A life without empathy for others is truly unrewarding

Updated: Wednesday December 4, 2013 MYT 11:17:27 AM

No Compromise on Compassion


A life without empathy for others is truly unrewarding.

IF there is any more memorable way that I have reconnected with old friends, I can’t imagine one more relevant than with my good friend Ashaari. Ashaari and I had only known each other previously from a theatre production a year before. I was an actor and he, a friend of the director’s, was a front-of-house volunteer. Over a year later, I randomly responded to a mass Facebook message Ashaari had sent out, regarding a video project for an international initiative called the Charter of Compassion. He was looking for people to be filmed answering the question: What does the word ‘compassion’ mean to you? Read more of this post

Reverse the curse: Maximizing the potential of resource-driven economies

Reverse the curse: Maximizing the potential of resource-driven economies

December 2013 | byRichard Dobbs, Jeremy Oppenheim, Adam Kendall, Fraser Thompson, Martin Bratt, and Fransje van der Marel

Rising resource prices and expanded production have raised the number of countries where the resource sector represents a major share of the economy, from 58 in 1995 to 81 in 2011. That number will rise: to meet soaring demand for resources and replace rapidly depleting supply, the world should invest a total of up to $17 trillion in oil and gas and in minerals by 2030, double the historical rate. In 20 years, almost half of the world’s countries could depend on their resource endowments for growth. Read more of this post

China regulator mulls cutting traditional medicine prices: report

China regulator mulls cutting traditional medicine prices: report

6:17am EST

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese regulators are considering cutting retail price limits on some traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) by as much as 10 percent early next year, a newspaper controlled by the official Xinhua news agency reported. This follows a regulatory crackdown on real or perceived corporate wrongdoing this year, with domestic and international manufacturers of infant formula and drugs coming under the spotlight. The Economic Information Daily, citing unidentified sources, reported on Thursday that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) was looking to reduce prices of top-end, non-essential products, which had risen sharply due to supportive policies. Beijing Tongrentang and Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical are among the firms that will be most affected, given the range of such medicines that they offer, the report said. The agency expects to see prices for a small number of such products drop by up to 25 percent in two years, according to the report. Traditional Chinese medicine products classified as “essential” by the NDRC and those identified as state secrets will be exempted from this ruling.

12 Successful Entrepreneurs Share The Best Advice They Ever Got

12 Successful Entrepreneurs Share The Best Advice They Ever Got

MAX NISEN AND JENNA GOUDREAU DEC. 3, 2013, 2:27 PM 160,867 1

This is part of the “Moving Forward” series offering advice to small business owners on technology, mentorship, productivity, and growth. “Moving Forward” is sponsored by Ink from Chase®. 

Being a successful entrepreneur frequently involves a series of missteps and mistakes before finally nailing the right idea or business. The difference, for many, between giving up and persisting through the toughest times can be getting advice from people who have done it before — and being smart enough to listen. From investor Mark Cuban’s dad telling him that there are no shortcuts to Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s realization that people actually enjoy helping others, we asked 12 successful entrepreneurs to share the best advice they ever got, discovering the lessons that stick with them to this day.  Read more of this post

Hidden U-Haul Billionaire Emerges With Storage Empire

Hidden U-Haul Billionaire Emerges With Storage Empire

download (34)

Mark V. Shoen had to endure his father’s suicide, a sister-in-law’s murder and an internecine battle on his way to becoming the largest shareholder of Amerco, the parent of truck rental company U-Haul, North America’s biggest moving and storage business. Becoming a self-storage baron required additional drama, if only in the courtroom. Shoen’s storage empire was the center of a decade-long shareholder suit that splintered his family and left the 62-year-old in control of a business that made him a billionaire. Read more of this post

Malcolm Gladwell on the Advantages of Disadvantages

Malcolm Gladwell on the Advantages of Disadvantages

Dec 03, 2013 Books Podcasts Video North America

In his new bestseller, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcolm Gladwell looks at what happens when ordinary people confront powerful opponents. He starts the book by dissecting the classic tale of David and Goliath, challenging our beliefs about what the story tells us regarding underdogs and giants, and ultimately, our fundamental assumptions about power. Wharton management professor Adam M. Grant recently interviewed Gladwell about his new book when he visited campusas a guest lecturer in the Authors@Wharton series. Gladwell shared why he never roots for the underdog, where he comes up with the ideas for his books and sets the record straight on the biggest misunderstandings about his work. An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

Adam Grant: Let’s start talking about your latest blockbuster: David and Goliath. What’s the core message and idea?

Malcolm Gladwell: It’s an examination of the idea of advantage and, particularly, it looks at asymmetrical conflicts – conflicts between one very large and one not-so-large party. How do we account for the unusual number of successes that underdogs have in those situations? The book takes off from there to try and figure out whether our assumptions about what makes for an advantage are accurate. Read more of this post

U.S. Students Get Stuck in Middle of the Pack on OECD Test

U.S. Students Get Stuck in Middle of the Pack on OECD Test

U.S. teenagers showed little progress on an international test of math, science and reading, which was again led by students in Shanghai and Singapore, bolstering support for tougher standards in U.S. schools. The U.S. placed below average in math and about average in reading and science among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Paris-based agency that released results today of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment. There was little change from the last test three years ago, the OECD said. Read more of this post

Game Theory Sparks Terrorism Risk Modeling; There isn’t enough historical data to help companies keep pace with intelligent adversaries.

December 02, 2013

Game Theory Sparks Terrorism Risk Modeling

There isn’t enough historical data to help companies keep pace with intelligent adversaries.

David M. Katz

This is one of three articles in a special report on new uses of risk analytics and risk modeling. The report takes in an-depth look at how Big Data can provide CFOs with new weapons they can use to combat the risk they fear the most: the unexpected.

By factoring in the Economic Cost of Risk, CFOs can capture the ups and downs of their companies’ perils. Traditional metrics can help CFO get a firmer grasp of past or frequent events. But for future perils, risk modeling may be the way to go. Read more of this post

The need to rein in perfectionism; Demanding flawless performance is itself a management fault

December 4, 2013 5:56 pm

The need to rein in perfectionism

By Naomi Shragai

In psychotherapy we have a useful concept to take the pressure off parents who feel they need to be perfect. We say they need only to be “good enough”, and that an important way of achieving that is to create the right environment for their children to thrive. Read more of this post

Harvard Median Grade of A- Gets F in Responsibility From Teacher

Harvard Median Grade of A- Gets F in Responsibility From Teacher

Harvard University undergraduates are more likely to get an A than any other grade, a measure of academic largesse that hurts the college’s students in the long run, a professor said.

A university official revealed in a faculty meeting that A’s are the most frequently given mark from Harvard College teachers, and A- is the median grade, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper reported yesterday.

“They’re debasing the value of an A,” said Harvey Mansfield, a government professor who has long decried grade inflation at the school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “They’re ignoring their responsibility to maintain our standards.”

Jay Harris, Harvard’s dean of undergraduate education, revealed the data on grades to answer a question from Mansfield at a monthly faculty meeting, the Crimson reported. Jeff Neal, a university spokesman, confirmed the accuracy of the information in an e-mailed statement today.

“We believe that learning is the most important thing that happens in our classrooms and throughout our system of residential education,” Neal said. “The faculty are focused on creating positive and lasting learning outcomes for our undergraduates. We watch and review trends in grading across Harvard College, but we are most interested in helping our students learn and learn well.”

The school formed an Initiative on Teaching and Learning in 2011.

Cheating Scandal

Harvard, the oldest and richest U.S. university, had its scholarly reputation rocked last year by a final-exam cheating scandal that resulted in suspensions for dozens of students. The scandal was discovered when teachers noticed evidence of students collaborating inappropriately on a take-home exam.

The college’s students expect high grades, whether or not they perform outstanding work, Mansfield said.

“The scandal took place in an atmosphere where easy, good grades are expected,” he said in a telephone interview. “People aren’t serious about working for grades.”

Mansfield said that many teachers give A’s because they want to maintain good relationships with students, who need high marks to get jobs and places in graduate and professional schools. He called the high-grade glut a kind of pollution, where each person thinks their contribution is harmless.

“Students are living in a bubble,” he said. “When they get out, they’re surprised that people don’t get A’s for doing no work and being dumb.”

Established in 1636, Harvard has an endowment of $32.7 billion, the biggest educational fund in the world. The school said in September that it plans to raise $6.5 billion in donations by 2018, a record goal for U.S. universities.

— Editors: Chris Staiti, Lisa Wolfson

To contact the reporter on this story: John Lauerman in Boston at jlauerman@bloomberg.net

Trust-based payment system not working out well for restaurant

Trust-based payment system not working out well for restaurant

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 – 09:24

China Daily/Asia News Network

The owner of a self-service restaurant in Fujian province that trusts diners to pay what they want says he is running up a huge financial loss – as many people opt to pay nothing at all. Five Loaves and Two Fish was opened in downtown Fuzhou in August, offering coffee, cakes and hot dishes. It has five round tables and six workers to cook and clean.  Read more of this post

December 4, 2013

Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins


Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries. In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years. Read more of this post

The Three Habits of Highly Effective Demotivators

Posted: November 22, 2013

Sally Helgesen is an author, speaker, and leadership development consultant, whose most recent book is The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work(with Julie Johnson; Berrett-Koehler, 2010).

The Three Habits of Highly Effective Demotivators

Jake, a young marketing whiz, thought he’d found his perfect match in a well-funded technology startup in the academic sector. (It’s a real company, but I’ve changed all names.) For the first few months, Jake was in heaven: smart colleagues, plenty of autonomy, an open field of savvy customers looking for solutions in a hot sector, behind-the-curve competitors, and a terrific product he could sell with his heart. Read more of this post

The President, the Pope and the People: The idea that honest work should pay an honest wage is part of the American social contract – and one that is in danger of disintegrating

December 4, 2013

The President, the Pope and the People


On Wednesday, while delivering a speech largely about income inequality and economic mobility, a populist president invoked a populist pope. After rattling off a laundry list of dire statistics, President Obama cited Pope Francis: Read more of this post

Serious innovation requires serious state support; Growth requires the kind of committed finance behind Silicon Valley

December 4, 2013 5:16 pm

Serious innovation requires serious state support

By Mariana Mazzucato

Growth requires the kind of committed finance behind Silicon Valley, writes Mariana Mazzucato

Economics ministers around the developed world say that they want to “rebalance” away from speculative finance and build up a more productive “real economy”. Yet this plan overlooks just how sick the real economy has become. It also ignores that we need high-quality finance – not just large quantities of it – in order to regenerate it. Read more of this post

20 Years Of Tech Innovation In A Single Picture

20 Years Of Tech Innovation In A Single Picture


DEC. 3, 2013, 9:00 AM 15,936 9

The picture below was recently tweeted by @FascinatingPics. It shows some of the 1993 technology that is now packed into 2013 technology. Anytime you think the pace of innovation in the world is slowing down, just have another glance at this.

1993 v 2000


16 Gifts Every Investor Would Love

16 Gifts Every Investor Would Love

STEVEN PERLBERG AND SAM RO NOV. 29, 2013, 1:33 PM 101,944 1

This editorial feature, “16 Gifts Every Investor Would Love,” is sponsored by Rosetta Stone. For many, the actual act of holiday shopping is the scourge of an otherwise cheerful season. A good gift is hard to find for anyone, but if you’ve got an investor in your life, it can prove especially difficult. Not to fear, because we’ve got a bunch of great options for you. Whether it’s a desktop essential, a must-have book, or a premium item, we have you covered this year. Prices may vary, but these are sure to keep any investor risk-on for 2014.  Read more of this post

Goldman Sachs Sued by Singapore Client Oei Over $34.3 Million Loss on Brazilian real-yen options trades

Goldman Sachs Sued by Singapore Client Oei Over Loss

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) was sued by Singaporean wealth-management client Oei Hong Leong over a $34.3 million loss on Brazilian real-yen options trades he said it misled him into making. Oei accused the New York-based bank of fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment in papers filed today in New York state court. Read more of this post

Idea Velocity: What I Learned From SAC; do you really have a discipline in place to come up with at least one, highly researched, well-thought out, high conviction idea per week?


IDEA VELOCITY. What I learned from SAC.

SAC, the infamous hedge fund led by mercurial, secretive, super art collector Stevie Cohen is legendary. They have recently been accused of insider trading and it sure looks like they are guilty.  But there are a lot of very smart people that worked there that had nothing to do with this scandal. PMs and analysts in Hedgistan dream of toiling there and making obscene riches.  As an unabashed trading addict and player of The Game, I was like a moth to the flame.  I had to check this place out.  I did.  Although by dumb luck and a well-calibrated BS detector, I was able to avoid joining them, I did meet with them over a dozen times.  I learned some principles that have changed my way of trading forever.  For the good.  Out of a spirit of equanimity and gratitude, I will share them with you. Read more of this post

Misunderstanding the ‘Asean Way’

Updated: Sunday December 1, 2013 MYT 8:55:40 AM

Misunderstanding the ‘Asean Way’


Forging ahead: Delegates attending a photo call at the 5th Asean–UN Summit as part of the 23rd Asean Summit in Brunei. Asean began as a highly improbable organisation but over time, Asean and its member nations have not only survived but prospered. — Bernama

The strength of Asean, or the effectiveness of its Secretariat, is only what its least willing member would allow it to be.

TOO often are standard arguments repeated at international conferences, particularly those of a regional strategic nature, regardless of whether those arguments are true or correct. Read more of this post

China Bans Financial Companies From Bitcoin Transactions

China Bans Financial Companies From Bitcoin Transactions

China’s central bank barred financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions, moving to regulate the virtual currency after an 89-fold jump in its value sparked a surge of investor interest in the country. Bitcoin plunged more than 20 percent to below $1,000 on the BitStamp Internet exchange after the People’s Bank of China said it isn’t a currency with “real meaning” and doesn’t have the same legal status. The public is free to participate in Internet transactions provided they take on the risk themselves, it said. Read more of this post

China Said to Consider Bitcoin Regulations After Investor Losses

China Said to Consider Bitcoin Regulations After Investor Losses

China is considering requiring Bitcoin exchanges to disclose large transactions and confirm the identity of users after investors lost money through a fake platform, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The People’s Bank of China, China Banking Regulatory Commission and other regulators have held discussions about drafting rules for trading platforms that facilitate the buying and selling of the virtual money, said the people, who were not authorized to speak because the information is not public. The Bitcoin exchanges may be forced to inform authorities about sizable or suspicious transactions, they said. Read more of this post

China’s Bigger Innovation Problem; It’s not just about money for R&D. Innovators have to want to live there, too

China’s Bigger Innovation Problem

It’s not just about money for R&D. Innovators have to want to live there, too.


Dec. 4, 2013 12:24 p.m. ET

Last month’s Third Plenum meeting of Chinese leaders seemed to signal Beijing’s intention to experiment with more economic and financial freedom. Leaders now acknowledge the old model of cheap inputs—inexpensive labor, low-cost capital for state-owned enterprises, and the socialization of environmental costs—no longer works. Read more of this post

Banks Cut Raw-Materials Staff to Fewest Since ’09: Commodities

Banks Cut Raw-Materials Staff to Fewest Since ’09: Commodities

The biggest banks are employing the fewest commodity traders, salespeople and analysts in at least four years as tighter regulations and the second drop in prices since 2001 spur cutbacks. Total headcount in commodity units at the 10 largest banks, from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Barclays Plc, stood at 2,290 at the end of September, about 4 percent less than at the end of 2012, according to data starting in 2009 from Coalition, the London-based analytics company. Pay for those workers may drop 13 percent on average this year, a fourth straight decline, said Options Group, a recruitment company. Read more of this post

Large investors turn cold on commodities

December 5, 2013 9:00 am

Large investors turn cold on commodities

By Gregory Meyer in New York

After two years at the helm of the world’s worst-performing asset class, managers of commodities funds could be forgiven for feeling unloved. Wall Street analysts, big-picture strategists and powerful consultants have turned cold on oil, metals and grain futures as a decade-long rally peters out. And investors are listening, with many now reluctant to commit further funds. Some are heading for the exits. Read more of this post

Coke’s Global Brands and Distribution Network Are Unmatched

Coke’s Global Brands and Distribution Network Are Unmatched

By Thomas Mullarkey, CFA | 12-04-13 | 06:00 AM | Email Article

Coca-Cola (KO) described its 2020 vision in 2009 and since then has been making steady progress in achieving its goals. The company hopes to double the amount of Coca-Cola beverages consumed around the world and double system revenue in that time frame. While we believe volume growth during the next decade will be led by emerging markets, we think Coca-Cola’s sales in mature geographies will also expand as the firm broadens its portfolio of still beverages. Coca-Cola’s vast distribution network and powerhouse brands are second to none and have helped the company create one of the widest economic moats in our consumer defensive coverage universe. We believe the firm’s wide moat justifies an above-average multiple, and the shares look undervalued compared with our $45 fair value estimate. Read more of this post

Dementia epidemic looms with 135 million sufferers seen by 2050

Dementia epidemic looms with 135 million sufferers seen by 2050

7:04pm EST

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – Many governments are woefully unprepared for an epidemic of dementia currently affecting 44 million people worldwide and set to more than treble to 135 million people by 2050, health experts and campaigners said on Thursday. Read more of this post

Ditching Big Drugmakers for Biotech Brings Leukemia Boon

Ditching Big Drugmakers for Biotech Brings Leukemia Boon

Fifty-five, pensionless and assuming he’d have to work until he died, Roger Ulrich had a decision to make. After two decades in the pharmaceutical industry, his position at Merck & Co. (MRK) had been phased out. Instead of joining another big drug company, where he could expect a steady income and relative job security, Ulrich took a leap. He teamed with two partners, raised seed funding and founded a biotechnology company, making a bet on an industry characterized by risk. Read more of this post

Intuitive Robots May Stall in Surgery, Company Warns

Intuitive Robots May Stall in Surgery, Company Warns

Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), the maker of a $1.5 million robot surgery system, told doctors that friction in the arms of some devices may cause the units to stall, the second warning issued about the company’s products in a month. The company sent an “urgent medical device recall” Nov. 11 alerting customers of the issue, which affects 1,386 of the systems worldwide, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a Dec. 3 notice on its website. The stalling may result in a sudden “catch-up” if the surgeon pushes through the resistance, the agency said. Read more of this post

Billionaires Chase Growth for Dabur in Villages: Corporate India

Billionaires Chase Growth for Dabur in Villages: Corporate India

Dabur India Ltd. (DABUR), the household goods maker controlled by the billionaire Burman family, is expanding in the rural market of the world’s second-most populated nation to revive sales that grew at the slowest pace in two years. The company increased its rural network to cover 36,000 villages as of October from 14,000 in March 2012, Dabur said in an e-mail. That helped the maker of Hajmola digestive candy boost sales in villages to 50 percent of revenue in the year ended March 31 from 40 percent in 2009. Revenue from Indian operations in the quarter ended Sept. 30 grew 10.6 percent, the slowest pace since the same quarter in 2011. Read more of this post

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