China Banking Regulator Warns of Rising Risks

September 2, 2013, 4:24 PM

China Banking Regulator Warns of Rising Risks

China’s banks don’t properly serve the country’s real economy, and the financial system has become so complex that risks are falling through the gaps in the regulatory system. That is now a familiar message from the cohort of bearish analysts and hedge-fund managers counting the cracks in China’s economic model. It is less familiar coming from China’s banking regulator. In a question-and-answer interview in this week’s Seeking Truth magazine, the Communist Party’s theoretical journal, China Banking Regulatory Commission Chairman Shang Fulin says the financial system’s support of the real economy “needs to be vastly improved,” and he warns of the need to “prevent regulatory arbitrage” and “reduce the risks of financial contagion.” Read more of this post

Malone as ‘Happy’ Owner of Liberty Says He’d Look at M&A Offers

Malone as ‘Happy’ Owner of Liberty Says He’d Look at M&A Offers

John Malone, the U.S. cable magnate who built Europe’s largest cable-television operator through acquisitions, said while he would consider offers for Liberty Global Plc, he’s “happy” with the company as is. As Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) nears closing a $130 billion sale of its stake in U.S. venture Verizon Wireless, the question of how the second-biggest mobile phone company could spend the windfall has focused on its recent efforts to expand in cable. Since Vodafone agreed to buy Kabel Deutschland Holding AG (KD8) in June, speculation has shifted to whether Liberty Global will be among its next targets. Read more of this post

Indofood sank 7.7 percent after it offered to buy the remaining Minzhong stock it doesn’t already own for S$1.12 a share as compared to its last traded price of S$0.53 in an attempt to preserve value of its investments

Indonesia Stocks Drop Most in Asia After Trade Gap; Rupiah Falls

Indonesian stocks declined most in Asia and the rupiah weakened after the government unexpectedly reported the biggest trade deficit since at least 2007.

The Jakarta Composite Index fell 2.1 percent to 4,106.08 at 2:15 p.m. local time, after climbing 0.3 percent earlier. PT Indofood Sukses Makmur (INDF), the nation’s biggest instant-noodle maker, sank 7.7 percent after it offered to buy China Minzhong Food Corp. The rupiah depreciated 0.2 percent to 10,940 per dollar and one-month non-deliverable forwards on the currency declined 0.3 percent to 11,473, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Read more of this post

In an era when digital effects have made the use of small models and suited actors look quaint, tokusatsu, or “special filming,” is on the way out

September 1, 2013

Rubber-Suit Monsters Fade. Tiny Tokyos Relax.

By MARTIN FACKLER

sub-japan-articleLarge

“Ultraman Ginga” is a rarity, made without digital graphics.

CHOFU, Japan — Daisuke Terai plays one of the best-known characters in the history of science fiction, but few fans have ever seen the actor’s face. That is because Mr. Terai puts on a bright silver and red rubber suit before stepping onto a set made of miniature trees and buildings to do battle as the cosmic superhero Ultraman. On a recent afternoon, Mr. Terai’s character was locked in mortal combat to defend the Earth from a giant extraterrestrial dinosaur with glowing eyes and forked spikes called Grand King. When the cameras paused, a sweating Mr. Terai, 36, peeled off the top of his Ultraman suit, while stagehands removed Grand King’s foam spikes to reveal a zipper down the back of the 65-pound costume. Read more of this post

Fallen SASAC chief Jiang Jiemin; Xi’s anti-graft sweep to turn focus to PLA

Fallen SASAC chief Jiang Jiemin

Staff Reporter

2013-09-02

CFP443326428-092433_copy1

Jiang Jiemin. (Photo/CFP)

China’s disciplinary authorities have announced a corruption probe into Jiang Jiemin, head of the commission overseeing the country’s biggest state-owned enterprises. Until March this year, the 57-year-old Jiang was the chief of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s largest integrated energy company. Born in eastern China’s Shandong province in 1955, Jiang graduated from the University of Shandong and also underwent an in-service postgraduate course for ministerial officials and provincial heads at the CPC Central Committee party school. Read more of this post

Why the Chinese government spent $33 billion on cotton that nobody wants

Why the Chinese government spent $33 billion on cotton that nobody wants

By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros August 30, 2013

Texhong Textile Group, one of China’s biggest textile makers, has been shifting production to Vietnam, and the market loves it, reports Bloomberg—the stock is up 445% from a year ago. And that’s not because of the much-bemoaned rise of Chinese labor costs. It’s because the Chinese government is making cotton way more expensive than it should be.

Cotton stockpiling: a terrible idea

The Chinese government buys and stockpiles domestic cotton when prices fall below a set level, a policy designed to support the textile industry after the 2008 financial crisis swallowed export demand. The problem? Excess supply has made foreign cotton much cheaper than Chinese cotton. Ever conscious of dwindling profits, companies like Texhong have turned to cotton imports, which has forced the government to shell out $33 billion in the last two years to soak up the excess in domestic cotton, as Reuters reports. In 2012 alone, it stockpiled 89% of China-produced cotton (link in Chinese). The government’s price in blue, international cotton indices in red and green.Cottonchina.org

ccindex1308302

Read more of this post

Opinion monitoring services doing brisk business in China as online media reduced the time it takes to form public opinion from 24 hours to just one to four hours

Opinion monitoring services doing brisk business in China

Staff Reporter

2013-09-02

With online media having reduced the time it takes to form public opinion from 24 hours to just one to four hours, the business of public opinion monitoring is booming in China, the Guangzhou-based Southern Weekly newspaper reports. The monitoring of online opinions caught attention in 2007, owing to the rise of social media, which has allowed people to actively express their thoughts on political and social issues, said Shan Xuegang, deputy head of the Public Opinion Monitoring Office at the People’s Daily. Former Chinese president Hu Jintao’s taking part in an online discussion in June 2008, the first time a Chinese leader had done so with internet users, led to the Chinese media marking that year as the beginning of online political participation in the country. Read more of this post

In sweatshops, the ‘Brazilian dream’ goes awry

In sweatshops, the ‘Brazilian dream’ goes awry

Sun, Sep 1 2013

By Lucas Iberico-Lozada

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – When Margot Alarconciles woke up one morning last year and found her son sick with what appeared to be a cold, there was little she could do but wrap him in an extra blanket, walk down the hallway and start her workday: sewing clothes for up to 11 hours a day, six days a week. “I couldn’t leave my machine,” she said. “Without my job, we could not eat.” Her 5-year-old son’s condition deteriorated, and without proper care he soon died. Still grieving, Alarconciles now questions her decision to leave her native Bolivia for Brazil, where salaries can be many times higher but poor immigrants often must settle for work in sweatshops. Read more of this post

Insolvent town exposes gulf between EU dreams and reality

Insolvent town exposes gulf between EU dreams and reality

Sun, Sep 1 2013

By Luiza Ilie

ANINOASA, Romania (Reuters) – On an abandoned storefront, an old poster advertises one of the few career opportunities available in this Romanian town: naked webcam models wanted for Internet chatrooms. If joining the European Union was supposed to lift Romania out of poverty, it has yet to work in Aninoasa, a town of 4,800 people in the mountainous central region of Jiu Valley. Six years after Romania’s accession to the EU, not only is Aninoasa still poor – it has also become the first town in Romania to file for insolvency. Read more of this post

Asian Bonds Tumble Below Par in Capital Flight

Asian Bonds Tumble Below Par in Capital Flight: Credit Markets

Asia dollar-denominated bonds have dropped below par for the first time since 2011 as investors pull money out of the region amid concerns that growth is slowing and as currencies from the rupee to rupiah plunge. Average prices of company debentures in the region fell to 98.61 cents on the dollar on Aug. 22, the least since October 2011, Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes show. Dollar bonds globally have held above 100 cents since September 2009. Both investment- and non-investment-grade debt in Asia were below par on Aug. 22. The last time that happened was in September 2008, when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed. Read more of this post

Forget playing to your strengths, today the best marketing campaigns play to a business’s weakness.

That’s ‘flawsome!’

September 2, 2013

Claire Dunn

iiNet-New-No-2-Ad--2--300x0

Forget playing to your strengths, today the best marketing campaigns play to a business’s weakness. iiNet knows the power of authentic engagement in advertising. Brands are being encouraged to flaunt rather than hide their flaws – to be “flawsome” – in a bid to appeal to consumer desire for authenticity and transparency. According to global firm TrendWatching, “flawsome” (a portmanteau of flawed and awesome) strategies walk hand-in-hand with “maturalism” (mature materialism, another Trendwatching neologism). They are both responses to the cynicism and disbelief traditional “flawless” marketing often elicits. We no longer buy ad campaigns that are too good to be true. Consumers now want honest conversations about products and appreciate brands that show some maturity, humility, and humour. Consumers now want honest conversations about products and appreciate brands that show some maturity, humility, and humour.   Read more of this post

Plunging Currencies Plague Asian Firms; Weak Currencies Make it More Costly to Pay Foreign Debt

September 2, 2013, 12:15 a.m. ET

Plunging Currencies Plague Asian Firms

Weak Currencies Make it More Costly to Pay Foreign Debt

SEAN MCLAIN IN NEW DELHI And I MADE SENTANA IN JAKARTA

Companies across Asia are facing a debt-repayment crunch as plunging local currencies make it more costly to repay foreign loans, a situation that is exacerbating stresses on the region’s economies. Asian companies took out sizable foreign loans in recent years as the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates low and printed money. For firms in nations like India and Indonesia, rates on U.S.-denominated debt were more attractive than local borrowing costs. Read more of this post

Ditch the stats: China retailers don’t buy signs of recovery

Ditch the stats: China retailers don’t buy signs of recovery

6:05pm EDT

By Anne Marie Roantree and Donny Kwok

HONG KONG (Reuters) – If things are really starting to look up for China’s economy, as a recent spate of better-than-expected government data seems to suggest, nobody appears to have told its biggest retailers. A Reuters review of first-half earnings showed that more than 20 Chinese companies selling everything from footwear to food were not convinced the economic slowdown had bottomed out, and neither were their traditionally thrifty customers. Read more of this post

How to transform into open firm

2013-09-01 13:36

How to transform into open firm

By Kim Min-su
For well over a century, the firm has been viewed as an efficient mechanism for organizing inputs such as capital and labor into productive activities. Firms grew large because of economies of scale and scope, and because it was often easier to organize production within the borders of the company than to use the wider marketplace.
Recently, however, this traditional view of the firm has changed with the evidence of how firms actually operate in markets. Spurred on by a raft of new technologies such as cloud computing, social media, wireless and remote mobility, the primary impulse in most markets today is toward greater openness.
In these more open business ecosystems, the borders between the firm and its stakeholders — customers, suppliers, workers, and innovators — have become much more permeable and reconfigurable. Read more of this post

Peter Agnefjäll, Ikea chief, is keen to stress he has his own style

September 1, 2013 2:16 pm

Peter Agnefjäll, Ikea chief

By Richard Milne

 

It would be easy to think that the Ikea manual on how to build a chief executive goes something like this: take a blond, Swedish man from the south of the country; dress him in a shirt, jumper and chinos; have him stress the importance of the retailer’s vision of “a better life for many people”; tighten with an Allen key. On meeting Peter Agnefjäll, who officially became the Swedish company’s fifth chief executive in its 70-year history yesterday, it is tempting to see him as an Identikit ofMikael Ohlsson, the man he replaced. Both are softly spoken and prefer to talk about the company’s unique culture and its interaction with customers than about profits and targets. Read more of this post

Origin of heavy metals like gold: Bling Began With Golden Bang in Space, Scientists Find

Bling Began With Golden Bang in Space, Scientists Find

Those who look to the heavens and wish for gold may have the right idea, just the wrong timing. A new scientific look at how elements heavier than iron are formed in the universe suggests that much of the gold on earth may have floated in space for billions of years after being spat out in the collision of two neutron stars. It arrived on earth millions of years ago in meteor showers, researchers said. The origin of heavy metals like gold has long been a scientific mystery, said Don Lamb, an astronomer at the University of Chicago. Now, astronomers at Harvard University have analyzed a gamma ray burst thought to be from a rare neutron star collision and found it helped seed the universe with heavy metals, including enough gold to create a pile that would have about 10 times more mass than the earth’s moon. Read more of this post

“Communication is not communication, it is changing consumers’ perception, changing consumers’ attitudes, and to lift up a brand’s image and make sure that the consumer understand the core value of the brand”

Understanding consumers crucial to success: ad man

NEERACHA MALISAK-LEMIRE,
CHANPOLYDET MER
THE NATION September 2, 2013 1:00 am

UTILISATION OF THE media and understanding consumers’ behaviour will be necessary components for competitiveness in the Asean Economic Community (AEC), an advertising expert says. To be successful in business, many aspects are required. However, in the final outcome, marketing and advertising play a dominant role. This rule applies everywhere in the world, including Thailand, said Dr Wilert Puriwat, chief consultant for Spa-Hakuhodo Advertising Co. Read more of this post

American work life: Can’t we do better? The workers who have emerged from the rough economy are more weary and skeptical than before the financial crisis

American work life: Can’t we do better?

August 30, 2013: 5:00 AM ET

The workers who have emerged from the rough economy are more weary and skeptical than before the financial crisis.

By Katherine Reynolds Lewis

FORTUNE — When looking over the past year’s data points and news developments on American workers, the question comes to mind: “Can’t we do better than this?” Across the income spectrum, there’s a sense of an unmet promise in the current economic recovery. The situation has dramatically improved from the depths of the Great Recession, when unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2009. It was at 7.4% in July. Economic growth has picked up to an annual rate of 2.5%, and job openings are starting to materialize. Read more of this post

An episode of Germany’s top crime show recently highlighted a secretive business: helping clients create and maintain lies. Now one such agency is struggling to keep up with the demand

08/30/2013 04:52 PM

Selling Lies

Alibi Agencies Help Create Double Lives

By Barbara Hardinghaus

An episode of Germany’s top crime show recently highlighted a secretive business: helping clients create and maintain lies. Now one such agency is struggling to keep up with the demand.

For his best clients, Patrick Ulmer says he goes out and arranges the lie personally. In one instance, he got into his car and drove south to Cologne, where he rang the doorbell at an apartment. The door opened to reveal his client. The client’s clothing was scattered around the apartment. His cologne and even the cloths he used to clean his glasses were there. The refrigerator contained his favorite foods, from chocolate pudding to melons. All the signs suggested that this was where the client lived. Read more of this post

Twitter is wrecking Twitter to make Twitter more popular

Twitter is wrecking Twitter to make Twitter more popular

By Dan Mitchell, contributor August 29, 2013: 2:56 PM ET

By making conversations easier to follow, Twitter is encouraging people to use the service for something other than its essential function. It’s probably a good idea for the company, but not for people who use Twitter to follow the news.

FORTUNE — Twitter is working to attract many more new users and keep the ones it has. To that end, the site is risking doing all it can to wreck Twitter. Wreck it, that is, for those of us who appreciate Twitter’s unmatched utility as a constantly updated, crowdsourced flow of real-time news and information. The people who use it that way might be part of a shrinking minority, however, with more and more people using the service to yammer and argue. “Twitter fights” no doubt bring many more eyeballs to Twitter than do, say, links to stories about Syria or climate change. But for people who use Twitter as an information resource rather than as a platform for inherently inarticulate “conversation,” the cacophony wastes time and ruins the experience. Read more of this post

Skewering dictators: Laugh them out of power; Political cartoons in the Arab world are getting punchier

Skewering dictators: Laugh them out of power; Political cartoons in the Arab world are getting punchier

Aug 31st 2013 | BEIRUT |From the print edition

20130831_IRP003_0 pic1_doaa_eladl

This sketch by Doaa Eladl, a prominent female Egyptian, is relevant again today since it refers to the military’s strong influence over the country’s politics. The caption (top right) says “The next president”.

IN MANY Middle Eastern states, cartoons are powerful weapons of subversion. In the past the men who drew them were often coy in the face of censorship: a mocking depiction of a king on a jewelled throne holding his nose as he surveyed his citizens might be acceptable, but not more obviously humiliating depictions of the monarch. Better to focus on foreign themes like America’s support for Israel. Yet Arab cartoonists have been getting more daring. In Egypt they spent a year sending up their embattled president, Muhammad Morsi, before he was ousted. Syrian opposition newspapers show President Bashar Assad bathed in blood. Read more of this post

The mental cost of money worries; Thrift requires mental effort, itself a scarce resource, and resesarchers set out to investigate whether their preoccupation with money leaves the poor with less mental bandwidth for other tasks

August 28, 2013 5:15 pm

The mental cost of money worries

By Mark Vandevelde

Poor people are disproportionately likely to make bad decisions, such as taking out loans they cannot repay, eating unhealthily and dropping out of class. It is sometimes said that such people are authors of their own misfortune. Send­hil Mullainathan, a Harvard economist, and Eldar Shafir, a Princeton psychologist, have a different view. They argue that lousy decisions are an effect of poverty as well as a cause. The mindset that produces them, they say, is triggered by scarcity of all kinds – warping the decisions of busy professionals who are short of time, lonely hearts who want for social contact and dieters who must ration their calories, as well as the poor. Read more of this post

‘Creative destruction inevitable for Thai growth’

‘Creative destruction inevitable for Thai growth’

THE NATION September 2, 2013 1:00 am

THAILAND HAS to face another era of creative destruction if has to maintain its competitiveness, Bank of Thailand economists said last week. Creative destruction – the shift of labour to high-growth industries and the death of some non-competitive businesses – is going on, but not at the same level in each industry and not in all industries. Their paper entitled “Thailand’s Quest for Economic Growth: From Factor Accumulation to Creative Destruction”, aims to show the economic environments that are supportive of the change or hinder the process. Read more of this post

Why Internet Companies Don’t Buy From The Enterprise Kings

Why Internet Companies Don’t Buy From The Enterprise Kings

ALEX WILLIAMS

posted 3 hours ago

Internet companies represent the world’s fastest-growing markets and they cover the global economy. Every market imaginable is affected by Internet companies. They are cloud-centric by nature and come in various forms. They are SaaS companies but also have emerged as departments in big companies that derive their primary value as Internet providers. And these companies are not on the enterprise sales radar screen. Instead, enterprise companies are trying to soak every dollar possible out of IT. That’s their domain. But what the enterprise is selling is not the kind of technology an Internet company is likely to buy. Internet companies  are in the market to shave latency and deliver services faster. They are built to be as lean as possible. Capital spending makes little sense. And without capital spending, the enterprise vendors have nothing really to sell to a cloud-centric company. Read more of this post

Shoppers trust ‘brick and clicks’ retailers more than online only

Shoppers trust ‘brick and clicks’ retailers more than online only

September 2, 2013 – 1:13PM

Eli Greenblat

Traditional bricks and mortar retailers, which for a long time refused to believe the hype about online sales, have finally made an inroad into the crucial revenue channel by winning back customers from pure-play operators which have dominated the area. The latest National Australia Bank retail sales survey shows many bricks and mortar shops are successfully evolving into “bricks and clicks” operators, offering customers offline and online shopping. Read more of this post

Mercedes Stop-and-Go Autopilot Heralds Hands-Free Push

Mercedes Stop-and-Go Autopilot Heralds Hands-Free Push

Bumper-to-bumper traffic slowed to a crawl, finding a space in a crowded garage, or squeezing into a tight parking spot is no fun for any driver. To ease such tedious aspects of driving, companies from Mercedes-Benz to Continental AG (CON) are rolling out systems that take over the wheel. Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes is leading the way with an add-on called “Stop&Go Pilot” available in its top-of-the-line S-Class sedan. Backed by an array of 12 ultrasonic detectors, five cameras and six radar sensors, the 79,800-euro ($105,800) S-Class can match the speed of the car in front of it, even coming to a complete stop and steering to stay in the lane. The feature costs 2,678 euros in Germany. Read more of this post

The next time you use your smartphone to inquire about migraine symptoms or to check out how many calories were in that cheeseburger, there is a chance that information could be passed on to insurance and pharmaceuticals companies

September 1, 2013 6:38 pm

Worried-well online have new symptom to fear

By Emily Steel in New York and April Dembosky in San Francisco

HealthApp

The next time you use your smartphone to inquire about migraine symptoms or to check out how many calories were in that cheeseburger, there is a chance that information could be passed on to insurance and pharmaceuticals companies. The top-20 health and wellness apps, including MapMyFitness, WebMD Health and iPeriod, are transmitting information to up to 70 third-party companies, according to Evidon, a web analytics and privacy firm. Read more of this post

Going Free Is Still Chinese Internet Companies’ Strategy for Land Grabbing

Going Free Is Still Chinese Internet Companies’ Strategy for Land Grabbing

By Tracey Xiang on August 30, 2013

Baidu announced they’d stop charging its navigation app. Later the same day AutoNavi, a veteran mapping data and service provider, held a press conference announcing the same thing. To fuel the hype, in the next day Baidu stated that they’d refund users who had paid for it. It’s unknown how many installs of Baidu Navigation, which costs 30 yuan, have been sold. AutoNavi cannot afford to do the same, for its premium navigation app, priced at 50 yuan ($8), had been downloaded and pre-installed in more than 70 million smartphones. Read more of this post

TV confessions in China an unsettling new trend for executives

TV confessions in China an unsettling new trend for executives

Megha Rajagopalan 5 hours ago

By Megha Rajagopalan

BEIJING (Reuters) – A series of confessions by foreign and local executives on China’s state-controlled television has spurred anxiety among the business community about a trend that some lawyers say makes a mockery of due process. Confessions have long been part of China’s legal landscape, with petty criminals routinely admitting their guilt on television. But rarely have senior business figures been put on television in orange prison jumpsuits to confess. Read more of this post

Silver Lining in China’s Smog as It Puts Focus on Emissions?

August 31, 2013

Silver Lining in China’s Smog as It Puts Focus on Emissions

By CHRIS BUCKLEY

HONG KONG — Jiang Kejun may be one of the few Beijing residents who see a ray of hope in the smog engulfing the city. A researcher in a state energy institute, he is an outspoken advocate of swiftly cutting China’s greenhouse gas output, and he sayspublic anger about noxious air has jolted the government, which long dismissed pollution as the necessary price of prosperity. Read more of this post

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: