Posts Tagged ‘Fun with numbers’

Why millionaire PAP ministers should focus on rent costs

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Public Administration on 20/02/2023 at 4:28 am

Came across an interesting discussion on the monetary effects of having to wait six years for a BTO flat.

In my case, rented a HDB flat from a condo-residing church friend while waiting for BTO. Kid was born in my friend’s flat. All in all, I invested $80,000 in rent all those years, would have been more if he didn’t offer a friendship price. Even if I were to sell my BTO, I’d make $120,000 more and minus the rent and housing loan interest, I don’t actually earn.

FB discussion

He’s saying, “Asset appreciation? What asset appreciation?”

He went to say

if one has to wait for 6 years for bto to be completed and go into rental. One would have to spend almost 200k for the 6 years of rent. And that figure is very Conservative given current market.

FB discussion

Another S’porean added

rent is now hitting 4.2k even in far flung places like Punggol, so that is over 300k assuming worse case scenario of a 6 year wait. Even if MND can bring the wait down to 3 years, this is 150k flying way from a couple’s nest egg and not coming back. I am not keen on the idea of young couples having to do this, because that money is honestly better spent on their kids. A dollar spent there benefits not only them, but the nation at large much more.

FB discussion

Our PAP millionaire ministers better take note that time is money, There’ll be a lot of unhappy S’poreans if the PAP doesn’t change their policies on when and how flats are built.

They are barking up the wrong tree by focusing on the “subsidy” BTO owners (and others) get. Focus on getting the BTO flats into the hands of voters ASAP.



God believes in symmetry

In Uncategorized on 19/02/2023 at 3:18 am

The wealthiest 1 per cent, according to the most recent global wealth report by Credit Suisse, own about 50 per cent of global wealth, while  the poorest 50 per cent own about 1 per cent.

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).

No Chinese

In China, Tourism on 06/12/2022 at 4:48 pm

1.6bn, is the number of international tourist trips forecast to take place in 2023, still 200m fewer than in 2019 reports int’l media

One in ten tourists was Chinese before the pandemic. Their numbers will double in 2023, to 59m, far below the 155m recorded in 2019.


Cos unable to produce cars more valuable than those churning them out

In Financial competency on 25/11/2022 at 5:42 am

World turned upside down for the world’s largest manufacturers like Toyota, luxury makers like Mercedes and BMW, and even EV maker Telsa.

What black hole?

In Financial competency on 18/11/2022 at 4:49 am

The UK’s chattering, political and investing classes are all worked up about public debt and how to screw the poor to make the UK solvent.

Right on cue. the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, delivered a budget including spending cuts and tax rises that by 2027-28 will be worth £62bn ($73bn), or 2.1% of GDP. 

Club Med countries have bigger public debt holes than the UK but are not so worked up. It’s all mind tricks.

India’s rising because it had incompetent govt not because of good govt

In China, India on 17/11/2022 at 4:43 am

Unlike China.

If demography is destiny, India will be the Asian superpower, not China.

India is reaping the benefit of incompetent govt. It like China once upon a time tried to curb population growth.

India’s attempt to reduce fertility was less successful than China’s even though it was the first country to introduce family planning on a national scale in the 1950s.

Whatever, us Chinese are more productive:

But India’s prosperity depends on the productivity of its youthful people, which is not as high as in China. Fewer than half of adult Indians are in the workforce, compared with two-thirds in China. Chinese aged 25 and older have on average 1.5 years more schooling than Indians of the same age.

All to play for in regional supremacy.

Ang moh tua kee even in China

In China on 14/11/2022 at 4:53 am

The most profitable tech company operating in China is not a homegrown internet giant such as Alibaba or Tencent but California-based Apple reports the Economist.

Sells a lot there:

It also manufactures a lot there:

Want an Indian PM?

In Uncategorized on 26/10/2022 at 9:09 am

The price of pasta, cooking oil, chips and bread rose sharply in the UK.

Item-level price changes of lowest-price option of 30 selected everyday groceries, September 2022 compared with September 2021 (%)

Forward this to George Yeo, Kishore and other Wumaos.

In China on 18/10/2022 at 1:21 pm

Even if China manages growth of 4% a year for the rest of this decade, it won’t overtake America soon – especially given that the yuan has been falling against the greenback. If the United States continues to grow on average 2% a year and the currency stays where it is, China’s economy will still be nearly 20% smaller in dollar terms at the end of the decade.

The country would then find it harder to build the dominant military force in Asia and fund investment overseas. It would also be a less attractive model for other countries to emulate – and there would be less pressure to accept its hegemony.

It needs to supercharge growth again, but Xi doesn’t seem to be the leader who will allow this. China has indicated that it may miss its annual economic growth target of 5.5%. blaming Covid-19, but not referencing Xi’s zero-Covid lockdowns.

Cheap Asean places

In Tourism on 17/10/2022 at 6:07 am

Sure to find plenty of S’porean cheap skates.

(KL and us are expensive places.)

($= US$)

More ex places

20. Siem Reap, Cambodia 🇰🇭 $28.25

22. Kuta, Bali, Indonesia 🇮🇩 $28.65

33. Phuket, Thailand 🇹🇭 $33.18

41. Boracay Island, Philippines 🇵🇭 $35.99

48. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 🇲🇾 $39.53

82. Singapore, Singapore 🇸🇬 $63.40

Economic theory that is problematic in a crisis

In Financial competency on 21/09/2022 at 5:37 am

Following the good, sound economic theory of marginal costing, European electricity markets price the cost of power each hour is set by the most expensive power plant that is needed to meet demand. This is common practice in developed free market countries.

And power plants which generate electricity using gas are the most flexible and able to fill gaps in power generation. So it is gas-powered plants which are setting the price of energy in many European (and other developed countries. The system usually works well.

But the present refusal of Russia to supply gas to the EU is causing the price of gas to go ballistic.

Worse high gas prices are coinciding with shortfalls in nuclear-power generation, as many reactors are closed for repair, and in hydroelectric-power generation, due to drought.

The result is very high prices for electricity. And very high profits even for those energy companies whose costs have not increased, such as those using nuclear, solar, hydro or wind. The EU proposes to cap the revenue that firms can receive on the market at €180 per megawatt hour (MWh). (The market price before the crisis was around €50 per MWh in Germany.)

