Societies thrive on the efforts of usurpers; Market leaders can always be forced to improve or even be ousted by small outsiders’ ingenuity

September 10, 2013 3:51 pm

Societies thrive on the efforts of usurpers

By Luke Johnson

Market leaders can always be forced to improve or even be ousted by small outsiders’ ingenuity

Superior innovation and service are two ways in which start-ups can gain advantage over bigger competitors. I was reminded of this last week when I served as a judge in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards. We debated the qualities of almost 50 finalists to decide who would be the champion in the British awards (for which the Financial Times is the media partner), and saw how focus and a different approach can pay off in business. Read more of this post

End of cheap money hits Asian groups; Few companies have hedges against strengthening dollar

Asian groups struggle with end of cheap money

By Henny Sender

Few companies have hedges against strengthening dollar

Hong Kong-based hedge fund Senrigan Capital is suing Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group over the compensation it says it is owed as a shareholder inSiam Makro, a Thai retailer that CP is acquiring. The dispute revolves around the appropriate exchange rate between the baht and the dollar. If the investors prevail, it could raise CP’s transaction costs by millions of dollars. The dispute is one of many complications materialising across the region as the dollar strengthens dramatically against emerging market currencies – a surge that few companies in Asia anticipated and fewer still had hedged themselves against. Read more of this post

China Shadow Banking Returns as Growth Rebound Adds Risks; new credit almost doubled in August from the previous month

China Shadow Banking Returns as Growth Rebound Adds Risks

China’s broadest measure of new credit almost doubled in August from the previous month in a sign leaders are committed to meeting economic goals even at the cost of adding financial risks. Aggregate financing was 1.57 trillion yuan ($257 billion), the People’s Bank of China said in Beijing yesterday, topping the 950 billion yuan median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. New yuan loans from banks accounted for about 45 percent of the total, down from July’s 87 percent, as non-traditional credit played a bigger role. Read more of this post

Investors are worried about another cash crunch in China this month following June’s unprecedented crisis, as the end of the quarter and two public holidays approach.

Sep 11, 2013

Investors Wary of Another China Cash Crunch

SHEN HONG

Investors are worried about another cash crunch in China this month following June’s unprecedented crisis, as the end of the quarter and two public holidays approach.

But analysts say Beijing has enough financial resources and the resolve to avoid another credit crisis, though borrowing costs will almost certainly rise over the next two weeks due to banks’ need to meet capital requirements and consumers’ demand for cash to pay for holidays. Read more of this post

For most of human history everyone was an entrepreneur

For most of human history everyone was an entrepreneur

BY FRANCISCO DAO 
ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

There’s a narrative in the tech industry of the entrepreneur as a hero that has always made me a bit uncomfortable. As an entrepreneur myself, I certainly respect the risks that entrepreneurs take, but the grandiose self talk is a little out of control. Recently, it occurred to me that not only is entrepreneurship not a sign of exceptionalism, but it’s actually our natural way of working. Read more of this post

Is your business a mayfly, a turtle or a chameleon?

IS YOUR BUSINESS A MAYFLY, A TURTLE OR A CHAMELEON?

ARTICLE | 10 SEPTEMBER, 2013 09:26 AM | BY JEREMY HAZLEHURST

So, farewell then, Nokia. Well, not quite. But the absorption of the Finnish mobile phone giant by Microsoft was a big moment in the story of its decline. It is probably a matter of time before the name is history. Apparently there was a lot of hand-wringing and soul-searching in Finland about the deal, but the writing has evidently been on the wall ever since the infamous “burning platform” email by its CEO Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft man who will now go back to his old employer, taking Nokia with him. But is it really sad or bad that Nokia has died? The tech revolution has seen many next big things come and go. Blackberry might soon vanish, and Taiwanese handset maker HTC seems to have already enjoyed its moment in the sun. MySpace is forgotten. Kodak will be soon. Creative destruction is rife elsewhere, too. Numerous high-street mainstays have been wiped out in recent years. Ditto Detroit. The world is changing quickly.

Mayfly businesses
Some hard-nosed capitalists argue that firms have a sell-by date and that we shouldn’t mourn their death. That’s just the market being the market. This argument says that businesses are like mayflies, which flourish for a short time, then die. That’s life. Read more of this post

Laser-Focused CEOs Multiply With Promises From IPads to Macaroni; The phrase “laser-focused” appeared in more than 240 transcripts of earnings calls and investor events

Laser-Focused CEOs Multiply With Promises From IPads to Macaroni

Liam McGee has a special way to emphasize his commitment to creating value at the 203-year-old company he runs, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG)

“Our team is laser-focused on execution,” he said on a March 2012 conference call, laying out plans to divest units and halt some annuity sales. It was one of at least six events in the past two years when McGee used the language of technology to describe the insurer’s ability to aim its attention. He’s not alone. From children’s book publishers to organic-food purveyors, chief executive officers are increasingly beaming light on their targets. The phrase “laser-focused” appeared in more than 240 transcripts of earnings calls and investor events compiled by Bloomberg this year, a pace that eclipses the 287 in all of 2012. Read more of this post

Actually, It’s Better If Some VCs Hate Your Idea (According To Greylock’s Hoffman And Sze)

Actually, It’s Better If Some VCs Hate Your Idea (According To Greylock’s Hoffman And Sze)

ANTHONY HA

posted 8 hours ago

In addition to announcing a new $1 billion fund, while onstage today at Disrupt SF, Reid Hoffman and David Sze of Greylock Partners talked about how they actually choose the startups they back. In fact, Sze said the firm conducted a study of partners’ voting patterns and decided to change the process by which it decides on investments. He didn’t go into too many details about those changes, but apparently the team observed that when everyone thought backing a company was a bad idea, it was indeed a bad idea. More surprisingly, if all the partners loved the startup, “the returns turned out to be very mediocre.” The problem, Sze suggested, is that those ideas are probably “too easy.” Read more of this post

Starved for scoops, many don’t bother to check the veracity of revenue and profitability numbers for non-public and pre-IPO entities before printing them

Financial Secrets Revealed! (Just Don’t Ask Where They Came From)

Francine McKenna

Using tools instead of tools using me. Journalist/Speaker/CPA. Encantada de todo de America Latina. Two-time Loeb Award finalist

Starved for scoops, many don’t bother to check the veracity of revenue and profitability numbers for non-public and pre-IPO entities before printing them

I’m noticing more numbers no one checked reported as “breaking news” or adding spice to puff pieces with potentially hidden insider agendas. Maybe some journalists are intoxicated by access to the non-public numbers some would pay a lot to know for sure. Maybe it’s just too hard. Worst case scenario journalists can be used as cogs in the equity market pump and dump machine. Read more of this post

Adoptive parents swap unwanted kids on the Internet

Adoptive parents swap unwanted kids on the Internet

Quita Puchalla says she entered a ‘nightmare’ life when she was sent to Illinois by her adopted family in Wisconsin. The process is called ‘re-homing’ and lets parents experiencing buyer’s remorse to ship an adopted child to another family. Authorities say interstate transfers violate a seldom-enforced law.

REUTERS

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013, 10:14 AM

KIEL, Wisconsin – Todd and Melissa Puchalla struggled for more than two years to raise Quita, the troubled teenager they’d adopted from Liberia. When they decided to give her up, they found new parents to take her in less than two days – by posting an ad on the Internet. Nicole and Calvin Eason, an Illinois couple in their 30s, saw the ad and a picture of the smiling 16-year-old. They were eager to take Quita, even though the ad warned that she had been diagnosed with severe health and behavioral problems. In emails, Nicole Eason assured Melissa Puchalla that she could handle the girl. Read more of this post

Cancer treatment has grown so complex, many U.S. doctors can’t keep up with new information and are offering incorrect treatment, failing to explain options and leaving patients to coordinate their own care

U.S. cancer-care delivery is ‘in crisis’: report

Tue, Sep 10 2013

By Sharon Begley

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cancer treatment has grown so complex, many U.S. doctors can’t keep up with new information and are offering incorrect treatment, failing to explain options and leaving patients to coordinate their own care, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences. The 315-page report, “Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis,” identifies a long list of reasons for the crisis, including a growing demand for cancer care as more people receive a diagnosis and a shrinking oncology workforce. Read more of this post

