Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

HK/ S’pore: A Tale of Two Cities in charts

In Economy, Hong Kong, S'pore Inc on 02/03/2023 at 6:11 am


Rising property prices NOT sign of our virality

In Economy, Property on 21/02/2023 at 5:24 am

Our local PMETs suffer because our PAP millionaire ministers wanted to lower wage costs because they wanted to grow the economy. Rising wage costs is seen as a problem. Hence the flood of FTs.

Maybe they should have have lowered property prices?

There is recent research that

attributes many long-standing economic ills to land. It explores how high and rising land prices affect lending, investment and ultimately productivity, and much of it looks closely at China’s long property boom. The worrying conclusion is that high and rising property prices can also have damaging economic effects, by crowding out productive investment and leading to a misallocation of capital. In the most extreme cases, inflated land prices may already be the cause of a protracted slowdown in productivity growth.

Property owners: Thank the PAP govt

In Economy, Property on 12/02/2023 at 5:21 am

Our millionaire ministers deserve their $?

Tale of two cities during Covid pandemic

In Economy, Hong Kong on 08/02/2023 at 3:18 am

Xi locked down HK, while the PAP govt imposed lighter restrictions.

Goh Meng Seng will never admit that the PAP govt got things right.

In 2023, HK’s GDP numbers will be a lot better than ours. Wait for Meng Seng’s “HK got it right”.

We are in a sweet spot cont’d

In Economy, Indonesia, Malaysia on 18/01/2023 at 8:46 am

Four berths in Tuas Mega Port, have been completed. They are the first of 21 due by 2027. When it is completed in 2040, the complex will be the largest container port on Earth, boasts PSA International.

The IMF expects the region’s five largest economies—Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand—to be the fastest-growing bloc in the world by trade volumes between 2022 and 2027.

S’pore and other Asian countries that are waiting to welcome Chinese tourists

In China, Economy, Japan, Malaysia, Tourism, Vietnam on 09/01/2023 at 3:10 am

For a little red speck we are punching above our weight in getting Chinese tourists. Must be the casinos (Cambodia too)

Housing: Voice of the People in 2022

In Economy, Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 05/01/2023 at 3:51 am

But the voters should thank the millionaire ministers and the (th Immortal?


Property is crashing everywhere, except in Singapore. The Asian city-state’s private residential prices are up 14% year-on-year, according to third-quarter data from Knight Frank. That’s a sharp contrast to major cities like Hong Kong and Sydney, which saw decreases of 7% and 4% respectively over the same period.

The city-state boasts a home ownership rate of nearly 90% as of 2021, thanks to the government’s public housing policies. With average annual real wages growing almost 20% since 2017 and total employment expanding, many households are now looking to upgrade to private residences. Yet due to Covid-19 disruptions, net new housing has fallen below the 10-year average. As of the third quarter, 78% of planned private residential units were under construction, down from 90% in the same quarter in 2021, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Can the millionaire PAP ministers hear the people crying?: Voice of the People in June 2022

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 04/01/2023 at 4:19 am

Yes they heard the voters’ concerns about inflation

But the 9th Immortal hardened the hearts of the millionaire PAP ministers (Remember that they are probably part of the 1% who felt “No impact all all” about inflation): GST went up 1%age point on 1 January. To be fair to these millionaire ministers, they shelled out a few more peanuts.

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes

Why PM-in-waiting should be worried

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 03/01/2023 at 5:05 am

In June 2022 around the time the new Dauphin was anointed this came out:

Only 63% felt positive about him and of that most (45%age points felt “Quite positive”. 19% “Don’t know/ No Opinion”. Wonder what are the %ages now?

Well he’s not done much about the “Cost of living” or “Inflation/ Price rises” except throw a few peanuts our way. So the 45% of “Quite positive” were right to be sceptical.

Thank the PAP govt that our hsehold debt is pretty low?

In Economy on 31/12/2022 at 2:54 pm

No not really. If our “affordable” HDB flats were really, really subsidised as the PAP govt claims, our hsehold debts would be lower. In all the countries in the chart, mortgages are a major component.

At most two cheers for our millionaire PAP ministers.

Why our millionaire PAP ministers not afraid to raise GST despite rising inflation

In Economy on 29/12/2022 at 5:32 am

Only 33% (7+26) of S’poreans think inflation is a major or serious problem.

Seriously, what surprises me that so many people in Asean are so relaxed about inflation (Number3).

Bah Humbug: Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year

In Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning on 25/12/2022 at 5:33 am

The real world is far away from pre-Covid-19 levels

And we have serious inflation problems resulting in central banks raising rates which in turn means global recession.

But in S’pore, our PAP millionaire ministers die die want to raise GST rates from 1 January 2023.

S’poreans affected by inflation

In Economy on 15/12/2022 at 4:20 pm

I suppose the 1% that don’t feel any impact at all include our PAP millionaire ministers and president?

DBS loves industrial Reits, so do I

In Economy, Property, Reits on 14/12/2022 at 3:35 am

Of the 11 industrial Reits they cover, DBS has a “buy” call for 10 of them and a “hold” call for Sabana. I hold four of the “buy” recommendations. I’ve been holding two of them (non TLCs) for years, collecting the payouts and smiling. Likewise the one TLC I own. I bot the 4th (non TLC and really cowboy) in March 2020. It’s been a wild ride especially since I opted for scrip not cash. Now marginally underwater, Lower US interest rate increases should help Reits in general.

S’pore: Gig workers are paid “peanuts”

In Economy on 08/12/2022 at 4:15 pm

Asean countries are winners from Sino-US decoupling

In China, Economy, Emerging markets, India, Indonesia, S'pore Inc, Vietnam on 08/11/2022 at 9:16 am

And we are Asean’s financial centre and a global port to boot. Our PAP millionaire ministers are very lucky that S’poreans allow them to govern us. But are they grateful? I doubt it.

LOL: Millionaire PAP ministers are really looking after the plebs

In Banks, Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning, Investments, S'pore Inc on 07/11/2022 at 5:39 am

Look at this and you’ll see that with the exception of the Chinese banks (Communism at work?) and DBS (Remember that POSB was the people’s bank?), at least $10,000 is needed for FDs. Quite a number (including OCBC and UOB) have a minimum of $20,000.

So it’s nice to know that the millionaire PAP ministers are helping the plebs to get good interest rates on fair terms via Singapore Savings Bonds.

Plebs only need to invest $500 (Same like the Commie bank, ICBC. Need $1000 at DBS) in the the Singapore Savings Bonds. The minimum one can invest in SSBs is $500 — and this can increase in multiples of $500 — but the total amount of such bonds one can hold at any one time cannot exceed $200,000. (Btw, in 2020, when the interest rate on SSB was 0.96 per annum for the first few years and S’pore was being locked down and I got very lucky, I applied for 200k and was filled. It can’t happen nowadays. The allocation is 10k nowadays. Fine by me as I don’t have $200,000 needing to find an urgent home. Btw2, I redeemed the lot in batches in 2021 and very early 2022.)

Returns on the Singapore Savings Bonds hit record highs for the second straight month, with the latest December issue offering a 10-year average return rate of 3.47 per cent. Better still, the first-year interest rate of 3.26 per cent is also the highest ever, beating the record set in the previous issue. I’ll be applying.

And there’s more:

Safe and flexible bonds for individual investors. Enjoy returns that increase over time and redeem in any month without penalty

“[W]ithout penalty”: remember that FDs can only be “broken” by foregoing the interest. But SSB only have a $2 fee when redeeming. Interest is paid up to redemption date. Pretty fair.

More at

Do remember that the govt is tightening money supply via SSBs and other interest-bearing securities. this to to try to keep inflation in check. There’s a reason for its generosity. But its also keeping the banks honest.

S’pore is rich, but do S’poreans benefit?

In Economy, S'pore Inc on 30/09/2022 at 4:03 pm

What do u think?

We got the US$, yen etc.

2022 forecasted interest rate rises: S’pore’s very aggressive

In Currencies, Economy, Financial competency on 24/09/2022 at 2:04 pm

Policy rates are rising in advanced economies. Only the US of A, NZ and Canada are forecasted to be more aggressive than us for 2022.

Policy rates at the end of the year, %, countries ranked by policy rate

We way ahead of East Asian and Asean countries.

Do remember that

As Singapore’s monetary policy is centred on the exchange rate and its capital markets are open, domestic interest rates are largely determined by global interest rates and foreign exchange market expectations of the Singapore dollar.’s%20monetary%20policy%20is,expectations%20of%20the%20Singapore%20dollar.

MAS and MTI have kept their CPI-All Items inflation range at 5.0%-6.0% while MAS Core inflation is projected to average between 3.0%-4.0%. (added on 1 October 2022 at 2pm)

Go buy T-bills? Auction next Thursday

Leveraged to yr eyeballs with housing loan etc: go to church or mosque or temple and pray hard for divine help.

Go buy SSB? Last day to apply for October issue next Wednesday Tuesday (Amended on 26 September 2022 at 1 pm.

F9 for our PAP millionaire ministers

In Economy on 19/09/2022 at 1:38 pm

This (all about strengthening the S$ to fight inflation)

MAS double tightening of upward re-centring and slope steepening ‘likely’ in Oct: Citi

while fat cats like Chris K and Goh Eng Yeow (ex ST editor of its finance section whose bank wants to sell him structured products) pontificate on FB about buying S’pore Treasury bills at auction, us mere mortals have only SSB to invest in for slightly better than bank deposit rates. One could buy shares and reits but that’s another story.

