Thursday, September 29, 2011

【Why Are Thin People Not Fat】 - BBC TWO

【Why Are Thin People Not Fat】 - BBC TWO Part 1

【Why Are Thin People Not Fat】 - BBC TWO Part 2

【Why Are Thin People Not Fat】 - BBC TWO Part 3

【Why Are Thin People Not Fat】 - BBC TWO Part 4

【Why Are Thin People Not Fat】 - BBC TWO Part 5

【Why Are Thin People Not Fat】 - BBC TWO Part 6

【Why Are Thin People Not Fat】 - BBC TWO Part 7

【The Story of Computer Games】 - UK Discovery Channel

【The Story of Computer Games】 - UK Discovery Channel Part 1

【The Story of Computer Games】 - UK Discovery Channel Part 2

【The Story of Computer Games】 - UK Discovery Channel Part 3

【The Story of Computer Games】 - UK Discovery Channel Part 4

【The Story of Computer Games】 - UK Discovery Channel Part 5

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Market Shakeup Again

Equity market drops significantly after Federal Reserve announcement. Market makers successfully launch the third wave of selling frenzy. The simultaneous downgrade of several major banks also contribute to trigger a sell-off. As mentioned in earlier post, market makers seems not having changed the strategy of a downtrend market movement. It appears that market makers are quite aggressive as the pause time for the next move is only a couple of weeks from last sell-off. This may push market participants into panic.

Market makers initiated the selling after the announcement. The downgrade news of banks is used to convince market participants the selling signal. Also, the selling is worldwide in order to create an atmosphere for panic selling. Market participants are already cautious of the market and maintain a portion of the portfolio in cash or equivalent. Therefore the trading volume increases modestly despite a large drop. Market participants are maintaining the core portfolio despite a sharp drop in overall valuation. Institutional investors have increased cash holding before the sell-off and are waiting for re-entry point.

Investors are less panic than previous sell-off. Market participants are not dumping the core positions. A large portion of shares are exchanged among the hands of speculative day traders.

President Bill Clinton: Yes, The American Dream Is Under Assault
The nation's official poverty rate was 15.1% last year, that equates to a record 46.2 million Americans living in poverty. With poverty levels rising for the past three years, average median U.S. income falling back to 1996 levels and income inequality at the highest levels since the Roaring 1920s.

In lesser-developed countries, just "modest investments" in agriculture can generate "enormous" income for citizens, and help very poor countries start feeding themselves again, he says.

In the developed world, Clinton says an "enormous numbers of jobs" can be created by renewed commitments to energy efficiency. "The U.S. is about twice as energy efficient as we were back in the first oil embargo in the 1970s but more than twice as inefficient as our largest competitors," he says.

Stock buybacks rise for 8th consecutive quarter
America's biggest corporations rewarded shareholders by spending more money on stock repurchases for the eighth consecutive quarter.

Buybacks reward investors by increasing the value of remaining shares, and per-share earnings results, as shares are taken off the market, and earnings are divided among fewer shares.

Despite the heightened buyback activity over the past 24 months, buybacks remain below their historic peak in the third quarter of 2007, when repurchases totaled a record $172 billion.

Repaying Buffett Has Its Upside
Mr. Buffett’s money does not come cheap, so it’s logical that G.E., as Goldman did recently, would seek to exit the deal as soon as possible. The perpetual preferred stock carries a dividend of 10 percent and can be repurchased at a 10 percent premium.

A Taxing Idea

An Italian megatax would be a game changer. A one-time wealth tax of 400 billion euros (about $550 billion), as proposed by the former UniCredit chief Alessandro Profumo, would solve Italy’s debt problem, thus helping reverse the euro crisis in general. Italians are wealthy enough that they could afford it.

In the US, two housing markets and two directions
In America, it's starting to feel as if there are two housing markets. One for the rich and one for everyone else.

Think of this housing market as bipolar. In the luxury sector, the recession is a memory and sales and prices are rising. But everywhere else, the market is moving sideways or getting worse.

The one with outdoor kitchens and in-home spas; with his-and-her boudoirs and closets the size of starter houses. The one that is not local but global, with international buyers bidding in all cash. And where the gyrations of the stock market are cause for conversation, not cutting expenses.

The phenomenon is not limited to real estate. You can see the same split in other gauges of the economy. Sales at Saks versus Walmart. Pay on Wall Street versus Main Street. Corporate profits versus family balance sheets.

"In the 20 years that I have been in South Florida real estate, I have never seen a greater divide between those who have and those who have not," says Peter Zalewski, founder of the real estate firm Condo Vultures.

“Very Unusual” Fed Action Fails To Boost Animal Spirits: Dow Drops 285
Specifically, the Fed announced plans to buy $400 billion of long-term Treasuries and sell an equivalent amount by the end of June 2012. The so-called Operation Twist will not change the size of the Fed's balance sheet but the duration of its Treasury holdings.

Global Markets Sell Off on Significant Economic Concerns
Three little words within a six paragraph statement released yesterday afternoon by the Federal Reserve have global markets in panic mode. The key phrase "significant downside risks" used by the Fed is an observation that in and of itself is not breaking news. Aside from the forecasters at the White House, no one was expecting an optimistic view on economic growth.

I am not trying to trivialize this sell-off, or suggest anything other than (my longstanding) angst for the US and global economies. I am trying to draw a line between selling and panicking. When basically every market and asset class in the world drops 3% to 10% (with exception to Treasuries and the US dollar), it suggests that something major just caught the market by surprise.

The "trading range" trend is still intact, and potential for a good buying opportunity can't be far off. Unless, of course, we get a string of forecast reductions like we got from FedEx (FDX) today, or some other unexpected external shock to the system.

Stocks may be cheap. But they can get cheaper yet
Someone is about to play the fool -- Wall Street analysts or investors.
For months, analysts who write reports praising or panning stocks have been saying they were cheap. Investors were unconvinced, buying one day, selling the next. Last week, they mostly sold, and stocks got cheaper yet.

At Friday's close, the S&P 500 was trading at 10.6 times analyst estimates for earnings over the next 12 months. That's low for this so-called earnings multiple, which could mean stocks are cheap. When stocks bottomed on March 9, 2009, they were trading at 10.4 times estimated earnings. The 10-year average is 15.

"The highest growth for companies has been in the emerging markets," says John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet. "We're getting mixed signals."

Harris Private Bank's Ablin says analysts are "out to lunch" with their cheery projections. But he thinks investors may have overreacted, too. He says they're selling as if earnings will fall 20 percent or so next year, which he thinks won't happen.

Mulling Meg Whitman: HP considers CEO shakeup
HP is facing a classic big-company problem: How to meaningfully grow revenue. But it's also facing an identity crisis. The company's trying to figure out whether it works best as a technology conglomerate that can be all things to all customers, or as a more streamlined operation that does only a few things well.

Apple's Silence on iPod Speaks Volumes
Sales of the IPod are in decline. Over the past four quarters, unit sales are down 12.5% from the prior year, while revenue has fallen by 6.2%. That's probably why more than half of September has gone by without a single word from Apple about what has for several years been a company tradition — holding an event during September devoted to the newest versions of, and changes to, the iPod.

Apple's not likely to build an event around a product that's in retreat, even if it's the one that arguably saved the company, revolutionized the music industry and made investors happy as Apple's shares have surged a split-adjusted 4,562% since the music player made its debut on Oct. 23, 2001.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

【Superconductivity】 - BBC Horizon 1988

Documentary on superconductivity and the search for new superconducting materials (BBC 1988).

【Superconductivity】 - BBC Horizon 1988 Part 1

【Superconductivity】 - BBC Horizon 1988 Part 2

【Superconductivity】 - BBC Horizon 1988 Part 3

【Superconductivity】 - BBC Horizon 1988 Part 4

Friday, September 16, 2011

半數豆漿含基因改造成分 兩款稱「非基因改造」





原料非改造 亦可能受污染



Market Rebounds In The Absence of Speculative Selling

Equity stock market sets five straight days of gain in the absence of speculative selling. Market makers remain sitting on the sideline for the second week. Seeing that market makers are no longer speculating further decline, day traders and individual investors are gradually closing the bearish positions. It appears that market makers do not change from pessimistic to optimistic but rather waiting for another opportunity. Market participants are aware of possible sudden drop and remain cautious. There are trickle buying from investors who are sitting on pile of cash and expect a slow recovery of market.

Market may have tested the bottom as market makers pause on beating down the market. There are factors to frighten market participants and to manipulate down the market. But there are also tremendous cash on the sideline waiting for entry into the market. Therefore market makers have to access the risk to bet on market to decline further. The attempt to sell down the market with the Greek sovereign debt crisis is not successful to create herding behaviour. Selling from day traders, individual and institutional investors are very limited and does not create heavy selling. On the other hand, any dip will attract bargain buying from investors who are waiting for market bottom.

Market participants are not encouraged to buy yet. If market makers do not sell again in the coming weeks, it may signal the end of this selling wave from market makers. Market participants will set new direction starting from third quarter earnings release.

The speculative trading portfolio remains optimistic in long term market performance. Trading strategy will be based on withdrawal of market makers from selling down the market and a slow recovery due to trickle buying from bargain hunting investors. However there is still possibility that market makers may find opportunity to attack market again. Market participants confidence have not recovered yet and remain low. When market recovers the loss, market makers may create herding behaviour on profit taking by buyers who bought at the bottom. Market should continue to climb slowly as in this week. But market participants should be prepared for selling pressure from profit taking.

Gold Declines for a Second Day as Investors Sell to Cover Equity Losses
Some investors “will argue that gold will prove valuable and will hold its value even as stock prices plunge, and in the long run they may well be right.”

Obama would hike taxes to pay for his jobs bill
In a sharp challenge to the GOP, President Barack Obama proposed paying for his costly new jobs plan Monday with tax hikes that Republicans have already emphatically rejected. The reception to his new proposal was no more welcoming, setting the stage for a likely new fight with Congress.

"It would be fair to say this tax increase on job creators is the kind of proposal both parties have opposed in the past. We remain eager to work together on ways to support job growth, but this proposal doesn't appear to have been offered in that bipartisan spirit," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said.

Yet by daring Republicans anew to reject tax hikes on the rich Obama could gain a talking point as the 2012 presidential campaign moves forward, if not a legislative victory.

The jobs package would combine tax cuts for workers and employers by reducing the Social Security payroll tax, with spending elements including more money to hire teachers, rebuild schools and pay unemployment benefits. There are also tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans and the long-term unemployed.

Republicans have indicated they're receptive to supporting Obama's proposed payroll tax cut and finding a way to extend unemployment benefits, though many have rejected Obama's planned new spending. Obama's new proposal Monday to pay for it all by raising taxes without any proposals to cut spending is unlikely to win him any new GOP support for any element of his plan.

Census: US poverty rate swells to nearly 1 in 6
Reflecting the lingering impact of the recession, the U.S. poverty rate from 2007-2010 has now risen faster than any three-year period since the early 1980s, when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to inflation, spiraling interest rates and unemployment.

Fired Yahoo CEO backs down, resigns from board
Carol Bartz has resigned from the Yahoo board of directors that she blasted for firing her as the company's CEO last week.

An investment hedge fund that owns a 5.2 percent stake in Yahoo is asking Chairman Roy Bostock and three other directors to resign too. The fund, called Third Point, contends the board needs to be held accountable for hiring Bartz in January 2009 and other decisions that have contributed to a steep drop in Yahoo's stock price in the last five years.

Is High Market Volatility the New Normal?
"Until you address the underlying drivers of the volatility, you can't really expect it to go away," says Alec Young, Equity Strategist at Standard & Poor's. "It's a very headline-driven market."

Simply put, volatility is the spawn of uncertainty, and uncertainty is kryptonite to the stock market.

From concerns about the US economy, the contagion effect from the European debt crisis, the pace and reliability of earnings growth, currency swings, commodity prices, the caustic political environment, and debt and deficits across the globe; the realm of uncertainty grows and changes every day.

Even if the benchmark indexes are flat or down for the year, volatility can be your ally, especially for active investors. "There's huge potential for a smart trader to exploit these swings," Young says, adding caution "that most traders don't make money."

What the Treasury Market Is Telling Investors
"I'm not exactly sure what it's telling us except one thing, and that is there is a considerable amount of uncertainty right now," says Jim Sarni, managing principal at Los Angeles-based money management firm Payden & Rygel. "Politically, economically, and fiscally, I think there are big challenges ahead of us, so for the time being, treasuries are likely to be a beneficiary of that."

Although volatility has picked up tremendously in the stock market, experts say stocks still look like a good bet for investors with a longer-term time horizon. "Over the long haul, stocks are a good place to be, but someone has to have at least a 12-month time horizon for that," Sarni says. If you're looking for a place to stash your money for just a few months, Sarni says the treasury market could be an option because of its traditional safe-haven status. But be wary of placing too much emphasis on safety, he adds.

4 Stocks to Buck the Overcrowded Large Cap Trend
Instead of chasing the same big, defensive, dividend paying, multi-national names that everyone seems to love, this chief investment officer of Palisades Capital Management is thinking smaller.

