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Showing posts from February, 2013

Down a little; Up a little

4th Quarter GDP was revised up today from a dismal -0.1 percent to a dismal +0.1 percent, confirming the stagnation character of the American economy.  All the fine rhetoric from the White House and its chorus of apologists cannot hide the fact that US economy is stuck in the mud.

This should come as no surprise of course.  Why should anyone expand their business or take on new employees in this environment?  Heaven forbid that anyone should make a profit or try to get rich.  That's the new sin.

So, what is left is stagnation.  An economy that rewards people for not working and punishes those who wish to employ capital is an economy that is going nowhere. 

Obama has managed to accomplish what few thought possible.  He has shut down the mighty American economic engine.

New Fund: CIMB-Principal Enhanced Opportunity Bond Fund

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They say that the only constant in life is 'change'. Well, not always. Hopefully, with this new fund, you will find comfort in its stability. Furthermore, it aims to provide more returns than the current Fixed Deposit rate, and is more stable than equities. Riding on the growth of the Asian countries, investors have the opportunity to diversity their portfolio and increase the returns. This fund is only available until 4 April 2013 !

What is CIMB-Principal Enhanced Opportunity Bond Fund? It is a close-ended fund that aims to provide investors with total return through investments in a portfolio of debt securities primarily in bonds. The fund seeks to achieve its overall objective by providing total returns consisting of a combination of interest income and capital appreciation

Investment Strategy
Under general market conditions, between 70% to 99% (both inclusive) of the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) will be invested in non-ringgit debt securities primarily in bonds (including …

The "Delay" Tax

Everyone knows, except Obama, that the entitlements are $70 trillion in the hole from an actuarial point of view.  This means that, in finite time, they will run out of money.

So that, it is very, very clear that future generations will get nothing at all from social security and medicare regardless of the amount that they pay in. Unless something is done.

This we know (except for Obama, of course, who seems to know nothing).

All of this means that sooner or later, social security and medicare will be fixed.  Running out of money is a fix. That does solve the problem.

A simple solution is to move out the age of eligibility for medicare (and index it).  Do the same for social security.  Means test both programs.  Raise medicaid eligibility requirements.  Doing these things would mean that social security and medicare will never run out of money.

So, a simple fix, can make things work.  If we do it now.  Delay means that when you do act, the actions must be much, more draconian.  By postponi…

Why TUNE INSURANCE is Out of Tune?

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Every wonder why we didn't cover the IPO for Tune Ins ? Other than CNY mood, it's because of the unexciting part of this new stock. Why? Please read on...

Tune Ins Holdings Sdn Bhd (TIH) operates 2 core businesses. First, it provides online insurance where insurance products are sold as part of the customer’s online booking process with their partners namely AirAsia, Tune Hotels and AirAsia Expedia. TIH also operates a general insurance business, through 83.26% owned subsidiary - TIMB.


Why invest in Tune Insurance Holdings?
Wide and cost effective distribution channelsProvide ease in buying coverageExclusive partnership with AirAsiaAbility to ride on AirAsia’s robust growthAdditional revenue and cost synergies from TIMBRobust industry prospects

However, some of the above investing reasons had also became the disadvantages of TIH. It's reliant on AirAsia business is too important. TIH's success is very much depends on the success of AirAsia businesses, and because of its re…

Joe Stiglitz and Inequality

Joe Stiglitz has penned an interesting article on the growing inequality of measured income in the United States.  The facts that he uses, of course, are subject to the usual limitations.  If you ignore everything the government does and all employee benefits, then you get one answer.  If you include government spending and employee benefits you get an entirely different answer.  But, lay that aside for the moment, because, I think, Stiglitz is on to something.  There is growing inequality of opportunity in America, but not for the reasons Stiglitz is implying.

It is no wonder that wealthy liberals are at the forefront of the call for reduced inequality.  They know that their policies will solidify their exalted status in society. They are not at risk.

The simplest example can be read in today's editorial in the NY Times in support of raising the national minimum wage from $ 7.25 per hour to $ 9.00 per hour.  That kind of policy won't hurt the liberal elite, protected with incom…

Round Two

The President enjoys a good fight.  The only question is will there be an opponent.  Reality, of course, is one major opponent.  But, the Presidents seems adept at ignoring reality. 

The State of the Union speech last night was the Hugo Chavez plan for the US -- more body slams to the private sector, more money to be wasted on government and government's pals.  As for the poor, raise the minimum wage.  One wonders why Obama did not advocate a $ 100 per hour minimum wage.  Using his logic, that should solve the problem of poverty in one grand stroke.

As for the hopes of the unemployed and underemployed, forget it.  This President is not bothered by slack economic growth and growing numbers of folks disappearing from the work force.  Just expand medicaid and food stamps.  That should do it.

As for the national debt.  Hey!  That's one area where we lead the world.  Let's maintain that lead!

Meanwhile, the war on capitalism continues unabated.  Tax rich people!!  That seems to be…

The Snow Storm Disaster

As three feet of snow blanket Boston, the Administration tries to push their "climate change" agenda, as if anything of substance could result from that.  There is no scientific evidence that weather patterns are changing materially, but that doesn't keep the Obama folks from pointing to every weather-related problem as more evidence of climate change.

One wonders why the infrastructure in America is not built up to withstand these storms and help the public resist them.  The answer?  There is no money left.  The liberal agenda, mainly the entitlements, have not only taken top priority, but will eventually absorb more than any possible tax revenues could ever provide.

One of the many downsides of the entitlement world is much, much slower economic growth.  Entitlements destroy private savings, reduce and eliminate work incentives, and make personal responsibility a remnant of antiquity.  A record number of Americans now live off of social security disability payments and t…

The Old & New Palm Oil Growers Scheme

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Both schemes have been categorized as "share-farming" interest scheme by Securities Commission of Malaysia, yet, both were in the limelight lately due to their contradict directions. The old one (Country Heights Growers Scheme) is wooing investors to terminate it, while the new one (Golden Agro Growers Scheme) is wooing investors to invest.

Why CHGS was in HOT water? CHGS was the 1st oil palm plantation investment scheme in Malaysia. Launched in 2007, it guaranteed a 8% return annually for first 3 years, and subsequently it is projected to distribute the returns of over 11% per year throughout a period of 20 years. However, voluntary early termination of the scheme was proposed recently, citing that CHGS was unable to reach its full potential because of poor fresh fruit bunches (FFB) yield. Various factors were given such as unpredictable weather conditions, incursions of wild elephants into the estate, poor soil fertility, shortage of key personnel and manual workers, and unc…