Saturday, July 30, 2011

【Animals Are Beautiful People】 Walt Disney Wildlife Documentary 1974

【Animals Are Beautiful People】 is a 1974 nature documentary about the wildlife in Southern Africa. It was filmed in the Namib Desert, the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango River and Okavango Delta.

This South African film tells about life in these areas in a humorous way. It was directed and written by Jamie Uys, who is most famous for his later film The Gods Must Be Crazy.

The film begins in the Namib desert, with the narrator saying: "You'd think nobody could make a living here." But the film proves the opposite and shows the lives of the animals that live there. The narrator concludes: "But to the Oryx and the little creatures of the Namib, this waterless, hostile desert is paradise."

The second third of the film shows the rich life in the Okavango River and Okavango Delta, and the last third of the film focuses on life in the Kalahari desert.

鄭秀文 Sammi Cheng Quoted In《Apple Action News》

Friday, July 29, 2011

Squirrel Escapes Lamborghini

Range Bounded Market

Equity stock market declined continuously for all the days in the week. Day trading activities soar due to market participants speculation. Despite a large drop in broad market index, it does not appear that sellers are liquidating the portfolio in a panic. It seems that investors are trying to make use of the pile of cash on hand to speculate a market jitter on debt ceiling issue.

Hedge funds have been quiet except for the speculation in commodities market in the beginning of the year. The expiration of the Federal Reserve bond buying program raises some speculation but the treasury and bond market have been calm in the month. As investors are hoarding cash and afraid of price drop in equity stock and commodities market, the demand for treasuries and bonds are exceedingly strong. This provides support even on expiration of the bond buying program.

Market focus shifts to the debt ceiling issue. Market participants are mostly expecting a decline in assets price after the expiration of bond buying program. But market remains calm. For the debt ceiling issue, market participants expectation are greatly diversified. And investors are putting the money where the mouth is. Currently, there are more pessimistic investors than optimistic investors. As a result, broad market moves down on speculation. However, market condition can change swiftly as does investors speculation. The short term capital flow in the financial market is driven by cash on the sideline which has high liquidity.

The speculative trading portfolio has been observing the activities of market participants for some time. It can be concluded that market participants activities are very useful information for speculative stock trading. However, in real-world trading environment, traders can be influenced by emotional behaviour and make incorrect investment decisions. Accurate observation of market scenario and logical estimate of market participants strategy can help to improve investment decision.

Experience and knowledge can be acquired by participation in the equity stock market. The speculative trading portfolio maintains the fundamental philosophy that equity stock market has a long term up trend because of technology innovation and improving living standard. This strategy works well in the first quarter when market is rising. However, when marker makers begin to sell at the peak, the speculative trading portfolio suffers continual loss on hope that the decline is only a temporary correction. In fact, the market is highly manipulative and short term equity stock trading based on a valuation perspective is no difference from betting on the throw of a dice. A better approach seems to be based on the model of game theory. The dynamics of market participants is a dominant factor on market movement. It is critical to have accurate observation of market participants activities and to logically deduce the next step of market participants. The odds of winning can be raised to above 0.5 if there is a higher confidence in market movement between trade executions.

Failures in the past are useful to improve the skills for future. For the first half of this year, the speculative trading portfolio is analysed for market observation and portfolio investment decisions. Mistakes are investigated so that they can be avoided or at least to confine the damage in future.

In the beginning of the year, equity stock market had been rising amid incremental buying from individual investors since last October. In March, buying from individual investors were fading gradually. But institutional investors were still holding the equity stock market strongly. The speculative trading portfolio was overall making profit.

In March, market set year high on thin trading. Then market consolidated. The speculative trading portfolio did not perform well in such environment which was ideal for day trading activities. Hedge funds began to heat up the commodities market. World political events and natural disasters created turbulence in the financial markets.

The speculative trading portfolio maintained an optimistic outlook. Market recovered as investors were buying hard assets on fear of inflation. At the end of April, market reached year high and so did the value of the speculative trading portfolio. From this onward, market started a lengthy decline until consolidation at present. Market outlook is still uncertain and market participants have confronting speculations. Day trading volume soars.

Back to May, despite witness of commodities market collapse and the observation of sell-off by market makers in the equity stock market, the speculative trading portfolio was not aware of a sigificant market pullback. A long term positive outlook is a mistake to maintain the holdings in the speculative trading portfolio which should react quickly to market movement.

As market makers set up a plan and were determined to drive down the market, day traders followed. Individual investors began to take profit and herding behaviour was created. The speculative trading portfolio made another mistake hoping that individual investors, who started the rally, would not sell in this market. If market makers and day traders were selling, it would be logical for individual investors to sell in order to protect profit.

In June, after six consecutive weeks of market decline, market makers finally stopped selling. But day traders and individual investors continued to sell for another week. The speculative trading portfolio was encouraged to hold the portfolio based on market makers action.

When market dropped close to the bottom, the speculative trading portfolio made a brave decision to increase holding. The rebound was strong. Unfortunately the trading portfolio was too worry about the sell-off that individual investors may begin panic selling of the core portfolio. Therefore the trading portfolio took profit early. Later it was realized that long term investors bought at the bottom.

The rebound continued for a week. The trading portfolio recovered small portion of the loss in the seven-week drop. Seeing that market makers reverted from selling to buying and the buying frenzy from day traders, the trading portfolio was driven by greed to buy again at the end of rebound. The mistake was due to late response for day trading strategy. After a few days, the rebound would probably end. Market makers, day traders as well as long term buyers were only buying on impulse during the stock consolidation period.

Market dropped again. The trading portfolio took the opportunity. A mistake was repeated, i.e. to liquidate for profit taking too early due to fear. The decline lasts for a week until present and outlook is still uncertain. The trading portfolio still holds stock equities and bull ETF. Bear ETF are liquidated completely.

As discussed previously, investment decision should be made based on observation of market participants activities and projected market movement. Currently, despite a possible debt default, there is not panic selling although investors are selling heavily on speculation and dragging down market significantly. Investors are still holding the core portfolio and use the surplus cash holding to speculate the market. There is support at the level where long term investors enter the market previously. Also market makers are still thin on equity stock holding and no significant position in derivative products for market speculation, either up or down. Individual investors are holding core portfolio with extra holding for short term speculation.

Since equity stock holding in the trading portfolio is comparatively low, there is no intention to liquidate even if market continues to drift down. However, if market participants become panic, the trading portfolio will increase the leveraging to initiate bear ETF position for hedging and speculative trading.

There are a lot of uncertainties in the debt ceiling issue. And market participants may respond irrationally. In the last few weeks, market makers and day traders have significant influence on market movement. The former will unlikely drive down the market due to lack of positions but have cash holding to drive up if condition favors. The latter will use news to manipulate market for quick profit. There may be oscillations and investors trading on instantaneous market movement have to be very responsive.

The trading strategy for the coming week will be reviewed in the next discussion. It is expected the learning process through trial and error can help to improve the trading skills in a dynamic trading environment.

How to Trade the Collapse of US Debt Talks
"The dollar's awfully undervalued at this point," he said. "There's a huge short against the U.S. dollar so you might see a rebound in the dollar index and you might just see a pickup in risk assets in general."

Economos also advised going long on risk assets such as high-quality equities.

"This is probably a time to start looking to get invested rather than shy away from markets and add to very expensive hedges," he said.

Preparing for worst as debt-limit talks drag on
Scrambling to protect themselves against a U.S. default, investors are buying gold and foreign currencies, using derivatives to bet on a stock market collapse and taking out complicated insurance policies.

Consider the assets at the heart of the crisis -- Treasury bonds. You would expect interest rates on Treasurys to rise the closer Washington gets to missing a debt payment. Investors would demand higher rates because of the greater risk they wouldn't get their money back. After Argentina defaulted in 2002, foreign lenders required higher rates.

But some bond traders are betting the opposite will happen. They think nervous money managers could rush into Treasurys if Washington blows past the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. The buying would push interest rates lower.

Debt Ceiling Deadlock: Why the Markets Don’t Seem to Care
The U.S. is inching closer to default, and in Washington the two sides are digging trenches whose depths rival the Mariana Trench. And yet the markets don't seem to care.

We're not supposed to say that it is different this time, but it is different this time. The 'markets,' to the degree that they have a mind, seem not to be too troubled by the debt-ceiling brinksmanship.

Insiders Selling at Unusually Fast Pace
Bad news, stock-market bulls: Corporate insiders are selling their companies' shares at an abnormally fast pace.

Perhaps the strongest counterargument the bulls can muster at this point is that the insiders are not infallible. That indeed is true. Still, researchers report that they have been more right than wrong.

Soros to End Four Decades as Hedge Fund Leader by Returning Investor Cash
George Soros, the billionaire best known for breaking the Bank of England, is returning money to outside investors in his $25.5 billion firm, ending a career as hedge-fund manager that spanned more than four decades.

Soros’s sons said they took the decision because new financial regulations would have made it necessary for the firm to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission by March 2012 if it continued to manage money for outsiders. Because the firm has overseen mostly family assets since 2000, when outside money accounted for about $4 billion, they decided it made more sense to run it as a family office, according to the letter.

The rule calls for hedge funds with more than $150 million in assets to report information about their investors and employees, the assets they manage, potential conflicts of interest and their activities outside of fund advising. Registered funds will also be subject to periodic inspections by the SEC.

“We have relied until now on other exemptions from registration which allowed outside shareholders whose interests aligned with those of the family investors to remain invested in Quantum,” the executives said in the letter, referring to its flagship Quantum Endowment Fund. “As those other exemptions are no longer available under the new regulations, Soros Fund Management will now complete the transition to a family office that it began eleven years ago.”

Even the Best Investors Get It Wrong. Ask John Paulson
Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson has learned that lesson this year.

Zuckerman says Paulson's success may also be contributing to his poor performance.

He's also made some poor investments. Paulson originally bought Bank of America in 2009, near the bottom but has seemingly held on too long. Though he pared back his holdings, Bank of America's 28% slide this year has trimmed those gains.

Paulson's more dramatic loss this year came from a bet on Chinese forestry company Sino-Forest. An accounting scandal with that firm caused the stock to plunge more than 80% last month and took $500 million in Paulson's money with it.

Spring buying boosted home prices for 2nd month
Home prices in major U.S. cities rose for the second straight month in May, propped up by a flurry of spring buyers. But after adjusting for such seasonal factors, prices fell in a majority of markets.

Home sales have fallen in four of the past five years, forcing prices down in most areas. Declining home values have made people feel less wealthy, and they are spending less as a result. That affects consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

Return of 20% Home Down Payments Looms
Hopeful homebuyers may soon need to shell out more money upfront before being approved for a mortgage.

The proposed changes are being reviewed by federal regulators, among them the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the SEC, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development. There is no set timeline for when final decisions will be made.

Corso says he can appreciate the intent, if not the specifics of how the Dodd-Frank Act sought to ensure a safe and stable mortgage market.

"Everybody knows what happened during the frenzy time," he says. "People threw common-sense out the window. The idea was to create a positive incentive for common sense mortgages ... because, at some point the credit cycle will turn, credit will become easier and people will start to push the boundaries. The idea was to say 'Don't do that.' This is a lot safer for consumers -- and much better for lenders -- so just stick with this and forget the crazy stuff."

Worried About the Debt Ceiling? “You Can’t Be Conservative Enough,” WisdomTree CEO Says
Steinberg, whose firm has $13.5 billion in ETF assets under management, says investors continue to diversify out of dollars and into emerging markets and gold. "[But] it's not so much about the debt ceiling but these extraordinarily low interest rates," he says. "Everyone is looking for alternative sources of income."

In fact, there is so little panic among investors that Steinberg notes there's been a pickup in inflows into U.S. equity and fixed-income ETFs in recent weeks.

The reality is nobody really knows how a U.S. downgrade or technical default will play out, which has me thinking of the old market saw: It's better to be out of the market wishing you were in, then in the market wishing you were out.

