Sunday, October 2, 2011


Saturday, October 1, 2011

A repost from my February 2011 updates

Give your thoughts below,dear readers, if you agree / disagree that the Financial Collapse
contagion happening in the WEST is beginning to be felt here in Melaka through imported Inflation
(higher consumer prices) and irrational business fears ( harder to get bank loans,lower investments
 and opportunities).
Malacca teens dropping out of school to help their families
The Star/Asia News Network
Sunday, Oct 02, 2011

MALACCA - A number of teenagers in Alor Gajah and Jasin have dropped out of school to take up
menial jobs in poultry farms to support their families which have fallen on hard times.

Some of them are as young as 14 years old and they work from morning to late evening.

State Education, Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo said preliminary
findings of a task force, established by the Malacca Government to investigate the employment 
of underage people, revealed that family financial constraints was the main factor that forced 
these teenagers to work.

"They were forced to work to help ease their families' money problems. But this is considered 
child labour, so we have to quickly embark on steps to tackle the problem," he said yesterday.
Gan said vulnerable families in rural areas were unaware of legislation that prohibited children
from being employed.

The authorities, he said, were concerned about the welfare of such children.
He said the task force had made several recommendations such as discouraging them from
working and luring them back to school, besides providing aid to the families to ease their financial

Skills training would also be provided to these teenagers, he said, adding that their families would 
also be exposed to micro-financing programmes.


The Big Questions in 2011?

The Biggest Threats In 2011

It will soon be the shortest, darkest day of the year, and the economic mood
is also pretty black.Everybody is fretting about the eurozone, inflation, sovereign debt,
 bond bubbles, trade war tensions, a China slowdown and whether their Amazon wishlist
orders will make it through the snow for Christmas.
There is a world of worry out there, which are the biggest threats to your portfolio?

The Bank of England abandoned its 2% inflation target yonks ago, and the consumer price
 index (CPI (Berlin: CEJ.BE - news) ) has now hit 3.3%. Even this is a fiddle, because inflation is
actually 4.7%, according to the old retail price index (RPI). VAT rises in January, while food and
 energy are getting pricier by the day.
The Bank of England is in a bind. If it doesn't raise base rates soon, it will lose all credibility. If it does raise
rates, companies and consumers will crash and burn.
Inflation is an even bigger problem in China, Brazil and other emerging markets, and reckless money
 printing in the US won't help.
Risk level: 7/10.
How to play it: Abandon bonds, embrace commodities, food producers, oil companies and anybody
 with pricing power.
The eurozone
As I wrote recently, This Sucker This Going Down. Fellow Fool Owain Bennallack is more confident,
 claiming Death Will Not Part The Eurozone. But even if the single currency lives on, or rather limps on,
2011 will be a traumatic year.Italy and Spain have to roll over debt worth hundreds of millions of euros
while juggling with credit warnings in front of a sceptical German audience. Expect markets to panic
every time the eurozone circus rattles into town.
Risk level: 8/10.
How to play it: Gold. Emerging market companies and currencies. Buying good-quality European companies
on the dips.
Sovereign debt
Briton's net debt is 56.3% of GDP, but coalition government attempts to cut spending have already sparked
riots in the streets.The US has ignored its $13 trillion debts and dished out tax cuts to the wealthy,
while those countries that have embraced austerity, such as Ireland (Berlin: IIK.BE - news) ,
find it only makes things worse.
Debt servicing costs are rising, populations are ageing, the bond markets are running scared and
the only question is which country will be first to default, ahem, restructure. Hang onto your AAA ratings,
it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Risk level: 9/10.
How to play it: Gold. Youthful, debt-free emerging markets. Norwegian krone.
Emerging markets
The recovery has been built slowly, BRIC (news) by BRIC, but what if one of them comes tumbling down?
Chinese inflation is at a 25-month high at 4.4%, while an apartment in Beijing now costs 22 times average
earnings. QE2 is sailing full steam ahead into BRIC stock markets, ramping up asset bubbles and forcing
central bankers to raise rates.
Here's the most worrying signal of all: as we speak, every single IFA in the country is putting their clients
into emerging markets funds.
Risk level: 6/10.
How to play it: Gold (again). Commodities (COMMODITIES.SN - news) -- if you can buy on the dips,
and lock in for the long term.
Dollar debauchment
The world is having reservations about the global reserve currency, as the US Federal Reserve prints
the dollar into debauchery.
Stoking inflation to monetise the deficit may be the only way the US can ever tackle its debts, but it's a
dangerous game. Especially since everybody is trying to debauch their own currencies at exactly the
same time.
Risk level: 7/10.
How to play it: Gold. Commodities. Emerging markets and currencies.
Bond bubble
Bonds were supposed to represent a flight to safety, not route one to risk. As the US displays all the
fiscal restraint of Elton John at a flowery headwear auction, yields on 10-year US Treasuries have
 rocketed from 2.4% to 3.2%.
If inflation takes off as well, bonds will look even less appealing. And none of this will help corporate bonds.
Risk level: 7/10.
How to play it: Diversification. Equities.
Consumer meltdown
Unemployment has hit 2.5 million and rising. Despite almost two years of rock bottom base rates,
consumers have scarcely made a dent in their £1.45 trillion of personal debt. House prices are set to fall,
 and repossessions rise. VAT is going up, so is energy. And that's just in the UK.
The unemployment rate in the US is up to 17%, according to some measures, and house prices continue
 to fall. You don't want to be young and looking for work in Spain, or other afflicted Eurozone countries.
Rising unemployment is generally bad news for shares, the only consolation is that it keeps a lid on
inflationary wage pressures.
Risk level: 5/10.
How to play it: Shun consumer discretionary spending, just look how nightclub operator Luminar has
been hit by rising unemployment rates. But people still have to eat.And that's not all.................
Rising oil prices, Korean dictators, over-priced equities... what else is out there?


Blog Archive



"Rojak " Video By The Suleiman Brothers

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The Malacca Story (Chinese version)

with courtesy to asmaliana-BPP

The Malacca Story (part 2)

The Malacca Story (part 3)

With courtesy to Asmaliana-BPP