Monday, January 30, 2012

漫談美國版權法

摘錄自民間電台2012年1月20日"打橫嚟講"

video

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rally Encounters Resistance; Buying Interest Remains

Market jumps and stays near year high as active market participants still have strong interest in buying amid mountain of cash in circulation. Corporations can access low interest financing and are hoarding cash for future business development. Individuals benefit from a healthy economy despite disappointing job growth. The 2008 financial meltdown have forced companies to downsize and become more efficient and competitive. Competent workers are remunerated according to contribution to the organization. However, the advance of technology and manufacturing automation partitions workers into two extremes, highly paid professionals and low-skill labour. The problem of wealth concentration is getting more attention and is causing instability of society.

Although the overall wealth is growing steadily, the capital deployment to drive the growth of business activities is relatively low. Banks are reluctant to lend and small business have difficulty to obtain credit to expand. Money liquidity remains an obstacle to economy and employment growth as well as polarization of wealth distribution.

Despite a looming Greek sovereign debt default, there is no panic sell-off although profit taking drags down market from the peak. Market manipulators have not attempted to use bad news to create panic sell-off. At this point, it appears that market manipulators have given up the previous selling strategy as market participants are waiting with cash on the sideline for bargain rather than to sell at the bottom again. However, short term market behaviour can be irrational. Individual investors are still very cautious and holding cash to buy at any market collapse.

Institutional investors are more aggressive due to inflow of investors capital. Since market is at the high limit of recent movement range, institutional investors are not chasing hot stocks but switching to undervalued stocks.

Market participants have been increasing the risk appetite as hot money are finding investment opportunities. Stocks are becoming scarce in the trading pool as long term investors are accumulating. Market would trend higher in the long run despite ups and downs in the course.

Active investors and individual savings portfolio can use cost averaging strategy for long term appreciation. Traders and speculators can buy on the dip and take profit on the rally. But identifying the short term bottom and top is a difficult task.



How to Play the Five Big 'What Ifs' of 2012
Here's how to tackle the five scenarios that are keeping Wall Street investors awake at night:?
1 What if Europe gets worse?
No matter how much investors might desire it, Europe's economic mess just won't go away. But the big fear is that it will deteriorate even more before it gets better.

He adds: European stocks could look really cheap in 12 to 18 months. So savvy investors will be wise to keep some cash on the sidelines.

2 What if U.S. housing finally improves?
It's now close to five years since the housing bubble burst. When it rebounds isn't only an investment question, but of vital importance to households as well.

3 What if the jobs recovery falters?
The long-awaited jobs recovery seems to have arrived. The unemployment rate has dropped steadily, albeit slowly, from 9.1% in August to 8.5% in December.

If the jobs market does falter, then stocks of companies that sell consumer staples, such as soap and food, could benefit, he says. In addition, pharmaceutical companies and electric utilities, also providers of essentials, will tend to do well, he says.

4 What if there's another budget crisis?
Last summer, investors watched in horror as Congress wrestled over the government's finances. They even risked the first-ever default on U.S. debt.

The problem: Massive uncertainty over the outcome.The bigger the differences between the two sides, the worse it will be for investors. Ms. Zentner says an impasse could cause wild swings in the stock market and the economy. So if Congress looks like it's headed for another blockbuster fight, stay safe in cash and avoid the potential gyrations of stocks.

5 What if China's economy heats up?
China's economy matters because it's the second largest in the world. Over the past decade, the communist country has grown fast, but lately it has been cooling off. The question is: What happens when it heats up again?

"As China grows so does the use of commodities," says Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at BNY Mellon in New York. Specifically, he points to industrial minerals such as iron ore and copper, which are used in construction and manufacturing.


Stocks Are Cheaper Than They've Been in Two Decades
U.S. stocks are trading at their cheapest levels since at least 1990, according to such commonly used valuations as price-to-earnings and price-to-book ratios as well as dividend yield, Bespoke Investment Group says.

To start 2012, the benchmark had an earnings multiple of 13, the lowest since 1990 and below the 80-year average of 15, according to Bespoke. It would take a move back to 1,484 to get the benchmark back to this long-term mean P/E.

The price-to-book ratio is 2.05, below the average since the late 1970s of 2.43. To get back to that average P/B, the benchmark would need to increase to 1,491.


“Gut Check” Coming But Todd Harrison Sees More Room for 2012 Rally
Since mid-December, major averages have risen over 9% and the S&P is off to its best start to a year since 1987, albeit on the lowest volume since 2008.

Bulls seek to keep the momentum going this week, which features a Fed meeting, another batch of earnings and U.S. economic data, as well as ongoing drama in Europe, including negotiations with Greek debt holders and the EU's decision to ban Iranian oil imports.


Strong Earnings From Dow Components Defy Weak Economy
In some ways it seems fitting - even telling - that the hottest stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past year comes down with a cold during January earnings season. It would be hard to say that McDonald's (MCD) did anything wrong given the $27.2 billion record high revenues raked in last year, as well as record net income of $5.5 billion.

And despite beating bottom line estimates by 3-cents and matching sales, McDonald's shares are shedding more than 2% on the news.

Verizon (VZ) also reported record revenue growth today that matched expectations, but its muddled path to an ex-items bottom line miss by a penny is cause for concern in some circles.

And finally, we tear apart Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the global healthcare conglomerate who's defensive appeal outweighs its 4% sales growth. J&J comfortably beat on the bottom line with EPS of $1.13 versus $1.09 estimates.

While Verizon and AT&T pay larger dividends, the fact that J&J is one of only four U.S. companies t0 carry a AAA-rating makes its 3.5% yield even more appealing. As does the fact that if and when they increase it again in April, it will mark the 50th consecutive year they have raised their dividend.


Greek Bond Talks Break Down, But Markets Shrug It Off
The breakdown of talks between Greece and its bondholders appears to be a nightmare scenario. Standard & Poor's has threatened to declare Greece in technical default, the first for an EU member state since the introduction of the euro in 1999. Meanwhile, the IMF is warned "the euro crisis entered a perilous new phase" and lowered its global growth forecast for 2012.

Despite heightened risk of a 'disorderly' resolution to the Greek debt crisis, the financial markets gave a collective shrug on Tuesday. The Dow was recently down 0.3%, following similarly modest declines in Europe while the euro recovered from its early weakness to push beyond $1.30.

As inevitable as a Greek default may be, Merk concedes the news from Europe is likely to swing between "panics and euphoria" in the coming year. "The issue is, if things spread, you want to have that safety buffer... that 'ring of fire' around them, that's what the European Central Bank has been working on."


Market Rally of 2012 Is Almost Over: Bianco
Jim Bianco thinks the stock market is living on borrow time. Giving his outlook for the rest of 2012, the president of Bianco research says stocks "might have another 5 to 6% to go and that's on the topside." He has two main reasons for his relative gloom: The end of stimulus and rapidly shrinking earnings.

"It's a QE world," says Bianco, referring to Quantitative Easing. "All the Central Banks in the world are printing money."

By the account of many, including Bianco, cheap money in the form of artificially low rates has been the main driver of solid global stock performance over the last three-months.


January rally interrupted as buyers pull back
A month-long rally on Wall Street appears to be sputtering as stocks slipped on Thursday in what investors called a possible warning of weakness ahead.

This is one of the busiest weeks of earnings season, with 117 S&P companies expected to report. According to Thomson Reuters data, 59 percent of the 152 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings beat analysts' forecasts, down from the 70 percent beat rate in recent quarters at this stage.


In Punishing Year for Hedge Funds, Biggest One Thrived
The world's biggest hedge fund is also one of the best performers.

Bridgewater Associates, which manages nearly $120 billion, posted returns of 23 percent in 2011 - a year when the average hedge fund portfolio lost 5 percent.

The firm has managed to post big numbers even as assets have swollen, defying conventional wisdom and industry experience. Investors poured money into Paulson & Company in recent years, after the founder, John A. Paulson, earned billions of dollars betting against subprime mortgages. Assets at Paulson topped $38 billion at the beginning of 2011, but many of his portfolios suffered last year, with one of the main funds losing 50 percent.

Bridgewater has been able to avoid that fate, in part, because it follows a go-anywhere strategy. The fund's managers assess the political, economic and regulatory environments around the world, and then make bets using commodities, currencies and other assets.


Buffett Blames Congress for Romney's 15% Rate
Warren Buffett, the billionaire calling for more taxes on the rich, said Mitt Romney's U.S. tax rate of about 15 percent reflects poor laws rather than failings by the candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

"It's the wrong policy to have," Buffett told Bloomberg Television's Betty Liu in an interview today. "He's not going to pay more than the law requires, and I don't fault him for that in the least. But I do fault a law that allows him and me earning enormous sums to pay overall federal taxes at a rate that's about half what the average person in my office pays."

Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) , supports Democratic President Barack Obama and said Congress needs to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to close the budget deficit.


Millionaires Won't Sit Still for Higher Taxes
That comes to mind with the proposals outlined in President Obama's State of Union address Tuesday that would effectively codify the so-called Buffett Rule -- that billionaires should not pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries. With the secretary of the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway seated next to the First Lady, the president proposed that those earnings over $1 million pay a minimum 30% federal tax rate. That would mean no deductions for mortgage interest, health care, retirement savings or child-care benefits, although the deduction for charitable deductions would be preserved.

Along with Occupy Wall Street, it's apparent Washington has the so-called 1% of top earners in its sights. No matter that the top percentile already accounts for 37% of taxes.

Nobody seems to ask the question why dividends and capital gains are taxed at preferential rates. The simple answer is that they have already been taxed once, and their seeming tax breaks are applied to income being taxed a second time.

Dividends are paid out of after-tax corporate income that already has been taxed at rates as high as 35%. Capital gains are generated by income from investments, which come out of savings. The savings come from income that already has been taxed but not spent.

The pilloried 1% may decide not to bother with the risk of such ventures. Rather than be subject to the double taxation of dividends, they could opt for high-yielding real-estate investment trusts or master limited partnerships. REITs and MLPs basically flow through all their earnings to their shareholders, who are taxed on the earnings at ordinary-income rates.

If million-dollar earners are going to be hit with a minimum 30% tax rate, they might as well go for the highest, fully taxed yields. That would be REITs, MLPs or junk bonds. Or they could just opt for municipal bonds and pay zero taxes.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

FileSonic Being Shutdown

Nearly two days after the taking down of megaupload another file sharing site has been hit. The site FileSonic has decided to close its servers and disallow any public file uploads. This action has most likely been taken in order to avoid the same fate as megaupload.

It is possible that they have done too little too late as the site although not as big as Megaupload can still be subjected to the same punishment. New details have been released which state that the owners are being pursued .



Filesonic, one of the Internet’s leading cyberlocker services, has taken some drastic measures following the Megaupload shutdown and arrests last week. In addition to discontinuing its affiliates rewards program and not yet paying accrued money to members, the site has disabled all sharing functionality, leaving users only with access to their own files.

To users of systems like BitTorrent, file-sharing means just that – the sharing of files with others. But this weekend users of Filesonic, one of the Internet’s leading cyberlocker services, sharing files is currently a thing of the past.

According to a shock announcement by the site, all file-sharing functionality has now been disabled, leaving current users only with access to files that they have personally uploaded. Many hundreds of thousands (probably millions) of links all around the web have now been rendered useless, at least temporarily.

But the bad news for the site’s users doesn’t end there. In the last few hours, before file-sharing was disabled, Filesonic also ended its rewards program, meaning that uploaders to the site no longer earn money when people download their files. A moot point perhaps, since no-one will be downloading files anyway.

However, there is the matter of what will happen to the reward money that was sitting in uploader’s accounts before the rewards program was discontinued. Will it be paid out, or will it simply disappear? Many users fear the latter.

This combination of news all adds up to a pretty big deal. Filesonic isn’t just some also-ran in the world of cyberlockers. The site is among the top 10 file-sharing sites on the Internet, with a quarter billion page views a month.

While there has been no official explanation from the site as to why the above actions were taken, all eyes are turned towards events of the last week – the closure of Megaupload and the arrest of its founder and management team.

Like Megaupload, Filesonic appears to based in Hong Kong and it’s clear that the authorities there already worked with the US government to shut down Kim Dotcom’s operations and seize his assets there. Filesonic is also believed to have some US-based servers.

In December, Filesonic announced it had partnered with Vobile, a provider of content identification services. All uploads to the service were said to be being checked for copyright infringement before users were able to share them publicly, although it is unclear if this system was ever implemented by the site.

The events of the last week have turned the cyberlocker world upside down and there is quite literally panic among users and site operators. The Megaupload takedown appears to be a game-changer.

Friday, January 20, 2012

「報新聞時背景出現裸女」 電視台遭投訴抗議!

【法新網】蘇格蘭STV電視台一檔新聞專訪時,正在討論艾德.米勒班(Ed Miliband)是否適任工黨領袖。


STV電視台的政論節目突然出現裸女!

新聞節目主持人John MacKay正向政論家Dan Hodges 詢問他對此事的看法時,突然在Dan Hodges背後的電視螢幕,出現一個裸體金髮碧眼的美女,畫面不堪入目持續了好幾秒,據瞭解是限制級收費頻道正在播放的畫面。

↓圖:STV節目中的政論家專訪時,背後出現疑似AV的搖晃裸女


許多眼尖的觀眾發現向電視台投訴,今天電視台被迫向大眾道歉,內部人士聲稱當時沒人發現到這個荒唐的錯誤,直到後來工作人員回頭觀看影片時才發現。

STV 發言人說:「對發生此事我們表示非常遺憾,由於新聞監控室內有許多台螢幕播放不同頻道播放的節目。有時可能只會看到短短的數秒,一般觀眾真的很難發現。不過我們仍舊為此事道歉,希望那些不願意看到畫面的觀眾不要介意,我們保證以後不會再發生。」

Equity Stock Market At Inflexion Point On Buying Optimism

Equity stock market continues to rise on strong buying interest for the third week of the year. Investors plan for the new year is in favor of assets that have potentially higher return over fixed income assets due to increased optimism in economic growth.

As most active market participants are thin on equity stock holding, investors are reluctant to sell the shares. Any dip in price will attract a lot of buyers waiting for a bargain.

Although the amount of sideline cash is tremendous, many investors are still waiting for market sell-off. Market manipulators intend to use the European creditworthiness downgrade to trigger a market sell-off similar to the event of US downgrade. However, the European stock market does not fall on the news but rises sharply instead. In the US stock market, market participants chase after stocks as the hope of market sell-off vanishes.

Market manipulators begin the year trading unfavorably. The selling strategy may need to be reviewed as market participants have learned not to sell in panic. The previous selling strategy may not work without panic selling from market participants.

Some patient investors have bought shares in recent market bottom when the majority of market participants are in panic. As market have rallied in the last few weeks, there may be some pressure on market due to profit taking. However, the large amount of hot capital can support the market.

Strong earnings and hot money will drive market higher. There may be oscillation due to changing market conditions. Long term market outlook should be optimistic despite current weak investor confidence. Market participants should hold on to the stock portfolio and use the opportunity of pullback to strength the portfolio.



Market Shrinks First Time Since '09
Stocks are getting scarcer in the U.S. for the first time since the bull market began as companies cut share sales to the lowest level since 2006 and buy back equity at the fastest pace in four years.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and 1,971 other U.S. companies repurchased $397 billion of stock last year, while they issued $169 billion of new equity, data compiled by Birinyi Associates Inc. and Bloomberg show. The combination reduced the Standard & Poor's 500 Index divisor, a measure of outstanding shares, by 0.6 percent last quarter, the first drop since March 2009.

U.S. share sales fell 8 percent in 2011 as interest rates near record lows spurred companies to issue bonds instead. Corporate debt sales rose 3.2 percent to $800 billion, exceeding stock offerings by the widest margin since 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Raising money through the bond market has gotten cheaper compared with selling shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 3.8 percent interest rate on Bank of America Corp.'s index of U.S. corporate debt compares with the 7.4 percent earnings yield on the S&P 500, the data show. Borrowing costs have been 0.5 percentage point lower than earnings yields on average during the past decade.

The increase in buybacks last year suggests companies have fewer opportunities to invest in projects that will generate profit growth, said Russ Koesterich, the San Francisco-based global chief investment strategist at the iShares unit of BlackRock Inc., which manages about $3.3 trillion.

Buybacks aren't a signal that stocks are undervalued, said Andrew Lapthorne, the global head of quantitative strategy at Societe Generale SA in London. S&P 500 companies spent more than 35 percent of their net cash flow on repurchases at the end of 2007, the highest level since at least 1995, just as the gauge began a 57 percent retreat from its October 2007 peak, according to data compiled by SocGen.

Better-than-forecast U.S. economic data spurred the S&P 500's rally from within 1 percentage point of a bear market on Oct. 3, even as outflows from equity mutual funds tracked by the Investment Company Institute totaled about $63 billion during the final three months of the year.

Government reports showed payroll growth beat forecasts in December and the unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level in almost three years, while the Institute for Supply Management's measure of factory output grew at the fastest pace in six months. The U.S. Citigroup Economic Surprise Index (CESIUSD), a gauge of how much reports are exceeding economists' estimates, rose to a 10-month high on Jan. 6.

"Eventually confidence will return as growth stabilizes," Wasif Latif, vice president of equity investments at USAA Investment Management in San Antonio, which oversees about $50 billion, said in a Jan. 12 phone interview. "All of a sudden you're going to notice that there won't be enough shares around."


The Invisible Hand Behind Bonuses on Wall Street
Mr. Johnson, a consultant who speaks with a light twang from his native Alabama, has never worked for a bank. Nor will his company, Johnson Associates, pay million-dollar bonuses to any of its 12 employees this year. But as one of the nation’s foremost financial compensation specialists, Mr. Johnson is among a small group of behind-the-scenes information brokers who help determine how Wall Street firms distribute billions of dollars to their workers.

This year’s bonus season, which began in late December and will continue until February at some companies, is expected to be the worst for industry employees since 2008, as regulatory measures and economic uncertainty have cut deeply into profits and made pay pools smaller.

In his annual compensation survey, a closely watched report that was sent to roughly 800 of the company’s clients in November, Mr. Johnson estimated that bonuses in the industry would fall 20 to 30 percent from last year’s levels.

“From my personal political standpoint, I wish people got paid less,” Mr. Johnson said of his Wall Street clients. “But my guiding star is not my political belief.”

Predictions about this year’s dismal bonuses have no doubt disappointed financiers on Wall Street, who often complain that they are underpaid even when all evidence points to the contrary. But for a compensation consultant, breaking bad news to people unaccustomed to hearing it is often part of the job.


Wall Street Bonus Cuts Prompt Complaints – Aren’t They Thankful They Have Jobs?
Morgan Stanley (MS) broke the bad news to its traders and bankers Tuesday: 2011 cash bonuses will be capped at $125,000 and compensation could be cut by 40 percent.

The good times may be over for Wall Street, says Chris Whalen, a senior managing director at Tangent Capital Partners, but those still showing up at work should "feel fortunate."


Fed's Latest Easing Could Cost $1 Trillion: Economists
The Federal Reserve is likely to step in with $1 trillion worth of easing that could be announced as soon as this month, according to a growing consensus of economists who see the recent uptick in economic growth as unsustainable.

Of course, the announcement also could push stock prices higher, as did the Fed's last balance sheet expansion begun in November 2010.

"We think this deceleration in real GDP will be enough for the FOMC to declare that there are downside risks to both of its objectives by March, the precondition for QE3," he wrote. "The vigor of private demand is being sapped by unfinished business left from the incomplete clean-up of the financial crisis."

About that economic recovery: Economists at the biggest shops also are wagering 2012 GDP down to the 2 percent range - Citigroup's Peter D'Antonia says 1.75 percent - even though the fourth quarter of 2011 could be upwards of 3 percent or better, with Deutsche Bank economist Joe LaVorgna above 4 percent.

Goldman Sachs sees growth at 2 percent in 2012 and not much improvement in 2013, with GDP gaining about 2.25 percent.

The reason for the pessimism is that the improving data masks unsustainable fundamentals - an unusual drop in the savings rate, a jump in auto purchases due mainly to a recovery from Japan's natural disasters last spring, and a surge in inventories.


Where to put your money if the bond bull stumbles
Bond buyers enjoyed another banner year in 2011, with total returns in all classes outperforming the broad U.S. stock market, and investors continuing to pile into bonds and shun stocks.

The celebrity status for bonds troubles some investors and investment strategists. They sense that this great bond bull market will slow in 2012. Not that sticking with bonds at this juncture is a recipe for disaster, but with more of their nest-egg tied to fixed-income securities, investors need to ask some hard questions.

A more realistic possibility is that stronger than expected economic growth spurs U.S. interest rates, raising yields and making existing bonds less attractive.

That said, as the fixed-income analysts at DWS Investments put it in a recent research report: “One could argue that U.S. Treasury yields probably won’t go much lower, if at all, but they can stay surprisingly low for longer than most people predict, especially while the euro overhang persists.”

If you believe world markets will remain chaotic and are concerned about geopolitical unrest, then add Treasurys, Rowen said. But if you think there will be improvement, he suggests lightening up on government bonds in favor of better opportunities in stocks and investment-grade corporate debt.

For those with more of an appetite for risk, corporate bonds fit the bill.

Municipal bonds were one of the best categories in 2011 and analysts expect more of the same this year.


Investors, prepare for tax headache on cost basis
Investors who buy and sell stocks have a new tax form and new reporting rules to contend with this year when they do their tax returns — and some tax pros say the new rules could cause confusion.

The goal of the new rules is to make sure investors don’t pay less than the law requires in capital-gains taxes. The higher the cost basis you report, the lower your gain — and the cheaper your tax bill.

Here’s what’s going to happen: By Feb. 15, brokers must mail to investors — and to the IRS — cost-basis information on the revised Form 1099-B. Investors will use that information to fill out the new Form 8949, which they will then use to complete the revised Schedule D.

Investors always had to report cost-basis, of course. So, eventually, the fact that brokers are providing that information likely will make their tax-filing lives easier. But the first few years of the new rules may create some havoc, given that only certain transactions are “covered” — that is, required to be reported by the broker — while other transactions are not covered but still need to be reported to the IRS by the taxpayer.

Still, given the likelihood that most active investors either hire a tax preparer or use online software, this may not be a big problem. But if you prepare your return with pencil and paper, Hill said, “you’ll probably just say this form doesn’t make sense and just avoid categorizing the transactions.”

Some say taxpayers won’t be that hindered by the new cost-basis reporting rules. “Even before, on Schedule D and the supporting Schedule D-1, you were always supposed to report the basis on it, so in that sense it’s not a huge additional reporting obligation,” said Mark Luscombe, principal tax analyst with CCH Inc., a Riverwoods, Ill.-based tax publisher and unit of Wolters Kluwer.

“It’s pretty much the same information but you have to go to a different form to put it on and then transfer it back,” Luscombe said. “If you’re using software it probably doesn’t matter much. It might be just more complicated for paper filers.”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

【蘋果動新聞】性交整車呃女仔 真面目影晒!

假藉口促致非法性行為罪­名成立,認為他利用女生的愚笨及貪婪,逐步逐步操弄少女,滿足一己性慾。據了解,被告曾因撫摸校服女生的臀部而惹上官非,最後無­罪獲釋。但他今次終因同類控罪受懲,還柙至下月 8 日判刑,要在獄中過年。
記者:陳美珊、楊家樂

Monday, January 16, 2012

全球最貴圖書!1公尺高的《美國鳥類》

你知道全球最貴的書是哪一本書?2010年英國倫敦舉辦的一場拍賣會上,一本於西元1827年出版的《美國鳥類》(Birds of America)繪本,當時以近732.13萬英鎊的高價賣出,成為世界上最昂貴的圖書,如今這本圖書又將於4月20日於紐約佳士得拍賣會拍賣,預計將成為全球出版界的焦點。



美國鳥類為全球最貴的圖書 這本圖書《美國鳥類》為一位美國自然家和繪畫家奧杜彭(John James Audubon)所繪製而成,奧杜彭於1820年間觀察美國各種鳥類生態,並經心繪製了400多幅的畫作,每幅畫畫工細膩生動、栩栩如生。


▲《美國鳥類》,為一位美國自然家和繪畫家奧杜彭所繪製而成

奧杜彭於1827年出版了《美國鳥類》一書,收錄了400多幅畫,最令人嘖嘖稱奇的事每幅畫作大小都和實際生物一樣,整本書高度就足足有1.02公尺,因此又被喻為「19世紀最偉大和最具影響力的圖書」,如今全世界僅剩約119本,其中一本私人收藏的圖書,於2010年英國倫敦拍賣會上,已近732.13萬英鎊售出,創下當時圖書拍賣的最高價。


▲整本書高度有1.02公尺,又被喻為「19世紀最偉大和最具影響力的圖書」

奧杜彭於1785年出生海地,同年時曾住過法國,18歲時移居美國。從小他就對鳥類非常著迷,後來,他乾脆想把這些鳥類一一臨摹成畫,首先他先獵到這些鳥,接著把鳥掛起來仔細觀察,據說奧杜彭每畫一隻鳥,大約耗時60小時。

而這全球最貴的圖書預計將在4月20日再度拍賣,這次將在紐約佳士得拍賣會拍售,會不會再創天價?吸引不少藝文人士好奇。

8900 幾萬全球最貴書講乜?
19 世紀美籍法裔鳥類學家奧杜邦( John James Audubon )名著《美國雀鳥》( Birds of America 圖),前日在英國倫敦拍賣,以 730 萬英鎊( 8,916 萬港元)成交,創下最貴書本拍賣價紀錄。
奧杜邦花了 12 年完成這本書,一套四冊,圖文並茂介紹了美國 500 種雀鳥。據知,現存只 119 套,落入私人手中的更只有 11 套,故此極為罕有,原本估計成交價是 600 萬英鎊( 7,326 萬港元),結果大大超出預期。買家是一名倫敦商人,他形容這套書是「無價寶」。

Saturday, January 14, 2012

送美鑑定揭涉英1.5億劫案 港商300多萬買賊臟巨鑽

有「英國皇室御用品牌」之稱的國際著名珠寶商Graff(格拉夫),五年前其倫敦分店發生涉及億半港元的珠寶巨劫案,當中一顆重達十六卡黃鑽失物竟在港驚現,被從事當鋪起家的珠寶商以逾三百萬元收購,惟商人送交美國權威寶石學院鑑定,揭發巨鑽「身世」始知誤買賊贓,黃鑽現扣押美國,恐無法取回,還要面對失主的跨國訴訟。

一場巨鑽跨國爭奪戰,驚揭香港珠寶商疑誤買捲英劫案的賊贓,恐惹官非兼失財。有法律界人士指,事件中如有證據顯示有人接贓,英國司法與香港的處理手法大致相同,最高可被判囚十四年。


友安大押的東主孔先生,不知道巨型黃鑽原是賊贓

當鋪送GIA鑑定揭「身世」

捲入賊贓疑雲的珠寶商孔瑞宏(洋名Sam),為大埔「友安大押」的少東,家族在尖沙嘴金域假日酒店地庫開設「智欣鐘表珠寶」,由孔出任營業經理。
據英國傳媒報道,二○○七年七月,位於倫敦斯隆大街(Sloane Street)的格拉夫珠寶分店,遭兩名駕乘賓利名車的賊人持槍行劫,掠去大批包括寶石戒指、頸鏈及耳環等鑽飾,總值二千萬美元(約一億五千多萬港元),賊人得手後逃去。

據知,當中一顆重達十六點二八卡的稀有黃鑽早前輾轉流落香港,被孔斥資三百三十萬元收購,他其後借「友安大押」名義,送交珠寶界權威的美國寶石學院(Gemological Institute of America,簡稱GIA)鑑定,沒料該院在劫案前曾為黃鑽鑑定認證,早已掌握其成分和品質等資料,故即使黃鑽曾被重新切割,專家能斷定是同一顆鑽石。

格拉夫要取回掀訴訟

消息續稱,當年遇劫的格拉夫珠寶驚悉贓物現形,隨即以真正物主身分循法律途徑,要求取回黃鑽,孔則拒絕讓GIA發還予格拉夫,雙方正展開官司「拉鋸戰」。

格拉夫方面拒絕透露黃鑽本身價值,只表示法律訴訟進行中,黃鑽暫由GIA保管,有待官司判決。GIA發言人則指事件進入司法程序,拒絕作出評論。

有近四十年歷史的格拉夫,為享譽全球的知名珠寶商,全球擁三十二家分店,屢獲英女皇企業獎,儼如英國皇室御用品牌,顧客除多名皇室成員,名人包括已故流行樂天王米高積遜、天后麥當娜及著名英格蘭足球員碧咸夫婦等。格拉夫的分店曾多次被劫,其中邦德街店於二○○九年發生的英國歷來最大宗珠寶械劫案,損失達六千五百萬美元(約逾五億港元)。

Friday, January 13, 2012

批發價無加 賀年禮品狂抬價 百佳惠康新春大掠水


【蘋果日報】很快便到農曆新年,市民忙於辦年貨。本報抽取12款最受市民歡迎的賀年禮品,發現百佳、惠康兩大超市今年的售價較去年市場同期普遍貴一成,個別貨品的價格剛在一周內加一成。部份­食品代理商透露今年無加價,揭露大超市涉藉節日抬價掠水。記者:張岳弢、李凱琳

蔡楓華苦等31年首踏紅館


蔡楓華去年脹爆復出歌壇,仲喺好友盧敏儀協助下喺九展開騷,令佢鹹魚翻生。蔡楓華今年4月會首踏紅館開「情陷紅館演唱會2012」,噚日佢喺黃埔搞記招,就冇盧敏儀份,有十幾位粉絲撐場,減磅唔少嘅蔡楓華話正節食同操弗,密謀操出六嚿腹肌。

蔡楓華話今次個唱優先訂票反應好,佢會爭取做四面台,希望到時可以容納一萬二千觀眾,佢話:「今次抱好大期望,上年去咗唔同地方登台,做好紅館就十全十美,到時會有勁歌熱舞。我練得好辛苦,今次乜都出晒。」

Complete Civil War submarine unveiled for first time

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters.

Senior conservator Paul Mardikian wets down the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley after it was freed of the steel truss that was used to raise it from the ocean floor in 2000 at Clemson University's Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.

Confederate Civil War vessel H.L. Hunley, the world's first successful combat submarine, was unveiled in full and unobstructed for the first time on Thursday, capping a decade of careful preservation.

"No one alive has ever seen the Hunley complete. We're going to see it today," engineer John King said as a crane at a Charleston conservation laboratory slowly lifted a massive steel truss covering the top of the submarine.

About 20 engineers and scientists applauded as they caught the first glimpse of the intact 42-foot-long (13-meter-long) narrow iron cylinder, which was raised from the ocean floor near Charleston more than a decade ago. The public will see the same view, but in a water tank to keep it from rusting.

"It's like looking at the sub for the first time. It's like the end of a long night," said Paul Mardikian, senior conservator since 1999 of the project to raise, excavate and conserve the Hunley.

In the summer of 2000, an expedition led by adventurer Clive Cussler raised the Hunley and delivered it to the conservatory on Charleston's old Navy base, where it sat in a 90,000-gallon tank of fresh water to leach salt out of its iron hull.

On weekdays, scientists drain the tank and work on the sub. On weekends, tourists who before this week could only see an obstructed view of the vessel in the water tank, now will be able to see it unimpeded.

Heartbreak of the Hunley
Considered the Confederacy's stealth weapon, the Hunley sank the Union warship Housatonic in the winter of 1864, and then disappeared with all eight Confederate sailors inside.

The narrow, top-secret "torpedo fish," built in Mobile, Ala., by Horace Hunley from cast iron and wrought iron with a hand-cranked propeller, arrived in Charleston in 1863 while the city was under siege by Union troops and ships.

In the ensuing few months, it sank twice after sea trial accidents, killing 13 crew members, including Horace Hunley, who was steering.

"There are historical references that the bodies of one crew had to be cut into pieces to remove them from the submarine," Mardikian told Reuters. "There was forensic evidence when they found the bones (between 1993 and 2004 in a Confederate graveyard beneath a football stadium in Charleston) that that was true."

The Confederate Navy hauled the sub up twice, recovered the bodies of the crew, and planned a winter attack.

On the night of Feb. 17, 1864, its captain and seven crew left Sullivan's Island near Charleston, and hand-powered the sub to the Union warship four miles (6.4 kilometers) offshore. From a metal spar on its bow, the Hunley planted a 135-pound (61-kilogram) torpedo in the hull of the ship, which burned and sank.

Some historians say that the submarine showed a mission-accomplished lantern signal from its hatch to troops back on shore before it disappeared.

What scientists have found
Mardikian has the lantern, which archaeologists found in the submarine more than a century later, in his laboratory.

Scientists removed 10 tons of sediment from the submarine, along with the bones, skulls and even brain matter of the crew members, Mardikian told Reuters. They also found fabric and sailors' personal belongings.

Facial reconstructions were made of each member of the third and final crew. They are displayed along with other artifacts in a museum near the submarine. In a nearby vault is a bent gold coin that archaeologists also found in the submarine. It was carried by the sub's captain, Lieutenant George Dixon, for good luck after it stopped a bullet from entering his leg during the Battle of Shiloh in 1862.

"The submarine was a perfect time capsule of everything inside," said Ben Rennison, one of three maritime archaeologists on the project.

The Hunley Project is a partnership among the South Carolina Hunley Commission, Clemson University Restoration Institute, the Naval Historical Center and the nonprofit Friends of the Hunley. The nonprofit group raised and spent $22 million on the project through 2010, a spokeswoman told Reuters.

The next phase of the project will be to remove corrosion on the iron hull and reveal the submarine's skin, preserve it with chemicals, and eventually display it in open air, Mardikian said.

Surprisingly sophisticated
Scientists have found the vessel to be a more sophisticated feat of engineering than historians had thought, said Michael Drews, director of Clemson's Warren Lasch Conservation Center.

"It has the ballast tanks fore and aft, the dive planes were counterbalanced, the propeller was shrouded," Drews said. "It's just got all of the elements that the modern submarines have, updated."

There were previous submarines, Drews said, but the Hunley, designed to sail in the open ocean and built for warfare, was cutting-edge technology at the time.

"Dixon's mission was to attack and sink an enemy ship and he did," Drews said. "At that particular time, the mindset of naval warfare was, basically, big ships sink little ships. Little ships do not sink big ships. And the Hunley turned that upside down."

Continual In-flow Of Hot Money Into Equity Stock Market

Market continues to rally. On the last trading day of the week, market gives back some gain on the pullback. Since beginning of the year, hot money are poured into equity stock market. Investors are turning aggressive on the trading strategy as market valuation is attractive and fixed income yield is low. The tremendous amount of capital on the sideline creates turbulence in the market.

Market participants return after holiday and trading volume increases. In the previous weeks, market is oscillating within a range. Traders are trading accordingly. Many individual and institutional investors that have sold at market bottom are waiting for market collapse in order to replenish the portfolio. However market manipulators have not started panic selling. Some market participants become impatient to wait and start to chase stocks on speculation of earnings announcement.

For the start of a new year, investors incline toward buying stocks despite a pessimistic sentiment. Investors have been hoarding cash in a low interest rate environment. Corporations are benefiting from cheap financing cost and increased labour efficiency due to downsizing as a result of the financial meltdown. The outlook for corporations profit is bright.

Market manipulators appear to stay with the selling strategy. The European sovereign debt downgrade is a threat to the stock market performance. It can be developed into a contagion of fear and causes panic selling.

On the other hand, market have climbed back to the level before the US debt downgrade. There is no obvious profit taking to drag down market. After market close on Friday, the downgrade news of several European nations may cool down the market buying enthusiasm.

There are factors to move market in either direction. In this manipulated market, the flow of capital affects market movement.



Make Money Now Before Euro Phobia Returns
"So we think you start the year off strong, but then as you get towards the 2nd quarter and into summer, I think the problems in Europe come back," he says. "People will realize the issues have not been resolved, the debt problem is still there, the long term structural fix has not been put in place."

There is one exception to this make hay while the sun is shining forecast however, and that is earnings. Despite Alcoa (AA) upstaging itself by announcing capacity cuts two trading days before it is set to lead the Q4 earnings parade after-the-bell today, Banks believes the profit picture will continue to be one source of solidity amidst a swirl of uncertainty.

"We think the earnings story continues to be, in general, positive," Banks says in the attached clip, adding that while all the same old, well-known macro worries will continue to weigh on stocks in the form of low P/E multiples, "earnings will be what it takes to drive markets higher."

Another possible catalyst for higher stocks will be the return of money that has been pulled out of equities. This so-called allocation shift (from bonds to stocks) is little more than money flow, and a zero-sum version at that. That's because every dollar that leaves fixed income and moves back in to stocks is likely to cause as much pain on the departing end as it does profit on the returning end.

In short, he says the super-affluent are still a little nervous and jumpy and in no hurry to rush back in to the market but if and when they do get more clarity and comfort on the big headwind issues, the money will follow.


New Year, Really Big Threats: ‘Fat-Tail’ Risks Rise
The risk of "fat-tail" events is rising, which will make 2012 a particularly challenging year for investors, according to Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian.

Still, two of the fattest fat-tail threats were evident as the first full week of trading in 2012 gets underway:

Europe on the Brink: The crisis in Europe remains acute, as evinced by Monday's 6-month debt offering by Germany, featuring negative yields for the first time ever. The ECB's pledge last month to provide banks with unlimited funding for up to three years is helping the market deal with another rise in Italian debt yields and Unicredit's ongoing implosion. But investors' willingness to pay Germany to hold their money is another clear sign of the existential fears stalking the eurozone.

Iran Rattles Nuclear Saber: Reports Iran has begun enriching uranium at a new underground site sparked a war of words between U.S. and Iranian representatives this weekend. Amid Iranian threats to block the Straits of Hormuz, a critical choke-point for global oil, let's hope the fighting stays limited to heated rhetoric.

At the same time, Kim Jong Un continues to try and consolidate power in North Korea and China's economy has been wobbling lately, two other big risks as 2012 gets underway.


A Boom in Starter Capital for Hedge Funds
There is a seeding frenzy happening in the hedge fund industry.

As the industry returns have been disappointing, big money investors need somewhere to park their big money -- and handing development capital to emerging hedge funds has become a strategy of choice.

The frenzy is driven primarily by two things: first, it is tough to raise money for small managers. Some investors are still craving the safety of size after the 2008 financial crisis. On top of that, with a changing investor base, there is a question of scale.

Second, investors themselves are looking for ways to access the returns of newer managers, particularly given how poorly the broader industry has performed.


Investing in Stocks: Is it Better to be Good or Lucky?
If fact, while John Paulson's reversal of fortune may have been the most widely followed, he was in good company last year, as passive or unmanaged index funds beat 80% of their peers, says Larry Swedroe, author and director of research at Buckingham Asset Management in St. Louis.

"Past performance has NO predictive value whatsoever," Swedroe argues, playing off the well worn SEC disclaimer that ''past performance is no indication of future results."

"The last nine years the HRFX hedge fund index has underperformed every major asset class in the world," he says, while hedge funds clearly took on more risk and delivered highly tax inefficient results along the way.

His bottom line advice: Take a ''postage stamp'' approach instead, and stick to what they have selected rather than chasing after performance that has already been delivered.


Uh-Oh: Yawning Chasm of Death Opens Between Stocks and Bonds
Look out U.S. stock investors. Once again a big gap is opening up between prices for stocks and yields for U.S. Treasurys. Stocks have been moving higher since October. That’s usually a sign of economic optimism. At the same time, yields on bonds have stayed really low. That’s usually a sign of economic pessimism.

And and the crisis in Europe is keeping a steady stream of cash flowing to U.S. Treasurys for safe-keeping, which has helped to keep bond yields low. If anything, it’s the bond market which has looked the most disconnected from the decent U.S. economic data lately.

Still, one would do well to watch the message being telegraphed by the bond markets. Back in late April 2011, we spotlighted another moment when the stock market and bond market were offering very different views on the economic outlook. That time, the bond market turned out to be correct. Stocks topped out on April 29, with the S&P losing about 8% through the end of the year.

We pointed out another divergence between stock market and bond yields back in September. That time too, stocks eventually fell back in line with the story the bond market was telling.


Investors Are Scared But Still Chasing Stocks
It's a trader or fund managers nightmare; fresh off a difficult year that never really let Santa have much of a run, many are already playing catch-up just two weeks into the New Year.

Eubanks is certain there's going to be a reversal of the current trend, but he and other pros are loathe to get out of the market and are simply "chasing performance."

"There's a lot of complacency," he says of the Vix, which is now down 50% from October when it hit a multi-year high. "It's like a 'hopium' trade, everyone is just hoping for better news and better earnings."

The fear now in the market is in "missing the bus," Eubanks says, but admits, "the bus may be getting a little full" as the S&P moves toward and above 1300.


Hedge funds hunker down for Greek debt standoff
Hedge funds are positioning to profit from a plan to slash Greece's towering debt pile as Athens enters final talks that could sway the country's membership of the euro.

The deal asks creditors to voluntarily write down 50 percent of the notional value of their bond holdings. But hedge funds may opt out, hoping that Athens will let them get away with it to save itself political embarassment.

"I think we'll hold out. People are so slow in Europe and by the time they've got everything in place logistically this might be the one window where investors might be paid back in full," said one hedge fund manager who owns Greek bonds.

The stakes for Greece are high. Without the deal, the international lenders will not bail Athens out a second time, which means it will likely default around March 20, when a 14.5 billion euro bond falls due.

But hoping that Greece will pay out after all looks increasingly like a dangerous strategy. According to three senior euro zone sources on Thursday, the country is likely to force all creditors into the deal.

Many funds have followed a more traditional strategy of buying the Greek bonds at distressed prices from banks keen to get the toxic paper off their books.

This means that these funds might sign up to the deal, if the terms on offer are better than the price they paid for their bonds. Others might hold out, hoping enough creditors will do the same and enabling them to exact a better payout from Greece.

Funds who have bought Greek debt in the last few months are likely to have paid anywhere between 20 and 45 cents on the euro, depending on the maturity.

By signing up to the deal, which is for a 50 percent haircut, they would still make a profit.


ECB sees "substantial" effect from cheap money
The European Central Bank's flood of cheap three-year money is helping the euro zone's banking system substantially and supporting confidence in the bloc's economy which is showing some signs of stabilization, its president said on Thursday.

To help fight the euro zone debt crisis, the ECB provided banks with nearly half a trillion euros of three-year money in December, called LTRO, and will make a similar offer in February.

"The more time passes ... the more we see signs it has been an effective policy measure," Draghi said. "This decision has prevented a credit contraction that would have been ... much, much more serious."

Banks remain very reluctant to lend to each other, so the ECB's action has helped keep the system working although there is less evidence that the money is making its way into the real economy.


The State of American Business? Not Bad
On Thursday, Thomas Donohue, chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce delivered his State of American Business address. The Chamber is the chief Washington, D.C.-based lobby for business, representing the interests of large and small. (Some prominent members, like Apple and utility Exelon have left the Chamber in recent years over clashes on its policies towards climate change).

Donohue talks a good deal about how the U.S. economy might perform in 2012 and how that performance could be improved. But the state of American business and the state of the economy, at least as the typical American experiences it, may be two different things. Since the financial crisis, business has bounced back much more rapidly than the consumer and than the economy at large. In the three years since the meltdown of 2008, U.S. companies have returned to impressive profits, refinanced debt at low rates, cut costs and reaped efficiencies in impressive fashion, stormed into global markets. They're now collectively sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash; the stock market has made up most of the vast losses it suffered. Labor unions have never been weaker, and with large amounts of slack in the labor market, management has been beating the living daylights out of its employees.

It's a great time to own a company. But it's not such a great time to work for one.

Because companies increasingly operate on a global scale, and gain an ever-larger percentage of their revenues from consumers and businesses outside the U.S., this dichotomy simply doesn't matter to today's executives as much as it might have ten years ago, twenty years ago, or thirty years ago. Thanks to productivity, smart focus on efficiency, and globalization, U.S companies can thrive even as consumers and workers in their home market suffer.

The state of American business may be pretty good. But the great divergence between the one percent and the 99 percent, between company owners and workers, between global players and local ones, is increasingly coming into focus. And as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney churns steadily toward the Republican nomination, this is a theme that is likely to be discussed with greater frequency.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

D&G女員工唔識死 facebook喪鬧港人係腦殘 被網友起底

因為D&G不准港人在門外拍攝而引起港人極度不滿,周日齊到店外要求道歉,雖然幾千人聚集於門外,令不少商店、報攤生意都受到影響,但為了捍衛我們港人應有的權利和自由,報攤老闆接受傳媒訪問時,都識得話:「雖然我係揾少咗一半,但我係香港人,我都會撐佢哋咁做。」

但就有疑似是姓張的D&G女員工對這此行動深感不滿,更於facebook上大罵港人是腦殘、無知、羊群心理,並表示D&G的上下員工好齊心,大家會加油對抗呢班腦殘港人咁話喎!這名疑似是D&G女員工的留言引起網友們的不滿,網友即時於她的facebook上怒轟她,嚇得她連facebook都刪除埋!

意大利名牌Dolce & Gabbana禁止港人拍攝事件愈演愈烈。繼周日千人響應網上號召,集結到事發廣東道分店示威拍照後,網上流傳D&G一名女職員在其社交網站指斥 示威者「無知羊群心態」及「腦殘」圖片,有網民將她大起底,將其全名、泳衣性感照、住處等資料全部公開,有關資料在各大討論區轉貼不停。

輯錄自東周刊437期 Book B











中文名:張曉晴
英文名:charlian
在網路上的化名:charchar
出生地:香港
家鄉: 羅定
目前居住地: 何文田
婚姻狀況:已婚

Friday, January 6, 2012

Investors Slowly Returning To Equity Stock Market

Equity stock market begins the year with gain amid improving economic data. After the holiday, market participants are returning from vacation. A surge of buying starts the trading of this year. Although market participants see a jump in wealth, there is not much desire to take profit because the portfolio is thin on equity stock holding. On the other hand, investors are desperately looking for investment opportunities that will provide better return in the coming year.

Market manipulators have been very successful in the last year, especially in the timely unloading of equity stocks from market peak and shorting the market at the US debt downgrade. Panic selling from market participants allow market manipulators to cover the short positions and also to make profit from derivatives.

The selling strategy works less well as market falls to low level and investors have trimmed the portfolio significantly on market fear. Market bottom should have occurred in the last quarter of last year. Many market participants realize that they have sold at market bottom and cannot buy back cheaper on anticipation of a "double dip" in market.

The European sovereign debt crisis still looms large. But market participants learn not to sell at the bottom. Instead, investors are holding large amount of cash or equivalent and waiting for an entry point to buy cheap stocks. Although market participants are worry about market collapse anytime, stock holding is already thin and panic selling is unlikely.

Market manipulators have not triggered sell-off in the first week. However, broad market have recovered much of the loss after the collapse since US debt downgrade. If market manipulators maintain the sell strategy, sell-off may be triggered anytime soon. Market appears to have strong resistance to advance further due to the worry. However, as some market participants have more confidence on macro economic condition, there is less profit taking activities to drag down market on this week's rally.

Market will remain turbulent on speculation from market participants and market manipulators. Hot money around the globe is growing and some are seeking opportunities in the financial market. The low interest rate policy have not created asset price inflation or bubble yet due to weak confidence in the stock and real estate market. However, as the world economy exhibits growth, the enormous amount of hot money will boost asset price.



BlackRock's Bob Doll sees hopeful signs in 2012
On the one hand, economic news in the U.S. has been getting steadily better. This holiday shopping season is shaping up to be the best since the Great Recession; the housing market is showing signs of life and even the job market is on the mend.

Then, there's Europe. The region's leaders have failed again to convince investors that they will be able to prevent a breakup of their 17-nation currency union. Greece could still default on its debt, causing huge losses for banks in France and elsewhere that hold Greek bonds. Investors fear that could cause a financial panic to spread around the world, like what happened in 2008 after the U.S. brokerage Lehman Brothers collapsed.

In the U.S., too, there are plenty reasons for investors to be cautious. Many companies are still wary of hiring, and banks are afraid to turn on the lending spigots.

Who better to guide investors during these uncertain times than Bob Doll, who helps oversee $3.6 trillion in assets as chief investment officer at the world's biggest money manager, BlackRock.

Q: With Europe looming large going into the New Year, what's the outlook for 2012?

A: The probability of a solution to Europe's issues is low. Nobody even knows what it will be. Or what a solution looks like.

The European authorities' attitude to dealing with their problem is to close their eyes, hold their noses and hope it might go away. Stumbling along is the most likely path forward.

The alternative is more troublesome. If there's immense pressure on politicians, there can be an accident that takes the form of a bankruptcy, or nationalizing some banks, the collapse of the euro, or that a country exits the European Union. Nobody even knows how that can potentially take place.

Muddling through is the best option. Europe can then face a mild recession and economic contagions are limited. But the darker scenario could lead to a financial contagion which will be drag the global economy down.


Investors Should Expect to See Continued Market Volatility and Modest Returns in 2012, According to BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research’s Year Ahead Outlook
Investors should expect another turbulent year of market volatility during 2012 from a mix of heightened policy risk, political uncertainty, low growth and low interest rates, all of which will translate into modest investment returns, according to BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research’s 2012 Year Ahead Outlook, released today.

Against a backdrop of a looming recession in Europe, a still-struggling U.S. economy, high oil prices and slower growth in China, BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research’s macro analysts forecast global economic growth of approximately 3.5 percent during 2012. The team anticipates that credit and commodities will outperform equities in the first half of 2012 and recommends that investors overweight corporate and emerging market bonds.

Michael Hartnett, chief Global Equity Strategist and chairman of the BofA Merrill Lynch Research Investment Committee (RIC), added, “The very real risk of policy mistakes causing a recession in the U.S. or a hard landing in China means that investors should conservatively allocate assets in 2012. Despite our short-term caution, however, we anticipate that global equities could rally by 10 percent next year from current levels, aided by liquidity, modest earnings growth and cheap valuations. In a bullish scenario, 2012 could represent the beginning of the end of the great bear market in equities.”

Yield and income will remain paramount. The year 2012 will likely be another environment of low rates and scarce yield, and investors will continue to seek assets that provide attractive yields. U.S. Credit Strategist Hans Mikkelsen is bullish on corporate credit and expects credit spreads to tighten significantly by the end of 2012. The credit strategy team forecasts total returns of 4.8 percent and 13.9 percent from U.S. investment-grade and high-yield bonds, respectively.

Modest upside for equities. Equities should offer roughly 10 percent upside in 2012. Deleveraging and slower earnings growth are expected to limit the upside, while quantitative easing, valuation and positioning limit the downside. The Global Equities team recommends focusing on sectors that provide high growth, high quality and high yields. The equity strategy teams’ 2012 year-end targets are 330 for MSCI All Country World Index and 1,350 for the S&P 500.

Large-cap equities will outperform small-cap equities. Head of U.S. Small-Cap Strategy Steven DeSanctis expects large caps to continue to outperform small caps in 2012 as earnings growth and valuations are better for larger companies. Heightened volatility and macro uncertainty offset the clean balance sheets and potential for M&A within small caps.


All That Market Volatility for This?
U.S. stock investors went to the brink and back in 2011, and all they got were these middling returns: a virtually flat finish on the Standard & Poor's 500 and a 5.5% gain on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

U.S. companies churned out record profits, and price-to-earnings ratios of stocks dropped to their lowest levels in recent memory. But that mattered little to investors. Instead, a torrent of headlines from Europe, Asia, the Mideast and the U.S. all but drowned out the stock market's positive fundamentals. Investors fixated on geopolitical strife in the oil-producing Mideast; Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis; a debt crisis in Europe; and legislative gridlock in the U.S.

Amid the uncertainty, investors flocked to the safest corners of the stock markets. Dividend-paying companies rocketed higher. Blue-chip U.S. multinationals outpaced smaller companies, helping the Dow beat the Russell 2000 index of riskier small-capitalization stocks by its biggest margin in 13 years.

With pessimism so rife on Wall Street, some investors say U.S. stocks may be geared for strong gains in 2012.

These investors argue that 2011's late-year pickup in U.S. economic indicators will continue throughout the new year, powering corporate revenues and reigniting a return to stocks in the cyclical sectors that have lagged behind for the past 12 months: industrial, materials and energy stocks.

"There is so much bearishness priced into the market that, barring a systemic collapse, it's difficult to see how we can't get that positive surprise," said Andreas Utermann, the London-based global chief investment officer for money manager RCM, a subsidiary of Allianz Global Investors. He says the U.S. is the only part of the world that he is "substantially" bullish on in 2012.

And, after a year in which investors piled into Treasurys, many investors see momentum shifting back toward stocks.

"The two things that give me encouragement about the bigger stock-market picture are the very negative sentiment and the incredible financial health of the corporate sector," he added.


Schwab’s Sonders: Investors Should Be Optimistic About 2012
2011 was a difficult year for countless retail investors, money managers, hedge funds and just about everyone trading in the global markets. The S&P 500 Index returned a paltry 2.1% (counting dividends) and market volatility and economic uncertainty drove investors into U.S. Treasuries despite record low yields.

The new trading year does not mean last year's problems have been excised from investors' minds, and for some strategists, like Charles Schwab's Liz Ann Sonders, 2012 presents a lot more opportunities for investors. She tells The Daily Ticker's Daniel Gross that the "rampant volatility" that marked 2011 was "unique" and predicts the wild swings that shook the S&P and Dow in 2011 will ease this year, giving spooked investors more confidence to place their cash in equities, specifically cyclically-sensitive sectors. Dividend plays may continue to provide comfort and peace of mind to some investors, but as the U.S. economy improves (which Sonders believes it will), the risk on/risk off trading environment will fade and investors will move money out of fixed income.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

築地壽司店bid贏鄭威濤 570萬天價奪「日本一」


今年「日本一」成交價再破紀錄,由東京築地壽司店以570萬天價奪得。

日本最大的魚市場東京築地市場今天開市,按照傳統舉行新春拍賣。來自青森縣大間港的巨型野生藍鰭吞拿魚「日本一」,以破紀錄的5649萬日圓(約570萬港元)成交,由築地的壽司連鎖店投得。

日本電視台報道,這一尾來自青森縣大間港重達269公斤的藍鰭吞拿魚,比去年北海道藍鰭吞拿魚創紀錄的3249萬日圓(約328萬港元)多出2400萬日圓(約242萬港元)。原本這幾年中國內地等國外的壽司店紛紛加入築地新春藍鰭吞拿魚競投,香港的壽司店曾連續3年得標,不過今年可能是受到311地震影響,今年藍鰭吞拿魚競標並沒落入外國壽司店手中,而由本店位於築地的壽司連鎖店「壽司三昧」投得。

壽司三昧社長木村清中標後表示:「還是希望好吃的藍鰭吞拿魚能讓日本國民享用,不要被外國人投走,會用一般的價格在店裏提供給客人」。

今日是築地魚市場日本新年後首日營業,按傳統舉行「初競」即首次拍賣,板長及板前壽司董事總經理鄭威濤第5年參與,競投全場最大野生藍鰭吞拿魚。和之味發言人稱集團今次沒參與,競投的只是日本板前,鄭以該店股東身份出席。鄭威濤以往會出價競投其他野生藍鰭吞拿,並運返港出售。

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

【蘋果動新聞】o靚模 Tess 疑變扑性女

早排 Boxing Day ,網上瘋傳一條叫「香港真人扑性 Day 」 嘅 短片,片中見一對男女 喺 天后一個公園涉嫌打真軍。近日蕭若元向雜誌證實片中女主角「扑性女」係 23 歲  模、香港寬頻優質生活台主持朱韻蓓( Tess ),令此女火速成名。

據網上流傳 嘅 短片同相顯示,呢對慾火男女 嘅 戰場除 咗 公園仲有卡拉 OK 走廊,佢 哋 全程被偷拍都唔知,令人質疑當中真偽。再睇 啲 相,扑性女雖動作誇張,但三點不露,下體仲打埋格仔,好受保護,反而男仔 嘅 下體就冇打格。扑性女 嘅 外貌同 Tess 好似,於是佢就被人話係扑性女。有指 Tess 噚日仲同雜誌影偷拍相,睇 嚟 有人好想借勢上位。

Monday, January 2, 2012

蕭若元爆扑性女真身 巨乳靚模肉照曝光

12月26日有網民上載名為「香港真人扑性Day 」短片,片中一對慾火男女公然在公園內肉搏野戰,有網民指「扑性女」為23歲奀模兼香港寬頻優質生活台主持朱韻蓓(Tess),聲稱知女事主身份的蕭若元向本刊親證扑性女正是Tess。更詳盡內容,請看第734期《東方新地》