U.S. Tax Code: An Economic Growth Engine That’s Too Big to Fix
Alas, once the banks start lending again, and make no mistake they aren't, it's going to lead to rampant inflation. Once lending and corporate activity picks up, the velocity of cash will ramp and the money now buffering balance sheets will work against the economy as more dollars chase low inventories of goods predominantly made overseas.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

【Inside Job】YouTube Documentary on 2008 Financial Crisis

Inside Job Part 1

Inside Job Part 2

Inside Job Part 3

Inside Job Part 4

Inside Job Part 5

Inside Job Part 6

Inside Job Part 7

Inside Job Part 8


Investors Hesitate; Traders Speculate

Equity stock market remains range bounded. Investors are confused where the volatile market will head as there is heavy manipulation of market. Day traders learned from previous experience and stopped selling when market dropped to previous low and switched to buying. Market makers also bought at market low. As a result, the rebound is strong with volume much larger then daily average. Similar to previous rebound, it lasts only shortly. Institutional investors and individual investors do not follow the buying.

Day trading activities constitutes a large portion of daily trading volume. Investors are reluctant to buy for long term investment as market approaches peak since the financial crisis.

Investors are concerned about economic uncertainties and a weak recovery, especially when the rich are benefited most due to concentration of wealth. Although day traders and market makers are buying up the market in the week, profit can also be made by manipulation in a volatile market with thin trading volume.

If Debt Ceiling Talks Fail, Treasury Has Options
It is unfortunate the president and Treasury secretary are spreading around calamity scenarios, because the Treasury really does have options after Aug. 2 if it doesn't scare the markets into panic before then.

The Treasury will still be receiving 55% of its tax revenue and can easily pay the interest on the debt, and should then be able to roll over bonds coming due. For the balance of federal expenses, the Treasury will have to prioritize, but it will have enough money for Social Security, Medicare and Medicare. Some checks may have to be spread out to accommodate discrepancies between payment dates and cash flows, but interest payments are modest enough, relative to the total cash coming in, that those can be met on time.

A downgrade is likely no matter what comes out of current negotiations. Specifically, Standard and Poor's has indicated a $4 trillion deficit reduction package is necessary by Aug. 2 to avoid a downgrade. That simply is not possible given the president's aversion to genuine spending cuts -- evidenced by his failure to table concrete spending cut proposals -- and the insistence on no new taxes by many members of the Republican House caucus.

Bond Funds Cut the Cord
The bond market's getting even more popular. Despite a gut-wrenching sell-off from late 2010 through January of this year, flows into bond funds have been massive.

In short, investors are pouring into bonds on an unprecedented scale. With more than $685 billion of inflows to bond funds since December 2008, we have not been able to find another period that comes close, even when adjusted for inflation.

A combination of rock-bottom U.S. interest rates and worry about the nation's fiscal health is driving managers to higher-yielding assets.

Buy the Big Banks Despite Weak Q2 Earnings: Pavlik
Right now, to most investors it feels like little more than headline risk, settlements, and set-asides from the beleaguered banks and it is reflected in the market with the Banks and Diversified Financial industry groups tied for last place so far this year with double-digit declines. "The news has been already priced into these things. The catalyst is going to be when we really start to see some improvement in the mortgage-related area, the housing stuff. Once we start to see the beginning of the end of this, then the stocks are going to start rising," says Pavlik.

Ultimately, he says there is "a lot of money sitting on the sidelines" and an investment banking franchise that practically mints money to carry them through until things pick up. And remember, that day is not a question of if, but when.

Why Most Market Forecasters Get it Wrong
We want to know the future, and we actively seek out experts who can predict it. But facts show that in most pursuits where dynamic and multiple variables determine what will happen, experts are not good at predicting the future. And to make matters worse, those who predict are rarely held accountable for their prognostications.

Fang concludes that rather than being an indication of good judgment, accurately forecasting a rare event, such as business success, may in fact be an indication of poor judgment.

As avid index investors, we make only one prediction: In a global, capitalistic economy, investors are rewarded for the risk they take in deploying their capital. If in bonds, investors will be rewarded as a lender. If in small-cap stocks, investors will be rewarded for increased equity risks.

A boom in corporate profits, a bust in jobs, wages
Strong second-quarter earnings from McDonald's, General Electric and Caterpillar on Friday are just the latest proof that booming profits have allowed Corporate America to leave the Great Recession far behind.

What's behind the disconnect between strong corporate profits and a weak labor market? Several factors:

-- U.S. corporations are expanding overseas, not so much at home.
-- Back in the U.S., companies are squeezing more productivity out of staffs thinned by layoffs during the Great Recession.
-- Companies remain reluctant to spend the $1.9 trillion in cash they've accumulated, especially in the United States, which would create jobs.

Where's the volume? Stock trading quiet in July
Trading volume, or the number of shares bought and sold, is down because there are fewer big investors buying stocks. And those who want to buy are worried about the job market and the European debt crisis -- and the budget impasse in Washington.

Low volume is worrisome because it suggests that few investors are driving the stock market's gains or losses. That creates the risk for bigger price swings.

Where's the volume? Stock trading quiet in July
What happened to the volume? July set to be slowest month for stocks in more than 3 years
This month may be the slowest in the stock market in more than three years.

Trading volume, or the number of shares bought and sold, is down because there are fewer big investors buying stocks. And those who want to buy are worried about the job market and the European debt crisis -- and the budget impasse in Washington. If Congress and the White House don't agree on budget cuts and raising the government's borrowing limit, the U.S. is at risk of defaulting on its debt after Aug. 2.

Daily volume on the New York Stock Exchange is down 22 percent so far in July compared with the same period in 2010, according to data provider FactSet. About 3.7 billion shares have traded hands every day on average, down from 4.7 billion in July last year.

If that continues, July will have the lowest average daily trading volume since December 2007, says Patrick O'Shaughnessy, a research analyst at Raymond James.

Low volume is worrisome because it suggests that few investors are driving the stock market's gains or losses. That creates the risk for bigger price swings. When, for example, there are few buyers, someone trying to sell a stock may be forced to keep lowering the price in hopes that someone will want it -- the same as a homeowner who can't find a buyer for a house.

A lack of volume also indicates that some investors don't believe that stocks are worth buying right now.

Traders have reason to be wary:
-- Job growth is weak.
-- The manufacturing industry is in a slump, too.
-- Debt problems remain in the U.S. and Europe.

All this has led investors to avoid stocks. And that has hurt volume.

In June, investors withdrew $14.5 billion more than they deposited into U.S. stock mutual funds, according to consulting firm Strategic Insight. That was the largest withdrawal from stock funds since August 2010. "Investors are running scared," said Frank Barbera, portfolio manager of the Sierra Core Retirement Fund.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


有線寬頻 i-CABLE

遠 華 集 團 走 私 案 嫌 疑 主 犯 賴 昌 星 被 裁 定 要 遣 返 中 國 , 最 快 可 能 於 當 地 時 間 星 期 五 執 行 。 加 拿 大 聯 邦 法 院 法 官 接 納 移 民 部 理 據 , 指 中 方 向 加 拿 大 政 府 承 諾 , 不 會 虐 待 賴 昌 星 是 有 實 質 證 據 支 持 , 中 國 外 交 部 歡 迎 加 拿 大 聯 邦 法 院 的 裁 決 。

賴 昌 星 潛 逃 加 拿 大 十 二 年 , 但 很 快 就 要 被 遣 返 中 國 。 加 拿 大 聯 邦 法 院 法 官 於 當 地 星 期 四 晚 宣 判 , 拒 絕 賴 昌 星 暫 緩 遣 返 的 申 請 。 判 詞 長 二 十 七 頁 , 法 官 接 納 加 拿 大 移 民 部 的 理 據 , 認 為 中 方 跟 加 拿 大 已 協 議 , 賴 昌 星 遣 返 中 國 後 不 會 受 到 虐 待 , 這 項 協 議 不 是 憑 空 想 像 , 有 實 質 可 信 的 證 據 支 持 。

法 官 認 同 中 國 人 權 狀 況 不 理 想 , 他 提 到 西 藏 、 法 輪 功 和 諾 貝 爾 和 平 獎 得 主 劉 曉 波 都 有 受 迫 害 的 情 況 , 但 他 相 信 , 加 拿 大 跟 中 國 的 協 議 是 有 效 。 而 且 協 議 容 許 加 拿 大 人 員 探 監 , 可 以 減 少 賴 昌 星 在 獄 中 受 虐 待 的 可 能 性 , 加 拿 大 亦 可 以 派 人 旁 聽 賴 昌 星 案 的 審 訊 , 能 夠 確 保 他 得 到 公 平 審 訊 。 法 官 亦 特 別 指 出 , 賴 昌 星 不 是 政 治 犯 , 而 是 涉 及 貪 污 走 私 的 刑 事 罪 犯 , 理 應 遣 返 中 國 受 審 。

賴 昌 星 代 表 律 師 馬 塔 斯 於 早 上 的 聆 訊 中 質 疑 加 拿 大 跟 中 方 協 議 的 可 信 性 , 指 賴 昌 星 不 會 得 到 公 平 審 訊 , 不 會 有 代 表 律 師 , 就 算 判 他 死 刑 亦 不 會 公 開 , 外 界 永 遠 不 會 知 道 真 相 。

馬 塔 斯 又 指 中 國 政 府 將 賴 昌 星 當 作 打 擊 貪 污 的 人 辦 , 收 殺 一 儆 百 的 效 果 , 同 時 轉 移 外 界 對 中 共 官 員 貪 污 的 指 控 , 中 方 很 大 機 會 以 虐 待 手 法 向 賴 昌 星 套 取 更 多 線 索 。 不 過 法 官 認 為 , 賴 昌 星 一 方 提 出 的 理 據 不 足 。

賴 昌 星 被 扣 押 在 溫 哥 華 的 懲 教 中 心 , 透 過 視 像 電 話 聽 審 , 他 已 經 無 法 律 途 徑 可 以 再 提 出 暫 緩 遣 返 。

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vibrant Market

Market oscillates wildly on speculation by market participants. The buying impulse in the previous week disappears. Day trading activities increases as day traders have not given up to drive market down. Individual investors remain on the sideline without further selling.

The speculative trading portfolio guesses wrongly on market movement. Nevertheless, it is still confident that panic selling would not happen as investors have learned from the financial crisis.

Market may move violently as market particicpants are fighting for profit. The excess capital from households and corporations flows in the financial market seeking return on investment.

A Smoking June for Hedge Funds
For some investors in the municipal-bond market, June added insult to injury.

Tobacco bonds have been part of the municipal-bond market for about a decade. They are sold by states and backed by payments from cigarette manufacturers that flow from a legal settlement in the late 1990s. The downgrade of many of the bonds by Standard & Poor's in November caused forced selling by municipal-bond funds that aren't able to hold noninvestment-grade debt.

The exodus helped trigger a broader wave of selling across the market.

Big hedge funds like Brigade Capital and GoldenTree Asset Management snapped up the debt on the cheap, according to people familiar with the matter. Smaller firms such as Venor Capital Management and Foxhill Capital Partners also jumped in.

A Better Deal in Corporate Bonds
After a nearly 12-months tear, companies have been issuing fewer bonds — a sign bond investors are tired of settling for low yields and weak investor protections, say market watchers.
Yields on corporate bonds both investment grade and high yield — have inched up over the last few months as investors deemed them riskier investments and started demanding better rates, says Andrew Catalan, managing director of investment grade strategies for Standish.

In the meantime, investing pros recommend sticking to only higher-quality corporate bonds and reducing exposure to junk, says Lonski. Fund manager Young says investors should also consider high-quality dividend paying stocks, which provide stable payments but could also rise if the economy improves, says Young. "I would approach the current situation with a great deal of caution," says Lonski. "This may not necessarily be the best time to increase your exposure to risk."

Whatever Happens, Commodities Win: Jim Rogers
"If the world economy gets better, I earn money on commodities. If the global economy gets worse then they will print more money and I will make money in commodities," Rogers said in an interview with CNBC on Monday.

