Monday, April 30, 2012

【The Loneliest Animals】PBS Nature Documentary (YouTube)

Around the globe, unique and fascinating species face extinction from hunting and habitat destruction, which affects vulnerable animals in every kind of environment. Biologists, conservationists, wildlife preservation centers and zoological parks work to breed and shelter rare and critically endangered animals when and where they can, but many species are down to the last few individuals and face an increasingly uncertain future. For some, however, the future is all too clear. Lonesome George, a Pinta Island tortoise from the Galapagos Islands, is the very last of his kind. For centuries, until they were believed to be extinct, his species kept sailors and pirates well-fed on the high seas. George alone survived. But when George dies, millions of years of evolution will come to an end. Other species, like Spix's macaws, lemurs, Iberian lynxes, rhinos, black-footed ferrets and Chinese rafetus turtles, were well on their way to joining George as the loneliest animals in the world until help arrived, providing hope for a better outcome.

Each species in trouble presents unique challenges, including inbreeding and lack of genetic diversity, sibling rivalry on an extreme scale, and individuals who may never have seen another of their kind. There are some successes with captive breeding. For example, the black-footed ferret, once thought to be entirely extinct, is now being reintroduced to its natural home on the American plains after an incredible intervention by scientists. But rebounding in artificial settings doesn't put endangered animals in the clear -- populations may grow, but without successful action to preserve and maintain their wild habitats, they may be confined to laboratories and sanctuaries forever.

The Loneliest Animals follows the plight of these incredible, charismatic creatures and the struggles of the dedicated conservationists who fight for them.
 
【The Loneliest Animals】PBS Nature Documentary (YouTube)

【Super Smart Animals】BBC Documentary (YouTube)

For centuries, the idea of intelligent animals struck most people as ridiculous. But not any more - the latest science reveals that animals are a lot smarter than we thought.
From skateboarding dogs to chimp maths geniuses, Liz Bonnin embarks on a worldwide search for the planet's most intelligent animals, devising some ingenious IQ puzzles and even putting herself to the test to find out.

Liz gets creative with dolphins, shares a eureka moment with orangutans and defends the reputation of the human race when she goes head to head with a chimp genius in a test of maths and memory. There is an octopus escapologist, John Humphrys puts a goldfish through its paces on Mastermind, and Tillman the skateboarding dog wows crowds in Los Angeles.

Prepare to be amazed, entertained and even outwitted by the world's Super Smart Animals.
 
【Super Smart Animals】BBC Documentary (YouTube) Part 1


【Super Smart Animals】BBC Documentary (YouTube) Part 2

Corporate Earning Rises But Market Oscillates

Market oscillates on corporate earnings. In general, corporation profitability rises on consumer demand and tight control in profit margin. The economic condition provides a stable environment for business operation. However, there is not enough investor confidence to push market higher. On the other hand, market participants are very cautious at current valuation when broad market index is close to historic peak.

After the previous week's turbulence, market calms down in this week. Many market participants are looking for a sizable pullback for bargain purchase. But investors are not willing to dumb shares. Therefore even though traders are trying to drag down market, any drop in market is quickly bought up by hungry investors despite very limited trading volume.

As market movement remains range bounded, market participants keep the attitude to wait. But since the majority of market participants are expecting for a strong pullback, there is lack of sellers to create panic selling. Market manipulators have not dumped stocks in large quantity for long time since beginning of year. Some investors lose the patience to wait for market drop and move the capital away from equity stock market to other asset class.

Hot money remains a dominant driving force in the financial market. With the symptom of a stable economy, traders hesitate to short sell the market. Trickle buying from cash rich investors have already pushed market near historical top. It appears that market cannot attract either market manipulators to sell down or value investors to buy up.

A strong earnings season cannot boost the market. Therefore market participants should be careful that market manipulators may exploit bad news such as European soverign debt to create market panic. Investors confidence is relatively low. Buyers are very selective and cautious. As market is buoyed at high level, investors with higher exposure in equity stocks may run in a herd to take profit if there is strong selling from traders and market manipulators.


Inventions go on display at Geneva fair
Officials said 789 exhibitors from 46 countries and 60,000 visitors are expected at the fair, which runs until April 22. "We can hardly believe this given the cost of the Swiss franc and the economic situation throughout the world," said the fair's president, Jean-Luc Vincent.

An international flavor and the draw of the unexpected appealed to visitors.

Asteroid Mining: New Company Plans to Dig Off-Earth
According to reports, a company called Planetary Resources is spearheading what's thought be an effort centered around mining near-Earth asteroids for various human-friendly materials. The story is gaining considerable traction on the web, and media outlets far and wide are running with it.


For many of us, logical might not be the first thing that comes to mind -- this isn't digging up diamonds or gold or drilling for oil in ways we can relate to pretty easily. But it is a project that reportedly has attracted the interest of rather serious brain power and financial means. Here's some of who is said to be involved: Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt; Ross Perot Jr.; former Microsoft software architect Charles Simonyi; and movie director turned submarine adventurer James Cameron. The chief engineer is a former manager at NASA's well-known Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


A report in The New York Times quoted Anderson as saying the "collective net worth" of Planetary Resources' investors is around $50 billion, "and they know what they're getting into."


Billions are one thing, but even bigger numbers are being discussed. Planetary Resources believes its work will have the ability to "add trillions of dollars to the global GDP," according to a Wall Street Journal article. Trillions. For reference, the U.S. economy is worth, in total, about $14 trillion to $15 trillion right now.

Housing Declared Bottoming in U.S.
The U.S. housing market is showing more signs of stabilization as price declines ease and home demand improves, spurring several economists to call a bottom to the worst real estate collapse since the 1930s.

Home values in more than half of major U.S. markets will probably reach a bottom by the end of the year, according to Seattle-based Zillow Inc. Signs that the market is close to a trough include improving home sales and rising prices in some areas, said Chief Economist Stan Humphries. The market, which has been bolstered by investors, second-home buyers, and retirees, will need more traditional first-time and trade-up buyers to return for a rebound, he said.

Dumb money still flocks to emerging markets
Sometimes it takes investors a while to figure out that things have changed — and then it takes even longer for them to alter their behavior accordingly.


Until the 2008-2009 crash, emerging markets were among the world’s top performers. These countries survived the Asian financial crisis and their economies boomed in the 2000s. China became a great economic power, Russia surged on higher oil prices, India was awakening from a long socialist sleep and Brazil catapulted to the top of Latin America’s economic pecking order.


So, it would surprise many investors to learn that the much-maligned U.S. stock market has outperformed the MSCI BRIC and emerging-markets indexes for the last three years.


In fact, U.S. mutual fund investors pulled an astonishing $464.9 billion out of mutual funds focusing on U.S. equities from 2007 to 2011, according to the Investment Company Institute. They stashed almost $800 billion into bond funds during that period, of course, but they also poured $73 billion into emerging-market equity funds.


Even in the first two months of 2012, U.S. investors yanked $5.3 billion out of U.S. equity funds and funneled $5.2 billion into emerging-market stock funds.


So, while U.S. stocks were quietly recovering and outperforming, investors dumped them for an asset class that has lagged the entire time.

A farewell to U.S. factories
Manufacturing employment as a fraction of total employment has been declining for the past half century in the United States and the great majority of other developed countries. A 1968 book about developments in the American economy by Victor Fuchs was already entitled “The Service Economy.”


Although the absolute number of jobs in American manufacturing was rather constant at about 17 million from 1969 to 2002, manufacturing’s share of jobs continued to decline from about 28% in 1962 to only 9% in 2011.


Big productivity gains in manufacturing are also a major cause behind the decrease in manufacturing employment in the United States. Higher productivity lowered prices of manufactured goods relative to prices of services. Yet, employment in manufacturing fell because the lower manufacturing prices did not stimulate a large enough increase in the demand for manufactured goods to offset the productivity increases of the manufacturing work force.


A second obvious force reducing jobs in American manufacturing has been the growth in China’s economy and its exports of a large variety of cheap manufactured goods (which are a great boon to American and other consumers).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

隔牆有耳:《早朝天下》「皇上」被炒魷 李八方

網台主持人黃洋達疑被蕭若元炒魷。資料圖片持

喺「人民力量」上位甚快嘅黃洋達「皇上」,喺香港人網主網台節目《早朝天下》一段日子,噚日突然「駕崩」。「皇上」唔係真係乘鶴西去,只係唔再主持節目,好多網民關心「皇上」去向。據佢講,由於佢有判刑在身,若然繼續上訴唔入獄,可能影響今年係咪可以參選立法會,因此家陣考慮入冊完成刑期了事,唔做節目係因為隨時入監。不過有另一說法「皇上」乃係得罪咗蕭若元,蕭生認為有人自以為羽翼已豐,有時做嘢自把自為,所以唔想再見到呢個人咁話。有個自稱知情人士更講到繪影繪聲,「蕭生唔鍾意有人食碗面,反碗底喎」。

刊於2012年04月27日 蘋果日報

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Burger King vows cage-free chicken and pork

By TRACIE CONE
Associated Press
A patron leaves a Burger King restaurant in Miami. The fast-food restaurateur has vowed it will go totally cage free on chicken and pork by 2017.

The movement by U.S. food corporations toward more humane treatment of animals experienced a whopper of a shift Wednesday when Burger King announced that all of its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017.

The decision by the world's second-largest fast-food restaurant raises the bar for other companies seeking to appeal to the rising consumer demand for more humanely produced fare.

"So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions," said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, which has been pushing Burger King and other corporations to consider animal welfare in purchasing policies. "Numerically this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products.

" The decision by Burger King, which uses hundreds of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork annually, could represent a game-change in the egg and pork supply business as a huge new market has opened up for humanely raised food animals. Already 9 percent of the company's eggs and 20 percent of its pork are cage-free.

The Miami-based company steadily has been increasing its use of cage-free eggs and pork as the industry has become better able to meet demand, said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer. He said the decision is part of the company's social responsibility policy.

"We believe this decision will allow us to leverage our purchasing power to ensure the appropriate and proper treatment of animals by our vendors and suppliers," he said.

Earlier this year, McDonalds and Wendy's announced that they have asked their pork suppliers to outline their plans for elimination of gestation crates without setting a timetable.

The issue of the treatment of pigs raised for pork has recently developed. This year, Smithfield Farms and Hormel committed to ending the use of gestation crates by 2017.

"This is an issue that just four to five months ago was not on the food industry's radar," said Paul Shapiro, vice president for farm animal protection at HSUS. "Now it's firmly cemented into the mainstream in a way that I think few people would have imagined.

Last month, the pork industry's trade magazine editorialized for an end to the practice saying "on the issue of gestation-sow stalls, at least, it's increasingly apparent that you will lose the battle."

HSUS has been pushing for more than a decade for large-scale purchasers of animal products to ensure that they are raised humanely. The organization owns stock in 52 companies that use animal products so that it can attend shareholder meetings and submit proposals for improved animal welfare policy.

Undercover operations

It also has used undercover operations to show the conditions some food animals endure.

Conventionally raised eggs come from hens confined in battery cages that give them roughly the same footprint as an 8½ by 11 sheet of paper. Most pork comes from sows that are confined during their four-month pregnancies in narrow crates.

"For every cage-free egg or piece of bacon from a gestation-free pork system that Burger King sells, animals have been spared lifelong confinement in a cage so small they can barely even move," said Matthew Prescott, the HSUS food policy director.

In 2007 Burger King became the first major fast-food restaurant chain to incorporate animal welfare issues into its purchasing policies when it began sourcing at least some of its pork and eggs from cage-free suppliers. The hens are still housed in a barn, but they have room to roam and perches and nesting boxes.

While some companies have been responding to consumer demand by incorporating some percentages of cage-free eggs into their purchase orders, the landslide passage by voters in 2008 of California's Proposition 2, which will ban chicken cages and gestation crates by 2015, caused buyers and suppliers nationwide to take notice.

Since then studies have shown that shoppers are willing to pay more for products they believe are produced to higher animal protection standards. Since then Wal-Mart and Costco have transitioned their private-label eggs to 100 percent cage-free. Unilever, which uses 350 million eggs a year in its Hellmann's mayonnaise brand, is switching to 100 percent cage-free, and others such as Sonic, Subway, Ruby Tuesday, Kraft Food and ConAgra Foods are incorporating some percentage of cage-free eggs in their products.

Egg and pork producers have argued that easing confinement standards for animals raises production costs and makes those who adjust their practices less competitive. That prompted the egg industry's largest trade association, the United Egg Producers, to team with HSUS in seeking federal legislation this year that would double the size of the cages in which 90 percent of the nation's 280 million laying hens are confined.

Industry officials who have argued against cage-free eggs say hens are safer and eggs are less likely to be diseased in a cage system of hen housing.

"Our attitude is our producers believe in consumer choice and if that's what their consumers want to buy, they'll produce cage-free eggs for the marketplace provided the customer is willing to pay the additional cost," said Gene Gregory, president of the United Egg Producers.

Some studies have shown that raising hens cage-free adds 1-cent to the cost of each egg. It's unclear how much more it will cost to raise pork outside of gestation cages.

「十級自由PHONE」大班 陳景輝 辯論 phone-in 事件 (Audio)

摘錄自數碼大家台 2012-04-23 十級自由PHONE
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

大班phone-in 事件(續) (Audio)

摘錄自香港人網 2012-04-24 早朝天下
注意: 內容含有粗言穢語或令人反感,敬請留意。
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video

Monday, April 23, 2012

盛女愛作戰之光明頂淪陷/大班phone-in 事件 (Audio)

摘錄自香港人網 2012-04-23 早朝天下 / DBC 數碼大晒台 2012-04-20 80後今晚起義
注意: 早朝天下內容含有粗言穢語或令人反感,敬請留意。
video



Double Your Internet Speed for Free (YouTube Video)

Watch the video for fun only, it won't work.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

招募釣魚島辦事處兼職主任 傳媒紛報導 民眾爭報名

《成報》鑑於對日本右翼悍將東京都知事石原慎太郎口出狂言,欲由東京出資1.4億港元買下釣魚島的無恥行為表示極大憤慨,並決定以實際行動作出反擊,擬設立釣魚島辦事處,面向全球華人招募1000名辦事處兼職主任。消息公開後,得到全球華人尤其是內地與香港各界的熱烈反響,紛紛表示支持,希望加入成為辦事處的一員。其中一位何新生先生,更付來傳真,表示他一家三口都想申請成為釣魚島辦事處兼職主任。中新社、鳳凰衛視等傳媒亦大幅報導相關新聞,並予以肯定。

內地更有媒體將《成報》此舉稱為「香港媒體保釣新招」,本港商台特別電話訪問《成報》總編輯魏繼光,了解此項別具意義活動的詳情。

我們認為,保衛國家主權、捍衛國家領土完整是每一個中國公民義不容辭的責任,日本右翼分子的猖狂挑釁令人憤慨,認為守土有責而又志願成為《成報》釣魚島辦事處兼職主任的各界人士,可繼續通過《成報》專設的通訊郵箱singpaodyd@126.com申請,《成報》接納後將頒發聘書為證。

今天,我們將再公佈一批已經成為《成報》釣魚島辦事處的兼職主任,以後,仍會定期公佈最新名單。
另外,為配合設立釣魚島辦事處,以及喚起更多華人對保釣的重視,《成報》將舉辦「我與釣魚島」徵文,歡迎各界朋友踴躍投稿(稿件可寄上述通訊郵箱),暢所欲言,說出自己的保釣心聲。

【插曲】鄭秀文 (MV電視版)

【人肉叉燒包II之天誅地滅】(YouTube)只限18歲以上人士觀看

Friday, April 20, 2012

涉誘童亂花錢 蘋果遭索償 免費apps暗藏收費陷阱

【明報專訊】蘋果iPhone及iPad擁有不少免費遊戲apps供下載,令大小朋友為之瘋狂,不過美國一批家長指摘蘋果未有做好帳戶保安把關的責任,引誘孩子胡亂下載「免費遊戲」中的收費道具,導致家長要負擔昂貴帳單,正入稟要求蘋果賠償。若這群父母勝訴,有可能引來全球其他地方人士效法。 倘勝訴或引發全球效法 用戶下載各種apps到iPhone及iPad前,都要註冊蘋果帳戶,填上信用卡資料,當用戶下載收費apps時,只需輸入帳戶密碼,便會自動由信用卡戶口結帳,毋須確認付費。入稟索償的家長批評蘋果帳戶保安設定不嚴,讓兒童有機會在未得家長同意下,在免費遊戲apps內胡亂購物,例如深受歡迎的免費遊戲「藍精靈村」雖是免費,但高級道具售價卻高達99.99美元(約780港元)。 英童4天花1.6萬 蘋果退款 不少「免費遊戲」亦以類似手法掙錢。去年12月,英國一名7歲男童玩母親下載的免費動物園遊戲,結果4天內竟花費達1.6萬港元購買遊戲內的動物,惹來家長投訴,蘋果終同意退款。 蘋果早前已改變iPhone的保安設定,例如在apps內購物時需額外輸入密碼,或可選擇關閉apps內購物功能,以免兒童無意中付費,望獲撤銷訴訟。不過家長指出,這些所謂免費遊戲apps特意設計得令人容易上癮,鼓吹兒童花錢購買大量道具追求更高級數,家長可能並不完全了解遊戲所需費用,決意提告。

Liquidity Buoys Equity Stock Market

Equity stock market oscillates on hot money speculation. Liquidity easily moves market in either direction as market participants run in a herd with pile of cash. When market retreats, there are plenty of money waiting to pick up shares on bargain. Market participants are no longer fear of panic selling and market manipulators cannot exploit panic selling strategy. However, their holding in commodities still contributes to profit in this year despite lack of opportunity to profit from panic selling. Individual investors are cautiously replenishing the already thin portfolio which has been trimmed down on panic selling last year. As personal income grows, stock buying from household will continue to rise and give support to the market which have appreciated significantly since bottoming last year. Institutional investors are also relieved of redemption pressure from panic clients. Also, there is inflow of capital from investors looking for better return than money market. Although trading volume remains at low level, cash on the sideline is tremendous. But fear of market panic still looms large in investors mind. On the other hand, investors are not going to dump shares when market falls. The majority of households have recovered significant portion of the wealth since the financial meltdown. The richest people even surpass the peak in 2007/2008. However, investors exposure in equity stock remains constrained. But interest in acquiring stocks is increasing because the low interest rate environment creates speculation in wealth assets. Market speculation constitutes large portion of daily trading activities. Market manipulators and traders are manipulating the market to their advantage. Institutional and individual investors are finding opportunities in this turbulent market. Long term investors have realized part of the profit and is waiting for another opportunity to make long term investment. Capital liquidity is plentiful but selective. As business continues as usual, wealth accumulated from economic activities will be allocated among diverse kind of assets including equity stocks and real estates despite current bias in fixed income and money market.
Bullion's Bulls Are Pulling Back Gold has long sparked similar debates, not least because it is difficult to value and generates no income. Lately, the metal has been used as a haven against currencies being debased by stimulus, and by those predicting the monetary injections will lead to inflation down the road. In recent years, investors have delivered, buying coins and bars and pumping billions of dollars into funds that hold physical gold. Investors comprised 35% of overall gold demand in 2011, compared with an average of 31% from 2006 to 2010, according to the World Gold Council, which is affiliated with the largest such fund, SPDR Gold Shares. But attitudes are shifting as investors conclude that the world may see years of slow growth but "not a collapse," said Jeffrey Christian, managing director at CPM Group, who advises gold investors. Mr. Klapwijk said that while gold could top $1,900 this year, the pace of gains will slow. "Downside risks, perhaps particularly in the short term, are quite significant," he said. Gold Heading to $700: Author Sees “Impending Collapse” For the past decade, gold has been an incredible investment, rising from under $300 per ounce to as high as $1,900 per ounce before retreating to around $1,650 in recent trading. But all good things must come to an end and Yoni Jacobs, chief investment strategist at Chart Prophet, believes gold's best days are behind it. While tipping his hat to the bullish arguments and sympathetic to reasons why people own gold, Jacobs says the metal's inability to rally despite Europe's ongoing crisis and renewed tensions in the Middle East are negative signs. "The froth is coming off," he says. Finally, Jacobs cites "over-speculation" in gold, its "parabolic increase" in recent years, the "mass publicity" the metal has received, and the extreme emotions of its advocates as signs of it being in bubble territory. Jacobs is clearly out on a limb on this prediction and there's a good chance he'll be proven wrong. But hedging your positions and managing downside risks is always a good idea, especially with an investment that's appreciated as much as gold. Spanish debt heading toward crisis levels Spain's debt yields broke above 6 percent on Monday as investors worried about its budget, knocking the euro and sending safe-haven German bonds to a record last set at the height of the euro zone crisis. Contagion fears also pushed Italian 10-year bonds higher. "The market in general is feeling a bit risk-averse and we can see commodities weaker across the board," said Nick Trevethan, senior commodity strategist at ANZ in Singapore. For bond investors, holding tight is best option Investors looking to the bond market to diversify are struggling against unusually low interest rates — and that’s tempting some to take on more risk than they should. Junk bonds may give a better yield but don’t offer much diversification from stocks, while with longer-term bonds, higher yields come with the risk of rising rates triggering losses. And in plain old short-term Treasury notes or T-bills, you may fall behind inflation. “It forces the individual investor, all the way up to institutional and pensions and all the market participants, to do dumb things like have to seek out risk that they might not have wanted to seek out,” he said. “The biggest problem that I see is that while I don’t think we’re at a critical juncture now we have this huge amount of money that’s going into the junk-bond markets,” said Munson, who is also the author of “Rigged Money: Beating Wall Street at its Own Game.” With risk on every front, some bondholders may be tempted to take profits on holdings that have done fairly well but haven’t matured yet. Panelists suggested holding the bonds if there doesn’t appear to be anything better to invest the money in. “Why do you want to sell it?” Munson asked. “The real issue is if you were to sell it, what would you buy?” World's Richest Worth $1 Trillion on Billionaires Index The 40 richest individuals on Earth lost a combined $6.2 billion yesterday as stocks dropped amid disappointing U.S. earnings, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the wealthiest people.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

七月一日上午加一秒閏秒

今 年 七 月 一 日 , 我 們 會 多 了 一 秒 使 用 , 為 甚 麼 會 這 樣 呢 ?
加 多 一 秒 , 是 否 因 為 七 月 一 日 特 區 政 府 換 屆 呢 ? 其 實 兩 者 沒 有 關 係 。 天 文 台 指 , 因 為 地 球 的 自 轉 速 度 不 平 均 , 更 逐 漸 減 慢 , 令 天 文 時 間 和 民 用 時 間 出 現 差 距 , 所 以 要 增 加 一 秒 。

屆 時 天 文 台 的 原 子 鐘 , 在 七 時 五 十 九 分 五 十 九 秒 之 後 , 不 會 立 即 跳 到 八 時 , 要 再 跳 多 一 秒 。 今 次 不 是 第 一 次 , 三 年 前 的 元 旦 都 增 加 了 , 一 九 七 二 年 來 , 總 共 加 了 二 十 五 秒 。 電 訊 、 運 輸 等 行 業 在 七 月 一 日 要 考 慮 調 整 系 統 , 確 保 無 誤 差 。

Monday, April 16, 2012

果然賣盤

【星島日報】城市電訊(一一三七)出售網絡業務,大舉套現五十億元,對於業內人士來說,這個安排早在意料之內,不覺得意外。

城電出售網絡有迹可尋,業內認為至少有三個預兆。首先,集團創辦人王維基兩、三年前已開始淡出前綫管理,改為由管理層接手;其次,他一度加入亞視,其後又積極競投免費電視牌照;第三是他近年經常與媒體製作人,包括外國頻道的製作人往來甚密,反映他對節目製作興趣大過經營網絡,既然如此,索性放棄網絡業務,把全部人力、財力用來搞電視。

現在他出售資產,先派二十億元股息,益自己又益小股東,總好過坐住盤生意半力出擊,高不成,低不就。

業內人士早就預計王維基會賣盤,認為他最聰明的地方,是年前開始鋪設網絡,當時大家都以為他只是「限米煮限飯」,他卻全力進行,務求以最快時間達到很高的覆蓋率,大大增加網絡的價值。其後他以五十億元放盤,當年很多人都覺得是「獅子開大口」的天價,想不到時移世易,成功賣盤後,一鋪就賺了三十多億元。

王維基屬於創業型老闆,不甘心做穩穩陣陣的守業生意,賣盤只是遲早問題,從這個角度看,市場對於交易早有預期,難怪公布之後,股價出現好消息沽貨!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Market Pullback On Traders Speculation

Equity stock market continues to retreat on investors concern that market may stretch too far driven by liquidity. Herding behaviour drives market participants to take profit. Traders help to amplify market movement.

Market manipulators miss the opportunity on the pullback because it is difficult to estimate how far the pullback will stretch as there is no panic selling. Once the bottom attracts bargain buyers, market may rebound strongly. The associated risk in short selling this market may be high.

It appears that some hot money have already begun to buy stocks incrementally. Individual investors are watching closely for symptom of market bottoming as an opportunity to replenish the thin portfolio.

Trader speculation will drive market to find support. Once market stabilizes, liquidity will move market back to uptrend as the demand for wealth assets continues to grow.



Hedge Funds Cut Wagers as Fed Signals Less Stimulus: Commodities
Hedge funds reduced bullish bets on commodities for a second consecutive week as the Federal Reserve signaled it may refrain from more monetary stimulus, increasing concern that growth will slow and curb demand for raw materials.

"The market is addicted to stimulus," said Jeffrey Sica, the Morristown, New Jersey-based president of SICA Wealth Management who helps oversee $1 billion of assets. "This market has risen because of the liquidity push and the market will decline when it's deprived of liquidity."


Report: Sony to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide
The Nikkei business daily and other media said Sony's decision to slash 6 percent of its work force comes as it struggles with weak TV sales and swelling losses.

Should You Be Buying the Dip or Taking Profits?
"Be careful what you wish for" the old saying goes, "because you just might get it." That now what? scenario is exactly the situation facing investors today, as the market appears set to deliver the most sought-after sell-off in years. Prior to today's trade, the S&P 500 has fallen the past three sessions and has shed 1% since the FOMC meeting minutes were released at 2pm last Tuesday.

"We've been looking for something on the order of 3-5%, but would not be surprised to see it go 5-10%," says Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. "Frankly it would be a healthy restoration of valuations that have gotten a bit stretched given the quarter we've had in the equity markets and we'd view it opportunistically rather than as something to fear."

As much as I am glad to hear the captain of my cruise liner is remaining calm and not about to abandon ship, there are at least a few things that trouble me about this retreat so far.

First, it's been the on-demand dip and markets rarely deliver what everyone wants or expects.

Second, the downside has been way too orderly so far, and that scares me, because we all know that it takes a whole lot more than a 0.7% slide to put the fear of God into investors again. A couple of 300 or 400 or 500 point, single-day, plunges in the Dow might do the trick.

Finally, 2011 is still fresh in our minds, where April turned out to be the starting point of a six-month, 20% hammering.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, the sell-off seems to be just about perfect.

"This could also take on sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy because if we do get some carry through, investors may say, 'ah-ha, this is the correction we've been waiting for' --- and to the extent that they've been nervously long, they may actually use the opportunity to sell into it, and as a consequence, exacerbate the decline," Luschini hypothesizes.

For now, his strategy is to put together a shopping list that kicks in ''once we breach 3% or so," at which point it becomes hunting season.


The Dividend-Fund Dilemma
So far this year, $9 billion has gone into mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that focus on U.S. stocks that pay stable, high or rising dividends, estimates EPFR Global, which tracks where investors are moving their money.

All other U.S. stock funds combined have had a net outflow of $7.3 billion.

Many of the investors joining the dividend stampede appear to be motivated by the low interest rates mandated by the Federal Reserve, which have led to a yield famine among traditional income investments like bonds, certificates of deposit and money-market funds.

Others might just be chasing past performance. The 100 highest-yielding stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index outperformed the overall market by an average of eight percentage points last year, according to Birinyi Associates.

In the long run, dividend-paying stocks are slightly less risky—and more rewarding—than the equity market as a whole. In the short run, however, they can expose you to the risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The right reason to own one of these funds, says Daniel Peris, author of "The Strategic Dividend Investor" and co-manager of the Federated Strategic Value Dividend fund, is that stocks with growing cash distributions tend to be solid businesses that earn greater returns in the long run than stocks as a whole.

"I would like to think that every client who's buying a fund is buying for the right reason, but that would be naive," he says. "I acknowledge that some people, based on last year's strong returns, may be chasing past performance."


Saks CEO: How Wealthy Foreign Shoppers Help Drive Growth
One of the big themes of the past few years has been the influx of foreigners investing and spending in the U.S. As more people around the world grow wealthy, they want to live, eat, and shop like Americans. Brazilians have been snapping up condos in Miami while Russian oligarchs are falling over themselves to purchase trophy Manhattan real estate.

In recent years, industrial companies like Boeing and farmers have been among America's great exporters. It's possible that America's bountiful malls could join the ranks.


Don’t Believe the Hype About Oil and Gas Prices Peaking: Jan Stuart
As if on cue, this week has brought a series of stories -- in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC and other major outlets -- about prospects for a near-term peak in energy prices.

But don't believe the hype about lower prices, says Jan Stuart, head of energy research at Credit Suisse, who sees "the balance of risks to the oil price as being firmly to the upside."

While West Texas Crude is down 5.6% from their February highs, there is "a real risk these oil prices will go right back up again," Stuart says. "The speculative froth, if there is any, may be coming off. The hysteria may be dissipating. But underlying supply and demand firmly shows things are tightening and should be getting tighter not looser going forward."

Critically, U.S. consumers have shown an ability to absorb gasoline prices near $4 per gallon, which Stuart attributes to an improving employment picture and rising personal income, which is up 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. "People are better able to afford to pay a little more for gas," he says.

Beyond the fundamentals of supply and demand, Stuart is not very optimistic about prospects for "peace and stability" breaking out in the Middle East.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

鹹網 44億 hit 全球最旺場 (蘋果動新聞)

微軟宣佈2年後不再支援XP視窗


美國微軟公司宣佈,推出10多年的電腦作業系統Windows XP,將於2年後停止提供任何支援。該公司同時宣佈,Windows Vista作業系統的主流支援,今日開始停止服務,之後支援將改為按件收費。

在微軟開發的電腦作業系統中,於2001年上市的Windows XP,是最受好評的產品之一,美國電腦市場佔有率達47%,其次是Windows 7的 37.5%,以及Windows Vista的7.7%。

微軟一個官方網誌中,指支援將於2014年4月8日停止,建議用戶將電腦升級至Windows 7的作業系統。

【新三狼之歡場屠夫】(YouTube)只限18歲以上人士觀看

Sunday, April 8, 2012

【至尊無上】(Casino Raiders) 譚詠麟 劉德華 陳玉蓮 (YouTube)

職業賭徒陳亞蟹(劉德華飾)及羅森(譚詠麟)二人情同手足,在美國賭場揭發日本人宮木太郎出千,而與宮木家族結下恩怨。回港後,宮木派殺手對付森,蟹為救森而自斷右掌,騻回後賭技大不如前,此時森亦受女友童可人(陳玉蓮)之勸而轉正行,且與蓮結婚並於童父公司做事。蟹決定與宮木等人賭最後一次,得錢後本想與女友(關芝琳)離港。但宮木家值森剛出埠而擄走童,迫蟹交回金錢。蟹、寶二人為救童而被殺。趕回港後誓替蟹、寶二人向宮本家報仇。

Saturday, April 7, 2012

坪洲淨土勢淪陷 填海諮詢效應 發展商搶地皮

【明報專訊】原本生活寧靜、房價舖租廉宜的坪洲,自年初政府就填海方案展開諮詢後,即被發展商看中,先有信和置業上月初以超低價投得住宅地皮;上星期再有發展商主動勾出地皮,並在本月27日起招標。有坪洲居民透露,早前收到匿名的「收樓」單張,有商戶被發展商加一倍租逼遷,居民擔心地產霸權殺入坪洲,情如當年馬灣發展,最終將原有社區零碎切割。



只有約6000名居民的坪洲,鮮有大型發展商青睞。坪洲填海關注組成員、作家芳子形容,坪洲人少、沒什麼景點或吃喝玩樂配套,「但坪洲人為保存這種生活方式付出代價,寧願較少發展,換來慢活之地、多元化生活」。

政府年初以增加土地供應為由,選出25個維港以外填海選址,當中提出只有約100公頃的坪洲,可以跟喜靈洲等離島「連接」,可變成700公頃巨形島,面積接近兩個天水圍。

民居收匿名收購單張

芳子被當局填海方案嚇壞,同一時間,關注組發現有部分地產商代表近日進出坪洲,在丟空地皮視察,甚至有匿名代理把「單位、全幢」收購的單張放入居民信箱,他們擔心填海方案未展開,發展商已積極在小島「插旗」,以待時機大舉發展。

目前坪洲約有兩成地被劃為住宅用途,列於勾地表的地皮多年無人問津,但至今年3月,先是信和置業以低價1900萬元奪得小型住宅地,除享無敵海景,更可遠眺愉景灣,地皮面積約4.9萬呎,限制為2層高,但每呎地價僅516元。本月3日,島上另一幅位於東灣臨海「蚊型」住宅地亦以550萬元被發展商主動勾出,每方呎勾地價為596元,月底將會招標。有坪洲地產代理坦言「受惠」,指近日市民入坪洲「睇樓」數字有增長。

街坊麵包店租金倍升逼遷

但這些發展動向苦了坪洲小商戶。與惠康超市毗鄰、在坪洲大街經營麵包店的東主蔡太說,業主看到發展潛力增加,旋即大加舖租,由過去14年月租維持在2萬元以下,急升至4萬元。她形容,以往10元營業額有3元用作交租,以後便會升至6元,根本不能負擔,決定年底續租前結業,改在區內較廉宜地舖重開。

測量師學會建築測量組主席何鉅業表示,填海計劃雖未落實,但引伸的基礎建設對發展商有一定吸引力,加上坪洲鄰近大嶼山愉景灣,可發展為低密度住宅,毋須大量買家,供應單位也很容易被市場吸收。

漁民憂填海計劃絕生計

政府今年初就維港以外填海,提出25個選址作公眾諮詢,其中提出坪洲可與鄰近的喜靈洲連接,變為一個逾700公頃大的「連島」作大規模發展。諮詢上月底結束,政府將選出8至10個選址作可行研究。有長居坪洲的漁民擔心,指政府的填海計劃未有考慮當區居民,是趕絕他們生計。

60歲的坪洲人黎先生,自祖父起3代都是漁民。他說,自己一出生已注定離不開大海,小時候他跟隨父親在船上居住,每天捕魚,20多歲後即使「上岸」,仍選擇在坪洲海岸買屋,每天4時起脇出海,放網、收網、到市場賣魚,與太太「一腳踢」養活7個孩子,「這邊海域最多的就是蜆、螺,還有秊魚,高峰時期一天可以有60斤魚獲,近來高峰也只有約20斤」。

建迪士尼已減少魚獲

目前坪洲約有30多名活躍漁民,黎先生表示,不少漁民像他一樣,「望住個海就不會有煩惱」,因此未有想過改行。他說,近年政府在大嶼山有不少發展,如早年興建迪士尼樂園時,坪洲和長洲的海域一帶的魚獲已經減少,「海洋生物繁殖有自己的定律,例如沒有沙灘或岸邊就會減少繁殖,因為水流太急」。

根據政府推出的「連島方案」,當中只提到「要考慮對喜靈洲懲教設施的影響」,沒有諮詢漁民部分,黎先生表示政府並無跟他們接觸。他說,擔心填海計劃會趕絕長洲、坪洲等地僅有漁民,「沒有海域,要我們轉型,即是逼我們退休」。

回歸坪洲 李健和望保原有風貌

坪洲沒有汽車,沒有商場,連便利店也沒有,只有一家惠康超市,名副其實是寧靜小島。生於坪洲的前香港足球先生李健和說,坪洲生活簡單,街坊互相包容,即使是剛搬到坪洲的人,也很容易融入社區。他說,不擔心發展會打擾坪洲人的寧靜生活,「但我當然希望坪洲保持原有風貌」。

李健和在市區讀中學,長大後也在市區生活,但仍然偏愛坪洲的寧靜,故近年返回坪洲居住,更當選為坪洲街坊代表。他說,不同意在坪洲填海或在該處發展豪宅,但現時毋須太緊張,「是不是有大發展也未知,現在不需太擔憂」。

90年代樓價平穩 成「緩衝區」

除了原居民,坪洲亦住了不少「外來人士」,從事寫作的陳錦添是其中之一。1995年,阿添因市區樓價太貴,幾經掙扎決定在坪洲置業,「當時市區的樓價要8000元一呎,打工仔根本無法負擔,在坪洲最多只需約2000元」。

他以78萬元買入350呎海景單位,一住便接近20年,「初期要慢慢適應,如留意船期,亦要戒掉晚間活動,但換來的是寫意的小島生活﹕以單車代步,在熟悉的小商店購物,還有見慣見熟的好鄰居」。詎料歷史又再重演,市區樓價攀升,有更多人從市區進駐坪洲,阿添也有朋友希望在小島租屋買屋。他直言,坪洲就如一個社會緩衝區,讓市民有多一個選擇。

政府與發展商先後推出填海諮詢和買地,陳錦添與其他居民組成填海關注組,就區內發展與居民交換信息。事實上,政府推出諮詢方案後,關注組發現有地產商代表到坪洲「睇地」,空置多年的政府地亦先後被發展商買入和勾出,長期租舖麵包店更被發展商大幅加租一倍而遭逼遷。

麵包店東主蔡太坦言,在坪洲數十年,1998年租舖開麵包店至今,仍維持在2萬元以下的租金,最近業主突然要求租金加至4萬元,根本無法負擔,只好在年底前結業,搬到小島其他地方開店。

全美最細小鎮699萬成交


全美最細小鎮699萬成交

位於美國懷俄明州、號稱全美最細小的城鎮比福德(Buford)周四成功拍賣,以90萬美元(699萬港元)成交。

賣主薩蒙斯(Don Sammons)透露,共有25人參與競投,其中20人親自前往比福德出席拍賣會,另有數人透過電話出價。準買家來自美國各地、香港及越南。最後,一名不願透露姓名的越南人成功投得。

買家將會得到10英畝的土地,包括一棟有3個房間的住宅房屋、車庫、小屋和糧倉;一座百年歷史的學校、一個油站、一家便利店和一個流動電話訊號塔等。

薩蒙斯表示,他現在的心情是既開心又失落,但開心多於失落。

他退下掛名「鎮長」一職後將會展開人生的新一頁,打算到一處水清沙幼、或許有棕櫚樹的海灘渡假兩周,然後會開始動筆寫書,記錄他在這個小鎮的生活點滴。

【油尖少爺】(Night Life Hero) 莫少聰 錢嘉樂 袁潔瑩 (YouTube)

占叔家境十分富裕,惜妻早逝,與愛女相依為命,其為人樂觀,喜到夜總會跳舞。這是愛女Baby最為反對的,因此,她扮作舞小姐激老父,在夜總會,Baby被江湖大可招積看中,幸得在場中的周聰挺身而出,幫助Baby解了圍,兩人互生情愫。 Baby利用自己的家財瞞著聰,幫他發展事業,但當聰發覺Baby是富有人家,及自己的事業是Baby暗中用金錢幫助,一時難於接受,聰究竟應如何抉擇呢?

漫談全球暖化 - 李偉才(李逆熵)

溫水煮蛙的故事,大家耳熟能詳。面對全球暖化這個難以捉摸的威脅,自己會否是置身於致命熱鍋中的一員?必須怎樣做,才能跳離這趟沸水?正確認識一個問題,是有效解決問題的第一步。歸根究底,全球暖化不是一個科學議題,也不是個經濟問題,而是政治問題。也就是說,是眾人之事。問題的癥結在於,普羅大眾對問題的認知,與科學家對問題的了解,之間存在著很大的差距。結果是,我們正在做的,與我們必須做的,存在著巨大的落差。
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

香港拍賣行宋代瓷器刷新世界拍賣紀錄 2.786億港元成交


資料圖片:3月5日,蘇富比拍賣行工作人員在展示北宋汝窯制造的天青釉葵花洗,估價6000萬至8000萬港元。此件拍品將于拍4月4日香港蘇富比「天青寶色——日本珍藏北宋汝瓷」專場拍賣會中亮相。係赫赫有名的艾弗瑞‧克拉克夫人(Mrs. Alfred Clark)舊藏。


汝窯是中國古代五大名窯之首,造形簡潔、以其澤潤釉色被視為無價之寶,由於北宋汝窯燒製,時間只有20年,概估全球現存汝窯也只有79件,其中只有6件是私人收藏。

新華網香港4月4日電(記者趙博)香港蘇富比拍賣行4日在此間舉行一件北宋汝窯天青釉葵花洗的專場拍賣,激烈競逐後拍品以2.786億港元(合2665萬美元)成交,創造宋代瓷器新的世界拍賣紀錄。

這件葵花洗直徑13.5釐米,六葵瓣花式,口略撇,上豐下斂,淺腹薄壁。棱角含蓄,器身隨沿起伏,圈足微外撇,底有細小芝麻釘痕3枚。通體罩釉,淡綠如天青,冰裂開片隱若,間以細紋色略沉,葵瓣邊沿薄釉處投淡淡暗紫,偶露色深胎土。筆洗同時配有日式雙重梧桐木盒。

蘇富比公佈的拍品源流顯示,這件北宋汝窯天青釉葵花洗在上世紀30年代至70年代是英國知名中國古陶瓷收藏家艾弗瑞‧克拉剋夫人的藏品,1976年以前為東京繭山龍泉堂所藏,隨後轉入日本私人藏家之手。

當天的專拍名為「天青寶色——日本珍藏北宋汝瓷」,現場競投氣氛熾熱,共有8位競標者爭持歷時15分鐘,拍賣由第一口價4000萬港元開始,經過34口叫價後,最終以2.786億港元由一位電話競投者拍得。這款葵花洗拍前估價為6000萬至8000萬港元。

蘇富比亞洲區副主席及中國瓷器及工藝部國際主管仇國仕評價說,汝官窯瓷在中國藝術史上的地位舉足輕重,是歷代古董收藏家夢寐以求的珍罕之器。本次上拍的葵花洗在20多年後現身市場,給收藏界帶來極大震撼,當之無愧成為本季春拍最受矚目的亮點。

在此之前,宋代瓷器世界拍賣紀錄由一件南宋官窯粉青釉紙槌瓶保持。香港蘇富比2008年春拍的「逸翠凝芳——日本藏宋瓷及古畫」專場上,這件拍品以6753萬港元(合864萬美元)成交。

Rising Demand For Wealth Assets

Equity stock market retreats from year high. Market participants remain cautious but are not going to dump shares on panic. Traders are exploiting the news to make quick trades on market pullback. The tremendous amount of hot money gives support to stocks. Market manipulators do not have confidence to short sell the market despite day traders selling because there is a lot of cash waiting for bargain but scarce amount of shares for panic selling.

While market oscillates, more capital flows into equity stocks. The growth in personal wealth raises the demand for wealth assets. Many analysts recently change the tone to optimistic on market outlook. Individual investors see growth in the portfolio and stabilization of the economy. The attractive return of equity stocks regain confidence of investors.

The speculative trading portfolio is suffering further loss in this market pullback. The stock positions repeatedly set low record on heavy selling. The purchase of these stocks is a mistake in investment decision. At the time of purchase, market is expected to advance further which has actually occurred but the stocks fall significantly due to its own performance issue. Unfortunately this is not happening just to single stock. The small size of the portfolio restricts diversification and coverage. Although the stocks value have been trimmed significantly, there is no symptom of bottoming.

It is difficult to make liquidation decision in this situation. From previous experience, the majority of losing investment will turn into profit if held onto present moment. Undervalued stocks can be suppressed for extended period of time but sooner or later the value will recover through market mechanism. But as stock market is manipulated, short term performance can be irrational. The stocks in the speculative trading portfolio may be at bottom or may drop further. For long term investment, the stocks in the portfolio are bargain at this suppressed value. But holding under performing stocks have opportunity cost and the speculative trading portfolio objective is short term trading.

The outlook for equity stock remains optimistic despite recent strong rally. The valuation becomes less attractive as before but still within reasonable range. Support partly comes from demand by hot money. On the other hand, traders are speculating violent movement in stocks as market trading activity remain low but capital flow is tremendous.



Goldman Sachs eyes $3 billion property debt fund: report
A private equity arm of Goldman Sachs (NYS:GS - News) is looking to launch a $3 billion property debt fund in a bid to take advantage of a growing shortage of real estate financing across the UK and Europe, British newspaper the Times said on Monday.

Europe's property industry is grappling with a widening debt funding gap, the shortfall between debt needing refinancing and the money available do so, as more banks slash lending to the sector in a bid to comply with incoming solvency regulations.


Q2 Kicks Off: Why the Stock Rally May Still Have Legs
The S&P 500's 12% gain to start the year gave the index its best first quarter since 1998, and if history is a guide, that may point to a continuing advance for the rest of the 2012 -- provided traders believe the Federal Reserve will keep the money spigot on and the economic data don't signal a collapse.

Did you miss it all? If so, you've got company. Many individual investors are still reluctant to fork over their cash for equities, having developed a serious aversion to the pain the market can inflict. Getting in now might take some nerve. Positive history aside, at least some degree of caution seems to be fairly common among market professionals, even if of late selling hasn't been.

Morningstar only recently was keying on three factors that it felt would send stocks up this year, though not necessarily so rapidly. Those were: Demand for hard goods, healthy corporate balance sheets and better earnings, and "reasonable" profit multiples.

"We continue to believe the U.S. market will benefit from the first two, but after the stunning rally of the first quarter, valuations are not quite as attractive as they were," the firm said in a recent research report.

"As money pours out of bonds and into stocks, if there is one thing that is clear it's that zero rates are forcing people back into the stock market," the traders who run MrTopStep.com, a futures and options education site, wrote last week.

An election is of course coming in November, and that may have something to say about the year's outcome as well. The S&P on average gains about 7.7% in presidential election years, according to research covered here. There's no doubt some U.S. data have been signaling a rebound and earnings have been positive, but other indicators have continued to point to a sluggish healing. Add in uncertainty about China's growth, stubbornly high unemployment, the sovereign debt situation in Europe, and you can see why it requires a little faith to believe that strength is more likely than weakness. But if it really is largely about the accommodating Fed, the rally might not be over yet. And again, history is on the market's side.


Car sales surge as recovery gains steam
Auto sales rose more than 15 percent in March, preliminary data showed, as rising consumer confidence and cheap financing quickened the pace of a sluggish recovery more than two years in the making.

The average age of vehicles on U.S. roads has risen to near 11 years, the highest on record. Many of those vehicles are SUVs that were sold in the late 1990s. Rising fuel prices, combined with lower interest rates, have drawn consumers into showrooms to seek more fuel-efficient replacements.

As sales rise, automakers are also getting more profit per vehicle. Incentives, including rebates, continued to trend downward in March while the average transaction price for a new vehicle rose 7 percent to just under $31,000, a new record high, autos consultant TrueCar.com said.

Consumer confidence rose in March to its highest level since February 2011, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan reading of consumer sentiment showed.


Analysis: Investors skeptical about genuine global-market recovery
After so many false dawns, long-term investors face the growing problem of how to recognize a genuine, sustainable recovery in global markets - whenever it eventually shows up.

In the wake of one of the steepest first-quarter rallies in world equities in more than a decade, it's been tempting to hail the return of more "normal" times, where the cyclical ebb and flow of the economy dictates predictable investment patterns.

But skepticism remains sky high, and it still doesn't feel right to many investors.

The most obvious metric over the past six months has been the disconnect between super low top-rated government bond yields and surging equity prices and the extent that this reveals both the government bond market intervention as well as innate skepticism about the economy.

In now elusive "normal" times, core government bond yields should rise and fall with equity prices.

Intuitively, economic growth lifts company profits and stock prices. And, in turn, that growth erodes spare capacity and generates price pressures that prompt investors to demand higher bond yields to compensate for future inflation risks.

Yet, for bond managers such as JP Morgan Asset Management's Nick Gartside, the biggest central bank liquidity flood since 2009 means the equity/bond debate is almost redundant and in this environment investors just need to decide what bonds they want - government, corporate or emerging markets.

"The decision for investors will not be whether or not to be in fixed income, but where best to allocate to take advantage of the opportunities," he said.


Market’s Lost Decade Will Recoup by 2020: O’Shaughnessy
You could call it the law of averages, reversion to the mean or a counter-trend reversal, but by any name, 150 years of stock market analysis reveals the same truth.

"What we found when we did the 20-year cycle analysis is that when you come off a period where you've done unusually well, like we had in the period ending in March of 2000, the next 20 years don't look so good" says Jim O'Shaughnessy, founder of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management and author of What Works On Wall Street.

As O'Shaughnessy tells it in the attached video, "not so good" would have been the case under normal circumstances. However, those double disasters of the last decade changed everything for the second half of this 20-year cycle.

"What we didn't count on was that we'd have a decade with two severe bear markets in it," he says, noting that the only other time that happened was the 1930s.

But since it did, our reward for enduring all that turmoil, for being so far underwater, should be outsized returns for the remaining eight years out to 2020. The catalyst for that move is actually two-fold.

First, there is just some old fashioned catchin'-up to do. Secondly, he says there's going to be a sort of "ah-ha" moment in which investors acknowledge that a 2% bond yield in a 2% inflationary environment is a loser. And once they do, he says they will act.


World food prices rise further, raising fears of unrest
Global food prices rose in March for a third straight month with more hikes to come, the UN's food agency said on Thursday, adding to fears of hunger and a new wave of social unrest in poor countries.

Record high prices for staple foods last year were one of the main factors that contributed to the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as bread riots in other parts of the world.

The cost of food has risen again this year after coming down from a February 2011 record peak.

"We will be 7.2 billion people on earth in 2015, and more than one million have died from starvation in 2011. The situation will not improve, and in fact the contrary will happen," Pierre Reuland, Interpol's special representative to the European Union, told a meeting of European security officials in January. "For poor people the struggle for life will not be better than it is today."


Facebook to List on Nasdaq : Source
Facebook's highly-coveted "FB" stock will list on the Nasdaq when the company makes its public debut in May, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The listing decision marks the end of a tense and drawn out courting process between the company and numerous executives at the NYSE and rival Nasdaq. Both exchanges launched aggressive marketing campaigns to woo the multi-billion dollar listing, and have made numerous pitches to the company in recent months.

Facebook has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a $5 billion IPO. The offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Barclays, & Allen & Company. A total of 31 banks are advising on the deal.

Monday, April 2, 2012

投行炒糧食期貨 聯國轟扭曲供求

【明報專訊】歐洲研究加強監管商品期貨炒賣活動之際,聯合國食物權利問題特別報告員德舒特抨擊高盛、大摩與巴克萊資本等投資大行炒賣糧食期貨,扭曲供求關係,導致糧價高企,間接加劇全球糧荒與飢荒。

糧食商品投資 5年升1倍

德舒特(Olivier De Schutter)指出,自從2000年美國通過「商品期貨現代化法案」後,高盛等投資銀行與對冲基金和退休基金,取代農民和食物買手,成為大麥、玉米和糖等農產品期貨的主要投資人,令農產品期貨的價格避險功能,變質成金融業界的套利工具。一份獨立組織報告指出,高盛淨計2009年便從糧食期貨炒賣賺取10億美元(77.66億港元)。

全球金融業界對糧食商品的投資總額由2006年的650億美元(約5048.1億港元)急升近一倍至2011年的1260億美元(約9785.5億港元),推使全球糧食價格屢創近30多年新高。其中芝加哥交易所最新玉米5月期貨價格上升6.6%,升至每蒲式耳6.44美元(以玉米計每蒲式耳相等於25.4012公斤),是前年6月底以來最大升幅,大麥5月期貨價格更上升7.9%至每蒲式耳6.6075美元(以大麥計每蒲式耳相等於27.2155公斤)。

「志在短期金融利益 非為實體」

「它們(進入糧食期貨市場)志在短期金融利益,非為糧食實體。它們從未真正購入大麥和玉米,只是購入買賣承諾。」德舒特批評高盛等金融大戶扭曲糧食期貨市場:「糧產品市場的金融化,結果就是糧食價格的浮動被炒賣趨勢所牽引。糧價之所以會在極短時間內猛烈升跌,原因就是它已逐漸跟真正的供求關係脫鈎。」

有專家認為,氣候變化、全球糧食需求上升和生物燃料發展是糧價上升的主要原因,但印度一名經濟教授反駁,期貨炒賣絕對是糧價上升的重要動力。她舉例指出,2010年6月至12月期間,大麥產量並沒有減少,價格卻升了兩倍。

歐研加強監管商品炒賣

歐洲議會最近開始研究加強監管包括糧食期貨在內的商品炒賣,根據初步提案,新規則會強制實施交易數量限制,從而限制交易商買賣規模,減少期貨交易對價格造成的衝擊。美國政府前年通過類似法案,但在華爾街以訴訟阻撓下,法案遲遲未能實施。

德舒特形容,高糧價對窮人來說是「絕對的災難」,因為他們通常用超過六成的家用購買食物。西非多國目前陷入糧荒,除了糧食歉收外,另一重要原因是當地窮人無力承受颷升的糧價,買不到足夠食物餬口。