Hunger is good discipline

2013-10-01 17:06

Hunger is good discipline

Kwon Bong-woon 
Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961) started his memoir “A Moveable Feast” in Cuba in the autumn of 1957. He finished the book there in the spring of 1960. He recalls his time in Paris in the 1920s, beginning his writer’s life as a poor man. He described himself as a man who wanted to know how to live in the world. It seems part of the process was learning how to live in the special circumstances of his world. In those days he was too poor to go to restaurants. He would take countless walks in the Luxembourg Garden to avoid having to look at tempting eateries. Everyone could always go into the Luxembourg Museum, and there saw all the paintings sharpened and clearer and more beautiful if he were belly-empty, hollow-hungry. Hunger is healthy and the pictures do look better when you are hungry. Your hunger is contained but all of your perceptions are heightened again. Therefore hunger is a good discipline. It is necessary to handle yourself better when you have to cut down on food so you will not think too much about hunger. In a very simple story called “Soldier’s Home,” Hemingway had omitted five places of battles being fought in the story. This was omitted under his new theory that you could delete anything if you knew that in doing so the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood. If the writer is writing truthfully enough, readers will get a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighths of it being above water. There is yet another kind of hunger an artist needs. That is the theory of omission stemming from his profound knowledge and wide experience. Omission, then, is a kind of hunger too, a corner of emptiness that staves off the dullness of surfeit. You can’t afford to eat regularly. Hemingway’s theory of omission is one of the cores of his literary assets. Hemingway celebrated the memory of hunger as an appetite for fullness both of sense and of spirit. Eating and drinking with friends who understood the multiple implications of hunger made for an almost ritualistic love feast. What Hemingway learned with pride and recorded throughout “A Moveable Feast,” was that an aesthetic hunger also was healthy, and he craved to control his art. However, as a young writer, he was keenly aware of what he had to learn. With a strong hunger for foreign languages, he mastered an effective knowledge of French, Spanish and Italian. For him work could cure almost anything. What he had to do was work. Work was the best therapy. He once said the hardest thing to do is to write straight honest prose about human beings. First you have to know the subject, then you have to know how to write and both took him a lifetime to learn. If one writes them truthfully enough, he will have the economic implication a book can hold. A true work of art endures forever, no matter the politics. Art, the art of writing, is virtually Hemingway’s religion. 
The writer works for a company in Seoul. His email address is

Riches to rags story shows need for business reforms in China

Riches to rags story shows need for business reforms in China

Staff Reporter



Liu Chunxi lost his fortune after being beaten out by corrupt competitors. (Internet photo)

Liu Chunxi, originally a billionaire in he city of Xinmi in central China’s Henan province, has now become a vendor selling all kinds of local products after he spent 216 million yuan (US$35 million) over the past years in a failed bid to build a cigarette plant in the province, says Chinese Entrepreneur magazine. The magazine found that 10 enterprises with a history of bribery and which were unqualified for the project, were miraculously successful in their bids. Liu’s story reflects the harsh realities of doing business in China: the fate of many private enterprises relies on the government and state-owned enterprises which monopolize the market. Read more of this post

S. Korea’s top 30 conglomerates owe nearly $557bn; amount excludes debts owed by their financial affiliates.

S. Korea’s top 30 conglomerates owe nearly $557bn

2013.10.01 15:02:33

Aggregate debt of South Korea’s top 30 conglomerates almost doubled from the pre-crisis level to around 600 trillion won ($557 billion), data showed. About half of the 30 large business groups saw their debt to equity ratio rise and their ability to repay debt worsen from five years ago. This prompts calls for them to improve financial stability to avert the spread of liquidity crisis. The nation’s top 30 groups by assets owed a total of 574 trillion won late last year, up 313.8 trillion won or 261.1 trillion from 313.8 trillion won in late 2007, according to an online business data provider Tuesday. The amount is based on groups’ audit report and excludes debts owed by their financial affiliates.
Debt held by top 30 groups was far higher than that of the government. The government’s debt came in at 443.1 trillion won last year and is expected to reach 480.3 trillion won this year and 515.2 trillion won next year. Debt to equity ratio of top 30 groups declined from 95.3 percent late 2007 to 88.7 percent late last year. Debt to equity ratio measures the degree of soundness of the company. The higher the ratio is, the weaker a company’s financial structure. The problem is excluding some top-ranking groups, most of their financial stability has worsened although the debt to equity ratio went down as a whole.

Webjet’s Roger Sharp plans IPO for mash-up of rescued online media casualties

Webjet’s Roger Sharp plans IPO for mash-up of rescued online media casualties

Published 01 October 2013 11:44, Updated 01 October 2013 11:55

Jake Mitchell


Roger Sharp says he’s plucked a range of businesses from the ashes of the GFC, Photo: Peter Braig

A mash-up of distressed companies rescued by Webjet board member Roger Sharp in the wake of the financial crisis is seeking to list early next year as a growth stock with revenue of about $50 million a year. Asia Pacific Digital, which has 700 staff in Australia, another 130 across Asia, and reported revenue of $90 million in fiscal year 2013, has acquired ­several struggling online media businesses since 2008. Mr Sharp refinanced them and installed new management. “We bought a range of business from the wreckage of the GFC,” said Mr Sharp, who is the AP Digital executive chairman and major shareholder. “They were Australian companies that had typically been owned by public companies that got in trouble, as many did.” AP Digital comprises digital advertising agency Next Digital, customer acquisition group DGM and customer relationship management firm Jericho Digital Communications, among ­others. The parent company is a fund manager that hopes to list an entity holding only digital businesses. The IPO market is heating up with an estimated $13 billion in market capitalisation poised to hit the boards of the Australian Securities Exchange over the next 12 months.

Space Burials at $1,990 Give Aging Japan Cheaper Funeral Option

Space Burials at $1,990 Give Aging Japan Cheaper Funeral Option

Burial options in Japan are expanding beyond the traditional Buddhist ceremony. You can now send a loved one’s ashes into space. Closely held Elysium Space Inc. is offering a service in Japan to send a portion of a person’s cremated remains in a capsule that will circle the earth for several months for $1,990. Relatives and friends can track the spacecraft’s trajectory on a mobile phone app. Like a meteorite, the remains disintegrate upon entering the earth’s atmosphere, “blazing as a shooting star,” according to a company statement. About one gram of a person’s remains are placed into an individual “space-grade” aluminum capsule, Benjamin Joffe, a spokesman for the company said in an e-mail. Missions will carry between 100 to 400 individual capsules, he said. The service will give a new option for Japanese looking to reduce the size and expense of funerals as relatives become fewer and traditional ties weaken in one of the world’s fastest aging societies. The cost of a renting a burial plot and buying a tomb stone in Tokyo is about 2.7 million yen ($27,400), according to Japan Institute of Life Insurance. The market for funeral services in Japan rose 0.7 percent to 1.3 trillion yen in the year ended March 2010 from a year earlier as the number of aged Japanese increased, according to the marketing and credit research firm Teikoku Databank Ltd. based in Tokyo. Elysium Space began taking U.S. space burial reservations in the U.S. in August. The San Francisco company’s first launch is scheduled for next summer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kanoko Matsuyama in Tokyo at

In historic step, Japan PM hikes tax; will cushion blow to economy

In historic step, Japan PM hikes tax; will cushion blow to economy

1:42am EDT

By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took a step on Tuesday that none of his predecessors had managed in more than 15 years – making a dent in the government’s runaway debt. Abe, riding a wave of popularity with economic policies that have begun to stir the world’s third-biggest economy out of years of lethargy, said the government will raise the national sales tax to 8 percent in April from 5 percent. Read more of this post

JGB Bubble Seen Growing by Bank of America on BOJ: Japan Credit

JGB Bubble Seen Growing by Bank of America on BOJ: Japan Credit

A bubble forming in the Japanese government bond market risks further expansion as central bank purchases shield the notes from a global rout, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Mizuho Securities Co. The Bloomberg Japan Sovereign Bond Index (BJPN) climbed 1.45 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30, the biggest gain among Group of 10 countries after the 1.54 percent increase in Italy’s debt. Benchmark 10-year JGB yields were the lowest in the world at 0.67 percent today and compared with 2.65 percent for similar-maturity U.S. Treasuries. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: