Archive for August, 2021|Monthly archive page

Does PM know that kopi o prices will have to rise?

In Commodities, Vietnam on 31/08/2021 at 4:25 am

PM tells us we gotta pay more for goods and services to help the less-off S’poreans in the Pay and Pay’s version of Xi’s “common prosperity”: No mention of “common prosperity” last nite. Xi’s main thrust is to shake down the billionaires but then he’s a Communist and proud of it. PM’s parents were from rich families.

Wholesale robusta bean prices have risen by about 50% so far this year. Vietnam is a major producer of robusta. The lockdown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s commercial centre, because of the Indian variant of Covid-19, means Vietnam’s exporters are struggling to transport goods, including coffee beans, to ports for shipment around the world.


Robusta coffee beans are used to make strong, bitter coffee. So it is used to make instant coffee and to blend with Arabica. Arabica coffee beans are used to make coffee for discerning taste buds.

Our kopi o is made from robusta, with a dash of Arabica, perhaps.

I personally like robusta coffee. But to get rid of the bitterness, I soak robusta coffee bags in room temperature water for at least 18 hours. The resulting concoction is sweet. No need to add sugar.


No mention of “common prosperity” last nite

In Political governance on 30/08/2021 at 4:03 am

But first what is “common prosperity”? For the plebs on the street, it’s something Grandpa Xi is using to justify shaking down the tech billionaires and their cos, and banning private tuition.

Common prosperity, Mr Xi pointed out, has been an ideal of the Chinese people since ancient times. It was espoused by his predecessors as Communist Party leader. (Even Deng Xiaoping, who was famously happy to let some “get rich first”, insisted that they then help others to catch up.) The ideal appears not just in Marx but also in Confucius, Mr Xi said. He quoted a well known line from “The Analects”, which says something to the effect that a wise leader worries not about poverty but about inequality; not that his people are too few, but that they are too divided. (It is snappier in the original Chinese.)

“We must not allow the gap between rich and poor to get wider,” Mr Xi insisted in January. People in the top fifth of Chinese households enjoy a disposable income more than ten times as high as people in the bottom fifth, according to official figures. Disposable incomes in cities are two and a half times as high as in the countryside. And the top 1% own 30.6% of household wealth, according to Credit Suisse, a bank (compared with 31.4% in America).

Although the term was not used by PM last night, it was the ghost in the background when he talked about

  • Government has accepted three suggestions from a tripartite work group to uplift lower-wage workers
  • The recommendations are: Expanding the progressive wages to more sectors;
  • Requiring companies that hire foreign workers to pay all local employees a minimum salary of S$1,400;
  • And introducing a Progressive Wage Mark to accredit companies that pay all their workers “decent wages”

He said, “Workers have to reskill and become more productive. Employers have to absorb part of the additional wage costs. The Government will help them with transitional support but businesses”

will still have to pass on some of the costs to their customers.


That will make many S’poreans even PAP supporters unhappy.

Whatever, when LKY ruled, we were told that China was learning from us. Will our constructive, nation-building media tell us that when Lee Jnr was PM, we learnt from Xi?

Brits evacuating 140 dogs and 60 cats from Kabul

In Uncategorized on 29/08/2021 at 4:02 am

British eccentricity and love of animals at work. Only the British do things like this.

An animal charity’s founder has made it through Kabul airport’s security, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Paul “Pen” Farthing was trying to get his staff and rescue animals out of Afghanistan when they became caught up in Thursday’s airport bomb blasts.

On Friday evening the MoD said Mr Farthing and his animals were assisted by the UK Armed Forces.

It added: “They are currently being supported while he awaits transportation.”

There are reports (not from the BBC) that his Afghan staff have been left behind. And the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, did admit that about 1,000 eligible Afghans would be left behind.

Btw, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1824 more than half century before the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded in 1884. Note the absence of “Royal” in the latter. The Brits prefer puppies to children. And children to birds: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was founded in 1889. Animals and birds have royal patronage, not children. Because the upper class sent their boys to boarding school when the are eight?

The real Master of the Universe

In Financial competency on 28/08/2021 at 3:46 am

Sleepy Joe and Grandpa Xi combined have less power than him.

How China can save the planet and eat like ang mohs

In China on 27/08/2021 at 10:21 am

Make its people eat like ang mohs i.e. chiat gatang

Nature, the science publication, reports that consuming more potatoes will not only bolster food security but help the environment. Growing potatoes cause a lot less emissions than planting wheat or rice.

In 2015, China implemented the “Potato as Staple Food” policy to meet its growing appetite, so the policy is already in place to eat like ang mohs.

Contrarian play?

In Commodities, Malaysia on 26/08/2021 at 6:18 am

Buy M’sian consumer shares?

When I was in broking in the 90s, when palm oil prices were expected to cheong we got clients into M’sian consumer stocks. It was an easy sell as M’sian stocks were hot.

Time to try that trope again despite the economic woes caused by the pandemic and political uncertainty?

The Indian fly in the ointment?

In Financial competency on 25/08/2021 at 5:47 am

Wall St’s S&P at record high. “God’s in his heaven/ All’s right with the world”, right?

Not if the Indian variant has its way.

Something to worry about especially if the Indian variant of the Kung Flu (aka the Wuhan virus) continues to disrupt economic activity.

Swiss tourism is suffering from Chinese and Indian absence

In Tourism on 24/08/2021 at 6:46 am

Fun fact Swiss tourism contributes about 4% to Swiss GDP while watchmaking only contributes 2% to Swiss GDP.

Why our booster shot will be the AZ vaccine?

In Uncategorized on 23/08/2021 at 1:09 pm

In response to AZ vaccine is better than Pfizer against the Indian variant, a fat cat investor who was once a medical doctor explained (emphasis mine)

That’s coz AZ (and J&J) promotes more T-cells (the “memory” cells of our immune system) to find the virus on longer-term basis.

mRNA vaccines promotes more immediate production of antibodies, which are excellent fighters against the virus, but decrease over time.

That’s why combination of mRNA & traditional vaccines have shown strong empirical efficacy. Combination of 2 aspects of our immune system.

So if we get an AZ vaccine as our booster shot, you heard it here first.

Where inflation is a problem

In Financial competency on 22/08/2021 at 3:09 pm

While economists and investors and reading the tea leaves, entrails of animals and runes about whether there will inflation in the US and the EU, it’s a problem for the mamas and other emerging countries. It’s not a problem in China.

AZ vaccine is better than Pfizer against the Indian variant

In Uncategorized on 21/08/2021 at 5:30 pm

Well the Indians are manufacturing the AZ vaccine and so have a vested interest in making sure the world buys it. LOL. We didn’t. Hence the need for a third dose something Israel and the US are doing. Doubtless the usual suspects will be KPKBing about the failure of our PAP govt.

Bad day in Europe

In Financial competency on 20/08/2021 at 6:25 am

But NY didn’t collapse (up 0.1%) unlike Europe or Asia (Think Hang Seng)

Another bad day on Wall St

In Financial competency on 19/08/2021 at 6:32 am

Weaker retail numbers than expected on Tues (mkt down 0.7% after falling more than 1%)) and probability of tapering beginning by end of the year (Wed). There goes the blowout I’m waiting for? Whatever this means bull run will continue. HODL. but not BUY.

Education: PAP ministers LKY’s education aspirations

In Public Administration on 18/08/2021 at 10:25 am

Recently, while searching for an LKY quote on the kind of pupils (and the kind of parents that don’t aspire higher for their kids), I came across quotes ( from a speech “New Bearings in Our Education System” he made to school principals on August 29, 1966. (Btw, I’m still looking for the quote, I mentioned in the first sentence

[We] cannot afford to produce the kind of pupils we did before. All of them went in for qualities which led to individual survival. You ask any bright boy what he wants to do. He wants to be a doctor. Why? Because then he can go anywhere in the world; he will still be a doctor and make money. Or, if he can’t, he will be a lawyer because he also makes money that way. But if he is asked to be an engineer or an architect or to do something else he says “Then what happens? If the country collapses I can’t get another job elsewhere. This attitude must change.”

Well the best students (or at least their Tiger moms) still want to be doctors and lawyers. And btw. those who study engineering often interview for jobs in the finance sector.

“What is the ideal product? The ideal product is the student, the university graduate, who is strong, robust, rugged, with tremendous qualities of stamina, endurance and at the same time, with great intellectual discipline and, most important of all, humility and love for his community; a readiness to serve whether God or king or country or, if you like, just his community.”

Going by the example of all those university peeping tom perverts, and all the whining about the mental health of students (One student gets murdered by another student, all the students in supposed elite school are traumatised: WTF!) where

is the student, the university graduate, who is strong, robust, rugged, with tremendous qualities of stamina, endurance and at the same time, with great intellectual discipline


And as for humility and love of community, pigs will fly first.


“I am extremely anxious about the generation that is growing up literate but uneducated. They can read; they can write; they can pass examinations. But they are not really educated; they have not formed; they have not developed.

Think of all the uneducated S’poreans who have first class degrees. Think of Kee Chiu Chan. He was from RI and is mow the minister of education.

But to be fair, maybe Harry Lee was juz talking cock?

In his memoirs, Herman Hochstadt revealed that when he was the perm sec in the ministry of education (1976-1980), one Harry Lee was the de facto minister of education.

Iran capitulates to the Great Satan

In Uncategorized on 17/08/2021 at 5:29 am

US defeat? What US defeat?

US of A has won a famous victory.

Iran has surrendered to public anger and will import US-produced BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  

Iranians have expressed outrage via social media that tens of thousands could have been saved if imports of vaccines had not been delayed.

The people of I-ran have spoken: “American is best. Buy American.”

The fall of Kabul compared to fall of Saigon

In Financial competency on 16/08/2021 at 5:56 am

On the internet and social media, experts and cybernuts are comparing the fall of Kabul to the Taliban to the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese. To summarise they are saying that the US is in terminal decline. No country can rely on US assurances anymore.

Let’s take the analogy further shall we? The chattering classes and even experts said the US of A was in terminal decline in 1975.

Well a few years later, we had the Reagan presidency (“Good morning America”), the Bush presidency and then the US won the Cold War. Some terminal decline. LOL.

It was the unchallenged Hegemon. THE USSR had collapsed.

So using the analogy, of another US evacuation (and humiliation), we should be predicting the US’s return as top dog again, shouldn’t we?

I’m not predicting that American will again be the undisputed Hegemon as it was in the 1990s and that Xi or his successor will be kissing Potus’s ass in 15 years time.

I’m saying let’s not make false analogies.

My personal view was that the US should have left the Afghanistan a long time ago. Let the Afghans kill themselves.

Btw, the squandering of US$1tn shows the continued hegemony of the US dollar. We all paid for the war because US dollar is the world’s main reserve and trade currency. America can borrow from the rest of the world at negative real interest rates, especially given the savings rate of the Chinese.

Now that is Hegemony at work. Xi can only bang his balls.

What a useless food court at Junction 8

In Uncategorized on 14/08/2021 at 4:47 pm

On Wednesday, my friend and I were walking in Bishan Park. Because it started raining, we took shelter in McDonalds: we also tot it was a good idea to check out what would get us in. I was allowed in with my token because McDonalds staff had the appropriate smartphone app downloaded from a govt website to scan it, proving that I was vaccinated

After the walk, we went to the food court in J8. The food court staff refused to accept my token. It didn’t have the smartphone app that McDonald’s staff had. It couldn’t be bothered to download the app. What a load of rubbish.

My friend had the smartphone app that could be used at both places to prove vaccination. I prefer the token because it is a lot more convenient to use.

Poor guys, Chinese tech billionaires

In China, Internet on 12/08/2021 at 4:32 pm

 FT looked at two dozen Chinese billionaires and found the crackdown has cost the tech guys US$87bn since 1 July,

How to win Olympic medals/ What Schooling should do

In Uncategorized on 11/08/2021 at 2:02 pm

Learn from the British on winning Olympic medals: spend serious money and other resources only on sports that Brits can win medals, especially gold medals. If the athletes are tot to be losers, funding and other resources are withdrawn: nothing personal, juz business.

Once upon a time, the Brits were born Olympian losers: think S’pore today. The nadir was the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, in which Britain won just a single gold.

The government decided to use cash from the recently launched National Lottery to fund top-level sport, with the express goal of winning more medals. From 1997 the effort gained impetus under New Labour, which was enamoured of performance targets, says Borja Garcia, who studies sports policy at Loughborough University. More came in 2005, with the decision to award London the 2012 games.

The result was what uk Sport, a government body charged with medal-chasing, called its “no-compromise” approach. Sports management was professionalised. Coaches, nutritionists and sports scientists were heaped upon the most promising athletes. Funding became calculating and unsentimental. Team sports often offer poor returns, points out Mr Garcia, since it takes several athletes to win a single medal. In medal-rich sports such as swimming or athletics, by contrast, a single one can win in several events. The result has been largesse for a few favoured sports, and crumbs for the rest. Funding fluctuates wildly depending on how a sport does at the Olympics, and what officials think of its prospects (

It works. Britain was 4th in Tokyo:

Gold Silver Bronze Total

Great Britain22212265

Here’s an interesting article showing alternative ways of seeing which nations do better

Top 10 performers ranked by population

Top 10 performers ranked by GDP per capita

Whatever, our Olympians are a mediocre bunch of wankers especially that Qual lady who appealed successfully against her dropping in favour of a younger swimmer. What did she do? Come in last in her heats. SAD. What a wanker. And boos to those who reinstated her.

If I were Schooling, I’d retire, go do NS and then move on. He’s done well for himself and S’pore. Time to rest on his laurels and do something else.

The rights of those who don’t want to vaccinate v the vaccinated

In Uncategorized on 10/08/2021 at 4:28 pm

I am fine with people choosing not to get vaccinated as long as they stay away from everyone else who is vaccinated. If that is the freedom they want fine by me. But we know that the anti-PAP cybernuts on TRE and TOC insist that anti-vaxxers (same as the anti-PAP cybernuts) insist on their right to spit to spit on everyone else.

