Piketty: A Wealth of Misconceptions; Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty’s thoughtful manifesto, sadly gets capitalism all wrong

Piketty: A Wealth of Misconceptions

Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty’s thoughtful manifesto, sadly gets capitalism all wrong.

GENE EPSTEIN

May 31, 2014 12:39 a.m. ET

Reviewed by Donald J. Boudreaux

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century might soon stand with Karl Marx’sCapital, which inspired its title, as one of the most influential economic masterworks of the past 150 years. But sad to say, this 696-page tome, ably translated by Arthur Goldhammer, is no more enlightening about capitalism in the 21st century than Marx’sCapital was about capitalism in the 19th century. Read more of this post

The Simplest Way to Build Trust; In 1914, British and German men who had hours before been trying to kill each other were now sharing trinkets and family photos in complete trust that no violence would occur

The Simplest Way to Build Trust

by David DeSteno  |   1:00 PM June 2, 2014

In the midst of an intense negotiation, it’s hard to know what’s motivating the person across the table — is he willing to cooperate with you to meet both your interests or does he only want to serve his? You need to build trust with your counterpart so you can align your interests and increase the likelihood that he will honor his commitments.

A powerful way to establish trust is to employ one of the mind’s most basic mechanisms for determining loyalty: the perception of similarity. If you can make someone feel a link with you, his empathy for and willingness to cooperate with you will increase. Read more of this post

Billionaire Michael Kors: “I always take two gold watches along with me. One real, another not real. Just in case I lose one.”

Dressing for the fast life

Monday, June 2, 2014 – 09:25

Gladys Chung

Urban, The Straits Times

American designer and jet-setter Michael Kors never leaves home without three things.

First, his aviator sunglasses.

“You need them when you don’t look so fresh. And every woman looks like Angelina Jolie when they put on a pair.”

Next, a beautiful black jacket “that is perfect for all four seasons”. Read more of this post

How Narendra Modi was able to clear the hurdle of suspicions over his role in Gujarat’s anti-Muslim riots is a fascinating case study

Updated: Tuesday June 3, 2014 MYT 7:00:09 AM

Lessons from India

BY KARIM RASLAN

How Narendra Modi was able to clear the hurdle of suspicions over his role in Gujarat’s anti-Muslim riots is a fascinating case study.

INDIA is on the cusp of immense change. The election of Narendra Modi – an unthinkable outcome as recently as a year ago – will alter Asian, if not global, politics.

The 63-year-old is now at the helm of a 1.2 billion-strong nation. How he manages them will have an enormous impact. Read more of this post

Making a painless transition in IFRS convergence in Singapore

PUBLISHED JUNE 03, 2014

Making a painless transition in IFRS convergence

MAK KEAT MENG

ON May 29, 2014, the Singapore Accounting Standards Council (ASC) announced that Singapore-incorporated companies listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) will apply a new financial reporting framework identical to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in 2018. Read more of this post

Review rules on takeovers and privatisations in Singapore

PUBLISHED JUNE 03, 2014

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Review rules on takeovers and privatisations

MICHAEL Dee has written two very good analyses on the recent takeover offer for CapitaMalls Asia (CMA) by Capitaland (CL): “CMA shareholders should stand their ground against ‘fair offer'” in BT of April 22 and “Offer for CMA is still undervalued” in BT of May 29. All his points are very pertinent and can be equally applied to other recent takeover attempts, including that of LCD Global Investments (LCD) by RDL Investments (RDL). Read more of this post

Murthy’s return sparks year of change at Infosys; At least 10 executives have quit since founder retook helm

June 2, 2014 9:59 am

Murthy’s return sparks year of change at Infosys

By Avantika Chilkoti in Mumbai

Imagine a ship where the crew jump overboard just as the captain returns to the bridge. At least 10 senior executives have quit Infosys since Narayana Murthy, co-founder and outsourcing pioneer, returned to the Indian software group a year ago to shore up the troubled business.

BG Srinivas, Infosys president, last week became the most recent member of the top brass to resign, adding to the instability that has complicated Mr Murthy’s task. Mr Srinivas did not give a reason for his departure, and has subsequently accepted a job at Hong Kong telecoms group PCCW. Read more of this post

Colourful world of interdealers faces deep structural changes

June 2, 2014 11:31 pm

Colourful world of interdealers faces deep structural changes

By Philip Stafford

The fast-growing asset management business that Terry Smith, the chief executive of Tullett Prebon will focus on when he departs the UK interdealer broker, stands in stark contrast to the industry he will leave behind.

Mr Smith, who is expected to leave the broker by the end of the year, is keen to grow Fundsmith, an asset management business he set up four years ago. Read more of this post

I, robot, am your collaborator

June 1, 2014 1:50 pm

I, robot, am your collaborator

By Tanya Powley and Chris Bryant

Now BMW is bringing robots out from behind their cages to work side-by-side with workers on the assembly line. Lightweight “collaborative” robots manufactured by Denmark’s Universal Robots help to fit doors with sound and moisture insulation, a task that previously required workers to use a manual roller that risked straining older workers’ wrists.

“Being able to reliably put a robot outside the “safety cage” and have it work with a human is a massive change for industry, and means you can have a strong precise robot help a weak dexterous human,” says Rich Walker of Shadow Robots, a UK robotics research company. Read more of this post

China becomes largest buyer of industrial robots

Last updated: June 1, 2014 10:22 pm

China becomes largest buyer of industrial robots

By Tanya Powley in London

China, once the manual labour “workshop of the world”, has become the largest buyer of industrial robots, as rising wage costs and growing competition from emerging economies have forced manufacturers to turn to technology.

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The country bought one in five robots sold globally in 2013, overtaking tech-savvy Japan for the first time, in its attempt to drive productivity gains. Read more of this post

World’s smallest stock markets battle growing pains

June 2, 2014 4:38 pm

World’s smallest stock markets battle growing pains

By Elaine Moore

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Every day, the flip-flop wearing moped drivers who make up the majority of Cambodia’s street traffic can look up at the tallest tower in Phnom Penh and check the performance of their country’s stock market.

It does not take long. Three years after the exchange opened the electronic billboard outside still shows the price, value and trading volume of a single listed company: the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority. Read more of this post

“Most funds tend to revolve around one portfolio’s manager’s views of the world. You just can’t run hundreds of billions of dollars, or in our case trillions, that way. You can’t be a fiduciary that way.”

June 2, 2014 10:33 pm

UBS investment chief poised to quit company

By James Shotter in Zürich

Alexander Friedman is to step down as UBS’s global chief investment officer after three and a half years to pursue “a new opportunity outside the firm”.

The Swiss bank said that Mr Friedman, a former chief financial officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, would be succeeded by Mark Haefele, head of the bank’s global investment office. Read more of this post

Chinese exporters have a long record of using fake trade receipts to bring US dollars onshore, swap them into local currency and benefit from the higher interest rates and appreciation. That distorts China’s economic data

June 2, 2014 7:50 am

Renminbi bulls seize on hopes for economy

By Josh Noble in Hong Kong

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Remember when currency policy, rather than maritime disputes, used to top the agenda for US-China relations?

Washington long complained that Beijing kept its currency artificially weak, helping it win manufacturing business and amass roughly $4tn in foreign exchange reserves.

For a while, appreciation proved an effective antidote – a stronger renminbi meant a quieter US Treasury. Between the summer of 2010 and January this year, the renminbi had risen almost 12 per cent against the dollar, to reach its highest level in almost two decades. Read more of this post

Bitcoin could be used to hide assets in divorces, warn lawyers

June 2, 2014 2:15 pm

Bitcoin could be used to hide assets in divorces, warn lawyers

By Jane Croft

Bitcoin, the electronic currency, could be used by divorcing spouses to hide assets from estranged partners, lawyers have said, as court battles shift their focus to the disclosure of assets.

Divorce settlements in England are seen as particularly generous to ex-wives, because judges recognise the equal contributions made by the breadwinner and the homemaker in a marriage, and divide the assets equally.

