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Posts Tagged ‘Fun with numbers’

Covid-19: What India gets right

In India on 10/07/2020 at 2:27 pm

India gets a bad press internationally  because six months after its first confirmed infection it has overtaken Russia to record the world’s third largest number of Covid-19 cases.

But amidst all the criticism two facts stand out.

India’s recovery numbers are promising

The data suggests that those in India who have been diagnosed with the virus are recovering from it faster than they are dying from it.

India’s death rate is also very low

India has so far recorded about 20,160 deaths from Covid-19. In absolute numbers, that is the eighth highest tally in the world. But per million of the population, it is low.

And

Covid-19: More Pakistanis are dying than Indians

In India on 09/07/2020 at 6:08 pm

In the time of Covid-19, better to be a Muslim in India than in Pakistan. Btw, better to be a Muslim in Bangladesh than in India or Pakistan.

Criticism of PAP govt’s handling of Covid-19 is really “noise”

In Political governance, Public Administration on 05/07/2020 at 5:13 am

Not me but Blackbox.

Interesting that the PAP govt’s standing has not been diminished by the cock up over FTs that resulted a lockdown (albeit a soft one) circuit breaker being imposed. If you read TRE and other anti-PAP alt media or social media, you’d think that the only reason S’poreans are not rioting over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic is fear of further govt repression.

Reasons why S’pore give the PAP govt the benefit of the doubt on the FT dorms?

FT dorms scandal: Blame NIMBY S’poreans not the PAP govt (Ownself blame ownself)

Covid-19: We have our FT Indian workers, Poland has its coal miners (World wide problem)

Ang mohs rioted meh? Not South Asians? Workers’ dorms are multi-racial? (Pay-back time for rioting)

Covid-19: “Well-off” local family living (almost) like manual workers from India (Many S’poreans live like FT dorm workers)

Would the dorm workers prefer to be repatriated to India and Bangladesh? (Better here than back home)

Schematic on how Covid-19 affects the body explains why infected Indian dorm workers are still alive (Btw Covid-19: Death loves diabetic ethnic Indians in hospital and Covid-19: Ethnic Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis got higher death rates in UK)

Vote for the PAP if you enjoy watching movies from home

In Internet, Telecoms on 04/07/2020 at 7:23 am

The UN Economic Commission for Africa reports downloading a five-gigabyte film in Ethiopia or the Democratic Republic of Congo can take between 12 and 14 hours, versus just over 11 minutes in S’pore.

Covid-19: Ang moh runs up US$85,000 bill

In Uncategorized, Vietnam on 01/07/2020 at 7:13 am

Fortunately for him and us, it’s not here.

An ang moh pilot who got Covid-19 while boozing at the Buddha Bar* in Ho Chi Min City was put on an Ecmo machine for eight-and-a-half weeks.  This machine is only used in the most extreme cases, to try to keep a patient alive. The machine extracts blood from a patient’s body and infuse it with oxygen, before pumping it back in.

An Ecmo machine costs US$5,000-10,000 a day to operate and he was reliant on one for eight-and-a-half weeks.

The ongoing wrangling over who will cover the costs are causing him stress and diverting attention away from his recovery. At first, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases paid out of its own pocket for his treatment. Then, it seemed the British embassy would intervene. His work insurance eventually covered the cost. But the funds for his stay in Cho Ray Hospital are still up in the air.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53196009

If he had died, it would have been a first for Vietnam: no recorded death from Covid-19.


*The Buddha bar cluster, as it became known in the local press, was the single biggest outbreak of coronavirus in south Vietnam, infecting nearly 20 people both indirectly and directly.

BBC

Covid-19: Death loves the obese with hypertension and diabetes, not the elderly

In Uncategorized on 29/06/2020 at 4:27 am

It is not old age, it is obesity that kills, the BBC African Service reports.

The evidence from several South African hospitals suggests that alarmingly high levels of obesity – along with hypertension and diabetes – in younger Covid-19 patients are linked to many fatalities.

It is believed that as many (about seven million) South Africans suffer from hypertension and diabetes as from HIV. That is one in eight of the population. Some of them are undiagnosed.

Two-thirds of coronavirus deaths in South Africa so far are among people aged under 65, according to a Prof Madhi, “Obesity is a big issue, along with hypertension and diabetes.”

Covid-19: India rising

In India on 23/06/2020 at 5:24 pm

But not in a good way. Second to Brazil in acceleration phase.

Btw, last week India overtook the UK to have the fourth-highest number of Covid-19 infections globally.

SAD.

Covid-19: Death loves diabetic ethnic Indians in hospital

In Uncategorized on 23/06/2020 at 5:12 am

In great danger of meeting

if hospitalised for Covid-19: diabetic ethnic Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis living in the UK.

South Asian people are the most likely to die from coronavirus after being admitted to hospital in Great Britain, major analysis shows.

It is the only ethnic group to have a raised risk of death in hospital and is partly due to high levels of diabetes.

The study is hugely significant as it assessed data from four-in-10 of all hospital patients with Covid-19.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53097676

Why isn’t Australia targeting India as Oz’s next golden goose in place of China?

In China, India on 21/06/2020 at 11:08 am

Oz has grown rich because of China’s growth into an economic superpower second only to the US of A.

For the past decade, China has been Australia’s largest trading partner and now accounts for 32.6% of its exports.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-52915879

Australia’s mines have delivered iron ore, coal and gas to fuel China’s growth – preferred to rivals in Brazil for their quality and geographic proximity. It’s a deal that benefits both nations.

Other sectors – education, tourism, agriculture, wine – have also flourished in the Chinese market.

BBC

But now Oz is over reliant on China. And China is now squeezing Oz’s balls and pussies: think the barley tariffs, the warning to Chinese students wanting to study there that Oz are racists (But then Ozzies are equal opportunity racists. They also don’t like Indians: think the Melbourne incidents.), and the threats to buy less Oz agricultural products. All because China thinks Australia should sit down and shut up and not criticise China. They should just take China’s money and be grateful.

So Oz is trying to diversify away from China. Korea, Japan and Vietnam are major target markets.

India should be a major target market but Australia only has set a goal to send A$45bn (US$31bn) in annual exports (A$25bn in 2019) to India by 2035: yes 2035. Last year, it sold more than A$200bn to China alone.

Maybe Ozzies think Indians are unlikely to become as rich as the Chinese? And that India will remain poor and an economic pygmy, unlike China? And Vietnam has a better chance of becoming the next golden goose?

Or that yellow skins are better than dark skins?

BBC

Four in five fund managers believe stocks ‘overvalued’

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 18/06/2020 at 1:42 pm

Xia suay. So why market keeps flying?

But as market keeps going up, it means that a lot of these “bears” are actually buying. Fear of missing out and “greater fool out there”.

S’pore: Where we really have choices

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 16/06/2020 at 11:20 am

On her FB page, a friend (real life) who migrated to Australia (her genius of a son could not pass Chinese to save his life and ended up in neighbourhood “good” school: not good enough for mummy) in a conversation about purchasing power parity (The PPP is a macroeconomic tool that allows the comparison of what it costs to buy the same/similar basket of goods across different countries.) wrote: 

In my observation Singapore has a big range, so happily the options are many – in housing, transport, dining & food. If one is happy/limited to shelter in public housing, MRT/uber & airconed hawker centres/bistros you can have a pretty decent life. In Australia the range is much narrower, for instance, there isin’t that many ultra-expensive restaurants nor cheap and good food outlets

She also analysed the relative rankings of S’pore and Oz:

Surprisingly Singapore just scraped through at #50 of the world’s most expensive countries with a price level of minus 4% below average. Australia has the dubious honour of being #6 with a price level of +68% above average.

Whatever, we may be living in a de facto one-party state, but we sure can mix and match our life style choices.

Vote wisely: Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

But try to make sure PAP share of the vote juz exceeds 60%: Why 65% of the popular vote is so impt to the PAP. If more sure to PAP and Pay

Pay And Pay

Articles and analysis of various “price increase” written by Uncle Leong* (Remember him?)

Water – “PUB: $1.1b profits last 7 years – how much last 53 years? (Feb 24, 2017)

Service & Conservancy Charges – “S & CC: A truly caring Govt?” (Feb 17, 2017)

Gas – “City Gas prices to rise by 4.5 per cent from Feb 1” (Jan 31, 2017)

Electricity – “Electricity: One of the highest in the world? (Jan 1, 2017)

Childcare fees – “Fee hikes at 200 childcare centres this year” (Jan 1, 2017)

Parking – “HDB car park rates increase 60%? (Dec 16, 2016)

Rubbish fees – “Rubbish fees up: NEA surplus up 32.9%? (Nov 8, 2016)

University hostel fees – “University hostel fees up 6.8% p.a. despite $1b surplus?” (Jun 28, 2016)

Taxis licensing – “Taxi drivers hit by triple whammy?” (Jun 24, 2016)

Hawkers’ misc fees – “Hawkers’ misc fees increased by ? %? (Jun 22, 2016)

Why Pay And Pay govt wants elections earlier than later

————————————————

*PM’s defamation suit against Uncle Leong coming to court soon. Talk cock, sing song Lim Tean is defending him but charging a lot of money. Not pro bono work.

Covid-19: Good, 1m social distance; 2m better

In Uncategorized on 13/06/2020 at 5:23 am

A study in the Lancet last week suggested the risk of catching Covid-19 from an infected person was 13% below 1m, but 3% at 1m or more, halving for each extra metre. suggested the risk of catching Covid-19 from an infected person was 13 per cent below 1m, but 3 per cent at 1m or more, halving for each extra metre.

WHO recommends one metre, as do France, Denmark, Singapore and China. Germany, Italy and Australia use 1.5m. UK, Switzerland, Spain and Canada 2m.

Whatever, wearing mask and keeping social distance of one-metre or more is very effective in reducing spread of Covid-19.

But

Social distancing in worker dormitories and many HDB flats (Remember two-room – one bed room – HDB flats can have max of 6 people and three room – 2 bed rooms – nine) is like “telling people to get under their tables when there’s an imminent nuclear war”. The quote is actually from an aid worker working in an overcrowded Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh describing the situation there.

Covid-19: “Well-off” local family living (almost) like manual workers from India

Btw, there’s a German study that says masks slow transmission by 40%.

So if cannot do 1m social distance, wear a mask and pray hard.

Covid-19: Harvard gives Trump the smoking gun that China lied about the Wuhan virus

In China on 12/06/2020 at 5:13 am

Harvard Medical School researchers have evidence suggesting that Covid-19 was already in Wunan in August 2019. Remember, China reported a cluster of cases on 31 December 2019, but later told the WHO that the earliest symptoms from these patients dated back to 8 December.

An apparent surge in traffic outside Wuhan hospitals from August 2019 may suggest the coronavirus hit the area earlier than reported, a study says.

Harvard researchers say satellite images show an increase in traffic outside five hospitals in the Chinese city from late August to December.

The traffic spike coincided with a rise in online searches for information on symptoms like “cough” and “diarrhoea”.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52975934

The Chinese government has rejected this study by Harvard Medical School researchers suggesting the coronavirus was spreading in China as early as August, well before 8 December 2019.

The methodology is circumstantial, based on satellite imagery of hospital parking lots in the city of Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicentre, and queries for terms like “diarrhoea” and “cough” on local search engine Baidu. It found uptrends in both kinds of traffic beginning in the late summer of 2019.

It’s far from conclusive, but the report keeps media spotlight on the bungled first phase of China’s response, a subject Beijing would rather the world forget.

Sia suay! 24% of S’poreans are more PAP than the PAP on our reseves

In Financial competency, Public Administration on 08/06/2020 at 9:44 am

Must be hardcore PAP MPs and other die die must support PAP’s Hard Truths like Liang Eng Hwa, Kate Spade Tin and Arthur Fong: PM aiming left, to hit the centre/ Axed? PAP MPs who don’t get it.

Think PAP govt really spending our reserves? Think again

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

Impressive?

“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.

Fortitude Budget is Peanuts

Related posts:

Why Pay And Pay govt wants elections earlier than later

S’poreans see Fortitude Budget no ak

S’poreans see Fortitude Budget no ak

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 07/06/2020 at 10:37 am

That’s the conclusion I draw from the following slides from Blackbox dated 4 June 2020. S’poreans not that stupid: they know Fortitude Budget full of BS and smoke and mirrors.

Covid-19: Whatever India can do, Pakistan tries to do better

In India on 07/06/2020 at 4:13 am

And with Covid-19, it has succeeded.

Pakistanis must be really proud that last Thursday, Pakistan joined India in surpassing China after a record 4,688 new Covid-19 ncases were registered in Pakistan during the previous 24 hours to take the tally to 85,246.

Here’s a BBC report on how bad things are in Pakistan: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-52925286. Worst than in India

Giving more reason for Pakistanis to be proud: ahead of China with 84,160 patients has been placed at 18th position, one rank lower than Pakistan, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.

But it’ll dent Pakistan’s pride that India has the sixth-highest number of confirmed cases in the world. On Saturday, the BBC reported, India recorded close to 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours, taking its total above that of Italy.

But Pakistanis should be very proud that on a per capita basis, more Pakistanis caught the virus than India. India is a demographic superpower, something Pakistan can never aspire to: 212.2 million v 1.353 billion (2018 data). India has over 236,657 cases. There have been 6,649 deaths.

Sometimes, nationalism takes some silly turns.




The bull market is dead! Long live the bull market!

In Financial competency on 06/06/2020 at 1:59 pm

On Friday, the S&P index was up 2.9%, trimming its 2020 decline to less than one-tenth of 1 percentage point It now is juz 5.4% below its peak close on February 19.

We probably had the shortest bear market in history, after the longest bull market in history. Maybe we’ll have the shortest bull market in history?

Who knows?

We live in interesting times.

Covid-19: Bald men at greater risk of dying

In Uncategorized on 06/06/2020 at 3:35 am

The UK’s Telegraph reports on research that suggests bald men may be at a higher risk of suffering severe symptoms of Covid-19.

Two studies of patients in Spain found that almost 80% of men with Covid-19 across three hospitals in Madrid were bald, leading some scientists to suggest it should be considered as a risk factor.

The lead author of the research thinks male sex hormones may play a part not only in hair loss, but also in boosting the ability of the virus to attack cells.

Related post: Run in France on tobacco products because of “evidence” smokers less likely to catch Covid-19

Covid-19: India shoots its own foot

In India on 04/06/2020 at 2:15 pm

US imports of pharmaceuticals from India dropped almost 40% in the first half of May compared with a year earlier.

In March, India restricted exports of various medical products including paracetamol as it sought to protect its own supplies.  It removed some of these restrictions in April and recently also ended restrictions on the export of active pharmaceutical ingredients of paracetamol. All this showed the restrictions were unnecessary in the first place.

But it was too late because it showed the US that India was an unreliable supplier of drugs, unlike China. Sad.

Btw, the funny thing is that India sources the main ingredient of paramactol from China. While price the shot up amid limited supplies (China had locked-down), China never ever banned its export to India. Who is the Communist country?

Why China refuses to give ang mohs face over HK

In China, Hong Kong on 04/06/2020 at 8:52 am

BS that HK is an ang moh dominated biz centre (Think S’pore). It’s really a Chinese city.

In 2018 the number of mainland businesses with offices of any kind in the city eclipsed the number of American firms for the first time (see chart). Mainland companies accounted for 73% of the Hong Kong stockmarket at the end of last year, compared with 60% five years before. They also use HK to sell US$ and other foreign currency bonds

HK has reinvented itself yet again.

When it was founded by the British, it became the gateway to China. Then it stagnated as a backwater when from the late -19th century Shanghai became the gateway to China. Jardines, Swires and Hongkong & Shaghai Bank had bigger operations in HK than in HK. But it was the leading port in the Pearl Delta.

After WWII and the Communist takeover of China, it became a manufacturer of cheap plastic good and was the centre of smuggling into and out of China, helping China defeat US trade and financial embargoes. With the reopening up of China, it again became the gateway to China.

Now its becoming a major Chinese city.

Covid-19: Must be Jurong or Fairprice

In Uncategorized on 01/06/2020 at 4:35 am

(Update on 1 June at 9.30am: Parkway Parade was on Sunday (May 31) added to a list of public places visited by COVID-19 cases during their infectious period. All I said about GCT and East is out-of-date. CNA reported this news late last night.)

Look at the list of public places (as of Sunday morning) visited by COVID-19 cases during their infectious period, and you will notice that Jurong is a notorious area for irresponsible people, local and FT: 52% of these spots are in Jurong. I’m not sure if all the Jurong spots are in Tharman’s GRC.

Want to get covid-19? Go to yr friendly NTUC Fairprice store: 47% of the spots are Fairprice stores. Cheapskates beware. Go shop at Cold Storage or Giant, both owned by ang moh Diary Farm, not by Pay And Pay affiliate NTUC. Ang moh owned co attracts more responsible customers?

Junction 8 in Jos Teo’s GRC has the dubious distinction of being the only building with two such spots. Looks like Bishan residents are irresponsible.

Btw, PM’s area has only one such spot. But Emeritus Minister’s GRC got no spot.

Finally housing in the East should soon command a premium. Responsible S’poreans and FTs live there: no spots.

Why Pay And Pay govt wants elections earlier than later

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 29/05/2020 at 9:02 am

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat says better for S’pore to call for general elections as soon as possible Our next election must take place by April 14, 2021 and some leading Oppo leaders (Think Mad Dog) are more than happy for the PAP govt to continue ruling until the pandemic is tamed: Xia suay! SDP wants PAP to remain in power until after virus threat ends

But Heng said elections ought to happen soon as “the earlier we can rally everybody together to deal with these very significant challenges ahead, and also to deal with these very significant uncertainties in the months and years ahead”, the better to prepare S’pore for the future. He said the economy faces significant long-term challenges that need to be dealt with over the next five to 10 years, he said.

Heng, in response to a question if S’poreans will have to wait until Phase 3 of resuming economic activity before the election: “The sooner that we can deal with the longer term challenges, the better S’poreans will emerge out of this, and S’pore will emerge stronger. So I would say that, yes, elections are coming nearer by the day, and you have to be prepared for it.”

Here’s the point to note

“Our financial position will be a lot weaker in the coming years. And I’m thinking hard about this, about what we need to do, and how we need to continue to find ways that we can manage this difficult financial situation.”

DPM Heng

In simple English, “We got to find the money to pay for all the goodies”: Cheat sheet for Fortitude Budget/ Hali tied of signing?/ Peanuts?. Remember that Mah Bow Tan (Remember him?) once said that that raiding the reserves is not an option?. Well Heng and gang have been raiding drawing down the reserves,

Once election is won by 70%, and Lim Tean, S/o JBJ, Goh Meng Seng, Tan Kin Lian and Mad Dog really trying hard to ensure that the PAP gets 80% of the popular vote, the taxes and levies will up.

GST might go up even earlier than promised: “No money to pay millionaire Hali and ministers salsries”, PAP govt will say.

And tariffs on utilities will go up. Remember VivianB had said in parly in 2015 (juz before GE) that there was no need to change the price of water because of PUB’s improvements in membrane tech and productivity and that the water tariff and WCT reflected the scarcity of water, but prices went up after GE 2017.


Pay And Pay

Articles and analysis of various “price increase” written by Uncle Leong (Remember him?)

Water – “PUB: $1.1b profits last 7 years – how much last 53 years? (Feb 24, 2017)

Service & Conservancy Charges – “S & CC: A truly caring Govt?” (Feb 17, 2017)

Gas – “City Gas prices to rise by 4.5 per cent from Feb 1” (Jan 31, 2017)

Electricity – “Electricity: One of the highest in the world? (Jan 1, 2017)

Childcare fees – “Fee hikes at 200 childcare centres this year” (Jan 1, 2017)

Parking – “HDB car park rates increase 60%? (Dec 16, 2016)

Rubbish fees – “Rubbish fees up: NEA surplus up 32.9%? (Nov 8, 2016)

University hostel fees – “University hostel fees up 6.8% p.a. despite $1b surplus?” (Jun 28, 2016)

Taxis licensing – “Taxi drivers hit by triple whammy?” (Jun 24, 2016)

Hawkers’ misc fees – “Hawkers’ misc fees increased by ? %? (Jun 22, 2016)

————————————————————————

And income tax and corporate taxes.

Remember after GE, the PAP’s 4G has their mandate ( Why 65% of the popular vote is so impt to the PAP; Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power; and Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G? ) and can give voters the finger.

What better way than by increasing taxes and levies?

Cheat sheet for Fortitude Budget/ Hali tied of signing?/ Peanuts?

In Economy, Public Administration on 28/05/2020 at 5:15 am

Confused by the reporting of the constructive, nation-building media (“The PAP cares, they really do”) and anti-PAP alt media (“Kanna con” or “Give chicken’s head and take back the whole chicken”) on what the Fortitude Budget is all about? After all we got this yr

–‘Unity Budget’ (February 18): S$6.4 billion

— ‘Resilience Budget’ (March 26): S$48.4 billion. S$17 billion drawn from reserves

— ‘Solidarity Budget’ (April 6): S$5.1 billion. S$4 billion drawn from reserves

–S$3.8 billion economic stimulus (April 21), alongside extension of lockdown. Yes this had no name.

Now on May 26 got ‘Fortitude Budget’ worth S$33 billion, S$31 billion drawn from reserves. But S$13 billion is for “Contingencies Funds”: I suppose Hali doesn’t want to keep raiding the reserves?

So what’s in it?
— Jobs Support Scheme extended by one month until November, with firms that cannot reopen – such as shops, gyms and cinemas – to get 75 per cent wage support until August or when they are allowed to reopen
— S$2 billion for the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package to create 40,000 jobs, 25,000 traineeships and 30,000 skills training opportunities
— S$800 million for the Covid-19 Support Grant to give to those who lose their jobs because of the crisis
— S$18 million for social service agencies to maintain service continuity, retain staff, and adopt technology
— S$13 billion in the Contingencies Funds so the government can respond quickly to unforeseeable developments arising from the pandemic.

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.

Impressive?

“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.

