Evening Bamboo Insight: 02/07/2014

Evening Bamboo Insight


1. Regulator says ‘crony capitalism’ undermines Italy’s economy


2. A proposal to require auditors to disclose “critical audit matters” in their reports has generated apprehension among audit firms and pushback from CFO


3. Finance Principles Apply to CEO Succession; Counterintuitively, a poorly performing company should look inside for its next CEO, research suggests


4. Study On How Investment Horizon Impacts Corporate Decision-Making


Asia Pacific

1. “House-for-pension” a bitter option in graying China http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-07/01/c_126692496.htm?utm_source=The+Sinocism+China+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f7791df4c2-Sinocism07_01_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_171f237867-f7791df4c2-29575541&mc_cid=f7791df4c2&mc_eid=826a915859

2. German Auto Parts Provider Decides China Market beyond Repair; For three years Stahlgruber tried to standardize the industry, but was unable to thrive in ‘chaotic’ market


3. Infosys’ New CEO Will Have to Work Harder to Establish Moral Ground: Shibulal


4. Why Hong Kong’s Entrepreneurial Reputation Is Growing


5. Hundreds of thousands of protesters, some waving colonial-era flags and chanting anti-Beijing slogans, staged a pro-democracy march in rain-soaked Hong Kong that organisers say could be the largest since the city was handed back to China



6. Direct Elections Are Un-Indonesian: if elected, he would begin the process of winding back the electoral system in favor of a “consultative” approach he says is more in keeping with Indonesian cultural traditions


7. China-Taiwan relations: Big brother comes wooing


8. Inquiry into Qingdao Company’s Loans Backed by Metals Collateral Continues


9. The founder and chief executive of Town Health International Medical Group (3886) has set up Hong Kong’s first 24-hour clinic in 1998.


  1. HK Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah: Housing curbs ‘must be retained’


11. Robots make up for China’s manual labor shortages


12. Song Kehuang, son of Communist Party elder Song Renqiong


13. Property deals through China’s ‘shadow banks’ worry Australia


14. Taiwan’s underground economy at 28% of GDP is proportionally larger than China’s 14%


15. Ex-Yuanta chiefs get time in jail for breach of trust


16. Dongbu Group’s liquidity woes derive from a typical weakness of Korea Inc. – a phobia of restructuring. If a company becomes weak, it must regain its health from a new diet and rehabilitation


17. Gov’t lifts veil on how chaebol employ temps; One out of five employees working for Korea’s conglomerates are temporary workers


18. The commercial property market in South Korea is chilling out as financial companies such as banks, insurers and brokerages started winding down and merging branches


19. CBA tellers driven to despair by hard sell to chase sales targets which is leading to fraud; CBA was the “biggest and the baddest” of the banks. “Staff have to up-sell and on-sell products and services and debt to consumers”




1. Clues to Teaching Young Children to Tell the Truth; A Study of Lying Involving George Washington, ‘Pinocchio’ and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’


2. The Evolution of Trust; The evolution to more frugal, deinstitutionalized living that has created the sharing economy may also lead to less involvement of government in everyday life


3. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself


4. Don’t Let All of Indonesia’s Birds Become Mythical Creatures; The Garuda is a reference to both Indonesia’s Hindu and Buddhist past, as well as to the cultural importance of birds in this country


5. What Makes People Follow Reluctant Leaders


6. The rickshaw puller who saved Lee Kuan Yew


7. Stiglitz: Inequality Is Not Inevitable


8. Give the geniuses a reason to make earth a better place; It should not take fear to make us motivate talents to improve our lives, says John Llewellyn


9. Founders, fathers and daughters; Women are taking power at family businesses set up by their dads



1. For Alibaba, a challenge is to turn mobile into money


2. Mobile Games Help Messaging Apps Succeed; Runaway Game Hits Like Cookie Run are Helping Messaging Apps From KakaoTalk to Line


3. Research Labs Jump to the Cloud; Startups Use Software, Robots to Slash Costs for Basic Experiments


4. How a little open source project came to dominate big data


5. Burberry, Estee Lauder encounter initial obstacles on Tmall; the return rate during the first 18 days of operations had touched 26.4%.


6. Telecoms: Scrambled signal; The fragmented mobile phone industry undermines Europe’s single-market dream


7. How Jeff Bezos Created One Of The Most Admired And Feared Companies In The World


8. Yik Yak, A 7-Month-Old School Gossip App That’s Spreading Like Crazy, Has Raised $10 Million


9. Murdoch’s ambitions may take center stage in Sun Valley



1. New Weapon in Fight Against ‘Superbugs’; A soil sample from a national park in eastern Canada has produced a compound that appears to reverse antibiotic resistance in dangerous bacteria



1. La Senza goes into administration; Lingerie chain says it has no alternative to administration, putting 752 UK jobs at risk, due to difficult trading conditions


