Dirty Money: Will Singapore Clean Up Its Act? Singapore has become an increasingly popular haven for money laundering and tax evasion. Can it be both a home for fortune hunters and a bastion of integrity?

11/01/2013 06:59 PM

Dirty Money: Will Singapore Clean Up Its Act?

By Martin Hesse

Singapore has become an increasingly popular haven for money laundering and tax evasion. But now it faces calls for reform and a difficult dilemma: Can it be both a home for fortune hunters and a bastion of integrity?

A yellowish-brown fog has settled in the urban canyons of Singapore’s financial district. From a skyscraper high above the harbor, you can hardly make out the endless rows of containers in the port terminals. A cloud of smog locally referred to as the “haze” — caused by the slash-and-burn farming methods of the palm oil barons in neighboring Indonesia — regularly darkens the skies of the wealthy city-state of Singapore, at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. But the air has never been as bad as it is now. Read more of this post

Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups

Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups

Posted 13 hours ago by Aileen Lee (@aileenlee)

Editor’s note: Aileen Lee is founder of Cowboy Ventures, a seed-stage fund that backs entrepreneurs reinventing work and personal life through software. Previously, she joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1999 and was also founding CEO of digital media company RMG Networks, backed by KPCB. Follow her on Twitter @aileenlee
Many entrepreneurs, and the venture investors who back them, seek to build billion-dollar companies.

Why do investors seem to care about “billion dollar exits”? Historically, top venture funds have driven returns from their ownership in just a few companies in a given fund of many companies. Plus, traditional venture funds have grown in size, requiring larger “exits” to deliver acceptable returns. For example – to return just the initial capital of a $400 million venture fund, that might mean needing to own 20 percent of two different $1 billion companies, or 20 percent of a $2 billion company when the company is acquired or goes public. So, we wondered, as we’re a year into our new fund (which doesn’t need to back billion-dollar companies to succeed, but hey, we like to learn): how likely is it for a startup to achieve a billion-dollar valuation? Is there anything we can learn from the mega hits of the past decade, likeFacebookLinkedIn and Workday? To answer these questions, the Cowboy Ventures team built a dataset of U.S.-based tech companies started since January 2003 and most recently valued at $1 billion by private or public markets. We call it our “Learning Project,” and it’s ongoing.

unicorn-graph1c unicorn-graph2c unicorn-graph3c Read more of this post

Reduce the noise levels in your investment process

Reduce the noise levels in your investment process

By Barry Ritholtz, Published: November 1

“Signal-to-noise ratio” is an engineering concept that focuses on the amount of useful information being received compared with false or useless data. This is an especially important concept to investors. Over the past few years, I have been reducing the meaningless distractions in my investing process. You should, too. You want less of the annoying nonsense that interferes with your portfolios and more of the significant data that allow you to become a less distracted, more purposeful investor. Read more of this post

Sears’ CEO and billionaire hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert: “I’d like to go faster. I’d like to go bigger. We’re just not making money, which makes it much, much harder to fund the transformation.”

November 2, 2013

At Sears, Those Big Losses Get in the Way

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

“I’d like to go faster. I’d like to go bigger. We’re just not making money, which makes it much, much harder to fund the transformation.” That’s Edward S. Lampert, the chairman and chief executive of Sears Holdings, speaking last Friday about what lies ahead for this embattled retailing giant, which he put together in 2005 and now oversees. Earlier in the week, the company had announced a possible spin-off of a prized asset — the trusted online retailer Lands’ End. Together with another spin-off, of Sears Auto Centers, the company could “accelerate our transformation into a leading integrated retailer,” it said. Read more of this post

Oarfish Offer Chance to Study an Elusive Animal Long Thought a Monster

November 2, 2013

Oarfish Offer Chance to Study an Elusive Animal Long Thought a Monster

By DOUGLAS QUENQUA

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The body of an 18-foot male oarfish was found in the waters off Santa Catalina Island in California last month. Five days later, a 14-foot female washed up 50 miles away. It was a big day for marine biologists: On Oct. 13, the body of an 18-foot oarfish was dragged from the water onto Santa Catalina Island off the California coast, presenting a rare opportunity for local scientists to study one of the world’s most elusive and awe-inspiring big fish. Five days later, it was a big day again: Another oarfish washed up 50 miles away, this one 14 feet with six-foot-long ovaries full of eggs.

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Want to be a chief executive of a FTSE 350 company? Here’s the route to follow

Want to be a chief executive? Here’s the route to follow

Hit the sweetspot to becoming a company boss by being male, 46 years old, with a university – ideally Oxbridge – education.

By Rebecca Burn-Callander

6:01AM GMT 31 Oct 2013

The average chief executive of a FTSE 350 company is a 46-year-old male, who attended Oxford or Cambridge University, according to research by business intelligence company QlikTech. The company crunched background data on all of the current FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 CEOs, as of August 2013, to find out where they were born, where they went to university, and details around the subjects they studied and key points from their later career.

THUMB (1) Read more of this post

A joint Chinese and Singaporean research team have developed an “invisibility cloak” using polygonal devices with glass

Chinese, Singaporean team develop invisibility cloak

Staff Reporter

2013-11-03

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The glass device makes part of a pencil disappear. (Internet photo)

A joint Chinese and Singaporean research team have developed an “invisibility cloak” using polygonal devices with glass, reports China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency. Professor Chen Hongsheng of the Electromagnetics Academy of Zhejiang University and a research team from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University successfully made a goldfish and a cat disappear with the new light-bending technology. Read more of this post

Veteran investor Donald A. Yacktman finds much to like in Coke, Pepsi, and P&G which he views as bargains

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2013

Why Three Big Stocks Look Like Bargains

By LAWRENCE C. STRAUSS | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

Veteran investor Donald A. Yacktman finds much to like in Coke, Pepsi, and P&G which he views as bargains.

Donald A. Yacktman is regarded as an insightful investor with a keen analytical mind, as his long-term results attest. The Yacktman Fund (ticker: YACKX) has a 15-year annual return of 10.62%, besting 99% of its peers in Morningstar’s large-cap blend category. Yacktman and his team hew to a buy-and-hold approach, content to hold stocks for years. Annual turnover averages about 20%. The fund’s top 10 holdings account for about 50% of assets. Yacktman, 72, who is president of Yacktman Asset Management in Austin, Texas, oversees nearly $30 billion of assets. To find out about a few of his holdings and his sense of where the markets stand, Barron’s caught up with him recently by telephone. Read more of this post

The Dangers of a Stock Market Melt-Up; Though a steadfast market bull, a strategist worries about investors’ nonchalant attitude toward ever-rising stocks

November 2, 2013

The Dangers of a Stock Market Melt-Up

By JEFF SOMMER

Investors aren’t worrying much about the stock market, and that worries Edward Yardeni.

It’s not that Mr. Yardeni, an independent economist and strategist, has a gloomy outlook on the market himself. To the contrary, he’s been generally optimistic about the prospects for stocks for about five years, and he remains so. “We’re in a bull market, and I think it can continue for the next few years,” he said in an interview last week. But what’s striking about his perspective is that while he remains a steadfast market bull, he finds himself increasingly preoccupied by a cloud on the horizon: the growing complacency of his fellow investors. Read more of this post

The World’s Tallest Statue Is Under Construction in India — It Will Be Twice The Size Of The Statue Of Liberty

The World’s Tallest Statue Is Under Construction — It Will Be Twice The Size Of The Statue Of Liberty

MICHAEL KELLEY NOV. 2, 2013, 4:51 PM 3,967 8

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India has begun construction on a statue of Sardar Patel, the first home minister of independent India, and it is going to be the tallest in the world by far. Patel shared a prison cell with his close friend Mahatma Gandhi and became the leader of the Congress Party in 1934. The monument will be 600 feet tall and cost $300 million. Taking a look at the 305-foot State of Liberty, it’s hard to fathom how massive this thing will be.

Here’s The Fascinating Way Computers Have Changed The Way Humans Play Chess Against Each Other

Here’s The Fascinating Way Computers Have Changed The Way Humans Play Chess Against Each Other

JOE WEISENTHAL NOV. 2, 2013, 5:17 PM 3,280 2

The most anticipated chess match in over a decade begins next week. On November 9 in Chennai, India, upstart Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen will attempt to become the world champion by facing off against Viswanathan Anand over the course of 12 games. Carlsen gets all the attention because he’s just 22 and even does modeling, but Anand is one of the all-time greats, and is the defending champion. Read more of this post

The Pills of Last Resort: How Dying Patients Get Access to Experimental Drugs

October 31, 2013

The Pills of Last Resort

How Dying Patients Get Access to Experimental Drugs

By DARSHAK M. SANGHAVI, M.D.

It was shortly after the breadbasket arrived last year at the Temple Bar near Harvard Square that Sarah Broom first told me about the last-ditch plan to save her own life. Broom’s mere presence that evening was something of a miracle. Several years earlier, in 2008, while pregnant with her third child, she received a harrowing diagnosis. A 35-year-old English lecturer and poet living in New Zealand, Broom developed a persistent cough. She saw doctors in Auckland repeatedly over the course of a few months, but they didn’t want to do an X-ray on a pregnant woman. Finally, her shortness of breath became so severe that they relented, and 29 weeks into her pregnancy, she was found to have a large mass on her lung. She underwent a cesarean section — her daughter was born almost three months early — and a biopsy. Read more of this post

Here’s Why ‘The Internet Of Things’ Will Be Huge, And Drive Tremendous Value For People And Businesses

Here’s Why ‘The Internet Of Things’ Will Be Huge, And Drive Tremendous Value For People And Businesses

EMILY ADLER NOV. 2, 2013, 5:04 PM 49,738 15

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The Internet Of Things represents a major departure in the history of the Internet, as connections move beyond computing devices, and begin to power billions of everyday devices, from parking meters to home thermostats. Estimates for Internet of Things or IoT market value are massive, since by definition the IoT will be a diffuse layer of devices, sensors, and computing power that overlays entire consumer, business-to-business, and government industries. The IoT will account for an increasingly huge number of connections: 1.9 billion devices today, and 9 billion by 2018. That year, it will be roughly equal to the number of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, wearable computers, and PCs combinedIn a new report from BI Intelligence, we look at the transition of once-inert objects into sensor-laden intelligent devices that can communicate with the other gadgets in our lives. In the consumer space, many products and services have already crossed over into the IoT, including kitchen and home appliances, lighting and heating products, and insurance company-issued car monitoring devices that allow motorists to pay insurance only for the amount of driving they do.  Here are the top business-to-business and government applications:

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If a Young Child Wanders, Technology Can Follow

November 2, 2013

If a Young Child Wanders, Technology Can Follow

By ANNE EISENBERG

Most parents have experienced that feeling of fear when a young child wanders off at the playground or disappears during a trip to the supermarket. New technology, in the form of voice watches and miniature sensing devices, is aimed at thwarting such distress by keeping track of children who are too young to carry a smartphone. The new devices use GPS, Wi-Fi and other location-tracking technology and can be linked to apps on a parent’s phone. One device, a watch coming from Filip Technologies later this year, tracks a child’s location and lets him or her get voice calls from up to five people authorized by their parents. (Children lift the watch to their ear or mouth when communicating.) Read more of this post

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