Riskier Loans Make a Comeback, as Private Firms Take the Field
According to analysts, a handful of private investment firms have started making home loans to borrowers who fail to meet banks' requirements, which got tighter post-crash and have largely stayed that way.

Given the recent economy, that includes a lot of people. With housing prices still so relatively low, many people may want to buy, which analysts say could fuel a boom in this sector.

Foreclosures Down 29% in First Half, But It’s No Time to Celebrate: RealtyTrac’s Sharga
Home foreclosures fell 29% to 1.17 million during the first six months of this year compared to the first half of 2010, according to RealtyTrac's Midyear 2011 Foreclosure Market Report. The findings also show foreclosures for the second quarter to be the lowest since the end of 2007.

One solution being discussed in Washington to solve this never-ending slump is to implement a foreclosure moratorium. But Sharga says that will only make the problem worse. "You could see a significant number of people just decide to put the money in their own pockets" instead of making mortgage payments on homes which are underwater, or worth less than the amount still owed on them.

Why You Shouldn't Buy Those Quarterly Earnings Surprises
This month, market strategists, television commentators and other investing pundits will bombard you with breathless updates on the percentage of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index that have reported profits even higher than what analysts expected—in Wall Street lingo, a "positive earnings surprise."

Even in the depths of the financial crisis, from the third quarter of 2008 through the first quarter of 2009, between 59% and 66% of companies beat expectations, according to Wharton Research Data Services, or WRDS.

With trading volumes down on Wall Street and commission rates near record-low levels, brokerage firms are starved for the revenue that stock trading used to provide. Since changes in earnings forecasts encourage many investors to buy or sell, analysts have an incentive to revise their predictions more often. But that hasn't made the forecasts more accurate.

Markets and Economy Are at Fulcrum Point: Don Hays
"Look back just a year ago, the June-July period, the market was much weaker then than it is now," he says. "When you start to think about it, when do you buy stocks? When the economy is somewhat suffering, when people are negative and they're sitting on the sidelines with huge cash reserves," Hays boldly states.

Add in a concerted effort by "the people in power" (including Ben Bernanke - who Hays thinks is the right man at the right time) who are doing everything they can to try to improve the economy and that's exactly what's happening now."

And then he offers the other side of perspective acknowledging that "you have to recognize that we've moved 100% in 30 months.

China's U.S.-Listed Stocks Are Junk
By now, everyone has heard of the Muddy Waters research alleging fraud at Sino-Forest that tripped up investor John Paulson.

For a long time, the largest and better-quality mainland companies listed in Hong Kong, often with secondary overseas listings in New York or London.

That changed as Shanghai's stock market came of age in recent years. While Hong Kong continued to get chunky dual listings with Shanghai, London and New York were largely no longer needed.

Hong Kong is attracting more established companies, which partly comes down to differences in regulation. Perhaps the key listing requirement of Hong Kong is its three-year profit rule, which means companies must have some discipline and wait before seeking a listing payday.

Hong Kong has had its own fraudulent listings in the past, but arguably regulators have grown more wise to them. Back-door listings or reverse takeovers, for instance, that have been the core of fraud in the U.S., have been discouraged here and are now rare.

Debt ceiling: What Obama wants in taxes
Taxes. It's become the most controversial issue in the debt ceiling talks.

Republicans say President Obama wants to enact "job killing" tax hikes "now." Obama says that's not so: He says his tax increases would be targeted so as not to hurt the economy and would not take effect until 2013.

First, he wants to get rid of some corporate tax breaks enjoyed by oil and gas companies as well as buyers of corporate jets. Together, those changes might generate close to $50 billion in revenue over 10 years. He also wants to restore some Bush-era tax rates for high-income households -- a move that could raise roughly $700 billion over a decade. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2012.

In other words, roughly $750 billion in revenue raisers out of what the president hopes will be a $4 trillion package or "grand bargain" even though it's looking more likely that a final package will be much smaller.

"Is the package that we're talking about exactly what I would want? No. I might want more revenues and fewer cuts to programs that benefit middle-class families ... My point is, is that I'm willing to move in their direction in order to get something done," Obama said.

While very high taxes can dissuade businesses from hiring or investing at least in the near term, it's not at all clear how much, if any, job killing would occur if the proposals Obama has acknowledged publicly were implemented.

For one thing, it's not known how many jobs business owners in the top two tax brackets actually create. The IRS collects information on businesses income but not on jobs. And some types of business income -- such as income from rental properties or investment partnerships -- may generate few if any jobs.

Finally, Obama said that he offered to work with Republicans on tax reform that lowered income tax rates in exchange for eliminating most tax breaks.

But he added one caveat: He would only get behind such reform "as long as that package was sufficiently progressive so that we weren't balancing the budget on the backs of middle-class families and working-class families and we weren't letting hedge fund managers and authors of best-selling books off the hook."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

7may2011 社民連政策座談會 - 反核之必要

日期: 2011-05-07
時間: 19:30
地點: 社會民主連線總部




Tuesday, July 12, 2011

《為六四.反廿三》六四維園演講 -陳士齊博士










Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shuttle's last hookup: Hugs, kisses and emotion

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — As the miles melted between Atlantis and the International Space Station, the emotions grew — in orbit and on the ground.

At Mission Control on Sunday, lead flight director Kwatsi Alibaruho declared "this is it" as he gave the OK for the final docking in space shuttle history. Flashbacks to the shuttle's very first space station docking — with Russia's Mir in 1995 — flooded his mind as viewed the shuttle on the screens. He was a NASA trainee back then.

About 240 miles above the Pacific, the station's naval bell chimed a salute — one of many landmarks, or rather spacemarks, of this final two-week shuttle mission that are being savored one by one.

"Atlantis arriving," called out space station astronaut Ronald Garan Jr. "Welcome to the International Space Station for the last time."

"And it's great to be here," replied shuttle commander Christopher Ferguson.

Cries of joy and laughter filled the connected vessels once the hatches swung open and the two crews — 10 space fliers altogether representing three countries — exchanged hugs, handshakes and kisses on the cheek. Cameras floated everywhere, recording every moment of the last-of-its-kind festivities.

Atlantis, carrying a year's worth of supplies, is being retired after this flight, the last of the 30-year shuttle program.

"I won't say that I got close to welling up in the eyes, but I will say that it was a powerful moment for me," Alibaruho later told reporters. He tried to keep his feelings discreet so as not to distract his team of flight controllers, but said, "I know they were all feeling very similar emotions, thinking about where we've come from, how much we've accomplished ... what's coming next."

Alibaruho said the moment was also powerful for the 10 people in space for the docking: six Americans, three Russians and one Japanese.

"You could sense a palpable increase in emotion from all of the crew members, not just our U.S. astronauts," he said. "They were extremely happy and really elated to see their visitors, and I know that they really recognize and appreciate the significance of these moments."

A computer failure aboard Atlantis took away some of the redundancy desired for the rendezvous, but did not hamper the operation.

Within a few hours, though, news came that NASA was monitoring a piece of space junk that could come dangerously close to the orbiting shuttle-station complex on Tuesday — right in the middle of a spacewalk.

Mission management team chairman LeRoy Cain stressed it was still too soon to know whether the unidentified object would truly pose a threat, and that a decision would be made Monday as to whether the linked spacecraft would have to move out of harm's way. The size of the object was not immediately known.

This was the 46th docking by a space shuttle to a space station.

Nine of those were to Mir back in the 1990s, with Atlantis making the very first. The U.S. and Russia built on that sometimes precarious experience to create, along with a dozen other nations, the world's largest spacecraft ever: the permanently inhabited, finally completed, 12½-year-old International Space Station.

This time, Atlantis is delivering more than 5 tons of food, clothes and other space station provisions — an entire year's worth, in fact, to keep the complex going in the looming post-shuttle era.

The shuttle astronauts quickly handed over a bag of groceries loaded with fresh fruit and promised the station residents some extra jars of peanut butter. "Outstanding," said inhabitant Michael Fossum.

Ferguson was at the controls as Atlantis drew closer, leading the smallest astronaut crew in decades.

Only four are flying aboard Atlantis, as NASA kept the crew to a minimum in case of an emergency. In the unlikely event that Atlantis was seriously damaged, the shuttle astronauts would need to move into the space station for months and rely on Russian Soyuz capsules to get back home. A shuttle always was on standby before for a possible rescue, but that's no longer feasible with Discovery and Endeavour officially retired now.

Two days into this historic voyage — the 135th in 30 years of shuttle flight — Atlantis was said by NASA to be sailing smoothly, free of notable damage. Sunday's docking proved to be as flawless as Friday's liftoff.

As a safeguard, Atlantis performed the usual backflip for the space station cameras, before the linkup. The station astronauts used powerful zoom lenses to photograph all sides of the shuttle. Experts on the ground will scrutinize the digital images for any signs of damage that might have come from fuel-tank foam, ice or other launch debris.

Atlantis and its crew will spend more than a week at the orbiting complex. The shuttle flight currently is scheduled to last 12 days, but NASA likely will add a 13th day to give the astronauts extra time to complete all their chores.

As for the shuttle's failed computer, Alibaruho said a bad switch throw likely knocked it offline. He expects it to be working again once new software is installed Monday. The shuttle has five of these main computers; the check-and-balance network provides redundancy during the most critical phases of the mission, especially launch and landing.

NASA is getting out of the launching-to-orbit business, giving Atlantis, Endeavour and Discovery to museums, so it can start working on human trips to asteroids and Mars. Private U.S. companies will pick up the more mundane job of space station delivery runs and, still several years out, astronaut ferry flights.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden stressed in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" program Sunday morning that the United States will remain the world leader in space exploration, even after the shuttles stop flying.

"I would encourage the American public to listen to the president," Bolden said. "The president has set the goals: an asteroid in 2025, Mars in 2030. I can't get any more definitive than that."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Space shuttle leaves Earth on final flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Space shuttle Atlantis rocketed off its seaside launch pad on Friday, rising atop a tower of smoke and flames as it left Earth on the final flight of the U.S. space shuttle program.

After a 30-year history that has cost nearly $200 billion and claimed the lives of 14 astronauts, the shuttles are being retired to make way for a new generation of spacecraft that President Barack Obama says will put U.S. astronauts on an asteroid and then on to Mars.

"Today's launch may mark the final flight of the space shuttle but it propels us into the next era of our never-ending adventure to push the very frontiers of exploration and discovery in space," Obama said in a statement from the White House.

About 1 million sightseers witnessed the liftoff. They had lined causeways and beaches around the Kennedy Space Center in central Florida, angling for a last glimpse of the pioneering ship that has defined the U.S. space program for the past three decades as it soared through the skies.

Market Continues To Rebound

Despite unfavorable economic news, market continues to rebound from recent bottom. A large portion of the six consecutive weeks' decline is recovered in the last two weeks. Market makers were the first to take profit three weeks ago before market hit bottom. Day traders and individual investors continued to sell on speculation for one more week. Then market participants became aware that selling was scarce and herding behaviour turned to buy side. At the same time, long term investors started buying and triggered a strong rebound.

Day traders who do not respond quickly to the sudden change in market direction may suffer loss since the rebound is much faster than the decline. Individual investors again see the transfer of wealth as the stock equity portfolio is trimmed down. Institutional investors mostly remain calm during the sell-off. As market rebounds strongly, portfolio value is mostly recovered. Long term investors make a quick profit for the risk taken. Market makers are most benefited from the recent sell-off.

The speculative trading portfolio makes the same mistake as individual investors. Since the trading philosophy is long term buying, portfolio holding is maintained during the six weeks' decline. However at the market bottom when day traders are selling and individual investors are trimming down to the core holding, it is afraid that market collapse may be triggered if day traders start short selling and individual investors start dumping core holding. Fortunately this scenario does not happen as market participants do not have very strong desire to sell while market makers have already stopped selling. But the fear of panic selling still looms large and a decision is made to hedge the portfolio holding with bear ETF. As a result, large portion of the rebound in portfolio value is eroded by the bear ETF.

Market makers and big investors having the edge over small investors is not uncommon. Herding behaviour of investors are exploited by market makers to manipulate the market. A close look at the market trend should reveal that a calm investor should be able to see that when market makers stop selling and then followed by day traders and individual investors, market should have reached bottom. When long term investors start buying from the market, a mistake is made on the speculative trading portfolio to add bear ETF holding in the portfolio.

In order to minimize emotional mistake, it would be desirable to set a strategy based on the activities of market participants in the previous week and projection into the coming week. Unless there is sudden event, investment decision should adhere to the strategy rather than following the herd or based on fear.

As mentioned in the posts, market is manipulated and short term market movement is basically unrelated to macro economic condition. The speculative trading portfolio is speculating short term profit on market fluctuation based on market participants activities.

There is a large pool of capital flowing around the globe looking for investment return on various assets. In the last two weeks, long term investors started buying in the equity market. Then selling from day traders and individual investors ceased. In this week, market makers return to equity stock market. With a thin portfolio and a pile of cash on hand, the objective of market maker is not to short sell to drive market down as in previous strategy but to accumulate positions. This drives the market up significantly as a strong rebound. Institutional investors have been inactive during the sell-off period and follow market makers quickly on the buying. Day traders and individual investors seem to hesitate to follow the buying as they are the last to stop selling at the bottom. Hedge funds are preparing for storm in the commodities and bond market as the Federal Reserve bond buying program has ended. From this observation, there are not much selling desire from market participants. If institutional investors and market makers continue to buy from market, the latter may advance further.

Market makers may not be buying equity stock on fundamental performance since just profited from the recent sell-off. However, the influence on market movement may create herding behaviour. Market is expected to be manipulated up in the coming week. Consequently, the speculative trading portfolio, has reduced the holding on bear ETF and increased holding on bull ETF. The holding on equity stocks remains unchanged for longer term appreciation.

Treasuries Triple Global Returns as Dealers Predict Decline
Yields near record lows have frustrated fixed- income investors looking for more return.

“But we are in a moderate growth recovery with little evidence of inflation pressure and the Fed in no hurry to change its stance. The path of least resistance is very low” rates for a long time, he said.

Corporate debt has done even better, gaining 3.2 percent this year as companies sold $1.9 trillion of bonds, a 24 percent increase from the same period of 2010.

Inflation expectations are rising.

After buying $1.7 trillion in securities through last year, increasing the amount of money in circulation to prevent deflation, the central bank started a $600 billion program that ended last week. QE2 also succeeded in driving investors into riskier assets.

“Despite headwinds, the economic recovery will continue into the end of the year.”

Bond yields tick lower as 'ongoing jitters' keep coming
It's a far cry from last week, when diminishing Greek concerns and a strong stock market sent bond prices tumbling to a two-month low. That pushed yields -- which move in the opposite direction -- rapidly higher, at the fastest pace since 2009.

But by Tuesday, bond prices were back up slightly, and the 10-year yield fell. That trend continued Wednesday, with the benchmark yield falling to 3.08% from 3.14%.

U.S. Debt, Default & Beyond: Financial Armageddon Is Inevitable, Says Author
Central Banks being intertwined is going to result in "inflation like we haven't seen in this country in 30 years." For those of you unfamiliar with this line of thinking, the inflation will come as a result of tightening in China. Cheap labor and low-priced imports have been the saving grace for the U.S. economy, giving our corporations growth and driving consumer spending. When the U.S. loses those tailwinds we will be financially cast adrift.

How the Bubble Destroyed the Middle Class
Most middle-class families didn't have much wealth to begin with — about $100,000. For the 22 million families right in the middle of the income distribution (those making between $39,000 and $62,000 before taxes), about 90% of their assets was in the house. Now half of their wealth is gone and it will never come back as long as they live.

Of course, rich folk lost lots of wealth during the panic as well. Their wealth is mostly in paper not bricks — stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance. The market value of those assets fell further than home prices did during the crash, but they've mostly recovered their value now.

The rich recovered; the rest of us didn't.

With the upper classes prospering and global markets booming, they don't need the U.S. middle class any more. The market is up, profits are soaring, and the corporate jet is fueled and ready for takeoff.

With Stocks Near the Top, It’s Time to Worry About Bonds
"My biggest concern is with the fixed income markets" Cobb says, explaining that he thinks a lot of people are going to get hurt by rising market rates long before the Fed actually lifts its own. "So much money flood into the bond market...but unfortunately, these people who tried to do the right thing at the time and go away from risk assets are going to be greatly disappointed when rates start to rise," he says.

When asked about the imminent start of 2nd quarter earnings season, Cobb flatly recites "the driver of markets has been, and will continue to be corporate earnings" before warning that record profit margins "have already started a very mild retreat."

Will Earnings Season Lift Stocks?
Back in June, that seemed more like hope than a sound strategy. Now, with the stock market racing higher again and earnings season arriving next week, hope will meet reality. It might not turn out the way folks expect.

The financials are expected to report weak numbers, reflective of their poor performance this year. Analysts have trimmed earnings estimates for financials 8.6% since March 31 as banks grapple with heavy mortgage problems along with weak trading and deal activity.

As ever, commentary about what's up ahead will matter just as much, if not more, than actual results.

"We think too many investors are banking on another season of upward earnings surprise," he says. "For one thing, the economy has clearly slowed, and rising nondiscretionary costs over the past several months have pressured the consumer which generates the majority of U.S. growth. In addition, earnings revisions for the S&P 500 (for both 2011 and 2012 earnings) are approaching all-time highs."

With banks promising to set a sour mood early in the reporting campaign, it will take something incredibly special to surprise a crowd that is already well down the yellow-brick road. It could be a rockier stroll than most expect.

Economic Rebound “Not Happening” in 2011: Achuthan
With so much riding on - and priced into - an economic and earnings rebound in the second-half of the year, Achutan not only pours water on that, but ups the ante by saying he cannot rule out slumping into another recession in 2012.

Further, Achutan says "It's a growth rate slowdown and that's what the market really cares about. Recessions and recoveries, that's old news."

How bad is it? Pawn shops, payday lenders are hot
"People are broke. They're all chasing value. It's a seismic shift in mindset," he says.