There is also a need for people to bear the cost of their actions, in this case, choosing to remain unvaccinated. Life insurance doesn’t cover a born loser if the said TRE or TOC reader commits suicide shortly after buying a policy. Likewise health insurance shouldn’t cover the cost of care for people who are hospitalised with Covid who chose to remain unvaccinated for non-medical reasons. The selfishness of people who foolishly believe they are invincible and don’t get the jab should bear consequences.

And they shouldn’t KPKB when the govt gives the double-jabbed certain privileges.

New York City to require proof of vaccine for some indoor activities

City is first in the US to mandate customers be jabbed to access restaurants, gyms and other entertainment

Recent FT headline

And I would say all of the u/m to

What internet stocks to buy or short

In Financial competency, Internet on 10/08/2021 at 4:53 am

Look at this and decide.

Why property prices keeps rollin’ along

In Property on 09/08/2021 at 3:37 am

Another National day is here and property prices are still ticking up.

Low interest rates are a key driver, not the $4G PAP leaders.

Whatever, let’s join the otters.

Origins of our flag:

SIA losses in global context

In Airlines, Financial competency on 08/08/2021 at 6:35 am

Too bad Cathay’s losses not in table

I’ve oversubscribed for the rights share and bond issues. Not complaining.

Asean currencies V US$

In Currencies, Emerging markets, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia on 07/08/2021 at 8:49 am

Indon rupiah stronger than S$. Btw, see how strong is Taiwanese dollar. Stronger than Renminbi. Grandpa Zi must be upset.

China tech stocks trying to stabilise after crashing and burning

In China, Financial competency, Hong Kong on 06/08/2021 at 2:00 pm

In August so far, HST is trying to stabilise around the 6.68 level. Missed a bullet on this.

Related post: Dragon’s breath singes Eagle’s feathers

Three countries using Sinovac or Sinopharm don’t trust their efficacy

In China, Indonesia on 05/08/2021 at 4:05 am

[S]ome countries that relied on two Chinese vaccines have concerns about the drugs’ efficacy so want to offer an extra shot of something else. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates will offer a shot of Pfizer to those citizens who had Sinopharm while Indonesia plans to give health-care workers who were previously given two doses of Sinovac an extra one of Moderna.

Indian variant overruns China via Russia

In China, India on 04/08/2021 at 4:16 am

So much so that Beijing shuts down transport links as the very infectious variant spreads to cities far and wide, int’l media reported.

China hunts down Indian variant as Covid outbreak spreads to 14 provinces

Authorities say infection arrived in Nanjing on Russian aircraft but went undetected for 10 days

FT headline yesterday


A total of 15 provinces have now confirmed cases. Cases in 12 of the provinces are connected to an outbreak that began in Nanjing in eastern Jiangsu province.

What the Indian variant is doing to us and even the PAP govt who loves all things India, is nothing compared to what it’s doing to China and the CCP.

The Indian variant is show the people of China and S’pore that the competency of the CCP and the PAP, respectively, is a lot of bull and spin.

Covid-19: Spare a tot for our neighbours

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 03/08/2021 at 4:07 am

Unlike us, they don’t have millionaire PAP ministers.

Low vaccination rates and the rapid march through the region of more transmissible variants of covid-19 mean that almost every country is experiencing its worst wave yet. This month Indonesia surpassed India as Asia’s hotspot. With oxygen supplies dwindling and hospitals overcrowded, some health-care systems are near collapse. Death rates are soaring: Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar were among the 20 countries with the most deaths per million people in the week to July 29th. Myanmar in particular is hoping that it will be able to tap into ASEAN’s covid-19 fund. Just 3% of its population is vaccinated.

Yesterday’s Economist Expresso

Indian version of Covid-19 is as contagious as chickenpox

In Uncategorized on 02/08/2021 at 3:45 am

America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said people vaccinated against covid-19, once infected with the highly transmissible Delta variant, may be as likely as the unvaccinated to spread it. A study of an outbreak in Massachusetts showed that three-quarters of those infected had been jabbed. It said Delta is as contagious as chickenpox and may cause more serious illness than earlier strains.

Economist Expresso

74% of Covid cases in the Cape Cod summer outbreak in Massachusetts were fully vaccinated according to the CDC report

Low vaccination rates hurts 4 Asean countries

In Indonesia, Malaysia on 01/08/2021 at 5:25 am

In Be thankful we got PAP govt, I showed a chart showing that M’sia and Thailand had serious problems with mama variant. The second chart below explains why: low vaccination rates in these countries.

Then there’s this too

ASEAN-5” refers to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Indonesia and PinoyLand also have low vaccination rates.