Revenues above the cap will be collected by grid operators to be redistributed, perhaps in the form of cash handouts to households. The €180 cap is actually generous to energy companies according to the experts.

But there’s another complication. The renewable energy companies often have fix price arrangements so the headline “profits” may not be there.

Meanwhile consumers are KPKBing and governments are trying fixes that good sound economic theories disapprove of like capping the price of electricity or borrowing more without increasing revenue.

Ukraine’s best friends

In Uncategorized on 11/09/2022 at 6:19 am

A friend in need, is a friend indeed.

A recent comment by a Ukrainian officer, “They abandoned their tanks and equipment ”. They did this before at the gates of Kyiv. Sounds like Russian soldiers are helping Ukraine defeat Putin’s “special military operation”.

Check this out at Cynical Investor’s takes on S’pore’s History: Not the People’s Princess, but the People’s Queen.

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.

Chinese no longer tua kee

In China, Tourism on 27/08/2022 at 2:45 pm

Chinese nationals were the world’s biggest luxury spenders before 2020. But their share has temporarily shrunk during the pandemic.

European luxury outlets have to sell to ang mohs who spend less. No Chinese tourists. Chinese buying in China.

How to get S’poreans to breed like rabbits

In Uncategorized on 25/08/2022 at 4:31 pm

Or at least like Americans, Swedes or Icelanders.

Make it compulsory for the men to do at least 30% of the housework or chores.

Look at S Korea where data released by the government showed the fertility figure had dropped to 0.81 – down three points from the previous year, and a sixth consecutive decline. Ours is1.14 births per woman (2019).

Why we need more babies or more FTs

A declining population can put a country under immense strain. Apart from increased pressure on public spending as demand for healthcare systems and pensions rise, a declining youth population also leads to labour shortages that impact the economy.

This is not BS or the PAP’s Hard Truth. It’s Demographics 101.

MU: Don’t stereotype the Jewish owners

In Financial competency, Footie on 23/08/2022 at 5:04 am

Further to MU finances: Owners v fans, the critics i.e. the fans KPKB that more than £1bn has gone on interest payments, debts and dividends under the ownership of the Glazers. There has been mutterings about the stinginess and greed of the Jewish (and Zionists) owners.

But the Glazers have not been mean in spending on players. They have been very unJewish (OK, OK I’m stereotyping the Jews) in their spending. The club spent £1.35bn on players in the past 10 years, according to Transfermarkt. MU is the fifth biggest spender in Europe and third highest in the Premier League. In that time the club has recorded a negative balance of £971mn in the transfer market, easily the worst in Europe.

The money was just spent foolishly.

Results do matter. As recently as 2018, United sat at the top of Deloitte’s financial league table of European football in terms of revenue. Now it is in in fifth.

But to be fair to the fans, the Glazers leveraged MU to the eyeballs. They used very little of their not inconsiderable wealth in the investment.

Fyi, I worked in Rothschilds who are very proud of their Jewish heritage. Have happy memories of time there.

Check this out at Cynical Investor’s takes on S’pore’s History: Memoirs of Harry’s administration secretary.

Assumptions behind “affordable HDB flats”

In Property, Public Administration on 20/08/2022 at 4:30 am

Commentary: Even with million-dollar HDB flats, housing is still affordable for the average person

Beyond affordability, there are new challenges in the housing market that need attention, says this expert

It’s only affordable because of the repayment period and the large share of income repayment takes.

For new flats

In general, most new flat buyers use less than 25% of their monthly household income to service their monthly instalments, for a 25-year loan. For 4-room flats, which form the bulk of new flat supply, flat buyers would use about 26% of their monthly income if they choose a 20-year loan.

HDB 31 July 2020

MU finances: Owners v fans

In Financial competency, Footie on 19/08/2022 at 3:47 am

The Glazers have

saddled Man Utd with debt and taken cash out of the club. The gross cost of servicing borrowings and paying dividends has totalled about $140 million over the past three financial years, according to Breakingviews calculations.

But the maths of fans are US$140m

That’s enough to buy Liverpool’s star Mohamed Salah, according to Transfermarkt’s valuations.

No wonder there is speculation that the Jewish owners want to sell.

And there’s a billionaire fan prepared to buy.

“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” the 69-year-old’s spokesperson told The Times.

At the right price of course: he made billions buying unloved assets. Read the above BBC link.

Millionaire PAP ministers get “peanuts”

In Public Administration on 18/08/2022 at 5:00 am

For every dollar of tax that is paid, for the lower income, they get $4 of benefits, for the middle income it is $2 of benefits, but for the rich, it is only 30 cents of benefits.

PMO | DPM Lawrence Wong’s interview with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait (Aug 2022)

Our millionaire “servants of the people” only get “peanuts”.

Seriously, anyone know the details of how the benefits are calculated?

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.

Profile of people who will choose the next UK PM

In Uncategorized on 06/08/2022 at 4:58 pm

 Around 160,000 Conservative Party members will choose the next British PM

They are the more well-off British.

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.

S’pore and US stock markets are relatively same size

In Uncategorized on 01/08/2022 at 3:46 am

In terms of GDP.

And we still tops in Asean by this measure.

But I suspect the Jardines Group (Think Hong in Hong Kong) is included in S’pore’s data

Double confirm: Study shows “Pay millions, still get monkeys”

In Financial competency, Political governance, Public Administration on 27/07/2022 at 8:43 am

We were also interested to read this new study on corporate pay, from Ossiam and Proxinvest. It found that the more executives and directors are paid, the worse a company’s share price performs.

Moral Money, an FT newsletter

Relevant extracts

Board Remuneration (-2.6%): our results suggest that high board remuneration consistently
penalises equity performance. In fact, if the fee paid by the company to the member as
compensation for being on the board is significant in relation to the member’s net worth, it can
become a subconscious factor affecting their judgment.