Typography of our (and global) economic recovery

In Economy, Financial competency on 26/05/2020 at 5:22 pm

So the economy is expected to shrink between 4 and 7% this year as MTI again downgraded official growth projections for 2020. If the projections are correct (remember that astrologers and other fortune tellers have better track records) we are headed for the worst-ever recession since 1965.

The estimates for non-oil domestic exports (NODX) and total merchandise trade for the year have been cut drastically.

But factory output surged by 13 per cent in April, the second straight month of a year-on-year rise, largely down to gains made by the pharma manufacturing cluster. But excluding biomedical manufacturing, overall output in April fell 3.5% due to COVID-19 related measures both locally and overseas.

So how will the recovery pan out?

Related posts:

Investing in the time of Covid-19: Watch this index

What goes down quickly, must go up quickly

Covid-19 investing: Beware of a double bottom

Markets: Easy collapse, easy rebound

Antidote to Covid-19 and market stress

Covid-19 in India: Modi the Magician?

In India on 26/05/2020 at 4:36 am

India’s sudden shutdown threw an estimated 140m out of work. It has also blocked “coping mechanisms” for dealing with adversity (eg, help from relatives or remittances from overseas) which depend on calamity not striking everyone at once.

Recognising the pain, Narendra Modi, the prime minister, on May 12th pledged an almost mythical-sounding 20 lakh crore rupees of fresh government spending, equivalent to $265bn or 10% of gdp, to reignite growth. Over the next five days a bank of finance-ministry officials faced cameras, unveiling slice after slice of measures, carefully designed to add up to Mr Modi’s magic number.

Yet although analysts expect the extra spending to push the budget deficits of the central government and the states to about 12% of gdp, and raise the country’s overall debt-to-gdp ratio to a wobbly 80%, many doubt that the measures will work. “What we needed was large tranches of money to go into circulation without ado,” said an editorial in Mint, a financial daily. But instead of a demand-side boost, and in particular urgent cash support for the poorest, what Mr Modi delivered was a hotchpotch of supply-side inducements and prods such as credit guarantees, along with reforms whose impact will only be felt in the medium term, at the earliest. Most of the stimulus was made up either of previously announced measures, or central bank moves to spur lending. Estimates of the actual new fiscal commitment by Mr Modi’s government range from a puny 0.7% of gdp to 1.3%, a far cry from the touted 10%.

https://www.economist.com/asia/2020/05/23/indias-economy-has-suffered-even-more-than-most

Covid-19: Why India must end lockdown soon

In India on 25/05/2020 at 5:23 pm

If Modi doesn’t end the lockdown (one of the most severe in the world) people will die of starvation.

 “We put more effort into containing the people than containing the virus,” as one epidemiologist puts it.

In March alone no fewer than 140m workers are thought to have lost their jobs, catapulting the unemployment rate from 8% to an unprecedented 26% nationwide … Some 10m-80m migrants—the vagueness of the estimates speaks of the invisibility of the working underclass of street hawkers, labourers and factory hands—have despaired and tried to return to impoverished villages. Millions more Indians who work abroad have either sharply reduced their remittances or plan to return home.

Economist

Goldman Sachs, an American investment bank, expects the economy to contract by 45% this quarter at an annualised rate, and by 5% over the full year. It assumes a big bounce in the second half. If lockdown is not ended soon, the bounce will never happen.

The National Council of Applied Economic Research, a think-tank in Delhi, predicts a contraction of 12.5% this fiscal year unless there is a huge stimulus. And this is after taking into account the present measures being announced. Estimates of the actual new fiscal commitment by Mr Modi’s government range from a 0.7% of GDP to 1.3%, a far cry from the 10% of GDP boasted by Modi and other ministers.

Covid-19: India’s virus is the deadliest?

In India on 25/05/2020 at 5:53 am

[The] Indian virus looks more lethal than Chinese and Italian now.

Nepal’s PM

He’s no friend of India, what with a border row. But going by the data, he has a point. Despite 61 days (and still counting of a very severe lockdown), India registered about  6,745 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours (as of yesterday evening), its third consecutive day of a rise in new infections

The country of 1.3 billion people reported a total of over 131,900 confirmed. Included in the total are 3,870 deaths.

Even the US figures are starting to trend down.

Indonesia has a problem

In Emerging markets, Indonesia on 23/05/2020 at 11:34 am

Fed’s schemes to lend other central banks US$ were of little help to countries such as Turkey, South Africa, Lebanon or Indonesia. They are all shut out of the system.

A problem for Indonesia, which has to repay US$16.7bn this yr.

Pinoys dying protecting ang mohs

In Uncategorized on 22/05/2020 at 3:53 am

In many other countries, people of Filipino origin disproportionately staff hospitals and care homes, places badly hit in the past two months by the covid-19 pandemic. The UK is one such country. By early May, around 25 Filipino health workers had reportedly died, out of an estimated 150 fatalities among NHS employees, a whooping 17%,

The Philippines’ ambassador to the UK has called for key workers to be “properly protected”.

Covid-19: Ethnic Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis got higher death rates in UK

In Uncategorized on 09/05/2020 at 4:57 am

Ethnic Chinese don’t die as much. Blacks die like flies, relatively speaking.

For British Bangladeshi and Pakistanis, the mortality rate is more than three times higher. For British Indians the mortality rate is more than two times higher.

Scientists are trying to figure out why ethnic minorities have higher death rates than the whites.

But then in S’pore, Indian and Bangladeshi workers catch the virus but don’t seem to die: Covid-19: Reason why no Indian or Bangladeshi worker has died?

Note:

In late April, It was reported that a dorm worker that had caught Covid-19 was found dead. Police are investigating.

A Bangladeshi, Case 17410, was confirmed to have COVID-19 after his death on May 1 but the Ministry of Health said the cause of his death was ischaemic heart disease.

Pinoys: Asean tua kees

In Emerging markets, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam on 06/05/2020 at 9:38 am

That was my first tot when I looked at the u/m chart on a ranking of financially stronger/ weaker emerging economies .”M’sia tak boleh” was my second tot.

The Asean ranking: PinoyLand (6th), Thailand (7th), Vietnam (12th), Indonesia (16th) and M’sia (25th).

Btw, S’pore’s not ranked because it’s not an emerging economy (except in accountability: S’pore: Bottom of developed world), but South Korea and Taiwan are still emerging economies, even if Korea is a member of of the OECD.

Covid-19: Indians and Chinese are pragmatic

In China, India on 03/05/2020 at 6:15 am

Choosing between livelihoods and lives, they choose livelihoods.

“Give me money before life”. Chinese and Indians seem to say. So do the Germans, Italians and Russians.

Many other Europeans, the British, Americans, Australians, Japanese, and South Americans prefer life .

Why the difference in trade-off choices?

Because Chinese, Indians, Germans, Italians and Russians know the importance of the economy and business in ensuring that they can live?

The Americans, Australians, Japanese and many Europeans because of their welfare nets don’t make the connection between the economy and business and their lives.

But why do the Germans and Italians think the way they do? Their countries have good welfare systems.

Don’t know how South Americans think. There are no good social nets for the poor. Maybe the survey was conducted among the well-off?

Pirates? No only Italians and Indians watching movies

In India, Uncategorized on 30/04/2020 at 4:38 pm

Italians and Indians lead the world in visiting piracy sites says piracy-monitoring company Muso.

Increase in film piracy: site visits in last seven days of March compared to same period in February

BBC/ Muso

Minister Chan, who is the xia suay?

In Hong Kong, Public Administration on 21/04/2020 at 4:22 am

PAP govt or HK’s govt?

Remember Chan Kee Chiu made fun of HK’s clueless CEO for wearing a mask in public?

Well, Hong Kong reported the first day of zero infections in almost two months on Monday.

But,

Singapore reported a daily high of 1,426 new COVID-19 cases on Monday (Apr 20), bringing the national total to 8,014. 

The “vast majority” of the new cases are work permit holders living in foreign worker dormitories, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its media release of preliminary figures. 

Sixteen new cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents. 

Singapore is now the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia, surpassing figures in Indonesia and the Philippines.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-new-cases-1426-foreign-workers-dormitory-citizen-pr-moh-12658250

Btw, Vietnam reported no new Covid-19 cases on Monday for the fourth day running, raising hopes that the worst of the outbreak there may have passed.

But the PAP govt is really lucky. The people most vocal in KPKBing about its efforts are cybernuts Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng. One P (olitician) Ravi is joining them.

He’s trying hard to be a MP candidate for Tan Cheng Bock’s party. Someone should advise him to sit down and shut up. He shouldn’t talk cock like Lim Tean and Mad Dog. Dr Tan is not pleased Moley (Secret Squirrel’s sidekick) tells me.

Related post: Why even with 4G donkeys, PAP will retain power

HSBC is Hongkong Bank (Cont’d)/ Hongkies got balls

In Banks, Corporate governance, Hong Kong on 14/04/2020 at 5:01 am

I didn’t realise until I read the FT that Hong Kong retail investors, “own roughly a third of the shares”. Like them, I’m upset, that the British authorities forced it and other major UK banks to cancel dividends.

What annoys is that the shares have traded ex dividend and those of us who take our dividends in scrip form had already been informed of the numbers of shares we were getting.

But Honkies are doing more than KPKBing

The decision of HSBC to suspend its dividend payments has sparked a backlash among investors in Hong Kong, its biggest market. Along with other big British banks, hsbc suspended shareholder payouts after the Bank of England leant on them to do so, but a group of investors in Hong Kong has banded together to try to force an extraordinary general meeting on the matter.

Economist

They took on China and now HSBC. Hongkies got balls.

Related post: Why HSBC is really Hongkong Bank

Covid-19: The truth about the death projections

In Financial competency, India, Media on 25/03/2020 at 11:50 am

No they are not fake news, but the projections are very nuanced and come with caveats, something that social media, new media and the mainstream media don’t communicate properly.

But before going into that something that most reports don’t highlight, did you know that the Spanish flu that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide should have been named the Indian flu given that some 12-17 million people died in India, about 5% of the population? Only 5-7 million people died in China. And a lot less in Spain.

Sorry for the aside, Coming back to the death projections, I’m sure that you know by know that a key piece of modelling which has informed the British government’s decision to try to suppress the virus was done by Imperial College London.

It suggested 500,000 could die if we do nothing, while the government’s previous strategy to slow the spread was likely to lead to 250,000 deaths.

Instead, it is hoped the steps which have been taken, which are essentially about suppressing the virus, will limit deaths to 20,000.

BBC report

It also came up with projections for countries like the US.

But these projections do not exclude the number of people that who would have died in the normal course of events if there had been no pandemic. The modellers did not exclude the normal death numbers because they can’t. They have no data to work from.

As the BBC explains in the context of the UK:

Every year more than 500,000 people die in England and Wales – factor in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the figure is around 600,000.

The coronavirus deaths will not be in addition to these, as statistician David Spiegelhalter, an expert in public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, explains.

“There will be substantial overlap in these two groups — many people who die of Covid [the disease caused by coronavirus] would have died anyway within a short period.”

It was a point acknowledged by Sir Patrick at a press conference on Thursday when he said there would be “some overlap” between coronavirus deaths and expected deaths – he just did not know how much of an overlap.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51979654

What I trying to say is that the very nature and limitations of modelling means that we have to be very careful in trying to understand the numbers thrown at us. They are actually very nuanced, and come with caveats.