In January this year the first-year interest rate on the Jan SSB was 0.45%. (In May 2020, this was 0.96%. I bot some (OK a lot) then. (For comparison, Etiqa had around then a product that was like a savings bank account but was paying 1.8% pa for three years. I also bot some.)

The Oct SSB issue’s rate is 2.6% for the first year. I’ll be applying for some. Will get allocated $10,000 based on precedent. Last month the first year rate was 2.63% (I got allocated around $10,000).In 2020, apply for max of $200,000 also can get filled in full.

(Got cash because of Hwa Hong takeover and a return of capital on another investment. Been finding out how to but T-bills at auction.)

I treat SSB as really short term deposits with free option to hold for longer periods (up to 10 yrs) because it costs only $4 to apply and redeem an entire allocation. Catch: Have to time redemption towards end of month if need cash: but there’s no free lunch of course. If redeem in bits $2 each time.

This coming Friday our annual inflation rate is expected to remain at 7% with core around 5%. These are the highest levels since mid-2008.

Yes there’s global inflation but when times are good, our millionaire, PAP ministers claim credit that S’pore’s doing well, justifying their millions. So when times are bad globally, they must admit (but won’t) that they are to blame for our problems.

After all these SSB interest rates don’t compensate for the price rises in NTUC Fairprice’s price of wholemeal bread: up 17% (Fairprice bread goes up again). And NTUC Fairprice is part of the PAP’s ecosystem meant to help poorer S’poreans. Nut then PAP also stands for Pay And Pay.

But let’s be fair to these fat cat ministers. In June the government opened our deep pockets: Gold extracted, peanuts given. It gave a “relief” (peanuts?) package of rebates on energy bills and direct payments for lower-income households living in HDB flats (but not for those of us in private housing even if we also are “lower-income” by PAP standards).

But PM-in-waiting said that the GST rise On I January next year must happen, come what may. If necessary, there’ll be more peanuts, he implied.

US inflation shows PAP govt right on cheap FT policies?

In Economy, Public Administration on 14/09/2022 at 10:33 am

One critical factor in explaining the persistence of high core inflation is tightness in the labour market. With roughly two jobs available per unemployed person in America, workers have strong bargaining power, which is reflected in hefty wage gains. A tracker published by the Fed’s Atlanta branch shows that in August wages rose at an annualised pace of nearly 7%. The grim conclusion for many economists is that America may require a marked increase in unemployment in order to temper wage pressures and, ultimately, inflation.

In S’pore, we don’t have this problem because we can always bring in FTs by the cattle truck loads via A380s when our true blue S’porean PMETs and manual workers (like waiters) want more $. Remember this when you read this: Beyond global post-pandemic inflationary pressures, Singapore’s economic structure will continue to drive up domestic costs – Academia | SG

Chips R US

In Economy on 06/09/2022 at 3:52 am

We are a pretty big global manufacturer of chips, mostly non cutting edge stuff.

Even though the chart includes non cutting edge chips, I tot that Taiwan couldn’t be that tiny a producer, and where’s Korea? But as as the FT has used this chart twice, it must be correct.

Send this to Fairprice

In Economy on 13/08/2022 at 1:00 pm

I’ve grumbled before (Fairprice bread goes up again) that NTUC Fairprice should start lowering the price of its bread because the price of wheat has fallen back to pre-special military operations.

Here’s a screen priny that NTUC Fairprice should show to its suppliers.

But to be fair to Fairprice, it has some great National Day offers. It’s cooking oil and rice offers are popular. Not so the oats.

I recently bot its housebrand rolled oats. It cost $4.50. It’s National Day offer was two packets for $3.75. I bot 6 packets, and if the helper goes to Fairprice before next Thursday, I’ll tell her to get another 6 packets.

What S’poreans are most worried about?

In Economy, Political governance on 09/08/2022 at 4:42 pm

Cost of living and Inflation/Price Rises

Not very worried about aging population and our 4G leaders.

Jialat says DBS

In Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning on 03/08/2022 at 5:13 am

Income not keeping pace with inflation for four in 10 people: DBS study

Sadly the ST report is full of propaganda attempting to make the bitterness sweet.

But the u/m graphic from the the constructive, nation-building ST Lite is shocking. I’m sure the editor will be asked to explain why he was less than constructive, and nation-building.

And there’s more from ST Lite

  • A study by DBS bank has found that overall monthly expenses for its customers grew 22.2 per cent in May 2022 compared to May 2021 
  • This was twice that of their income growth of 11.1 per cent in the same period
  • The study also found that income for 40 per cent of its customers grew less than 5 per cent in the past year
  • This was slightly below the country’s average consumer price index inflation of 5.2 per cent in the first half of 2022
  • A senior economist said that inflation will go on for the next two to three years and the lowest-income group will continue to feel the strain if it stays high

And die die GST must go up?

Btw, the piece from ST Lite reminds me of Wormtongue. He turned on his evil master, killing him. He couldn’t stand the abuse he was getting.

Fairprice bread goes up again

In Economy on 31/07/2022 at 3:41 am

In mid July I wrote that Fairprice’s wholemeal bread had gone up to $1.95 from $1.75. Yesterday I found out that it was at $2.05.

My friend said

no choice but still cheaper than other types of wm bread

and bread is the cheapest form of breakfast

With this attitude, how not to get GST price rise in the teeth of inflation?

As the bandit chief in the Magnificent 7 said of the peasants he regularly stole from

If God didn’t want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.

Int’l financial centres: We only number 6

In Economy, Hong Kong, Media on 15/07/2022 at 5:32 am

Read or will this in our constructive, nation-building media? I doubt it. Especially since HK is number 3 despite all the dissing that the ang moh media has been heaping on it.

And we pay our millionaire ministers millions and get this “mediocre” result? It sucks that LA is bigger and SF is just behind us.

Worse we only third in Asia.

But be thankful for small mercies. A friend (and PAP critic) living in Tokyo must be mortified that Tokyo is only number 9, and worse just ahead of Shenzhen. LOL.

Will Fairprice lower the price of its bread?

In Economy on 11/07/2022 at 4:30 am

Couple of weeks ago I bot a loaf of NTUC Fairprice’s wholemeal bread. It had gone up from $1.75 to $ 1.95. Fair enough given that the price of wheat had gone up because of Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But I juz read:

Wheat now trades at the same price as right before the invasion, and almost 40 per cent below the peak in May.


So can I expect the NTUC owned Fairprice to lower its price of bread? Because plebs eat bread and Fairprice and NTUC say that they exist to help the plebs.

I mean even the oil majors recently lowered petrol pump prices when the price of Brent fell sharply.

Coming back to the price of NTUC Fairprice’s bread: somehow I think pigs will fly before there’s a price reduction. Remember NTUC and Fairprice are part of the Pay And Pay complex managed by millionaire PAP ministers. They want to raise GST despite rising inflation that is among the highest in East Asia: Our inflation: Second highest in Asean.

Our inflation: Second highest in Asean

In Economy on 06/07/2022 at 4:06 am

We pay our ministers millions for this and GST rises?

Are we inclusive enough?

In Economy, Japan, S'pore Inc on 15/06/2022 at 5:26 am

Wonder what S’pore spends on human corporate resources?

The FT reports that Japan spends only 0.1% of its corporate human resources, compared with 2.1% in the US and 1.1% in the UK.

It also reports that the Japanese PM places some of the blame on society’s inability to be more inclusive on companies’s failure to invest in their employees.

If our spend on corporate human resources is a lot closer to than of Japan than the ang mohs’, another good reason to KPKB and beat up the millionaire PAP ministers for Talking the Talk of a more equal society but not Walking the Talk.

SDP and Cheng Bock’s gang please do some research. We can only expect the Leader of the Opposition and his wankers to only wank. They can’t even be expected to even talk about the cost of living.

NO GST rise, more “goodies”, early GE

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 12/06/2022 at 2:02 pm

S’poreans clearly think the 4G leaders are a bunch of overpaid mediocrities:

Majority of Singaporeans say inflation handled ‘badly’, according to Blackbox poll

About 55% of respondents in the mid-May survey conducted by pollster Blackbox Research Pte. said the government was handling everyday price rises “badly.” Almost 20% said it was tackled “very badly,” while 36% felt it was dealt with “quite badly.” At the same time, 37% said the government was performing “quite well” and 7% said “very well.”

My best guess is that if the present inflation trends continue, there’ll be no GST rise next year. The voters are angry and a majority of 51% at the next GE (Remember that only 44% of those poll think our millionaire ministers are doing a good job in handling inflation) will do the $G leaders only harm.

My other prediction is an early GE, either in late 2023 or early 2024, General elections are due to be held in S’pore no later than 23 November 2025 to elect the 15th Parliament of S’pore. In 2025 GST will go up by 2 %age poinrs.

To sweeten the ground, there’ll be plenty of goodies using our $: Ownself pay Ownself.

Remember I predicted in 2018 that LW would be PM: Why PAP should make Lawrence Wong PM. And in 2015 that Heng would be PM-in- waiting: The next PM has been unveiled.

East Coast’s Long Island

In Economy, Environment on 08/06/2022 at 6:31 am

A reclaimed “Long Island” along the south-eastern coast of mainland Singapore may one day not only offer protection against floods and rising sea levels, but also a new spot for leisure and recreation, much like the Marina Barrage.

Living on the “island”, which is envisioned to stretch around 15km from Marina East to Changi, may also be a possibility.

I’ve lived in the East Coast since the early 60s. Had a beach, then saw land reclamation which resulted in Marine Parade and in time a new beach. Hopefully I’ll live long enough to see this.

Cost-of-living crisis

In Economy on 25/05/2022 at 1:07 pm

We, like Europe and the rest of the world ex US and China face a cost-of-living crisis: the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have driven up the price of commodities. In many poorer emerging markets, food crises and even famines could occur.

Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the IMF, encouraged governments to subsidise food and energy to help the poor cope with rising costs, something that will never happen here.

Whatever, PAP millionaire ministers die die want to raise GST? Chicken prices going up.

US and China have different problems.

The US problem is containing inflation in a booming economy. Rising US interest rates could cause a recession. China’s problem is fighting Covid and consequences of its zero covid policy: a slowing economy.

Why our millionaire ministers deserve their salaries?

In China, Commodities, Economy, Financial competency, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia on 11/05/2022 at 4:58 am

This year, NASDAQ in bear market (more than -20%) and S&P in correction (more than -15%). HK and China have been in bear markets since last year.

STI up 3% this year. And if palm oil keeps on flying, and Covid is under control in the region, expect the tourists from Indonesia and M’sia to come in.

Why PM talking about recession

In Economy on 08/05/2022 at 9:24 am

As all these result in slower growth, we already have stagflation, something our PM-in-waiting said may happen. It already is.

Fed most probably will not be able to engineer a soft landing, where there’s lowish growth and inflation. So there’ll be a recession which will solve the problem of inflation.

And PM and his millionaire ministers want GST to go up?

And GST still going up? / Li Hongyi for PM

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 03/05/2022 at 5:41 am

Die, die GST must go up even after our Leader say this?

Outlook for post-Covid recovery clouded, recession could hit ‘within next 2 years’: PM Lee

The outlook for Singapore’s post-pandemic recovery has clouded and the risks have grown considerably, particularly due to the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Due to the increase in energy prices, Singapore will be set back about S$8 billion a year

Government support schemes may help ease hardships, but in the long term, “this does not really solve our problem”, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said

We are on autopilot? And 1970s technology? No AI? WTF?

Li Hongyi for PM so that we can have AI technology for autopilot govt.

Seriously, if we have autopilot government, do we need to pay ministers millions of dollars? Juz asking.

Still want to make us PAY And Pay?

In Economy, Public Administration on 20/04/2022 at 10:45 am

The world faces a sharper trade-off between growth and inflation given how it is “almost a certainty” that inflation will be higher for longer, said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on Monday (Apr 18).

… “the risks for both growth and inflation are weighed significantly on the downside,”


Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 group of big economies will meet on Wednesday in Washington amid a deteriorating outlook for global growth. America is bracing for sharp rises in interest rates as the Federal Reserve fights inflation—a task that risks pushing the economy into recession. Europe is struggling with high energy prices, which will rise further if the European Union restricts imports of oil from Russia. China is persisting with its “zero covid” strategy by enforcing costly lockdowns in an attempt to suppress an outbreak of the Omicron variant.

Economist’s Daily Briefing

And the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for the global economy, blaming the war in Ukraine for pushing up inflation. Global growth is projected to slow from 6.1% in 2021 to 3.6% in 2022 and 2023. That is 0.8 percentage points lower for 2022 and 0.2 lower for 2023 than its previous forecast, in January.

And he and his fellow millionaire ministers, die die want to raise GST to protect the reserves and their children’s children? OK OK our children’s children also? As he said:

“We are not out of the frying pan, but already into another fire.”

Lawrence Wong

One of Larry’s headaches

In Economy on 17/04/2022 at 2:43 pm

The war will cut growth in goods trade this year by a third from 4.7% to 3%, according to new World Trade Organization forecasts. It also cut economic growth forecasts from 4.1% to 2.8%, with 3.2% estimated for 2023.

Recession coming sooner than expected?

In Economy on 14/04/2022 at 1:26 pm

US inflation came out as expected: Another month of high inflation in the US?

So markets didn’t tank.


But the conventional wisdom is that inflation may be close to or has already peaked in March.

For example, Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, said: “The bottom line is inflation is going to stick around for a while, but we could see it begin to reverse in the summer months, provided we get some cooling off in agricultural and energy prices.”

But inflation is global and earlier today the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) tightened monetary policy on Thursday (Apr 14), the third time in six months, as it aims to “slow the inflation momentum and help ensure medium-term price stability”. the MAS raised its forecast for core inflation, which strips out private road transport and accommodation costs, to rise between 2.5 and 3.5% this year, up from the 2 to 3% projection made in January. Headline inflation is projected to average between 4.5 and 5.5%, up from the earlier range of 2.5 and 3.5%.

The conventional wisdom is that the global economy will slow down as the Fed tightens but that there won’t be a recession until 2024. James Bullard, a top Federal Reserve official and a super hawk, has warned it is a “fantasy” to think the US central bank can bring inflation down sufficiently without raising interest rates to a level where they constrain the economy (other top Fed officals think that they can raise rates and avoid constraining the economy. But even he thinks that the Fed can avoid causing a recession. But can Fed get it that right?

Only last year, we were told by the Fed that inflation was not a problem (Inflation not a threat?). It was transitory.

If there’s a recession later this year, or next, will the PAP millionaire ministers srill say die, die, must raise GST rates?

Btw, trumpets pls. In early Jan last yr, I posted: Akan datang: food inflation

What do Jews, Chinese and Indians have in common?

In Economy, EDB on 13/04/2022 at 10:07 am

The fantastical beast that is the unicorn find them almost as friendly to unicorns as the residents of Silicon Valley, London, Paris or Berlin.

Beijing, Bengaluru, S’pore and Tel Aviv are places where unicorns are bporn and thrive.

And there’s all to play for S’pore

Some 60m South-East Asians, nearly a tenth of the region’s population, became new netizens in the past two years alone, according to Bain, a consultancy. The number of companies in India and South-East Asia generating $100m of annual revenue has jumped by an order of magnitude in recent years,

In S’pore and SE Asia, the unicorns that thrive are those in fintech and consumer.

These adapt existing Western business models (think Uber, Amazon and Airbnb) to local market conditions. as consumers in SE Asia become willing to pay for “technification of services”: a form of ang moh tua kee, methinks.

Another month of high inflation in the US?

In Economy on 12/04/2022 at 12:34 pm

There are many reasons why inflation is roaring ahead. They include policy mistakes and complacency, energy price rises and then there are three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse: pestilence, famine (The UN’s food price index has already risen by 24% from a year ago and is set to rise further.) and war.

Sad, dirty secret of why US inflation is at 7.9%

One danger with inflation is that, once unleashed, it gathers momentum. American data for March, due to be released on Tuesday, will highlight that risk. Consumer prices are expected to have increased by about 8.5% compared with a year earlier, the fastest rise in four decades.

Economist Expresso

If it is higher than 8.5%, expect serious falls in equity markets which have pretty resilient despite inflation and three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse on the loose: pestilence, famine and war,

Some analysts think this may prove to be the high-water mark. Prices for used cars, one of the items that led the initial inflationary surge, have fallen in recent weeks. But elevated prices for oil and other commodities will ensure that costs remain a headache for some time.


Investors are betting that the Fed will raise interest rates by a full percentage point over the course of May and June (hence the weakness in govt bonds), suggesting that the only way to rein in inflation is to dampen economic growth. But dampening economic growth could lead to a recession.

Not a good time for the presumptive PM who die, die wants to raise GST.

Sad, dirty secret of why US inflation is at 7.9%

In Economy, Public Administration on 07/04/2022 at 3:45 am

There are many reasons why inflation is roaring ahead. They include policy mistakes and complacency, energy price rises and then there are three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse: pestilence, famine (The UN’s food price index has already risen by 24% from a year ago and is set to rise further.) and war.

But the main reason is the shortage of lowest paid workers.

And lowest paid workers are now getting big pay increases in the US.

The Hardest Truth of economics is that productivity must grow in line with this wage increase in order to keep inflation in check. But the signs are that this is not happening, and won’t happen. And neither is the supply of workers increasing.

It is likely, therefore, that in America and elsewhere labour markets will have to be cooled the old-fashioned way: by central banks raising interest rates, making it a little more attractive to save than spend and thereby choking off demand for labour. The Fed has already raised rates by 0.25 percentage points, and is expected to raise them by a total of 2.5 points this year. America may well prove an example of what happens when policymakers respond to a labour market that has become dangerously hot.

The poor have to be satisfied with this promise by Jesus:

Blessed be ye poor: for your’s is the kingdom of God.

Extract from Luke 6:20-21 

But in S’pore, the PAP govt makes sure that there are FTs by the cattle-truck load to ensure that wages remain low. At least that’s what retirees like me should hope happens, what with our millionaire ministers saying die, die must increase GST.

Ingrates like me who don’t for the PAP must remember that we, the well off, get almost first world service and quality while paying (indirectly) third world wages. The plebs who die die vote for the PAP, save us from having to vote for the PAP.

Three cheers for our PAP millionaire ministers

In Economy, Energy on 01/04/2022 at 4:48 am

No not being ironic because SP Group’s electricity tariff for households to rise by almost 10% for April to June period, but because we don’t have a 54% rise in prices from April 1 that UK gas and electricity retail consumers face.

This means higher bills for around 22m of Britain’s 28m households.

Many will struggle. The Resolution Foundation, a think-tank, estimates that 6.3m families in England will face “fuel stress” as they spend more than 10% of their budget on energy, up from around 2m now.


Vote wisely. LOL.

Bread and meat prices going up and away

In Commodities, Economy on 14/03/2022 at 5:28 am

Russia and Ukraine export a lot of wheat and corn. Russia and Ukraine are respectively the largest and fifth-largest wheat exporters, together account for 29% of international annual sales. They account for a fifth of the international corn trade. Corn is used as animal feed. as is low quality wheat.

Still want to raise GST, millionaire ministers?

Recession or stagflation looms: But millionaire ministers want us to Pay And Pay

In Economy on 08/03/2022 at 3:40 pm

(Amended at 5.30pm after publication)

“Oil’s rally will accelerate inflation, rates will go much higher, financial conditions will tighten significantly, consumers will be squeezed and corporate activity will be jolted. Recessionary territory is on the horizon.” .

FT quoting a head of research

Btw. oil intensive industries such as aviation will also be hit hard


The war in Ukraine is “a global stagflationary shock, with Europe being the most exposed region”

FT quoting Barclays head of economics research


(Added after first publication the following pix on US price rises)

[G]overnments can mitigate the shock, just as they did then. They can shield the poorest in society from surging food and heating costs by increasing payouts to the unemployed and to low-income households. Finance ministers can reduce taxes on energy and food products or on a range of consumer goods.

But come Hell or High Water, the PAP die, die want to make us Pay And Pay by raising GST and by making us pay for plastic bags:

 Shoppers at any of the major supermarket chains here can expect to pay at least five cents for each disposable bag, regardless of material, they take from around the middle of next year.

Why our electricity bills will keep on going up/ Still Paying and Paying?

In Economy, Energy on 03/03/2022 at 6:28 am

In addition to higher oil prices (Why most of our gas supply, piped from Indonesia, is tied to the price of oil: Rising electricity prices: Tell us the truth. Note since 2012, when article was published, the trade in LNG has grown exponentially.), with Brent crude rising as much as 9% to an eight year high of above $113 a barrel before trading at US$112.93. (Related post: Oil prices aren’t all that high),

gas prices have flown

Given Europe’s reliance on Russian gas (Why Russia has the EU by the balls), European natural gas prices surged 50% on Wednesday to an all-time high of €185 a megawatt hour. They traded at around €15 a year ago. Asian LNG prices are being dragged upwards, as Europeans try to source gas from traditional Asian suppliers (Oz and Qatar) by offering more money.

Seriously, PAP govt still wants to make us Pay And Pay via higher GST? The Wankers and TCB’s gang are right to oppose GST rises even if the prices are delayed.

Oil prices aren’t all that high

In Economy, Energy on 02/03/2022 at 6:28 am

Chill out: go have a Kitcat.

Seriously, PAP govt still wants to make us Pay And Pay? The Wankers and TCB’s gang are right to oppose GST rises even if they are delayed.

How millionaire ministers are solving the inflation problem

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 10/02/2022 at 3:24 am

Because S’pore is an open economy, inflation threatens household budgets. Inflation is driven by disease-induced supply-chain foul-ups, and rising global food, commodity prices and energy prices.

The solution: raise GST by 2%age points.

OK, OK there’s some “Ownself pay ownself” via GST rebates etc. But they are “peanuts”.

GST rise: Our millionaire ministers should remember/ Brave man

In Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning on 11/01/2022 at 5:52 am

Further to What PM doesn’t understand about GDP and GST,

Judging economy by weath

I think our constructive nation-building media is really trying hard to be constructive and nation building with

The Big Read: Singapore households, businesses not spared from global inflation storm as GST increase looms

  • Inflation is set to be a key challenge in 2022, as households face rising prices on multiple fronts, ranging from food to electricity
  • Business also face higher freight fees, manpower costs due to border restrictions and supply chain disruptions due to measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.
  • Prices look set to go up even more with the impending increase in GST from 7 per cent to 9 per cent 
  • MPs say grassroots initiatives are up and running to help households, while economists point to possible policy levers to mitigate the impact of rising living costs
  • Families facing the brunt of inflation have started belt-tightening, while businesses are looking at raising prices

Brave editor.

The leading Asean stock market

In Economy, Financial competency, Malaysia on 06/01/2022 at 4:47 am

How the mighty are fallen

No, not the collapse of the Hang Seng last year.

When I was in stockbroking between the min 80s and the mid 90s, SGX and KLSE were the markets in Asean. The Thai market was “peanuts”.

Today in Asean, it’s the Thai stock market.


What a lot of bull

In Economy, Financial competency on 22/12/2021 at 9:00 am

“Chicken has gone up by 50 per cent in costs over the last 18 months – a basic staple in a multiracial country so it’s the number one protein… and I think it’s a matter of time for even the regular sliced breads that we eat to go up, maybe 20 or 30 cents per loaf.”

S’porean quoted in

What a lot of BS. I can still get roast chicken from Cold Storage at $4.90, albeit a slightly smaller one. And an atas brand of bread has slashed its price from $7.20 to $6.20. Sadly, they also got rid of their “promotions” at $5.20. And at the other end of the scale, I can still buy “Super Value” brown bread at $1.70.

Inflation: the main drivers

In Economy, Financial competency on 06/12/2021 at 5:41 am

As is food.

So, the recent weakness in oil prices because of concerns of the latest variant is to be welcomed.

Here, S’pore’s overall inflation rose to 3.2% in October, highest in more than 8 years.

The uptick reflected stronger private transport and rental costs, in addition to the higher core inflation, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Tuesday (Nov 23).

Core inflation, which excludes rents and private road transport costs, climbed to 1.5 per cent last month from 1.2 per cent in September. The increase was due to rising services and food prices, and a smaller decline in the cost of retail and other goods.

It outdid the 1.3 per cent median estimate of analysts Bloomberg surveyed.

Workers may see salary increases for 2022

In Economy on 30/11/2021 at 9:55 am

This news came out last week and is of course subject to the South African variant not being as problematic as the Indian one. (Btw did you know that the mama variant was first detected in China in Inner Mongolia? Clever chaps these mamas.)

Sorry back to the serfs here.

Employees based in Singapore are expected to see a nominal salary increase of 3.5% next year, up from 2.8% this year according to ECA international.

This means after taking account of a forecasted 1.5% inflation, Singapore workers would have a real salary increase of 2.0% on average – up from 1.2% this year. Real salary increase rates across the APAC region are forecast to be 1.9% in 2022, higher than the global average of 0.9%.

No wonder, the NTUC chief (and ex-minister: he lost the PAP a GRC and didn’t get sacked from his NTUC job) recently boasted: “The PAP is at the heart of NTUC, and the NTUC is at the heart of what the PAP does.”

PAP is trying to take credit for the wage rise, me thinks.

Relax inflation isn’t that bad

In Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning on 24/11/2021 at 6:31 am

Singapore overall inflation rises to 3.2% in October, highest in more than 8 years

The uptick reflected stronger private transport and rental costs, in addition to the higher core inflation, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Tuesday (Nov 23).

Core inflation, which excludes rents and private road transport costs, climbed to 1.5 per cent last month from 1.2 per cent in September. The increase was due to rising services and food prices, and a smaller decline in the cost of retail and other goods.

It outdid the 1.3 per cent median estimate of analysts Bloomberg surveyed.

STI fell a bit (0.3%)


No need to fear natural gas storage here

In Economy, Energy, Environment on 11/11/2021 at 2:27 pm

The impact of 100 – 300% gas price rises in the West on S’pore

In Economy, Energy on 06/10/2021 at 4:44 am

How will the recent surge in global natural gas prices, with benchmarks in Europe and the US up nearly 300 per cent and 100 per cent in recent months affect us?

The u/m useful info was stuck at the end of a long CNA article that talked about the global situation. Really bad editing as I bet you most readers would not have bothered to finish reading the piece.

This is a shame so I decided to copy and paste what the constructive, nation-building CNA should have told us up front. Not at the end.

Btw, the effect on us in the short term is “peanuts” but read for yourself:

For Singapore, experts told CNA that surging gas prices will unlikely result in a direct hit to economic activity.

… an uptick in electricity prices may be on the cards if the shortfall in gas supplies pushes global oil prices up.

While about 95 per cent of Singapore’s electricity is generated from imported natural gas, the prices of natural gas are indexed to oil prices, according to the Energy Market Authority which described this as the “market practice” in Asia for natural gas contracts. As such, experts said movements in oil prices, instead of gas, tend to have a bigger impact on electricity prices here.

Ms Eileen Yan, Deloitte Singapore’s infrastructure and capital projects advisory partner, said: “If global energy – oil and gas – prices continue to increase, especially if natural gas prices spike further in the winter season due to increased heating needs, the electricity prices in Singapore would follow the trend as fuel costs are passed through to electricity prices.”

This … will be felt more acutely by industries such as refinery, petrochemical, and transport and transportation, which use oil or natural gas as feedstocks or fuel. Businesses that are big electricity users, like data centres and shopping malls, may also expect more costly utility bills, said Ms Yan.

… any price increase in the cost of electricity will be gradual, according to Dr Ngin Hoon Tong, programme director at the Energy Research Institute of Nanyang Technological University.

… electricity tariffs here are calculated using the preceding quarter’s average fuel price, meaning lesser price volatility and a trickle-down effect that will likely kick in three months later.

SP Group said on Thursday (Sep 30) that the electricity tariff for households in Singapore will increase by an average of 3.1 per cent for the October to December period this year, compared with the previous quarter. This is due to the higher cost of fuel for producing electricity by the power generation companies, it said in a press release.

… Barclays Bank economist Brian Tan said higher energy prices may have “some modest negative spillover effects on the Singapore economy, but these are unlikely to be large”.

Mr Livermore from Oxford Economics Middle East agreed that negative growth spillover will be limited given the small share of gas in Singapore’s trade.

“But should the gas prices translate into higher oil prices, it could have a more material impact as Singapore has one of the largest oil refinery industries globally.”

Mr Tan said while higher gas prices may push up Singapore’s core inflation gauge, which includes energy costs such as electricity and gas tariffs, it is unlikely to be a substantial increase.

“We doubt the Monetary Authority of Singapore will respond to an increase in core inflation that is largely driven by gas prices, especially as such commodity-driven inflation may prove to be transitory,” he said.

CNA should done a quick summary of the global situation, then tell us the impact on us. And then provide more int’l background info. It can be done.

Two cheers for the 4G leaders. They finally got something right

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 27/09/2021 at 1:43 pm

When an ex PAP running dog turned into a foaming at the mouth mad dog, wrote a piece (Visit castigating the $4G’s performance over Covid-19, I had to do something to defend them.

They know the link between vaccination and economic growth and got over 80% of us vaccinated. Two cheers* for this quick action.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) blames low vaccination rates for ‘diverging’ south-east Asia growth vis-a-vis that of the rest of Asia.

It downgraded Indonesia’s (the largest regional economy) by a percentage point to 3.5%. the Thai economy (second largest) eby more than 2 percentage points to 0.8%, and Vietnam’s (the fastest growing regional economy) by 3.8%, from 6.7%.


Nike’s woes in Vietnam and Indonesia

Nike’s factories in Vietnam and Indonesia, which make three quarters of its shoes, have been hit by local lockdowns. In Vietnam alone it has cost the firm 10 weeks of production this year.


While downgrading SE Asian growth because of low vaccination, it upgraded our growth rate by half a percentage point to 6.5%. S’pore has vaxxed about 80% of its population. From DBS:

More from DBS, showing that things are looking good.

And before u dismiss the DBS report as the equivalent of the constructive, nation-building ST (i.e. as BS) note DBS maintains ‘below-consensus’ forecasts with ‘bumpy path’ towards endemic Singapore:

*qualified approval or mild enthusiasm, often used ironically The cybernuts infesting TRE don’t know this.

Food inflation: Hope S’pore is developed country

In Economy on 17/09/2021 at 1:34 pm

The news report that the price of chickens from M’sia will go up as the cost pf chicken feed is rising, reminds me of this chart.

Food inflation is on the rise with emerging markets suffering more.

The International Monetary Fund expects inflation will accelerate to 2.4% in 2021 from 0.7% in 2020 in developed countries, and to 5.4% from 5.1% in emerging and developing ones. Rising food and energy prices, pandemic-related supply-chain disruptions and surging shipping costs are among the driving forces.

In rich countries, inflation has been too low in recent years, so a period of catch-up is less of a problem for their central bankers. It’s more of a headache for poorer countries. Food and energy typically account for a bigger chunk of their household spending, so current developments can lead to hardship for their citizens. Central banks in these countries don’t have as much credibility as the Fed or the European Central Bank and can’t afford to lose investors’ trust.

As S’pore is sometimes classified as an emerging market but often as an developed country, wonder what’s the position on food? I suspect the latter going by our inflation mumbers.

S’pore second to China in semiconductor sales

In China, Economy on 12/09/2021 at 5:19 am

Way ahead of Japan and Taiwan.

Btw, interesting global table

Importance of logistics to S’pore

In Economy, Logistics on 10/09/2021 at 10:30 am

About 6% + to GDP and 7% +/- to employment

S’pore bottom of the carbon pricing class

In Economy, Environment on 15/07/2021 at 10:39 am

Not that I’m advocating raising the cost of co2 here. And I’m sure the pricing has something to do with keeping ExxonMobil, Shell and BP happy: they have big petrol chemical refineries here.

Asean blues but we are going great guns

In Economy, Indonesia, Malaysia on 12/07/2021 at 1:49 pm

Modified at 2.49 pm on day of publication to include data on S’pore.

Economists have slashed their GDP growth forecasts for Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, three of the region’s biggest economies.

But for S’pore, MAS has revised higher the economic growth forecast for 2021 and expects that GDP growth could go beyond the initial 4%-6% yoy range forecasted.
• MAS Chief Ravi Menon stated that the increase comes on the back of a smooth
vaccination scheme (36.7% fully vaccinated so far) and stronger global demand.
• Inflation numbers for 2021 were also revised higher, with the forecast for headline CPI
increased to 1.0%-2.0% yoy, up from 0.5%-1.5% yoy.

A bad outlook for tourism is the main reason for dimmer prospects in Thailand. Vaccinations are sluggish and hospital beds are running short. Tourists will stay away.

Pandemic restrictions are another drag on regional growth. With many shops shut, Malaysia’s and the Philippines’ prospects don’t look good.

Although growth forecasts have been revised upward for Indonesia, the region’s biggest economy, daily infections there have surged by 500% in recent weeks.

The greatest risk for South-East Asian economies may be America tightening its monetary policy sooner than expected, which would increase the value of the dollar and make corporate dollar-denominated debt more expensive. GDP forecasts may fall further yet.


S’poreans who appreciate 4G leaders

In Economy on 25/06/2021 at 5:25 am

What follows reminds me of a joke I heard in the mid-70s that the PAP removed the words “socialist” and “socialism” from its constitution.

Credit Suisse reports that Belgium, Canada, S’pore and the UK suffered the most economically with an average contraction of 7.1%. But, they enjoyed unusually high wealth gains averaging 7.7% net of exchange rate movements.

Globally, household wealth held up despite the record economic contraction because of buoyant equity markets and housing prices. This “is testament to the success of government support programs and lower interest rates following central bank intervention,” says Credit Suisse.

Some data and projections on rich people here.

According to Credit Suisse’s estimates, in 2020, there were 270,000 millionaires in here. This is expected to rise 61.9% to around 437,000 millionaires in 2025. There were 1,361 ultra-high-net-worth adults with a net worth exceeding US$50 million in 2020, coming in 19th place globally.

Total wealth in Singapore stood at US$1.6 trillion in 2020, up from US$1.5 trillion in 2019.

Globally, Singapore ranked 10th highest in mean wealth per adult, with US$332,995 in 2020, up 8.3% increase over 2019 and working out to a 3.9% annual growth since 2010.

Good news for 4G leaders and us

In Economy on 04/06/2021 at 5:26 am

World trade is booming.

This chart is even better news:

The bad news, a GST rise is again on the agenda of the Pay And Pay govt.

Not much difference in FT intake is there?

In Economy on 19/05/2021 at 9:51 am

The PAP govt and the constructive, nation-building but independent media tell us that govt policies are reducing FT numbers especially in the PMET segment. But doesn’t seem to show does it? 2020 is different because of the travel restrictions and the collapsing economy.

No wonder the local PMETs are not happy and the 2020 GE showed this.


Singapore’s heavy dependency on large number of migrant workers has led to us being unable to close our borders despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng told Parliament that there was a net outflow of 5,600 work permit and S Pass holders from the construction, process and service sectors each month from March 2020 to April 2021.

Entry approvals were granted to an average of 5,100 workers per month from last November to address the shortfall – but even this could not be sustained due to the dramatically worsening Covid-19 situation in the workers’ home countries.

Comment :These facts validly illustrate the risks which our immigration policies have created for Singapore!

Lam Keong Yeoh on FB. He was GIC’s chief economist before he retired.

Retraining, meritocracy’s dark side from a S’porean resident

In Economy, S'pore Inc on 16/05/2021 at 4:53 am

The u/m appeared in the Economist’s letters-to-the-editor:

Not every worker gets a lift

Tearing down barriers to occupations through meritocratic access to education and retraining will not create more opportunities for low-skilled workers hoping to “climb the ladder” to high-skilled jobs (“Riding high”, April 10th). This assumes talent and ability are evenly distributed and that some people will work harder to jump on a waiting empty elevator, pushing the button to reach a higher socioeconomic position.

Mobility is upward and downward. The higher floors have a finite space. The elevators are also full of people on the way down. Anne Case and Angus Deaton call this the dark side of democracy in “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism”. Those left behind are devalued and disrespected as “losers”. The meritocratic elite contribute to the culture of overwork, their success making everybody else feel that they have failed.

Christopher Voisey

Blame PAP govt for the failure to export to the US

In Economy on 05/05/2021 at 6:36 am

Exports to US declined, like that from Switzerland. Other East Asian countries and Asean countries increased their exports. Even the Shithouse that is India increased exports.

Chiat lat! Wah lan GST going up in 2022

In Economy, Public Administration on 02/05/2021 at 5:15 am

The next GE has to be held by sometime in 2026.

I was arguimg that GST will not up until after the next GE because increasing it in 2024 or 2025 will be good politics and any earlier could tank any recovery: Double confirm, no GST rise until after next GE . Related post: Why there’ll be no GST rise until after next GE

But this by PM has me thinking that it could go up next yr or in 2023

Singapore’s economy could recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2021: PM Lee


He said that the outlook has brightened considerably with
economic growth this year is likely to exceed 6%, if there’s no setback to the global economy. 

So you heard it first here, GST can go up next yr.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

Silver bonds: HK govt loves its old people

In Economy, Financial competency, Hong Kong on 30/11/2020 at 10:44 am

As someone who has problems diversifying cash generated from dividends and capital gains (Can’t put into my CPF account but topped up my 98 yr old mum’s MediSave to the full amount. It pays 6% interest per annum.) into non equity assets, I wish our govt would have something similar to what HK has for oldies with cash.

HK at regular intervals issues “silver bonds” for oldies

The HKMA announced the issue of the fifth batch of silver bond targeting Hong Kong residents aged 65 or above. It will be available for subscription from 1st December.
• The tenor will be 3 years and the minimum guaranteed interest rate will be 3.5%, the highest since record. The total issue amount will be HK$10 billion and could be increased to as much as HK$15 billion, depending on the response. This is much more than the previous issue amount of HK$3 billion.

OCBC Securities

HK like us has an old age problem. It’s even worse there.

OCBC says that HK’s population aged 65 is about 1.38m and accounted for 18.3% of total population as of mid 2020, up from 15.3% as of mid-2015 and higher than the 17% for OECD members in 2019. Population aged 65 and above (% of total population) here was reported at 12.39 % in 2019, according to the World Bank.

OCBC says that Given the worsening aging problem in HK, “it is good to provide some asset management tool for the elderly to grow their assets to ease future financial burden.”

Dare say this HK but dare not say this about S’pore. LOL.

Btw, the issuance of silver bonds are not for the purpose of financing any budget deficit but mainly for promoting the development of retail bond market. Like govt here, HK govt has lots of cash.

Give me decent interest income from govt bonds, not freedom to riot. Here Pay And Pay means neither alternative is available. SAD.

Myth PAP cares more for GDP than for Sporeans?

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 28/11/2020 at 11:02 am

Millionaire ministers prefer to lock down economy to save lives seems to be the implication of u/m.

What do you think?

Dr Goh and his merry men

For all their academic brilliance Ah Loong and team have not advanced beyond tinkering with the framework that Dr Goh Keng Swee, Hon Swee Sen and Albert Winsemius devised. Evolution is fine to a point. But surely the world has undergone revolutionary change. When they were constructing their model of serving MNCs as a path to grow the economy, serving MNCs was “neo-colonialism”. Today even Red China serves as as the MNCs’ factory.

Problem S’pore, PAP face

Related posts

Why S’pore’s economic progress went downhill after Dr Goh retired

— Dr Goh’s HK counterpart had similar views on MRT and other major issues

— Why S’pore industrialised in the 60s

— SG50: Three cheers for Goh Keng Swee

Remember, 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

Why I’m light on office space list cos

In Economy, Property, Reits on 26/11/2020 at 4:32 am

In future, 85% of employees would prefer to work remotely at least two to three days a week, according to a survey by CBRE a commercial real estate services company.

And there’s this:

If a white collar job here can be done from home, it can be offshored somewhere cheaper. Could someone else do it more cheaply from KL, JB, Bangkok, Mumbai or Manila? 

Another big problem looming for S’pore

Another big problem looming for S’pore

In Economy on 25/11/2020 at 4:27 am

Can $4G can solve this problem or not?

The shift to remote work carries an inherent risk. If a white collar job here can be done from home, it can be offshored somewhere cheaper. Could someone else do it more cheaply from KL, JB, Bangkok, Mumbai or Manila? 

No need for MNCs to employ overpaid, unhappy, lazy and ungrateful TOC or TRE reading PMETs in their regional HQs. Can sack all these ingrates and employ hardworking, cheap labour working in KL, JB, Bangkok, Mumbai or Manila. And they can save on FT salaries here: no need to pay condo rents for mamas who then give their employers a paid reputation by sneering at S’porean uncles and aunties for being poor.

Juz saying.

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

RCEP: Kee Chiu minister talks cock

In Economy on 22/11/2020 at 9:00 am

At the the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

After what has been a challenging year, the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement “will be the bright spot that points the direction ahead”, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Sunday (Nov 15). 

“The signing of the RCEP agreement is a timely boost to the longer-term prospects of the region. It will be the bright spot that points the direction ahead,” Mr Chan told the media after the signing.

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Bright spot? What bright spot?

The RCEP does bugger all for S’pore. No expected impact on real income. SAD.

Money talks, bull shit, like Lim Tean, walks is juz noise.

Any wonder that S’poreans have little confidence in the $4G leaders?

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.)

Better still for S’poreans, 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

Why we needed FTs by the cattle truck loads

In Economy on 06/11/2020 at 4:57 am

From Nikkei Asia. It also part of constructive, nation-building media? Move aside SPH, MediaCorp running dogs. PAP govt now got FTs doing their propaganda for them. (Related post: Our education system that screwed up?)

Our education system that screwed up?

In Economy on 05/11/2020 at 5:44 pm

Reasons employers say they need FTs. Locals no got skills. From Nikkei Asia.

Double confirm, no GST rise until after next GE

In Economy, Political economy, Public Administration on 02/11/2020 at 3:57 am

Shumething I predicted recently: Why there’ll be no GST rise until after next GE.

Since then there’s these two headlines from last week

COVID-19 downturn to be more prolonged than past recessions, slow recovery for jobs market: MAS

S’pore’s recovery from downturn set to take 18 months, twice as long as earlier recessions: Economists

Recent headlines in the constructive, nation-building bmedia

Before these, there was what Heng said in mid October

A hike in Goods and Services Tax (GST) cannot be deferred indefinitely because it is necessary to support future needs such as preschool education and healthcare.

However, the Government will continue to study the timing of the increase in GST rate carefully. In doing so, it will take into account the pace of Singapore’s economic recovery, its revenue outlook and how much spending can be deferred without jeopardising the country’s long-term needs.


Going by the next PM’s choice of words,

Government will continue to study the timing of the increase in GST rate carefully. In doing so, it will take into account the pace of Singapore’s economic recovery, its revenue outlook and how much spending can be deferred without jeopardising the country’s long-term needs.

if there’s no V-shaped recovery, but a K-shaped recovery (What’s a K-shaped recovery? Recovery is K shaped), as is likely. there be no GST hike until after next GE. PAP doesn’t believe in suicide.

But next time GST rises, it might be up 4 points? Because

it is necessary to support future needs such as preschool education and healthcare.

PM Lawrence Wong circa 2028

Nice to know S$ is a “Biden currency”

In Currencies, Economy on 25/10/2020 at 4:39 am

The Koran, Mexican and Chinese currencies are expected to be big winners from a Biden win. Contrast that with the Turkish and Russian currencies.

The chart shows that we will benefit from a Biden win.

Do the following show how of touch and uncaring are union leaders, PAP MPs and millionaire ministers?

In Economy, Political governance on 23/10/2020 at 6:50 am

This letter to ST’s Forum seems to show that they don’t really care for 32,000 poor S’poreans, unlike the Wankers.

Forum: How can anyone survive on less than $1,300?

The priority should not be to defend the statistics and policies on why there should not be a minimum wage level (WP MPs and NTUC deputy chief spar over minimum wage, Oct 16).

Instead, one should first consider how any one individual or family can survive on less than $1,300 a month when the cost of living in Singapore is notoriously high.

These 32,000 or so full-time workers urgently need help, and should not be tossed around as statistics whenever the topic of minimum wage is raised; $1,300 a month would not solve all their daily needs but it is a good start to give them some hope.

If we do not lift these 32,000 workers out of the pit of low wages, it is futile to talk about upgrading their skills.

If we cannot help them put food on the dinner table or provide for their basic needs, it is futile to talk about increasing productivity.

Be practical and realistic. These are our fellow Singaporeans who are poor and desperate. These are people we should not ignore regardless of the number.

The question is whether we give them the dignity and respect they deserve.

Ho Ting Fei (Dr)

As the good doctor says, the issue is the suffering of 32,000 S’poreans, not whether the PAP govt’s Progressive Wage Model (PWM) or minimum wages is better.

And whatever the merits of the Progressive Wage Model it’s slow. No wonder we have a national productivity problem when the NTUC, PAP govt and employers set the example of productivity at work: taking their time to implement what they all say are very impt national policies.

A retired union leader upset by Wanker Jamus ‘ comments about “folksy” union leaders inadvertently let the cat out of the bag in a letter to ST’s Forum.

TOC’s “correspondent” used the letter to pen an article headed

Unionist Nasordin and his tripartite partners implement min wages at snail’s rate of 3 sectors in 8 yrs.

It ends

In any case, it can be seen that despite union leaders like Nasordin, who “care deeply for our workers” and push for PWM expansion to other sectors earnestly, they managed only to establish PWM with its associated minimum wage in 3 industry sectors in the last 8 years, since 2012 when PWM was first mooted.

It has been observed from the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification manual that there are at least dozens of of sectors in Singapore. At the rate Nasordin and his tripartite partners go about implementing their PWM model of 3 sectors per 8 years, by the time minimum wages are implemented in all industry sectors in Singapore, the workers would have been retired or dead by then. Unionist Nasordin and his tripartite partners implement min wages at snail’s rate of 3 sectors in 8 yr.

Go read the article.

Related posts: Another reason to introduce minimum wages and More evidence PAP talking cock on minimum wages

How many here prepared to trade-off more unemployment benefits with higher taxes?

In Economy, Financial competency, Political economy on 16/10/2020 at 5:15 am

Not many, see below. Even got some (luckily only 12%) “disagree with unemployment benefits, as they believe there are enough training and job opportunities”. Queen Jos and other millionaire ministers must be smiling. These people must also be part of this group: Sia suay! 24% of S’poreans are more PAP than the PAP on our reseves)

When posed with a scenario of paying higher taxes to fund unemployment benefits:

Only 31% of Singaporeans feel those unemployed should receive financial support while looking for work, even if it means paying higher taxes. But support is higher among Gen Zs (37%) compared to the older Baby Boomers (23%)

12% of Singaporeans disagree with unemployment benefits, as they believe there are enough training and job opportunities

57% of Singaporeans believe in giving financial support to those unemployed, but not at the expense of themselves having to pay higher levels of tax (Yes, Yes I know this was done in August)

S’poreans are a selfish lot. They deserve a Pay And Pay government.

What do you think?

Double confirm: Why the PAP die die wanted to hold GE earlier this yr

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 15/10/2020 at 2:08 pm

Economy is really in a bad way. (Btw in May I wrote this: Why Pay And Pay govt wants elections earlier than later)

Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said as much as 20% of the city-state’s economy faces “deep scarring” from the coronavirus pandemic.

Aviation and tourism industries are a worry, especially with an expected slow recovery in travel.

S’pore’s trade-reliant economy, already in recession, is facing its worst contraction on record — about 5% to 7% this year. The government has allocated about S$100 billion in stimulus to cushion the blow for businesses and help save jobs:

MAS has kept monetary policy unchanged tomorrow. Fiscal measures will do the heavy lifting in getting the economy back on track, unlike in the US. Sometimes good to have a one party state.

But the bad news is that Heng thinks PAP govt has done enough: Did u know Heng said no more additional round of support measures?

PAP a socialist party again?/ Banks doing NS

In Banks, Economy, Political economy on 11/10/2020 at 6:07 am

Covid-19 is making govts all over the world ditch their ideologies and becoming pragmatists .

The PAP govt is no exception: its forcing the banks (protected and cosseted by the PAP govt) to be nice to debtors:

With many borrowers expected to continue to face financial issues amid a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is extending its support measures for various groups of borrowers, including allowing those with property loans to apply to temporarily reduce their monthly instalment payments.

Those with renovation and student loans may also opt for a longer repayment period, while small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will get to partially defer principal payments for some loans and receive customised restructuring options.

The MAS, in its media release on Monday, urged borrowers who are able to resume loan repayments in full to start doing so from January so as to avoid increasing their overall debt.

In the late 70s when I was in London, I heard a story that at a recent PAP cadre conference, the word “socialism” was removed from the PAP’s constitution. So it’s nice to see the PAP returning to its socialist roots. One Harry Lee must be spinning in his urn.

Of course all these moratoriums affect banks’ profits. There’ll be those who can pay and pay, but will ask for a delay. They can use the cash that would have gone to the banks to play the markets.

And there’ll be a day when the banks have to write off the loans that the govt is now forcing them to pretend are not in default, and extend.

But don’t worry, the PAP govt is on top of the situation. In a sign that things could deteriorate for the banks and their investors:

Financial institutions will be allowed to use their security interests in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats as collateral for liquidity from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), as part of the Government’s plan to improve their access to funding from the central bank amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The new rule is part of the amendments to the Housing and Development Bill passed on Tuesday (Oct 6).

Of course, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee had to say

that although banks in Singapore have healthy liquidity buffers, greater access to credit will strengthen their resilience given current economic headwinds and is a “pre-emptive measure”.

He would have to say this wouldn’t he?

What do you think? Is the minister BSing?

Btw, when banks cut dividends further: Can local bank stocks fall by 37%? (cont’d)

Did u know Heng said no more additional round of support measures?

In Economy, Public Administration on 08/10/2020 at 6:18 am

On Oct 3, DPM Heng announced via Facebook that there will not be an additional round of support measures. I did not read about it in the constructive, nation-building: but maybe it was tucked away in somewhere. I read in an article in the Edge. (Details of the how the $100 billion is being spent: Cheat sheet for Fortitude Budget.)

At this stage of the crisis, my team and I are fully committed to support our workers and businesses by refining our policies, expanding outreach and improving implementation, to make the most of the $100 billion committed to the fight against COVID-19. We hope that businesses and workers can make the best use of the measures that have been committed.


But note out of 33 billion in Fortitude Bugget, S$13 billion is for “Contingencies Funds” Cheat sheet for Fortitude Budget.

And the btw use of reserves is peanuts:

From the above mentioned link:

Whatever, all the budgets means the government’s total fiscal injection will be S$92.9 billion, almost one-fifth of the country’s S$500 billion economy. Only Germany and Japan spend more than us when it comes to pandemic stimulus packages as a percentage of GDP. Germany 31.6% and Japan 19.6%.

The government has so far drawn down S$52 billion from our reserves to fund the packages.


“Peanuts”: our reserves estimated to be worth over US$710 billion or S$1 trillion by ang mohs. Only 5% of our reserves drawn down and do remember that S$13 million is for “contingencies”. Exclude that S$13 million and only 4% of reserves will be spent.

Bah humbug, a reasonable man may say.

S’poreans want to work from home

In Economy, Property, Public Administration on 30/09/2020 at 7:23 am

An article in the constructive, nation-building ST about S’poreans slowly returning to work in offices reminded of an FT chart in late August or early Sept.

Black mark or slap in the face for the PAP govt’s handling of Covid-19?

Compared with Europe, S’poreans don’t want to return to offices. They all want to skive is it?

Seriously maybe S’poreans think the PAP govt mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic?

The FT reports that whereas the continental European countries think their govts handled the pandemic pretty well, the British and the Americans think their govt’s mishandled the pandemic, hence their reluctance to return to offices.

But then there is this survey: Criticism of PAP govt’s handling of Covid-19 is really “noise”. It shows that S’poreans think the PAP govt is doing a good job in containing the pandemic.

Say one thing, but do another thing isit?

What do you think?

Anti-PAP “noise” is from PMET losers and deadbeats

In Economy on 21/09/2020 at 7:11 am

Data from the Ministry of Manpower last week was very grim.

OCBC Securities reported “total employment change in Q2 declining 103.5k, the sharpest on record. This brought the total employment decline in H1to 129.1k.
▪ Retrenchments more than doubled, from 3220 in Q1 to 8130 in Q2. This is higher than the peak during the SARS period, but lower than the all-time high of 12760 during the GFC.
▪ The overall unemployment rate rose from 2.4% in Q1 to 2.8% in Q2. Resident unemployment rate rose from 3.3% to 3.8%.”

Interestingly the MoM data showed the most impacted sectors (in terms of unemployment and retrenchments) are those that rely more on non-PMET workers, such as manufacturing, construction and accommodation & food services.

The more resilient sectors were in electronics manufacturing, information & communications and financial & insurance services, where remote work is more likely.

Bottom line: the poor are suffering terribly, PMETs are not. Bit like in London where the poor suffer more than the well off according to the Economist.

Must be PMET losers and deadbeats KPKBing on TRE, TOC and other anti-PAP alt media publications, and social media about their plight, and blaming the PAP govt.

S’pore equities: Why buying a dog is a gd thing

In Economy, Financial competency on 18/09/2020 at 4:27 am

According to OCBC’s head of research Carmen Lee (We once worked in same firm, she as analyst, I as dealer/ saleman), S’pore stocks “could prove a safe harbour to tide over stronger headwinds in the face of more attractive stock valuations.” 

“While the Singapore market underperformed during the recent uptrend, it is also less volatile during the Sep 2020 market downtrend, making it ideal as additional holdings to a diversified stock portfolio,” she writes in a 14 September report. She points out that while the S&P 500 fell 6.7% from its September peak, the STI only lost 2% — a relatively small correction vis-a-vis most markets. 

She also writes, “We continue to favour companies with strong management or sponsors, good market shares, well-established businesses or brand names and companies with a more defensive stream of earnings.” 

Favourites include the usual DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Capitaland Mall Trust, Raffles Medical Group, ST Engineering, Sheng Siong Group, Singtel and Starhill Global REIT. 

Nice try Carmen. LOL.

Why there’ll be no GST rise until after next GE

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/09/2020 at 7:29 am

The govt will take steps to strengthen its revenue position like raising the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said PM in waiting Heng Swee Keat on Friday (Aug 28).

I’m sure he knows -that

[T]wo ill-timed increases in the consumption tax, in the name of fiscal probity, both of which pushed the economy into recession.

Economist on Abe’s legacy

So that’s why maybe Heng also said the govt will “carefully monitor” the timing of such moves by considering the state of the economy and spending needs. “Carefully monitor” is his get-out-jail card of being the public face of Pay And Pay.