CEO Total Compensation (-3.1%): companies with low CEO total compensation significantly
outperformed companies that award their CEO with large total compensation packages. This
finding could suggest that excessive compensation signals an agency problem in a weak
governance structure that could negatively affect the company’s performance.
• Senior Management Bonus Cap (-4.7%): the result suggests that a lower bonus cap
arrangement can be a highly effective tool and hence contributes significantly to equity
performance. Setting and maintaining an appropriate bonus cap for senior managers can play an
important role in controlling management’s attempts to misappropriate company resources by
paying excessive bonuses.
• Compensation Package (Base Salary (-1.6%), Annual Bonus (-2.0%), Long-Term (-2.1%) and Other
Compensation (-2.3%)): our results show that whether we consider the base salary, the bonus,
long-term or other types of compensation, companies that have a more parsimonious
compensation policy and award relatively less to their senior managers tend to perform better.
Interestingly, the biggest gap is observed for the Other Compensation pillar, which tends to be
company-specific and may eventually hide sub-standard practices in CEO compensation policies.
• Compensation relative to Total (Base Salary (+2.8%), Annual Bonus (-1.0%), Long-Term (-0.9%)
and Other Compensation (+0.6%)): a clear pattern emerges from our results: companies that pay a
more significant part of CEO total package in the form of base salary show better performance.
Meanwhile, when an annual bonus or other form of compensation represents a significant
proportion of total compensation, equity performance tends to lag. This confirms the intuition that a
high base salary proportion of the total package can serve as well-deserved compensation to
effectively motivate the CEO, while avoiding managerial short-termism linked to inherently shortterm incentives (such as a bonus), which possibly has harmful effects on the company’s long-term

Actually no need for study. Juz look at the performance of PM, Tharman, Lawrence Wong, Kee Chiu, Queen Jos and the other millionaire ministers: die die must raise GST.

Was Temasek’s CIO whistling in the graveyard?

In Accounting, Financial competency, Private Equity, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 25/07/2022 at 5:33 am

He was very bullish in his remarks about Temasek’s unlisted assets: see below. Wondering out loud, because maybe being super KS (a PAP Hard Truth) now requires Temasek’s unlisted assets valued as at 31 March 2022 to be marked down by 30% to reflect present day reality?

No I’m not being anti-PAP or alarmist. I just read the international financial media and extrapolate what I read into the S’pore context. Something our constructive, nation-building media don’t do because they are constructive, and nation-building.

Let’s begin at the beginning.

A typical example of how our our constructive, nation-building media reported Temasek’s results:

Temasek Holdings’ net portfolio value reaches record S$403 billion, made up of mostly unlisted assets for first time

Going by the usual definition of “unlisted assets”, Temasek’s unlisted assets include investments in private equity, venture capital. property and infrastructure. Btw, the differences between these categories are often very thin. One category can morph into another and then another.

‘Mapletree Investments (property), the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) (infrastructure), and the Singapore Power (SP) Group (infrastructure) are examples of unlisted assets.

In the past decade, this segment of the portfolio has generated returns over 10% per annum through IPOs, trade sales or from the performance of the businesses. The value of these unlisted assets has risen nearly four-fold from S$53bn to S$210bn. It was money for jam to invest in unlisted assets:

 Cheap debt is a red rag to private-equity bulls: around half a typical buy-out is paid for using debt, magnifying the returns to investors’ capital. It has played a critical role in each buy-out boom period; the present one can trace its genealogy directly to rate cuts by central banks during the global financial crisis.

So when interest rates rise, valuations fall.

Below is part of Chris Kuan’s FB post on Temasek’s unlisted assets. Read how Temasek’s CIO bullishly (Or defensively for cynics like me?) pictures what Temasek’s unlisted assets are doing for our reserves, and Chris K’s retorts. My take, if so good why die die must raise GST in the face of inflation?

But before you read it, here’s some analyses from the Economist and the FT on private equity investments (Remember the lines between the various categories of unlisted assets are often very thin).

If they are revalued today, they be marked could down around a third. Do remember that Temasek’s unlisted assets are valued as of as 31 March 2022.

The analyses of the FT and Economist are premised on the view that public markets are a useful window on the future of unlisted assets. The view on that premise is ugly, very ugly.


One index, which maps private-equity portfolios to their public stockmarket equivalents, is down by 37% this year.

Secondly, in the UK, investment trusts that invest in private equity are now trading at big discounts to their reported net asset valuations (NAVs), reports the FT. The average being currently well over 30%. The reason? Investors expect the value of a lot of the holdings will soon be written down in line with price falls in listed markets.

Unlisted assets benefit

from a fig leaf of illiquidity, resulting in a delay between real and reported fund valuations. In the absence of a liquid market to price investments, private-equity funds assess the current “fair value” of their portfolio based on the price an investment would realise in an “orderly transaction”, which should look similar to the valuations of comparable companies in the public markets.

But to be fair to Temasek, the situation is not be that bad for some (Or maybe most?) of its unlisted assets. The FT explains that “not all private equity trusts invest in the kind of early-stage growth businesses that are collapsing in value”. It goes on, “Some are focused on mature businesses and focused on profits and cash flows.” These should not see the same writedowns.

PSA, and SP Group are good examples “of mature businesses and focused on profits and cash flows” that should not see huge writedowns.

And do note that in the recent quarter, Blackstone (tua kee in unlisted assets: it started life in private equity) marked down its US$276bn portfolio of corporate private equity investments by 6.7%. And some funds tied to real estate and credit investments were also marked down. One fund had had virtually all of its investment gains wiped out. So maybe a 30% markdown is alarmist?

Let’s hope the bulk of Temasek’s unlisted assets are like PSA and SP Group, but as Chris K KPKBs, we juz don’t and won’t know. 

The CIO may wax lyrical about the “liquidity”, “steady dividends” and “insights” derived from unlisted assets, the fact that unlisted assets comprised the majority means Temasek’s portfolio is more illiquid, hence higher risk. The more fully owned assets it has, the more difficult it will be for the company to sell assets at a pinch and at a reasonable price. Add in the issue of price discovery for assets that has no ready market, you can see how risks have gone up. This is the asset liquidity issue raised by S&P a few years ago when the rating agency gave a much lower standalone credit rating that is apart from the implicit guarantee from the Republic (which by implication means Temasek’s AAA rating is undeserved if it were not for the implicit state guarantee).

Now becos unlisted assets are illiquid any asset manager investing in them needs to price in the illiquidity premium….. which is to say if the expected total return from a listed asset is 10%, that of an equivalent unlisted assets should be higher in order to compensate for the risk that it is difficult to sell and the price discovery is poorer. The CIO says the unlisted assets in Temasek more than compensate for the illiquidity premium but beyond words, no picture no sound. Here is the problem with unlisted or private assets – the manager of these assets have ample opportunity to fudge asset values. It is a well known trait among such managers, i.e. the private equity funds, to be slow in marking down asset values when stock market fall like presently but quick to mark them up when markets are rising. A clear example of the fudge can be seen when private equity assets have not been marked down or marked down little in comparison to the stock price of listed investment companies holding private credit assets which had been hammered (there is little difference between private equity and private credit). So what are the board of directors got to say about this – they obviously approve but are the returns justified by the increased risks and the increased non transparency of asset values. Someone did pontificate that Temasek generate “good risk adjusted returns” some years ago and yours truly wonder if the term “good risk adjusted returns” is really understood.

Chris Kuan

Having read this post, maybe you will share my very cynical tots that the CIO was defensive (rather than bullish)? And maybe he was whistling in the graveyard? He’s hoping not to write the obituary of unlisted investments in next year’s annual report. We should hope not. LOL.

GST at 15% to save our reserves from being the investments in unlisted assets?


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.

Read this in constructive, nation-building MSM?

In Media, S'pore Inc on 14/07/2022 at 6:19 am

S’pore only number 9 in Asia.

In a recent survey of “liveability” in Asian cities (which include those in Oceania) by the EIU, ranking is as follows

Melbourne/ Osaka









Not seen our constructive, nation-building media report this.

Those who have been in Wellington know it’s a pretty dismal place. And I’d put Auckland ahead of Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

But in Asean no-one anywhere is near us. Country miles ahead. So I’m surprised that our constructive, nation-building MSM doesn’t report this achievement of our millionaire ministers.

Coming back to the top 10 cities, case of ang moh tua kee?

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?

Easy come, easy go

In Uncategorized on 02/07/2022 at 4:24 am

From zero to hero to zero in three years.

Klarna valuation crashes to US$6.5bn from US$46bn. it’s a “buy now, pay later” fintech.

Only a year ago, Klarna was able to double its valuation to US$46bn after a US$639mn funding round. Softbank was the lead investor. The new valuation is based on a US$600mn investment by new investors. The new valuation would be Klarna’s lowest since August 2019, when it was worth $5.5bn.

It was buy now, regret tomorrow investment.

Where S’pore has fallen behind very badly

In Hong Kong on 30/06/2022 at 10:30 am

In an article that the PAP govt would consider constructive and nation-building, this fact stuck out like a sore thumb

Overall, the value of the city’s [HK’s] listed stocks runs to nearly $5trn, compared with $7trn in Shanghai and $700bn in Singapore.

I’m old enough to remember when the stock exchanges in S’pore and HK were roughly equal in size.

That’s not all. If you take out the Jardines Group out of S’pore’s numbers, I’m sure we are smaller than the stock markets of Thailand, M’sia and Indonesia.

Tech: It’s a boys’ club

In Uncategorized on 28/06/2022 at 3:29 am

Inflation expectations: Wisdom of the crowds or irrational heuristics at work?

In Financial competency on 26/06/2022 at 2:58 pm

Consumer prices across the rich world are rising by more than 9% year on year, the highest rate since the 1980s. Worryingly, there is growing evidence that the public is starting to expect consistently high inflation. Figures suggesting that Americans’ medium-term expectations of inflation had risen helped set off the market turmoil of last week, which culminated in the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point.

But the crowd nay be wrong. Heuristics are general cognitive frameworks humans rely on regularly to quickly reach a solution. They

are mental shortcuts that can facilitate problem-solving and probability judgments. These strategies are generalizations, or rules-of-thumb, reduce cognitive load, and can be effective for making immediate judgments, however, they often result in irrational or inaccurate conclusions.

Asians are rich in America and they don’t like Biden

In Uncategorized on 24/06/2022 at 2:25 pm

And they don’t like Biden.

Bear market? What bear market?

In Financial competency on 21/06/2022 at 9:09 am

Still 60% up.

If one had bot into the S&P 500 in early March 2020 at its nadir, one would still be up 60% despite the market falling 22% from its January high.

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.

The difference between Californians and Sinkies

In Political economy, S'pore Inc on 24/05/2022 at 9:09 am

A megadrought means Nevada, Arizona and California have all stepped up efforts to limit water consumption.

But when California’s governor Gavin Newsom asked residents in March to cut their water usage by 15% compared with 2020 levels, consumption across the state increased by nearly 20% instead.

Will never happen here. One reason why the millionaire PAP ministers won’t be able to have anything close to Silicon Valley here.

What a wild roller coaster ride/ SEA and iFast also like that?

In Financial competency on 12/05/2022 at 9:08 am

A wild roller coaster ride or a bucking bronco ride: choose the analogy. And on stationary bike. Peloton was valued at US$8.1bn when it went public in September 2019 and its market capitalisation almost reached US$50bn in late-2020 before sinking below US$4bn on Tuesday. It fell further on Wednesday.

Vomit inducing stock.

Will SEA and iFast deflate like Peloton?

SEA closed last night at US$57.11. Before its ride up to US$372.70 in November 2021 on 13 March 2020 it was “only” at US$44.51.

iFast was at S$0.78 on 20 March 2020. In late Oct last year, it peaked at S$10.10. It closed at S$4.82 yesterday. Unlike SEA, it’s profitable. It even pays dividends.

What do Mamas, Russians and Indons have in common?

In India, Indonesia on 06/05/2022 at 1:29 pm

Their data on deaths from Covid is BS.

The truth

Omicron is making fools of Xi and the CCP

In China on 26/04/2022 at 3:56 am

Superiority of the Beijing model of governance: what superiority? LOL

Omicron shows that Xi, the CCP and the Beijing model have feet of plasticine.

While the decadent ang mohs are going on hols overseas, yesterday the FT reported:

Jilin in China’s north has now been locked down for more than 50 days and carried out 40 rounds of citywide Covid-19 testing … nearby industrial city of Changchun has similarly locked down for more than four weeks 

But Jilin still reported 15 new cases on Saturday while Changchun reported 172 new cases.

Since 4 April, Shanghai’s 25 million-strong population has been shut in their homes while officials try to contain the city’s worst Covid surge to date. But the city reported 39 Covid deaths on Sunday, a record for Shanghai, in addition to more than 21,000 new infections.

And in Beijing

The Chinese capital Beijing has kicked off mass testing for millions of residents after a spike in Covid cases.

The Chaoyang district reported 26 cases over the weekend – the highest number so far in Beijing’s latest surge.

Long queues outside supermarkets and shops were seen despite government assurance of a sufficient food supply.

