Monday, October 13
Unusual Suspects, end of day, October 13, 2003.
Abnormal Characters, end of day, October 13, 2003.
Scrolling through my S&P 100 stock charts... so many stocks are showing good relative strength... I just picked out Procter & Gamble
and Wells Fargo as nice examples.
I found a nice little java-based charting applet for ForEx (real-time and free!).
Check out Olivia de Courcy Hamilton's site, DongXi Tailored Oriental Clothing.
Watched an interesting interview on C-SPAN (RealMedia, approx. 1 hour)
with Harlan Ullman, author of
Unfinished Business: Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Beyond -- Defusing the Dangers That Threaten America's Security. He seems
smart and level-headed... I'll put his book on my "To Read" list.
You can look up the income and tax paid for all taxpayers in Norway. Here are the details for the Prime Minister.
I'm reminded of the famous Scott McNealy quote: "You have zero privacy anyway." (Inntekt means "income," skatt means "tax," and one US Dollar is about 7 Norwegian Kroner, for reference.)
-- via Blogdex --
James Surowiecki writes about the late-trading scandal
in this week's New Yorker.
An interesting interview with
Thomas Wu, president of UCBH Holdings (English website, Chinese website), in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"If you look at the demographics, the potential for growth is tremendous. Every year about 50,000 to 60,000 immigrant families
come over from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Most of them come to California."
"[Family associations] don't borrow money. (Laughter). They have a lot of money and put a lot in the bank as deposits."
"If you go to New York's Chinatown, you'll see small, family-run banks focused on the ethnic Chinese ... If you look at the
demographics of the ethnic Chinese, New York is first in population, Los Angeles is No. 2 and San Francisco is third."
"The Chinese are very focused on investing in California right now. They believe that when everybody's leaving, that's the
time to invest. There's an old Chinese saying: Whenever there's a crisis, there's always opportunity. A lot of Chinese are
bringing capital to California."
"I've witnessed a lot of new Chinese immigrants. When they first land in America, in Chinatown, they have no money. Nothing.
Ten bucks in their pocket. And then the husband and wife work two jobs at the same time from Monday through Saturday. Within
three years, they're able to afford their first down payment. That's how we get started.
After that, they pay off their mortgages and put their kids through school, making sure the second generation is
highly educated. By the time they're ready to retire, they have four or five investment properties, free and clear.
That's our customer base."
Bloomberg reports that China's
foreign-currency debt rating outlook was raised to positive by Fitch:
"The yuan's 12-month forward contracts rose to 4,500, which implies the Chinese currency would rise to 7.827 per U.S. dollar
in a year if freely traded."
That's about a 5.7% revaluation, so the market isn't buying the political rhetoric that the RMB is 20-40% undervalued.
(Fitch has a nice summary page for China's sovereign debt.)
After reading Riverbend's post about gold, I looked up the official exchange rate for the Iraq Dinar over the last 30-some years. It
has collapsed more horrifically than I imagined. Here's
"Riverbend," the articulate female blogger from Baghdad, wrote a post called Jewelry and Raids... the
other day. I found this bit interesting:
"Iraqi people don't own gold because they are either spectacularly wealthy, or they have recently been on a looting spree...
Gold is a part of our culture and the roll [sic] it plays in 'family savings' has increased since 1990 when the Iraqi Dinar (which was $3)
began fluctuating crazily. People began converting their money to gold - earrings, bracelets, necklaces - because the value of gold
didn't change. People pulled their money out of banks before the war, and bought gold instead. Women here call gold 'zeeneh ou
7*azeeneh (khazeeneh)' which means, 'ornaments and savings.' Gold can be shown off and worn, but in times of economical trouble,
a few pieces can be sold to tide the family over."
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