Are Boring Businesses Resilient or Risky? Pitfalls and Opportunities in Europe and Asia. Bamboo Innovator is featured in, where value investing lives

Bamboo Innovator is featured in, where value investing lives:

  • Are Boring Businesses Resilient or Risky? Pitfalls and Opportunities in Europe and Asia, July 17, 2013 (BeyondProxy)


Short-Term Shareholders, Bubbles, and CEO Myopia

Short-Term Shareholders, Bubbles, and CEO Myopia

John E. Thanassoulis University of Oxford – Department of Economics

July 1, 2013

This paper analyses the real economy effects of firms having some shareholders with a short investment horizon on their shareholder register. Short-term shareholders cause management to be concerned with the path of the share price as well as its ultimate value. Such shareholders in an economy lead to bubbles in the prices of key inputs, to the misallocation of firms to risky business models, and to increased costs of capital. For individual firms short-term shareholders induce the Board to reduce deferred incentives in CEO pay prompting CEO myopia and reduced investments in the long-run capabilities of the firm.

Do General Managerial Skills Spur Innovation?

Do General Managerial Skills Spur Innovation?

Claudia Custodio Arizona State University – W. P. Carey School of Business

Miguel A. Ferreira Nova School of Business and Economics; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Pedro P. Matos University of Virginia – Darden School of Business; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

July 4, 2013

We show that firms with chief executive officers (CEOs) that gather general managerial skills during their lifetime work experience produce more innovation. Firms with generalist CEOs invest more in R&D and produce more patents than those with specialist CEOs. Generalist CEOs also create more diverse and original patent portfolios. We address the potential endogenous CEO-firm matching bias using firm fixed effects and the variation on the enforceability of non-competing agreements across states and time as an instrument for general managerial skills. Our findings suggest that generalist CEOs spur innovation because they have skills that can be applied elsewhere should risky innovation projects fail. We conclude that an efficient labor market for executives can promote corporate innovation by acting as mechanism of tolerance for failure.

China’s Richest Man Considers IPO for Department Store Business

China’s Richest Man Considers IPO for Department Store Business

Zong Qinghou, China’s richest man who is worth an estimated $11.3 billion, is considering an initial public offering of his department store businesses.

There is no specific timeframe for the share sale, Zong said at a press conference in Beijing today. The billionaire controls food and beverage conglomerate Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co., which plans to have 100 malls in China in the next three to five years, according to a statement from the closely held company today. Read more of this post

Beers Of The World

Beers Of The World [MAPS]

MEGAN WILLETT JUL. 16, 2013, 3:46 PM 6,867 10

Who needs a flag when your country can be represented by its most popular brand of beer instead? At least, that’s what the geniuses at thought when they put together this “World Beer Map” that features over 80 lager beers from around the world. Not all the choices are without controversy, however — we’re guessing a few German beer-ophiles won’t be too pleased that Germany is represented by Oettinger, an infamous low-budget beer.

largebeermap Read more of this post

Is being an entrepreneur really a viable option? It is essentially cultural dogma that the only viable option is to go to college, get good grades, and become a doctor, lawyer, or some other respectable professional

Is being an entrepreneur really a viable option?

ON JULY 16, 2013

Following last week’s post about the importance of establishing entrepreneurship as a self fulfillingcultural norm, several people asked me what I thought was the key to jump starting this process. As I thought about the belief system of entrepreneurs vs. non-entrepreneurs, I remembered a conversation I had with an old roommate that perfectly captured the difference. In 2000, I was starting a new company and trying to raise some angel money. One Saturday afternoon, my roommate “Joe” asked me what I had planned for the day and I told him I had to work on my business plan. He said to me, “I don’t understand. Why do you work on this stuff? It’s not like you get anything out of it.” For Joe, launching a business was simply not a viable possibility. In his mind, I may as well have told him I was training to be the quarterback of the 49ers or some other unattainable pipe dream. More than anything, the belief that starting a company is a viable option is what separates entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs. Most people simply aren’t taught to think this way and don’t have accessible role models to show them the possibilities. It is essentially cultural dogma that the only viable option is to go to college, get good grades, and become a doctor, lawyer, or some other respectable professional. How many of you have had to explain to your parents why you were leaving your viable career in order to pursue what they viewed as the nonviable path of entrepreneurship? More than a few, I’m sure. Read more of this post

True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business

True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business [Hardcover]

Ty Montague (Author)

images (21)

Publication Date: July 16, 2013

Is your company a storyteller—or a storydoer?
The old way to market a business was storytelling. But in today’s world, simply communicating your brand’s story in the hope that customers will listen is no longer enough. Instead, your authentic brand must be evident in every action the organization undertakes.
Today’s most successful businesses are storydoers.
These companies create products and services that, from the very beginning, are manifestations of an authentic and meaningful story—one told primarily through action, not advertising. In True Story, creative executive Ty Montague argues that any business, regardless of size or industry, can embrace the principles of storydoing. Indeed, our best-run companies—from small start-ups to global conglomerates—organize around a coherent narrative that is then broadcast through every action they take (from product design to customer service to marketing). Montague shows why storydoing firms are nimble, more adaptive to change, and more efficiently run businesses.
Montague is a founder of the growth consultancy co:collective and the former president and CCO of J. Walter Thompson, the largest advertising agency in North America. He brings his depth of creative business experience to the book and provides a clear framework and proven process for bringing you and your customers together in the creation of your brand story.
Montague introduces five critical elements—what he calls the “the four truths and the action map”—that are the foundation of storydoing:
• the participants (your customers, partners, and employees)
• the protagonist (your company today)
• the stage (the world around your business)
• the quest (your driving ambition and contribution to the world)
• your action map (the actions that will make your story real for participants)
The book is filled with examples of how forward-thinking organizations—including Red Bull, Shaklee, Grind, TOMS Shoes, and News Corporation—are effectively using storydoing to transform their organizations and drive extraordinary results. Read more of this post

Good Companies Are Storytellers. Great Companies Are Storydoers; The story is about a larger ambition to make the world or people’s lives better

Good Companies Are Storytellers. Great Companies Are Storydoers

by Ty Montague  |   1:00 PM July 16, 2013

storydoing-6-thumb-200x399-4480 storydoing-5-thumb-200x312-4473

Discussions about story and storytelling are pretty fashionable in marketing circles. I have ambivalent feelings about this. On the one hand, as a lifelong advocate for the power of story in business, I find this very encouraging. For all companies, having a story and knowing that story are crucial steps to achieving success. On the other hand, I’m worried that too many marketers think that telling their story through advertising is enough. It’s not. In fact, those that think this way do so at their own risk because there is a new kind of company on the rise that uses story in a more powerful way — and they run more efficient and profitable businesses as a result. In my new book, True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business, I call these new companies storydoing companies because they advance their narrative through action, not communication. Storydoing companies — Red Bull, TOMS shoes, Warby Parker, and Tory Burch, for example — emphasize the creation of compelling and useful experiences — new products, new services, and new tools that advance their narrative by lighting up the medium of people. What I mean by this is that when people encounter a storydoing company they often want to tell all their friends about it. Storydoing companies create fierce loyalty and evangelism in their customers. Their stories are told primarily via word of mouth, and are amplified by social media tools. So how do you know a storydoing company when you see one? These are the primary characteristics:

  1. They have a story
  2. The story is about a larger ambition to make the world or people’s lives better
  3. The story is understood and cared about by senior leadership outside of marketing
  4. That story is being used to drive tangible action throughout the company: product development, HR policies, compensation, etc.
  5. These actions add back up to a cohesive whole
  6. Customers and partners are motivated to engage with the story and are actively using it to advance their own stories Read more of this post

Self-Published Book Success Stories; How Writers Used Free Tools to Get Their Books Noticed

July 16, 2013, 6:50 p.m. ET

Self-Published Book Success Stories

How Writers Used Free Tools to Get Their Books Noticed



Ms. Ware realized she wanted to write a book after blogging about her eight years working as a palliative caregiver.