It comes amid fears that Beijing could face a similar situation to Shanghai, which has seen some 25 million people shut in their homes for weeks.

More at China’s oldies are giving Xi a migraine.

Putin has his war on Ukraine. Grandpa Xi has his war Omicron.

Maybe both should declare victory to save face?

China’s oldies are giving Xi a migraine

In China on 21/04/2022 at 5:38 am

Maybe, he should do what Mao, his hero, liked to do?

China’s zero-covid policy has saved millions of lives.

but it will be hard to exit without a wave of cases and deaths because China’s oldies are very reluctant to get inoculated against covid-19.

(See also: Why China has to continue with its zero-Covid policies, lockdowns and all)

This has

has saddled the country with a vulnerable population that could die in large numbers if the government abandons its controversial “zero-covid” policy. But this uncompromising stance, which tries to stamp out any outbreak of the virus, obliges China to impose ruinous lockdowns on some of its most productive cities, including Shanghai, where some unlucky residents have been confined to their homes for over 30 days.

Maybe Grandpa Xi should take a leaf from his hero, Mao? Let the unvaccinated oldies die?

Mao wasn’t afraid of killing people.

Why China has to continue with its zero-Covid policies, lockdowns and all

In China on 02/04/2022 at 3:39 pm

Half of China’s elderly population is at higher risk of severe Covid-19 because of the country’s patchy vaccination campaign. China’s homegrown Sinovac vaccine was found to be less effective at preventing death from Covid among the elderly than the BioNTech/Pfizer jab, unless they received three shots. Most Chinese have received either Sinovac or Sinopharm, which also requires a triple dose.


Only about half of over-80s have been fully vaccinated. Less than a fifth have received a booster shot. Some 52m people over the age of 60 have not received two jabs.

Related posts: Mao would be proud and We getting our 4th jab soon

Chances of dying from Covid

In Financial competency on 21/03/2022 at 3:46 am

28 out of 100 if seriously ill.


S&P 500 hit a death cross on Monday

In Financial competency on 17/03/2022 at 6:24 am

But Tuesday’s recovery is continuing: +95.41 (2.24%) last night, despite “(or because?) of hawkish signals by the Fed. It raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range between 0.25% to 0.5%, and hawkishly signalled six more rate increases in 2022.

Powell added fuel to the rally saying he saw the US economy as being in strong shape and that the probability of a recession was “not particularly elevated”.

Coming back to the “death cross”. It’s when the index’s 50-day moving average falls below the 200-day number. It’s usually read as a very, very bearish sign.

Time to panic? Time to cut losses? Time to sell into a rally? Time to buy the big dip? Time to sit tight?

Read this piece (and the comments) from Barron’s:

The comments are just as interesting as the article.

May the Force be with you. Make money but don’t cherish it:

Dr. John ‘Doc’ Holliday I’m a gambler. Money’s just a tool of my trade.

Wyatt Earp Of course, you will guarantee you won’t lose.

Dr. John ‘Doc’ Holliday I never lose. You see, poker’s played by desperate men who cherish money. I don’t lose because I have nothing to lose, including my life.

No need for Fed to raise interest rates or tighten its easy money policy?

In Financial competency on 24/02/2022 at 6:36 am

US equity markets are doing the dirty work for the Fed.

Why Russia has the EU by the balls

In Commodities, Energy on 24/02/2022 at 4:54 am

(Updated on 24 February 2024 at 6.20am with two charts on EU energy dependency.)

Many EU countries import most of their natural gas from Russia. The EU as a whole import around 38% of its gas from Russia. Germany around 67% of its gas from Russia.

That’s not all.

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”.

The problem with Omicron

In Uncategorized on 16/01/2022 at 9:48 am

[A] variant that causes severe disease at half the rate of Delta and twice as many infections in total will cause about the same number of severe cases. Hospitals in many countries are feeling the strain.

Can you imagine the problems Europe will face if more than half of the European population is infected with Omicron within the next few months? A senior World Health Organization made this warning a few days ago.

The West (and S’pore) is rightly trying to live with Covid. But Covid may not want to be merely endemic. It may want to be remain a pandemic.

Man proposes, Nature (or the Supreme Being?) disposes.

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.

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.

SE Asia almost as safe as N America

In Energy on 17/12/2021 at 2:23 pm

Which degrees offer more/ less value for one’s money

In Uncategorized on 13/12/2021 at 6:15 am

This is from the UK, but it’s most probably universal.

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

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 11/12/2021 at 4:23 am

That’s all the poor will get from God in this pandemic.

Because despite “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”: The really rich get a lot richer in this pandemic.

But then:

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

Time for wealth taxes?

The most powerful man in the world at work

In Uncategorized on 10/12/2021 at 9:19 am

No not Grandpa Xi, Putin or even Sleepy Joe the POTUS.

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%)


More hot air to warm world by 3°C 

In Uncategorized on 21/11/2021 at 1:23 pm

According to an Edelman survey, 75% of the institutions surveyed believe that cos are BSing: they won’t be able to meet their net zero targets.

Vaccinate the animals

In Uncategorized on 20/11/2021 at 1:24 pm

China makes the most Covid-19 vaccines

In Uncategorized on 18/11/2021 at 1:29 pm

But so what?

 [T]he two most widely used Chinese vaccines appear among the least effective at limiting transmission of the Delta variant.

What’s so transitory about inflation? But it could be, really

In China on 12/11/2021 at 10:49 am

Inflationary pressures ripple through US.

Likewise in China and Europe.

China’s factory inflation hit 26-year high as power crunch bites. Consumer prices will likely speed up in coming months as firms faced depleted inventories and are forced to pass higher costs onto customers.

Slowing economic growth and soaring factory inflation have fuelled concerns over stagflation, which could mean China has to move cautiously on loosening monetary policy.

“Rising CPI inflation and elevated PPI inflation reduces the probability of a PBoC policy rate cut,” said Ting Lu, Chief China Economist at Nomura.

Euro zone inflation rose to 4.1% for October, hitting a new 13-year high. And the new European Commission economic forecasts are set to see euro-area inflation at 2.4% this year and 2.2% in 2022, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg. The rate will then slow to 1.4% in 2023, the document showed.

But here’s a chart that could show that US inflation is transitory.

The FT’s Robert Armstrong says that this chart shows that the July and August reports made us think inflation was cooling. It isn’t but inflation is not getting worse, at least for now.