Tourism: Where Covid-19 really hurts us

In China, Economy, Tourism on 18/03/2020 at 6:28 am

The govt last month proposed a S$6.4bn ($4.6bn) programme to counter the outbreak’s economic impact. The package was announced a few days after S’pore slashed its growth forecast by a percentage point to -0.5% to 1.5% from 0.5 to 2%. Another package is on the way according to the millionaire ministers.

I’ve pointed out areas where the impact of China’s virus problem here is minimal:

We not reliant on China for manufactured gds

Where S’pore is not too exposed to China

But tourism is different: China is the top source of visitors to Singapore, and accounts for a fifth of arrivals. In Asean, only Thailand gets more, about a quarter of arrivals.

And tourism is important to us:

International tourism accounted for 4.1% of Singapore’s national GDP in 2017, with a direct contribution of $17.7 billion. The percentage of tourism’s contribution to Singapore’s GDP is projected to rise to 4.4% in 2028.

https://www.budgetdirect.com.sg/travel-insurance/research/singapore-tourism-statistics

Despite what the brokers are saying about hospitality stocks, avoid the sector.

Covid-19: Stock up on paracetamol and antibiotics?

In China, India on 11/03/2020 at 4:20 am

Supplies of everyday medicine, think pain-reliever paracetamol, face a threat.

India one of the world’s largest exporter of drugs, relies on China for 70% of its raw pharmaceutical ingredients. The Indians are not getting the ingredients because of China’s very responsible attitude of lock-down in response to the Wuhan virus, unlike the US of A which is in denial. 

But before I go into the details of the threat to medicine, a reminder that the most vulnerable people are the old, chronic sickly, or men. If you meet all three criteria, go order yr coffin Women seem to be less likely to die from coronavirus than men, and children appear to be less likely to die than other age groups. Re: Kanna Covid-19, can die or not?

Coming back to the looming shortage of supplies of paracetamol and other everyday drugs, the BBC explains:

India, which is one of the world’s largest exporter of drugs, relies on China for 70 per cent of its raw pharmaceutical ingredients. For many critical antibiotics and antipyretics — medicines that reduce fever — the dependency is almost 100 per cent, experts say.

Prices have surged in recent weeks as Chinese manufacturers have run out of supplies due to traffic restrictions and staff shortages.

There are fears of global shortages of some common drugs after India limited the export of certain medicines due to the coronavirus.

The world’s biggest supplier of generic drugs has restricted exports of 26 ingredients and the medicines made from them.

The restricted drugs include Paracetamol, one of the world’s most widely-used pain relievers.

It comes as many drug ingredient makers in China remain shut or cut output.

India’s drug makers rely on China for almost 70% of the active ingredients in their medicines, and industry experts have warned that they are likely to face shortages if the epidemic continues.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51731719

China, especially Hubei province, is critical to the global pharmaceutical supply chain. Disruptions at Chinese and Indian drugmakers will lead to drug shortages worldwide.

Since the outbreak, costs of mainstream antibiotics have risen 50% for Indian drugmakers, the world’s biggest exporter of generic drugs, the FT reports.

Related post Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth

Xia suay! If we triple AAA why pay so much more than ang moh sick man?

In CPF, Economy, Financial competency on 07/03/2020 at 4:20 am

With the carnage in markets, we’ll soon hear in the constructive, nation-building media that have AAA status.

The PAP govt and its running dogs in parly, in the constructive, nation-building media, and on the internet will be trumpeting our triple A status, reminding of our budget surpluses and prudent budgets

So what? The S’pore 10 year government bond has a 1.335% yield. 

But UK’s 10 year government bond has a yield of now around 0.24% despite the UK not being triple A, and the UK being a sick man:

Since the financial crisis of 2007-2009 Britain has lost its AAA credit rating, seen its debt-to-GDP ratio rise from 40% to more than 80% and voted for Brexit. And yet over the same period the yield on gilts, the benchmark ten-year government bond, has fallen from around 4.5% to under 0.5%. 

Economist

We AAA paying 556.25% more than the UK? CCB. KNN.

Maybe because, our debt-to-GDP ratio is 108%. For that 108%, think and thank CPF.

[O]ur CPF monies are invested in special government bonds. The $ from the bonds flow into the government’s Consolidated Fund together with revenues from taxes etc. All government expenses are paid out from this fund. If there is a surplus (as there usually  because the government is thrifty or mean depending on who is doing the talking) part of that surplus can go to GIC and Temasek. The government argues that because all the monies in the fund  is fungible (cannot be separated), one is wrong to argue that CPF monies are invested abroad.

How we fund our SWFs: ”If Singaporeans are not “hard-driving and hard-striving”, where did GIC and Temasek get so much money to lose?”

PAP govt’s explanation

Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) are non-tradable bonds issued specifically to meet the investment needs of the Central Provident Fund (CPF). Singaporeans’ CPF monies are invested in these special securities which are fully guaranteed by the Government. The securities earn for the CPF Board a coupon rate that is pegged to CPF interest rates that members receive.

https://www.gov.sg/article/is-it-fiscally-sustainable-for-singapore-to-have-such-a-high-level-of-debt

 

Kanna Covid-19, can die or not?

In Uncategorized on 05/03/2020 at 5:28 am

(Amended on 9th March to include link to BBC report saying

Women seem to be less likely to die from coronavirus than men, and children appear to be less likely to die than other age groups.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51774777)

Original story

If old, chronic sickly, or men, jialat leh.

But first, the usual platitudes:

Researchers currently think that between five and 40 coronavirus cases in 1,000 will result in death, with a best guess of nine in 1,000 or about 1%.

… the World Health Organization’s Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that “globally, about 3.4% of reported Covid-19 cases have died”.

BBC report

But just as some animals are more equal than others, some people are more likely to die if they contract Covid-19: the elderly, the chronically ill, and men (maybe?).

More from the BBC story:

In the first big analysis of more than 44,000 cases from China, the death rate was ten times higher in the very elderly compared to the middle-aged. 

The death rates were lowest for the under 30s – there were eight deaths in 4,500 cases.

And deaths were at least five times more common among people with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart or breathing problems.

There was even a slightly higher number of deaths among men compared to

women.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51674743

 

We not reliant on China for manufactured gds

In China, Economy on 04/03/2020 at 5:10 am

Further to Where S’pore is not too exposed to China where I reported that we are not that dependent on China for electrical and electronic components, we are also not very reliant on China for other manufactured goods.

 

Where S’pore is not too exposed to China

In China, Economy on 20/02/2020 at 5:42 am

S’pore’s a very open economy. But I was surprised to learn that like M’sia and Vietnam, we are not that dependent on China for electrical and electronic components. China’s the world’s largest exporter.

We are below world’s average. India despite considering China as its geopolitical rival (Chinese think Indians are deluded) are the 5th most dependent country: all those cheap made in India smartphones are assembled from Chinese imports.

Of course this doesn’t mean that places like Vietnam, S’pore and M’sia will not be hurt by China’s slowdown. MNCs from these countries are large exporters of  electrical and electronic components to China.

I’ll try to find a chart showing this.

S’poreans prefer pets to breeding for S’pore

In Uncategorized on 13/02/2020 at 2:45 pm

 

 

 

Wuhan virus: black humour

In Uncategorized on 12/02/2020 at 4:39 am

A senior health official sent from Beijing to Wuhan to publicly reassure the plebs that the disease was “preventable and controllable”. He contracted the virus himself, becoming a symbol of government incompetence and mendacity on social media and the internet. (Source int’l media)

Women are the stronger sex.

“The average age of the [ Wuhan virus] patients was 55.5 years, including 67 men and 32 women,” said a Lancet paper published last month.

It is an eye-catching discrepancy. A picture is emerging of 2019-nCoV as a novel pathogen that disproportionately affects older men, particularly those with existing illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. A similar pattern can be found in the statistics on Sars, which caused about 780 deaths nearly two decades ago.

FT

FT goes on to say that some scientists are now convinced that these sex differences in clinical data reflect a genuine male vulnerability to coronaviruses, rather than a bias in exposure.

(Following added at 2.00pm on 12 Feb 2020.)

Never ending cruise to nowhere. Shades of the Flying Dutchman:

A cruise ship carrying more than 1,450 passengers has been told it cannot dock in Thailand over coronavirus fears.

The Westerdam had already been turned away from several ports, including in Japan, Taiwan, Guam and the Philippines, amid fears of the virus.

BBC report

From Wikipedia:

The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever.

Did you notice yesterday was a very special day

In Uncategorized on 03/02/2020 at 5:31 am

The UK’s Sunday Times reported that 2 February 2020 – when set out in numbers – becomes the rarest of palindromes, whether the day or month is written first. 02/02/2020 reads the same forwards and backwards. It says there won’t be another like it until 12/12/2121 (Huh? Surely shume mistake?)

It also notes that yesterday is the 33rd day of a leap year, with 333 days of 2020 left.

Really a special day for numerologists, statisticians and anyone else who is fascinated by “oddball integers”.

Based on joint salaries, what properties available

In Financial competency, Financial planning, Property on 22/01/2020 at 12:00 pm

Here’s a great table from “Here’s the salary you need to earn to afford these homes in Singapore”

https://www.asiaone.com/money/heres-salary-you-need-earn-afford-these-homes-singapore?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR12OUteKQMsmv0WkK7l_waW3MOmm7KPj8gMguNipQlWv3880_5O4Dhoo04#Echobox=1579565572

Btw, nothing great about our property mkt in 2020

The prime sales market in Singapore had an active 2019 despite the cooling measures in place. The city benefited from rising affluence among residents and interest from international buyers. Small price rises are expected in 2020 triggered by pent-up demand.

Sophie Chick, head of Savills world research

Not like M’sia or Manila.

Related posts:

Why S’pore is so shiok for private property investors

Ang moh’s great insight on property mkt

Buying homes the billionaire way: two luxury homes are better than one

Why S$73.8m flat is a steal

But don’t get overgeared: TRE cybernuts and central bank singing from the same song sheet

Oz fires: How many S’pores are burning?

In Uncategorized on 20/01/2020 at 4:30 am

Some 11m hectares of the Lucky Country have gone up in smoke since September, almost the same area as Bulgaria.

Economist

As S’pore is 72,150 hectares, this means that 155 S’pores are on fire Down Under.

How many S’pore’s burning in NSW: 55 (How many S’pores are burning in Australia?)

SARS all over again

In China on 19/01/2020 at 7:19 am

No not the epidemic but the misinformation from Chinese officials.

For Wuhan to have exported three cases to other countries would imply there would have to be many more cases than have been reported.

Prof Neil Ferguson, UK disease outbreak scientist

The number of people already infected by the mystery virus emerging in China is far greater than official figures suggest, UK scientists have told the BBC. There have been more than 60 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, but the scientists estimate a figure nearer 1,700.


From 2003

SARS crisis: China admits its big, deadly lie

There have been more than seven times as many SARS cases in Beijing than previously reported, China’s Government admitted last night.

Health authorities conceded there had been 339 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Beijing alone, with 18 people having died in the capital. There are an additional 402 suspected cases.

Hours after the cover-up was revealed, China announced the sacking from key Communist Party posts of the Health Minister, Zhang Wenkang, and the Beijing Mayor, Meng Xuenong.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/sars-crisis-china-admits-its-big-deadly-lie-20030421-gdgmut.html

———————–

S’pore and HK have been screening air passengers from Wuhan, and US authorities announced similar measures starting on Friday at three major airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Read more at https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51148303

US energy, manufactured exports to China to cheong

In China, Energy on 16/01/2020 at 4:29 am

Trump has signed a deal with Xi (OK, OK thier sidekicks signed it) on US China trade.

In it, among other things, China has to meet a US$200bn import target in the next two years. If it fails, Trump will restart tweeting bad things about China, raise tariffs etc.

The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that increased Chinese purchases of US agriculture products will account for only about U$32bn of the U$200bn target. This means implying that  will have to import huge amounts of energy, manufactured goods and services to make up the difference.

Xinjiang: What ang moh media doesn’t tell us?

In China on 15/01/2020 at 4:34 am

Do the ang moh tua kees who only read the NYT, Guardian and other woke publications know that in Xinjiang the homeland of  the Uighurs, there are 9m Han Chinese, versus 10m Uighurs.

And that

Many Han people in Xinjiang say they are not bothered by the intrusive security. “We’re all used to it, and in fact we like it because we know it keeps us safe,” says a woman surnamed Chen

https://www.economist.com/china/2020/01/09/many-han-chinese-dont-mind-the-gulag-for-their-uighur-neighbours

I’m sure that the woke will say that the Han Chinese should not be in Xinjiang. But it’s part of China, so why shouldn’t Han Chinese live there. The woke want Xinjiang to be like a red injun reservation in the West?

Kee Chiu, Chee trying to fix Heng? Incompetent? Honest mistake?

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 13/01/2020 at 10:50 am

Usually what gets anti-PAP ang moh tua kees and cybernuts into orgasms of frenzy are ignored by hard working S’poreans. But Bayee’s Pritam’s question in parly and Kee Chiu and his sidekick’s response* has had hard working S’poreans upset.

The following piece that appeared in TRE reflects very accurately what PMETs are saying around their office water coolers and pantries, blue-collar workers are saying in their factoty canteens, and S’poreans in general are saying around their dining tables, and in food courts and kopi tiams.

We can get you the numbers, but you don’t need to know

I refer to this article on Today.

Basically, in Parliament on 6th January, the PAP declared that Singaporeans are getting more jobs, 60,000 local employment. Mr Pritam Singh requested for the specific number in terms of PRs and Singaporeans.

However, Mr Chan Chun Sing vehemently refused to answer that question.
1) Mr Chan deflected the question, and instead questioned Mr Singh’s need for accurate, factual data.
2) Mr Chan made a one-sided universal declaration that ALL Singaporeans are getting good jobs, and ALL Singaporeans are getting increased wages. And he did so by not providing numbers to back his claim.
3) Mr Chan insinuated that there should be no divide between Singaporeans and PRs. He might as well just say out loud there is no difference between a Singaporean and a PR.

My thoughts:
I think it is fairly disturbing that ministers and MPs can evade answering actual questions, and taichi their way out of it. We’re asking for factual numbers and figures! Not a grandfather story! Just answer the goddamned question!

Secondly, we are just supposed to just believe what Mr Chan says at face value, without any evidence? If you are so confident of what you say, you wouldn’t mind showing us the numbers, right?

As Singaporeans, we have the right to accurate and factual information. We cannot allow ourselves to be denied of the truth, just because some politician thinks it is not beneficial for us to know!

We have a right to demand full disclosure of such reports.

Angry Citizen

Given that the PAP is struggling to get 65% of the vote (Ground is not sweet for an early 2020 GE) one can reasonably wonder if Kee Chiu and Chee are trying to sabo Heng, the PM in waiting?

But maybe the MTI ministers are juz incompetent? Or are are making an honest mistake?

What do you think?

Whatever, they should realise that S’poreans (not juz the really hard core 30%ers) are suspicious of the PAP govt’s FT policies: see point 17 in table in Not Fake News: S’poreans still very satisfied with PAP govt.

Why 65% of the popular vote is so impt to the PAP: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.


*Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat (Kee Chiu’s side kick in MTI) saka his boss on 8 Jan in a Facebook post to caution against “driving a wedge in society” by differentiating between PRs and citizens, warning that all attempts to drive a wedge between different groups in society should be rejected, calling for people to “stand resolute” against efforts to “stir fear and hatred for political gain”.

Indians, Pinoys, Africans love Trump

In Uncategorized on 11/01/2020 at 1:26 pm

Ang mohs hate him

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51012853

How many S’pores are burning in Australia?

In Uncategorized on 05/01/2020 at 4:58 am

Answer: At least 55.

Land covering 55 S’pores are on fire in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state. 40,000 sq km is burning there. There are also extensive fires in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

What’s so special about 2020?

In Uncategorized on 01/01/2020 at 4:25 am

But first a prosperous new year. Make money and stay healthy.

Sorry back to “What’s so special about 2020?”.

Every 60 years, a new decade according to the Western calendar* coincides with a year of the rat, the start of the 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar. This last happened in 1960.

1990 was a relative quiet year. But in 1961, we had the Berlin Wall crisis and in 1962, we had the  Cuban missile crisis. The USA and the USSR were daring one another to go to war

Will the USA and China have their own version of the Berlin Wall crisis and Cuban Missile crisis? Perhaps centred around HK? Let’s hope not. And if they do, let’s hope they both back down without violence. But then maybe it’ll be a very serious row between N Korea and the USA with China dragged in very reluctantly


*Conventional wisdom* says that 2020 is the start of a new decade in the Western calendar. Strictly speaking the new decade doesn’t start until January 1, 2021; the old one concluding on December 31, 2020. https://www.farmersalmanac.com/new-decade-2020-or-2021-100900

But this means this millennium began on January 1, 2001 not January 1, 2000. The previous millennium ended only on December 31, 2000, not December 31, 1999. So a lot of parting was done on the wrong date.

Not Fake News: S’poreans still very satisfied with PAP govt

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 31/12/2019 at 10:51 am

Further to Mad Dog, Lim Tean and other cybernuts are peddling fake news, BlackBox’s latest (December) Government Satisfaction Index fell 1 point to 79. The change over the last 12 months also fell 1 point. Looks like S’poreans are really satisfied despite what  Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng, and TOC’s M’sian Indian goons (Terry and his “bunch of Indians”) and other cybernuts are saying: that S’poreans are so unhappy that the PAP govt will be overthrown by the Spastics League?

Vote wisely.

Fact v opinion & “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

In Public Administration on 20/12/2019 at 4:39 am

[I]t is hard to identify, whether a given expression is a fact or an opinion, as they are quite commonly juxtaposed by the writers. Facts are always one step ahead of opinions as facts can be proved to be right or accurate, whereas opinion may also be right but they cannot be proved as true.

Difference Between Fact and Opinion

And

 Harvard’s Claire Wardle [ ] says that “much of the debated content is not fake, but used out of context or manipulated, while polluted information also extends beyond news”.

What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

(More on this point below)

Tan Kin Lian got it about right when he said

Wah. POFMA can now be used to handle “interpretations” and not only “facts”. Really? It is getting ridiculous.

Read this report in CNA:

PAP spends S$167 million on Grants & Bursaries for Singaporeans, but S$238 million on foreign students??” wrote Mr Lim, who is representing blogger Leong Sze Hian in a defamation case involving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

This implies that MOE spends less on Singaporean students than on foreign students, which is “false and misleading”, states the Factually article.

The annual budget of MOE is S$13 billion, almost all of which is spent on Singapore citizens, and the S$167 million cited by Mr Lim refers only to bursaries for Singaporean tertiary students.

What Lim Tean said is factually correct. The two figures of $167 million and $238 million are factually correct. What the government objects is the “interpretation” of the facts.

Since when does POFMA law, as it is passed, apply to “interpretations”?

I disagree with the interpretation of the government in addressing the issue. It is clear to me that the government does spend more on the foreign scholars, compared to the local scholars.

I also disagree with the government’s approach to lump the full budget of MOE in the comparison. I think they are confusing the issue and misleading the public.

But, hey, this is just my opinion. Each person is entitled to his opinion.

POFMA is bad. And it has been abused against a few parties recently.

Tan Kin Lian

The spat between Talk Cock King Lim Tean and Ong Ye Kung’s MoE reminds of the saying “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”:

Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent’s point.

The phrase derives from the full sentence, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”; it was popularized in the United States by Mark Twain and others, who mistakenly attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics#Books

In particular Lim Tean’s initial comments prove the point of Harvard’s Claire Wardle who

says that “much of the debated content is not fake, but used out of context or manipulated, while polluted information also extends beyond news”.

What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

(Btw, last year, she made representations to the select committee on fake news.)

On Lim Tean BS artist

Look at Lim Tean’s record. Still no jobs rally after collecting money in 2017 for rally, and no picture, no sound after collecting money to sue CPF yrs ago: Finally Lim Tean called to account on a “broken promise”. To be fair, he did deliver on defamation video two years late. But it was BS.).

Can he be trusted to do anything but grab the money?

Is there really a better alternative to PAP 4G?

On Ong

I never was impressed by Ong Ye Kung (See Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure) and nothing since he became minister and a contender to be PM has changed my mind.

But anti-PAP paper warrior disagrees: Ong Ye Kung: “Is he the 4G leader with the killer instinct?”

More on “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”?: Mad Dog, Lim Tean and other cybernuts are peddling fake news

 

 

Mad Dog, Lim Tean and other cybernuts are peddling fake news

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 16/12/2019 at 4:47 am

S’poreans are not unhappy with the PAP govt. In fact, they are very happy with the PAP govt.

If you listen to what  Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng and other cybernuts say, you’d think that S’poreans are ready to vote out the PAP because they are unhappy with the PAP. But Blackbox data tells us otherwise.

https://outlook.live.com/mail/0/inbox/id/AQQkADAwATE0YzYwLWU2YjAtM2UzNC0wMAItMDAKABAA4AtiEIZDaEuAH0s0d8lzBw%3D%3D

Going more granular

 

18th century English philosopher, Edmund Burke, wrote:

“Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.”

Translated for the benefit of cybernuts, “Six noisy grasshoppers share the field with thousands of cattle. Do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.”

Vote wisely.

Btw, time to issue more POFMA orders?

 

East Asians to dominate maths Nobel Prize soon?

In Uncategorized on 06/12/2019 at 4:20 am

OK, OK, I know that there’s no maths Nobel Prize. But the Fields Medal is regarded as the Nobel Prize in maths.

A Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian have won it, but Americans, French, Russians and Brits dominate the list of prize winners.

But going by u/m expect the yellow people will dominate the list soon. Indians will be upset.

 

 

PRC tourists sleeping on the streets?

In Economy, Tourism on 05/12/2019 at 3:59 am

Singapore’s tourism receipts declined 3.0% in the first half of 2019 despite a 1.3% increase in the number of international visitors. I note that China’s tourist receipts were down 10% despite visitor arrivals being up 7% in Q219.

Are the PRC tourists sleeping rough, in the streets? Because accommodation spending was the main drag in Tourism Receipts, with the sector suffering a 13% decline in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

Whatever, we seem to be attracting the low quality Chinese tourists, not those who shop for LVMH, Richemont (owns Cartier) or  Kering (owner of Gucci) products. And who don’t even patronise the slot machines at the casinos.

They all go to Geylang to patronise other PRCs?

SGX: Global sua kee

In Uncategorized on 24/11/2019 at 1:29 pm

Buying STI ETF is buying into HK

In Financial competency, Hong Kong, Indonesia on 18/11/2019 at 4:17 am

I’ve always told young people who want to invest in local shares to buy into one of the two STI ETFs if they believe that the PAP govt is doing a decent job and will continue doing a decent job, and if they believe that it will continue ruling S’pore. A coalition of the Spastics (Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Goh Meng Seng) will ruin S’pore.

But with the troubles in HK, I’ve had to modify that advice by telling them that because the STI Index has a heavy HK component, they have to think about HK’s problems and its long term future.

I tell them that around 13% of the STI Index (by mkt cap) is made up cos in the Jardines Group. Jardine and Matheson (and Sassoon) were the original narco drug barons. Jardines Group is still very HK-based: Dairy Farm, Jardine Matheson, and HK Land. All these cos are in STI, as is Jardine C&C*. See table for the HK exposures of the Jardines Group: SGX-listed stocks that have serious HK exposure. Note that Mandarin Htls is part of Jardines Group.

I’ll end with a link to the constructive, nation-building BT, defending the heavy presence of Jardines in STI Index: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/are-there-risks-to-having-too-many-jardine-units-in-the-sti. Note a far cry from its snide remarks in 2010. See STI ETFs — Are there values there?.


*Jardine C&C is big in Indonesia: Impt of Indonesia to Jardine’s and other local listcos

 

Power of compounding

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 16/11/2019 at 5:13 am

Actually in this case the power of reverse compounding.

Pocahontas (aka Ms Warren, a descendant of Marx, who has a bit of Cherokee blood and who got into trouble claiming to be an Injun) has proposed what her campaign calls an “ultra-millionaire” tax of 2% on assets above $50m, plus a 1% “billionaire surtax” on assets above $1bn.

Doesn’t sound much does it? FT has done some calculations. If US billionaires paid her weath tax since 1982, they’d be a lot poorer.

Problem that PAP doesn’t have even if curry puff prices etc have gone up by 7%

In China, Economy on 02/11/2019 at 6:33 am

Regular readers will know that l like to compare the PAP with the CCP: one is the ruling party in a de-facto one-party state, the other the ruler in a de-jure one party state. Examples: Keeping power in a one-party state and Why one-party rule sucks for Xi, Lee and Heng.

Well food inflation is not an issue here in the coming GE even if Old Chang Kee two weeks ago raised products by 10 cents across the board: roughly a 7% increase. My mum likes their curry puffs (now $1.60 each) while I like their various “balls”. Fortunately, I found another type of curry puff that my mum enjoys. Only $1 each but there may be an issue with consistent taste.

But food inflation is a problem in China. Data from China’s Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs shows  the price of pork has risen 170% compared with the same time last year Chicken prices have increased 40% and beef 20%.

Why food inflation has gone thru the roof in China: Grandpa Xi’s biggest headache.

China’s new opium and the Gweilo selling it

In China on 31/10/2019 at 9:38 am

China’s government is trying to tackle its obesity problem. More than a quarter of Chinese adults, or roughly 350m people, are overweight or obese. Among children, the proportion is one in five, up from just one in 20 in 1995.

From the Economist (Emphasis mine)

Most public-health initiatives—such as “Happy Ten Minutes”, a programme which encourages youngsters to exercise for ten minutes a day—emphasise the importance of physical activity but say little about diet. This may not be an accident. Some academics have pointed to the influence in Chinese public-health campaigns of research institutes financed by Western multinational food-and-drink firms such as Nestlé and Coca-Cola. Cutting out junk food would mean slimming down their sales. Instead, ever more Chinese are turning to bootcamps, liposuction and diet pills.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/10/28/china-worries-about-its-bulging-waistlines

S’poreans love to talk cock and BS

In Uncategorized on 28/10/2019 at 10:52 am

According to the latest Black Box’s survey of S’poreans, cost of living increases are most likely to impact their vote: https://www.blackbox.com.sg/2019/10/18/ge20-whats-impacting-voting-intentions-2/?utm_source=yka&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=sep19.

If so, with GST rises coming up after GE, why is the PAP still expected to win at least 60% of the popular vote and have another super majority in parly?

In How PAP can win 65% plus of the vote, I pointed out that postponing the GST rise is the best to ensure a 65%+ share of the popular vote for the 4G leaders. But the 4G leaders think that the goodies doled out are sufficient for a 62% victory, if not more. (Btw, article lists most of the goodies)

Well this gives the Oppo a good chance to KPKB about the folly of increasing GST when the global and S’pore economy are weak, if not in recession (“Only cold spell coming, but not Winter,” says Heng). But will they do it? I have my doubts.

Where PAP is most vulnerable

Do read the BlackBox piece linked above for interesting insights into the cock S’poreans talk and their BS: including the experts at BlackBox. I can’t stop laughing at what the BlackBox experts said:

 At this point in time, about three in ten still say they are completely undecided as to who they will vote for which means a lot of votes are still up for grabs.

Whatever, no wonder Dr Chee, Lim Tean and other members of the , and cybernuts like TRE’s Oxygen are very happy. They think they’ll soon be millionaire ministers.

Related BlackBox article: https://www.blackbox.com.sg/2019/08/28/upcoming-general-election-what-are-the-key-issues/?utm_source=yka&utm_medium=edm&utm_campaign=jul19

Eat your heart out Indian supremacists

In Uncategorized on 25/10/2019 at 5:05 am

Andrew Yang is ahead of Kamala Harris (She got mama blood) in her home state of California.

 

So what if we are the most competitive economy globally?

In Economy, Insurance on 12/10/2019 at 4:34 am

What has this to do with the price of pork?

Allianz CEO recently said: “S’pore market is a pond”

This put the ranking that S’pore is now the most competitive economy in the world, something our constructive nation-building media, and even anti-PAP alt media like TOC are trumpeting, into some kind of context and perspective.

Allianz is one of the world’s biggest reinsurers. The CEO was recently interviewed by the FT (Emphasis mine).

The group continues to be linked with more deals. In the last two weeks, it has been touted as a potential buyer for some of the Asian businesses put on the block by Aviva as well as insurance operations being sold by Spanish lender BBVA.

Mr Bäte is quick to play down any interest in Aviva’s Singapore operation. “The Aviva business is a good one but it is the smallest of four large ones in Singapore,” he said.

Why would I buy a small follower business in a small country that is fully consolidated?

FT

My point is that its meaningless to compare the economies of city-states (HK was third after the USA) to the economies of countries the size of continents, just as its meaningless to compares the economies of medium sized countries with those of city-states and continental countries like the USA, Russia and India.

Compare apples with apples, not with durians.

Indons thrash us, Viet Kong catching up

In Indonesia, Vietnam on 15/09/2019 at 10:46 am

Where’s M’sia and Thailand?

Two diet drinks a day = dying young

In Media, Uncategorized on 14/09/2019 at 1:38 pm

Recently, a health story about fizzy drinks was widely shared online in the UK.

Some of the newspapers went big with a study – which claimed two diet drinks a day could be linked to people dying young. These papers – including the Daily Mail – report on a major study linking diet drinks with an increased risk of dying early.

The research, which looked at more than 450,000 people across Europe, found that death rates from any cause were 26% higher among people who consumed two or more diet drinks a day, compared with those who had less than one a month.

The reasons are unclear, but previous studies have suggested that artificial sweeteners can trigger glucose intolerance and higher insulin levels in the blood.

The truth is more nuanced

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49579380

Go vegan, become stupid and die of stroke

In Uncategorized on 08/09/2019 at 11:06 am

Albeit got less chance of getting heart disease. Worth the trade off to be woke?

People who eat vegan or plant-based diets should ensure they are getting enough of a key, but little-known, brain nutrient, say experts.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-49509504?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/health&link_location=live-reporting-story

And

People who eat vegan and vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease and a higher risk of stroke, a major study suggests.

They had 10 fewer cases of heart disease and three more strokes per 1,000 people compared with the meat-eaters.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at 48,000 people for up to 18 years.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-49579820

 

 

Sci-fi? U$20bn plan to power S’pore with Oz solar

In Energy, Indonesia, Infrastructure on 06/09/2019 at 1:27 pm

What is this Oz man smoking?

‘Just a matter of when’: the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

The desert outside Tennant Creek, deep in the Northern Territory, is not the most obvious place to build and transmit Singapore’s future electricity supply … The developers say it will be able to provide one-fifth of the island city-state’s electricity needs, replacing its increasingly expensive gas-fired power …

Sun Cable’s chief executive, David Griffin, is bullish about the possibility of his company helping power Singapore from the outback in less than a decade.

He says the project will use prefabricated solar cells to capture “one of the best solar radiance reserves on the planet”. But he says the major transformation that makes the farm possible is the advent of high-voltage, direct-current submarine cable, which he describes as the “greatest unsung technology development”. Sun Cable’s underwater link to Singapore will run 3,800km.

“It is extraordinary technology that is going to change the flow of energy between countries. It is going to have profound implications and the extent of those implications hasn’t been widely identified,” Griffin says.

“If you have the transmission of electricity over very large distances between countries, then the flow of energy changes from liquid fuels – oil and LNG – to electrons. Ultimately, that’s a vastly more efficient way to transport energy. The incumbents just won’t be able to compete.”

Sun Cable’s backers believe Singapore, as a well-regulated electricity market that runs mostly on gas piped from Malaysia and Indonesia and shipped as LNG, is ripe for competition.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/14/just-a-matter-of-when-the-20bn-plan-to-power-singapore-with-australian-solar?fbclid=IwAR0hyiT_gNgXdKpA2CeSweuQCyrpKyIPO6TINQcm4K4tfJnuMhyfNXfJLak

Coming back to “What is this Oz man smoking?” He’s smoking what TRE’s Oz-based funder and grave dancer, and his fellow anti-PAP cybernuts are smoking. Oxygen and the other cybernuts are shouting themselves hoarse that the Spastics’ League will defeat the PAP at the next GE.

But there’s still hope for Oxygen and his fellow cybernuts. After the PAP wins the next GE convincing: Sci-fi story predicts S’pore after next GE?. 

I’ll end with this which helps explain why cybernuts are the way they are:

Change blindness refers to the phenomenon in which viewers fail to detect (sometimes surprisingly dramatic) changes to a visual scene. One way of demonstrating this effect is through a procedure called a “flicker paradigm” in which two very similar scenes alternate, with a few discrepancies between them. Detecting changes in a flicker paradigm is such a surprisingly difficult task that when a team of psychologists led by Ronald Rensink first tried to publish research on the topic in the mid-90s, their results were initially rejected by peer reviewers as impossible. In other words, the fact people could be change blind was so counterintuitive that even visual scientists were inclined to doubt the reality of the phenomenon.

Today, change blindness is an established part of cognitive psychology. Scientists have even introduced the term change blindness blindness to refer to the fact that people tend to be ignorant of their change blindness.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=47371&action=edit

 

 

Russians need our maths syllabus

In Uncategorized on 06/09/2019 at 4:28 am

Several months ago, Russian police said they arrested 30 people out of the 350 people they said had come to protest in Moscow. Riot police arrested 685 people according to monitoring group OVD-Info. So more people arrested than protesters?

Someone can’t count isit?

With US cos like these, Xi can give Trump the finger

In China on 05/09/2019 at 4:02 am

Further to With Apple as a US co, USA doesn’t need enemies, here’s more on US cos who have decided to give Trump, and others who have serious concerns about China — congress, and the defence and security establishments — the bird. The Donald, congress and defence and security establishments think that China is the new USSR and must be contained.

But investments by US companies in China have grown this year despite the worsening trade row. Some American businesses want to benefit from China’s expanding consumer market.

US companies invested US$6.8bn into China in the first half of the year, up 1.5% from the average during the same period over the past two years, according to the Rhodium Group, a consultancy.

Most of the US$6.8bn

went into greenfield projects, such as electric vehicle maker Tesla’s factory in Shanghai, which will be the first wholly foreign-owned auto plant in China. Other large deals included US fund Bain Capital’s $570m investment in data centre provider Beijing Qinhuai.

FT

Btw, this data contradicts China’s official data but the FT says this data is more reliable

And btw2, late last week, The Donald said was ready to use emergency powers to compel US companies to stop doing business with Beijing. But according to the FT, US cos think he’s talking cock.

Here’s why US cos are prepared to put profits before patriotism:

US retailer Costco was forced to close early on its opening day in China, after the store was swamped with shoppers.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49492326

But Grandpa Xi has Chinese cos that are just as unpatriotic as American cos: With cos like these, China doesn’t need enemies like Trump

PAP fighting for every last vote

In Political governance, Public Administration on 02/09/2019 at 10:39 am

The PAP govt is even trying to make sure that 1000 carers’ vote for the PAP? Every vote matters for the PAP it seems. Those were my tots when I read

The maid levy concession will be extended from Sep 1 to include the employer’s Singaporean extended family member or friend who lives in the same household, the Manpower Ministry (MOM) announced in a press release on Saturday (Aug 31).

Currently, levy concession is given to those whose foreign domestic workers are caring for an immediate family member in the same household.

The change is expected to benefit around 1,000 employers, MOM said.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/maid-levy-concession-to-extend-beyond-immediate-family-from-sep-11859716

———————————————

Where else is the PAP is also trying to shore up its vote?

Christmas, CNY coming early thanks to PAP: 7000 votes here

Why 37,000+ sure to vote for PAP

Pioneer Generation benefits: Are you better off now than you were in 2011?

Consumers: Groceries: PAP cares for u, really they do

Even anti-PAP people getting money: PAP giving money to anti-PAP group

No need to try so hard: Juz postpone GST rise la — How PAP can win 65% plus of the vote

————————————————————————

Here’s a constructive, nation-building suggestion to help make sure the Merdeka Generation vote for the PAP: for those of us with degrees, help fund post grad studies, for those without first degrees, help fund first degree or diploma courses.

This ties in with the PAP govt’s plans to get us oldies to work longer so that CPFLife begins at 85 (More on 85 being the new CPF Life payout date) and its “knowledge economy”plans.

This idea came from reading

Master’s degree students over the age of 60 will receive a £4,000 bursary under a new Welsh Government scheme.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-49513183

In the article someone says”education should be available to people of any age who want it”. True especially for the silver-haired. Fyi, I’ve been comparing the costs of S’pore-based psychology courses and our public unis offer the lowest cost. But how to get in? I oldie and not FT.

 

Amazon fires an “international crisis”? Crisis? What crisis?

In Environment on 29/08/2019 at 4:31 am

US$20m was pledged by the G7 meeting to fight the Amazon fires. Huh? So little? Remember Mr Macron’s belief that the fires amounted to an international crisis.

Money talks, BS walks. Sounds like the G7 leaders don’t believe that it’s a crisis. We know Trump doesn’t care about the environment, and doesn’t believe in climate change (“Fake”). The other leaders say they care about the environment and believe in climate change, and that it’s dangerous to the world. Obviously they really agree with Trump.

S’pore, Indonesia doing well in unicorn breeding

In Indonesia on 26/08/2019 at 3:00 pm

A unicorn is a privately held startup company with a current valuation of US$1 billion or more.

S’pore’s got two: Grab (the mobility platform that wants to conquer SE Asia) and Trax (Computer vision technology for use in retail industry: FT builds tools for bricks-and-mortar retail)

Whatever, we are doing pretty well in unicorn breeding. We’ve got two, while Japan has only three.

But then Indonesia has four  Go-Jek, Tokopedia, Traveloka, and Bukalapak.

Go-Jek is a mobility platform that also wants to rule SE Asia. Tokopedia and  Bukalapak are e-commerce businesses Traveloka provides airline ticketing and hotel booking services online.

Why HSBC is really Hongkong Bank

In Banks, Emerging markets, Hong Kong on 23/08/2019 at 11:40 am

Yesterday, HSBC took out advertisements, in five Cantonese-language newspapers. The bank said it was deeply concerned about the recent events and “condemned violence of any kind”, saying the rule of law is vital to maintaining Hong Kong’s status as a financial centre. “That is why we fully support the ambition to resolve the present situation peacefully.”

Why is it so concerned?

These three charts show why HSBC is really Hongkong Bank (It once used this name), and the last two charts also show that it’s the people’s bank in HK. All of which explains the ads and what an HSBC spokesman said recently: “We respect that our employees have their own personal views on political and social matters. Our priorities are the safety of our employees and supporting our customers.”

A 34-year-old HSBC bank employee said the bank had not officially sanctioned the strike on Monday but some managers had told staff verbally they would not be penalised for not coming to work.

FT

Interesting, relevant, little known facts about HK’s general strike

 

Remember that HSBC includes the Hang Seng Bank which has a lot of branches serving the people: the takeover of Hang Seng Bank was the start of HSBC becoming a global bank: HSBC, Superman and another Cina superhero. I’m very surprised that BoC is a distant second in terms of deposits. I tot the gap was much narrower. And this was in 2018. I’m sure BoC lost a lot of deposits.

 

 

 

Wh

 

Why global fish stocks not yet exhausted

In Environment on 23/08/2019 at 4:19 am

Americans don’t care for fish.

-ve deposit rates

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 22/08/2019 at 9:07 am

Further to Bank pays u to borrow/ Govts borrow for free, Jyske Bank who pays money to borrowers to borrow has become the first Danish lender to impose negative interest rates on customer deposits and has warned that sub-zero rates were looking “rather permanent”.

Customers with balances over DKr7.5m (US$1.1m) would be charged a default rate of 0.6% a year.

Fyi, UBS and other major Swiss banks have been charging negative interest rates on customer deposits for some time. But there we are are talking of deposits of tens of millions, not US$1m

Chaos can be good for S$, PM, PAP 

In Currencies, Emerging markets, Hong Kong, Indonesia on 20/08/2019 at 4:45 am

I kid u not.

HK$ rose against US$ despite the protests and riots that created economic uncertainty. Hmm maybe Mad Dog in power could be good for S$.

How China is squeezing Trump’s balls

In China, Tourism on 18/08/2019 at 4:27 am

Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists are shunning the country as a holiday destination, and companies from Tiffany to Hyatt Hotels are counting the cost.

FT

It goes to say US business love tourists from China because on average they spend U$7,000 per including the costs of flights and accommodation, according to data from the US Travel Association.

After several years of double-digit growth, however, Chinese visitor numbers rose only 4% in 2017 and last year they declined for the first time since 2003. There were 2.99m arrivals in 2018, a drop of 6% from 2017. This trend is continuing this summer. US executives say the slowdown is weighing on profits.

Trump will cry “Uncle” when retailers renting space in Trump properties go bust.

Why Muslims in USA are right to feel oppressed

In Uncategorized on 07/08/2019 at 4:19 am

Just look at this chart: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49227590?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/us_and_canada&link_location=live-reporting-story. Racism is cited in BBC article as a reason why Muslims bear the brunt of suspicions.

Wechat conquers China, Facebook the world

In China, Internet on 27/07/2019 at 1:32 pm

WeChat has 1.1bn users in China (Peanuts round the rest of the world including HK), but Facebook has long outgrown the US market to boast 2.3bn* users worldwide according to Matt Sheehan at MacroPolo.  He has been looking at the quality of data collection and analysis in China and the US and compares the capabilities of the US and China.


*2.4bn as of June.

If China withdraws behind the Great Walls

In China on 25/07/2019 at 4:50 am

McKinsey Global Institute thinks the world stands to lose up to U$37tn if China withdraws from the world as a result of tensions with the west. Tech forms a big part of this amount. Btw, 90% of technologies used in China follow global standards.

Air conditioners make cities hotter

In Energy, Environment on 21/07/2019 at 1:49 pm

In cities, that means millions of units – including those on cars and buses and trains – constantly pushing out heat into the atmosphere. Studies have found the extra heat from air-conditioning can raise temperatures by as much as 2C. And when it gets hotter, our thermostats turn lower and the cycle continues.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49049238?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/us_and_canada&link_location=live-reporting-story

IMF affirms support for PAP policies

In Economy on 17/07/2019 at 4:54 am

True, its lowered its guess-estimate for this yr’s growth to 2% from 2.3% (made in May), but eat yr heart out Mad Dog, Lim Tean and other nutty anti-PAP types.

It said “investment is expected to pick up on digitalisation” and as businesses adopt new technologies.  “Over the medium term, growth should stabilize around 2.5 per cent, increasingly driven by modern services alongside other trade-related sectors.”

Vote wisely.

Reminder: How bad things are

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised basis,  GDP contracted by 3.4%, way below the median forecast of 0.1% in a Reuters poll. This was a reversal from the 3.8% growth in the previous quarter and marked the worst quarter-on-quarter performance since the third quarter of 2012. The economy also registered its lowest growth in a decade, expanding just 0.1% on year in the second quarter, missing a forecast rise of 1.1%.

“Only cold spell coming, but not Winter,” says Heng

Why S$73.8m flat is a steal

In Property on 15/07/2019 at 1:31 pm

A Mr. James Dyson recently bot a flat for US$55m (S$73.8m). This tops a flat that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin  bot years ago for US$44m.

According to FT’s Lex, Dyson is paying around 40% less per foot than Mr Saverin but that “that could reflect a lower level of luxury”. It goes on

A 26 per cent discount on the list price for the 21,108 sq ft flat is a surer sign of a bargain.

“Only cold spell coming, but not Winter,” says Heng

In Economy, Media, Political economy on 15/07/2019 at 5:04 am

I know economists are forecasting a recession (How bad things are described at the footnote*) but was surprised the constructive, nation-building ST Super-lite reported this fact in the following manner:

The Government is “not expecting a full-year recession at this point”, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Friday (July 12), but economists are warning that there is a high likelihood of a technical recession ahead.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/slowing-economy-q2-what-it-means-jobs-general-election-and-long-term-growth

Showing that it no ak Heng (Heng trying to make distinction between “a full year recession” and “technical recession”, using economists to show its disrespect isit? Or is ST Super-lite juz clueless?

Waz more the economists were given a lot of pixel space to comment:

WHAT ANALYSTS SAY

Economists said that Singapore’s economic prospects have clearly deteriorated due to downside risks such as the trade war, as well as the slowdown in China and global growth, and the worsening tech cycle downturn.

Nearly all analysts interviewed by TODAY said chances are high that there could be a technical recession, which is defined by two consecutive quarter-on-quarter declines.

Referring to the latest result as “a near stall”, OCBC bank’s head of treasury research and strategy Selena Ling noted that the first half of this year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) year-on-year growth was at a “paltry” 0.6 per cent, the weakest first half growth since 2009.

It “clearly heightens the risk of a technical recession if growth momentum remains tepid going into the third quarter,” she said.

Mr Joseph Incalcaterra, HSBC Global Research’s chief economist for the Association of South-east Asian Nations, said that the weakness in Singapore’s GDP is “a harbinger of further growth deterioration across the region”.

He added: “What surprised us is how broad-based the deterioration was in Singapore, suggesting that unlike other neighbouring economies, domestic-facing sectors are not strong enough to offset external headwinds.”

Dr Chua and Ms Lee from Maybank Kim Eng, who had previously forecasted a “shallow” technical recession, have downgraded their outlook to a deeper one.

Retrenchments in manufacturing and trade-related sectors are likely to worsen as firms cut back on hiring amid rising uncertainties, they said.

Mr Alvin Liew, an analyst from United Overseas Bank, said that the official forecast could be downgraded to a range of 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent in August, highlighting the possibility that the Government’s 0.1 per cent year-on-year flash estimate for the second quarter could be revised into negative territory as well.

MTI’s forecast had put GDP growth at between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent for the whole of 2019.

Remember that S’pore is seen as one of the barometers for global demand given its export-orientated economy: S’pore: the canary in the coalmine

Related posts: PAP: tropical White Walkers?

Winter’s here, and it’s an Antarctic winter

Winter is here, how big will the anti-PAP vote be?

Expect MAS to “manipulate” S$ lower

Even MSM tells us “Ground is not sweet economically”

Ground is not sweet economically/ Authorities may have to do something but no gd options

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*How bad things are

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised basis,  GDP contracted by 3.4%, way below the median forecast of 0.1% in a Reuters poll. This was a reversal from the 3.8% growth in the previous quarter and marked the worst quarter-on-quarter performance since the third quarter of 2012. The economy also registered its lowest growth in a decade, expanding just 0.1% on year in the second quarter, missing a forecast rise of 1.1%.

 

Price of coffee in a cuppa

In Uncategorized on 13/07/2019 at 11:01 am

Coffee powder used in a US$4 cup of coffee is costs US$0.50: 12.5% of the total cost. Secret Squirrel’s second cousin removed who owns a coffee place in an atas mall, says that in S’pore, the % is around there too.

Note that in the illustration “Mark up” is not the profit. It includes rent, wages etc.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48631129

S’pore’s a liberal place, ang moh data shows

In Uncategorized on 08/07/2019 at 1:14 pm

Repression? What repression? Obvious Kirsten Han doesn’t do quantitative data, only subjective feelings isit? Another example of her failure with numbers: Repression? What repression?/ Alt media cannot be trusted.

If u draw a straight line down from where S’pore’s is located on chart below, you’ll hit France, I’m told. Now France isn’t repressive, is it, Kirsten Han? Eat yr heart out ang moh tua kees, cybernuts and other anti-PAP types. Repression? What repression?

We are liberal by advanced country standards: not very liberal but we have France for company.

A really smart ang moh tua, cybernut or other anti-PAPpy (But there are none) will point out that the Heritage Foundation is an arm of the CIA and Wall St. But there’s no evidence for this assertion.

Related post: “There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech”

PAP really makes case for banning tobacco and alcohol

In Public Administration on 01/07/2019 at 11:26 am

 

Our Pet Minister* (The PAP sees voters who own pets as an important constituency*) likes to draw attention to thescientific literature that show that cannabis and other drugs are harmful, as the reason not to decriminalise them.

Well there is plenty of evidence that alcohol and tobacco are more harmful.

So why PAP no ban them?

Ang moh tua kee at work (West’s ‘human rights superiority complex’)? Our colonial masters didn’t ban alcohol and tobacco but banned these drugs, so their PAP running dogs followed blindly isit?

Fyi

[A] report published today by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an independent group of 26 former presidents and other bigwigs. They conclude that, as far as the scientific evidence is concerned, current drug laws have no rhyme or reason to them. The commission blames the UN’s drug classification system, which sorts some 300 psychoactive substances into “schedules” according to their harms and benefits. Some, such as morphine, have medical uses. Others, such as psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), are used mostly recreationally. Drugs without any apparent medical utility are automatically placed in the most dangerous category—and subjected to the strictest criminal penalties—regardless of the risk they pose.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/06/25/what-is-the-most-dangerous-drug


*He and his side kick Louis Ng (PAP MP still sore at childhood failure?) got more power then the ministers responsible for Malays, Indians and Eurasians combined. Says something about the power and influence that pets who really own their so-called masters have in S’pore. Minorities can only envy these dogs and cats.

Temasek, GIC got this right in our backyard

In GIC, Indonesia, Internet, Temasek on 22/06/2019 at 6:01 pm

Indonesia is really the place to be in e-commerce.

And Temasek is there: Indonesia: Temasek, Google & McKinsey singing from the same page

As is GIC via Bukalapak: an e-commerce unicorn: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/18/bukalapak-raises-50m/

Btw, Go-Jek where Temasek has a stake has big plans in Thailand and Vietnam, as does Grab (where Temasek also has a stake).

 

 

HK demonstrations: What I’d like to know

In China, Hong Kong on 17/06/2019 at 4:51 am

How many of the protesters are mainland tourists or long term residents of HK from China.

The crowds are massive, no doubt about it. And Hongkies are really upset, no doubt about it: Not fear of the people singing but fear of US growling made Xi chicken-out.

But I’m curious about whether there are substantial numbers of mainlanders in the crowds, who are there really to protest against Xi.

The tourist numbers from China are staggering, fyi,

From January to November last year, about 58.6 million tourists visited Hong Kong, up 10.7 per cent from the previous year. Among them, 45.9 million were mainland tourists, an increase of 14.2 per cent from the same period in 2017.

In November, the number of mainland day trippers jumped 40.3 per cent year on year to a record 2.9 million, and accounted for 86.5 per cent of the city’s total of same-day arrivals.

Alan Au, a member of a Hung Hom community group, said it was common to see 300 mainland tourists blocking the streets as they waited for coaches in some parts of the district.

SCMP in January 2019

Streaming — S’pore tua kee

In Internet on 15/06/2019 at 1:50 pm

In Asean

Where China can make America Cry Uncle

In China on 15/06/2019 at 5:02 am

Stop its students from studying in the USA

The United States is the number one destination for Chinese students seeking to study abroad.

They make up one-third of the total international body in the US and pay significant sums to study at top institutions.

BBC report

Serious money: billions

Indian bull? Sold a ton of BS

In India on 13/06/2019 at 5:11 am

Fake stats on growth rates:

Arvind Subramanian, a veteran economist who advised the Indian government from 2014 to 2018, said that the country’s average annual growth in gross domestic product between 2011 and 2017 was in fact around 4.5 per cent, against official estimates of 7 per cent.

His findings were presented in a research paper published by the Center for International Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, which found that the correlations between 17 independent indicators of economic activity and GDP broke down after 2011, leaving India an outlier compared to other countries’ economic data.

FT

Btw, I’m still a holder of Ascendas India: biz trust with office space in IT parks. Good yield and price moves in the right direction.

Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

In Uncategorized on 21/05/2019 at 10:35 am

S’pore not even up to third world standards when it comes to severance pay.

Related post:

More CGT BS? Swiss Standard? What Swiss standard?

 

No elections this year?

In Economy, Political governance on 18/05/2019 at 11:36 am

How to hold a general election this yr when the ground is not sweet for PAP to get 65% of the vote ( Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote)? The economy is going to the dogs.

Non-oil exports continue slide in April with export performance missed expectations, posting a steep drop in April as regional trade tensions continued to weigh on the island nation’s economy.  Non-oil domestic exports fell 10% year on year, below a Reuters poll forecasting a 6%.

The fall was the second consecutive drop after March’s disappointing data, which showed an 11.8 per cent year-on-year drop, marking the worst export performance since October 2016.

No wonder Kee Chiu said

Singaporeans must gird themselves for the long haul.

Related posts:

Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP

Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP

But doesn’t mean PAP will lose election as predicted by TOC and TRE cybernuts

Why 37,000+ sure to vote for PAP (But balanced off by above 34,000+ retail investors in Hyflux who could lose 90% of their investments)

Why S’poreans continue voting for the PAP to have 2/3 of parly seats

6,400 senior citizens each get $312.50 hongpao from a TLC

 

Why most S’poreans keep voting for PAP

In Financial competency, Political governance on 17/05/2019 at 1:32 pm

It’s like shopping leh:

self-reinforcing cycle, where they became more and more attached to a product.

We are attached to the PAP because we keep voting for it.

Analysing the decisions we make in the supermarket can help us understand the choices we make in other areas of our lives.

Analysing the buying decisions of 280,000 customers revealed that they fell into a self-reinforcing cycle, where they became more and more attached to a product.

These cycles tend to last for several consecutive store visits before the pattern is broken and the process starts again with a different brand.

Interestingly, when consumers break out of these self-reinforcing loops, they tend to do so across multiple products at a time.

For example, when switching their brand of coffee, they are more likely to change their brands of yoghurt and washing detergent as well.

Blind loyalty

Why does this loyalty build up?

Further analysis of the data ruled out simpler explanations, such as price or force of habit being responsible for these patterns.

One explanation is that people come to like what they purchase, out of a need to “make sense” and explain their choices to themselves and others.

For example, after buying the ingredients for a salad, a consumer might start to value healthy foods more to justify the purchase.

This pattern of behaviour could be exploited to try to create a relationship with a selected product.

In the loyalty card study, we sent the supermarket’s instant coffee drinking customers coupons to try a different brand.

Those in the switching phase were twice as likely to use the coupon as those still locked in to their existing coffee product.

Beyond shopping

This self-justified decision making is not limited to the weekly shop, but probably spills over to many areas of our lives.

For example, studies suggest people defend their selection of everything from the jam they buy to the politicians they decide to vote for in an election.

After we vote for a leader we may mimic their positions on many issues, including those we were undecided about or even to which we were opposed.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47357292

Where we don’t Pay and Pay

In Internet, Telecoms on 10/05/2019 at 1:41 pm

 

S’pore is between Nigeria and Brazil at US$3.24 based on data from https://www.valuechampion.sg/are-singaporeans-overpaying-their-mobile-plans

Vote wisely.