Sunday, February 27, 2011

Equity Stock Market Pullback

Equity stock market finally encounters a pullback not seen for weeks. Even the turmoil in Egypt cannot drag down market. Only when oil price surges then the effect of economy slowdown is reflected in equity stock market.

Currently market is highly manipulative by speculators. Hedge funds are finding this an opportunity to profit from market turbulence. However there is no concerted effort to drive the market in this investor group. Outlook from all market participants are still diversified. Thus there are short term fluctuations but no explicit movement direction.

This is golden chance for opportunistic traders. However, the speculation is highly risky and unpredictable. Making quick turn profit is almost a gambling based on fortune and luck. Nevertheless, the long term outlook is still optimistic regardless of temporary market turbulence. Some investors that have been waiting on the sideline are putting surplus capital and previous profits back into market. However, as observed in the past few weeks, investors are extremely cautious and not aggressive in buying. On the other hand, selling pressure is limited as there is hope that market will recover sooner or later and investors are afraid to lose the train.

This is also an opportunity for the speculative trading portfolio to apply the strategy in speculative trading and to acquire the skills by practise. Due to uncertainty in current market environment, for safe play it would be most desirable to maintain enough buffer for extended market headwind on unfavorable investment decisions. Because of exceptional capital liquidity and improving corporate earnings, equity stock market will maintain an upward trend despite short term turbulence. Optimistic investors are taking the opportunity in the pullback to strength the portfolio position.

Investors snap up cheap homes, new buyers miss out
Home sales are starting to tick up after the worst year in more than a decade. But the momentum is coming from cash-rich investors who are scooping up foreclosed properties at bargain prices, not first-time home-buyers who are critical for a housing recovery.

The number of first-time buyers fell last month to the lowest percentage in nearly two years, while all-cash deals have doubled and now account for one-third of sales.
Cash-only investors are most interested in properties at risk of foreclosure. They can get those at bargain-basement prices.

"The cash-rich investors can come in and get foreclosed properties at incredibly favorable prices," said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics. "The average Joe can't take advantage because they simply cannot get the credit to buy."

Foreclosures represented 37 percent of sales in January. All-cash transactions accounted for 32 percent of home sales -- twice the rate from two years ago, when the trade group began tracking these deals on a monthly basis. In places like Las Vegas and Miami, cash deals represent about half of sales.

Some Big Investors Bet on Treasury Rally
Some investors have already snapped up Treasurys in the recent selloff that had pushed the 10-year yield to a nine-month peak of 3.77% on Feb. 9. Among them is BlackRock Inc., the world's biggest asset-management firm with about $3.5 trillion in assets under management, even as the company expects Treasurys to underperform stocks and corporate bonds.

Investors Waltz On, Eye Exits
Even as they remain heavily invested in the market, many investors are wary about what happens next. The recovery in the economy and stocks has been fueled to a large degree by unusually aggressive government support. As a result, investors are worried about the ultimate cost of ending the crisis, including what will happen when government support begins to wane in a few months.

"Real activity is recovering, and people's willingness to take risk seems to have increased," says Raghuram Rajan, a finance professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "Does that mean we have come back to normalcy? Are things hunky-dory? The answer is no."

Many investors, both professional and individual, are staying in the market, continuing to ride the stock gains, even if they remain skeptical of the rally's longevity.

Wall Street coffers are as full as ever. Bankers enjoyed a record year for compensation in 2010. BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK - News), the world's biggest money manager, saw its net profit in the fourth quarter of 2010 double from a year earlier.

More than $24 billion has flowed from U.S. investors into stock mutual funds in the past five weeks, the strongest such period since early 2007, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.

In sign of growth, businesses are borrowing again
Now that demand is up and business is finally improving for many companies, they're doing what they always do at the beginning of an expansion -- calling the bank and asking for a loan.

Spending Showdown: Hubbard Sees Budget Solutions, “But We Have to Act Now”
“We could do it gradually, and we could make sure that no body but upper middle income and higher income people feel the pain,” he says. “We can do that, but we have to act now.”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prada 據 報 七 月 上 市   地 點 僅 香 港

意 大 利 名 牌 Prada 首 席 執 行 官 Patrizio Bertelli 接 受 問 時 排 除 公 司 將 在 米 蘭 和 香 港 雙 重 上 市 的 可 能 性 , 並 表 示 公 司 計 劃 在 7 月 份 上 市 。
他 在 接 受 意 大 利 報 章 採 訪 時 , 證 實 公 司 來 港 上 市 的 計 劃 。

他 還 稱 , 計 劃 在 巴 西 和 墨 西 哥 進 行 投 資 , 並 希 望 在 這 兩 國 增 開 分 店 。

Space shuttle Discovery blasts off on its final flight

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After a last-minute glitch, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off Thursday on its final voyage, heading for the International Space Station with six astronauts and a humanoid robot.

The countdown proceeded smoothly until there were just minutes left before liftoff: Air Force range safety officers reported that their command system display wasn't working, which could have forced a halt to the count.

"Calm down," shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach told his colleagues. He asked for some extra time to get the problem fixed — and received the go-ahead. The countdown had to be held at T-minus-5 minutes, but the range safety glitch was resolved with just a couple of seconds to spare in Thursday's launch window.

It was an extra bit of drama for a mission that was initially scheduled for launch last November. At that time, fueling problems held up the launch, forcing months of repairs. No such problems arose this time.

"Enjoy the ride," mission control told Discovery commander Steven Lindsey as the countdown clock wound down toward zero.

"For those watching, get ready to witness the majesty and power of Discovery as she lifts off one last time," Lindsey replied.

Launch came at 4:53 p.m. ET, three minutes later than scheduled. "The final liftoff of Discovery," launch commentator Mike Curie said, "a tribute to the dedication, hard work and pride of America's space shuttle team."

Debris flies off fuel tank
A video camera mounted on Discovery's fuel tank showed several bits of debris flying through the picture during the shuttle's ascent, including what appeared to be an 8-by-10-inch patch of foam insulation that struck the orbiter almost four minutes after launch.

Foam debris loss is of particular concern because in 2003, the shuttle Columbia's wing was hit by a piece of flying foam. Investigators say the resulting damage led to the breakup of that shuttle when it re-entered the atmosphere 16 days later. All seven of Columbia's astronauts were killed, and NASA grounded the shuttle fleet for more than two years afterward.

Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for space operations, told reporters that Thursday's foam strikes occurred after the risky part of Discovery's ascent. "They're not a concern to us," he said. The shuttle's protective tiles are due to get a detailed inspection on Friday.

Discovery is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station on Saturday, delivering tons of supplies, a new orbital closet and a humanoid robot named Robonaut 2.

World's most traveled spaceship
Discovery is NASA's most traveled space shuttle, putting in nearly three decades of service. Now it's slated to become the first of NASA's three remaining shuttles to retire.

This is the 39th flight for Discovery, which has logged 143 million miles (230 million kilometers) since its first mission in 1984. After retirement, the orbiter is expected to go on display at the Smithsonian Institution's Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the National Air and Space Museum.

NASA estimated that 40,000 guests were on hand for Discovery's farewell launch, including a small contingent from Congress and Florida's new governor, Rick Scott. Watching with special interest from Houston was astronaut Timothy Kopra, who was supposed to be the flight's lead spacewalker. He was hurt in a bicycle crash last month and was replaced by Stephen Bowen, who will become the first astronaut to fly back-to-back shuttle missions.

In addition to Lindsey and Bowen, Discovery's crew includes pilot Eric Boe, spacewalker Benjamin Alvin Drew Jr. and mission specialists Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott. All six astronauts are veterans. Stott and Barratt served long-term stints on the space station in 2009.

Onlookers flock to watch launch
Roads leading to the launch site were jammed with cars parked two and three deep; recreational vehicles snagged prime viewing spots along the Banana River well before dawn. Businesses and governments joined in, their signs offering words of encouragement. "The heavens await Discovery," a Cocoa Beach church proclaimed. Groceries stocked up on extra red, white and blue cakes with shuttle pictures. Stores ran out of camera batteries.

The launch team also got into the act. A competition was held to craft the departing salutation from Launch Control; Kennedy Space Center's public affairs office normally comes up with the parting line. Souvenir photos of Discovery were set aside for controllers in the firing room. Many posed for group shots.

Leinbach noted that it would be "tough" to see Discovery soar one last time. "What will be most difficult will be on landing day when we know that that's the end of her mission completely," he said.

Discovery will spend 11 days in orbit — on top of the 352 days it's already spent circling the planet — and will rack up another 4.5 million miles (7.2 million kilometers).

Its achievements include delivering the Hubble Space Telescope to orbit, carrying the first Russian cosmonaut to launch on a U.S. spaceship, returning Mercury astronaut John Glenn to orbit, and bringing shuttle flights back to life after the Challenger and Columbia accidents.

"She's been an amazing machine," Leinbach said Wednesday. "She's done everything we've asked of her."

Discovery's crew will deliver and install a closetlike compartment full of space station supplies. The Italian-made module was named Leonardo, after the Italian artist/inventor Leonardo da Vinci.

Packed inside the compartment is Robonaut 2, or R2, set to become the first humanoid robot in space. The experimental machine — looking human from the waist up — will remain boxed until after Discovery departs.

Up at the space station, meanwhile, the six-person crew welcomed a European cargo ship that was launched last week from French Guiana. The robotic spaceship docked successfully just six hours before Discovery's liftoff, keeping the shuttle countdown on track.

"Busy day in space," station commander Scott Kelly noted in a Twitter tweet.

NASA is under presidential direction to retire the shuttle fleet this summer, let private companies take over trips to orbit and focus on getting astronauts to asteroids and Mars. There's been considerable disagreement among lawmakers and the space community on how best to accomplish this.

"Godspeed Discovery," retired space shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said in a Twitter update Thursday. "Prayers for a safe flight and wisdom for decision makers."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Amateur Experimenter - Electricity Generator

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

'Golden Voice' Ted Williams scores reality series deal

By Tim Kenneally

Ted Williams has landed a deal for a reality series based on his inspirational life story, his rep confirms to TheWrap.

The series, which will be titled "Second Chances at Life," will track Williams' life path from destitution to YouTube fame and will begin filming in "about three weeks," the rep says. The formerly homeless man became a media sensation thanks to his "golden voice."

Williams' rep adds that the series has already been picked up, with an official announcement due from the so-far-unnamed network next week.

"Second Chances at Life" will be filmed in Williams' hometown of NYC. As well there will be filming in Columbus, Ohio, where Williams lived without a home for many years, and in Los Angeles, his current location. While the first season of the series will focus on Williams' life story, Season Two will feature Williams helping others who, like him, have fallen on hard times.

Williams, 53, found success as a radio announcer before experiencing personal troubles in the mid-'90s due to self-admitted drug and alcohol abuse. After an interview, filmed while Williams was still homeless, was posted on YouTube in January 2011, he experienced a career resuscitation. Since then Williams has landed voice-over work for, among others, Kraft Foods and MSNBC. Williams' professional rebound, however, hit a snag when he entered a Texas rehab facility in mid-January.

Monday, February 21, 2011


陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 1 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 2 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 3 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 4 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 5 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 6 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 7 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 8 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 9 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 10 of 11)

陳士齊博士課程系列:環保災難 (Part 11 of 11)

Dow notches third straight week of gains; Nasdaq nears 10-year high

As usual, equity stock market climbs on a wall of worry. Trading volume remains relatively low.

Dow notches third straight week of gains
The Dow Jones industrial average continued climbing on Friday, notching its third straight week of gains.

Nasdaq nears 10-year high; should you be nervous?
The Nasdaq finished within 25 points of its highest level in a decade Friday. Should investors be worried about another bubble? Not really, because there's a twist this time around: Technology companies are making money and may valued correctly.

The economic recovery in the U.S. is one reason that technology companies are earning such high profits. Companies put off upgrading their computer systems and other large purchases during the worst days of the recession, and are making up for that now. Others are investing in new technology before they add employees.

International growth is another reason to be optimistic. Half of the profits of the technology companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index come from outside North America, says Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management. China is now the world's second-largest market for PCs, and consumers in emerging market countries are showing strong demand for smart phones.

"I'm still finding a lot of good values out there," says Samuel Dedio, manager of the $108 million Artio U.S. Smallcap fund. "There looks to be a lot more upside ahead of this."

Market is calm despite the fact that a lot of investors sitting with cash profit from previous holdings are hoping for a correction to re-enter. But market participants refuse to give the chance.

As mentioned in earlier posts, the economic recovery does not benefit the population in the same proportion. Grassroots workers are benefited the less while the wealthy elite enjoy the most of wealth creation. It is also mentioned in earlier post that concentration of wealth may create social instability. The first sign does not show up in developed countries but rather in developing countries in North Africa and the Middle East. The turmoil appears to spread across the region. Fortunately, the economic impact seems confined in the local region. Investors are keeping a close watch on the development.

Market has reached a level that is unattractive to panicked investors, especially individual investors who still have not recovered fully from the financial crisis. Thus there is not strong driving force to push market significantly higher. On the other hand, the majority of investors are optimistic on the market trend. Also, the wealth effect creates a significant capital inflow to asset purchase, including equity stocks, commodities, as well as real estate. Due to a tightened credit market, the latter is restricted to wealthy participants with significant cash or equivalent on hand for investment.

Investors are cautious on the short term outlook but still holds tight on existing portfolio amid a brighter future. Therefore the probability of a massive sell-off is very unlikely among market participants.

Recent leaders juice up Wall Street
"People have been focusing on the positives like the outlook for corporations and a good earnings season," said Brian Lazorishak, a money manager at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. Federal Reserve continues pumping money into the economy. That excess liquidity has been one of the main drivers of the stocks rally in recent months.

The following article expresses some insight in the equity stock market rally in the last few months. Those opinions that match with the philosophy of the speculative trading portfolio are quoted below.

The Bernanke 'Put' and Commodity Market Instability
The Fed has not been shy about taking credit for the recent equity price increases. They claim that this so-called "wealth effect" will spill over into the real economy and create a "virtuous cycle" where nominal wealth creation leads to real wealth creation.

The truth is, the Fed’s ability to influence the real fundamental economy via QE is limited (this has become abundantly clear when one actually studies the intended transmission mechanisms of QE), however, they are having a powerful impact on market psychology. This is where many economists lose sight of the forest for the trees. They entirely ignore the human reaction to policy measures. And in an environment where the Fed is maintaining low rates and literally telling people that they will keep "asset prices higher than they otherwise would be" it is simply foolish to believe that they are not inducing some level of speculation in various markets.

Recent market data proves that QE is nowhere close to achieving the goals it was initially set out to meet. And now there is clear cut evidence that it is having a disastrous impact on the marketplace by causing severe instability in commodity prices. It’s not merely coincidence that signs of this speculation began in August when the Fed initiated its "money printing" program.

QE has failed to generate any sort of job growth in the USA. There are now signs that it is creating severe price instability in many markets. Therefore this policy measure is counterproductive to both of the Fed’s mandates.

Although QE cannot achieve its initial goal, the wealth effect is spectacular. It causes a boom in the high-end economy where the rich gets much richer.

奢侈品牌股票 可飛得更高?
《華爾街日報》--管商業街上的很多商家都在艱難度日,但一些目標客戶是奢侈消費人群的公司——從蒂芙尼(Tiffany & Co.)到卡地亞(Cartier),從路易威登(Louis Vuitton)到人頭馬君度(Remy Cointreau)——卻正在享受自己的快樂耶誕節。



都是什麼人在購買奢侈品呢?不大可能是中產階級。由於失業率高企、房價暴跌、經濟低迷,太多的人要麼痛苦掙扎,要麼一分錢掰成兩半兒花。根據凱捷諮詢公司(Cap Gemini)最近的財富報告,經濟危機後富人和超級富人——後者指擁有超過3,000萬美元的資金用於投資的人士——的財富迅速反彈。

How overseas inflation could hurt investors
Inflation isn't hitting your wallet hard, but it is lurking in your stock portfolio.

Investors have assumed that profits in emerging markets will continue to grow as millions join the global middle class. But if central banks take drastic steps to halt growth and tame inflation, then the stocks of U.S. companies that do big business there will fall.

Inflation makes companies that sell consumer goods compete with the basic costs of living. Every increase in the already high cost of food cuts directly into the money that consumers in emerging markets have to spend on small luxuries or electronics.

There isn't the same worry at home. "The U.S. economy has an enormous capacity to absorb increases in demand without causing dramatic widespread inflation," says Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial.

Seniors 'Near Poverty' at Risk in Deficit Cuts
Anyone living on a fixed income has to look uneasily at the federal government's rendezvous with deficit destiny. Beyond partisan calls to cut more or less, sooner or later, from different programs, the underlying reality is that stiff budget cuts must be enacted to at least begin narrowing the deficit. Older Americans who don't have the option of seeking additional income have very little choice but to reduce their standard of living should their benefits be trimmed. And for millions of older Americans, there is simply nothing to cut.

Left slams Obama over safety net
It doesn't come as a shock that Republicans aren't thrilled with President Obama's budget proposal. But Democrats aren't exactly jumping for joy either.

Obama's budget targets community block grants, a program that helps low-income people pay their energy bills, and the popular Pell grant program to aid college students. All are part of the social safety net Democrats often fight to protect.

And that has the left howling.

How the middle class became the underclass
Incomes for 90% of Americans have been stuck in neutral, and it's not just because of the Great Recession. Middle-class incomes have been stagnant for at least a generation, while the wealthiest tier has surged ahead at lighting speed.

In 1988, the income of an average American taxpayer was $33,400, adjusted for inflation. Fast forward 20 years, and not much had changed: The average income was still just $33,000 in 2008, according to IRS data.

Meanwhile, the richest 1% of Americans -- those making $380,000 or more -- have seen their incomes grow 33% over the last 20 years, leaving average Americans in the dust. Experts point to some of the usual suspects -- like technology and globalization -- to explain the widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

"The erosion of collective bargaining is a key factor to explain why low-wage workers and middle income workers have seen their wages not stay up with inflation," Rodgers said.

International competition is another factor. While globalization has lifted millions out of poverty in developing nations, it hasn't exactly been a win for middle class workers in the U.S.

While average folks were losing ground in the economy, the wealthiest were capitalizing on some of those same factors, and driving an even bigger wedge between themselves and the rest of America.

Another driver of the rich: The stock market.

Tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration and extended under Obama were also a major windfall for the nation's richest.

Meanwhile, as corporate profits come roaring back and the stock market charges ahead, the wealthiest people continue to eclipse their middle-class counterparts.

"I think it's a terrible dilemma, because what we're obviously heading toward is some kind of class warfare," Johnson said.

Credibility Shaken, Hedge Funds Are Punished by Investors
That's a big change from the old way of doing business in hedge fund land, which was to reward failure and ignore problems.

We'll see how long these positive developments last. Investors put almost $150 billion into hedge funds in the fourth quarter, a record, according to Hedge Fund Research. Assets now stand at $1.9 trillion, just below the peak reached before the financial crisis.

Just because hedge funds didn't cause the last crisis doesn't mean they can't cause the next one.

It May Be Time to Believe in Housing Again
"Inquiries for new project activity has fared a bit better recently, although many residential architects report that households are much more nervous than usual about proceeding on projects," notes Kermit Baker in the American Institute of Architect's Q3 Home Design Trends Survey.

The survey finds most activity is in smaller infill projects near major metro areas or remodeling to create multi-generational households. The trend has definitely moved away from major new housing developments. While the market is still quite weak in comparison to better economic times, remodeling remains pricey.

A common line to Bruckwick: "My portfolio has come back up, so I can afford it where I couldn't a year or two ago."

Mortgage Broker: Now "Is Very Good Time to Buy" ... If You Can Get a Loan
So it's not exactly like the go-go days of the housing boom, but if you qualify, "this is a very good time to buy," says Sauro.
(Comment: Most investors are still not considering real estate in the investment portfolio. Real estate currently is not desirable for short term investment with the exception of luxury homes which see soaring demand by the wealth elite after the financial crisis. It has maintenance cost and tax liability. The demand for housing by average household is not strong due to absence of speculation. However, many individuals with significant cash reserve and holding power are accumulating real estate investment for long term appreciation.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Low Interest Rate Versus Staggering Wealth: Rich People Finding Outlet For Their Cash Inflow

Equity market keeps going up while trading volume declines. Investors are holding equity stocks on speculation of a bull market. On the other hand, investor confidence remains low so there is no aggressive purchase to drive market sharply higher. Main street investors appear to be adapted to the incremental growth of their portfolio of equity stocks. However, for those at the top of the wealth pyramid, they are looking for adequate investment means for their discretionary income while the high-end economy is booming (in contrast to the grassroots economy). Low interest rate contrasts significantly with their staggering wealth. This discourages wealth accumulation in the money market. On the contrary, many assets have risen to record high level with the only exception of real estate. It would be difficult task to allocate the income into a portfolio providing sense of safety from a financial crisis with a much higher return than available from money market. These surplus capital does not need the safety for daily living and can afford risk as a trade-off for investment return to satisfy the desire of greed. As a result, various investment funds are established recently to absorb these surplus capital as the wealth effect continuously swells the pockets of people especially in the richest group.

Capital liquidity will keep equity stock market afloat, as well as many other kind of hard assets. Some investors, especially household investors with job security and cash savings are looking for opportunity in the real estate market which remains depressed making it attractive as compared to other investment asset types. Investors with holding power are speculating a recovery in the housing market while they can afford temporary paper loss on investment and fulfil the investment capital need with a stable income.

Hedge funds performance are mostly inferior to institutional investors and active individual investors in the last year. However, with more capital inflow from retail investors and a positive outlook on economy in the coming year, there are increasing hedge fund activities, especially in emerging and commodities markets. The contrasting performance in equity stock market between developed countries and emerging economy indicates diversified perspective among market participants.

Bond Market Flashes Inflation Warning
A steep "yield curve" is typically a bullish sign for the economy and the stock market. It could also, however, suggest that investors see a risk of overheating.

Move Over Bart Simpson, Ben Bernanke Is the New "I Didn't Do It" Kid
Undoubtedly, there are fundamental reasons behind surging commodity prices, most obviously rising demand from the emerging markets of China, India, Brazil and the like. Unfortunately, in much of the developing world, food price inflation threatens to undermine stability.

The Market Is "Clearly Going Higher": James Altucher's 3 Reasons to Stay Bullish
The market is "clearly going higher," Altucher says. "I'm not saying it's going to happen overnight," he says. "But there's an enormous amount of [Fed] money that's going to be hitting the economy, then there's a multiplier effect."

Investors Starting to Believe That Inflation Threat is Real
"We think Mr. Bernanke is as determined as ever to create a 'wealth effect' by blowing up a stock market bubble," Trim Tabs research analysts wrote in their weekly market commentary.

"What we fear is what's happening in the emerging market world where inflation is running higher than usual," he said. "That gets imported back into the US, so we think those fears are completely just."

Consumer credit rises, supports strong growth view
Consumer credit surged in December as shoppers boosted their credit-card debt for the first time in more than two years, supporting views economic activity was gathering momentum.

China hikes interest rates again to damp inflation
Rising prices are especially sensitive in a country where poor families can spend up to half their incomes on food. Higher incomes have helped to offset price hikes, but inflation undercuts economic gains. It has worried leaders who fear that a sharp rise in living costs could trigger unrest.

What to Make of Rising Food Prices
The spike in food prices present investors with three questions to consider: What kind of inflationary impact will the price gains have? How will rising food prices affect the political risk equation in emerging markets? And is it time to get long or go longer agricultural commodities?

Will that have an impact on inflation? In the developed world, the answer is probably not. Agricultural staples make up a surprisingly small amount of consumer inflation measures because of efficiencies in production. The calculus for emerging markets is different. And already food and energy costs are contributing to inflation spikes in China (around 5%), Brazil (5%) and India (9%).

The challenge of higher commodity prices and its link to civil unrest is one reason some popular emerging markets have had a tough start to the new year. India is down 12%, China has fallen about 2% and Brazil is off 6%.

QE3 Coming? This Is Not a "Normal Recovery," Fund Manager Sees
"The normal recovery thing is not going to happen this time," because the economy remains over-leveraged and burdened with too much debt, he tells Aaron in the accompanying video.

More Homeowners Are Underwater, Now Here's the Good News ...
However, there is a silver lining, as Aaron and Henry discuss in the clip.

Time to Call This a Full-Fledged Bull Market?
Even though stocks have rallied for almost two years and the Standard & Poor's 500 index has nearly doubled, many investors don't think we're in a bull market.

It's all an illusion, powered by the Federal Reserve's printing presses, some worry.

It'll come crashing down as soon as the world realizes the U.S. is broke, others warn.

This is not about outguessing the market. It is about sticking with stocks, assuming your equity allocation is where you want it to be.

"The real point is, don't get rattled, don't get shaken out; this is a long-term rally," Birinyi told me.

Hamster Video Clip

有機魚下月有售 貴普通魚一倍 飼料無農藥 禁破壞性捕撈


(明報)2011年2月11日 星期五 05:05


魚糧貴3倍 飼養時間長






有機淡水魚下月面市 豆腐渣飼養 售價貴一倍



浸會大學有機資源中心與漁護署合作,三年前開始在港推出有機淡水魚飼養計劃,吸引了「就記」及「楊氏」兩個魚場參與,飼養烏頭、大魚和鯇魚三款有機淡水魚。經多月悉心飼養,這批港產有機淡水魚將於下月 27日在中環遮打花園舉行的「全城有機日」中首度公開發售。

小量飼養 魚鱗破損少

「就記」魚塘負責人黎來就表示,餵飼有機魚的飼料是有機豆腐渣及黃豆粉等,成本較一般飼料貴逾兩、三倍。為確保有機魚有足夠活動空間,每個魚塘只養 5,000條(一般養殖魚可達 10,000條),加上有機魚的生長速度較養殖魚慢,都令有機魚售價倍升,「好似有機烏頭咁,要賣 50蚊一斤,比養殖烏頭貴一倍」。






成長期:烏頭長到一斤重需時 20個月

成長期:烏頭長到一斤重需時 12個月







Thursday, February 10, 2011


陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 1 of 9)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 2 of 9)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 3 of 9)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 4 of 9)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 5 of 9)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 6 of 9)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 7 of 9)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 8 of 9)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫理論簡介 (Part 9 of 9)


陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 1 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 2 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 3 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 4 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 5 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 6 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 7 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 8 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 9 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 10 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 11 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:中醫與西醫 (Part 12 of 12)


陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 1 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 2 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 3 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 4 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 5 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 6 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 7 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 8 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 9 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 10 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 11 of 12)

陳士齊博士課程系列:科學知識與社會 (Part 12 of 12)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011




上海 街開業逾半世紀的中興國貨,將在2月中結業。公司由上一代開始經營,昔日有近百名員工,4個舖位,但現時只剩下上海街舖位。






【明報專訊】上世紀八十年代,國貨公司在香港零售界仍佔重要位置,無論新年抑或開學,家長們都總要光顧一兩次,辦辦年貨,買套新校服。在旺角 經營逾半世紀的中興國貨,亦曾經有過每年歲晚客似雲來的風光日子,萬料不到今年的年三十晚,卻是近年來最「拍烏蠅」的一天,老店抵不住租金年年加,生意年年減,宣布本月中結業,香港的國貨公司將又少一家。



李兆棠說,那年頭中產會光顧先施、永安,低下階層則愛國貨,「便宜之餘質素有保證」。想當年,年三十晚中興客似雲來,收入較平日多五六倍,「現在人人只會到年宵花市」。中興多間分店,陸續因經營困難而在八九十年代結業,而位於旺角道及上海 街交界的最後陣地也將撤出,店內只餘幾兄弟姊妹留守,李兆棠慨嘆﹕「以前賺到的也倒蝕出來。」




摸不到潮流 校服滯銷

面對經濟環境變化,中興為吸引年輕顧客,設法引入新元素,但賣國貨的本業不變,「不賣國貨,那不如轉招牌 ,客人只想來買國貨,如果兼賣其他貨,他們便不會光顧」。店舖曾引入較新潮的多色恤衫,「誰知客人買來買去都是白恤衫」。中興也曾順應潮流引入喇叭校服褲、女生們大熱天時仍舊衣不離身的加大碼冷衫,不過始終抵不住年輕人「五時花六時變」的心態,致大批校服滯銷,「近年又興窄腳褲,真是難捉摸」。



明報記者 吳光熙

全盛300國貨公司 今餘30多間
【明報專訊】曾幾何時,國貨公司是我們購買日常所需的主要地點,但時代變遷,不少國貨公司都已被淘汰。港九百貨業商會會長林振永稱,國貨店由全盛期70年代逾300間,至今已銳減至8個字號30多間分店,除裕華、中興外,其餘6間為新中聯、華豐、中都、中藝、赤柱 及華潤堂,後三者已分別轉為工藝品、手信與中成藥專門店。

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Steve Jobs's Old Manse to be Torn Down

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs is still out on medical leave, but the demolition of the mansion he reviles in the hamlet of Woodside, Calif., is expected to start soon.

This small town, one of Silicon Valley's wealthiest enclaves, is giving the Apple Inc. executive his long sought-after permit to raze his Spanish Colonial revival mansion, a subject of great debate. Jobs has been seeking to demolish the long-empty 17,000 square-foot house for at least a decade.

"We have been working with Mr. Jobs's representatives for the last few months, and we are very close to the point where the permit will be physically issued at the end of this week or the beginning of next week," Susan George, Woodside's town manager, said last week. The town issued a permit in 2009, but it has been held up as preservationists tried to fight it. Demolition could begin in the next month.

This news is sad for architecture and history buffs, but it may be of interest to investors, or at least Apple fans, who pounce on any tidbits about the company and its co-founder. With Jobs out on medical leave without a specific timetable to return, any word on his future plans are of interest.

"Mr. Jobs has not been intimately involved in the front line of this project," added George. "I know he keeps in very close contact with his representative on this." George also said the executive wants to build a smaller home, which would stand at the end of a private drive on the lush property.

Jobs's lawyer, San Francisco attorney Howard Ellman, said in an email that various offers to buy and restore the house and move it elsewhere were not viable. He declined to comment on any aspects of the situation that are not of public record. In 2004, Woodside gave Jobs conditional approval, with the caveat that he try to find someone willing to rescue and move it.

Before demolition begins, pests have to be eliminated from the property, now in seriously dilapidated condition, thanks to what preservationists say was Jobs's "demolition by neglect." He bought the house in 1983 and lived in it for about 10 years. But it has been mostly empty since then.

The house also has a place in Apple's and Jobs's storied past, but as most Apple fans know, Jobs prefers to look forward rather than backward. He posed with some members of the Macintosh development team on the mansion's grounds in a photo for Newsweek.

The mansion also played a role in the early days of forming NeXT after he was ousted from Apple. Jobs called an impromptu press conference at the house in 1985 to announce his new company, only to be discouraged by PR maven Andy Cunningham, who then had to go and tell the press to leave, as recounted in Alan Deutschman's book "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs."

Preservation Debate

The sprawling stucco manse was built for Daniel Jackling, the last of the copper-mining barons. Woodside's George said that decorative elements and artifacts of historical value are going to be saved from the 1926 house, deemed significant because its architect, George Washington Smith, has been credited by historians as the father of the Spanish Colonial revival movement in California, including signature items such as "the mailbox, the flagpole, the wall tiles, that kind of thing," she commented.

"Wall tiles are being removed by an expert who is going to make them available to museums or other George Washington Smith homes that need them," George elaborated.

Items symbolic of Jackling's source of wealth will also be saved, such as original copper fixtures and light switch plates.

The Jackling House was declared significant both for its architecture and its association with the life of the copper magnate. Timothy LeCain, author of a book on mining called "Mass Destruction," wrote a letter to the Woodside Town Council, pointing out the irony of Jobs's plans.

"That Steven Jobs — a man whose entire career has been built on devices that are essentially useless absent our copper-based electric power grid — proposed to tear down the home of the very man whose own innovations made that electric grid possible, strikes me as a particularly egregious case of ingratitude and amnesia."

In a rare public statement about the house at a Woodside Town Council meeting in 2005, Jobs said he bought the house with the intention of tearing it down, calling it "poorly built."

"It was never really a very interesting house to start with," he told the council. "I think I could build something far, far nicer and far more historically interesting down the road."

Saturday, February 5, 2011



Friday, February 4, 2011

Inflation (Currency Depreciation) Looms Large: Investors Seeking Protection For Their Wealth

Equity stock market is afloat on two-year high during a period of consolidation. External events such as the turmoil in Egypt caused temporary swing but did not drag down the market. Investors appeared to hold very tight for their positions to embrace potential paper loss temporarily but to benefit from the longer term asset appreciation. Hedge funds and individual investors previously attempted to move away from equity stock market to the sideline. The former dared not to short against market in the beginning of year after initial attempt and then switched to accumulation instead. The latter quickly felt uncomfortable holding cash on the sideline and promptly jumped back to the market. Those reaction supports market to buoy at current level.

Market participant sentiments are diversified. There are both buyers and sellers among institutional investors, individual investors, as well as hedge funds. The common anticipation is a possible short term correction which causes speculative day trading activities. However nearly all market participants anticipate a rising market trend in the year ahead. Wealth effect and greed encourages investors to take risk on possible short term temporary loss during market correction, rather than to miss a pop on market momentum. Therefore, any market dip quickly attracts speculative buyers and reverts movement direction. On the other hand, investor confidence are fragile and extended rally causes anxiety as short term overshoot for profit taking. During this market consolidation period, this scenario provides opportunity for risk-taking speculative traders. Despite anticipation from the majority of market participants, a sizable market correction is unlikely due to increasing risk appetite of investors, unless for "black swan" event that creates investor fear running for exit door.

As mentioned in earlier post dated back on October last year, it is observed that individual investors begin to return back to equity stock market after long waiting period with cash on the sideline. The flow of capital into equity stock market continues while investors begin to exit from treasuries and bond market at the same time. The article "Big Returns on Bonds Have Come and Gone" has similar interpretation on market observation as the speculative investment portfolio trading philosophy.

A. It will be difficult for fixed-income investors to make any reasonable rates of return this year (and perhaps for the foreseeable future) if rates begin a secular trend toward higher yields;

B. "Pick your poison" -- credit risk; currency risk; interest rate risk; or switch to equities to achieve a positive rate of return on your nominal dollars (before adjusting for inflation) -- the "easy ride" in bonds is over;

C. This makes life for investors difficult trying to find "safe" returns (ask anyone who has held a municipal bond since November how "safe" they feel), and it effectively forces all investors to embrace some type of risk if they hope to achieve a rate of return from what used to be considered their "safety net";

D. Ben Bernanke and the Fed have achieved one of their goals (creating a positive wealth effect) by driving money market rates and fixed-income yields so low that, inevitably, investors have no choice but to look for returns by gravitating away from bonds and toward equities (and commodities, of course); and

E. To be clear, this perspective could be wrong, and interest rates may not head higher (or they may rise very slowly over time). Take a look at David Rosenberg's commentaries at Gluskin Sheff for a very different perspective on the direction of interest rates versus the view espoused by Gross.

Although the perception on market trend has been correct since last October, the speculative trading portfolio performance is not impressive despite a moderate gain better than broad market index. In consideration of leveraging and active management, the performance is below reasonable expectation. One of the major shortfall is in the timing of market cycle. For short term timing of intra-day trading, it is not easy to predict a trend out of the random nature of market movement driven by market participants instantaneous reaction. However, for longer period of time spanning overnight or days, the picture may be clearer from observation of market participants activity. The entry and exit point of most tradings are mostly far from the optimal time for maximum profit. Some trades incur a loss which can be avoided if the timing of trade execution for position opening or closing is advanced or postponed for a few hours or less.

The trading skills of day traders may not be easily acquired. However, with longer time span between trading transactions, the confidence can be improved with more data analysis of market participants activity. Therefore the speculative trading strategy is adjusted accordingly to accommodate overnight equity holding which is previously suggested to avoid to reduce risk exposure. For risk mitigation, overnight holdings should have less leveraging than day trading positions and adequate borrowing margin buffer should be provided. Previous experience during financial crisis serves as a painful reminder on the destructive power of over leveraging in an environment of extended unfavorable market movement.

Americans earn and spend more, save less
As incomes slowly creep back up, Americans are spending more freely and saving less.

Less worried about layoffs, jobholders spend more
Ninety percent of the work force has a job, the same as a year ago. But last year, people were still worried about getting laid off. Today, they aren't.

'Can't Lose' Market May See Another Leg Up Ahead of Data Release Next Week
Investors are having it both ways right now in the "can't lose" market. With the four month sprint up, many people are now calling for a pullback right after the new year - but with so many people calling for that one wonders if it will be just that easy.

History suggests time is right to buy Dow stocks
"Big stocks are still playing catch-up," says Bob Doll, chief market strategist at BlackRock, a firm that manages $3.45 trillion in assets. "As they go higher, investors are going to say 'Stocks are going up, so I better buy some more of them.'"

How to trade the oncoming stock market bubble
Bull markets are built upon the bricks of skepticism and upon the backs of bears who are short the market and therefore will have to buy at some point to cover and/or chase the rallies.

Don't Fight the Tape: U.S. "Remains Attractive" as Recovery Accelerates, RBC's Harris Says
The risk trade is back on across the globe. Stocks in the U.S. and around the world are trading near multi-year highs on the heel of positive global economic news.

Despite the current risks in the market, there's no need to fight the bulls says Marc Harris, co-head of global research at RBC Capital Markets.

Dow 12,000: Rally Hits New Heights But Ritholtz Sees Correction Coming
Notably, Ritholtz is not expecting a massive sell-off and believes the bull market will resume once the correction runs its course.

"It's Much Worse": Howard Davidowitz on the State of the Union
Here again, Davidowitz is highly critical and dismissive.

Low-wage jobs dominated hiring so far in job market recovery
There are two problems with the jobs recovery to date. Employers haven't added enough jobs. And those they have added aren't particularly good ones.

Private Sector on the Mend But There's Still Too Much "Uncertainty," Walker Says
"We're talking about broadening the base of taxation in order to keep the tax rates as low as possible. The fact is we're not talking about ATB tax cuts we're talking about dramatic tax reform. The truth is we couldn't afford to extend a lot of the tax cuts we did extend...that was a mistake and I hope it's not repeated again."

How "Big Short" Author Michael Lewis Got Duped By Wall Street
On the whole, however, the stock market is a much safer place for individuals than the bond market. “The bond market I’d say is generally rigged against the individual investors," Lewis declares. "But there’s a caveat. It’s rigged to the extent that Wall Street firms know what they’re doing. And in the last four or five years we had this episode where these Wall Street firms created a poker table where they were the fools, and as a customer you could actually do quite well being on the other side of trades from them.”

Inflation or Disinflation??
Labor costs are often cited as a reason why the U.S. is not heading into an inflationary period, even as commodities prices continue to soar.

Is the Fed's Real Target 1,755 for the S&P?
For one, the relationship between stock market and employment gains has been absent since the recovery from the March 2009 stock market lows and the initial wave of Fed QE. As the Fed expanded its balance sheet by $2 trillion, unemployment has risen from 8.6 percent to Friday's suspect number of 9.0 percent, while stock prices have nearly doubled.

Don’t Look Now, But European Stocks Have Been Soaring
Plenty have written off Europe as doomed to deal with its fiscal issues for the next decade or so. But maybe they should take another look. Year-to-date European indexes in some fiscally troubled countries have been experiencing a riotous relief rally.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Apple II Game - Evolution (1982)

Action game published and developed by Sydney Development Corp. in 1982.

Evolution Description: Evolution is an arcade style action game with six levels where you need to evolve from an amoeba to a human. Each level is a different stage in evolution with it's own unique goals. The first level is the amoeba stage where you need to eat all the DNA on the screen while avoiding the spores, microbes, and antibodies that are trying to stop you. The second level is the tadpole stage. The tadpole needs to eat three flies to move on to the next stage while avoiding the very hungry fish. Next is the rodent stage, where you need to eat five blocks of cheese while avoiding the snakes. In level four you need to guide a beaver across alligator infested waters to retrieve sticks and build a dam. The fifth level is the gorilla stage, where your gorilla has to use coconuts to fight off monkeys that are trying to steal its orange stash. And finally is the human stage, where you have to use a laser gun to fight off mutants that are trying to take over the earth.

Don Mattrick (2008)

Mucking around with an Apple II one summer in the early 1980s, Don Mattrick and Jeff Sember, then Vancouver high-school students, designed and programmed Evolution. Released in 1982, Evolution may have been the first home-computer game with multiple levels. It may also have been the first computer game developed in Canada. It was certainly the first created in Vancouver.

Tarrnie Williams helped Mattrick and Sember create Distinctive Software Inc. so that the pair could license the rights to Sydney Development for publication. The success of Evolution turned Mattrick and Sember into rich kids and instant celebrities. In 1991, DSI was acquired by California-based publisher Electronic Arts, which became one of the first companies to both develop and publish video games.

趣談粵語 (光明頂-陶傑)

兔年揚眉 讓香港飛