Starbucks toilet coffee prompts anger in Hong Kong; It has been using the water from a tap in a toilet to make beverages since its opening in October 2011

Starbucks toilet coffee prompts anger in Hong Kong

It has been using the water from a tap in a toilet to make beverages since its opening in October 2011. -AFP
Thu, May 30, 2013

HONG KONG – A Starbucks cafe in Hong Kong’s posh financial district which used water from a tap near a urinal to brew coffee prompted a torrent of angry reactions from customers Thursday. The coffee shop, in the famous Bank of China Tower, has been using the water from a tap in a toilet to make beverages since its opening in October 2011. Images from local newspaper Apple Daily showed the tap with a sign that said “Starbucks only” a few feet away from a urinal in the dingy washroom, which the paper said was in the building’s carpark. “Totally disappointed! The initial decision by Starbucks to use water from toilet is a clear sign of your company’s vision and the level of (dis)respect your company has for the health and mind of your customers.” Kevin L wrote on the Starbucks Hong Kong Facebook wall. Read more of this post

“China Dream” rhetoric by President Xi: “There are some people in this country who become others’ punchbags and their biggest Chinese dream is simply to live with a bit more dignity”

China Officials Probed for ‘Parading’ Arrested Girl: Media

By Agence France-Presse on 2:37 pm May 29, 2013.
Beijing. Two Chinese officials allegedly paraded a 13-year-old girl through the streets in handcuffs for splashing a government vehicle, state media reported on Wednesday after images of the incident provoked outrage online. A party secretary in Kele, in the southern province of Guizhou, and a policeman were being investigated over the matter, the Global Times said. The girl was accused of deliberately splashing “dirty water” on a government car, drenching another local official, after a row about her family’s street stall, the Sichuan Daily reported. Party secretary Yuan Zehong ordered the girl arrested and told more than 30 policemen to “beat up” her aunt after she protested at the handcuffing, claimed a post on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social messaging service. It included photos of the incident and alleged that the girl had been made to walk for 20 minutes in public while wearing the handcuffs. Read more of this post

Fundamentals of Web for Non-Developer

While the link between profits and stock returns should be clear, historically investors have not fully appreciated the long-term persistence of profits.

Profitability Matters

While the link between profits and stock returns should be clear, historically investors have not fully appreciated the long-term persistence of profits.

By Alex Bryan | 05-29-13 | 06:00 AM | Email Article

It’s surprising that value stocks have done as well as they have. Value stocks tend to be less profitable than their growth counterparts, and yet they have historically traded at steep enough discounts to outperform growth stocks in nearly every market studied over long horizons. But price is only one aspect of value. Controlling for risk, a company’s future profitability drives its intrinsic value. While companies that consistently generate high profits command higher valuations than traditional value stocks, the market has also historically undervalued these companies. This anomaly is consistent with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger’s philosophy that it is better to buy a great company at a fair price than a fair company at a great price.

Profitability measures how productively a company uses its investors’ capital and assets. Simply comparing net income or earnings per share across companies does not adequately capture this idea. It is often possible for a company to boost its net income by acquiring more assets, but that does not necessary improve its productivity–just the opposite. The marginal returns to capital tend to diminish with size. In other words, investors often get less “bang for the buck” for each additional dollar invested in the business. In order to control for differences in invested capital and assets, researchers define profitability using metrics, such as return on invested capital, gross profits/assets, and adjusted operating income/book value of equity. Read more of this post

‘Smart beta’, a new weapon in your armoury

May 24, 2013 5:55 pm

‘Smart beta’, a new weapon in your armoury

By David Stevenson

No longer a straight choice between active and passive investing, says David Stevenson

The term “smart beta” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Nor is it likely to become a catchphrase, as in: “I’ve made an absolute killing on my smart beta funds.” But smart beta is something investors could be hearing a lot more about in the years ahead.

My colleague Merryn Somerset Webb outlined the structural limitations of the fund management industry last week.

Basically, most managers are doomed to hug the benchmark because the industry is focused on gathering assets. Better to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally, as Keynes said. Passive investing might reduce the costs, but invariably commits you to a momentum investing strategy because most indices are weighted by market capitalisation. The bigger a company gets, the more you have invested in it. Over time, the noise of the market will even out the rises and falls of individual shares and you’ll get the underlying market return, also known as the beta of the index. Read more of this post

If investing is poker, fund managers are a busted flush; The structure of the industry condemns many of them to underperform

May 17, 2013 3:36 pm

If investing is poker, fund managers are a busted flush

By Merryn Somerset Webb

The structure of the industry condemns many of them to underperform

Imeet a lot of fund managers. I tend to like them. Fund managers are mostly charming company. They are, on the whole, clever, interesting and full of sensible sounding ideas. And if you see them at a conference they often have something nice you can take home for your kids.

I’ve written here before about how all these nice men purport to be into value investing (buying cheap stuff) or at least quality value investing (buying good stuff at fair prices) at the moment. They tend to tell me they are running their fund just as Warren Buffett used to run his before it got way too big. They have strict valuation criteria they aren’t going to deviate from. They defy consensus, shut their ears to short-term noise and focus on the long term. Read more of this post

Courage under fire: Learning from a real Thai hero

Courage under fire: Learning from a real thai hero

Published: 30 May 2013 at 00.00


Many stories have been told of heroism during World War II. The bold and courageous action of Oskar Schindler, who saved 1,200 lives, was the basis of a novel and blockbuster movie, Schindler’s List, which won seven Oscars including Best Picture in 1994. Irena Sendler, a Polish nurse, is also praised as a heroine who smuggled 2,500 children to save them from the Holocaust.

In Thailand, there is a local hero who dared to risk his life and his family fortune to save the lives of numbers of Allied prisoners of war. It is estimated that at least 12,000 Allied PoWs died during almost three years, from late 1942 to August 1945, building the infamous Death Railway for the occupying Japanese. But many more would have perished had Boonpong Sirivejjabhandu not risen to the occasion.

Crises make heroes: Boonpong Sirivejjabhandu was a businessman who owned a Thai traditional medicine business and a general store in Kanchanaburi province, which had been passed to him by his father Mor Khein, a Thai traditional doctor. He was also a mayor of Kanchanaburi from 1942-45 during World War II. His public responsibilities brought him into contact with the Japanese troops, who were determined to build a bridge across the River Kwai to improve the logistics capability of the Japanese army. Read more of this post

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