Moreover, courts are increasingly having to deal with legal battles brought by one side claiming the other has not made full disclosure of assets and has concealed wealth. Read more of this post

Constancy in the path to virtue: Moral behaviour ought to be persistently adopted so that it forms a kind of second nature

Updated: Tuesday June 3, 2014 MYT 7:02:36 AM

Constancy in the path to virtue

Moral behaviour ought to be persistently adopted so that it forms a kind of second nature.

ONCE, Aishah, who was a wife of the Prophet Muhammad, was asked about his way in good deeds: did he perform some actions exclusively on some particular days?

She replied that the Prophet did things like a raining cloud, which when it begins to pour knows no stopping; likewise, once the Prophet started doing something, he would do it continuously. (Narrated by Bukhari.)

Aishah reported also that the Prophet said: “The good deeds which are most pleasing to Allah are those which are performed with greatest constancy, even if they amount to little.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud.) Read more of this post

Under fire Australian miners look to repair their image

Last updated: June 1, 2014 8:41 am

Under fire Australian miners look to repair their image

By Jamie Smyth in Bulga, Australia

Tony Brown typically spends his days ferrying tourists to and from the Great Barrier Reef. But last month, the charter boat operator flew to Europe where he helped persuade Deutsche Bank and HSBC not to fund the expansion of a coal port that green groups claim could destroy the Unesco World Heritage-listed site.

“The dredging required to build the port is a risk to the reef and the A$6bn tourist industry that depends on it,” says Mr Brown, who has vowed to continue the fight to block what would become the world’s largest coal port at Abbot Point in Queensland.

The decision by the banks is the latest victory in a global campaign being waged against the funding of fossil fuel projects and companies by green groups, which allege they are causing catastrophic global warming. Read more of this post

Japan charms European investors despite growth fears; “Japan remains an under-analysed and under-appreciated market, with a lot more improvement going on in governance, capital efficiency and shareholder returns than most casual investo r

June 1, 2014 6:18 am

Japan charms European investors despite growth fears

By Madison Marriage

Enthusiasm for Japan-focused funds in Europe has not abated, despite fears that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic reforms have begun to run out of steam.

European investors placed €3.1bn in Japan-focused funds in the first three months of the year, according to figures from Cerulli Associates, the research firm.

This followed a bumper year for Japan fund managers in 2013, during which European investors allocated €13.6bn to the asset class – a sharp reversal on the €2.1bn of outflows suffered in 2012. Read more of this post

Barrick Gold’s chief admits lessons learnt from recent setbacks

June 2, 2014 3:30 pm

Barrick Gold’s chief admits lessons learnt from recent setbacks

By James Wilson, Mining Correspondent

Barrick Gold built its case for a merger with Newmont Mining on the savings the world’s two largest gold miners by output could extract from their joint holdings in Nevada. Now Barrick’s chief executive says that the miner has “moved on” from the aborted merger attempt but insists Nevada remains central to its plans.

Jamie Sokalsky played up the potential for Barrick to grow on the back of its own gold discoveries in the US state, and says that even without a merger Barrick will still look for ways to co-operate in Nevada with Newmont. “There are some things we could do on the ground,” he says.

Mr Sokalsky also adds the Canadian group has “learned some hard lessons” from recent setbacks such as its shelved attempt to build its huge Pascua-Lama gold mine in South America and will now take a more gradual approach to growth. The change of emphasis shows how miners have been forced to temper their ambitions because of the weak gold price. Read more of this post

Pascal Soriot: Leader of the great escape; The AstraZeneca chief on saying ‘no’ to Pfizer bid

THE MONDAY INTERVIEW

Last updated: June 1, 2014 3:59 pm

Pascal Soriot: Leader of the great escape

By Andrew Ward

A dose of politics: Pascal Soriot was adept in telling British lawmakers that a takeover by Pfizer might put lives at risk, a line eagerly picked up by UK media; but he prefers to spend his time with scientists

For some chief executives, a $100bn takeover battle would be something to relish. Pascal Soriot is not one of them.

The French CEO of UK drugmaker AstraZeneca has spent much of the past month surrounded by bankers and lawyers as he fought off an unwanted approach from Pfizer.

With the US drugmaker repelled, at least for now, Mr Soriot is relieved to be getting back to the business of making medicines: “I find it a lot more exciting to be talking to customers and scientists.” Read more of this post

Li & Fung’s strategy to make the maths work

June 2, 2014 5:43 pm

Li & Fung’s strategy to make the maths work

By Demetri Sevastopulo

Different figures: the Juicy Couture brand is owned by GBG, the unit that Li & Fung plans to list separately

When Li & Fung was set up in Canton, now known as Guangzhou, in 1906, it specialised in exporting traditional Chinese goods – from silk and porcelain to tea and fireworks – to the west.

Over the past century it has transformed itself into the world’s biggest sourcing company, with turnover last year approaching $21bn.

Wherever you live, there is a good chance that some of your clothes, toys or household goods were sourced by Li & Fung from factories in China and around the globe for retailers such as Walmart, fashion companies such as Calvin Klein, or brands owned by the group, such as Juicy Couture. Read more of this post

One day, two revolutions and uncertain destinies; June 4 1989 brought deeply contrasting events to Poland and China, writes Timothy Garton Ash

June 2, 2014 6:39 pm

One day, two revolutions and uncertain destinies

By Timothy Garton Ash

June 4 1989 brought deeply contrasting events to Poland and China, writes Timothy Garton Ash

Twenty-five years ago the world changed course. On June 4 1989 semi-free elections in Poland kick-started the end of communism across the whole Soviet bloc – and the Tiananmen Square massacre launched China on an entirely different trajectory. The consequences are still being played out, from Ukraine to the South China Sea.

I will never forget coming back to a newspaper office in Warsaw that afternoon, with elated Polish friends, and noticing on a television screen the first grainy footage of the bodies of Chinese protesters being carried on makeshift stretchers down the streets of Beijing. Read more of this post

Indian power: Narendra Modi must centralise it

Indian power: Narendra Modi must centralise it

Nick Butler | Jun 01 13:27 | 10 | Share

Imagine being elected prime minister of a country with one and a quarter billion people, about 300m of whom live in absolute poverty. That is the challenge facingNarendra Modi in India. The hardest question must be to know where to start.

When it comes to energy Mr Modi’s first acts have been encouraging. He has set a high but achievable target for the installation of solar, on and off the grid, building on his experience in the state of Gujarat. He has also forced together three key ministries – covering power, coal and renewables – under a new minister, Piyush Goyal. He should probably have gone further and added petroleum and natural gas as well. Structural change in the complex bureaucracy of the Indian government matters a lot. Read more of this post

Crooked UK professionals face five-year jail terms; Lawyers and accountants who work for organised criminals will face five-year jail terms under a crackdown on white-collar professionals who profit from crime while turning a blind eye

June 3, 2014 12:01 am

Crooked UK professionals face five-year jail terms

By Helen Warrell, Jane Croft and Sam Fleming

Lawyers and accountants who work for organised criminals will face five-year jail terms under a crackdown on white-collar professionals who profit from crime while turning a blind eye.

Measures, to be introduced in Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech will include a new offence of “participation in an organised crime group” for those who write contracts, rent warehouse space or deliver packages on behalf of gangster networks. This follows an example set by countries such as Ireland, Canada and New Zealand, which already have a “dual conspiracy” system to prosecute professional associates even if they are not directly involved in crimes. Read more of this post

Shire strategy fails to keep predators at bay; The UK-listed, Dublin-based speciality drugmaker has long been touted as an attractive prize – especially for US rivals drawn to Ireland’s low corporate tax rate

June 2, 2014 10:11 pm
Shire strategy fails to keep predators at bay
By Andrew Ward, Arash Massoudi and Neil Hume
When bankers talk about the deal frenzy gripping the pharmaceuticals sector, it rarely takes long for Shire’s name to come up as a potential target.
The UK-listed, Dublin-based speciality drugmaker has long been touted as an attractive prize – especially for US rivals drawn to Ireland’s low corporate tax rate.
However, Flemming Ornskov, chief executive, is doing his best to cast Shire as predator rather than prey.
Less than six months after completing its $4.2bn takeover of ViroPharma and two weeks after a $260m deal to buy Lumena, Shire is looking to complete a hat trick of acquisitions in the US rare disease sector. Read more of this post

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