As goes the US of A, so goes the rest of the world, much to Grandpa Xi’s annoyance.

No Tigers for the MTF

In Public Administration on 09/11/2021 at 3:48 am

I came across the u/m posted on TRE. I have no idea what this index purports to show, but I’m sure the writer would not agree with MTF: It’s Time for a Tiger” and “Give MTF beers, give them Tigers” and MTF: It’s Time for a Tiger” and “Give MTF beers, give them Tigers”

MTF stands Ministerial Task Force and MMTF stands for Multi Ministerial Task Force. They are the same team. MMTF is the official name, while many here shorten it to MTF.


100th placing in the Covid-19 World Recovery Index

Look Where Lee Hsien Loong, Lawrence Wong, Ong Ye Kung And Co Have Led Us!

100th placing in the Covid Recovery Index!One Place above Afghanistan! Indonesia is placed 41 and Malaysia 50. Japan leads Asia at No. 6 with China at 8 and Taiwan at 11. Even Bangladesh is way above us at 14th place!

And we are one of the tiniest countries in the World!

We really have become 3rd World for Covid! Can you believe that Lawrence Wong and Ong Ye Kung Are in the running to be the next PM? The PAP are really scrapping the bottom of the barrel!

And Singaporeans pay $53 Million a year for a cabinet of this type of quality????

Simon Lim

Reminder: SingTel’s into fintech/ Fintech mkt in Asean

In Indonesia, S'pore Inc, Telecoms, Temasek on 07/11/2021 at 4:48 am

After winning a digital bank licence here last yr, the Grab-SingTel venture is expected to be in contention for more such licences in the region. I think it’s bidding for one such licence in M’sia with local partners.

The u/m shows why this j/v with Grab could be extremely lucrative.

Of course given the size of SingTel’s earnings’ base, any contribution is likely to be “peanuts” and on the margin. But who knows? The j/v can grow like Topsy, given the size of the addressable market and the connections SingTel can bring via its associates in Thailand, Indonesia and PinoyLand can bring. And there are the Pinoy and Indon maids that need to remit $ home.

In my portfolio SingTel is a dog, good dividend though which I take in scrip form, like Temasek.

So here’s hoping. LOL.

And with plenty of luck, maybe it’s associates in the Philippines and Indonesia may get really lucky:

Mobile phone operators MTN and Airtel have both received partial approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate mobile payments in the country.

BBC report earlier today

The last paragraph was added at 1.80 pm on day of publication.

Emissions from food and tpt

In Environment on 05/11/2021 at 1:41 pm

Vaccination: no silver bullet/ India shows an alternative

In India, Public Administration on 31/10/2021 at 3:58 am

Further to MTF: It’s Time for a Tiger” and “Give MTF beers, give them Tigers”, more reasons to buy PM-in-waiting Larry Wong and his team of millionaire ministers more Tiger Beers?

Look at our vaccination rate:

Still contagious: covid-19 jab efficacy

But the problem for our millionaire ministers and us (and the world in general) is that vaccination is no silver bullet against Covid-19 as once thought:

Still contagious: covid-19 jab efficacy

Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough covid-19 infections were as contagious as unvaccinated people, a British study published on Thursday found. Infections cleared faster in those who had been vaccinated, but their peak viral load was similar to the unvaccinated. The vaccinated and unvaccinated therefore infected a similar share of household members. What made a difference, however, was whether those household contacts had been vaccinated themselves. About 25% of vaccinated contacts tested positive, compared with 38% of unvaccinated contacts.

One reason for the disheartening results is the waning efficacy of covid-19 jabs against infection. Data from the household contacts suggested protection weakened within three months of a second dose. This means that people who are particularly vulnerable to severe covid might need a booster shot earlier than the prevailing six-month cut-off. Masks, ventilation and social distancing may be necessary at times, even in places, such as Britain, with high vaccination rates.

Economist Expresso

So maybe no Tiger Beers for the PAP millionaire ministers for getting us vaxxed?

But the alternative was (or is) for nature to run its course, as in India, and depend on immunity via catching Covid-19:

The world watched anxiously in April and May, when the caseloads were climbing almost vertically. The terror was justified. India was gripped by the first outbreak of the Delta variant (briefly called “the Indian variant”, until the WHO insisted on switching to Greek letters). Its ferocity taught lessons that some parts of the world are still learning. Indians died in untold numbers. To judge by the number of excess deaths, something like 2.3m lost their lives to the disease. Those who survived rued the government’s failure to procure vaccines earlier, when India had positioned itself as a pharmaceutical factory for the world. The rate of vaccinations went from a trickle to an erratic drip, as systems of every kind shut down. And then in June, almost exactly as fast as the wave of infections had shot up, it shot down again. Not 10% of the population had been vaccinated (see chart). Within two weeks it was back down to pre-Delta levels. No thanks to any medical intervention.

Note India has been vaccinating like hell since then and now 23.4% or 323m people have been fully vaccinated.

So maybe the PAP ministers deserve their Tiger Beers, after all?

What do you think?

Tesla is King of the Road

In Uncategorized on 30/10/2021 at 4:25 am

In S’pore

The number of new Teslas on Singapore roads has risen more than ten-fold to 487 in the third quarter, from just 30 in the first half, data from Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) showed.

And globally

This week, Tesla surpassed $1 trillion in market value, overshadowing the combined value of five of its biggest rivals, Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and General Motors (GM.N).


It actually is more valuable than the other top nine carmakers, ending with Ford.

MTF: It’s Time for a Tiger” and “Give MTF beers, give them Tigers”

In Public Administration on 29/10/2021 at 6:33 am

The Ministerial Task Force got one thing right: Heineken beer sales here were back were back above the pre-pandemic level. That’s a major achievement as the central bank says that domestic GDP is 10% below the pre-pandemic level, while GDP, as a whole, will soon be above the pre-pandemic level because of exports.

Heineken had a bad set of results (37.4% decline in Asian sales). Analysts did not expect the bad numbers that resulted from the return of pandemic restrictions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia. Heineken has a very strong presence in Vietnam, one of its largest markets globally.

But beer sales in Singapore, South Korea and Laos were back above pre-pandemic levels.

So the Ministerial Task Force got one thing right. So for them: “It’s Time for a Tiger” and “Give that man a beer, give him a Tiger”. Remember these slogans?