Rogue trader suspected in $2 billion loss at UBS
Swiss banking giant UBS said Thursday that a rogue trader has caused it an estimated loss of $2 billion, stunning a beleaguered banking industry that has proven vulnerable to unauthorized trades.

In other trading debacles, Nick Leeson, a British trader working in Singapore for Barings Bank, made unauthorized futures trades that lost more than $1 billion and led to the venerable bank's collapse in 1995. The infamous case prompted banks worldwide to tighten their internal checks.

Leeson was released from a Singapore jail in 1998 for good behavior after serving 3 1/2 years of a 6 1/2-year sentence. He claimed he did not make a cent from his disastrous trades but Barings' liquidators sought the return of 100 million pounds on any of his earnings relating to Barings.

Suspicious trades probed on Wall Street: regulator
A Wall Street regulator said industry complaints about market manipulation and trade reporting have spiked this year, raising questions about the adequacy of banks' internal controls over their traders

"We've been getting a lot of complaints about ... manipulation -- the possibility that somebody is manipulating equity to advantage their option position," he said.

At the FIA conference, DeMaio helped clarify what regulators consider to be "market making," a key question as the SEC comes up with new obligations for high-frequency traders, and as regulations are crafted for the Volcker rule.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wikileaks - Iraq

Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents. After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Huge Capital Flow; Little Confidence In Market

Market remains close to recent bottom due to very weak investor confidence. Market participants are very afraid of further decline which will reduce portfolio value. On the other hand, market participants do not want to repeat the same mistake during financial meltdown to sell property at extreme discount for cash that earn mere interest. Some aggressive investors exploit cash on hand to speculate short term market movement as well as to hedge against core portfolio.

As market makers stay on the sideline after covering short positions, the forces to manipulate market become diversified. Some day traders and individual speculators continue to speculate a beaten down market. Some day traders and individual investors take quick profit on rebound when market is over beaten. There is huge capital flow into equity stock market on temporary basis. It creates turbulence, not market support. Since market participants do not have confidence to increase holding, market will remain at depressed level as traders are buying and selling stocks for short term speculation.

Hiding in Cash. Is It Time to Get Back Into the Markets?
As you no doubt recall, in the days prior to Irene's arrival we experienced another storm of sorts — a drenching downpour of media coverage predicting devastation and chaos in the storm's wake.

But here's a question: How much of that coverage focused on possible destruction in inland areas in Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York, where swollen rivers and bloated streams have inflicted massive property damage and even resulted in loss of life?

The answer, of course, is practically none. News reports focused almost exclusively on coastal areas. Which makes sense, as those areas are most vulnerable to hurricanes and such.

So what in the name of Al Roker does this have to do with your question about when to move your retirement savings back into the markets? The answer is that, as with tropical storms, things don't always play out in the economy and the markets the way we expect.

As investors we may feel that we know what lies ahead and that we can use that knowledge to avoid losses or rack up gains. But that confidence is unwarranted, and acting on it can lead to investing decisions we may later regret.

Take the downgrading of U.S. debt by credit-rating firm Standard & Poor's last month. In the days and weeks leading up that unprecedented event, the consensus was that a downgrade would lead to higher interest rates as investors demanded a higher premium to hold Treasury securities that no longer held S&P's triple-A rating.

But did that happen? No. Far from shunning U.S. debt, investors flocked to it as a safe haven in a troubled world, driving yields down. So anyone who bet against Treasuries on the theory that the downgrade would devastate their value bet wrong.

My point is that when it comes to investing, there are so many variables that determine the prices of stocks, bonds and other investments that it's virtually impossible not just to predict what might happen, but to know how investors will ultimately react to whatever does happen.

Stocks Are 25% Undervalued For Those Who Can Wait
As the market struggles to come off the morning lows, Rod Smyth, Chief Investment Strategist at Riverfront Investment Group is not losing sight of the fact that US stocks are cheap, specifically "25% cheap to their long-term values." The emphasis there is on long-term.

Smyth thinks Europe is going into recession and the US is entering a period of stagnant growth, regardless of how we label it.

Rest easy, bulls, there will come a point at which earnings guide-downs are priced into the markets. We're just not there yet. Smyth is in the popular camp where long-term investors are holding cash and picking away at Blue Chips as markets drift lower. "In many of the great companies you're getting dividends higher than you can get in cash or US Treasuries," he says, echoing the mantra of the long-term investor.

Yahoo fires Bartz as CEO, names CFO to fill void
Yahoo Inc. fired Carol Bartz as CEO Tuesday after more than 2 1/2 years of financial lethargy that had convinced investors that she couldn't steer the Internet company to a long-promised turnaround.

In a Tuesday statement, Yahoo said it is undergoing a "comprehensive strategic review" in its latest effort to give investors a reason to buy its stock but didn't offer details.

With its stock sagging and its management in limbo, Yahoo could be more vulnerable to a takeover attempt by a private equity group or another opportunistic bidder attracted to what remains one of the Internet's best-known brands. Microsoft offered to buy Yahoo for $47.5 billion, or $33 per share, in 2008 only to be rebuffed.

Mobius to Obama: Don’t Follow in FDR’s Footsteps
For starters, Mobius believes the U.S. will avoid recession. "Probably the most important reason is about money," he said from his Macau hotel room. "There's a lot of money sloshing around looking for a home." And with the prolonged weak dollar, the U.S. is looking very attractive to global investors. "Things look pretty cheap in the U.S., whether it be property, whether it be companies... And labor rates look cheaper, and that is going to attract manufacturing investment."

"The only blind spot and negative factor, of course is the U.S. government and the incredible amount of regulation that is being imposed on small and medium sized businesses in the U.S.," Mobius says. He literally wants to hear an admission from the president that his administration has imposed too many regulations on businesses and he will move to eliminate them and make it easier for Americans to do business.

Given Mobius' outlook, we will avoid recession, but watch out for inflation."With the amount of money that's been pumped into the system, there's no question that we're gonna see inflation coming around the corner," he says. And in the current environment, "you could end up with stagflation if the economy is not growing and you have inflation."

But ultimately, Mobius does not think the world is facing stagflation, particularly in emerging countries. And this just may be our saving grace.

Obama to Challenge Republicans on Jobs
President Barack Obama heads to the home turf of his Republican congressional adversaries tonight to lay out a choice for voters as much as a plan for lawmakers.

After partisan disputes dragged out negotiations over the debt limit, Standard & Poor’s lowered the U.S.’s credit rating to AA+ from AAA on Aug. 5. The rating firm said the government is becoming “less stable, less effective and less predictable.”

Even so, the government’s borrowing costs fell to record lows as Treasuries rallied. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell from 2.56 percent on Aug. 5 to 2.02 percent as of 9:32 a.m. today in Tokyo.

Some Hedge Funds, to Stay Nimble, Reject New Investors
Since the financial crisis, big hedge funds like Paulson & Company, Millennium Management and Och-Ziff Capital Management Group have not turned away money, eagerly collecting billions of dollars from investors who have tended to stick with the industry's marquee firms.

The situation makes Anthony Bozza all the more unusual. With assets swelling, the hedge fund manager is closing the door to new investors at his four-year-old firm, Lakewood Capital Management. In a little more than a year, his fund has grown from $200 million to $900 million, according to investors in the fund.

But three years later, some small and midsize managers are flourishing, attracting assets at a rapid rate. Rather than risk their returns, they are just saying no to new investors.

Why Every Investor Needs to Time the Market
The value/yield camp tends to view volatile markets, such as that of 2011, as a chance to add to a portfolio while flighty "traders" panic in and out of stocks.

The Demise of the EU
"If one of these countries defaults on the debt, it's probably priced in," he claims. While acknowledging a default would likely create some disconnects in prices of debt and financial stocks, he believes the impact would be muted and fleeting.

Pavlik's view on housing is simple: "If you're looking at housing as the savior for this economy, it just isn't going to happen."

The Prospect of Strong Corporate Balance Sheets Leading to Hiring
This is a classic glass half-full or half-empty debate. Pavlik sees insanely strong balance sheets as a coiled spring of investment possibility if and when there's more economic certainty. I see the cash on hand as an indication of the bizarre, un-American, and destructive hostility between this country's corporations and Washington, D.C.

