China finds new bird flu case in eastern Fujian province, signaling the spread of the H7N9 virus

China finds new bird flu case in eastern Fujian province: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities discovered on Friday the first case of a new strain of bird flu in the eastern province of Fujian, signaling the spread of the virus which has killed 23 people in China, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The flu was first detected in March. This week, the World Health Organisation called the virus, known as H7N9, “one of the most lethal”, and said it is more easily transmitted than an earlier strain that has killed hundreds around the world since 2003. Fujian’s health authority said a 65-year-old man surnamed Luo had tested positive for the virus, Xinhua reported. Thirty-seven people who had been in close contact with the man had not shown symptoms of the flu. Chinese scientists confirmed on Thursday that chickens had transmitted the flu to humans. This week, a man in Taiwan become the first case of the flu outside mainland China. He caught the flu while travelling in China.

Published on Apr 26, 2013

SHANGHAI (AFP) – China’s deadly outbreak of H7N9 bird flu has spread to a province in the country’s south, the government said on Friday, marking the second announcement in two days of a case in a new location. The local health bureau in the south-eastern province of Fujian said a 65-year-old man was confirmed to have the virus. On Thursday, the eastern province of Jiangxi confirmed its first case of H7N9, in a 69-year-old-man. More than 110 people in mainland China have been confirmed with H7N9, with 23 deaths, since the government announced on March 31 that the virus had been found in humans. Most cases have been confined to eastern China. The island of Taiwan has also reported one case. A Chinese expert earlier this week warned of the possibility of more cases in a wider geographical area. Read more of this post

Malaysia has banned all imported chicken from China and is urging its own poultry farmers to beware of bird flu after Taiwan reported a case of the deadly strain, the first outside mainland China

April 26, 2013, 10:36 a.m. ET

Malaysia Bans Chicken Imports From China


Malaysia has banned all imported chicken from China and is urging its own poultry farmers to beware of bird flu after Taiwan reported a case of the deadly strain, the first outside mainland China.

Malaysia will only resume imports of China’s poultry when China is able to contain the new avian flu subtype and is declared free from the strain, Nazahiyah Sulaiman, spokeswoman at Malaysia’s Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) said. Malaysia joins Vietnam and Indonesia, which banned all poultry products from Asia’s largest economy earlier this month. Read more of this post

Shopping Tax Free on the Web Nears End

April 25, 2013, 7:48 p.m. ET

Shopping Tax Free on the Web Nears End

By ANN ZIMMERMAN in Dallas, GREG BENSINGER in San Francisco and JOHN D. MCKINNONin Washington

WASHINGTON—Online shoppers, beware. Freedom from sales taxes is on the way out. Late Thursday afternoon, in a 63-to-30 procedural vote, the Senate cleared the way for passage of a bill to effectively end tax-free shopping online. A final Senate vote is scheduled for May 6. The bill, called the Marketplace Fairness Act, would allow states to require online sellers around the country to collect sales tax for them on purchases made by their residents.

Big online sellers have expanded their physical operations nationwide, building warehouses and other facilities to speed delivery, while traditional stores increasingly have an online presence. That has turned the tables for the online retailers, which had benefitted richly from not having to charge shoppers a sales tax on their goods in most states. With their advantage eroding, the Web stores have become part of a surge of corporate support helping to propel the Senate bill toward likely passage, at least in that chamber and possibly also in the House. Read more of this post

Knock, Knock, Who’s the “Buffett CEO” in Asia? Part 1 and 2 (Go to, where value investing lives)

GWMARBKewpieJMATAsiaBamboo Innovator is featured in, where value investing lives:

Who’s the Buffett CEO in Asia? Part 1 on China’s Great Wall Motor, April 23, 2016 (Weblink:

Who’s the Buffett CEO in Asia? Part 2 on Australia’s ARB Corporation, April 26, 2013 (Weblink:

Kewpie: Japan’s Heinz and R.E.S.-ilient Bamboo Innovator, April 20, 2013 (Weblink:

Value Investors in Asia: Making Sense of the Micro Vs. Macro Dilemma, April 16, 2013 (Weblink:

H7N9 cases likely to increase in Taiwan, health officials; 133 reported cases of flu-like illnesses starting from April 3, 30% are seasonal flu, 70% unconfirmed

H7N9 cases likely to increase in Taiwan, health officials say

Friday, Apr 26, 2013
The China Post/Asia News Network
By Ann Yu

In light of the confirmed case of H7N9 in Taiwan on April 24, Chang Feng-yih, the commander of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) for H7N9 influenza has reported that the number of H7N9 cases is likely to increase following the bird migration season in Autumn, and has asked all officials to stay alert. He added that there have been 133 reported cases of flu-like illnesses starting from April 3, with 30 per cent confirmed later to be seasonal flu. Read more of this post

What Apple Can Learn From Warren Buffett

What Apple Can Learn From Warren Buffett

Give credit to Apple Inc. (AAPL) and its chief executive officer, Tim Cook, for getting serious about returning unneeded capital to shareholders. As for the details, some of them don’t seem well thought out.

The maker of iPhones and iPads this week said its board approved a sixfold increase in its stock-repurchase plan to $60 billion. Not long ago, even discussing the idea of large share buybacks was a nonstarter for Apple. Now that its stock has tanked, the company is acting like they are a must-do, no matter what else the future might bring. At about $408 a share, down 42 percent since its record high in September, Apple has a stock- market value of $383 billion.

“This is the largest single share repurchase authorization in history and is expected to be executed by the end of calendar 2015,” Apple said in an April 23 news release, the same day the company reported its first quarterly profit decline in a decade.

How could Apple be so confident it will spend the whole $60 billion by then? That’s hard to say. The company is under no obligation to complete the repurchase program, although it obviously wants the markets to believe it will. Apple’s statements this week suggested it would carry out the plan without regard to price, which should be the most important consideration of all. Read more of this post

Southeast Asia’s 2015 unity dream collides with reality; “This kind of exercise – highly ambitious, short time-lines – simply works to fracture the organization further.”

Southeast Asia’s 2015 unity dream collides with reality

Thu, Apr 25 2013

By Stuart Grudgings

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (Reuters) – Southeast Asian nations have quietly begun to row back on a deadline of forming an “economic community” by 2015, confirming what many economists and diplomats have suspected for years as the diverse group hits tough obstacles to closer union.

Rather than referring to the end of 2015 as a firm goal, officials at this year’s first summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), whose 10 members range from glitzy Singapore to impoverished Myanmar, prefer to call it a “milestone” to be built on in years ahead.

In so doing, they are bowing to the reality of slow progress and even some regression on politically sensitive goals, such as eliminating non-tariff barriers and lowering obstacles to the free flow of labor in the diverse region of 600 million people. Read more of this post

Harvard Cell Growth Discovery Seen Treating Diabetes

Harvard Cell Growth Discovery Seen Treating Diabetes

Harvard University scientists discovered a hormone that spurs the growth of beta cells, the body’s insulin factories, a finding that holds promise for treating diabetes in a new way. Researchers first found the hormone, called betatrophin, in mice, where it increases beta cell growth by as much as 33 times, said Douglas Melton, co-director of the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An almost-identical hormone in humans appears to serve the same function, Melton and his colleagues said today in the journal Cell. The discovery has drawn the interest of drugmakers looking at the $42 billion market for diabetes medicines. Harvard has applied for a patent on betatrophin, and the molecule has been licensed to Hamburg, Germany-based Evotec AG and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Melton said. New drugs are needed as patients develop resistance to older therapies.

“We’re very excited about this,” Melton said in a telephone interview. “The finding just makes so much sense to me, and it could be a new way forward in treating diabetes.” About 347 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s population, have diabetes, a condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, eye disease and nerve damage, according to the World Health Organization. Many patients develop these conditions even while getting treatment, so new drugs are needed, Melton said.

Read more of this post

Milk Smugglers Top Heroin Courier Arrests in Hong Kong

Milk Smugglers Top Heroin Courier Arrests in Hong Kong

For border officials in Hong Kong, baby formula trumps heroin.

Since the former British colony on March 1 restricted outbound travelers to two 2-pound cans each, a syndicate has been cracked and more people have been arrested for smuggling milk powder than were detained all of last year for carrying heroin.

The reason? Mainland Chinese demand for the formula, fueled by distrust of locally made food after product- safety scandals that included the deaths of at least six babies due to tainted milk. The U.K. and New Zealand are among countries that restricted milk sales as bulk purchases of brands such as Danone (BN)’s Aptamil and Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (MJN)’s Enfamil caused local shortages.

“Most of them only have one child, and the child is the most important thing in their life,” James Roy, a Shanghai- based analyst China Market Research Group, said of Chinese parents, most of whom are subject to the government’s one-child policy. “They want to be extra careful.”

The crackdown on milk buyers gives Danone (BN), Nestle SA (NESN), and Mead Johnson an opportunity increase their market share in China at the expense of domestic rivals such as China Mengiu Dairy Co. (2319) and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co. (600887) Read more of this post

Amazon’s success formula: move bits instead of boxes

Amazon’s success formula: move bits instead of boxes

3:17am EDT

By Alistair Barr and Ben Berkowitz

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Inc appears to have figured out the secret to being more profitable: sell less physical stuff.

The company reported slowing revenue growth and offered a disappointing outlook for this quarter on Thursday, exacerbating uncertainty about the health of its business beyond the United States. But that may be masking a fundamental shift in its business on home turf. The Internet retail giant that once specialized in moving books and other physical items quickly is increasingly trying to do the same in the digital world, where profit margins are higher, partly because e-books, music and video files and are transmitted electronically at high speed. Throw in a fast-expanding third-party merchant business, where Amazon simply books a cut of sales from seller listings on its website, and the retail giant’s margin outlook is looking a lot better.

Read more of this post

Calpers Tops $260 Billion as It Recoups $95 Billion Loss but still short $87 billion, or about 26 percent, of meeting its long-term commitments, and has had to ask the state and struggling cities to contribute more

Calpers Tops $260 Billion as It Recoups $95 Billion Loss

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System reached a market value of $260.8 billion in assets, surpassing the high set before the global financial crisis wiped out more than a third of its wealth.

The largest U.S. pension, with half of its money in equities, passed its pre-recession high of $260.6 billion on Oct. 31, 2007, according to a posting today on its website. The fund returned 13 percent in 2012, about the same gain as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

“The fund is stabilizing and the lessons we’ve applied from the past are paying off,” Chief Investment Officer Joe Dear said by e-mail. “But as remarkable as this number is, we are long-term investors and try to not get too excited when things are good or too discouraged when things are bad.”

Calpers isn’t alone in seeing gains. The 100 largest public pensions in the U.S. had $2.9 trillion in assets in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. That dropped to $2 trillion in 2009 and rebounded to almost $2.8 trillion as of Sept. 30. Even with its gains, the Sacramento-based pension is still short $87 billion, or about 26 percent, of meeting its long-term commitments, and has had to ask the state and struggling cities to contribute more. Read more of this post

Japan’s state-backed funds take risks, but what are the rewards? Possible risks to Japanese taxpayers were on full display last year when Elpida Memory failed only three years after it was saved with a 30 billion yen investment

Japan’s state-backed funds take risks, but what are the rewards?

Thu, Apr 25 2013

By Junko Fujita and Chikako Mogi

TOKYO (Reuters) – As part of Japan’s economic revival plan, the new government has added $3.2 billion to the spending power of state-linked funds investing in Japanese companies, effectively acting as venture capitalists much to the chagrin of private equity firms.

Critics argue the government largesse – the state funds spending power has now gone up to some $34 billion – will crowd out private equity in a country that desperately needs risk-taking investors to revitalize a corporate sector struggling to maintain its global competitive edge. Read more of this post

Japans’s Scary Lesson on Slashing Interest Rates; Politicians, bankers, investors and businesspeople alike get addicted to free money all too easily and clamor for more

Japans’s Scary Lesson on Slashing Interest Rates

Christine Lagarde wants her staff at the International Monetary Fund to examine what might happen to the global economy when central banks begin to raise interest rates. She’s wasting their time.

If Japan has taught us anything, it’s that slashing rates to zero and beyond is a lot easier than returning them to normalcy. Japan is on its sixth central-bank governor since its bubble burst in 1990, and like his predecessors, Haruhiko Kuroda is doubling down on quantitative easing. Why? Politicians, bankers, investors and businesspeople alike get addicted to free money all too easily and clamor for more.

Once central banks start embracing assets such as corporate debt, commercial paper, mortgage-backed securities, exchange- traded funds, real-estate trusts and the like, monetary officials tend to get stuck. That’s especially so in nations carrying large, and growing, debt burdens. Read more of this post

Malaysian Chinese May Abandon Prime Minister Najib as Fear of Riots Repeat Ebbs

Malaysian Chinese May Abandon Najib as Fear of Riots Repeat Ebbs

Malaysian businessman Stanley Thai says he’s joining thousands of fellow ethnic Chinese citizens in abandoning support for Prime Minister Najib Razak and voting for the opposition for the first time in elections next month.

“Why are the Chinese against the government — it’s simple,” Thai, 53, owner of medical glove-maker Supermax Corp. (SUCB), said in an interview last month. “We don’t want our children to suffer what we suffered, deprived from education, from career opportunities, from business opportunities.”

Chinese, who make up about a quarter of Malaysia’s population, are growing intolerant of affirmative-action programs for Malays propagated by Najib’s alliance of parties, the most recent national poll indicates. Any mass defection by Chinese voters raises the risk of the ruling coalition’s first election loss since it was formed after 1969 race riots.

The violence of 1969 helped persuade many Chinese to back Barisan Nasional, which Najib has led since 2009, as they accepted racial preferences for Malays as the cost of peace. Thai said thinking changed when the government’s electoral take sank in 2008 with little sign of renewed social unrest. “Everyone said, ‘Wow, the time has come,’” he said. Read more of this post

New York Times Moves Toward Netflix Model as Ads Tumble

New York Times Moves Toward Netflix Model as Ads Tumble

New York Times Co. (NYT), the newspaper publisher betting its future on a shift toward digital subscriptions, posted lower sales last quarter as it failed to attract enough readers to make up for a steeper ad decline.

Advertising dropped more than 11 percent to $191.2 million in the first quarter, while subscription sales rose 6.5 percent to $241.8 million, the company said today in a statement. Total revenue fell 2 percent from a year earlier to $465.9 million, missing analysts’ estimates of $470.5 million on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Excluding some items, profit was 4 cents a share, matching estimates.

The results represent Mark Thompson’s first full quarter as the company’s chief executive officer, following his arrival from the British Broadcasting Corp. last November. Thompson announced new strategic initiatives today in a bid to revive growth. The effort includes a lower-priced subscription plan, as well as a higher-priced option that would include access to events. The company also aims to entice more readers and advertisers with online videos.

“We mean to grow our business by launching new products and services based on the unique strengths of Times journalism and by investing in the rapid expansion of existing operations,” Thompson said in a statement. Read more of this post

Let a Billion Consumers Bloom; Subsidies to encourage consumption distort China’s economy

April 25, 2013, 12:24 p.m. ET

Let a Billion Consumers Bloom

Subsidies to encourage consumption distort China’s economy.

The 7.7% growth rate China clocked for the first three months of the year was lower than economists had expected, and now Beijing is looking to stimulate domestic consumption instead of its usual reliance on manufacturing exports and investment. Uh oh. This wouldn’t be the first time the government has gone down this route. In 2009 it rolled out a range of consumption subsidies, such as the Chinese version of “cash-for-clunkers,” to encourage new-car purchases, handouts for rural households that bought new appliances, and even a subsidy for new motorbikes. This was only part of the broader four trillion yuan ($647 billion) stimulus plan Beijing rammed through that year, but it led to some of the most positive headlines out of China’s economy, especially concerning sales of new cars.

That stimulus was less than it was cracked up to be. Consider the case of automobiles, in which roughly 6.4 billion yuan in government money subsidized the purchased of 459,000 new cars in 2010 alone. Some observers hailed this as a policy success. But subsequent events have shown that—like its American counterpart—the Chinese auto subsidy mainly stole consumption from the future by encouraging car buyers to shift forward purchases they would have made anyway. New car sales fell precipitously as soon as the subsidy program ended. Read more of this post

Shared Auditors in Mergers and Acquisitions

Shared Auditors in Mergers and Acquisitions

Dan S. Dhaliwal University of Arizona – Department of Accounting

Phillip T. Lamoreaux university of arizona – Department of Accounting

Lubomir P. Litov University of Arizona – Department of Finance; University of Pennsylvania – Wharton Financial Institutions Center

Jordan Neyland The University of Melbourne; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

April 1, 2013

We examine the effect of shared auditors, defined as audit firms that provide audit services to both target and acquirer prior to an acquisition, on transaction outcomes. We find that shared auditors are frequently observed — in a quarter of all public acquisitions — and are associated with significantly lower deal premiums, lower target event returns, higher acquirer event returns, and higher deal completion rates. Moreover, targets are likelier to receive a bid from a firm that has the same auditor. These results are more pronounced when targets and acquirers are audited by the same office of the audit firm and are mitigated to an extent after the adoption of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Overall, our results suggest that the bidder benefits from sharing the same auditor with the target, in part because of the lower costs to learn about it.

Are Israel’s banks using the people’s money to control the people? The issue is much more complex than haircuts and debt arrangements for tycoons

Are Israel’s banks using the people’s money to control the people?

The average Israeli’s anger toward the country’s banks is reasonable, but the issue is much more complex than haircuts and debt arrangements for tycoons.

By Guy Rolnik | Apr.25, 2013 | 1:56 PM |  2

Haircuts. Defaults. Debt arrangements. Write-offs.

The average Israeli now knows these terms as well as any banker. On radio and television, in Knesset speeches and on the beach – finance experts have been popping up and spouting argot overnight. Defaulting tycoons seem to be replacing the ultra-Orthodox as scapegoats for Israel’s social evils. Read more of this post

WPP CEO Sorrell: Google Will Overtake News Corp As Our Largest Media Investment This Year Or Next

WPP CEO Sorrell: Google Will Overtake News Corp As Our Largest Media Investment This Year Or Next

INGRID LUNDENposted 22 hours ago

Martin Sorrell, the CEO of WPP, today laid out a stark picture of how significant a role digital is playing for the advertising giant. Speaking at the FT Digital Media Conference in London today, he said that digital now accounts for 34% of WPP’s media investment, amounting to some $72 billion, rising “from zero to over one-third in about ten years, the age of Google,” he said.

Google, he said, is the second-largest recipient of that digital spend at the moment, at around $2 billion for the quarter, but that it will soon overtake the single biggest beneficiary at the moment, News Corp. Sorrell described Google as “a media owner masquerading as a tech company.” Read more of this post

Brewers set out to take sake global; the ascent of Japanese whiskey

Brewers set out to take sake global


APR 26, 2013

NAGOYA – Ambitious sake brewers have turned to foreign markets in an attempt to replicate wine’s global success.

Exports of sake, which is essentially a rice wine locally referred to as “nihonshu,” have been growing in recent years, and trade fairs and competition events have become common. The proponents, some of whom are motivated by an unquenchable ambition, feel ready to take it up a notch.

Banjo Jozo, a sake brewery in Nagoya, has for several years been cultivating foreign customers. It is now exporting the Kamoshibito Kuheiji brand to upscale establishments, including the Ritz Paris and a three-star restaurant. Read more of this post

Goldfish used to test the river quality in Sichuan quake zone died

Goldfish used to test the river quality in quake zone died

2013-04-26 01:08:21 GMT2013-04-26 09:08:21(Beijing Time)

About 100 goldfish raised in the pool of mountain springs in quake-hit Ya’an, Sichuan province were found dead on Tuesday night, raising fears of quality of drinking water in the region. Water samples have been sent to the Disease Control and Prevention Center of Sichuan province for further test. More than 4,000 residents in Tianquan county are without their natural water supplies, forcing them to live on bottled water and water carried by three fire trucks.


Chinese restaurant owner says robot noodle maker doing “a good job!” Chinese restaurants, industry develop taste for robots


Written By: Peter Murray
Posted: 04/19/13 8:15 AM


Noodle peelers should probably start looking for other things to do around the kitchen – there’s just no competing with these robots. Not only are they saving restaurants in China money in wages, they can work rapidly and tirelessly for hours.

We reported on the robots, invented by restaurant owner Cui Runguan, last August. Now, we’re hearing from another restaurant owner who has had one of the robots in his “employ” for a month. How is the indefatigable noodle-maker working out at the Jinhe Noodle Shop in Beijing? The restaurant owner, with the last name Zhao, loves it and tells China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency that “It does a good job!”

Runguan’s robots peel noodle strips from a firm piece of dough and tosses them directly into boiling water “before diners’ eyes can follow the whole process.” To Zhao and a growing number of restaurant owners in China, choosing robots over human noodle cooks is a no-brainer. While a cook doing the same job would make about 40,000 yuan ($6,400) per year, the robot cost him just 10,000 yuan ($1,600). And no human chef can work so tirelessly.

Read more of this post

Oil and Gas, Blondes and Over-Accessorized Brunettes, and Ruthless, Hard-Drinking Cowboys

Speeches by Richard W. Fisher
‘Oil and Gas, Blondes and Over-Accessorized Brunettes, and Ruthless, Hard-Drinking Cowboys’ (With Reference to Sheikh Zayed, Diana Natalicio, My Nephew Charles and President Peña Nieto)

Remarks at the University of Texas at El Paso Centennial Lecture
El Paso, TX · April 10, 2013 


I so appreciate being here at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), my first outing since returning from a trip to the United Arab Emirates. The founder of the Emirates—a collection of former “Trucial States” along the lower coast of the Arabian Sea—was Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a wise man who had no formal education but knew of its enormous value. He said, “Education is a lantern which lights the dark alleys of ignorance.”[1]

I mention this because I cannot think of an educator who embodies this practical dictum better than Diana Natalicio. President Natalicio is a bright, shining lantern in the world of education. Actually, that’s an understatement: She is a klieg light! We are blessed to have her lead UTEP and move Texas and the nation forward on the frontiers of higher education. I am tremendously honored to be introduced by her. Thank you, Diana.

I am going to depart from my usual format today and rely heavily on slides—slides that provide a factual basis for what is going to be a dose of “Texas brag.” With its branches in El Paso, San Antonio and Houston, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas—the Federal Reserve’s Eleventh District—covers about 27 million people over 360,000 square miles stretching from northern Louisiana to southern New Mexico. Over 96 percent of the economic output of the district comes from Texas. Read more of this post

The Gorilla and the Maginot Line; Janet Yellen likes metaphors. This is a common trait among central bankers, at least the ones who see value in trying to explain their work

APRIL 25, 2013, 12:41 PM

The Gorilla and the Maginot Line


Janet Yellen likes metaphors. This is a common trait among central bankers, at least the ones who see value in trying to explain their work.

In 2007, she compared problems in the housing market to a 600-pound gorilla lurking in the corner of the Federal Reserve’s meeting room.

In 2010, she described the state of financial regulation before the crisis as “a financial Maginot Line that we believed couldn’t be breached.”

We all know what happened next: The gorilla broke through the Maginot Line.

She is not the most colorful of the current crop of Fed officials. That honor surely belongs to Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, whose most recent speech was titled “Oil and Gas, Blondes and Over-Accessorized Brunettes, and Ruthless, Hard-Drinking Cowboys.” Read more of this post

Doctors Denounce Cancer Drug Prices of $100,000 a Year; More than 100 influential cancer specialists argued that some drug prices are unsustainable and perhaps even immoral

April 25, 2013

Doctors Denounce Cancer Drug Prices of $100,000 a Year


With the cost of some lifesaving cancer drugs exceeding $100,000 a year, more than 100 influential cancer specialists from around the world have taken the unusual step of banding together in hopes of persuading some leading pharmaceutical companies to bring prices down.

Prices for cancer drugs have been part of the debate over health care costs for several years — and recently led to a public protest from doctors at a major cancer center in New York. But the decision by so many specialists, from more than 15 countries on five continents, to join the effort is a sign that doctors, who are on the front lines of caring for patients, are now taking a more active role in resisting high prices. In this case, some of the specialists even include researchers with close ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

The doctors and researchers, who specialize in the potentially deadly blood cancer known as chronic myeloid leukemia, contend in a commentary published online by a medical journal Thursday that the prices of drugs used to treat that disease are astronomical, unsustainable and perhaps even immoral. Read more of this post

Southern Europe’s Recession Threatens to Spread North

April 25, 2013

Southern Europe’s Recession Threatens to Spread North



An ominous sign in Spain, where the unemployment rate is a staggering 27.2 percent.

FRANKFURT — No company symbolizes German industrial might like Daimler, the giant maker of Mercedes-Benz autos and trucks. So when the company said this week that it, too, had finally been caught in the downdraft of the European economic crisis, it was an ominous sign for all of the Continent, if not the whole world.

German exporters like Daimler have been bastions of stability on a continent burdened with shaky banks, dysfunctional governments and legions of unemployed youth — not to mention the worst auto industry slump in two decades. But Daimler’s glum forecast for 2013 was the latest evidence that Germany, and other relatively healthy countries like Austria and Finland, risk falling into the recession that has long afflicted their southern neighbors. Read more of this post

Raymond Bickson’s Revival Plan for Taj Hotels

Raymond Bickson’s Revival Plan for Taj Hotels

by Cuckoo Paul | Apr 26, 2013

Raymond Bickson is trying to change the Taj hotels’ operating model, but first the chain will have to learn to get out of its comfort zone

topimg_21589_raymond_bickson_600x400Taj Hotels.inddimg_69783_taj_hotels_newTaj Hotels.indd Read more of this post

Is Timex Suffering the Early Stages of Disruption? Amateurs can now make watches. Consumers might not want to wear your brand.

Is Timex Suffering the Early Stages of Disruption?

by Grant McCracken  |  12:00 PM April 25, 2013

In the early days of an innovation, it’s hard to tell whether we are looking at the future or just another blip on the screen.

Take the case of the Hudson Watch Company (HWC). It just got its first round of funding. From Kickstarter. It raised $115,703 from 409 backers, and will now go into production.

At this stage, the enterprise is preposterously small. (No disrespect to HWC. It’s simply a matter of scale.) We can’t believe something this tiny can tell us anything about the future. This can’t be a staging area for disruptive change.

Well, not so fast. No one at Patek Philippe has cause for concern, to be sure. But someone at Timex may. HWC may be precisely a harbinger of disruptive change. Read more of this post

CHART OF THE DAY: Chinese Politicians

CHART OF THE DAY: Chinese Politicians Are Ridiculously Wealthy

Sam Ro | Apr. 25, 2013, 2:30 PM | 1,924 | 11

China has a major corruption problem.

“2013 will mark the most vigorous anti-corruption fight by the Chinese leadership in decades,” write the analysts at Deutsche Bank. This initiative is expected to be bad news for China’s liquor suppliers, watch-makers, and food-service industry workers.  But it’ll be a big win for investor confidence. In its new “Equity House View” report, Deutsche Bank includes this stunning chart showing how much more wealthy Chinese congressman are compared to American politicians. They cite it as a reason why so many are worried about corruption.



Chinese bond market authorities will suspend new account openings by non-bank financial institutions, the latest move in a growing crackdown on self-dealing in China’s fast-growing bond market

Friday April 26, 2013

China suspends new bond accounts

SHANGHAI: Chinese bond market authorities will suspend new account openings by non-bank financial institutions, the latest move in a growing crackdown on self-dealing in China’s fast-growing bond market, multiple sources told Reuters.

The move could effectively bar brokerages, fund companies, trusts, and possibly even banks from issuing new bond-based products to investors.

China’s main bond clearinghouse, the China Central Depository & Clearing Co Ltd, will suspend applications from trust plans, brokerages, and fund companies to establish special-purpose accounts they use to manage funds for bond-based wealth management products (WMPs), bond mutual funds, and other bond-based investment products. Read more of this post

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