For those not in the know, Heineken brews Tiger Beer, in addition to Heineken, Amstel and Sol brands.

Key question for the developing world’s energy transition

In Environment on 28/10/2021 at 8:57 am

Where’s the money coming from?

A key pledge ahead of an upcoming climate change conference has still not been met and the money is not sure to be available before 2023.

The UK government has set out a new financing plan ahead of next week’s climate change conference – COP26.It talks of how developed countries hope to deliver $100bn a year in climate finance to developing countries.

The original aim was for that target to be reached by 2020.But the financing plan said the target looked “unlikely” to be met but that it was “confident” the target would be hit by 2023.

What we and the US have in common

In China on 26/10/2021 at 6:25 am

The willingness to spend and spend on the armed forces. In 2019, the military expenditure of Singapore was estimated to be around 3.2% of GDP. In 2020, the military expenditure of the United States was estimated at 3.7 % of its GDP.

I am firmly persuaded that among nations, weakness will never be a foundation for security.

Viscount Palmerston, British PM in the 19th century

One of my favourite novelists George MacDonald Fraser described Palmerston as viewing the world like a sheriff in a cowboy town viewing his town.

China has kept its official defense spending at around 1.3% of its GDP in recent years, which is far below the average global level of 2.6%. But analysts believe that like many other Chinese figures is BS. The real number is a lot higher.


In 2019, Peter Robertson, a professor from the University of Western Australia, argued that using conventional currency conversion as opposed to more accurate “purchasing power parity” (PPP) exchange rates dramatically understated China’s military capabilities and that China’s real military spending was equivalent to US spending of $455 billion, calculated from a PPP perspective.[20]

What are basic standards of living? Let the debate begin

In Political economy, S'pore Inc on 21/10/2021 at 10:13 am

A recent report by some academics on basic standards of living (Three cheers for them on insisting that “basic” doesn’t mean just living above poverty levels*) that have gotten the anti-PAP usual suspects on social media and cyberspace cheering and the PAP govt upset.

A study has found that parents with two children aged two to 12 will need to each earn $2,906 a month to meet a basic standard of living
For a couple with two children aged seven to 18, they will need at least S$6,426 a month to meet their household’s basic needs
A single parent living with a young child will need at least S$3,218 a month 
The Ministry of Finance has criticised the study, done by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
It said the findings may not be reflective of the circumstances of lower-income families


“What People Need in Singapore: A Household Budget Study (2021)” focuses mainly on two types of households, parents with two children (aged seven-12 and 13-18) and single parents with one child (aged two-six).

But as I don’t fall within the above two categories, I’ll talk about “Single elderly person” category.

Two elderly persons living on less than budget of “one elderly person”

Going by the figure that an oldie like me or my mum supposedly needs (I look only at the bottom line numbers, not the breakdowns), MoF has a point (See ** , juz about) about the accuracy of the figures.

Between me (late 60s) and my mum (coming to 99), we live comfortably within the $1421.30 figure meant for only 1 retiree. And we exceed by $3.40, the figure without housing, healthcare, education and childcare: $1196.59): I assme $1200 for our basic monthly needs. And that includes food for our S’pore Special that has been mistaken for a Thai Ridgeback or a Dobie.

It’s not as though we are that frugal or live just above the poverty line. Yesterday, we had duck’s breast for dinner and tonight we’ll have pork ribs for dinner. Both from the Cold Storage deli, not Fairprice.

Of course, our basic-living-expenses budget excludes the costs of our helper and my mum’s hospitalisation bills (SingHealth and private), and my subs for the FT and Economist. Even if we include the cost to us of our helper and my subs, we are well under a budget of $2842.6 ($1421.30 x 2) let alone $2393.18 (1196.18 x2). Hospitalisation fees is very volatile. Mum had bills in 2019 and this year. Zero in 2020.

Maybe despite eating Cold Store deli food regularly, we are lower-income in the eyes of the PAP govt? We get CDC vouchers. We don’t pay income tax because we live on dividends. (Blur? See ** to understand what I’m talking about).

Whatever, very complicated topic: basic living standards because of cost of living assumptions, group dynamics, profile of the surveyed, compilations and computations.

So kudos to the academics for trying. Especially since they come from that bastion of Hard Truths, the LKY School of Public Policy. Maybe, we’ll see them somewhere else or jobless soon?

*They have detailed in great detail their assumptions and methodology: Do read the article. Not the usual constructive, nation-building BS. It’s from a good financial blog, not the SPH group where PAP enablers turn anti-PAP once they stop getting their 30 pieces of silver: Another running dog turned self-appointed tribune of the HDB plebs.


The methodology used to arrive at the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) is highly dependent on group dynamics and the profile of the participants.

With most participants having post-secondary education and 15 per cent living in private properties, the findings expressed may not be reflective of the circumstances of the lower-income families situation and understates the support given.

Cryptocurrencies in S’pore

In China, Cryptocurrency, Japan on 03/10/2021 at 4:49 pm

Two interesting charts showing our level of awareness of cryptocurrencies. Good omen for the government’s attempts via MAS to make S’pore a global centre for all things crypto currencies. In Asia, China has made all activities connected to crypto currencies illegal as it prepares to launch its very own digital currency. And Japan is cautious on the issue having approved several exchanges. They ran into problems.

our central bank with several big banks is experimenting with the code underlying Ethereum. it can be used to create smart contracts.

Btw, Ethereum’s doing well

China’s debt

In China on 28/09/2021 at 2:02 pm

Makes American debt levels look respectable.

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.

West and India BSing about vaccine supplies

In China, India on 26/09/2021 at 4:59 am

The US is to donate 500 million more doses of the Pfizer vaccine to developing nations from next year. Recently President Sleepy Joe made the pledge at a virtual Covid-19 summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, promising an “arsenal of vaccines”.

The additional jabs will see the total US commitment on vaccine sharing exceed one billion jabs.

The Quad group of nations (US, Japan, Oz and Mamaland) agreed in March to supply a billion doses of vaccine to Asia this year, but India suspended exports during a wave of coronavirus in April. Now the Indians have said exports will resume in October.

The biggest BS artists are the woke Kanucks. The Honourable White have done relatively well.

As for China, their vaccines are rubbish.

Inflation: Manipulating the data or fine tuning the numbers?