Investing Process

1. Buffett’s Early Investments


Customers Say Company Founders of Kexun, a P2P lending site which received a credit endorsement from Internet giant Baidu, Vanished with Money

Customers Say P2P Company Founders Vanished with Money

Kexun, a P2P lending site which received a credit endorsement from Internet giant Baidu Inc., has been hit by a string of fraud complaints. At least 958 people had filed complaints by the morning of June 25 for possible investment losses worth nearly 57 million yuan in total, China Business News reports. Several customers allege the owners of the company have disappeared with the company’s funds as the site has been closed under the name of maintenance since June 9. The highest single investment was more than 2 million yuan from a Zhejiang investor. “Kexun” was a platform rated by Baidu’s Credibility V Project, a network credit system that determines a website’s comprehensive credit by collecting data including its business entity qualification, authenticity and word of mouth evaluation.

Read more at http://www.yicai.com/news/2014/06/3977165.html

99% of the plastic we throw in the ocean has mysteriously disappeared

99% of the plastic we throw in the ocean has mysteriously disappeared

By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros an hour ago

Though plastic was invented in the 1800s, it was really only around 1950 that the human-plastic love affair took off. And boy did it—the nearly 2 million tonnes (2.2 million tons) of plastic produced in 1950 had surged twentyfold in just two decades (by around the time a young Dustin Hoffman was advised to consider a future in plastics in The Graduate) (video).

image001 Read more of this post

“The irony of Sarbanes-Oxley was that it was intended to prevent more Enrons and Worldcoms but it ended up being a gigantic tax on small companies.”

‘The Sarbane-Oxley Act has ironically made the stock market less attractive instead of a safe haven for the average investor.’ 

Gone are the days where companies are going public with cheap valuations. This article from AVC.com rightly states that following the regulatory acts, companies such as Facebook and Twitter would choose to wait for themselves to be worth multi-billions, before engaging in public offerings. Unlike that of the past, where we saw Microsoft, IBM and Apple with cheap valuations, companies such as Dropbox are moving towards private financing, with amounts as large as $10 billion.

Such a trend is definitely not healthy, and would definitely affect the options value investors would have in the market should it continue. Read the original article at http://avc.com/2014/06/the-law-of-unintended-consequences/

What Makes People Generous: Charity, Empathy, And Storytelling

Tom WatsonContributor

ENTREPRENEURS 6/30/2014 @ 3:33PM 618 views

What Makes People Generous: Charity, Empathy, And Storytelling

Two weeks ago, the annual Giving USA report showed that American philanthropycontinues to climb out of the trough of the Great Recession, one of the real lagging indicators of the economy. And while U.S. philanthropy has been roughly static at two percent of GDP for a couple of generations now, overall capacity of donors remains high, even through downturns.

The challenge for causes, fundraisers, nonprofit executives, social entrepreneurs and concerned board members everywhere remains “how?” – how best to tap that steady vein of generosity in this society which, even if fairly flat, remains constant and deep.

A couple of reports that crossed my desk over the past few weeks provide some new insight, and should be of interesting to folks in the philanthropic sector.

One  is called I’m Moral, But I Won’t Help You: The Distinct Roles of Empathy and Justice in Donations, and it focuses on the results of an academic study of 600 people run through four different charitable scenarios. In one, for example, participants were asked to choose “between donating to medical patients described alternately as having a low level of responsibility for their situations and those having a high level of responsibility.” Recipients of donations in the group were described either as unable to pay for medical treatment because of “low-wage jobs with poor benefits due to economic conditions” or unable to pay for treatment because of inability “to hold a steady job due to their drug and alcohol abuse or gambling addiction” – in shorter terms, not their fault and their fault.




The Right to Write: Who owns a story, the person who lives it or the person who writes it?


JUNE 28, 2014 2:39 PM 47 Comments

I sat on a panel once with another novelist and a distinguished African-American critic, to discuss Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” The critic said, “Of course, as a white woman, Stowe had no right to write the black experience.” The other novelist said lightly, “No, of course not. And I had no right to write about 14th-century Scandinavians. Which I did.”

The exchange made me wonder: who has the right to our stories?

For centuries, African-Americans couldn’t fully participate in the literary conversation, since for many of them literacy was forbidden. Why wouldn’t they resent the fact that their stories were told by whites? But does this mean that, as novelists, we can write stories only of our own race, our own gender, our own subcultural niche?

Stowe used other people’s stories as sources, but what drove her to write was her own outraged response to slavery. She has the right to that response. Isn’t it better that Stowe wrote her book, instead of staying respectfully mute because the stories were not hers to tell? It was the narrative strands about the black experience that gave the book such emotional potency, and made it such a powerful abolitionist force.

Who owns the story, the person who lives it or the person who writes it?

Read more at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/28/the-right-to-write/?ref=opinion

How We Transformed Marketing at Electrolux

How We Transformed Marketing at Electrolux

by MaryKay Kopf and Fred Geyer  |   11:00 AM June 30, 2014

Marketers are racing to create seamless customer experiences that make it easy for consumers to engage at every touchpoint as they navigate the “decision journey” and beyond. Despite this revolution, leading appliance makers have been slow to adapt to the ways people learn about and purchase appliances. Electrolux was no exception – until recently.

Many consumers think of us as a vacuum cleaner company – and indeed our first product, in 1919, was a vacuum. But today we’re a $15 billion global consumer and professional appliance firm that includes Frigidaire, AEG, Molteni, Electrolux, Zanussi, and Eureka among its brands. As we were a product-centric organization, the shopping experience had played a supporting role, with individual elements of the experience managed by different organizational silos. When online emerged it became a new silo, followed by mobile and social. The organization was locked in a structure that made it difficult to connect and integrate all the different ways that a person gathers information, makes a decision and receives support — online and offline. In 2012, Electrolux leadership decided this had to change.

Read more at http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/06/how-we-transformed-marketing-at-electrolux/

Morning Bamboo Insight: 02/07/2014

Daily Bamboo Insight


1. ECB Must Embrace Role as Zombie Killer; Low Interest Rates Encourage Banks to Paper Over Unrecognized Losses, Says the Bank for International Settlements


2. In a recent paper titled “Banks As Secret Keepers,” four economists argue that banks are necessarily opaque institutions, concealing their portfolios and concentrating on hard-to-value assets


3. With Markets at Peaks, Some Say Air Feels Thin; Global Junk-Bond Sales Hit a High in the First Half, but Some Investors Are Wary: ‘This Is a Time for Caution’



4. Where in the World is the Kuwait Investment Authority? On the trail of the world’s oldest-and most elusive-sovereign wealth fund.


Asia Pacific

1. Steer Clear of China’s Aluminum Crush


2. India’s Auditor Suggests Canceling Reliance Jio’s Licenses; Government Report Cites Irregularities in How the Company Acquired the Licenses


3. Thailand’s Divided Military; Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda’s arch-royalist faction may control the top posts, but most soldiers support former Prime Minister Thaksin


4. Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron’s retail empire collapses again; Cameron’s private company DSG, which operates more than 140 Crazy Clarks and Sams Warehouse discount variety stores, has gone into receivership


5. Modi pitches India’s frugal space prowess at rocket launch


6. Macau gambling revenue sees first decline in over 4 years


7. Australia’s dependence on China commodity appetite increases


8. China general’s ousting tightens Xi’s grip on military; “One of the things that Deng commanded was, ‘We either get the PLA out of business, or you get out of the PLA’,” he said of the order to businessman officers


9. 600,000 Chinese Die Each Year From Working Too Hard


10. What Psy’s ‘Hangover’ Doesn’t Say About Korea’s Drinking Culture



1. World Cup: Jurgen Klinsmann’s Yoda; Menotti’s central belief is that the key to victory isn’t defensive organization or keeping hold of the ball, but trying to score as many goals inside 90 minutes as humanly possible


2. The Evolution of Trust; The evolution to more frugal, deinstitutionalized living that has created the sharing economy may also lead to less involvement of government in everyday life



1. Tencent’s Online Shopping Doesn’t Come Cheap; Company Spends $736 Million for 20% of 58.com


2. When Big Data Isn’t an Option; Companies that only have access to “little data” can still use that information to improve their business


3. The Incredible Shrinking Tech Spending Projections


4. With Software Eating Hardware, Silicon Valley Enters “Hard” Times



1. New Weapon in Fight Against ‘Superbugs’; A soil sample from a national park in eastern Canada has produced a compound that appears to reverse antibiotic resistance in dangerous bacteria



1. Grocery manufacturers are struggling to adapt to the online world and need to invest in smarter packaging, presentation and supply chains to reap the long term benefits


2. “When Esprit went public in 1998 they said ‘we want to buy your business and fold it into Esprit’; “When multinational companies buy small privately-owned entrepreneurial businesses they often lose their soul”


3. Nestlé U.S. Chief Looks for Brands to Fix or Toss; Number of Product Variations Is Slashed, Lean Cuisine Gets a Makeover


Investing Process

1. Banks as Secret Keepers

Tri Vi Danag 

Columbia Business School – Finance and Economics

Gary B. Gorton 

Yale School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Bengt R. Holmström 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Guillermo L. Ordoñez 

University of Pennsylvania – Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
June 2014
NBER Working Paper No. w20255

Banks are optimally opaque institutions. They produce debt for use as a transaction medium (bank money), which requires that information about the backing assets – loans – not be revealed, so that bank money does not fluctuate in value, reducing the efficiency of trade. This need for opacity conflicts with the production of information about investment projects, needed for allocative efficiency. Intermediaries exist to hide such information, so banks select portfolios of information-insensitive assets. For the economy as a whole, firms endogenously separate into bank finance and capital market/stock market finance depending on the cost of producing information about their projects.


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