Montagna, the Dollar General bull, says he's seeing people earning $70,000 or more at that chain, too. Even he shops there now.

Sunday, July 3, 2011



宣布刷新紀錄之後,健力士世界紀錄大全代表程東,向香港跳繩總會頒發了健力士世界紀錄證書。花式跳繩Double Dutch要求運動員在兩條向相反方向搖的繩中間跳躍,需要極高的靈敏度和隊員之間的默契。



Friday, July 1, 2011

Selling Stops; Market Rebounds

Equity market rebounds strongly when selling stops. Following market makers, day traders also stop selling on speculation. Seeing that other market participants are no longer dumping shares, individual investors increase confidence to maintain the portfolio core without further selling. As a result, market surges on impulse buying by investors who have been waiting with cash on the sideline since the recent bottom. Market participants have been waiting for the outcome of the end of Federal Reserve bond buying program. The majority of market participants are not very optimistic when the quantitative easing comes to an end, However, market response is a strong rebound. In this highly manipulative market environment, market makers and hedge funds can easily move the market to their favor on any news. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity for those who are willing to take the risk.

The capital on the sideline is enormous. Market makers have profited from recent bottom. Hedge funds are making move for the end of Federal Reserve bond buying program. Institutional investors make asset re-allocation to take advantage of the pullback. Individual investors have trimmed down to the core portfolio. The surplus capital can easily drive the market and create herding behaviour, especially among individual investors who are holding cash anxiously on the sideline. Nevertheless, the strategy of market makers are becoming the focus as huge profit is made from the recent sell-off. Hedge funds are also ambitious to participate in market manipulation as the opportunity of the recent sell-off is passed to market makers although profit is made during the commodities rally. Market participants will brace for a turbulent stock market in the earnings reporting period.

Iceland Shows Default Doesn’t Lead to a Deep Freeze
And yet just two months later, Iceland was back in the international borrowing markets for the first time in five years. In early June, Reuters reported, the government sold $1 billion in five-year bonds that yielded just under five percent. "According to the Finance Ministry, the order book was two times oversubscribed, with the majority of the bonds purchased by U.S. and European investors." Given the world's low interest rate environment, that's not so hot. (The U.S. pays just 1.47 percent to borrow for five years.) But Iceland is paying about one-third the interest rate that other crisis-ridden European countries are paying.

So while bond investors are still crying for their losses in Argentina, they're hot for Iceland.

Spring buying boosts home prices in 13 US cities
Home prices in most major U.S. cities are rising for the first time in eight months, boosted by an annual wave of spring buying.

Last year, a tax credit for first-time buyers helped boost prices. They rose nearly 4 percent from April through July before falling more than 7 percent this winter to record lows. Prices in big metro areas sank in March to their lowest level since 2002.

Larger required down payments, tougher lending standards and high unemployment are preventing people from buying. Many people who can afford to buy are holding off, worried that prices have yet to bottom.

Declining prices have kept people from selling houses and moving to find jobs in growing areas. They have also made people feel less wealthy. That has reduced consumer spending, which drives about 70 percent of economic activity.

Despite Fears, Owning Home Retains Allure, Poll Shows
Nearly nine in 10 Americans say homeownership is an important part of the American dream, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. And they are keen on making sure it stays that way, for themselves and everyone else.

Beyond all these ills, however, a persistent belief endures that the market will eventually improve and housing will regain its traditional importance.

Paul Ceglia lawyers leave Facebook suit
As the year-old case progresses, Ceglia is having trouble providing evidence to back his claims. In April, Ceglia amended his complaint to include dozens of incendiary e-mails between himself and Zuckerberg, allegedly sent between July 2003 and July 2004.

But a court filing earlier this month from Ceglia's lawyers said that Ceglia doesn't have the original, digital copies of those e-mails. Instead, he has floppy disks with Microsoft Word documents that contain alleged copy-and-pasted copies of the e-mail messages.

The Real Story Behind the Market 'Boom'
TrimTabs says companies spent a thumping $124 billion in the first three months of the year trying to boost their share prices by buying up stock.

Share buybacks also are a pretty good way of returning cash to investors. They're not as good as paying dividends, but they are a better investment than most of the other things management likes to do with the money — like investing in pet projects, or providing more executive perks or making ill-timed acquisitions.

According to the latest data from the Federal Reserve, corporate debt surged again last quarter — to the highest levels on record.

Investors stay cautious as H2 starts: Reuters poll
Reuters asset allocation polls released on Thursday showed leading investors across the world recovering from May's retrenchment, brought on by fears over a stagnant U.S. economy, potential over-heating in China, and the euro zone debt crisis.

"The investment environment continues to be highly uncertain," said Yoshinori Nagano, senior strategist at Daiwa Asset Management in Tokyo.

A New Investment Strategy: Preparing for End Times
Since the financial crisis, many investors have prospered from a rebound in the markets. But recent events have led some to brace for the worst.

Time to Rein In Corporate Profit Expectations
To be sure, corporate profits will not fall this year. Also, shares of many energy and materials companies, as well as select technology and industrial names, should appease growth-hungry investors.

And Corporate America, sitting on a pile of cash, has plenty of resources for stock buybacks and acquisitions.

Wall Street Wielding the Ax
The cutbacks are coming largely because of sluggish revenue growth on Wall Street's trading desks.

Regulators have clamped down on trading strategies that once generated huge profits but then backfired with staggering losses during the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, bread-and-butter trading clients from hedge-fund managers to mom-and-pop investors are doing less buying and selling, depriving firms of commissions and fees.

Lots of other investors are heading for the sidelines. Average daily trading on U.S. stock exchanges slipped in the second quarter to its lowest level since 2007's fourth quarter, according to Barclays Capital.

But the flow of money into stock mutual funds turned negative in recent weeks. Brokerage firms such as E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC - News) have noted slower trading activity among individual investors.

Obama: Ending tax breaks for wealthy not radical
Speaking at a White House news conference, Obama says the government cannot reduce its deficit by keeping all current tax breaks. Obama says if millionaires and billionaires get to keep their tax breaks, senior citizens and the poor will bear the brunt of the burden from additional cuts.