Why “Made in China” Still Suggests Low Quality

Why “Made in China” Still Suggests Low Quality – Economic Observer Online –

By Huang Ming (黄鸣), vice president of the International Solar Energy Society and president of Himin Solar Energy.
Issue 635 , Sept 2, 2013 
Due to a low industrial entry threshold and a lack of compulsory safety standards, China’s rising solar energy industry is now showing signs of chaos and disorder. There are between 5,000 and 6,000 manufacturers in this industry, but the top 20 combined have a market share of less than 30% of the total. Thousands of these enterprises either collapse or change hands every few years, leaving their clients without service — and solar panels rotting on roofs. Read more of this post

The Global Stake in China’s Anti-Corruption Reform

The Global Stake in China’s Anti-Corruption Reform

Michael J. Boskin is Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was Chairman of George H. W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 1993, and headed the so-called Boskin Commission, a congressional advisory body that highlighted errors in official US inflation estimates.

10 September 2013

STANFORD – The recent trial of Bo Xilai highlighted the biggest challenge facing contemporary China: the corruption and abuse of power by some government and party officials. Until his fall, Bo, a former Politburo member and party leader of Chongqing, a megacity of 30 million people, was a potential candidate for China’s ruling seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. Read more of this post

Taking China’s SOEs Back to Their Roots; The giant companies were originally owned by the people, and recent graft scandals show the need for a return to that ideal

09.10.2013 17:16

Taking SOEs Back to Their Roots

The giant companies were originally owned by the people, and recent graft scandals show the need for a return to that ideal

By Wang Yong

A recent corruption scandal that brought down Jiang Jiemin, head of the regulator of state-owned assets, is but another reminder of the alarming corruption problem at state-owned enterprises (SOEs). If left alone, the trend will eventually lead to a breakdown. The central government’s current iron-fisted approach is essential to preventing the problem from spreading. However, it is not a solution to the underlying problem. Read more of this post

Suning Clicks On the Future of Retailing; Can a traditional appliance retailer with a nationwide store network metamorphosize to compete in the online shopping era?

09.11.2013 12:43

Suning Clicks On the Future of Retailing

One of China’s biggest store chains is remaking itself as an Internet retailer, apparently just in time

By staff reporter Wang Shanshan

Can a traditional appliance retailer with a nationwide store network metamorphosize to compete in the online shopping era? Suning Commerce Group Co. Ltd. Zhang Jindong thinks his company can – and that it can succeed. Over the past four years, the 1,500-store Suning chain has been pouring money into Internet sales research, website platform building and logistics system designs to prove Zhang’s point. It’s also branched into new business sectors, such as financial services, while revamping the company’s operating structure and vastly expanding its product line. Read more of this post

Property regains top spot as driver of wealth for China’s richest; One in four members on the rich list made their money in China’s real estate industry, overtaking manufacturing as the most common source of wealth

Property regains top spot as driver of wealth for China’s richest

12:36am EDT

By Adam Jourdan

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s property industry reclaimed its spot as the number one source of income in the past year for the mainland’s wealthy, according to the China Rich List published annually by Hurun Report Inc. One in four members on the rich list made their money in China’s real estate industry, overtaking manufacturing as the most common source of wealth. Six out of the top 10 made their money in the construction sector. Read more of this post

Half of China’s Antibiotics Now Go to Livestock. And now drug-resistant genes are showing up in Chinese farms

Half of China’s Antibiotics Now Go to Livestock

And now drug-resistant genes are showing up in Chinese farms. Sound familiar?

By Tom Philpott | Tue Sep. 10, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

abx_sales_infographic_2_0

Newsflash, from a recent Public Radio International [1] report: China’s teeming factory meat farms have a drug problem. To make animals grow quickly under cramped, feces-ridden conditions, animals there get fed small, doses of antibiotics—creating ideal breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens that threaten people. A research team led by scientists from China and Michigan State University recently found “diverse and abundant antibiotic resistance genes in Chinese swine farms,” as the title of the paper [2], published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, put it. According to a recent analysis [3] by a Beijing-based agribusiness consulting firm [4], more than half of total Chinese antibiotic consumption goes to livestock. Read more of this post

Foreign firms turn to FX swaps to fund Chinese operations

Foreign firms turn to FX swaps to fund Chinese operations

Tue, Sep 10 2013

By Saikat Chatterjee and Michelle Chen

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Foreign companies are increasingly using cross currency swaps to fund onshore operations in China rather than raising money via the Dim Sum bond market in Hong Kong. Multinational companies said that they could raise more money, more quickly and more cheaply by borrowing in dollars and swapping the money into yuan than if they borrowed directly in yuan through the offshore yuan-denominated bond (Dim Sum) market in Hong Kong. Read more of this post

Early China iPhone launch gives smugglers a run for their money

Early China iPhone launch gives smugglers a run for their money

Tue, Sep 10 2013

By Yimou Lee and Lee Chyen Yee

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s millions of Chinese fans will celebrate the near-simultaneous launch of the latest iPhone in China and the United States, but one group will have little to cheer – the smugglers. An early launch of Apple’s latest smartphone in China is expected to stifle a thriving grey market worth billions of dollars a year built around smuggling from Hong Kong, where in the past the U.S. tech giant’s gadgets have gone on sale months before they reach official channels in the mainland. Read more of this post

Crackdown on Bloggers Is Mounted by China

September 10, 2013

Crackdown on Bloggers Is Mounted by China

By CHRIS BUCKLEY

HONG KONG — These are bad times to be a Big V in China. Big V, for verified account, is the widely used moniker for the most influential commentators on China’s growing microblog sites — online celebrities whose millions of fans read, discuss and spread their outpouring of news and opinions, plenty of which chastise or ridicule officials. And the Communist Party has turned against them in the most zealous crackdown on the Internet in years. Read more of this post

China-Style Obamacare for 1 Billion People Saves Toddler

China-Style Obamacare for 1 Billion People Saves Toddler

Toddler Wang Xiaobu was struck down in July by a motorcycle outside her home amid the rice terraces of Languan, a village deep in the mountains of the poorest part of Guizhou, China’s poorest province. The 3-year-old was rushed by her parents past chicken coops and duck pens to the village clinic, a home doubling as a bare-bones dispensary. Xiaobu’s bloodied head was bandaged by an attendant who lacked the skills and equipment to stitch her wound or check for internal bleeding. Read more of this post

China’s baijiu, drink of generals, pushed to bargain bin

China’s baijiu, drink of generals, pushed to bargain bin

Tue, Sep 10 2013

By Adam Jourdan

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Nearly three-quarters of a century after it was hailed for helping China’s Red Army survive the tortuous Long March, fiery grain liquor baijiu has fallen down the ranks, hit by a crackdown on luxury spending that has clouded its prospects. For decades, famed baijiu makers Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd and Wuliangye Yibin Co Ltd enjoyed fat profit margins that once dwarfed those of Apple Inc, helped by the Communist Party’s penchant for a brew that fuelled many a business deal and smoothed over countless egos. Read more of this post

China’s Richest Man Wang Hunts Hotel Management Companies in U.S.

China’s Richest Man Wang Hunts Hotel Management Companies

By Bloomberg News  Sep 10, 2013

Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man and owner of the country’s biggest commercial land developer, said he has hired two investment banks to buy hotel management companies, mostly in the U.S. He is also in talks with overseas movie theater chains following his $2.6 billion purchase of the second-largest U.S. cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. last year, Wang said in an interview with Bloomberg News on the sidelines of the World Economic Forumheld in Dalian, where Wang started his business. He didn’t name the investment banks or targets. Read more of this post

Asian central banks brace for Fed’s move, Indonesia seen most at risk

Asian central banks brace for Fed’s move, Indonesia seen most at risk

Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:12am EDT

By Choonsik Yoo

SEOUL (Reuters) – As global markets tremble in anticipation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will decide next week to begin tapering its monetary stimulus, four central banks in the Asia-Pacific with very different comfort levels are likely to hold interest rates steady at policy meetings on Thursday. Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and New Zealand have all been buffeted by stormy markets since May, when the Fed first hinted that it could finally begin calling time on the easy money go-round that has lasted almost five years. Read more of this post

Indonesia-Philippine Growth Gap Widens as Rupiah Spurs Rate Rise

Indonesia-Philippine Growth Gap Widens as Rupiah Spurs Rate Rise

Indonesia faces pressure to add to its most aggressive monetary-tightening cycle since 2008, underscoring a widening divergence in its growth outlook with the Philippines in a reversal of fortunes for the two economies. Bank Indonesia will probably raise its deposit facility rate tomorrow a fourth time this year, according to seven of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, with the rest forecasting no change. Analysts see the key reference rate rising as high as 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2014 after staying at 7 percent this week. The Philippines will hold its benchmark at 3.5 percent the rest of the year, surveys showed. Read more of this post

How US biotechnology bull run will affect Australia

How US biotechnology bull run will affect Australia

PUBLISHED: 15 HOURS 2 MINUTES AGO | UPDATE: 6 HOURS 46 MINUTES AGO

The Australian Financial Review

JESSICA GARDNER

The lower Aussie dollar, a well regarded local clinical trials industry, and a frothy US biotechnology industry, are combining to make early stage Australian life science companies attract­ive. Although the right qualities are falling into place, not all industry watchers expect a spate of takeovers. A partner at early stage investment fund GBS Ventures, Brigitte Smith, said in comparison to the US, where the biotechnology sector was “on fire”, Australian life science companies do appear cheaper. “It has been a really big, long sustained bull run on biotech IPOs, for the best part of a year,” she said. “Because of that, the biotech sector in the US is looking pricey.” Read more of this post

Go-It-Alone Pensions Grab Attention of Australian Banks

Go-It-Alone Pensions Grab Attention of Australian Banks

Playing a Saturday competition round at the eucalyptus-fringed Whittlesea Golf Club north of Melbourne, Gary Hunt told his three golfing partners that he’d been to a seminar on how to manage his own pension and was thinking of doing it. Turns out, two of his fellow Australians — a retired school teacher and the owner of a tree-cutting business — already did — as do almost a million others. Read more of this post

Asia’s LNG Market Poised for Price Alternatives, IEA Chief Says

Asia’s LNG Market Poised for Price Alternatives, IEA Chief Says

By Chou Hui Hong  Sep 10, 2013

Asia’s liquefied natural gas market is poised to introduce alternatives to oil-indexed pricing as supply expands from new sources, according to the International Energy Agency. “When you have a more flexible gas market, with more gas being brought to Asia, it will certainly help” lead to new gas-pricing methods, Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the IEA, said in Tokyo today. Read more of this post

Alibaba founder sheds light on group’s structure, pressuring HK regulators

Alibaba founder sheds light on group’s structure, pressuring HK regulators

5:27am EDT

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma revealed details of its internal partnership structure on Tuesday, ratcheting up pressure on Hong Kong regulators as they grapple with the ecommerce giant’s initial public offering plans. The two sides are debating the ability for Alibaba to list in Hong Kong and, at the same time, allow its “partners” – a group of founders and senior employees – to keep control over the makeup of its board. Read more of this post

Cheap iPhone Not Cheap Enough in China; unsubsidized 16GB iPhone 5c is being offered at 4,488 yuan ($733) in China, barely less the 5,000 yuan Chinese consumers had to fork out for the old iPhone 5 and significantly higher than the 3,000 yuan analysts had predicted

September 11, 2013, 2:00 AM

Cheap iPhone Not Cheap Enough in China

MK-CG170_APPLE_F_20130910163943

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Phil Schiller speaks about the new iPhone 5C during an Apple product announcement at the Apple campus on September 10, 2013 in Cupertino, California.

It has come to pass. The world now has an “affordable” iPhone. While detractors of Apple‘sAAPL -2.28%new iPhone 5c, unveiled in Cupertino, Calif. today, have said the “c” stands for cheap, fans in the world’s largest smartphone market are saying it stands for something else: China. In part that’s because more so than in any other market, Apple stands to gain sales in China from the cheaper offering thanks to the country’s huge number of low- and middle-income smartphone users. But it’s also because in China the new iPhone quite frankly won’t be all that cheap. Read more of this post

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