Mammal Virus Tally Seen Speeding Global Contagion Control

Mammal Virus Tally Seen Speeding Global Contagion Control

The mammalian world may harbor at least 320,000 viruses, scientists estimated in new research that aims to speed the control of new infectious killers. The tally, based on data collected from flying foxes in Bangladesh applied to the 5,486 known species of mammal, will help create a more systematic way of managing outbreaks, particularly those spreading from animals to humans, scientists from Columbia University and the EcoHealth Alliance wrote in a paper published today in the journal mBio. Zooneses, or diseases that transmit from vertebrate animals to humans, account for almost 70 percent of emerging infectious diseases including HIV, Ebola and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the scientists said. “This is a real breakthrough,” said Peter Daszak, a study author and president of EcoHealth Alliance, a biodiversity conservation organization. “Instead of just sitting here and waiting for them to emerge and kill us, we want to be ahead of the curve and fight them before they even kill the first ever person.” Money spent researching disease threats would represent a fraction of the cost of fighting a contagion such as SARS, whose economic impact is estimated at $16 billion, the scientists wrote in the study. The cost of uncovering all viruses in mammals is about $6.3 billion, and expenses could be cut to $1.4 billion by limiting discovery to 85 percent of estimated viral diversity, they said, based on their extrapolation of results.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natasha Khan in Hong Kong at

Dealers in Debt Pare Commitments Raising Risk as New Rules Bite

Dealers in Debt Pare Commitments Raising Risk as New Rules Bite

The worst losses in U.S. debt in at least 37 years are being magnified by investors exiting the market at the same time new regulations prompt Wall Street firms to cut back on trading corporate bonds. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s U.S. Broad Market Index is on pace to drop 4.41 percent, the biggest annual loss since at least 1976. Investors pulled $123 billion from bond funds since May, according to TrimTabs Investment Research. Read more of this post

North Korea Can Launch Nuclear-Tipped Missiles, South Korea Says, contradicting the U.S. position that the country is years away from developing the technology

North Korea Can Launch Nuclear-Tipped Missiles, South Korea Says

North Korea can now deliver a nuclear warhead on a missile, the South Korean Defense Ministry said in a report, contradicting the U.S. position that the country is years away from developing the technology. “The security situation on the Korean Peninsula has now worsened as the North’s threat of nuclear missiles has become real,” according to the report, which was presented to a parliamentary committee on national security today and released by the office of lawmaker Kim Kwang Jin. The new capability may embolden North Korea toward military provocation once the U.S. relinquishes its wartime command of South Korean troops in 2015, the report said. That command was given to the U.S. during the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea threatened first strikes against South Korea and the U.S. in March after a February nuclear test prompted tightened sanctions against the Kim Jong Un regime. The Obama administration, which has called on North Korea to renounce its nuclear program, has said the country didn’t have the ability to launch an atomic weapon on a missile. Until 2010, the North was in an experimental stage with its nuclear missiles, and the country has now come to a point where it can actually use them, the report said. The Defense Ministry didn’t explain how it reached its conclusion, and the study didn’t mention the ranges of the missiles that the North had the capability to mount weapons on.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Kim in Seoul at

China Solar Defaults Shock Holders as $8.4 Billion Due

China Solar Defaults Shock Holders as $8.4 Billion Due

LDK Solar Co.’s delay in paying debt and Suntech Power Holdings Co.’s attempts to renegotiate obligations are prompting investors to gird for losses as $8.4 billion in renewable energy comes due by the end of next year. The 2014 securities of LDK slid to a record low of 25.6 yuan per 100 yuan face value last week after the manufacturer said a payment due Aug. 28 on the notes would be delayed. That compares with the 30 euros per 99.861 euro issue price on Bonn-based Solarworld AG. (SWV) Suntech, once the world’s biggest panel maker, said former chairwoman Susan Wang and two other directors quit amid negotiations with holders of its defaulted debt. Read more of this post

Rupiah Weakens Beyond 11,000 a Dollar for First Time Since 2009

Rupiah Weakens Beyond 11,000 a Dollar for First Time Since 2009

The rupiah weakened beyond 11,000 per dollar for the first time since April 2009 on concern Indonesia will struggle to rein in a record current-account gap. The nation’s trade shortfall was $2.3 billion in July, compared with the $393 million median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The current-account deficit will be about 4 percent of gross domestic product or more this quarter, from 4.4 percent in the previous period, Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Hak Bin Chua wrote in a note yesterday. This is higher than the government’s target of 3 percent this quarter. Read more of this post

Japan Salaries Extend Longest Fall Since ’10 in Threat to Abe

Japan Salaries Extend Longest Fall Since ’10 in Threat to Abe

Japan salaries extended the longest slide since 2010 in July, raising the stakes for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision on whether to increase a sales tax. Regular wages excluding overtime and bonuses dropped 0.4 percent from a year earlier, marking a 14th straight month of decline, according to data released today by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Bonus payments rose 2.1 percent, helping to lift total cash earnings 0.4 percent. Read more of this post

RBA Running Out of Room to Cut Rates, Australia’s Robb Says

RBA Running Out of Room to Cut Rates, Australia’s Robb Says

Australia’s central bank is running out of room to implement emergency stimulus measures should they be needed with interest rates now at historical lows, Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb said. The central bank doesn’t have “a lot of room left if there was some other unforeseen event in the world economy to make a difference,” Robb, whose Liberal-National coalition is on track to win government at the Sept. 7 election, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “The Reserve Bank has been relied upon, or pressured, to do the heavy lifting in the economy for the last few years.” Read more of this post

SNB Shield Reaps Reward of Growth Defying Euro Area

SNB Shield Reaps Reward of Growth Defying Euro Area

Switzerland’s economy defied the recession that afflicted its neighbors to notch up a year of uninterrupted growth, underlining the importance of the country’s currency ceiling as it marks its second anniversary. Swiss gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent in the second quarter from three months through March, when it expanded by 0.6 percent, the Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Bern said in a statement today. That is more than a median estimate of 0.3 percent in a Bloomberg survey of 18 economists. Read more of this post

Ronald Coase, Nobel Winner Who Studied Corporations, Dies at 102

Ronald Coase, Nobel Winner Who Studied Corporations, Dies at 102

By Laurence Arnold September 02, 2013


Ronald Coase, the British-born University of Chicago economist whose Nobel Prize-winning work on the role of corporations stemmed from visits in the early 1930s to American companies including Ford Motor Co. and Union Carbide, has died. He was 102. He died yesterday at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, according to a news release from the University of Chicago. No cause was given. The Royal Swedish Academy of Science awarded Coase the 1991 Nobel in economics “for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy.” Read more of this post

How Havaianas built a global brand; Flip-flop maker excelled at planning and marketing

September 2, 2013 6:10 pm

How Havaianas built a global brand

By Dominique Turpin

download (17)

The story

The Havaianas brand of rubber flip-flop sandals started life 50 years ago as a basic shoe for poor plantation workers in Brazil. The brand became a staple in the country before gaining fresh impetus in the mid-1990s, when parent company Alpargatas decided to reposition the declining brand as an aspirational fashion product. It hired leading designers to come up with attractive colours and designs and soon Brazilian and then international celebrities were wearing the new, colourful and stylish, higher-priced sandals. Sales grew rapidly. However, the market was saturated in Brazil, where Havaianas sold 850 pairs of flip-flops for every 1,000 people in 2007. And although it was enjoying strong overseas sales growth in 65 countries, it did not have a strategy for international expansion. In 2008 Marcio Luiz Simoes Utsch, Alpargatas chief executive, decided to try to turn Havaianas into Brazil’s first truly global brand. Read more of this post

The Perfect Nap: Sleeping Is a Mix of Art and Science; Why Some Snoozing Sessions Leave You Groggy While Others Help

Updated September 2, 2013, 10:12 p.m. ET

The Perfect Nap: Sleeping Is a Mix of Art and Science

Why Some Snoozing Sessions Leave You Groggy While Others Help



There’s an art to napping. Studies have found different benefits—and detriments—to a nap’s timing, duration and even effect on different people, depending on one’s age and possibly genetics. “Naps are actually more complicated than we realize,” said David Dinges, a sleep scientist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. “You have to be deliberative about when you’re going to nap, how long you’re going to nap and if you’re trying to use the nap relative to work or what you have coming up.” Read more of this post

“The Firm,” by Duff McDonald, chronicles the rise of McKinsey, the world’s most influential management consulting firm, but also cites its many failures.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2013, 9:14 PM

In a New Book, McKinsey & Co. Isn’t All Roses


“You can’t get fired for hiring McKinsey & Company.”

It is a refrain that has been whispered in the corner offices and halls of corporate America for years as a justification — or, at least, a rationalization — for hiring McKinsey, the world’s most influential management consulting firm. The secretive firm has been the go-to strategy consigliere for the globe’s top companies — from Procter & Gamble to American Express — as well as governments for more than a half century. Its influence is staggering. Consider this: More current and former Fortune 500 C.E.O.’s are alumni of McKinsey than of any other company. So why has its advice, at times, turned out to be so bad? Read more of this post

Banking grandee Lord Jacob Rothschild shuns private jets for EasyJet at a “jam-packed” airport

Banking grandee Lord Rothschild shuns private jets for EasyJet


Flying low-cost: Lord Jacob Rothschild made the trip back from his Corfu villa this week on EasyJet Photo: AP

By Harriet Dennys, City Diary Editor

7:00AM BST 29 Aug 2013

Lord Jacob Rothschild may own “the most fabulous” villa on Corfu, but he still flies home from holiday on EasyJet. The patriarch of the Rothschild’s family business, RIT Capital Partners, was spotted sitting quietly at a “jam-packed” Corfu airport on Monday, as he waited for the same budget flight as mortals without a £2bn banking dynasty to their name – not a private jet in sight. “Lord Rothschild wasn’t even on speedy boarding,” says Diary’s man at passport control. “He just queued up amongst the sunburnt and tattooed holidaymakers, who were no doubt unaware of this distinguished passenger.” Quite a contrast to the low-key investment banking grandee’s son Nat, whose forays into Indonesian coal miner Bumi have been nothing if not colourful. Last time financier Nat made a splash in the Med, he was hosting a £1m fortieth birthday party in the port of Montenegro – private jets galore.


Chinese Educators Look to American Classrooms; While the world may be dazzled by Chinese students’ test scores, educators in China worry that the lack of hands-on science learning is stifling innovation and critical thinking

September 2, 2013

Chinese Educators Look to American Classrooms


BEIJING — To prepare for an endless barrage of secondary-school exams, Zhang Ruifan learned to memorize entire science textbooks. So when his family sent him to high school in the United States, he was so far ahead of his fellow freshmen in math and science that he usually knew the correct answer even before the teacher had finished speaking. “I’d just blurt it out,” he said in an interview while back home here this summer. But Ruifan, 15, who goes by Derek in the United States, soon discovered that science was more than just facts and formulas meant to be regurgitated on tests. Read more of this post

Are family offices just private banks in family offices’ clothing? The new vogue for the title “family office” could be undermining the credibility of the model



What is it with family offices these days? They appear to be everywhere. How much so? Well for starters Bloomberg Markets recently ran a big story about the top 50 multi family offices in the world, which was picked up by much of the world’s financial press afterwards. Then there are the stories about hedge funds turning themselves into family offices. Some of these have been big, like George Soros’s legendary Quantum hedge fund becoming a family office after it dumped money from investors not connected to the family. Others, lesser-known offices but nonetheless big, have also converted to family offices, like New York-based Covepoint Capital and Brencourt Advisors. Read more of this post

Asia financial vulnerability heat map


“If bubbles in residential properties burst, people can still sell them if the sticker price is low enough, because people always need a place to live. But once the commercial property market crashes, nobody is willing to rent a shop that loses money every day”

An urban inferiority complex

Updated: 2013-09-02 07:35

By Wang Chao ( China Daily)

Industry insider points to a problem that is bubbling under the surface Read more of this post

Deng Xiaoping’s Lessons for Today’s China

Deng Xiaoping’s Lessons for Today’s China

What would Deng Xiaoping make of Charles Xue?

It’s a surprisingly edifying question. In the past few weeks, Chinese authorities have been eager to show their allegiance to the rule of law. They have gone after Western pharmaceutical companies for bribery, milk-powder suppliers for price-fixing and a well-known British investigator for illegally obtaining information about Chinese citizens. The most riveting spectacle — the often salacious testimony in the trial of Bo Xilai, a former Politburo member — had hardly ended when reports emerged that the next target might be Bo’s mentor, Zhou Yongkang, who would be the highest-ranking party member brought down for corruption since the Cultural Revolution. Read more of this post

Chinese Banks Contribute 70% of Profits in Services, Raising Concerns over Structural Imbalances

Chinese Banks Contribute 70Pct of Profits in Services, Raising Concerns over Structural Imbalances

09-02 13:46 Caijing

Banks’ profits have grown rapidly from 58 percent in 2009 and 68 percent in 2013, as a share of total profits in services.

Extra-high profitability in Chinese banks, most of which are state-owned or state-backed, has raised concerns about structural imbalances in services, a sector that has been attached much importance in steering a growth model away from exports to consumption. Chinese banks have generated nearly 70 percent of profits in total among the top 500 companies in services, although the number of banks only accounts one tenth of total, a report issued by the China Enterprise Confederation (CEC) over the weekend showed. Read more of this post

China Wuhan Debt-to-GDP Ratio at 185.64%

China Wuhan Debt-to-GDP Ratio at 185.64Pct

09-02 15:24 Caijing

The lcoal government’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 1.5 times higher than the U.S. red line on government debt levels. Debt-to-GDP ratio in Wuhan, the capital city of South China’s Hubei province, could stand out at 185.64 percent, among the highest in Chinese cities, local media said. The city is one of a lengthy list of Chinese cities which are under the inspection of the National Audit Office for their debt piles, starting from early August amid fears of a government debt crisis. Local government of Wuhan has amassed a huge amount of debt in recent years due to aggressive urban construction, with statistics showing ending June 2012, the city had 203.7 billion yuan in debt outstanding. Read more of this post

China’s retail industry increasingly resembles an army of mice running on wheels. More and more money is being invested, but at the end of the day, companies find themselves running neck and neck with the rest of the competition

How fast companies dodge price wars

Updated: 2013-09-02 07:36

( China Daily) Read more of this post

China’s consumers aren’t living up to sales pitch; Spike in bad loans worries retailers in China

China’s consumers aren’t living up to sales pitch

Decelerating investment in housing, infrastructure and manufacturing, is dragging on incomes.

August 28, 2013 @ 10:41 am

By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Consumer brands in China are finding their rewards aren’t quite as advertised. Growth in purchases of a wide range of goods has slowed sharply over the past year, and companies ranging from Samsonite to Apple are reporting disappointing Chinese sales figures. Consumers in the world’s second-largest economy will have their day, but the idea they alone can sustain growth looks threadbare. Read more of this post

It’s China vs. China in GMO Food Fight

September 3, 2013, 7:30 AM

It’s China vs. China in GMO Food Fight

Top of Form

China’s fierce public debate on genetically modified food, long a political hot potato in a country obsessed with how to feed its 1.3 billion citizens, has become the subject of a spat between big guns from two of its most powerful governing institutions. Two weeks ago, a major-general in the People’s Liberation Army took to a popular newspaper to publish (in Chinese) a series of pointed rhetorical questions about Beijing’s policy allowing more trade in genetically modified grains, suggesting that genetically modified organisms, or GMO, are a strategy by which a Western conspiracy to supplant China’s food security is taking shape. GMOs are organisms that have had their genetic blueprint artificially re-engineered; for example, crops altered to become bug-resistant. Read more of this post

China’s top restaurants reeling over new austerity

China’s top restaurants reeling over new austerity

By DIDI TANG, Associated Press | September 3, 2013 | Updated: September 3, 2013 3:18am

BEIJING (AP) — The shark’s fin, bird’s nest and abalone are gone from the offerings at Beijing’s Xiang E Qingrestaurant — a favorite of Communist Party cadres just months ago. Diners are now left with less exotic fare such as shredded beef, pickled turnip and fried peanuts. China’s high-end restaurants have gone into crisis under leader Xi Jinping‘s campaign to crack down on the kinds of party extravagances that have angered ordinary Chinese, such as dining on the public dime. To stem big losses and avoid the now-tarnished image of VIP banquet halls, these restaurants have been busy reinventing themselves. Read more of this post

With Labs Pumping Out Legal Highs, China Is the New Front in the Global Drug War

With Labs Pumping Out Legal Highs, China Is the New Front in the Global Drug War

By Charlie CampbellSept. 02, 201310 Comments

The drugs arrived in an “unnamed, unmarked package,” recalls Timothy LaMere. The rest of what happened that night is more of a blur. After sharing the 2C-E — a synthetic imitation of the rave drug ecstasy — with friends at a house party in Blaine, Minn., things started to go very wrong. Those who took the drug became dangerously unwell — sweating, shaking, rolling around on the floor and experiencing seizures and severe pain. LaMere was among 10 people hospitalized, while one friend, 19-year-old Trevor Robinson, father of a 5-month-old baby, died after “punching walls, breaking items, staring and having dilated pupils and yelling,” according to the criminal complaint. LaMere is currently serving a 10-year sentence for third-degree unintentional murder in a state correctional facility. “I feel horrible. I feel horrible for Trevor’s family — I was close to his mum before — and I feel horrible for anyone who knew him,” he tells TIME. Read more of this post

Wison Engineering Services Says Billionaire Founder Hua Bangsong Assists With China Corruption Probe on its business relationship with PetroChina

Wison Says Founder Hua Bangsong Assists With China Probe

Wison Engineering Services Co. said its controlling shareholder Hua Bangsong is helping China’s authorities with their investigations, amid a corruption probe into its one-time largest client PetroChina Co. Wison has been informed that Hua “is now assisting the relevant authorities in the PRC in their investigations,” the company said today in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing. Wison fell 16 percent yesterday before its shares were halted. The company said it noted recent press reports on its business relationship with PetroChina Co., the country’s biggest oil and gas producer whose former chairman Jiang Jiemin and four other senior executives are being investigated by the government. Wison provides consulting, engineering and construction services to chemical factories and oil refineries. Read more of this post

What’s next for ChiNext? Black sheep is comeback kid

What’s next for ChiNext? Black sheep is comeback kid

By Ye Zhen | August 12, 2013, Monday |  PRINT EDITION

CHINEXT, the once troubled board for start-up companies in the southern city of Shenzhen, has been logging strong performance this year, underscoring expectations that the commitment by China’s new leadership to rebalance the economy will benefit small and private businesses. The ChiNext Index, which tracks a Nasdaq-style exchange for growth enterprises, has leapt a stunning 63 percent so far this year, while the CSI 300 index, the benchmark for blue chips in Shanghai and Shenzhen, has slumped 10 percent. ChiNext closed at 1,172.52 points on Friday. Read more of this post

Unfinished Business – China Mobile’s Corruption Woes Roll On

Unfinished Business – China Mobile’s Corruption Woes Roll On – Economic Observer Online

By Liao Jiehua (廖杰华) , Chen Yong (陈勇) and Wu Qiaofa (吴侨发)
Issue 634 ,Aug 26, 2013  
Executives continue to fall to corruption charges at the world’s largest mobile phone operator. On Aug 19, Xu Long (徐龙), chairman of China Mobile’s Guangdong branch (Guangdong Mobile), was placed under investigation for “serious disciplinary violations.” Economic Observer learned that as far back as 2010, the Zhejiang Provincial Commission of Discipline Inspection had begun investigating Xu; and auditing authorities have also looked into him on five separate occasions. But nothing concrete was ever discovered.
However, everything began to unravel when two other high China Mobile officials, Li Xinze (李欣泽) and Sun Lian (孙炼), were interrogated in April and July respectively. These men have reportedly led authorities to many new clues implicating Xu Long. Read more of this post

China’s oil boss `must have embezzled huge amount’

Oil boss `must have embezzled huge amount’ 
Grace Cao
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
The director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, Jiang Jiemin, who is under investigation, “must have embezzled a huge amount of money,” official mainland media reported. Jiang, a former boss of PetroChina Group, is being investigated by the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The commission yesterday launched a new website to facilitate reporting about corruption and its chief, Wang Qishan, visited the operations. Jiang is facing a probe for serious disciplinary violations. Read more of this post

China sacks head of state asset regulator Jiang Jiemin amid graft probe

China sacks head of state asset regulator Jiang Jiemin amid graft probe

Tuesday, 03 September, 2013, 11:30am

Reuters in Beijing

Top Chinese economic official Jiang Jiemin has been sacked as head of the body overseeing state-owned companies for “suspected serious disciplinary violations”, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday. The phrase is normally used as code for corruption in China, and the move comes as the country’s leaders step up a campaign against graft. Xinhua cited the powerful Organisation Department of the ruling Communist party. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: