac. It’s cheap compared to the ang moh vaccines approved for use in the West. It’s in use in China.

CoronaVac is found to be 50.4% effective in Brazilian clinical trials, according to the latest results released by researchers. It shows the vaccine is significantly less effective than previous data suggested – barely over the 50% needed for regulatory approval.

The two vaccines approved by the US, UK and EU are more than 90% effective, while the third (only approved in the UK) is 70%+ effective.

Coming back to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong’s assurance that the HSA will review CoronaVac before rolling it out to the public, how is HSA going to review the vaccine?

This made-in-China vaccine has not been submitted to the US, UK or EU authorities for approval.

This means that are no Western phase 3 safety and efficacy trials (the Gold standard required by Western authorities before approval) and if there’s little data on efficacy, how will the HSA review the CoronaVac vaccine before rolling it out to the public?

Rely on what the Chinese and third world countries say?

In response to India’s Covid-19 vaccination: Do you feel lucky?, about an Indian vaccine approved for use despite not completing its phase 3 trials, a regular reader, a fat cat who was a medical doctor wrote

Singapore will also have our own version of “Do you feel lucky”.

By the time vaccination exercise starts for the general population, roughly 1/3 of the shots will be from Sinovac. Phase 3 trials from Brazil indicates 78%* efficacy for this cheena shot.

My friends in the healthcare biz have been getting their Pfizer-BioNTech shots since last week of Dec.

  • This was written before the 50.8% finding.

Why I avoid commercial office Reits and developers

In Financial competency, Property on 17/01/2021 at 10:06 am

About 55% of employers said they expected staff to work from home at least one day a week after concerns about the virus passes, a PWC survey found. And more than 80% of employees said they supported that idea.

Analysts say such a shift could have widespread implications, reducing demand for office and residential properties in expensive city centres. Rents in New York and San Francisco have already dropped.

AI: the truth

In Uncategorized on 16/01/2021 at 6:08 am

AI would sound a lot less frightening if we were to relabel it as computational statistics


Bitcoin: born loser tales

In Financial planning on 15/01/2021 at 8:49 am

No, not because of the price volatility (now at US$39,000) after it hit a speed bum.

BBC reports that about US$140bn worth of Bitcoin is lost or left in wallets that cannot be accessed, according to cryptocurrency-data company Chainanalysis.

Here’s a tragi-comic real-life story about programmer Stefan Thomas who forgot the password that will let him unlock a hard drive containing US$240m worth of Bitcoin.

Mr Thomas, who was born in Germany but lives in San Francisco, was given 7,002 bitcoins as payment for making a video explaining how cryptocurrency works more than a decade ago.

At the time, they were worth a few dollars each.

He stored them in an IronKey digital wallet on a hard drive.

And he wrote the password on a piece of paper he has lost.

After 10 failed attempts, the password will encrypt itself, making the wallet impossible to access.[My note: he has two more chances]

And an ever more tragic and funnier story about another born loser. In 2013, a Welsh man desperately searched a landfill site after throwing away a computer hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins.

At that time this was worth more than £4m, this would now be valued at more than £250m (US$182m).

Meanwhile in Cynical Historian: What the Dutch colonialists in Indonesia learnt from Raffles: Raffles moved fast and broke heads. Given LKY’s track record, maybe he learnt his style of govt from Raffles?

Covid-19: Indian developed vaccine more expensive

In India on 14/01/2021 at 11:17 am

Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of costs the Indian govt Rs200 (US$2.7). Covaxin the the vaccine indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech costs Rs206 a dose: 3% more.

And don’t forget, India has not fully approved Covaxin– India’s Covid-19 vaccination: Do you feel lucky?

ESG is bullshit

In Financial competency on 13/01/2021 at 5:15 am

One of the UK’s best stock pickers (His funds outperform), Terry Smith on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG).

ESG refers to the so-called three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. ESG criteria are a set of detailed but flakey standards for a company’s or business’ operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments.

ESG investing a marketing tool to extract fees from gullible investors.

Sorry back to Terry Smith:

Your sustainable fund seems to take quite a common-sense approach, but what are the advantages and risks of factoring ESG into stock selection? How useful are ESG ratings here?

There are several problems with factoring ESG into stock selection. One is that so many ESG approaches look at many of the most obvious factors, such as carbon footprint, hazardous waste, use of water, use of plastic, sources of energy, etc, but fail to take into account the fundamental and financial viability of the business. We think you should also look at things such as innovation, product development, revenue growth and return on capital. There is not much point in having a business that scores highly on conventional ESG factors, but that fails financially or in terms of its products or service.

Another problem I would suggest is a mindless box-ticking approach. The mantra of ‘comply or explain’ too often gets transmuted into ‘just comply’. Take Philip Morris (US:PM), for example. We think it is making a major contribution to the welfare of smokers with its Reduced Risk Product, but we daren’t include it in our sustainable fund as it will just be met by people hissing ‘It’s a tobacco company’. Yes it is, but maybe it’s also part of the solution to conventional smoking. It would be more productive to have a real debate

Lots of other gd stuff in the article.

UK is safe for ethnic Chinese again

In Uncategorized on 12/01/2021 at 4:40 am

Chinese with the Kung Flu or China virus or Wuhan virus didn’t infect Brits in the UK.

The most comprehensive study of transmission ever carried out for any disease said that the coronavirus came to the UK mainly from southern Europe, rather than China, the FT reported last week.

India’s Covid-19 vaccination: Do you feel lucky?

In India on 11/01/2021 at 7:11 am

In “Dirty Harry”, Clint Eastwood playing Dirty Harry asks a criminal, “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?”

Indians going for vaccination should be asking themselves: “Do I feel lucky?”

India is due to start its Covid vaccination drive tomorrow, with priority given to about 30m healthcare and frontline workers.

The country’s drugs regulator has allowed the use of two vaccines. One developed by AstraZeneca with Oxford University (Covishield) and one by Indian firm Bharat Biotech (Covaxin).

Indians going for vaccination should be asking themselves, “Do I feel lucky”, because they might get Covaxin, not Covishield. The British have approved Covishield, but no-one else in the world has approved the use of Covaxin.

Even India’s “approval” of Covaxin is not really an approval: its subject to caveats to protect the regulator and Modi’s govt.

The regulator said the vaccine had been approved for “restricted use in emergency situation in public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode, especially in the context of infection by mutant strains”. Weasel words, mealy mouthily words to avoid saying that Covaxin is safe i.e passed phase 3 tests.

Hence, Experts raised concerns over India’s emergency approval of Covaxin before the completion of trials.

Health watchdog All India Drug Action Network said there were “intense concerns arising from the absence of the efficacy data” as well as a lack of transparency that would “raise more questions than answers and likely will not reinforce faith in our scientific decision making bodies”.

India’s Drugs Controller General, VG Somani, insisted Covaxin was “safe and provides a robust immune response”.

“The vaccines are 100% safe,” he said, adding that side effects such as “mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine”.

BBC report

“The Law is an ass” argues TRE veteran

In Public Administration on 11/01/2021 at 4:37 am

TRE’s last standing musketeer from the glory days (2011 — 2015) is based in China and is known as “techie Andrew”.

Recently, cyberspace was flooded with comments about the following case

Man jailed for cheating loan shark who hired him to harass debtors


Most of the comments were garbage. But what to expect from anti-PAP cybernuts?

But techie Andrew posted a very interesting take:

Man convicted of cheating because he has taken payment but refused to commit a crime?.

This is indeed a very interesting case worth wasting time to discuss and study.

What the unlicensed moneylender wanted the accused to do was clearly illegal, promising to pay him after he has committed the illegal act.

The accused wants no part of it and did not carry out the clearly illegal locking of doors and harassment as instructed by the unlicensed moneylender. So he staged it for the unlicensed moneylender to think that he has done it and collected payment.

Point to note:

1. Had the accused carried out the locking as instructed by the unlicensed moneylender, he would have committed an offence and the unlicensed moneylender would be guilty of abetting, if the house owner makes a police report.

2. What the unlicensed moneylender instructed the accused to do was clearly an illegal act, which is against the law. Technically it was a verbal contract, BUT since what the accused was asked to do was illegal, how then can the contract even be binding and valid and how could the accused have been charged for cheating (because he refused to commit an illegal act), even if the accused has received payment, be it before or after the event?

By extention, the accused had to commit one crime or another, be charged for the locking of doors or cheating?

Picture this:

I was asked by Andy to murder someone and was paid upfront for the assignment. Since it was an illegal act, I staged the death of the person I was supposed to murder and told Andy that he was dead.

So according to the police’s logic, I had cheated Andy since I took the money and did not murder that someone?

Meanwhile, nothing happens to Andy, who had paid me to murder someone?

Walan eh, whoever the IO and DPP in this case sibei tokong man, salute ar!

Had this happen in China, Andy would have been arrested by teh police and I would get a pat on the back for not committing the muder liao lor. Its called “中止犯罪”, a provision under their law for the police to not take any further action against an accused.

OK, OK, he never said the “The Law is an ass”. It’s my interpretation of the points he made.

What do you think of his argument?

Reason why India has a Covid-19 pandemic?

In India on 10/01/2021 at 7:56 am

Because Indians don’t read Wikipedia? And so don’t know what WHO is telling the the public about Covid-19. In October the World Health Organisation started working with Wikipedia to make information on covid-19 available via Wikipedia.

But as the u/m shows, Indians don’t read Wikipedia.

Btw, there’s an interesting article in the Economist on Wikipedia: Worth the read.

Time for our SWFs to buy into sports teams?

In Financial competency, GIC, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 10/01/2021 at 4:34 am

In the West, the latest investment fashion is to buy into sports teams. Private equity is rushing to buy into European football teams. Italian clubs have put up “For sale” signs.

“Sports assets have shown a low correlation relative to the broader market, with teams selling for record values through the 2008 financial crisis and Covid-19″, said Michael Kenworthy, head of sports investment banking at Goldman Sachs. He added that some valuations had outperformed other traditional investment benchmarks, such as the S&P 500.

“If you’re thinking about what’s the best way to construct a portfolio and you want to diversify, there could be, potentially, merit having sports assets in that portfolio,” he added.

Well the A-Rabs led the way. Many moons ago,

Sheikh Mansour bought Sitty for US$360m in 2008. Now a Chinese consortium led by China Media Capital is to buy a 13% stake in Manchester City* for US$400m. That puts City’s value at US$3bn.

Too bad for us HoHoHo doesn’t do footie

An almost 10X increase in valuation in about 8 yrs is not to be sneered at.

Time to buy British?

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 09/01/2021 at 3:50 am

The FT 250 is more UK centric than the FT 100 because the latter has int’l miners and int’l conglomerates.

Dogs turn 10-baggers?

In Uncategorized on 08/01/2021 at 4:34 am

The Blue Wave in the US means a supersized fiscal stimulus, followed by victory over the pandemic

Revenge of last yr’s dogs as the Old Economy stocks become fashionable?

Btw, as a long-term shareholder of HSBC (since 1980s) who takes dividends in scrip, nice to see three major US banks are also dogs

Note that Wirecard is in liquidation.

Meanwhile in Cynical Historian, Sang Nila Utama had bad eyesight: Tale otters tell their pups/ It’s Udrahpura not Singapura

Oz: Where Chinese buying property?

In China on 07/01/2021 at 4:25 am

Looks like Darwin LOL


Chinese spies need accommodation to spy US Oz base there?

Why the Germans kiss Xi’s ass

In China on 06/01/2021 at 5:08 am

The EU and China agreed on “China-EU Comprehensive Agreement” (CAI) despite reservations from countries like France and the Netherlands, who think the Chinese can’t be trusted. But Germany pushed really hard and what the Fourth Reich wants, it gets.

It wants Chinese money.

,China is the third-largest export market for Germany after the US and France.

Daimler sold more Mercedes passenger vehicles in China between January and November last year than in the whole of 2019. 

Don’t like Trump but he’s right to criticise the Germans for scrounging off and two-timing the US of A.

Bitcoin hits a speed bum

In Uncategorized on 05/01/2021 at 7:08 am

Bitcoin’s value surged above US$34,000 for the first time on Sunday. It’s now around US$31,000 

Meanwhile in Cynical Historian: A white horse The “Keppel” in Keppel Corporation

Achtung: Buying the dips in low yield world could endanger financial health

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 05/01/2021 at 5:10 am

The Nikkei closed on December 30 above the 27,000 mark. It was the index’s highest close since 1989. But the index is still 41% below its 1989 peak.

If valuations of risk assets only required ultra low interest rates then Japan would have been in a raging ‘bull’ market, someone commented in the FT.

Must have lessons for us investors in S’pore market about buying the dips.

Sounds like entry price, profits growth, corporate governance and financial engineering matter. LOL.

Sounds like an extreme example of reversion to the mean too

Akan datang: food inflation

In Commodities, Economy, Financial competency on 04/01/2021 at 7:10 am

Remember you heard it first here that food prices will be going up as we recovery from a recession

Food prices have surged in recent months. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation reported a 6.5% increase in its food index in the 12 months to November. This was the largest monthly increase since July 2012. Cereal prices were almost 20% up on a year ago because of poor harvests and stockpiling because of the pandemic. Rice is in short supply due to poor harvests, stockpiling and bottlenecks.

FYI in Cynical Historian: Our very own Exodus story. From the “Land of milk and honey” to the Wilderness of the desert: Workers’ Paradise no more: Devan Nair at work in the 1960s.

India loses richest man in Asia title

In China, India on 03/01/2021 at 1:36 pm

Zhong Shanshan is worth US$77.8bn, making him the world’s 11th richest person according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

He’s richer than India’s Mukesh Ambani, and Jack Ma.

Mr Zhong took vaccine-maker Beijing Wantai Biological public in April listing its shares on the Chinese stock market. Three months later he did the same thing with Nongfu Spring, his bottled water company, publicly listing it in Hong Kong.

Nicknamed the “lone wolf” Mr Zhong’s career has spanned journalism, mushroom farming and healthcare.

Mr Ambani lost his title despite seeing his fortune increase US$18.3bn to US$76.9bn as he did deals with Google and other cos, and with SWFs and private equity firms to transform his conglomerate Reliance Industries into a technology and e-commerce business.

Want to save the planet? Don’t take a mortgage

In Banks, Corporate governance, Energy, Environment on 03/01/2021 at 5:06 am

The environmental kay pohs KPKB that banks are complicit in global warming by financing fossil fuel companies.

Interestingly, Dutch bank ABN Amro says its mortgage book causes more greenhouse gas emissions than its lending to mining or industrial companies.

Part of an on-going series that ESG investing in marketing BS.

2021: Five other ways other to be happy

In Uncategorized on 02/01/2021 at 4:52 am

And better still for kiasu S’poreans, steal the lunch of other S’poreans, and FTs, leaving them behind in the pollution from yr Ferrari.

Further to Want to be happy in 2021? Use the objective list theory of well-being, here’s something adapted from BBC’s Five ways to stay positive through the winter

Of course, there’s no winter here if one excludes the recession, but still the points made in the article have relevance here.

Three of the five ways require no detailed explanation: they explain themselves. Two of the ways have explanations taken from the BBC article.

Get moving

Stop over-thinking

Adopting helpful habits to stop you over-thinking is one of the best things you can do, says psychologist Professor Jennifer Wild of Oxford University. She calls it “getting out of your head.”

People often dwell on problems, going over and over the same negative thoughts, and Professor Wild has some simple suggestions to stop that happening. “If you’ve been worrying about a problem for 30 minutes or more without coming up with a plan of action, or you’ve been going over questions with no answers, it’s time to stop”, she says.

The main thing is to shift your focus from worries to practical problem-solving. So stop and ask yourself what steps you can take to address the problem. It’s not easy, of course, to stop yourself dwelling on problems. Some recommend physical activity to help yourself shift mental gears. In any case, it takes some training.

It’s perfectly normal to worry, but many of our worries never materialise. One study of patients with anxiety found only around one in 10 worries ever turn out to be real problems. One explanation is the way we have evolved. It has made us highly tuned to negativity and danger, as a defence against threats which led to death or serious injury.

Danger is “over-encoded in our brains”, says Professor Wild. “You can make yourself feel much calmer if you recognise that you’re over-thinking, stop and focus on facts.”

Five ways to stay positive through the winter

Set a new target

Talk it over

Do it badly

Optimists live longer, have better relationships and better immune systems, says Olivia Remes of Cambridge University. And the good news is you can cultivate optimism: an inner sense that you can make a difference to your life, and that it’s not all down to things outside your control. How? Her number one tip is the principle of “do it badly“.

In other words don’t wait to do things perfectly at the right time on the right day. That’s even more important in winter when gloomy weather might make you think twice about doing something.

Five ways to stay positive through the winter

And remember that humans propose, God disposes:

Lead me on, Zeus [Editor’s note: Insertin place of “Zeus” the name of yr favourite deity (God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Kuan Yin, 9th Immortal Harry Lee, Saint JBJ, Satan, Darth Shan, Tun M etc)], and thou Destiny,
To that goal long ago to me assigned.
I’ll follow readily but if my will prove weak;
Wretched as I am, I must follow still.
Fate guides the willing, but drags the unwilling.

Part of the Hymn to Zeus by Cleanthes

Want to be happy in 2021? Use the objective list theory of well-being

In Uncategorized on 01/01/2021 at 5:05 am

But first best wishes for 2021: Be happy, healthy and make money, or at least not lose it.

Now back to the objective list theory of well-being and how it can help you in 2021.

Whenever I hear someone advise or say, “Follow yr passion” when advising or talking about careers, I react like Goering:  “When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun”.

How you know what you are passionate about is a passion that will last, not a one-night stand.

The objective list theory of well-being by Christopher Rice should help you identify if it’s yr passion, a one-night stand, a passing interest or an infatuation.

The objective list theory of well-being says “that having many and diverse basic objective goods benefit us. These can include goods such as loving relationships, meaningful knowledge, autonomy, achievement, and pleasure.”

The objective list theory “is pluralistic (it does not identify an underlying feature shared by these goods) and objective (the basic goods benefit people independently of their reactive attitudes toward them).”

“Take time to assess what you personally need for you to develop yr potential”(Vampires need fresh human blood), “use rich vocabulary to be as specific as possible, extra detail will help reveal which new roles could help talk to people, and read widely, to learn what roles would provide achievement, meaningful knowledge, or altruistic wellbeing. Observe other people who probably faced the same challenge, what solutions have they found, and could any apply to you?”

(The above quotes are from an FT article written by Jonathan Black, director of the University of Oxford’s careers service, and FT columnist.”

But always remember, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears”, Bob Dylan said. Money talks, BS walks.

Have a good 2021: Make money, be happy and healthy. Or try to.

Remember: We propose, God disposes. Here’s part of a stoic prayer to Zeus (King of the gods in Greek mythology). Christians, Hidoos, Moslems etc can substitute their deity.

Lead me on, O Zeus, and thou Destiny,
To that goal long ago to me assigned.
I’ll follow readily but if my will prove weak;
Wretched as I am, I must follow still.
Fate guides the willing, but drags the unwilling.

Part of the Hymn to Zeus by Cleanthes