The popular saying that everyone has a book in them has never been truer, as the much-heralded rise of self-publishing—and companies dedicated to editing, printing and promoting books—has put the power to publish at people’s fingertips. The cost of producing a paperback has gone from thousands of dollars—from editing and jacket design to printing, distribution and warehousing—to free on Amazon.comInc.’s AMZN +0.10% CreateSpace and the popular independent e-book distributor Smashwords. Readers don’t miss a traditional publishing house, says Ann McIndoo, who runs an author-coaching business. “The author or the topic or the brand drives the sale. When you go to the bookstore, you want Stephen King or a book on How To Knit. It doesn’t matter who published it.” Here are several authors and their different strategies for self-publishing their books. Read more of this post

Chaebol under fire amid South Korean scandals

July 16, 2013 6:28 am

Chaebol under fire amid South Korean scandals

By Song Jung-a in Seoul

The audio file is uncomfortable listening. Uploaded on YouTube, it captured a young salesman at Namyang Dairy Products, one of South Korea’s leading dairy companies, bullying a representative of one of the group’s distributors. At one stage he threatens to kill the distributor unless he buys more of the company’s products. The threat comes after a series of verbal insults are hurled at the buyer, who pleads that he does not have the space to store any more stock. The poisonous exchange, which has rocketed around South Korea’s vibrant social media forums since May, has become a lightning rod for mounting discontent over the dominance of the chaebol – the country’s big family-run conglomerates – which are accused of choking the development of small and medium-sized companies. The recording provided an extreme example of something many people believed had been happening up and down the country – lifting a veil on decades of abuse meted out by the chaebol. Read more of this post

Shattering the myth of the ‘Startup Nation’

Shattering the myth of the ‘Startup Nation’

This lofty title has long served as a cover for the low productivity that plagues the Israeli economy.

By Amir Teig | Jul. 16, 2013 | 2:14 PM

Legend has it that a treasure trove of economic reforms is hidden deep down in the confines of the Finance Ministry’s budget department – dozens of important reforms formulated over the years just waiting for the day when the right politician will come along and pluck them out of the files. The department’s capable economists and senior bureaucrats cover all their bases by running everything through committees and past experts. Usually they identify clearly, and in real time, the numerous problems and challenges threatening the Israeli economy, and even formulate solutions. But this work usually goes no further than the filing cabinet: Barring the sense that there is a terrible crisis or a fire that needs to be put out, no politician will commit to risky long-term reforms. And yet, without them, Israel will always be behind. Read more of this post

Asia After the Money Flood; It’s time to prepare for the end of U.S. quantitative easing

Updated July 16, 2013, 6:59 p.m. ET

Asia After the Money Flood

It’s time to prepare for the end of U.S. quantitative easing.

Investors have awakened to the implications for Asia of a gradual unwinding of easy money policies in the West. Witness last month’s cash exodus and stock-market declines as investors re-evaluate their appetite for risk. Higher yields in America are expected to draw portfolio investment back from emerging markets.

The upshot is that Asian leaders accustomed to reaping the growth rewards of plentiful foreign capital are in for a shock. The investors who remain committed to the region will look for those countries that offer the most attractive mix of risk and return. It’s time to revisit economic reforms that will keep them hooked. Read more of this post

A very clear explanation of China’s economic woes; Are there good examples of boondoggles that have been created through this investment boom?

A very clear explanation of China’s economic woes

By Brad Plumer, Updated: July 16, 2013

One of the biggest economic stories in the world right now is the sharp slowdown in China’s economy. On Monday, the country reported that it had grown just 7.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, a worrisome drop from previous quarters. To get a clearer sense of why China is in such economic turmoil — and whether it could drag the rest of the world down with it — I called up Patrick Chovanec, a longtime China watcher who is currently chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management and was formerly an associate professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management in Beijing. A transcript of our talk follows.

Brad Plumer: Let’s assume I know nothing whatsoever about China. How would you explain why the country is suddenly facing all these economic problems and making headlines? It seemed like China was booming. Read more of this post

Online flash sales may become short-lived craze in China

Online flash sales may become short-lived craze in China

Staff Reporter


With the trend of online group shopping on the downturn, “flash shopping” has been sweeping China’s e-commerce market. Flash shopping features sales of certain merchandise, mostly brand name products, at a 10-50% discount for members of e-commerce websites during a specific time frame. pioneered the sales practice and its success has enabled its market value to grow six-fold in one year, prompting major e-commerce operators to join the fray. The participation of major e-commerce operators has aggravated the competition for flash sales, slashing profit margins. revealed that flash sale operators used to collect 20-26% commission from vendors, a major source of their profit, but the commission has dropped to 5%, following the rollout of flash-sales channel by Vancl. As a business model, flash sales operators lack core competitiveness in customer traffic, service, supply chain and commission levels. Read more of this post

Unorthodox injections sustain China’s healthcare system

July 16, 2013 4:10 pm

Unorthodox injections sustain China’s healthcare system

By Leslie Hook in Beijing

New protesters arrive every couple of minutes at the unmarked gates of the Ministry of Health in Beijing, coming in the faint hope that the national authorities will be able to help where their local hospitals and clinics have failed. One young mother carries a tattered notebook full of medical records, baby ultrasounds and official letters. She says she is trying to get treatment for her son, now aged eight, who has organ damage after drinking toxic infant formula as a baby. Another young woman unfurls graphic pictures of her injuries after a violent beating by police, and says she is here to protest against a local hospital that refused to treat her.

Read more of this post

For Global Drug Manufacturers, China Becomes a Perilous Market

July 16, 2013

For Global Drug Manufacturers, China Becomes a Perilous Market



Multinational drug companies now employ more sales agents in China than they do in the United States, their largest market. Several, including Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, are making huge scientific investments in the country, including building research and development centers. Within the next few years, China is poised to surpass Japan as the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market. The booming Chinese demand for drugs could not come at a better time for Western manufacturers, whose sales have been slumping because of patent expirations in the United States and stringent price controls in Europe. Read more of this post

Myanmar aims to set up its first stock exchange by 2013; many industry players said they are skeptical on whether a stock exchange can actually be operational so soon.

Myanmar aims to set up its first stock exchange by 2013

By May Wong
POSTED: 16 Jul 2013 11:57 PM
Myanmar government is pushing hard to set up its first stock exchange in order to build up their capital markets.

YANGON: Myanmar hopes to set up its first ever stock exchange before the end of this year. It expects Parliament to pass the Security Exchange Law within this month during the current session. Myanmar wants to model its stock exchange after the Japan and Singapore stock exchanges. It feels that both exchanges bear many similarities and meet the needs as well as objectives of Myanmar. Read more of this post

China Slowdown Endangers Southeast Asia: ADB; Singapore Exports Fall 8.8% in Longest Slump Since Global Crisis

China Slowdown Endangers Southeast Asia: ADB

By Dion Bisara on 9:03 am July 17, 2013.
China’s cooling economy threatens to impact growth in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, the Asian Development Bank said in its outlook update on Tuesday. The Manila-based lender trimmed the region’s economic growth forecast to 5.2 percent this year and 5.6 percent next year in the update to its Asian Development Outlook publication. Originally, the outlook published in April forecast growth to be 5.4 percent in 2013 and 5.7 percent in 2014. “Southeast Asia’s strong start to the year is being tempered by slower growth in the People’s Republic of China and continued weak demand from advanced economies for exports,” the bank said. Read more of this post

Blogger Completely Dismantles Malcolm Gladwell Theory Connecting Korean Culture To Plane Crashes

Blogger Completely Dismantles Malcolm Gladwell Theory Connecting Korean Culture To Plane Crashes

MAX NISEN JUL. 16, 2013, 11:47 AM 5,697 17

Malcolm Gladwell is one of the most famous popular science writers in the world. That doesn’t mean he gets everything right.The recent Asiana plane crash dredged up a prime example, a blog post at Ask A Korean argues. One of the chapters from “Outliers,” his third book, is called “The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes,” and connects pilots’ national origin to crashes. Once, in an interview, Gladwell claimed that culture of origin is “the single most important variable” in determining if a plane crashes. The chapter heavily focuses on Korean culture, and the 1997 crash of a Korean Air flight. Gladwell argues that it was caused in part by the respect for hierarchy inherent in Korean culture, and the indirect nature of the Korean language.  Read more of this post

Federal regulators have launched an antitrust investigation into the merger of the two largest funeral services companies in the US, probing the industry as it prepares for a surge in business from a generation of baby boomers. “It’s a distress purchase, and people spend more when their thinking is clouded because someone has died.”

July 16, 2013 7:09 pm

Consumer groups push for funeral deal to be put six feet under

By April Dembosky

Federal regulators have launched an antitrust investigation into the merger of the two largest funeral services companies in the US, probing the industry as it prepares for a surge in business from a generation of baby boomers. The Federal Trade Commission will examine the market impact of the $1.4bn purchase by Service Corporation International(SCI), the largest chain of funeral homes and cemeteries in the US by sales, ofStewart Enterprises, the second-largest company in the field, several people familiar with the matter said. The FTC declined to comment. Read more of this post

French dreams of a start-up renaissance

July 16, 2013 3:55 pm

French dreams of a start-up renaissance

By Hugh Carnegy

On a Friday morning in a modest office block in eastern Paris, Bastien Cazenave is huddled with colleagues behind a computer screen. They are putting the finishing touches to the latest episode in his young company’s online murder-mystery game.

There is an air of quiet intensity as Pretty Simple Games releases its weekly instalment of Criminal Case, a sleuthing game that has rocketed up the social gaming charts this year. It is now the second most-played game on Facebook after’s Candy Crush, overtaking those of Zynga, the biggest maker of Facebook games. Read more of this post

Bad loans cast long shadow over Indian banks

July 16, 2013 3:01 pm

Bad loans cast long shadow over Indian banks

By James Crabtree

System is left vulnerable to setbacks such as this week’s liquidity tightening

Growing concerns about bank asset quality, hidden bad loans and a general lack of transparency, all set against the backdrop of an economic slowdown. This may sound like a description of worries about China’s shadow banking system. But it could equally apply to the increasingly parlous situation in India too. Politicians in Asia’s second-largest emerging economy often talk with pride about their banks, which are typically cautious and well capitalised. Most made it through the global financial crisis with little difficulty. But signs of stress have become unmistakable over the past year, in particular among the same supposedly reliable state-backed institutions that control about three-quarters of banking assets. And they are getting worse. Tuesday’s sudden moves by the Reserve Bank of India to tighten liquidity, designed to stem recent falls in the rupee, only deepened the problem. Read more of this post

Top fund managers were blindsided by U.S. bond market carnage

Top fund managers were blindsided by U.S. bond market carnage

8:32pm EDT

By Jennifer Ablan and Katya Wachtel and Tim McLaughlin

(Reuters) – The plunge in the U.S. Treasuries market in the past couple of months may well have been one of the most well-telegraphed reversals in financial market history. Top money managers and investment strategists had warned the U.S. Federal Reserve was likely to soon begin paring back its bond-buying stimulus if U.S. economic data remained robust. Bill Gross, who is known on Wall Street as “the Bond King,” said on May 10 he believed “the 30-yr secular bull market in bonds” had likely ended at the end of April. Other leading Wall Street figures told the New York Fed they were concerned about the exposure of mom-and-pop investors in the event of a bonds slump. Read more of this post

Is the Singapore soil fertile for creativity?

Is the Singapore soil fertile for creativity?

Singapore’s drive for productivity has focused attention on a key component to boosting organisational performance — innovation. While companies espouse the importance of innovation, the truth of the matter is that many companies have, consciously or unconsciously, put up barriers to innovation.


Singapore’s drive for productivity has focused attention on a key component to boosting organisational performance — innovation. While companies espouse the importance of innovation, the truth of the matter is that many companies have, consciously or unconsciously, put up barriers to innovation. Barriers to innovation could exist within the structure of the organisation, the mindset of its leaders and managers or within the culture itself. The starting point for any company that wishes to foster innovation and creativity should be to recognise these barriers. Read more of this post

Nike’s Lost Year in China Serves as Cautionary Tale

Nike’s Lost Year in China Serves as Cautionary Tale

Not long ago, Nike Inc. (NKE) could simply open stores in China and wait for newly minted middle-class shoppers to show up. No longer. Though it has been in China for 30 years, the world’s largest sporting-goods maker is losing customers to Adidas AG (ADS)’s more fashionable street wear and Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB)’s cheap, hip clothing. Making matters worse, Nike is knee-deep in unsold merchandise after a projected post-Olympics sales bump didn’t materialize. Eighteen months ago, Nike was so bullish on China it predicted sales there would double to $4 billion in four years. Now it says China sales will probably fall for the next two quarters, which would make it five in a row. Read more of this post

‘Invisible’ Man Steers China’s Reserves; Zhu Changhong, a former physicist, plays a key role in the allocation of China’s trillions of dollars of foreign reserves, but little is known about him

July 16, 2013, 2:53 p.m. ET

China’s Zhu Changhong Helps Steer Nation’s Currency Reserves

Nation’s Media Call Former Physicist ‘Invisible’



BEIJING—At an official Chinese New Year’s party earlier this year, a former bond trader named Zhu Changhong was hailed for the smart choices he made investing the world’s largest stash of cash: China’s $3.5 trillion in foreign reserves. Tweaking the lyrics of a famous revolutionary song that extolled Mao Zedong, Mr. Zhu’s colleagues jocularly lauded him: “The east is red, the sun rises. From China arises Zhu Changhong…he is SAFE’s savior,” people with knowledge of the event say. SAFE is China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the division of the central bank that manages China’s currency reserves and is one of the most powerful investors in the world.

Read more of this post

India makes risky bet with rupee defense

India makes risky bet with rupee defense

12:22pm EDT

By Rafael Nam and Subhadip Sircar

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s boldest attempt yet to prevent a rout in the rupee delivered only a modest lift in the currency but shares slumped and bond yields jumped as investors worried that policymakers might overplay their hand and damage economic growth. The government said on Tuesday the moves were an attempt to stabilise the currency, which hit a record low last week and is down nearly 10 percent since the start of May. Analysts say longer-term economic reforms are what India really needs.

Read more of this post

Unease as property fuels rise in Singapore household debt

Unease as property fuels rise in household debt

Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013

Goh Eng Yeow

The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – During the global financial crisis five years ago, one local bank boss quipped that his management went through so many stress tests on the loans book that they were stressed out themselves. Well, stressful times are back. You can’t blame analysts for going into overdrive trying to suss out the various economic scenarios that could emerge here after the United States central bank flagged a possible tightening of its monetary policy. Read more of this post

Alibaba Invests in Chinese Travel-Website Qyer; Taobao Travel hosts more than 800 travel agencies offering more than 100,000 hotel rooms, while China-based, founded in 2004, has more than 10 million users

July 16, 2013, 10:26 a.m. ET

Alibaba Invests in Chinese Travel-Website Qyer


HONG KONG—Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. invested in travel website, the latest in a series of deals by China’s largest e-commerce company. Alibaba, which operates Taobao and other online shopping sites, declined to disclose the terms of the deal. Qyer’s travel-related information and services will complement travel-booking site Taobao Travel, Alibaba said Tuesday. Taobao Travel hosts more than 800 travel agencies offering more than 100,000 hotel rooms, while China-based, founded in 2004, has more than 10 million users, Alibaba said. The Qyer deal follows two other investments by Alibaba in the past few months. In April Alibaba agreed to buy an 18% stake in Sina Corp.’s SINA +1.08% Twitter-like Weibo microblogging business for $586 million, gaining an opportunity to tap into the site’s mobile-user base. Alibaba agreed in May to buy a 28% stake in Chinese mapping-software firm AutoNavi Holding Ltd. AMAP +3.97% for $294 million, another move to strengthen its mobile-based business. Read more of this post

‘Clone factory’ Rocket Internet by German Samwer brothers fires into the big time after securing $400m investment

Last updated: July 16, 2013 7:51 pm

‘Clone factory’ Rocket Internet fires into the big time after $400m investment

By Henry Mance and Tim Bradshaw

Three German brothers seeking to rivalAmazon and Alibaba for dominance of global e-commerce have secured an investment of $400m from backers including Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, bringing their fundraising total for the past eighteen months to almost $2bn.

Rocket Internet, founded by Alexander, Marc and Oliver Samwer, has financed and built one of Latin America’s largest online fashion retailers, as well as dozens of businesses in Russia, Asia and the Middle East, since emerging in 2007. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: