Archive for February, 2021|Monthly archive page

US Treasuries wobble, world has nervous breakdown

In Uncategorized on 28/02/2021 at 8:18 am

Fears of inflation have driven a rapid sell-off of US government bonds in anticipation of Biden’s US$1.9trn++ stimulus measures

Causing global government debt prices to rise

Not only US equity markets take a hit but


Amber light that bear equity markets are round the corner?

In Uncategorized on 27/02/2021 at 11:02 am

Time to buy commodities?

In Commodities, Energy on 26/02/2021 at 2:04 pm

S’pore still making chips

In Uncategorized on 25/02/2021 at 11:31 am

An Abu Dhabi SWF and AMD bot over GLC Chartered Semiconductors years ago and it’s still producing most of the chips made here. Know someone working there who joined it after graduating from NUS: one of the top engineering students. He found his groove there. He’s now in his late 50s.

Cowboys riding the S&P and NASDAQ broncos

In Uncategorized on 24/02/2021 at 6:25 am

 Brocos are

bucking horses used in rodeo “roughstock” events, such as bareback bronc riding and saddle bronc riding.

The S&P and NASDAQ sure seem like broncos today.

The S&P 500 gained 0.1%, reversing losses that had pushed it 1.8% lower earlier on Tuesday.

Nasdaq Composite went on an even wilder ride, falling 3.9% in early trading before recovering to end down just 0.5%.

Fyi, the traders today did better than Pecos Bill, the Texan Cowboy who rode a tornado. .

Covid-19 – S’poreans more resilient than Hongkies, PRCs, Ozzies and Indons

In Uncategorized on 23/02/2021 at 5:12 pm

Don’t worry if you think you are going nuts or bananas. Many people around the world are crying, stressed and feeling overwhelmed.

The good news for S’poreans is that in the region, HK people, Chinese, Australians and Indonesians are more stressed.

Globally the British are the most stressed and the Germans the least stressed.

Digital payment: China and UK lead the way

In China on 22/02/2021 at 8:34 am

To mark Chinese New Year, China’s authorities handed out traditional red packets of cash in the form of “digital renminbi”, a test run of a new technology that could pioneer the global adoption of digital currencies but also facilitate mass surveillance.


S’pore’s a leading fake diamond producer/ Green S’pore?

In China, Economy, India on 21/02/2021 at 6:30 am

And it’s no surprise that China and India are huge fake diamond producers as is the US of A. LOL.

Seriously, given the amount of energy needed to produce fake diamonds, if S’pore wants to burnish its green credentials, it had better force this industry to use renewables.

Indian Supreme Court shares the view of the PAP govt on freedom of speech

In Political governance, Public Administration on 20/02/2021 at 9:34 am

Recently, the Indian Supreme Court said that the constitutional right of film makers to free speech did not extend to hurting people’s religious feelings.

Sounds like something Darth Shan would say

who warned the Muslim community that it has responsibility to show that it lives in a multi-cultural society and must be aware of others’ sensitivities, just as it expects others to be sensitive to its sensitivities.

“You have a group of Malay young men, showing the one-finger sign, supporting the group,” CNA quoted the minister.

“If a group of Chinese went and showed the finger sign and said that we should allow it – how would you all have felt? It is the same.” Very true. Something for the Malay community to think about.

As the photo has gone viral “across the Christian community”, Shanmugam said that it was crucial to show that the picture does not represent what the Muslim community thinks. “They won’t realize that this a small group of Malays, but they may think, is this what Muslims think of us? So now we have to send the message that this is not what the Muslim community thinks. These are black metal group supporters, they are not the mainstream community.”

Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire

Btw, I think he would also agree with

There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech.

Idi Amin

Meanwhile in Cynical Historian: What the 2019 statues tell us. In 2019, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Raffles’ landing, the PAP govt unveiled four statues to celebrate the anniversary. What message did the PAP want to send?

Kung Flu makes China Great Again

In China on 19/02/2021 at 4:36 am

Readers may not be aware but in the 18th century China was the world’s leading economic power. Then British traders bot Indian opium and sold it to the Chinese.

Thanks to the Wuhan virus, it’s King of the World again in 2020.

The case for new supercycle on oil

In Commodities, Energy on 18/02/2021 at 6:14 am

Oil prices continued their ascent, with international benchmark Brent crude settling 1.6% higher at US$64.34 a barrel. A lot of this has to do with the cold snap in Texas that is causing production problems.

But JP Morgan thinks a supercycle is on the way.

Bitcoin: Over US$50,000 yesterday

In Financial competency on 17/02/2021 at 10:24 am

Bitcoin: Shooting for the moon and beyond

In Financial competency on 16/02/2021 at 5:40 am

Bitcoin came close to breaking the US$50,000 barrier at the weekend.

So is it going to Mars as Elon Musk’s first satellite? At the Axel Springer Award 2020, Musk said that he is highly confident that the first crewed flights to Mars will happen in 2026.


What happened to GameStop?

In Uncategorized on 15/02/2021 at 4:16 am

It closed last Friday at US$52.40.

What a ride. The shares started the year at US$18 and hit US$483 on January 28.

GameStop: What goes up, comes thumbling down

Bitcoin consumes ‘more electricity than Argentina’

In Uncategorized on 14/02/2021 at 9:24 am

And the energy it uses could power all kettles used in the UK for 27 years, University of Cambridge researchers say.

FT on new Temasek CEO/ Dog training

In Corporate governance, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 13/02/2021 at 8:25 am

Singapore Inc gains new figurehead as Temasek appoints next chief

FT headline

Googling “figurehead”


  1. 1.a carving, typically a bust or a full-length figure, set at the prow of an old-fashioned sailing ship.
  2. 2.a nominal leader or head without real power.

But there’s more. The article talks of Ho Ching persuading him to join Temasek 20 yrs ago when he was 37 and one of S’pores’s best corporate lawyers. It took three years of persuasion

with final discussions taking place over a meal of Pillay’s favourite chai tow kway (stir-fried radish) at Singapore’s Four Seasons hotel. 


Wah his favourite chai tow kuay is cooked at Four Seasons hotel. Even when I was an equities broker and trader, never tot of ordering chai tow kuay at an atas hotel. It was a decadent indulgence too far to order hawker food in an atas hotel. But then I was only a pleb (albeit with old money relations: think the College of Alice & Peter Tan) who juzhappened to be earning serious money. I was lucky enough to participate in the M’sian bull run of the 90s.

Whatever, in Which minister will take the Chinese Kung Flu vaccine?, I talked of putting down my elderly dog, who like Heng, had a serious stroke attack, but who unlike Heng was paralysed in its hind legs. I forgot to tell readers that fortunately, a week earlier, I was gifted a rescued S’porean puppy with Doberman blood. It came to me when it was about a year old (Dobermans are puppies until 18 months.) when the previous owner found him a handful: first time dog owner. He’s trainable but I do wish I had him at 2-4 months: a lot easier to train.

Always start training dogs as early as possible.

Coming back to Pillay, he was born in M’sia and went to university in the UK. Like junior minister Puthu who was proud he didn’t do NS:

I didn’t like him because of his sneer at NS (equating saving lives with doing NS. Dr PaulA, put him down by pointing out that there are docs who do NS (including reservist and save lives), and because he said his view on ISA was secret (PAP locked up dad, then deported him).

“I’m invested in S’pore” & S’pore in 50s/ 60s

Bai Du Bu Qin: Chinese New Year greeting for second year running. SAD.

In China, Holidays and Festivals on 12/02/2021 at 7:56 am

This year again: Bai Du Bu Qin. Not “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (“Wishes for abundance).

More about Bai Du Bu Qin from the BBC this time last year: A poetic phrase with origins in Chinese literature, it means “may you be immune from 100 toxins”.

More details in last yr’s post: “Bai Du Bu Qin” not “Gong Xi Fa Cai”.

Why global recovery depends on effectiveness of Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

In Emerging markets on 11/02/2021 at 8:37 am

There are concerns about the effectiveness of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. South Africa has stopped using it while it is reassessing the situation. It says that the vaccine is not effective. The vaccine was offering “minimal protection” against mild and moderate disease in young people.

But the World Health Organization has just recommended the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for use worldwide by all adults, including the elderly.  It also recommended a gap of 8 to 12 weeks between doses.

But remember WHO screwed up by sucking up to China this time last year.

Whatever, many countries, especially poorer ones, have betted big time on the jab, because it will be sold at cost during the pandemic and is easy to store and transport. Some 500m doses have been ordered through the African Union and several hundred million doses more through Covax, a scheme designed to help poorer nations get vaccines.

Which minister will take the Chinese Kung Flu vaccine?

In China, Public Administration on 11/02/2021 at 4:27 am

In  One of vaccines chosen by the PAP govt is cheap but not that effective, I poited out that Sinovac vaccine we ordered

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 CoronaVac before rolling it out to the public?

Rely on what the Chinese and third world countries say?

In HK delaying use of Sinovac vaccine, I reported that Secret Squirrel alleged that VivanB and Darth Shan want Desmond Tan (Sabo King) to get the jab to show S’poreans that its safe.

It won’t work. We need a tua kee and respected minister to take the jab.

Serbia’s US-educated prime minister was the first European leader to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The country’s Russophile internal affairs minister rolled up his sleeve for an armful of Sputnik V. And the health minister happily posed for his injection with Sinopharm’s coronavirus shot.

As Hali and PM have taken the American/ German vaccine, we need someone like Tharman, Teo Chee Hean or Ng Eng Hen to take the Sinovac vaccine to assure us plebs its save: not an incomptent Sabo King. It would be unfair to get Heng to take CoronaVac because even though, we are told, he had a complete recovery, he did have a serious stroke.

(Btw, he’s a lucky man. I juz had to put down my 14-year old dog, S’pore breed, because he was paralysed. We suspect it was due to a stroke attack.)

Maybe Chan Kee Chiu will kee chiu? But then he doesn’t have the stature of Tharman, Teo Chee Hean, Ng Eng Hen or even Heng. So no point.

My choice would be Tharman because if he takes Sinovac vaccine and doesn’t turn yellow, all the ang moh tua kees who think the sun shines from his ass will be clamouring for it, not the ang moh vaccine.

Then I may get the vaccine Hali and PM got. Best of the class: German and American know-how.

Yes, yes, I kinow Indonesia’s president has taken the SinoVac vaccine and lived. But he’s Indonesian, not S’porean.

Post Covid-19 world: not “broad, sunlit uplands”

In Energy on 10/02/2021 at 4:51 am

It could be a really bad place.

Prices of oil and battery metals (In the the electricity age, post oil world, we need batteries to store electricity) are flying. Both are in demand at the same time as we supposedly transiting from oil into electricity. Adds to inflation pressures (Non existent today) in a world awashed with stimulus money.

Add probable food riots (There’ll be food riots in 2021), and the post Covid-19 world is shaping up to be a pretty dismal place for developing countries. SAD.

If the PAP wants to stop decline in popular vote, listen to George Shultz’s last words

In Political governance, Public Administration on 09/02/2021 at 7:39 am

The last GE saw the PAP again losing while winning. Its share of the popular declined 10 points to around where it was in 2011: around 60% of the popular vote. Worse, it had to rely on P Ravi, PRC running dog Goh Meng Seng and other useful idiots to help achieve this number: PAP’s useful idiots: s/o JBJ, Meng Seng, Lim Tean, P Ravi and Michelle Lee

I was reminded of GE 20120 when I read that George Shultz, a former US secretary of state who significantly shaped foreign policy in the late 20th Century, has died at the age of 100.

Trust is the coin of the realm. When trust was in the room, whatever room that was – the family room, the schoolroom, the locker room, the office room, the government room or the military room – good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen.

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post to mark the occasion of his 100th birthday last December, Mr Shultz reflected on the lessons he had learned over his life in politics.

Given the fiasco over contract tracing

Broken promises: How Singapore lost trust on contact tracing privacy

Guarantees that Singaporean phone data would only be used to fight covid-19 were hollow.

Kirsten Han writing in

and the govt’s attempts at damage control

Bill introduced to make clear TraceTogether, SafeEntry data can be used to look into only 7 types of serious crimes

I think the PAP govt should take to heart George Schultz’s words:

When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen.

How the PAP can help the poor, grow the economy and win votes while being “prudent” with our reserves

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance on 08/02/2021 at 9:26 am

Here’s constructive, nation building advice on how the PAP govt can win back 70% of the popular vote, help the poor, grow economy while keeping extra spending to a minimun. No need to raise GST or raid our reserves.

Have cake, eat it.

MONEY MIGHT not guarantee happiness, but income tends to correlate with contentment.


The economist reports that a 

recent paper by Matthew Killingsworth of the University of California, Berkeley, finds that happiness continues to increase even as income ascends to plutocratic proportions, with two caveats. First, the more happiness you want, the more expensive it gets. And second, money is not nearly as important as other factors.

From this the Economist (I’ve said before that it’s the PAP’s bible: PAP’s bible challenges “market-based solution”) concludes:

First, helping the poorest is a bargain. In happiness terms, a dollar goes further for someone earning [US]$20,000 a year than for someone on [US]$40,000. Second, economic growth, much maligned as a yardstick of progress, is important as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of other measures of well-being. Happiness relies on many factors, but a more prosperous future is probably a more contented one too.

Remember you heard this first here. LOL.

US Fab 5

In Uncategorized on 07/02/2021 at 1:28 pm

AMAAT. FAANG is history like Trump

Chinese entrepeneur gets screwed by India

In China, India on 06/02/2021 at 11:03 am

Chinese venture capital investors are shifting their attention to Indonesia after India closed its doors, creating a surge in investment this year.

Aaron Li once saw more opportunity in India than in his crowded home market of China, describing it as a “blue sea” for ecommerce. Now almost six months after his business, Club Factory, was banned in India, Li has resigned himself to being locked out of the country forever.There is little clarity about when Club Factory — which sold cheap fashion and homewares to hundreds of millions of Indians through their smartphones — could be allowed to trade again after New Delhi blacklisted scores of Chinese apps this year. That is despite Club Factory raising $100m from investors in 2019 to expand in the country of 1.3bn people.Li’s experience exemplifies the limbo in which many Chinese tech companies and investors find themselves in India. More than 200 Chinese apps have now been blocked from the Indian market. Meanwhile, Li and his team at Club Factory have pivoted to building a new app for Europe and the US. Even if India relaxes the ban, he said he wanted an apology before he would re-enter the market.


There’ll be food riots in 2021

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 05/02/2021 at 5:29 am

 Corn prices are up 45% from a year ago to US$5.55 a bushel and soyabeans are now 56% more expensive to US$13.71. Wheat is only up 16% while rice is 27% higher.

Bitcoin: still going strong unlike GameStop

In Financial competency on 04/02/2021 at 4:15 pm

Game seems to be over for GameStop: GameStop: What goes up, comes thumbling down

But Bitcoin keeps on rolling like Old Man River

There are serious investors who think it will complement or even overthrow gold’s tradition role as an inflation hedge.

Grab kicks S’pore Inc in the balls

In S'pore Inc on 04/02/2021 at 1:31 pm


  executives to consider an initial public offering in the US this year


It has just raised US$2bn, most of it from US investors. It upsized its term loan from US$750m to US$2bn.

GameStop: What goes up, comes thumbling down

In Financial competency on 03/02/2021 at 8:35 am

Riding the tornado is fun but risky.

Related post: GameStop in charts: Riding the tornado

US recovering faster than China

In Uncategorized on 01/02/2021 at 5:01 am

No not Trump talk: it’s the IMF forecast.