The 77 Year-Old Grandmother With Faith in Indian Stocks; “Patience is key to stock market investments”

August 1, 2013, 1:14 PM

The Grandmother With Faith in Indian Stocks

By Ashutosh Joshi

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At a time when individuals in India are disenchanted with the stock market, Mumbai resident Ashalata Maheshwari, 77 years old, is a rare champion for stocks. Ms. Maheshwari has been investing in Indian companies for five decades, and though many have gone bust over the years, shares in others have gained enough value to give her confidence that equities are the best investments over the long term. “Stocks have given me the best returns because I have rarely sold them,” Ms. Maheshwari told The Wall Street Journal in an interview at her Mumbai home. “Patience is key to stock market investments,” she said. Read more of this post

The Gaping Hole in China’s Corruption Fight

August 1, 2013, 3:03 PM

The Gaping Hole in China’s Corruption Fight

Top of Form

By Stanley Lubman

The ongoing campaign against corruption that forms the backbone of new Chinese president Xi Jinping’s reform platform is not nearly robust as Communist Party media would have us believe. It is directed more at symptoms than causes and is limited in scope due to fears of citizen agitation on broader issues such as press freedom and transparency. It also suffers from a glaring and an important omission: The judicial system, although it should be the appropriate institution for exposure and punishment of offenders, is itself infected by corruption that up to now has gone unmentioned. Read more of this post

New Zealand Pushes Technology to Head Off Mislabeling of Meat; Producers Work to ‘Fingerprint’ Products as Mislabeled and Tainted Food Eat Into Customer Confidence

July 31, 2013, 11:01 p.m. ET

New Zealand Pushes Technology to Head Off Mislabeling of Meat

Producers Work to ‘Fingerprint’ Products as Mislabeled and Tainted Food Eat Into Customer Confidence

LUCY CRAYMER

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand—Beef and lamb producers are at the forefront of a global push to try to verify scientifically the provenance of the meat that people buy, as a series of scandals over mislabeled and tainted food eat into consumer confidence. Farm groups from the highlands of Scotland to the pastures of New Zealand are investing in technology that tries to “fingerprint” meat by looking for chemical traces of the soil, grass, water and air where the animals once roamed. The move shows how economies dependent on farm income are battling to retain their reputation for high quality—and their premium prices—in an increasingly complex and opaque global food chain. Read more of this post

Overcoming Cognitive Biases: A Heuristic for Making Value Investing Decisions

Overcoming Cognitive Biases: A Heuristic for Making Value Investing Decisions

Eben Otuteye University of New Brunswick – Fredericton – Faculty of Business

Mohammad Siddiquee Faculty of Business, University of New Brunswick, Saint John

April 26, 2013
Forthcoming in the Journal of Behavioral Finance

Abstract: 
Investment decisions are subject to error due to cognitive biases of the decision makers. One method for preventing cognitive biases from influencing decisions is to specify the algorithm for the decision in advance and to apply it dispassionately. Heuristics are useful practical tools for simplifying decision making in a complex environment due to uncertainty, limited information and bounded rationality. We develop a simple heuristic for making value investing decisions based on profitability, financial stability, susceptibility to bankruptcy, and margin of safety. This achieves two goals. First, it simplifies the decision making process without compromising quality and secondly it enables the decision maker to avoid potential cognitive bias problems.

Buddhism v Islam in Asia: Fears of a new religious strife; Fuelled by a dangerous brew of faith, ethnicity and politics, a tit-for-tat conflict is escalating between two of Asia’s biggest religions

Buddhism v Islam in Asia: Fears of a new religious strife; Fuelled by a dangerous brew of faith, ethnicity and politics, a tit-for-tat conflict is escalating between two of Asia’s biggest religions

Jul 27th 2013 | BANGKOK, COLOMBO, JAKARTA AND SITTWE |From the print edition

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Wirathu, Buddhism’s new face

THE total segregation of Buddhist Arakanese from Muslim Rohingyas is now a fact of life in the western Myanmar port-city of Sittwe. Until June last year both communities lived side by side in the capital of Rakhine state, but following several rounds of frenzied violence, the Buddhist majority emptied the city of its Muslim population. The Rohingya victims now scrape by in squalid refugee camps beyond the city boundaries. The best that most of them can hope for is to escape on an overloaded fishing boat to Malaysia. Many of them die trying. Read more of this post

The unkindness of strangers: A soul-searching debate rages about apathy towards those in need

The unkindness of strangers: A soul-searching debate rages about apathy towards those in need

Jul 27th 2013 | SHANGHAI |From the print edition

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EIGHTY years ago Lu Xun, now enshrined as the father of modern Chinese literature, observed that when others needed help his countrymen seemed to be stricken by apathy. “In China,” he wrote, “especially in the cities, if someone collapses from sudden illness, or if someone is hit by a car, lots of people will gather around, some will even take delight, but very few will be willing to extend a helping hand.” Read more of this post

Gated, gilded and gaudy, they have sprung up all over China: overwrought government buildings erected at vast public expense, and in stark contrast to the shoddy state of so many homes and schools

Architectural bombast

Jul 27th 2013 |From the print edition

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GATED, gilded and gaudy, they have sprung up all over China: overwrought government buildings erected at vast public expense, and in stark contrast to the shoddy state of so many homes and schools. In style they range from modernist brutalism to Versailles kitsch. In function, they are less lofty. The four towers in the second picture are the government headquarters of Changxing, a county in Zhejiang with a population of just 620,000. In a sign the central government understands public frustration with the waste, and the whiff of corruption, associated with these projects, it has ordered a five-year “across-the-board halt” to official building projects. The ban also covers government hotels and training centres. Announcing the ban, the government acknowledged that “glitzy structures” have “tainted the image” of the Communist Party and “stirred vehement public disapproval”

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