Just as all roads once led to Rome, all current market debates lead back to volatility. Pavlik points to the information age's insatiable desire to flood the world with news as the chief cause of investors' fascination with market fluctuations.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

【失業皇帝】羅家良 梁詠琪 李燦森 葛民輝 (1999)


Friday, September 2, 2011


《華爾街日報》-- 像美國其他很多小公司一樣,加州薩克拉門托生產吸乳器專用胸罩的Simple Wishes公司一直是在中國製造產品。但在最近,老闆之一科薩克(Joy Kosak)有了新的考慮。公司去年的航運成本上漲了15%,中美之間的工資差距雖然仍舊很大,但一直在不斷縮小。科薩克開玩笑地說,要是有一個「美國製造」的標簽,我們求之不得。科薩克在2009年和她的三個姐妹創辦了Simple Whishes公司。

我們正在見證企業家生產思路的一場劇變。在中國生產產品已經越來越不像過去那樣划算了,而現在在美國製造東西似乎也不像原來那樣過於昂貴。和Simple Whishes一樣,很多在美國銷售產品的小企業也在反思在地球另一面生產產品是否值得。

中國工資水平過去四年每年增長15%到20%,人民幣也已經開始升值。波士頓諮詢公司(Boston Consulting Group)的西爾金(Harold Sirkin)預計,在美國和在中國生產產品的總體成本將在2015年左右接近一致,從而開啟美國製造業的「復興」時期。這種變化已經部分實現:在線製造業參考服務公司MFG.com調查的850多家公司當中,有四分之一的公司在2010年最後一個季度把工作機會從低成本國家轉移到了北美地區。

一些大型企業已經在這種所謂「回岸」(reshoring)或「在岸」(on-shoring)趨勢中處於領先地位。消費產品巨頭Jarden公司即將把安全器材「First Alert」和碳纖維棒球棒「Miken」的生產轉移回國。NCR Corp.已經把部分自動櫃員機的生產從中國轉移到美國佐治亞州的哥倫布。隨著工廠開始搬遷到美國,在尋找新的供應商之際,它們不只是支持著自己一家公司的就業。西爾金說,這有可能給小企業帶來意外收獲。

美國很多地方的政府都在吸引企業回國。很多州、特別是南方一些州有著靈活的勞動法,在聯邦規定的最低工資之外沒有另行規定最低工資標準。還有一些地區現在為企業提供稅收優惠和融資。舉個例子,生物技術初創公司ECI Biotech曾經考慮向中國外包生產,但最後還是決定在馬薩諸塞州的伍斯特生產其診斷傳感器。創始人桑德斯(Mitch Sanders)說,伍斯特市提供的財務支持使它在當地生產具有成本效益,而在美國生產或許也能為ECI的設備提供更多知識產權保護。

耳機生產商Sleek Audio在去年忍到了極限。它在中國東莞生產耳機已接近五年時間,但在2009年10月,1萬件產品出現焊接不牢的問題,中國低廉工資形成的成本優勢蕩然無存。聯合創始人克萊科(Mark Krywko)生氣地說,我們那批貨虧了數百萬。


休斯頓照明器材生產商Neutex Advanced Energy Group的CEO希金斯(John Higgins),已經厭煩於他在中國所產照明器材中出現的粘合粗糙、電線扭曲和螺絲丟失問題。希金斯工廠附近的星巴克(Starbucks)和橘滋(Juicy Couture)店清楚無誤地說明中國的中產階級正在日益壯大,看到這一切,他知道自己見證到的工資上漲才只是開始。他說,於是我們產生了美國式的自豪感,讓我們在國內做吧!約兩年前,希金斯關閉在中國的生產,開始在休斯頓建立一座工廠。從明年開始,這座工廠將僱用員工250多人。

Sleek Audio和Neutex還通過自動化和設計找到了提高生產率的辦法。克萊科重新設計了耳機,所需零部件不到原來一半(他將繼續在中國生產低端耳機)。Neutex正在歐洲讓人設計一台機器,原來最多需要有30人完成的任務,用這台機器只需要不到10人就可完成,而且希金斯將能夠把產量增加到原來的四倍。


但Simple Wishes公司還是沒有打算這樣做。加州的工資仍然遠遠高於科薩克在中國支付的水平,要在美國生產吸乳器專用胸罩,她至少必須提價一倍。科薩克說,現實情況就是,競爭對手以35美元的價格出售的時候,沒人會以90美元的價格買我們的產品。相反,她正在研究工資比中國高25%、但仍低於美國的墨西哥。她得出結論說,結果很糟糕。

撰稿:SmartMoney DYAN MACHAN

Hot Capital On Market Manipulation And Speculation

Market Oscillates as market participants speculate a volatile environment. The amount of opportunity seeking capital in the market is tremendous. Capital assets, including equity stocks, precious metal, fossil fuel, etc., are being manipulated to drive the herd of market participants. At the beginning of the week, market makers continue with previous week's short position covering and create a spike in the market. After market makers finish with the portfolio re-allocation, day traders lose direction to execute trade and market appears to calm down. Institutional investors have been watching the portfolio suffer significant loss after the sell-off since US debt downgrade. Therefore when the rebound appears to lose momentum, institutional investors start to liquidate part of the portfolio on fear of market turning back into decline. The increased cash holding can provide opportunity to purchase equity stocks at lower price as well as to increase buffer for potential client redemption if the market deteriorates and clients lose confidence. Many individual investors turn into speculators as the large amount of cash on hand earns minute interest and market fluctuation provides opportunity for risk taking.

At present level, market valuation is attractive for long term investment. But in short term time frame, market can oscillate in either direction. Thus market makers and day traders find opportunity to drive market in the direction of favor. Market sentiment is bearish and investors have little confidence, especially individual investors who sell at the bottom and stay away from market since the great rally. Nevertheless individual investors have learned to hold tightly existing portfolio despite market turbulence. Market makers and day traders as well as individual speculators have been beating down the market since year peak in February.

Trading volume soars as market falls and attracts speculators with risk capital. Individual investors are afraid to enter market but stay with the core portfolio for long term investment. Market makers accurately timed the peak made significant profit on market drop. At this moment, profit is realized and other market participants are watching on their next move.

Speculators are holding tremendous amount of capital and economy is standing on fragile ground. Market will continue to oscillate. Market participants should be very cautious. Market sentiment turned pessimistic since March and market makers successfully led the herd to sell down the market.

The speculative trading portfolio made a wrong investment decision that market will head up after the Federal Reserve bond buying program ended in June. The decision is based on the guess that the demand for bond will remain strong as there is large pool of capital flowing around in the asset market. It turns out that Treasuries maintain the price after the end of bond buying program. However, it is not expected that market makers use the downgrade of US debt as excuse to set off market selling which is followed by day traders and individual speculators.

Market makers selling is finished and profit taken. Day traders are still speculating further decline. Although selling pressure is limited without market makers but investors confidence is extremely weak. Therefore market drops because of lack of buying desire.

The leading role of market makers in market direction is obvious because of the successful strategy since market peak. It is critical to the next movement. It is uncertain whether market makers will drive market down in the third move after the gradual decline from peak and the steep fall on US debt downgrade. Institutional investors have been liquidating in the last two days. The selling should be temporary as it is not panic selling and market participants are holding the core portfolio. Day traders are following the trend, buying on market makers short covering and selling on institutional investors liquidating. Hedge funds and individual speculators are also participating in the market. Long term investors are still hesitating as confidence remains low.

The majority of stakes in equity stocks are currently in the core portfolio of investors and market participants. Some are in the hands of day traders and individual speculators. Although the trading volume has soared recently, a large portion of stocks that changed hands are among speculators. The percentage of trade in the form of shorted stocks is also increasing.

There is a probability that market may crash like the financial meltdown in 2008. But that scenario is very unlikely as investors are more aware of the intrinsic value of the stocks in the portfolio. On the other hand, investor confidence is weak and prefer to allocate the wealth in relatively safe assets such as money market and precious metal.

At current level, shorting the market is risky for market makers as the room for further decline is limited for large volume trading. The rally driven by market makers short covering indicates that the availability of stocks is limited in the exchange. If market maker set off another round of selling, it would need strong sign of economy deterioration or black swan event to trigger panic selling of investor core portfolio as in 2008 financial meltdown. If institutional investors stop liquidating the portfolio, day traders and individual speculators will stop selling as well. As market clams down, investors will replenish the portfolio incrementally as it will be discovered that the economic condition is not as catastrophic as imagined.

Treasuries Rise Before Home-Price Data; Gross Rues Bet Against U.S. Debt
“Treasuries are expensive,” said Kei Katayama, leader of the foreign fixed-income group in Tokyo at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd., home to Japan’s second-biggest bond fund. “Time will prove that the U.S. economy is not that bad.”

Are Pessimistic Consumers’ Fears of High Inflation Exaggerated?
But this alarmism over inflation on the part of consumers is nothing new, and it may not be warranted. We've given a lot of grief to professional forecasters, who never seem to know when a recession is about to begin or end. But when it comes to projecting inflation, the amateurs don't do very well, either.

People, being human, are prone to emotion. They feel the pain of paying higher prices much more acutely than they notice the pleasure of prices of other things falling or remaining stagnant. And so they tend to accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive when it comes to their assessment of whether life is getting more expensive.

CEOs Earned More Than Companies’ Tax Bills
Twenty-five of the best-paid chief executive officers in the U.S. earned more in salary and other compensation in 2010 than their companies’ federal income tax expenses as disclosed in public filings, according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.

The group said its findings underscore the need for an overhaul of the U.S. tax code that would reduce the number of tax strategies available to companies, especially their ability to lower tax payments by parking profits overseas.

The report echoes some elements of a study released in May by Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington-based nonprofit group backed by labor unions, which said 11 U.S. corporations reported $62 billion in domestic profits while paying a negative 3.6 percent tax rate in 2010.

Investors slash equities in August melt: Reuters poll
Global investors slashed their holdings of equities below 50 percent this month and piled into cash, reflecting what was lining up to be the worst August for world stocks since 1998.

Purple Crayon: How to Handle a Lost Trading Opportunity
A week ago I wrote a column entitled "Sell Today and Go Away". In it I described my reasoning for taking off my trading positions ahead of a vacation I took at the end of last week. For those keeping score at home, the S&P500 is now roughly 5% higher than it was before I made my unforced trading error. Selling off my trading longs (I didn't and don't have any shorts), became what's called a lost opportunity.

In Plague-Filled August, American Consumers Shopped Like Champs
Despite the rising chorus of doomsayers and double-dippers, the third quarter is looking like it will be stronger than the second quarter. Macroeconomic Advisers, which updates its projections in real time, pegs growth in the current quarter at about 2 percent. While that's nothing to write home about, it's twice the rate of second quarter growth. What's more, payroll jobs, which help drive spending, continue to grow at the (anemic) pace of about 25,000 per week. The savings rate remains high, and many signs of stress — credit card delinquencies — continue to trend down. On aggregate, Americans are in a better position today than they were a year ago to do what they like to do: buy stuff.

In the New York area, when markets are in free-fall, the tension is palpable in the streets. In Santa Monica, the most powerful tension detector would fail to register a reading. Many people at the beach literally had turned their backs on the craziness back east. As New Yorkers and beltway types were in full freak-out mode over the S&P downgrade, the locals were generally going about their business — going to work in their Priuses, eating natural foods, and shopping.

Dow 13,600, Here We Come
One of Wall Street's most eminent analysts is forecasting an 18% return for the stock market over the next six months.

Though in retirement, and well past the age when most others have long since given up following the market's daily gyrations, Eisenstadt remains as close a student of the stock market as ever.

Eisenstadt conceded that such a return "sounds too good to be true."

Note carefully, however, that even if this coming month turns out to be a disappointing one for equities, there will remain five more months after September for the market to live up to Eisenstadt's forecast.

Fed Up With Bank Buybacks?
Unfortunately for J.P. Morgan shareholders, the bank spent $4.3 billion in the first seven months of this year buying back its own stock—with Mr. Bernanke's blessing. Yet, thanks to the recent slide in bank stocks, the purchases are already about $600 million in the red.

And while J.P. Morgan's paper loss could prove fleeting, it is also a reminder of the Fed's questionable decision in the spring to allow some banks to resume capital returns even as the central bank was printing money in an attempt to resuscitate the economy.

Still, as the Fed in the future weighs further plans from banks to return capital, it should be more cautious. And investors should remember that banks are supposed to be specialists in lending money, not timing stock markets.

Secrets From a Pawn Star
The business model of the pawn shop dates back over 3,000 years and remains largely unchanged: A customer in need of some cash gets a loan from a merchant, using a personal possession as collateral. The pawn shop holds the property for a predetermined amount of time, charging interest on the loan. If the customer can pay his debt before the deadline, he gets his property back. If not, it's the pawn shop's to resell.

While the basic transaction is much the same as it was in ancient China, the reputation of the pawn shop industry has fluctuated wildly. Pawn shops have often been portrayed and viewed as vaguely threatening stores located in seedy parts of town, where only desperate customers would dare venture to.

Today, the modern pawn industry has become something else entirely. Many of these shops, which also operate like small banks, are publicly traded companies and are becoming cultural phenomena.

Pawn shops are also the last place to go if you're looking for a sucker to overpay for your junk. Harrison's store carries as many as 22,000 different items at any given time, or as he puts it, the shop has "one of everything." After 30 years in the business, he says it's "pretty simple" to spot counterfeits. And if an item is questionable, he calls in an expert to vet the goods. It's a good thing because there are plenty of hard-to-value oddities at any pawn shop, particularly one based in Las Vegas.

Harrison says many of these rarities are more valuable to him as museum-type pieces than retail items. Museums may be the last thing you think of when considering pawn shops, but it's a new day for an old industry.