In Financial competency, Uncategorized on 20/09/2021 at 4:26 am

“Trimmed-mean PCE” simply means the that the Fed excludes Personal Consumption Expenditures’ items with the biggest price movements or swings. It argues that just a handful of unusual goods were responsible for the increase: hence taking them out shows more clearly the underlying trend.

To others, this is cheating. Manipulating the data to show the result the Fed wants: inflation is not a problem.

They point to this:

Dangerous vocation

In Uncategorized on 19/09/2021 at 3:09 pm

At least the PAP govt only sues and make bankrupt dissidents.

When China has too much of a commodity

In Commodities on 18/09/2021 at 5:31 am

Iron ore traded at US$100.80 on Friday, down 22% over the week. Chinese steel producers dumped stocks as they fear further production curbs by the govt.

Related post: The metals China needs

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.

Is LKY spinning in his urn?

In Uncategorized on 16/09/2021 at 10:23 am

Seems today would be LKY’s birthday if he were still alive and causing trouble for our PM.

As he tot of the UK as an economic basket case and in perpetual decline, the u/m table showing that S’pore is the UK’s 17th largest greenfield investor would be an appropriate birthday present. The table appeared a few minutes ago in an FT article.

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

Luxury brands: Importance of China/ Chinese love top end Swiss watches

In China on 11/09/2021 at 10:55 am

Further to Grandpa Xi shorted these ang moh shares?,

Chinese love luxury Swiss watches. Swatch and Richemont have many well known luxury watch brands in their stables. Swatch doesn’t only do cheap and cheerful plastic Swatch watches.

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

Xi is no Robin Hood but pork investors are suffering

In China, Commodities on 07/09/2021 at 5:05 am

Grandpa Xi is shaking down the tech billionaires, but he’s is no Robin Hood. A senior CCP official said that the push for “common prosperity” did not mean China would “rob the rich to help the poor”.

Whatever, it’s black humourish that investors in pork and related investments are also losing money. GIC and Temasek are big investors Chinese pork and related stocks. As they are are also big investors in the Chinese tech cos, GST will have to rise by 4% next yr to fund the Covid-19 goodies? Remember you heard this here first.

Grandpa Xi shorted these ang moh shares?

In China on 06/09/2021 at 6:28 am

I sure hp[e the various Chinese SWFs made China rich again by shorting these shares before Grandpa Xi cracked the whip to make sure there’s “common prosperity”.

China holds up the sky for luxury goods.

Forward this to Goh Meng Seng and other S’poreans who wish us ill

In Uncategorized on 05/09/2021 at 6:24 am

In other words, forward it to TRE, where the anti-vaxxers lurk. (To make it very clear, I don’t think TRE wishes other S’poreans ill or is anti-vaccine. But the anti-vaxxers congregate there.)

Over the past 28 days, the percentage of unvaccinated people in Singapore who became severely ill or died stood at 9.3 per cent, while the figure for the fully vaccinated is only 1.3 per cent.

FT reporting MoH data

Goh Meng Seng and his pals want the hospitals to be filled with unvaccinated, stressing our healyh system : Misinformation blamed for Covid admissions rise

They can then blame the PAP govt for not providing adequate healthcare.

To be fair to Goh Meng Seng, he Walks the Talk. He, his wife and daughter are not vaccinated. Seems he has said (I can’t confirm), he said he’d rather they catch Covid-19 because traditional Chinese medicine can cure them.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The Indian fly in the ointment?

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

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

Not if the Indian variant has its way.

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

Swiss tourism is suffering from Chinese and Indian absence

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

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

Poor guys, Chinese tech billionaires

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

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

How to win Olympic medals/ What Schooling should do

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

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

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

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

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

It works. Britain was 4th in Tokyo:

Gold Silver Bronze Total

Great Britain22212265

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

Top 10 performers ranked by population

Top 10 performers ranked by GDP per capita

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

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

What internet stocks to buy or short

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

Look at this and decide.

Save the planet from warming? 1930s depression needed

In Environment, Financial competency, Financial planning on 21/07/2021 at 2:12 pm

Don’t believe me? Juz look at this chart?

Well as this investor is 66 and has no children or grandchildren, he’d rather the world heats up after his death.

Btw, if you got grandchildren, read the link below:

What would different levels of global warming look like?

A rise of a few tenths of a degree will have big consequences for the planet

Covid-19 in India: BS data on deaths

In India on 20/07/2021 at 3:03 pm

India has officially recorded more than 414,000 Covid-19 deaths so far.

But according to a BBC report,

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused excess deaths in India to cross more than four million, a new study has found.

Excess deaths are a measure of how many more people are dying than would be expected compared to the previous few years.

Although it is difficult to say how many of these deaths have been caused by Covid-19, they are a measure of the overall impact of the pandemic.

Karma for infecting the world with Indian variant, a variant that is causing stock markets to fall?

“Investors are concerned that the rapid spread of the Delta variant will derail the trajectory of the global recovery, notably in Asia which still has relatively low vaccination rates and where some widely used vaccines do not appear overly effective against it,” Jeff Halley, senior market analyst, from Oanda told the BBC.

Grandpa Xi trying to suck up to Sleepy Joe?

In China, Commodities on 08/06/2021 at 10:28 am

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.

In China on 03/06/2021 at 10:23 am

M’sia quietly destroys forests, avoiding being named and shamed by the woke

In Malaysia on 02/06/2021 at 6:20 am

Meanwhile Indonesia, Congo and Brazil get bad publicity for doing what M’sia is doing.

Covid-19: Importance of first jab especially for elderly

In Public Administration on 01/06/2021 at 5:42 am

In mid May

Singapore is expecting to administer at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine to its entire adult population by early August, authorities said on Tuesday, after a decision to widen the gap between doses to inoculate more people faster.

The first jab is very important because

Very small numbers of people have been admitted to hospital with Covid several weeks after having one vaccine dose, a study of UK patients has found.

So PM’s message that we are ahead of schedule is good news.

The BBC report goes on to say,

Most of those affected were frail and elderly and at high risk of being very unwell.

Hence PM’s call yesterday

For those with elderly parents or relatives, please encourage and persuade your old folks to get vaccinated.

He reported that 280,000 elderly people have yet to book appointments and urged them to do so as soon as possible. The govt should hunt them down and vaccinate them forcibly, if necessary, for their own good and the nation’s prosperity.

So far S’pore is doing pretty well : 37% have had one dose and 28% have had the two doses. Lawrence Wong for PM!