I mean with the next GE scheduled by end 2026, a recession in 2024 induced by a GST rise in 2023, is a vote loser. The way the economy is tanking (6% contraction expected), GST can only be raised in 2022 (Economy forcasted to grow by 5.5%) at the earliest. But based on the Japanese experience doing it then is risky. That leaves 2023 and, in turn, carries the risk of a recession in 2024.

Any later than 2023, the PAP is dicing with only 51% of the popular vote in the next GE.

And anyway, fiscal tightening should be resisted until recovery’s well underway: not to be nipped in the bud by a Hard Truth that was BS in the first place.

Casting my Chine fortune sticks, I prophesie that there’ll be no GST rise before the next GE. PAP knows the trade-offs and being Mr PAY And Pay could mean that its share of the popular vote falls below the pass mark: 60%.

In the context of a 60- 61% share of the popular vote being mud in the eye for the PAP, anything less than 65% will be seen as less than a smooth transition by the PAP and the voters.

Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote

Related post: How the PAP plans to fix its legitimacy problem.

And remember I predicted this before the analysts: Double confirm: No GST rise this yr.

S’porean core? What’s this BS?

In Economy, Political economy on 04/09/2020 at 4:05 am

Not me but a regular TRE commentator. Worth a read. (Btw, glad that the writer has recovered: More evidence that being anti-PAP is bad for yr mental health.)

The fact that we are even talking about a Singaporean core shows that our leaders have failed Singaporeans

Have you heard of the Malaysian core? What about the Indonesian core? Or the Vietnamese core? There simply isn’t any talk of such a thing because it is a given, a birthright that needs no debate and discussion.

Only in this country do we keep talking about protecting a Singaporean core, even worse about restoring a lost Singaporean core.

Singapore was built on the backs of our forefathers. We grew up reciting the pledge with clenched fist. Our sons dutifully made it through National Service.

Yet we have become natural-born citizens who have to be assured that Singaporeans come first, that the long-neglected Singaporean core will be made good and whole once again.

In his parliamentary speech yesterday, West Coast GRC Member of Parliament Ang Wei Neng called for the setting-up of a National Human Resource Committee to nurture a Singaporean core of talent.

He recounted his experience at Changi Business Park before the COVID-19 outbreak, when for the first time he felt “like a foreigner in my own country”. He went on to question why there are so many Employment Pass, E-Pass and S-Pass holders in Singapore.

Also in Parliament yesterday, Minister of State for Manpower and Education Gan Siow Huang stressed that employers should view Singaporeans favourably when hiring and retain citizens over foreigners if retrenchment cannot be avoided.

For years, Singaporeans have been crying out loud but they were given 1,001 reasons why the foreign influx must continue unabated. Those who continued to complain were called racists and xenophobic.

It is only today that politicians from the People’s Action Party are saying the things the people have been saying for more than a decade.

It is only today that the ones who persisted with the vile policies start to say don’t worry, we will look after Singaporean workers first, we will have your backs no matter what.

Instead of jumping for joy at hearing that the Singaporean core will now be protected (or are they only paying lip service?), we should be asking how this travesty has been allowed to happen in the first place.

How on earth did natural-born Singaporeans get sidelined and squeezed out in our own backyard?

Augustine Low

Btw, it’s also a good riposte to PM’s

The Government will always be on the side of Singaporeans. What is the point of creating jobs for foreigners, if it does not benefit Singaporeans? Why would we want to do that? 

PM in parly recently.

Sia Suay King and Queen talk cock yet again

In Economy, Public Administration on 01/09/2020 at 1:11 pm

Singapore is putting focus on “quality, rather than quantity” with the latest increases to the qualifying salaries of foreigners on Employment Passes and S Passes, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Saturday (Aug 29).

Constructive, nation-building MediaCorp freesheet


The Ministry of Manpower announced that the minimum salaries for new Employment Pass candidates will be raised by S$600 to S$4,500 from September. Holders of the S Passes will have to meet a S$2,500 threshold, instead of S$2,400, from October.

For the first time, there will also be a separate salary criterion for Employment Pass holders working in financial services: The minimum qualifying monthly salary for these workers will be further raised to S$5,000 later in the year.


Well, he surely can’t have got feedback from the ground because

Companies said they can live with higher operational costs …

Those interviewed said the impact on them is quite minimal since they already pay their Employment Pass holders higher than the minimum requirement

While higher manpower costs would be inevitable with the latest changes to salary requirements for work pass holders, companies contacted by TODAY said that the impact on costs is not something they are too concerned about.

Constructive, nation-building MediaCorp freesheet

Quality over quantity? What quality over quantity when employers say they already pay more than minimum? And are happy to absorb additional costs because FTs are betterest.

But to be fair to Kee Chiu, Jos, MoM minister, also talking cock

As for jobs for S’poreans, the constructive, nation-building media also reported that businesses and “expers” questioned whether the policy directions will achieve the desired effect.

Recovery is K shaped

In Economy on 24/08/2020 at 11:34 am

Optimists believed a “v-shaped” economic recovery was just around the corner, while others foresaw a slower “Nike swoosh” of a rebound. Those who believed the pain was here to stay, believed a “U” was most likely.

Seems the rebound is “K-shaped”, a swift fall followed by a big divide in fortunes. Some segments of the economy have recovered sharply, while others have continued to downtrend. Low-wage workers* suffering the most while asset values soa, is a problem that our multi-millionaire natural aristocrats (and other govts) have to solve. At least, they can look at their monthly CPF statements and smile.

From a recent DBS report, Uncle Leong (Remember him?) estimated that around 445,536 lower-income individuals (earning less than $3,000 per month) have had their salaries reduced by more than 50% because of Covid-19.

Slow growth sucked, didn’t it?

In Economy, S'pore Inc on 15/08/2020 at 4:50 am

The last time Singapore was in a recession was in 2001 when the dot com bubble burst and the economy declined by 1 per cent. 

Constructive, nation-building media

But life still sucked when growth was low by historical standards.

We’ve had slow growth since 2011. And it sucked for most S’poreans but not for millionaire ministers and reit investors (including self). To be fair, it hurt the PAP ministers electorally in the 2011 GE and PE. They then gave us back some of our money: Are you better off now than you were in 2011?

Another chart showing same thing. Really. That’s why I’m showing it: how numbers are presented can be deceptive.

Can local bank stocks fall by 37%? (cont’d)

In Banks, Economy, Reits on 05/08/2020 at 4:10 am

Further to Can local bank stocks fall by 37%? And other investment tales, here’s another good reason to think that bank stocks can really tank.

In the UK, where banks are usually generous dividend payers, after the authorities told banks to stop paying dividends until next yr, the banks decided to compete on seeing who could %wise have the largest loan loss provisions. HSBC (where I’ve owned shares since the early 1980s) won this show of macho, increasing provisions by a third more than expected. Shares fell by another 4% on Monday and 3% yesterday. The share price is near its 1996 lows and have already fallen below the late noughties low.

What I’m predicting is that our banks will be increasing their loan provisions beyond analysts’ expectations. They will be reporting their latest results soon.

So it’s possible that our banks’ share prices can fall by 37%.

Last chance to sell as shares recovered their Monday losses yesterday.

Good luck, yield chasers who tot banks were safe. Why not try industrial reits? They’ve held up pretty well. Buy the second liners (not the GLCs) so that I can smile when I look at their prices.

Great S’pore Fashion Sale when Covid-19 restrictions finally end

In Economy on 19/07/2020 at 3:48 pm

Retail stores “will have to discount heavily” to sell excess stock that may now be out of season according to retail experts.

Many clothing retailers have been sitting there with stores full of stock which they haven’t be able to shift.

One of the most pressing issues for retailers is working capital and there is a huge overhang of inventory at fashion stores.

Xia suay! Technical recession? What technical recession?

In Economy, Financial competency, Media on 15/07/2020 at 4:23 am

Singapore in technical recession after GDP shrinks 41.2% in Q2 from preceding quarter due to COVID-19

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Singapore enters technical recession as GDP plunges 12.6% in Q2: Flash data

Constructive, nation-building ST

Singapore has entered a technical recession after its economy contracted 41.2 per cent in the second quarter from the previous three months, dragged down by weak external demand and Covid-19 “circuit breaker” measures.

MediaCorp’s Constructive, nation-building freesheet

Kee Chiu if you believe it’s a “technical recession”.

The term “technical recession is used when there are 2 consecutive quarters of slightly negative numbers. There is nothing “technical” about the 41% collapse after “only” a 3% fall in the previous quarter.

Kee chiu if you still believe it’s a “technical recession”.

In America, the usually post-fact society, when the GDP was likely to fall because of Covid-19, a recession was “called” even by the Fed, the world’s central bank, even before the monthly data came out.

Kee chiu if you believe we juz had a “technical recession”.

The ang moh media got it right when they reported:

Singapore enters recession after economy shrinks more than 40% quarter on quarter


Singapore Slumps Into Recession With Record 41.2% GDP Plunge


But then they are not constructive, nor nation-building. Ask Trump.

The use of the term “technical recession” by our constructive, nation-building media must have resulted from a media briefing by some xia suay Ah Beng from MTI. Kee chui chiu if you know his identity?

For the avoidance of doubt, the technocrats at MTI did not use the term: