Maya Angelou on Identity and the Meaning of Life; The kindnesses . I never forget them. And so they keep one from becoming bitter. They encourage you to be as strong, as volatile as necessary to make a well world

Maya Angelou on Identity and the Meaning of Life The light of the world has grown a little dimmer with the loss of the phenomenal Maya Angelou, but her legacy endures as a luminous beacon of strength, courage, and spiritual beauty. Angelou’s timeless wisdom shines with unparalleled light in a 1977 interview by journalist Judith Rich, found in Conversations with Maya Angelou (public library) – the same magnificent tome that gave us the beloved author’s conversation with Bill Moyers on freedom – in which Angelou explores issues of identity and the meaning of life. Read more of this post

Thailand’s Junta Turns Its Attention to State Enterprises; Company Heads Told to Submit Reviews, Business Plans and Get Option to Resign

Thailand’s Junta Turns Its Attention to State Enterprises

Company Heads Told to Submit Reviews, Business Plans and Get Option to Resign

JAKE MAXWELL WATTS And NOPPARAT CHAICHALEARMMONGKOL

May 31, 2014 11:06 a.m. ET

Thailand’s ruling military on Saturday gave the heads of the country’s largest state enterprises, many of them affiliated with the ousted civilian government, a two-day deadline to submit a review of their operations and invited them to resign if they wished.

Just over a week since the army ousted Thailand’s caretaker government and suspended the constitution, military chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has been under pressure to lay out plans for reviving a spluttering economy in which state enterprises play a significant role in sectors ranging from banking to transport and energy. Read more of this post

Apple’s emphasis on the human angle of Beats provides an intriguing peek into how Apple sees itself – and how executives wants customers to think of Apple

What the Beats Deal Says About Apple: It Loves Tastemakers

By FARHAD MANJOO

MAY 30, 2014 1:47 PM 7 Comments

There’s one thing executives at Apple would like you to know about their decision to buy Beats Music: Apple really loves humans. It loves us in the general sense — the company believes we’re better than computers are at deciding what kinds of music we like — and it loves the specific humans who run Beats, especially the firm’s founders, the music impresarios Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Read more of this post

For Web startups with big ambitions, regulation increasingly on the radar

For Web startups with big ambitions, regulation increasingly on the radar

Fri, May 30 2014

By Alexei Oreskovic

RANCHO PALOS VERDES Calif. (Reuters) – Internet startups are starting to see what could come between them and their ambitions: regulators.

Recent lawsuits and government investigations into high-flying “sharing economy” services have put the issue front and center. Now, Web companies developing services in everything from healthcare to transportation are crafting strategies for working with government agencies. Read more of this post

Online banking thefts hit Japan firms prompting compensation rethink

Online banking thefts hit Japan firms prompting compensation rethink

Fri, May 30 2014

By Taiga Uranaka and Taro Fuse

TOKYO (Reuters) – Hackers stole nearly $2 million from the online bank accounts of Japanese businesses in April, a surge in theft that has prompted some banks to curtail online services and rethink compensation policies, executives and regulators say.

In April there were 50 cases of theft from online accounts held by Japanese businesses with nearly 200 million yen stolen, according to a person with knowledge of the industry-wide tally, which has not been made public. That was more than the entire previous year. Read more of this post

The Tiananmen Square massacre, 25 years on

May 30, 2014 6:32 pm

The Tiananmen Square massacre, 25 years on

By Jonathan Fenby

The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited, by Louisa Lim, OUP USA, RRP£16.99/$24.95, 240 pages

Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China, by Rowena Xiaoqing He, Palgrave Macmillan, RRP£18/$29, 240 pages

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China, by Evan Osnos, Bodley Head, £20/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, RRP$27, 416 pages Read more of this post

The economics of book festivals; Book festivals, from Hay to Edinburgh, are booming but just who’s making the money?

May 30, 2014 6:24 pm

The economics of book festivals

By Carl Wilkinson

There is a particular sound that for many, along with the cry of the cuckoo, the thwack of willow on leather and the hum of a distant lawnmower, now signifies the approach of summer. It is, of course, the amplified tones of an author trying to be heard as rain drums on the roof of a marquee.

With its mushrooming tents, ranks of deckchairs and orderly queues of readers waiting to have their books signed, the literary festival is now an established feature of British cultural life. Yet just over 30 years ago, in 1983, when the Edinburgh International Book Festival was launched, it was one of only three. Today, according to literaryfestivals.co.uk, a website that tries to keep up with them all, there are more than 350 in Britain alone and a further 100 in Australia and New Zealand. Not to mention others in Gibraltar, Colombia, India, Spain, Kenya . . . Read more of this post

Thailand’s junta stokes stifled anger of ‘red shirts’

May 30, 2014 2:49 pm

Thailand’s junta stokes stifled anger of ‘red shirts’

By Michael Peel in Ubon Ratchathani

Phangsri still wears her blood-red top with pride to signal her disgust at Thailand’s coup and her opposition to a junta that has forbidden criticism during an ever-tightening crackdown.

The shop owner and her allies in the popular “red shirt” political movement are lying low for now, but say they are ready to rise – peacefully – if the generals fail to deliver on a promise to return the country to parliamentary rule. Read more of this post

An astonishing record – of complete failure: ‘In 2008, the consensus from forecasters was that not a single economy would fall into recession in 2009’

May 30, 2014 1:04 pm

An astonishing record – of complete failure

By Tim Harford

‘In 2008, the consensus from forecasters was that not a single economy would fall into recession in 2009’

In the 2001 issue of the International Journal of Forecasting, an economist from the International Monetary Fund, Prakash Loungani, published a survey of the accuracy of economic forecasts throughout the 1990s. He reached two conclusions. The first was that forecasts are all much the same. There was little to choose between those produced by the IMF and the World Bank, and those from private sector forecasters. The second conclusion was that the predictive record of economists was terrible. Loungani wrote: “The record of failure to predict recessions is virtually unblemished.” Read more of this post

Narendra Modi prepares to raise India’s FDI limits

May 30, 2014 10:39 am

Narendra Modi prepares to raise India’s FDI limits

By Victor Mallet in New Delhi

India’s new government is preparing to ease restrictions on foreign direct investment in the country, including in arms manufacturing, as part of its plan to boost economic growth and create jobs, government officials in New Delhi said on Friday.

Although Bharatiya Janata party leaders had signalled before their election victory that they intended to liberalise India’s complex foreign investment regime, shares in affected Indian companies rose sharply in response to news of reform plans drafted by the ministries of finance and commerce and industry. Read more of this post

The rise of the global capital; ‘Many ambitious Dutch people no longer want to join the Dutch elite. They want to join the global elite’

May 30, 2014 1:00 pm

The rise of the global capital

By Simon Kuper

‘Many ambitious Dutch people no longer want to join the Dutch elite. They want to join the global elite’

It was one of those paceless mornings that make Amsterdam so agreeable. A friend and I were sitting in a dinky café on a canal, armed with good coffee, aimlessly leafing through the newspapers. My friend is an art dealer, and inevitably another art dealer wandered in, and inevitably they knew each other: Amsterdam is an upscale bohemian village. Read more of this post

Corporate citizens of the world owe fealty to us all; Multinationals need to lay down roots wherever they grow

May 30, 2014 7:50 pm

Corporate citizens of the world owe fealty to us all

By Andrew Hill

Multinationals need to lay down roots wherever they grow

The head of a British multinational declared this week that he opposed the idea of companies that exist “somewhere in the ether”. It may be “odd to be British, but it’s even odder to say you’re nobody”, this chief executive said. “Who in the world would applaud you for saying that you are rootless?” The answer was, until recently: most business leaders and investors – the very people who were listening to him address a private session at the Inclusive Capitalism conference in London.

Global companies in the past 30 years have done all they can to shrug off the uncomfortable trappings of nationality, tax domicile and regulatory jurisdiction in pursuit of profit and efficiency. Read more of this post

Belts: The Next Frontier of Men’s Accessories? An upstart direct-to-consumer label aims to capitalize on the nascent trend for colorful belts

Belts: The Next Frontier of Men’s Accessories?

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An upstart direct-to-consumer label aims to capitalize on the nascent trend for colorful belts

CHRISTOPHER TENNANT

May 30, 2014 12:27 p.m. ET

Startups have seized tremendous market share in record time by focusing on a single product. Dorothy Hong for The Wall Street Journal

LATE LAST SUMMER, Andrew Heffernan and his girlfriend, Anna Lundberg, were looking for a fresh angle on the burgeoning menswear market. Read more of this post

The futurist Ray Kurzweil on his work improving Google’s search engine, the merging of man and machine and his quest to live forever

May 30, 2014, 7:17 p.m. ET

Weekend Confidential: Ray Kurzweil

By Alexandra Wolfe

Ray Kurzweil is teaching computers how to read better–one more step in the march of technological progress. The 66-year-old inventor and futurist thinks that by 2030, computers won’t only be able to understand ordinary spoken language but will show emotions too. Next to arrive will be the “singularity”–a term he popularized nearly a decade ago for the point at which humans and computers will merge as one. That will happen in 2045, he predicts, when human intelligence will be enhanced a billion-fold thanks to high-tech brain extensions. Read more of this post

Teaching Your Children About Wealth; Families are using limited liability companies to transfer assets between generations

Teaching Your Children About Wealth

Families are using limited liability companies to transfer assets between generations.

LIZ MOYER

May 30, 2014 5:45 p.m. ET

Wealthy families are increasingly turning to family limited liability companies to minimize taxes and transfer assets between generations.

The strategy helps provide hands-on investment education for the younger generation without forcing older family members to cede control and offers other benefits. Read more of this post

Health-care fraud: The $272 billion swindle; Why thieves love America’s health-care system

Health-care fraud: The $272 billion swindle; Why thieves love America’s health-care system

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May 31st 2014 | MIAMI AND NEW YORK | From the print edition

INVESTIGATORS in New York were looking for health-care fraud hot-spots. Agents suggested Oceana, a cluster of luxury condos in Brighton Beach. The 865-unit complex had a garage full of Porsches and Aston Martins—and 500 residents claiming Medicaid, which is meant for the poor and disabled. Though many claims had been filed legitimately, some looked iffy. Last August six residents were charged. Within weeks another 150 had stopped claiming assistance, says Robert Byrnes, one of the investigators. Read more of this post

History and Harleys: Buffalo Thunder teaches black kids that, with hard work, they can live high on a Hog

History and Harleys: Buffalo Thunder teaches black kids that, with hard work, they can live high on a Hog

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May 31st 2014 | From the print edition

AS WELL he might, the young skateboarder looked startled as he rounded the African-American civil war memorial in Washington, DC and met a crowd of black motorcycle riders being addressed by a brigadier general. Sentry-straight in his blue and gold uniform, the general was leading a remembrance ceremony on May 25th, the Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend. He spoke of the more than 200,000 black soldiers and sailors who fought for the Union in the civil war, and of the debt that he owed them as an officer and African-American. To one side sat a group of grandmotherly ladies in 19th-century dress, lace parasols aloft. In front stood nearly 1,000 members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club, from a dozen states. Several sported striped riding-breeches, spurred boots and Stetson hats, in honour of black cavalry regiments raised after the civil war to help settle the West, overcoming hostile white settlers, harsh conditions and short rations as they escorted wagon trains, carved roads from desert plains and fought American Indians. The Cheyenne first nicknamed the black troops “Buffalo” warriors, it is said, in double homage to their toughness and their curly hair. Read more of this post

Bigger graft crackdown for China’s energy sector still to come

Bigger graft crackdown for China’s energy sector still to come

Staff Reporter

2014-05-30

The Chinese government has extended the reach of its anti-corruption campaign to the energy sector by ousting a number of major figures in the field, which, said insiders, may be just the start of an even bigger crackdown.

There have been 21 energy-related ranking officials on the blacklist including three from the National Energy Administration, former chief Liu Tienan, former deputy chief Xu Yongsheng, and the former director of the administration’s new energy and renewable energy department Wang Jun. Read more of this post

Auditors Eye Hydropower Project Linked to Disgraced Mining Boss, Zhou Bin; Examiners want to know why state-owned CPIC paid premium for firm that planned to build hydroelectric plants that were never finished

05.29.2014 19:30

Auditors Eye Hydropower Project Linked to Disgraced Mining Boss, Zhou Bin

Examiners want to know why state-owned CPIC paid premium for firm that planned to build hydroelectric plants that were never finished

By staff reporter Yu Ning

(Beijing) – Government auditors in Harbin, in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, are looking into large deals by state-owned China Power Investment Corp. (CPIC). The auditing started on April 17 and is to finish in July. Read more of this post

Chinese Regulator Ready to Roll out New Rules for P2P Lending, Sources Say

05.30.2014 16:04

Regulator Ready to Roll out New Rules for P2P Lending, Sources Say

Discussions over new regulations focused on giving P2P lending services enough room to work without breaking existing laws, one company’s boss says

By staff reporters Wang Shenlu and Liu Ran

(Beijing) – The banking regulator is working on the country’s first regulations for the peer-to-peer (P2P) loan industry by treating it as a type of private lending, sources with knowledge of the matter say. Read more of this post

A lesson on entrepreneurship from a two-dollar flower bouquet sold in India

A lesson on entrepreneurship from a two-dollar flower bouquet sold in India

By Mridula Chari, Scroll 9 hours ago

Among Mumbai’s more abiding urban legends is the one that the bouquets sold at traffic lights are actually floral offerings stolen from the city’s graveyards. How else, the logic goes, could the vendors afford to sell flowers so cheap?

The truth, it turns out, is less morbid. Far from skulking around cemeteries at night and making off with flowers left there by grieving relatives, certain street sellers in south Mumbai have a far more reputable source for their wares: five-star hotels. Read more of this post

Investors’ – and Wall Street’s – Love for ‘Smart Beta’ ETFs, in a Chart

May 30, 2014, 9:27 A.M. ET

Investors’ — and Wall Street’s — Love for ‘Smart Beta’ ETFs, in a Chart

By Brendan Conway

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.

Were those words penned by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, or by investors in smart-beta ETFs?

I’ll go with Browning, but the accompanying chart seems at first glance to make a different case. “Smart beta” is the term these days for any index-based fund which deviates from the market-weight approach of the S&P 500 and several other familiar benchmarks. The surging purple isJ.P. Morgan’s estimate of the group’s assets in the U.S. market. Read more of this post

Harnessing China’s Competitive Streak

ANDREW SHENG

Andrew Sheng, Distinguished Fellow of the Fung Global Institute and a member of the UNEP Advisory Council on Sustainable Finance, is a former chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, and is currently an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His latest book is From Asian to Global Financial Crisis.

XIAO GENG

Xiao Geng is Director of Research at the Fung Global Institute.

MAY 29, 2014

Harnessing China’s Competitive Streak

HONG KONG – China’s State Council recently unveiled a comprehensive blueprint for capital-market reform until 2020, in which it identifies two key objectives: “to support open, fair, and integral market processes, and to protect investors, particularly the legal rights of small investors.” Achieving these goals, as the blueprint recognizes, will require policymakers to weigh market autonomy against state authority, innovation against stability, investor protection against caveat emptor, and the temptation of rapid reform against the need for pragmatism. Can it be done? Read more of this post

Serving the base of the pyramid: five tips from emerging-market experts

Serving the base of the pyramid: five tips from emerging-market experts

The idea of serving the world’s poorest populations while expanding into developing countries is alluring, but has proven difficult in practice. Here’s some advice from the trenches

Bruce Watson

theguardian.com, Friday 30 May 2014 17.02 BST

For companies looking to expand their markets, emerging markets represent an attractive target: billions of consumers, eager for jobs, goods and services that will bring them further into the global economy. Read more of this post

One Reason Cross-Cultural Small Talk Is So Tricky

One Reason Cross-Cultural Small Talk Is So Tricky

by Erin Meyer  |   8:00 AM May 30, 2014

It was my first dinner party in France and I was chatting with a Parisian couple. All was well until I asked what I thought was a perfectly innocent question: “How did the two of you meet?” My husband Eric (who is French) shot me a look of horror. When we got home he explained: “We don’t ask that type of question to strangers in France. It’s like asking them the color of their underpants.” Read more of this post

Reinvent Your Company by Reassessing Its Strengths

Reinvent Your Company by Reassessing Its Strengths

by Ken Favaro  |   11:00 AM May 30, 2014

Strategic consistency is the hallmark of many great companies. Southwest Airlines’ decades-long strategy of “short-haul, high-frequency, point-to-point, low-fare service” produced what was not only one of the best-performing airlines in the U.S. over the last half-century, but also one of the best-performing companies in any industry. For over 50 years, Wal-Mart has pursued essentially the same strategy of “offering the lowest price so its customer can live better.” Wells Fargo has become the most valuable bank in the world by sticking to its strategy of building a value proposition around selling more products per customer than anyone else. And the essence of Walt Disney’s original strategy remains intact today: to construct a range of businesses — from animated film to fun parks, TV, retail, cruise ships, and more — around a group of engaging, family-friendly characters. Read more of this post

Getting swallowed by bigger government-linked companies (GLCs) really didn’t spell the end for some of Malaysia’s top property entreprenuers

Updated: Saturday May 31, 2014 MYT 7:49:13 AM

Resilient chieftains

BY ANGIE NG

GETTING swallowed by bigger government-linked companies (GLCs) really didn’t spell the end for some of the country’s top property entreprenuers. The stalwarts of the acquired companies are still around strutting their stuffs and living their dreams of building landmark projects.

The famous trio that come to mind are Datuk Tong Kooi Ong of the Sunrise Bhdfame, Datuk Terry Tham and Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin who are synonymous with Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) and SP Setia Bhd respectively. Read more of this post

Value-add main criterion for admitting foreign entrepreneurs

PUBLISHED MAY 31, 2014

Value-add main criterion for admitting foreign entrepreneurs

JAIRA KOH

JAIRAKOH@SPH.COM.SG  

AN “accident”, is how Casa Italia chief executive Phippo Hardegger describes founding his gelato company in Singapore.

Unable to secure an Australian visa, the Swiss was persuaded by a friend to come here instead. Finding regulations that do not hinder, and a government forthcoming with the information he needed, sealed the decision, he says. Read more of this post

Three things Asean must do – now

Updated: Saturday May 31, 2014 MYT 8:00:10 AM

Three things Asean must do – now

FIRST, take stock. Of course, given the three pillars of the community-building process and the end-2015 timeline, the progress against the blueprints for the political-security, economic and socio-cultural communities has to be determined and shortfalls addressed.

For example, for the Asean Economic Community (AEC), there is a lag against stated objectives, even by official measure. What more against actual business experience, documented by reports commissioned by the Asean Business Club (ABC). Read more of this post

Shadow banking has made quite a mess and there is no easy way out

Updated: Saturday May 31, 2014 MYT 8:02:51 AM

Shadow banking has made quite a mess and there is no easy way out

THE lure of shadow banking is ever present.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney points to shadow banking in emerging markets as the greatest danger to the world economy.

That’s serious. Indeed, I receive regular requests to unravel this phenomenon and why it creates such an all-round “con-attitude” every time the concept surfaces. Read more of this post

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