Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 31 Jan (Sat) – Winston Churchill and his ‘black dog’ of greatness


  • Winston Churchill and his ‘black dog’ of greatness: Conversation
  • Mammon’s Manichean turn: The business world is divided between optimists and pessimists: Economist
  • Here’s how Jonah Peretti came up with the idea for HuffPo: BI
  • Legends Of Indexing: Rob Arnott: ETF
  • The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice: HBR
  • Police forensics: the inside story; From footwear identification prints to the digital analysis of cyber crime, the world of police forensics is rapidly evolving: FT
  • Here’s why networking meetings should never last more than 45 minutes: BI
  • Marissa Mayer made $500 million before turning 40 — here are 5 lessons from her incredible career: BI
  • Science says doing these 3 simple things will make you more charismatic: BI
  • 8 Tips for an Awesome Powerpoint Presentation: SS
  • Explanations to 13 jokes only smart people understand: BI
  • Maria das Graças Foster, Petrobras chief; Brazil oil major head’s career looks likely to end with corruption scandal: FT
  • The Dance of the Disrupted: Observations from the front lines: AD
  • Indonesia taxi firm Blue Bird sued for up to $527 mln by founder’s daughter: Reuters
  • Can Students Have Too Much Tech? The wired classroom may actually widen the learning gap. : NYT


  • A Beautiful Constraint: How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It’s Everyone’s Business: Amazon

Investing Process

  • What Long Term Investors Can and SHOULD LEARN From Short Sellers: Mere accounting irregularity is not enough, focus on the fundamentals of the business; Reading notes to account much more important now: CI
  • Dr. Henry Singleton – Part One: The Master Of Capital Allocation: VW
  • Be Careful Of This Time Tested And Popular Value Ratio: Quant
  • Charles Brandes – Independent Value Investing: Reflections on an Enduring Strategy: VW

Greater China

  • Chinese mutual fund houses punished over insider dealing cases; Mainland securities regulator suspends five companies from product launches after poor internal controls let staff commit offence: SCMP
  • China’s new tech rules play to local firms’ strengths: Reuters
  • The Risks to China From Rapid Credit Growth: Barron’s
  • If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards, China’s implicit state guarantee edition: FT
  •  China Vs the so-called “art” industry: FT
  • Can law firms merge when their legal systems differ? A test case from China: Economist
  • Chinese students explain why their country’s billion dollar education push is failing: BI
  • Here’s why the boss can’t rid
  •  America’s oldest news agency wrote 10X more articles by having robots do what reporters used to do; purpose is to allow the reporters to spend more time on high-quality journalism.e a bike to work in China: BI
  • China Vows No ‘Western values’ in Universities: JG
  • China Opposes Plan for McDonald’s on Famed West Lake: JG


  • Banking in India: Downwardly mobile; Banks have signed up 120m customers in five months. That was the easy part: Economist
  •  “Falling angels” could hit $260 billion of emerging market deb:
  • Manufacturing in India: Symphony solo; How a maker of air-coolers survived a disastrous diversification: Economist
  • A new twist to India’s publishing boom; A rising generation of local mass-market authors is just one sign of an industry in the grip of rapid change: FT

Japan & Korea

  • Activist Investors in Japan Find Some Doors Cracking Open; Friendly Approach Finds More Takers as Companies Seek to Heed Shareholders; ‘Aha’ Moments: WSJ
  • Young Korean professional seek self-help books to battle hierarchy: KT
  • Korea’s Steel Stocks are No Steal; Posco’s shock profit warning highlights the pressure on margins from weak demand and intense competition.: Barron;;


  • Isn’t it be time that the Securities Commission start trawling the Internet forums for breaches of insider trading or promotion of false information to create a false market and a pump-and-dump scheme?: Star
  • Thaksin times: Thailand’s coup-makers punish two former prime ministers: Economist
  • Tardy Jakarta Officials to Have Pay Docked $40 for Every Minute Late: JG
  • Who’s the Boss? First 100 Days as Much a Referendum on Jokowi as on Megawati: JG
  • Turning the Tide for Indonesia’s Unsettled Education Sector; Paradigm Shift: Frustrated with the stagnant chalkboard approach to education, teachers and students are craving for a drastic methodological change in the archipelago’s classs: JG
  • After years of stagnation, Myanmar’s biggest city is developing at last: Economist
  • Korean banks are seeking to close accounts that are being used for financial fraud: KT
  • Can Miky Lee save troubled CJ Group?: KT


  • Negative yields are everywhere; Paying to own something in the hope that its value rises is nothing new: FT
  • “Falling angels” could hit $260 billion of emerging market debt: Reuters
  • Democratising finance: How passive funds changed investing: FT
  • Discretionary managers urged to reveal charges: FT
  • US profitability: the rich list; Sixty years of corporate history show longevity of some sectors such as oil while others have been more transient: FT
  • Canada’s slumping GDP reveals troubles in just about every sector: FP
  • Companies urged to do more to encourage business ethics: SCMP
  • Wealthy Asians Seek Refuge in U.S. Dollar During Currency Turmoil: Bloomberg
  • Pressure on currency war: TheStar
  • Fed Up: Do Rising Rates Matter to Stocks?: WSJ
  • Brazil’s Economy Is On The Verge Of Total Collapse: ZeroHedge
  • IRS Lists Fraudulent Tax Preparers among ‘Dirty Dozen’ Scams: AT


  • iThrone: Apple reigns supreme when it comes to making money, but now faces even greater expectations: Economist
  • Android is suddenly surrounded by enemies: BI
  • America’s oldest news agency wrote 10X more articles by having robots do what reporters used to do; purpose is to allow the reporters to spend more time on high-quality journalism. BI
  • Demis Hassabis: The DeepMind founder’s aim is to make ‘machines smart’. Over seafood dim sum, he talks about computers acting like humans, joining forces with Google, and why eating is time wasted: FT
  • Email is the latest tool to be hijacked by fraudsters: SCMP
  • Feels like dot-com days again: Fidelity: BT

Energy & Commodities

  • Reports of fisticuffs and blood after alleged spat at TD mining conference turns ugly: FP
  • How one company plans to store energy in giant balloons under Lake Ontario: FP


  • In the Way Cancer Cells Work Together, a Possible Tool for Their Demise: NYT

Consumer & Others

  • How an obscure beef jerky company was acquired by Hershey: BI
  • Tesco cuts range by 30% to simplify shopping; By reducing number of products from 90,000, supermarket will be able to cut prices and improve availability on its shelves: Guardian
  • Are Vitamin Drinks a Bad Idea? NYT

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 30 Jan (Fri) – 5 Leadership Lessons From Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks


  • 5 Leadership Lessons From Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks: Forbes
  • Why You Should Strive For Mastery Instead Of Success: BI, YouTube
  • Muddy Waters’ Carson Block: How to Avoid Frauds in Investments, and Personnel Hires: NYT
  • 4 Ways To Break Free From Being ‘Too Busy’: Forbes
  • The Christian Example for Modernizing Islam: Catholics and Protestants once killed in the name of God, but eventually liberal ideas took hold.: WSJ
  • Angels of change invest in better world; “Rather than buy a yacht, it might be more fun to see if you can change the world with young people who want to have a go.”: FT
  • This Tree Beautifully Reveals The Relationships Between Languages: BI
  • BILL GATES: Here’s What I Would’ve Done If Microsoft Didn’t Work Out: BI
  • Nathan Tinkler treats me ‘like a little bank’, says Gerry Harvey: TheAge
  • The art of printmaking: Largely ignored in the country, printmaking has a rich history and a long tradition of experimentation: Forbes
  • Investing in next generation of ideas for quality decision making: Forbes
  • How Do We Increase Empathy?: NYT
  • Why You Should Tell Your Children How Much You Make: NYT
  • Forbes 50 RIchest Australians: Forbes


  • The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money: Amazon

Investing Process

  • Penny Stock Pawnbroker Had a Clever Trick to Get Paid: Bloomberg
  • 62-Bagger and Counting: An E-commerce Business That Actually Makes MONEY But Almost Didn’t: Fundoo
  • Tocqueville’s Sicart: The Unintended Consequences of “Sophisticated” Performance Measurement: Tocqueville
  • The Secret to Getting a 99,766 Percent Return in the Art Market; Hint: Discover a hidden masterpiece: Bloomberg


  • Hasenstab Sees $3 Billion Vanish in Ukraine as One Big Bet Sours: Bloomberg
  • FASB Nearing Decision on Delaying Revenue Rule; Companies are telling FASB that they need more time to redesign their practices and systems to implement the revenue recognition standard. CFO
  • How a Two-Tier Economy Is Reshaping the U.S. Marketplace; The advance of wealthy households, while middle- and lower-income Americans struggle, is reshaping markets for everything from housing to clothing to beer. WSJ
  • Why Are so Few Companies Growing?: WSJ

Greater China

  • China: Overborrowed and overbuilt; Its economy has become the world’s largest but a credit-fuelled construction binge threatens growth: FT
  • The Twilight of China’s Communist Party; President Xi Jinping may be gathering unprecedented power in China-but perhaps it is more the flaring of a candle before it gutters.: WSJ
  • China moves to limit coal glut; China has slapped a moratorium on new coal mines in its eastern regions as it battles an enormous supply glut. FT
  • The pros and cons of China’s irrational exuberance; Creating a stock bubble to prevent a run on the yuan and deflate its credit bubble may result in China exacerbating the latter by stealth: SCMP
  • Is SAIC correct in calling Alibaba arrogant?: SCMP
  • Out of steppe: the $28bn plan to modernise Mongolia’s Ulan Bator; Project will seek to move former nomads living in poor areas of the capital out of their traditional tents and into modern flats: FT
  • Beijing stresses ‘One Belt, One Road’ in Taipei: AsiaOne
  • Alibaba’s Growth Spell Wears Off; Clash With Regulators Overshadows Improving Margins; Alibaba Clash Spotlights China Political Risk for Business: WSJ, Bloomberg
  • So Alibaba, How Do You Monetize Mobile, Asks the Bank That Guided Its IPO: Bloomberg
  • China Returning Five Times Hong Kong Makes Investing Choice Easy: Bloomberg
  • Politics, mobile overshadow Alibaba’s fairy-tale run: Reuters
  • Alibaba’s Lesson in Government Relations: NYT


  • ‘India is a country obsessed with education’: Harvard Dean: Forbes
  • Enterprise in India: Where ‘Angels’ fear to tread; Nine prolific names in the angel investing business talk about three common must-haves in their philosophies: Ideas, people and scalability: Forbes
  • In India, Low Wages Start at the Top; Top official pay at India’s five biggest state-owned banks averages less than $41,000 a year, excludes unofficial payments.: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

  • Korea’s social mobility waning: KH
  • Korea eyes mandatory microchips for pets: AsiaOne
  • Elderly lose $200m from ‘Ore ore’ (It’s me) scam in which perpetrators swindle elderly victims by pretending to be family members: AsiaOne
  • Amazon breathing down G-Market’s neck: KT
  • Paying for the Privilege of Lending Japan Money: Bloomberg


  • Philippine economy defies Asian slowdown: FT
  • Thai tuna tycoon Dejphon Chansiri buys Sheffield Wednesday: FT
  • Thai govt unfazed for now by looming ‘currency wars’: AsiaOne
  • Why Is Singapore Full Of Millionaires? Forbes
  • Ho Ren Hua, Banyan Tree Scion Stays On the Frontline: Forbes
  • Malaysia Short Sellers Target World’s Longest Rally on Oil: Bloomberg
  • Forest City: Healthy foreign investment or blight on Iskandar?: BT
  • A looming deadline to make a $560 million loan repayment is piling pressure on a heavily indebted Malaysian state investment fund and focusing markets’ attention on how it will handle its other, much larger liabilities.: WSJ


  • The US is still a subprime nation: Quartz
  • Risky loan deals hit post-crisis high: FT
  • The corporate miscreants who keep rock ‘n’ roll excess aloft; It is the ultimate expression of glamour and superhuman freedom: FT
  • Outlook for hedge funds is about to worsen; Hedge Fund Profits Declined 30% Last Year, Citigroup Says: Bloomberg
  • Former Hedge-Fund Managers Hit the Comeback Trail; Michael Karsch started a juice business after he shut down his investment firm in 2013. Now he is plotting a return to the hedge-fund: WSJ
  • Currency Tumult Attracts Big Bets: WSJ
  • Goldman Set to Be Largest Dow Member After Visa Stock Split: Bloomberg


  • Amazon Prime is becoming a juggernaut: Quartz
  • Apple Pay revives mobile wallet drive and triggers deals: FT
  • Democratising finance: mobile phones revolutionise access; Closer look at how technology has transformed Africa and LatAm: FT
  • It’s all about scale! Have traditional media agencies reached critical MaaS?: Forbes
  • How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft: NYT
  • Amazon makes money; says little about it: Fortune
  • Metadata Can Expose Person’s Identity Even Without Name; New Analytic Formula Identifies People Without Names, Account Numbers: WSJ
  • SAP Looks to Xerox for R&D Inspiration: Bloomberg
  • Clients Can Monitor Legal Bills in Real Time: Bloomberg
  • Bill Gates on dangers of artificial intelligence: ‘I don’t understand why some people are not concerned’: WaPo
  • Netflix And Amazon Will Have A Harder Time With Movies Than They Did With TV: Forbes

Energy & Commodities

  • UK micro dairies milk it as price drop hits big producers: FT
  • Cheap Oil Sours Big-Budget Energy Projects; Chevron Nears Goal of Producing More as Market Turn Pushes Payoff Further Out: WSJ
  • Falling Prices Spread Pain Far Across The Oil Patch; Companies Plan to Slash Spending Along With Thousands of Jobs: WSJ


  • Golden triangle of mutual gain that blights the science industry; Low-level corruption is disturbingly common in health and medicine: FT
  • Too Bad Biotechs Can’t Cure Tort Abuse; Patients see startups and hope for a cure. Too many lawyers see them and hope for a payday.: WSJ

Consumer & Others

  • One in five luxury handbags are man bags: Quartz
  • The World’s Largest Soup Maker Isn’t Making Soup Anymore: BI
  • McDonald’s and its challenges worldwide: a market-by-market look: FT
  • ‘Suppliers are fed up with Coles and Woolies’: David Shafer on the opportunity behind Kogan Pantry: BRW
  • Sanitarium takes on Weetabix in bet that Brits will want liquid breakfast: BRW
  • Hershey gets a Krave-ing for beef jerky; Chocolate maker in deal to buy the maker of jerky and other high-protein snacks.: Fortune
  • On McDonald’s Menu: CEO With a Fresh Perspective; As a Company Veteran, Incoming Chief Executive Easterbrook Faces Skepticism: WSJ
  • The Lessons McDonald’s Can Learn From Chipotle: Bloomberg

Why You Should Strive For Mastery Instead Of Success

Why You Should Strive For Mastery Instead Of Success


For her first job, art historian and criticSarah Lewis curated a retrospective of the late painter Elizabeth Murray at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She was taken aback by how undeveloped Murray’s early work looked and asked the artist what she thought about it. Murray said many of the first works on display had “missed her mark,” and she had even thrown one of the pieces in the trash before a neighbor convinced her to keep it. “In that moment, my view of success and creativity changed,” Lewis says in her TED Talk “Embrace the near win.” “I realized that success is a moment, but what we’re always celebrating is creativity and mastery.” She began to understand this concept more when she sat in on the Columbia University women’s archery team’s practice. She observed how each of the archers spent hours repeatedly missing their targets, making subtle adjustments to their form after every “near win.” Lewis realized that true fulfillment can only be achieved when we pursue mastery, embracing everything deemed a success and failure along the way, rather than dwelling on fleeting moments of victory. “Mastery is not the same as excellence,” she says. “It’s not the same as success, which I see as an event, a moment in time, and a label that the world confers upon you. Mastery is not a commitment to a goal but to a constant pursuit. What gets us to do this, what gets us to forward thrust more is to value the near win.” More valuable than first place is taking second place when gold was in your grasp, Lewis argues. The near win should be something to inspire and not crush us. “It gets us to focus on what, right now, we plan to do to address that mountain in our sights. “We build out of the unfinished idea, even if that idea is our former self. This is the dynamic of mastery. Coming close to what you thought you wanted can help you attain more than you ever dreamed you could,” Lewis says.

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 29 Jan (Thurs) – 15 Successful Entrepreneurs Share The Most Important Lesson They Learned In Their 20


  • 15 Successful Entrepreneurs Share The Most Important Lesson They Learned In Their 20s: BI
  • Such a Stoic: How Seneca became Ancient Rome’s philosopher-fixer. NewYorker
  • This Is Bill Gates’ Biggest Regret In Life: BI
  • This Mental Bias Explains Why Investing Is So Scary: BI
  • Six Essential Productivity Tips For Introverts: Forbes
  • Storytellers find versatile medium in podcasting; The extraordinary success of the program “Serial” has commentators tipping a big year ahead for podcasting. TheAge
  • Laser’s co-inventor, Nobel laureate Charles Townes, dead at 99: Reuters
  • Review: Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra: FT
  • Flight Centre’s Graham Turner and Cofounders Are Flying High: Forbes
  • “The key to financial success isn’t saving, but investing in your own future production.” Cullen Roche: Link
  • What sort of face do you need to have to become a FTSE 100 chief executive?: Telegraph
  • Billionaire Ananda Krishnan in foundation to promote study of Mandarin and English: TheStar
  • Guanxi in China ‘can be a double-edged sword’; a relationship of trust could lead one to overlook fraud or other undeclared issues: BT

Investing Process

  • Why factor investing is flavour of the month; But four-decade run of outperformance may not last: FT
  • A Revelation For Small-Cap Investing Strategies; Yes, Virginia, there is a small-cap premium, but to harvest it in a meaningful way we’ll have to rethink how we invest in these companies. CS
  • A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Joel Greenblatt about Value Investing: 25iq

Greater China

  • Debt That Once Boosted Its Cities Now Burdens China; Behind Nation’s Debt Load: Rampant Local Borrowing for Roads, Housing, Airports: WSJ
  • Regulator releases damning report on Alibaba over fake, substandard goods on Taobao: SCMP
  • Democratising finance: China’s P2P industry attracts scammers: FT
  • 1001 Fights: Wuxia chivalry took Alibaba’s Jack Ma to the top: WCT
  • Kaisa saga puts focus on investor Sino Life Insurance: SCMP
  • New Rules in China Upset Western Tech Companies: NYT
  • China regulator to inspect stock margin trading at 46 firms: Reuters


  • Modi’s Reform Push; India’s leader takes some risks to clear obstacles to growth. WSJ
  • With India Bulls Everywhere, a Rare Look at the Risks: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

  • 26 Korean firms caught having disguised themselves as SMBs to clinch deals: Maeil
  • The creative economy dilemma in Korea: JA
  • 90 industrial complexes nationwide in Korea house just 1 company: Maeil


  • ‘Zombies’ haunt Vietnam’s trade bonanza bid: Reuters
  • Editorial: First, We Must Teach Indonesia’s Teachers: JG
  • Leaders Say Graduates in Indonesia Don’t Make the Grade: JG
  • Storm Warning For Keppel, Sembcorp Marine; Weak oil prices and tighter spending budgets means investors should be wary of Singapore’s rig builders. Barron’s
  • Singapore bourse hopes Southeast Asia will copy HK-Shanghai stock link: Reuters
  • Philippine Growth Rises for Best Three Years Since Mid-1950s: Bloomberg


  • Sweden’s Wallenberg family shake up Investor: FT
  • Bonds: Caught in a debt trap; The markets’ verdict on central bank policies is that they are failing on inflation and growth: FT
  • Currencies Hit as Monetary Policies Shift; Central Banks’ Moves Are in Response to Stronger U.S. Dollar, Threat of Deflation: WSJ
  • ‘Fake margin calls’: Forex traders furious after losses: TheAge


  • Lesson Learned: How An Apple Contractor, Taiwan’s second-largest touch panel manufacturer, Went Bankrupt: Forbes
  • Apple’s massive market cap still trails these historical giants: Quartz
  • Samsung’s $100 Million Internet of Things Bet Is Even Crazier Than You Think: FastCo
  • Alibaba given little advance warning of Yahoo split decision: FT
  • The Next Front Of Wearables: Techcrunch
  • How Tim Cook’s Apple conquered the world: Telegraph
  • The Technology that Unmasks Your Hidden Emotions; Using Psychology and Data Mining to Discern Emotions as People Shop, Watch Ads; Breeding Privacy Concerns: WSJ
  • Apple’s World Domination Shows No Sign of Stopping: Bloomberg
  • Samsung’s $100 Million Internet of Things Bet Is Even Crazier Than You Think: FastCo
  • To Buy or Not to Buy: How Increased TV Watching Impacts E-commerce: K@W

Energy & Commodities

  • Big Oil Faces Time of Reckoning; Shell, BP and Others to Report Earnings, Reveal What Role Lower Crude Prices Played On Results: WSJ
  • Consumer-goods firms and advertising: The dangers of cut-price soap; Why the likes of Unilever should think twice before discounting their wares: Economist
  • ‘We have all seen this before’: In Calgary, end of the oil boom has yet to sink in: FP
  • Cocoa, Once Hot, Is Facing a Chill; Weaker Economic Prospects in Many Markets, Higher Candy Prices Hit Demand: WSJ

Consumer & Others

  • McDonald’s CEO Steps Down; Move Comes Amid Declining Sales, Menu Changes: WSJ
  • Who’s Driving World Wine Consumption? A new industry report has revealed how much wine is being produced each year—and who’s drinking it. The findings may surprise you. WSJ
  • Why Target’s Big Canadian Expansion Went South: K@W
  • Why It’s So Hard for McDonald’s to Change; “The system” McDonald’s holds dear is what’s holding it back: Bloomberg

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 28 Jan (Wed) – TED Talks: Carol Dweck says you need to adopt a “growth mindset.” Young-ha Kim says you should never abandon your creativity. Kathryn Schulz says you should embrace your regrets. Sarah Lewis says you should strive for mastery, not success.


  • Carol Dweck says you need to adopt a “growth mindset.” Young-ha Kim says you should never abandon your creativity. Kathryn Schulz says you should embrace your regrets. Sarah Lewis says you should strive for mastery, not success. BI
  • This Might Be The Easiest, Most Effective Way To Relieve Stress And Clear Your Mind: BI
  • A farewell after eight years championing founders; There has been relentless upheaval in almost all industries in my time writing for the FT: FT
  • Why Entrepreneurs Should NOT Buy Homes: LinkedIn
  • Ask These 5 Tough Questions To Turn Around A Struggling Business: BI
  • City Link owner tells of sincere regret at failure: FT
  • How to develop your marketing as your start-up grows: SpotJobs co-founder Lewis Romano: BRW
  • 13 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable People: Forbes
  • Be Honest About Whether Your Product Really Makes A Difference: Techcrunch
  • On-Demand Workers: ‘We Are Not Robots’; Is Technology Liberating or Squeezing the New Class of Freelance Labor? WSJ
  • The do-or-die struggle for growth; The largest corporations rarely sustain strong growth unless they compete in the right places at the right times.: McKinsey

Investing Process

  • Vocation chief Mark Hutchinson ‘should have been axed earlier’ after a damning audit review into the quality and practices of two of its businesses; How hedge funds predicted Vocation’s collapse: TheAge
  • What entails investing in a brave new world: Forbes
  • Warren Buffett Case Study Of Sanborn Map: VW

Greater China

  • Breakneck growth of Hanergy raises questions: FT
  • Loaded Long Johns: What This Central Banker’s Undergarments Have to Do with China’s Economy: WSJ
  • Tencent’s Latest Investment: Food Delivery Service: WSJ
  • Why The Chinese Are Obsessed With Korea Culture: BI
  • Imported dairy threatens Chinese producers via e-commerce: WCT
  • Hong Kong market regulator sees more enforcement actions in 2015; SFC issued 56 per cent more disciplinary and criminal actions against companies and individuals last year than in 2013: SCMP
  • Wheelock Could Follow Li Ka-Shing’s Plan; If Wheelock & Co. was restructured the way that Cheung Kong was, its stock could surge by 30%.: Barron’s
  • Beefs Up Its Imported Food Business To Compete Against Alibaba: Techcrunch
  • How China’s Draft Rules May Affect Foreign Investors; Proposed Rules Target Structure Known as Variable Interest Entity: WSJ
  • China’s Chip Makers Explained: WSJ
  • A Crackdown on Shadow Banking May Be Needed to Tame China’s Volatile Stocks: Bloomberg
  • China Looks to Prop Up Domestic Chip Makers; Cybersecurity Concerns Give New Impetus to Country’s Effort to Cut Reliance on Foreign Components: WSJ


  • How Loney Antony cracked the payments market in India; How ATM industry veteran Loney Antony successfully turned entrepreneur with a disruptive outsourcing model: Forbes
  • Max India to split into three separate listed companies; Success in the life insurance business has led them to demerge the business into three clusters: Forbes
  • As Obama visits, President Pranab Mukherjee slams nation’s failures: Reuters
  • Nations will only succeed if women are successful, Obama tells India: Reuters

Japan & Korea

  • Japan Inc shuns seniority in favour of merit-based pay: FT
  • Struggling Naver renews its mobile shopping platform: KH; JA
  • Gloom envelops Ulsan, industrial heartland of Korea; Jobs are cut and top engineers find greener pastures – in China: JA
  • Korea’s financial regulator said it will open the door for non-financial companies to launch Internet-based banks, paving the way for conglomerates and portal sites such as Samsung and Naver to advance into the business.  KT
  • Samsung Might Be Going Shopping: Bloomberg


  • Singapore’s family-owned firms least ready for succession in S-E Asia: BT
  • Sea change in penthouse infinity pool views: Buyers of SIngapore property see red; “It turned out to be nothing. The pool is not an infinity pool. It’s ugly. There are horrible double-sided windows around it”: AsiaOne
  • Singapore faces challenges in growing talent for its economy; Formal education should be complemented by learning from experience to promote talent growth, and the country can learn from Scandinavian culture in this aspect: CNA
  • Singapore Adds to Global View Low Oil Here to Stay; Surprise Move Sent Singapore Dollar to Lowest Level in Over Four Years: WSJ
  • Catholic priest celebrated mass at the Philippine Stock Exchange; Philippine Stocks Add to a Hot Streak; Emerging Middle Class Hypercharges Growth; a Boost From Oil Prices: WSJ


  • In DuPont Fight, Activist Investor Picks a Strong Target: NYT
  • Investors Rethink Taking a Leap Into Junk Bin: WSJ
  • How Student Debt Harms the Economy; In 2010-13, the percentage of younger people owning part of a new business dropped to 3.6% from 6.1%. WSJ
  • Hedging Pays Off at Honeywell as Dollar Surge Punishes P&G: Bloomberg
  • “Equities Will Be Devastated” Crispin Odey Warns, Looming Recession Will Be “Remembered For 100 Years”: ZeroHedge
  • Stay-at-Home Small-Caps in Vogue as Dollar Roils Multinationals: Bloomberg


  • The Biggest Concern With The Apple Watch Has Nothing To Do With The Actual Watch: BI
  • The Apple Watch is coming in April, and Tim Cook says he “can’t live without it”: Quartz
  • Data And Commerce Elope, Birth Unicorns: Techcrunch
  • Nadella’s Charmed First Year as Microsoft CEO Comes to an Abrupt End: WSJ

Energy & Commodities

  • Glut feeling: The oil industry is struggling to cope with lower prices so what would happen if $50 per barrel became the new normal? FT
  • Troubled rare earths producer Lynas shareholders facing wipe-out on poor outlook: TheAge
  • Big Oil Faces Time of Reckoning; Shell, BP and Others to Report Earnings, Reveal What Role Lower Crude Prices Played On Results: WSJ
  • As oil slides, Singapore oilfield service firms struggle to refinance debt: Reuters


  • Scientists ask if Ebola immunizes as well as kills: Reuters

Consumer & Others

  • Growing market for kids’ spas in US raises concerns: AsiaOne

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 27 Jan (Tues) – Munger: Art of Stock Picking; The Secret Sauce of Corporate Leadership: Splitting the CEO and chairman jobs is beside the point. What’s needed is a skeptical No. 2.


  • The Secret Sauce of Corporate Leadership: Splitting the CEO and chairman jobs is beside the point. What’s needed is a skeptical No. 2.: WSJ
  • What Kind of Leader Do You Want to Be?: HBR
  • Is Your Brand Telling Meaningful Stories? Forbes
  • When to Sell with Facts and Figures, and When to Appeal to Emotions: HBR
  • Former executive shares the secrets to how Disney runs its empire: FastCo


  • The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations Into Breakthroughs: Amazon
  • The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success : Amazon
  • Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work . . . and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging: Amazon

Investing Process

  • Munger: Art of Stock Picking: G&D
  • Small can be beautiful but quality is key; Avoid the urge to punt the riskiest small-cap stocks: FT

Greater China

  • China’s financing curbs raise credit crunch fears: SCMP
  • China Property Agony Deepens as Trust-Loan Lifelines Cut: Bloomberg
  • China Private Bond Faces Stress as LGFV Says No Pledge: Bloomberg
  • ICYMI, China’s credit buildup was pretty damn fast: FT
  • Death Threats and Dawn Raids: Welcome to China’s Anti-Graft Drive: Bloomberg
  • What’s behind Li Ka-shing’s corporate restructuring?: WCT
  • Dagong’s internet finance blacklist stirs up the industry: WCT
  • Overseas Hopes Lift China Manufacturing Family Into Billionaire Ranks: Forbes
  • Chinese tycoon sues local governments for late payment; Action over contracts highlights risks to financial system: FT
  • Shanghai first major Chinese region to ditch GDP growth target: FT
  • China Yuanbang Declines After Chairman Held in Custody Quits: Bloomberg
  • China’s Reform Stalemate: PS
  • China’s Twisted Logic: The People’s Bank of China has taken a different, if not bizarre, view of how global trade and currency markets work amid Europe’s €1 trillion stimulus. Barron’s
  • China’s Other E-Commerce Giant Follows Its Own Path: NYT
  • Foreign Law Firms Face Pressure in China; Lawyers Compete Not Only With Each Other, but Also 19,000 Chinese Firms: WSJ
  • What’s behind Li Ka-shing’s corporate restructuring?: WCT
  • Dagong’s internet finance blacklist stirs up the industry: WCT
  • Overseas Hopes Lift China Manufacturing Family Into Billionaire Ranks: Forbes
  •  China’s financing curbs raise credit crunch fears: SCMP


  • India: The next superpower?: Fortune

Japan & Korea

  • Japanese carmakers risk ceding self-driving car market to rivals: FT
  • Starting South Korea’s New Growth Engines: PS
  • Samsung Blind Faith Makes Cheil Expensive Revamp Bet: Bloomberg


  • Thai Junta Unloading Mountain of Rice Amid World Surplus: Bloomberg
  • The Financial Services Authority (OJK) plans to set a minimum capital requirement for entities to control their financial groups, ensuring sustainability amid risks faced by their subsidiaries. JP
  • Rising Vacancies and Default Auctions Show Singapore Property Is on the Decline: Bloomberg


  • Owners of Negative-Yield Sovereign Debt Say They’re No Fools: Bloomberg
  • For New Revenue-Recognition Rules, It’s Ready vs. Not: WSJ
  • Asia’s Richest Man Has Seen the Future and It’s in Europe: Bloomberg
  • Crispin Odey Sees Global Slowdown That Will ‘Devastate’ Equities: Bloomberg
  • Will Reverse Factoring Cause the Next Financial Bubble? Reverse factoring can raise the risk profile of supply chains to dangerous levels, and could even cause a systematic financial failure. CFO
  • For Vanguard, these are the best of times: Vanguard Group surpassed State Street Global Advisors as the second-largest ETF provider, a new milestone following a year that was filled with them: IN
  • Tricky Ratio of Chief Executive’s Pay To Workers’: NYT
  • George Soros may be in a car race with Warren Buffett: Fortune
  • Asia’s Life Agents Sing to Sell Insurance; Anthems Help to Psych Up Staff in Competitive Market: WSJ
  • Too big to innovate: Get excited for the coming disruption of banks: WaPo
  • The new 70s show: Australian dollar in the doldrums : TheAge


  • Tech Giants Invest in New Dreams of Grandeur: NYT
  • How The Founders Of TransferWise Came Up With The Idea For Their Billion-Dollar Company; Why TransferWise’s $1 Billion Valuation Will Terrify The Banks: BI


  • The Operation Before the Operation; Three-dimensional printing allows surgeons to foresee issues, not stumble into them. NYT

Consumer & Others

  • Carlsberg may soon be serving beer in cardboard bottles: Quartz
  • Here’s why Mattel ousted its CEO Bryan Stockton: Fortune

Shedding of the Asian Snake’s Skin, The Opportunistic Tunneling of Corporate Wealth

 Bamboo Innovators bend, not break, even in the most terrifying storm that would snap the mighty resisting oak tree. It survives, therefore it conquers.”
BAMBOO LETTER UPDATE | January 26, 2015
Bamboo Innovator Insight (Issue 67)

  • The weekly insight is a teaser into the opportunities – and pitfalls! – in the Asian capital jungles.
  • Get The Moat Report Asia – a monthly in-depth presentation report of around 30-40 pages covering the business model of the company, why it has a wide moat and why the moat may continue to widen, a special section on “Inside the Leader’s Mind” to understand their thinking process in building up the business, the context – why now (certain corporate or industry events or groundbreaking news), valuations (why it can compound 2-3x in the next 5 years), potential risks and how it is part of the systematic process in the Bamboo Innovator Index of 200+ companies out of 15,000+ in the Asia ex-Japan universe.
  • Our paid Members from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing.
Shedding of the Asian Snake’s Skin, The Opportunistic Tunneling of Corporate WealthDuring the 1990s in the city of Yichang, Hubei province, central China, you are considered a god if you are a “Monkey King” – if you work at the Monkey King Group (MKG) (宜昌猴王焊丝有限公司). MKG was a Shenzhen-listed industrial powerhouse as one of China’s 512 key SOEs (state-owned enterprises) and formerly China’s #1 maker of welding materials. Around 14 years ago, at the end of 2000, the parent company of MKG was placed in liquidation.The MKG case reminded us about the technical default saga of Shenzhen developer Kaisa Group Holdings (1638 HK). Bondholders and investors in earlier cases were burnt – investors in Suntech, Ocean Grand Holdings, Celestial Nutrifoods and China Milk Products Group got 5% or less, while investors in Asia Aluminum Holdings, which collapsed in March 2009 with $17.7bn of debt, received about 7%. Sino-Forest debtholders recovered 17%.

Like Kaisa and many of the Asian companies, MKG had guaranteed the loan of its parent company who had used the money to speculate in the stock market, property and speculative ventures. In Dec 2000, MKG started an accounting “tunneling” exercise that shrunk group assets from RMB2.42bn to RMB371m, according to its biggest creditor Huarong Asset Management who bought RMB622m in MKG debt. Tunneling is the very reason why the recovery amount is always a small fraction of the audited net asset value, and the reason why western-style financial statement analysis, the elaborate spreadsheets of net-net asset value etc, break down as garbage-in-garbage-out exercise in the Asian capital jungle.

Loan guarantees presents a seemingly innocuous Opportunity to maliciously tunnel out corporate wealth in Asian companies.

Take the case of Olympus. It deposited ¥21bn in Japanese government bonds with LGT Bank and arranged for the bank to use these bonds as collateral for a loan to two shell companies, the “tobashi”. The unconsolidated shells in turn used the borrowed funds to buy the toxic investments from Olympus at the original cost. Olympus recorded the amount it deposited with LGT and the toxic assets were considered “sold” to the shells, thereby avoiding recognizing losses on these underwater securities. In other words, Olympus acted as a guarantor of loans made by the banks to the shells by depositing funds at the banks equal to the amount loaned (figure on left).

Loan Guarantee

(L): Olympus accounting: DR Government Bonds ¥21bn, CR Cash ¥21bn; DR Cash ¥21bn (from the shells), CR Toxic Financial Assets ¥21bn (“sold” to shells); (R): Photo of MKG plant in the 1990s

Hence, cash in the balance sheet in Asian companies is invariably never really cash unless one examines these related-party transactions (RPTs), often held in scant regard by investors using western-style financial statement analysis and by Asian auditors. Even in Singapore, the Qualification Programme (SQP), a post-university professional accountancy qualification, does not cover at all the auditing of RPTs which is all-important in the Asian capital jungle.

The Monkey King is just one of the many brief cases that we will be sharing in Week 4 of the Accounting Fraud in Asia course in SMU. Last week, we have discussed about the Incentivized Asian “Wedge” Snake with indirect measurements of accounting tunneling using the complex and opaque corporate structures set up by the controlling owners. This week, we are making the breakthrough to explore the Shedding of the Asian Snake’s Skin: The Opportunistic Tunneling of Corporate Wealth with the direct measurements of accounting tunneling.

This Week #4 is a breakthrough in the sense that we are exploring new frontiers that have NOT been discussed even in top-tier accounting and finance research journals since the Asian Snake has adapted itself to escape the various measurements devised by researchers and practitioner. Take loan guarantee which has shifted to intercorporate loans, classified under “Other Receivables”. With some reforms mitigating these RPTs, the Asian Snake has adapted and shifted to other accounts in disguised forms. Hence our earlier article for a sense of urgency to develop a new composite measurement of tunneling. We will be dissecting both actual and potential real-world Asian accounting cases in this week and we’ll observe up-close the process in the shedding of the Asian Snake’s skin and the accounting transgression skin left behind.

PS: Our monthly Moat Report Asia will be out in the week of 6 February.

Warm regards,


The Moat Report Asia

A new monthly issue of The Moat Report Asia is now available!

Access the in-depth idea presentation:

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 26 Jan (Mon) – Questions that will help you find your purpose in life: What makes you forget to eat? How can you better embarrass yourself?


  • Questions that will help you find your purpose in life: What makes you forget to eat? How can you better embarrass yourself? Quartz
  • Tycoon’s bold strokes in paint; Goh Cheng Liang has made a mint in businesses ranging from health care to instant noodles, but his decision to return to his first big score – paint – has made him Singapore’s wealthiest person: ST
  • Cheap and cheerful: After some teething troubles, frugal innovation is on the rise: Economist
  • What CEOs Say.and What They Mean: StockViews
  • Busting graft: Tone from the top is key; How can CEOs build and sustain a graft-free corporate culture in today’s business environment? BT
  • Frederick W. Taylor: Time Management Skills: Farnam
  • The most important skill in science or self-improvement is noticing the unexpected. Farnam


  • Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative: Amazon

Investing Process

  • Human investment managers risk obsolescence: FT
  • Buffett Wisddom That You May Not Have Heard Before: MI

Greater China

  • The great sprawl of China: How to fix Chinese cities: Economist
  • Skiing: To the piste! To satisfy skiers, China is covering its arid hills with snow: Economist
  • China: Monopoly position; Architect of Beijing’s antitrust laws says they are being used in a turf war between regulators: FT
  • Disenchanted Hong Kongers are preparing to escape Beijing’s rule: Quartz
  • Obesity problem in China balloons out of control: WCT
  • Mobile internet in China booms as users reached 1 billion: WCT
  • Confusion abounds over China’s emerging credit reporting industry: SCMP
  • Row over fees gives glimpse into Beijing-backed takeovers: SCMP
  • Taiwan’s Odds Of Opening The Next Backdoor To Restricted China Stocks: Forbes
  • Japanese rice: the new, safe luxury food in China: Reuters


  • Vibrant Gujarat: High on solar energy: Forbes
  • Ghost employees and vanishing finances; Indian bureaucrats, some may argue, are second to none in devising newer methods of corruption: Pioneer
  • India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution: Reuters

Japan & Korea

  • Samsung expected to repeat success of memory biz in system semiconductor biz: Maeil
  • Korean virtue of ‘jeong’ still works; Foibles of status and prestige that infest modern life aren’t the virtues that helped Koreans get to where they are and won’t be the virtues that will help them go where they want to go: KT
  • Korea’s exports of instant noodles to Japan plunge: KT
  • Lotte runs Japanese units independently; Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin said he will not take management control of affiliates in Japan following the unexpected dismissal of his elder brother : KT
  • Smart’ factory touted as an industrial model; Korea’s largest “smart factory” is at LS Industrial Systems (LSIS), one of the nation’s largest cable makers. : JA
  • Shinsegae sets out to overtake Lotte: KT
  • Investors rediscover the Kosdaq: JA


  • Telecoms in Myanmar: Mobile mania; One of the last great “unphoned” territories opens up: Economist
  • Joko Widodo: 100 days as president: AsiaOne
  • Investors in gold scheme in Singapore ; Not only is its owner uncontactable, but the company’s office at Keypoint in Beach Road has also been closed.alarmed by firm’s silence: AsiaOne
  • Vacancy rate for private homes in Singapore at 10-year high: AsiaOne
  • Case of the S$2 mln furniture vouchers grips Singapore property market: Reuters
  • A third of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) stores as well as one-fifth of TCM practitioners are in danger of folding when GST is implemented in Malaysia: AsiaOne


  • Anne Stausboll, Calpers CEO: the $300bn woman; The mighty US pension fund boss squeezing fund managers’ fees: FT
  • Andrew Left, Sahm Adrangi NPR Interview: We’re Short America: NPR
  • Dodging peril: Instead of uniting China and the West, jihadist violence risks further dividing them: Economist
  • Foreign investment in Africa: A sub-Saharan scramble; Private-equity investors are getting hot for Africa. Businesses there need all the capital on offer, and more: Economist
  • Rousseff’s dream of Brazilian shipbuilding titan in deep water: FT
  • Saudi Arabia: Threat from Isis will only grow; The internet, more than bombs, could be the government’s undoing: FT
  • Let statisticians cry foul when politicians bend the truth; Those responsible for government numbers should not be working for ministers: FT
  • Rise in second jobs makes UK a nation of grafters; Falling real incomes explain wave of industriousness: FT
  • Why Two Big ETFs Are Shrinking: Barron’s
  • Can Managed-Futures Hedge Funds Revive?: Barron’s
  • Hedge Funds Learn Secrets Not So Safe; Data Providers Let Banks, Brokers Know What Reports Subscribers Read: WSJ
  • Markets Get Bumpier as Fed Withdraws Safety Net: WSJ
  • British builders lose £2bn a year as clients fail to pay: Telegraph
  • What happens after shock and awe of QE subsides?: Telegraph
  • Stanchart shares tumble on reports CEO to be replaced by end of the year: SCMP
  • Banking – the ultimate dead-end job; Why work for a gloomy bank when you can work for a Palo Alto company that … is trying to change the world?: SCMP

Energy & Commodities

  • America’s oil industry: The tough get going; Amid the gloom and cutbacks in the industry, the strong will get stronger: Economist
  • With King Abdullah’s death, new realities may force Saudi Arabia to change oil policy: FP
  • Oil collapse could trigger billions in bank losses; Huge expansion in leveraged loans to oil and gas sector in recent years suggests heavy losses from defaults: Telegraph
  • Commodity financing exposure in Asia-Pacific hits banks hard: SCMP


  • Spotify for books: Authors and publishers may constrain the rise of e-book subscriptions: Economist
  • Meet The Man Behind Microsoft’s Ambitious Vision For The Future Of Computing: BI
  • GoPro just changed what live sports are going to look like: Quartz
  • Box IPO: The $120 million that got away: Fortune
  • Who is Alibaba’s biggest shareholder? Clue: they invested 14 years ago: Technode
  • [Korean Startup Interview] US$1B Valued Yello Mobile Cherry-picks Best Mobile Apps: Technode
  • Israel Grows From Startup Nation To Exit Nation: Techcrunch
  • Investors Want Proof You’re High Fantasy: Techcrunch
  • Mozilla Wants To Bring Virtual Reality To The Browser: Techcrunch
  • New Tricks for an Aging Microsoft: WSJ
  • Inroads Made by Apple Pay Propel ‘Mobile Wallet’ Idea: WSJ
  • Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending: NYT
  • The smart money now seeking pre-IPO investments in tech start-ups: SCMP
  • Delivery van-booking apps seen having good prospects in Asia: BT
  • Inroads Made by Apple Pay Propel ‘Mobile Wallet’ Idea: WSJ


  • Vaccine Skeptics on the Rise; Latest Measles Outbreak Shines Light on New Trend Worrying Health Officials: WSJ

Consumer & Others

  • Britain’s bold move on plain cigarette packaging; UK is right to ban all promotional graphics in the sale of tobacco: FT
  • This is Origami—Starbucks’ single-use pourover kit in Japan: Quartz
  • America’s best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The rise of fake engine noise: WaPo
  • Catalogs, After Years of Decline, Are Revamped for Changing Times: NYT
  • Car makers must prepare for the obesity epidemic; Ford’s “futurologist” says vehicles need to adapt to cope with the ever-expanding human body: Telegraph
  • Snowboarding falls out of favor on U.S. slopes: JT

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 25 Jan (Sun) – To Paint Is to Love Again: Henry Miller on Art, How Hobbies Enrich Us, and Why Good Friends Are Essential for Creative Work; “What sustains the artist is the look of love in the eyes of the beholder. Not money, not the right connections, not exhibitions, not flattering reviews.”


  • To Paint Is to Love Again: Henry Miller on Art, How Hobbies Enrich Us, and Why Good Friends Are Essential for Creative Work; “What sustains the artist is the look of love in the eyes of the beholder. Not money, not the right connections, not exhibitions, not flattering reviews.”: BP
  • Peanuts and the Quiet Pain of Childhood: How Charles Schulz Made an Art of Difficult Emotions: BP
  • Want To Change The World? Bill And Melinda Gates Say To Study It First: FastCo
  • A salute to unsung heroes: We don’t need the world to applaud our every move if we want to make a difference. TheStar
  • How Jane Goodall Turned Her Childhood Dream into Reality: A Sweet Illustrated Story of Purpose and Deep Determination: BP
  • Mary Oliver on What Attention Really Means and Her Moving Eulogy to Her Soul Mate; “Attention without feeling … is only a report.”: BP
  • The Wisdom of No Escape: Pema Chödrön on Gentleness, the Art of Letting Go, and How to Befriend Your Inner Life: BP
  • Bertrand Russell on the Vital Role of Boredom and “Fruitful Monotony” in the Conquest of Happiness: BP
  • The Principle of Infinite Pains: Legendary Filmmaker Maya Deren on Cinema, Life, and Her Advice to Aspiring Filmmakers: BP
  • Hans Christian Andersen’s Daily Routine: BP
  • The Beatles To Tarzan: 4 All-Time Epic Negotiations: Forbes
  • What Is a Business Model?: HBR
  • Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance: HBR
  • A talented Filipina domestic worker in Hong Kong who takes breathtaking street photography has been awarded the prestigious Magnum Foundation Human Rights scholarship to New York University. ST
  • The Financial Problems in Your Head: Psychology Explains Why Many People Mismanage Money: WSJ
  • James Bond’s body language: How to spot a spook: Economist
  •  America’s elite: An hereditary meritocracy; The children of the rich and powerful are increasingly well suited to earning wealth and power themselves. That’s a problem: Economist


  • Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography: Amazon

Investing Process

  • Size Matters, if You Control Your Junk: SSRN, VW
  • The Visual Story Of The Biggest Fraud In Gold Mining History: ZeroHedge

Greater China

  • Hong Kong bookshop Cosmos finds promotion is key to survival in digital age: SCMP
  • The blind spot of China’s anti-corruption drive: WCT


  • Red tape and skills gap threaten hope of record growth for India: Guardian


  • The Accidental Margin Debt That Wouldn’t Die: WSJ
  • America’s elite: An hereditary meritocracy; The children of the rich and powerful are increasingly well suited to earning wealth and power themselves. That’s a problem: Economist
  • Muhlenkamp Memorandum For Q1 2015: VW
  • Soros Warns Public Pensions Against Investing In Hedge Funds: VW
  • 22 Smart Invesment Ideas: Felix Zulauf, Abby Joseph Cohen, Brian Rogers, and Scott Black share their best investment bets in this week’s Roundtable installment. Barron’s
  • Five bad options to tackle ‘too big to fail’ fallacy: SCMP
  • The Strong Dollar Is Always Good, Except When It Isn’t: NYT
  • The Hidden Hand Behind American Foreign Policy; Whispering in the ear of eight presidents, Andrew Marshall foresaw the crack-up of the Soviet economy, predicted the rise of precision weaponry, and fathered today’s ‘pivot to Asia.’: WSJ
  • Grand Strategy in the Real World: When the Cold War order broke down, and Iraq invaded Kuwait, Brent Scowcroft served as an ‘honest broker’ among factions, though his own cautious realism often won the day. WSJ
  • Screening visitors: Prisons profit by stopping family visits: Economist

Energy & Commodities

  • Who Will Rule the Oil Market? NYT
  • Is It Time to Invest in Energy Stocks? WSJ
  • These Shale Companies Will File For Bankruptcy First: Goldman’s “Best And Worst” Shale Matrix: ZeroHedge


  • Oracle: How It Can Mimic Microsoft’s Revival: Barron’s
  • Eric Schmidt’s Quite Right The Internet Will Disappear; All Technologies Do As They Mature: Forbes
  • ESPN enters the e-sports arena; The sports entertainment network has rapidly expanded its coverage of the burgeoning professional video game sector. Fortune
  • Intuit Kicks a TurboTax Hornet’s Nest Raising Prices; Price Increase Has Users Fuming: WSJ

Consumer & Others

  • Why Walmart Is Winning In Canada: Forbes
  • SkyMall goes bankrupt. Did the Serenity Cat Pod fly too close to the sun? The vaunted aerial catalogue of 70s cool products, often pet-centric – Push Pushi Dog Raincoat, anyone? – was caught off guard by the internet: Guardian1, Guardian2
  • McDonald’s CEO: Give us time for a turnaround: Fortune

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 24 Jan (Sat) – Here’s How Studying Physics Made Elon Musk A Better Leader


Here’s How Studying Physics Made Elon Musk A Better Leader: BI

A Vivid Vision breeds success; It’s helpful to imagine that you’re filming every aspect of your business: Your employees, customers, supplier relationships and so on: Forbes

Alibaba’s Jack Ma says we should learn from “Forrest Gump”: Quartz

The Pros and Cons of Doing One Thing at a Time: HBR

Capital One Fraud Researchers May Also Have Done Some Fraud: Bloomberg

Why my grandfather Winston Churchill deserves a European legacy; In these difficult times, Britain now needs a European vision to promote its values and inspire its people: Independent

Churchill’s Death 50 Years Later: Saying Goodbye to Grandpapa; The former prime minister was given a state funeral, the first for a commoner since the Duke of Wellington.: WSJ

Negotiation Strategies That Will Help You Get To ‘Yes’: BI

What Your Handwriting Says About Your Personality: BI

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rain Has A Smell: BI

Why You Should Never Buy Stuff When You’re Sad: Time

How Economists Came to Dominate the Conversation: NYT

Privilege Is a Privilege, and a Responsibility: NYT

What Netflix and Starbucks Know About Cash Flow; Converting consumer certainty into consumer cash flow is a key part of making money from digital business models, many of which use subscription models: HBR

The brainy communicator: Christopher Graves, chairman of Ogilvy Public Relations, is turning to subjects such as neuroscience and behavioural economics to craft a better narrative. BT

New Singtel tagline sparks grammar apocalypse: BT

What a Child Can Teach a Smart Computer; Children are remarkably good at coming up with creative concepts in a way that computers can’t even begin to match: WSJ

Harvard Business School Dean Fights to Keep M.B.A. Relevant: WSJ

The “Impact” Illusion in Science: PS

Investing Process

Warren Buffett on Dempster Mill Manufacturing Company [Case Study]: VW

Greater China

Founder Securities Chairman Out of Contact; Lei Jie, Also Chairman of Credit Suisse’s Joint Venture With Firm in China, Out of Contact Since Jan. 19: WSJ

A mainland-born businessman, Sun Tiangang, is suing several companies and individuals in Hong Kong’s High Court for allegedly stealing his firm, Sino Oil and Gas, while he was imprisoned on the mainland. SCMP

Old way no longer works for doing business in China: SCMP

China Said to Plan Punishment of 4 Fund Firms for Front Running: Bloomberg

China’s malls take advantage of online-to-offline e-commerce: SCMP

China Soy Sauce Maker’s Stock Surge Creates A Second Billionaire: Forbes

Li Ning’s rise and fall marks a cautionary tale: FT

Jack Ma aims for 2bn Alibaba customers: FT

Shenzhen and the art of balance sheet maintenance: FT

Is China Coming Down to Earth?: BW

The Fury of the Chinese Cabbie; Paying monthly car rental fees of 5,000 yuan, China’s cabbies are lucky to take home 3,000 yuan to 4,000 yuan a month.: BW

Hong Kong Dollar Peg Doesn’t Fit in Swiss Hole: WSJ

Independent directors’ role stirs debate in Hong Kong: SCMP


‘We the People’–India’s Republic Day on Jan 26: Forbes

The Five Things This Female Indian eCommerce Entrepreneur Has To Say: Forbes

In the Asian Arms Race, the Prize Is India: BW

Amazon, e-commerce rivals fuel commercial property boom in India: Reuters

Japan & Korea

Buying Warren Buffett, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs at a Discount with Japan’s SoftBank: II


‘Democracy has died in Thailand today’: Thai ex-PM Yingluck: AsiaOne

Yingluck’s Troubles May Be Overshadowed by Thai Economy; Ruling Junta’s Role as Keeper of Stability Could Be Threatened: WSJ

The Plunder of Myanmar; China’s desire for everything from tiger parts to copper is threatening the environment and political stability.: NYT

Editorial: Gecko vs Crocodile Needs Decisive Ref; Gecko and Crocodile Are Best of Friends, Coos Deputy Police Chief; Geckos vs. lots of crocodiles; We cannot help recounting the one-sided clash between the National Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) back in 2009 — later dubbed Cicak lawan Buaya (Gecko versus Crocodile); Member of Indonesian Anticorruption Panel Detained; Joko Widodo Urges Both Sides to Avoid Friction: JG, JG2, JG3, WSJ

In Myanmar, Rocket’s Shop.Com Raises The Online Retail Stakes: Forbes


Prepare for New Revenue Recognition Standard, Even if It’s Delayed: AccountingToday

On the origins of the hamburger standard: Economist

Concern grows over banks exiting riskier emerging markets: FT

What a $7.54 Swiss Big Mac tells us about global currencies: Guardian

The Accidental Debt That Wouldn’t Die: WSJ

Researchers Clamor for More Data on Investor Behavior; Securities Firms Aren’t Sharing as Much Information as Professors Want: WSJ

How The Swiss National Bank Almost Crushed George Soros: ZeroHedge


Technology Leaders Define Digital Fault Lines: NYT

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on where big tech is headed: Fortune

Speech recognition: Watch what you say; Better automated acquisition of speech may be more about seeing than hearing: Economist

When It Comes to Digital Innovation, Less Action, More Thought: HBR

If a Car Is Going to Self-Drive, It Might as Well Self-Park, Too: NYT

Ford Opens Lab in Silicon Valley: NYT

People Are Talking About Michael Bloomberg Buying the New York Times, Including Michael Bloomberg: NYMag


The Revolution at the Corner Drugstore; The CVS chief executive on upending the debate about costly specialty drugs and how he’s going to make sure you take your medicine. WSJ

S’pore scientists develop kit that detects viruses within two hours: TODAY

Energy & Commodities

Mexico looks the other way as contractors fleece oil giant Pemex: Reuters

Oil Prices: The Perils of Bottom Feeding: BW

Dueling Oil Benchmarks Converge in Their Price, but Diverge in Their Stories; Crude Measures Reflect Different Market Forces Playing Out in U.S. (as Told by WTI) and Globally (by Brent): WSJ

Consumer & Others

Brewing goliaths struggle to fit in at craft beer party: Reuters

US diners lose their taste for Big Macs: FT

Why Target Is Raking Up Its Maple Leaves; Target grew huge by building 130,000-square-foot stores in suburbs. Now it’s seeking growth with smaller stores in cities.: BW

Diaper wars: Kimberly to take on P&G through innovation, higher ad spend: Reuters

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 23 Jan (Fri) – Take back control of your time in 3 simple steps: Commit to self-mastery; 7 Valuable Leadership Lessons From LinkedIn’s Billionaire Founder; 10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman: What I Learned


Take back control of your time in 3 simple steps: Commit to self-mastery: BRW

7 Valuable Leadership Lessons From LinkedIn’s Billionaire Founder; 10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman: What I Learned: BI, Casnocha

The Devotion Leap: The ability to move from the self-centeredness of dating to the self-sacrifice of love requires one to lower the boundaries between self and self.: NYT

“Invisibilia” and the Evolving Art of Radio; NPR’s “Invisibilia” combines storytelling with scientific reporting, yielding astonishing stories that can seem too good to be true. NewYorker

Call him ‘chief delegation officer’: how Vend founder Vaughan Rowsell built a $100m business in four years: BRW

Learn for competence, not grades: TODAY

Bill Gates Says We Could Wipe At Least 4 Diseases Off The Face Of The Earth In The Next 15 Years: BI

The Weird Science of Naming New Products: NYT

Meet The Entrepreneur Transforming The Black Hair Care Industry; Vixxenn founder Nicole Sanchez visits her hairstylist regularly as an escape. She’s getting investors excited about hair extensions. FastCo

America’s new aristocracy: As the importance of intellectual capital grows, privilege has become increasingly heritable: Economist

Amazing New Material Is So Water Resistant That Liquid Bounces Right Off: BI

Here Are 2 Common Reasons Talented People Walk Out On Employers: BI

Why Stack Ranking Systems, Like The One Marissa Mayer Instituted At Yahoo, Are Completely Outdated: BI

Teaching Capitalism to Catholics: Why I’m joining Charles Koch and others in funding a program to teach about free markets.: WSJ

Full VII Interview With David Herro: Courage of Convictions: Oakmark


An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood: Amazon

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination : Amazon

Greater China

Chinese banks pile up risks through loans to financial leasing firms; “Lending to a bank-owned leasing company with a guarantee from the parent means a lender only has to set aside capital for 25 percent of the loan, whereas for straight debt, it is 100 percent”: Reuters

‘I Will Not Give Up’ Says Chinese Mother Who Can’t Find Anyone to Bribe for Daughter’s Schooling: Bloomberg

Ratio of Chinese Banks’ Bad Loans Jumps Most in at Least a Decade: Bloomberg

Anxiety Over Government Probes Spreads to Top-Rated Chinese Borrowers: Bloomberg

Hong Kong Falls Out of Top 30 Most-Livable Cities: Bloomberg

Robeco So Afraid of China ‘Miracle’ Is Turning to Russian Bonds; “We are extremely afraid of the whole Chinese miracle” : Bloomberg

China’s “new normal” masks old anxieties: Reuters

China’s Communist Party Sounds Death Knell for Arrest, Conviction Quotas: WSJ

Here’s The Ridiculous Loot That’s Been Found With Corrupt Chinese Officials: BI

Chinese Chairman of Credit Suisse Venture Is Missing: Bloomberg

Wenzhou to speed up bad debt disposal: official: WCT

Chinese bun maker Goubuli runs Australian coffee chain brand Gloria Jean’s Coffees in China: WCT

China’s e-commerce transactions hit US$2tril in 2014: TheStar


Good morning India! Obama, Modi plan radio show to reach out to masses: Reuters

India’s Message to Women: Come Visit, We’ll Become Safer: Bloomberg

Kala Ghoda, Mumbai: India’s Emerging Art District: WSJ

Japan & Korea

South Korean children navigate rocky road to K-pop stardom: Reuters

Dongbu chairman’s grip of insurance unit shaky; Dongbu Insurance is the most profitable affiliate in Dongbu Group, so collapse of the insurance unit will serve a serious blow to the chairman, who dreams of reviving its old glory: KT


Govt Puts Jakarta-Surabaya High-Speed Train Project on Hold; high-speed train ticket would be more expensive than some airline tickets: JG

Perks used by property firms in Singapore to entice buyers of luxury apartments are under scrutiny after a bank sued a developer for allegedly conspiring with borrowers to inflate about $182 million of home loans.: AsiaOne

Philippines Strives for Public-Private Solution to Infrastructure Woes: WSJ

As Thai Ex-Leader Faces Impeachment, Supporters Voice Discontent; Yingluck Shinawatra’s Supporters Grow Bolder in Expressing Frustration; Thaksin Casting Long Shadow Over Sister Yingluck’s Impeachment in Thailand: WSJ, Bloomberg

Thailand Needs to Fight a Different Battle: Bloomberg


A Few Savvy Investors Had Swiss Central Bank Figured Out; Quaesta Capital’s Options Trade Pays Off: WSJ

Flight to Volatility Is What You Get in Flight-to-Safety Trades: Bloomberg

Accentuate the negative: Why investors would opt to lose money: Economist

James Grant: The balance sheet that ate Switzerland: LinkedIn

Private equity in Africa: Unblocking the pipes; Africa needs a lot of capital. Private equity offers lessons on how to get it there: Economist

Simplifying the Pricing Puzzle? A new trading network will make buying and selling of complex structured products easier and more transparent: Barron’s

Regulators need to crack down earlier, harder to head off market malpractices: SCMP

The Struggle to Simplify Accounting: Companies just don’t want to give up the flexibility to manage financial reporting that’s provided by the complexity of accounting standards.: CFO

Investors Wanting to Stay Anonymous Hide in Asian ‘Dark Pools’: Bloomberg


How to get a $1 billion valuation in just eight months; How can Slack, a business software company that makes a product that’s less than a year old, be worth more than $1 billion?: Fortune

The Age of Unicorns: The billion-dollar tech startup was supposed to be the stuff of myth. Now they seem to be … everywhere.: Fortune

How to catch the overfishermen: Big data allow fish to be protected as never before. Governments should take advantage of this: Economist

Financial technology: Connect 450; A tech startup helps rejig America’s capital markets: Economist

Materials science: A simple treatment using a laser makes for surfaces that clean themselves: Economist

The Truth About How A 12-Month Old Company Gets A $1 Billion Valuation: BI

Automated Copywriting Startup Persado Raises $21M: Techcrunch

Robots will never take over the world, says Google’s Eric Schmidt; Google boss rubbishes idea that technology only benefits the rich and will leave everyone else “rioting”: Telegraph

Haunted by historical images in digital form: Two online archivists have made businesses from forgotten photos: FT

Microsoft takes lead in battle for artificial reality; The stakes are much higher as tech group shows off HoloLens device: FT

Pinterest’s Problem: Getting Men to Commit: Social Site Adds ‘Geek’ Content, Tweaks Search Results but 71% of Visitors Are Still Women: WSJ

Energy & Commodities

King Abdullah, Saudi Monarch Who Modernized Economy, Dies: Bloomberg

How high break-even costs are challenging new oilsands projects: FP

‘Sexy’ No Longer, Solar May See More Consolidation, Hanwha Says: Bloomberg


A little market medicine to prevent the next pandemic; ‘Pandemic bonds’ could inject private-sector rigour into global medical bureaucracies: FT

Consumer & Others

Businessweek Used A 80-Year-Old, Shirtless Male Model On Its Cover To Represent How Abercrombie & Fitch Has Aged: BI

McDonald’s fixes its marketing, Chipotle fixes its product: Fortune

Beef Jerky Reborn? KRAVE Seeks To Update An Old Snack: Forbes

Haagen-Dazs Upgrades Ice Cream Shops to Keep Mom and Kids Longer: Bloomberg

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 22 Jan (Thurs) – Bill Gates says the best thing you can do for kids is read with them


Bill Gates says the best thing you can do for kids is read with them: Quartz

Bill Gates Talks About The Heartbreaking Moment That Turned Him To Philanthropy: BI

Bill and Melinda Gates want to fix another messy global problem: banking: Quartz

Bill Gates Is About To Unveil The Most Powerful Tool In The History of Social Activism: Forbes

How Colleges — and Employers — Fail to Prepare Students for Work: K@W

Art demands to be beautiful: SP

Do you have to love what you do? SVN

Michael Bloomberg Didn’t Achieve Massive Success Until He Was Let Go From A Job He’d Never Quit: BI

The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk: NYT

The power of saying no: ‘Every time we say yes to a request, we are also saying no to anything else we might accomplish with the time’: TimHarford

Power of creative content: KT

Building A Great Company May Not Be Enough To Get Acquired: Techcrunch

David Baazov: The king of online gambling is just 34; David Baazov went from sleeping on Montreal park benches to an $800 million personal fortune with a brazen bet on internet poker. Now he gets to up the ante: Forbes

These are the 10 commandments of Hinduism in the 21st century: Quartz

The future of innovation lies in customer experience: BT

Warning: The Article You’re About to Read Might Make You Laugh; These Days, Advertising Hyperbole Is Best Found in the Disclaimer; Giant IKEA Hot Dog: WSJ

Businesspeople, Educators Seek Ways to Teach Students Entrepreneurship: WSJ

Book review: Peter Diamandis’s ‘Bold’ a reminder of how entrepreneurs will control the world’s fate: WaPo

Lyoness: scam or straight? Customer loyalty program company company Lyoness is under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for allegedly pyramid scheme: TheAge

Family-Owned Businesses Struggle to Manage Risks: WSJ

Value Chain Reintegration: Undoing Asset-Light Business Models: BCG

Greater China

Hong Kong steps up rescue reform for financial giants; A new proposed law will empower the regulators to take control of big financial players and the stock exchange if they are in trouble: SCMP

Forget the taxi, Beijing tourists can now be zipped around the city in a helicopter: SCMP

China Boots Up an Internet Banking Industry: Cyberspace borrowing is coming of age thanks to financial reforms and the arrival of online-only WeBank and ZBIC: Caixin

Chinese Banks Trying Direct Route to Online Future: Fifteen banks including ICBC are taking a cue from Internet companies with the new direct banking business model: Caixin

Chris Patten: Emperor Xi’s Dilemma: PS

China developers get bond market cold shoulder: FT

China’s European Shopping Spree; France was once Europe’s last bastion against Chinese takeovers of domestic brands. No longer.: WSJ

One Belt, One Road: Mixing metaphors and politics; Metaphors are a common feature of official plans from the Chinese government: Economist


‘Achchhe din’ no longer mere rhetoric: Indian entrepreneurs bullish about economy: Forbes

Rightwing Hindus stir up ‘battle of the babies’ in India: FT

Rajasthan spearheads India’s reform drive; A new phrase – “competitive federalism” – is on the lips of policy makers seeking to push forward the economic reforms of Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister.: FT

Out of the slum, into his own home, with a micro loan: FT

Samsung’s Tizen smartphone makes poor first impression in India: Reuters

Inside India: The Deadly Effects of Red Tape: WSJ

India Has the Look, and Buzz, of a Red-Hot Market: Bloomberg


Aging Japanese Prove Rich Pickings for Investment Fraud: Bloomberg

Japan Labor Minister Says Wages Haven’t Risen Because Country Has Lost Its Competitiveness: Bloomberg

Retailers cashing in on Japan’s craft beer craze: JT

Japan Government Presses Companies to Raise Wages; Tokyo Wants Executives to Pass On Profits to Workers: WSJ

Japan’s Ymobile Unveils Heart-Shaped Phone: WSJ

Japan firms struggle to lift prices two years into Abenomics -Reuters poll: Reuters


Thailand -based firms rated on ESG; The ESG100 is the first such ranking in Thailand. It also marks the first time Thailand’s listed companies are ranked on the basis of business-sustainability development. NM

Doubts Mount About Thailand’s Markets: WSJ

Vietnam’s creaking education system pushes students overseas: AsiaOne

Nails in Yingluck’s impeachment coffin?: AsiaOne


Hedge Fund Manager Loses 99.8% In 9 Months, Tells Investors He Is “Sorry” For “Overzealousness”: ZeroHedge

Traders Once Starved for Volatility Now See Too Much: Bloomberg

Central bankers lurch from ‘whatever it takes’ to ‘whatever next’: Reuters

Clawbacks Can Lead to Accounting Gimmicks: AccountingToday

Dollar’s Rise Squeezes U.S. Firms: Avon, Expedia, P&G Face Challenges as Currency Strengthens: WSJ

Sweden flies into a corporate storm; Excessive and questionable use of private jets has drawn criticism: FT

The World’s Monetary Dead End: The European Central Bank embraces quantitative easing despite the sorry track record of ‘helicopter money.’: WSJ

A Kinder, Gentler Investor Activism: NYT

A Theme in Davos: Fear of Financial Instability: NYT


The HoloLens: A Vision of the PC’s Future: NYT, WSJ, WSJ2

Amazon: A very modern media mogul; Jeff Bezos is shaking up film and newspapers, but both sectors will test his customer-first, profits-later strategy: FT

The staggering challenges of the online grocery business: WaPo

The Best Digital Business Models Put Evolution Before Revolution: HBR

Everybody hates Pearson; Liberals distrust Pearson’s profits: “Always earning,” snipes a teacher in a blog, mocking the company’s “always learning” slogan. Fortune

This is what Netflix means by “efficient content”; Unlike its competitors for content, which are for domestic TV stations, Netflix can spread out the costs of its content bets over a global, rather than : Quartz

The search engines of the future will be able to see and hear like humans: Quartz

EBay’s breakup plans may open door for e-commerce M&A: Reuters

Technology has to create more than disruption; Start-ups need to augment jobs rather than eliminate them: FT

Goldman Sachs Bets on Big Data in Asia: WSJ

In Netflix China push, domestic tech giants, online habits block path to success: Reuters


‘A bit of luck’ halted Ebola, says Gates: FT

Medtech startup set to revolutionise cancer diagnostics; VolitionRx has developed a blood-based – therefore non-invasive – test platform that can potentially diagnose a wide range of cancers: BT

Energy & Commodities

Commodities explained: The price-supply disconnect; Reasons why producers fail to respond to market falls: FT

As oil prices plunge the politics are pivotal; Blind focus on markets just as risky as manipulation and collusion: FT

Oil export losses to reach $300bil in Middle East: TheStar

BHP Billiton will scale back its US shale oil and gas operations and report multimillion-dollar impairments: theAge

Consumer & Others

Why Target’s Canadian Expansion Failed: HBR

Women Embrace the ‘No Makeup’ Look, Companies Pitch Products to Help; Lighter Formulas, Contour Products and Brow-Shaping Gel Help Create the ‘I Woke Up Like This’ Face: WSJ

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 21 Jan (Wed) – It’s More Important To Be Brave Than Smart, Says Top VC Ben Horowitz; Starting and running a successful business is less about your brains and more about your guts. The biggest challenge for entrepreneurs is to keep your own mind from attacking you


It’s More Important To Be Brave Than Smart, Says Top VC Ben Horowitz; Starting and running a successful business is less about your brains and more about your guts. The biggest challenge for entrepreneurs is to keep your own mind from attacking you: BI

Why Some Things Catch On And Others Flop: BI

Entrepreneurs who curb their ambition to be happy instead; Quiet industries and locations have advantages, especially compared with the madhouse of London: FT

DIY vs Delegate: AVC

13 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Employees To Create A Culture Of Growth: Forbes

Tesco, Terry Leahy and the importance of keeping shtum; Keeping quiet can be painful for ex-CEOs, but it is likely to be better in the end: FT

40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally: TED

How to Trick Yourself into Doing Tasks You Dread: HBR

New strategies needed as Third Industrial Revolution unfolds: SCMP

Scientists Have Finally Explained Why Helicopters Are So Loud: BI


Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives: Amazon

Do the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately: Amazon

The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over: Amazon

Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact: Amazon

Greater China

Asian Tycoons Take Note of Li Ka-shing’s Property Move: Bankers Say Heads of Asian Conglomerates Are Looking at Li’s Split: WSJ

Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI) announced a plan to issue 80 million news shares to its controlling shareholder Hutchison Infrastructure Holdings to raise HK$4.6 billion: SCMP

Opaque jobs picture poses hidden threat to China’s ‘new normal’; True employment picture raises questions over slowdown nonchalance: FT

China’s slowdown: From a very big base: Economist

What the Fu? Backlash for Burberry Over Chinese Scarf Design: WSJ

Chinese Milk Is Being Dumped In Fields: Forbes

Chinese property companies are having to turn to more expensive sources of finance as problems at developer Kaisa Group make it increasingly difficult for them to get credit in the offshore market. Reuters

Citic Embraces Change By Selling Stakes: WSJ

TCL’s valuation envy, looks back on Dangdang: SCMP

Questions That Kaisa Dollar Bondholders Should Ask: Bloomberg

World’s Wildest Stocks Show Chinese Booms and Busts Getting Bigger on Debt: Bloomberg

China Stock Euphoria Fading, 58% of Investors Say Rally Over: Bloomberg

More Casino Losses Seen on Chinese Corruption Crackdown: Options: Bloomberg

Kaisa Said Unable to Repay Trust as Third Party Steps In: Bloomberg


Narendra Modi has no room for complacency: FT

India reforms hit political roadblock: FT

Japan & Korea

The Dongwon Education Foundation, established by ocean-industry conglomerate Dongwon Group in 1979, is going through difficult financial times and some of its social services are on a verge of being shut down: JA

Abe’s Japan Is ‘Back’…To ‘Normal’: A Great Tourist Destination; Heading To Fiscal Crack-Up?: Forbes


House Lawmakers Seek to Revive Bank Century Probe: JG

OJK to Let Indonesia Mutual Funds to Invest Abroad: JG

Indonesian govt to tighten rules on minimarkets, protect small kiosks: JP

Red lights blinking on Malaysia’s economic dashboard: TheStar

Malaysia Takes Ax to Budget Amid Oil-Price Jolt; Asia’s Biggest Oil Exporter Slashes 2015 Spending Amid Sharply Lower Crude Prices: WSJ


SEC Gets Busy With Accounting Investigations: WSJ

Does the Dollar Have Even Further to Go? A Widely Held View Among Strategists and Investors Is That the Dollar Will Rise Further, But There Are Serious Implications: WSJ

Fraudsters will take advantage of reforms that give people more control over their retirement savings, industry figures and regulators fear. “It is a racing certainty that fraudsters are going to make hay in this environment” : FT

Forex turmoil brings regulatory issues into sharp focus; Most UK operators are based offshore away from regulator’s scrutiny: FT

Macquarie fares better than peers through diversifying: TheAge

Bombardier Inc losing market’s confidence when it needs money more than ever: FP

An appeals court decision that reversed the insider trading convictions of two hedge fund managers has been the equivalent of dropping a big rock into a calm lake as the waves keep spreading to other cases. NYT

Futures Regulator to Review Leverage Limits for Retail FX Trades: Move Follows Market Volatility Stemming From Surge in Swiss Franc: WSJ

Is Dollar Next? Investors Reassess After Swiss Shock: Currencies: Bloomberg

How Swiss Shock Humbled the King of Leveraged Currency Trading; FXCM Owners Are Almost Wiped in Swiss Franc Turmoil: Bloomberg1, Bloomberg2

Compliance Is New Buzzword in Scandal-Ridden Brazil: Bloomberg

Energy & Commodities

Crude Collapse Has Investors Braced for ’80s-Like Oil Casualties: Bloomberg


A New Apple Patent Reveals How You Could Control iOS And Mac Devices With Your Eyes: BI

Can we code? Yes we can! Facets of software technology have recently become exponentially more accessible: FT

Big data tops humans at picking ‘significant’ films: study: Reuters

The Two-Day Laptop Battery Is Here: WSJ

Consumer & Others

A taste of the Nando’s secret sauce: The Johannesburg café that grew into a global fast-food chain: FT

The Real Reason Behind McDonald’s And Burger King’s Chicken Nugget War: BI

Business not so sweet for another confectioner: TheAge

Fashion’s comeback king: Umberto Angeloni set to repeat success of Brioni: Forbes

Burger Bubble: Is 1 Shake Shack Really Worth 3.6 McDonald’s?: Forbes

Shareholders Face Quandary in Battle for Family Dollar: NYT

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 20 Jan (Tues) – The Great Power Of Connecting Passion With Purpose; Peter Wallenberg, Head of Dynasty That Shaped Modern Sweden, Dies at 88


Peter Wallenberg, Head of Dynasty That Shaped Modern Sweden, Dies at 88: WSJ, Bloomberg

The Great Power Of Connecting Passion With Purpose: Forbes

The Tinkerer’s Apprentice: PS

Eccentric Kem Chicks Business Guru Bob Sadino Passes Away at Age 76: JG

Writing Your Way to Happiness: Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health. NYT

Cutting crime: surgeon’s research that helps stop street violence: Guardian

Gimme shelters … the inflatable concrete that’s spread across the world; Concrete Canvas, a fabric that hardens when sprayed with water, can be used to assemble fireproof and waterproof structures within 24 hours: Guardian

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has closed its investigation into the ill-fated sale of Autonomy to Hewlett-Packard in 2011, saying there was not enough evidence to secure a conviction of the software firm’s former executives: Reuters

Experience is Simply the Name We Give Our Mistakes; “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so”: LadyFOHF

The Hidden Psychology Of Why Customers Come Back: Techcrunch

The Most Iconic Parts From Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech: BI

Weavering Hedge Fund Founder Found Guilty of Fraud: The fund’s entire net worth was found to consist of interest-rate swaps where the counterparty was a company based in the British Virgin Islands controlled by Mr. Peterson himself: WSJ

The might of a simple metaphor: Language is more powerful than charts and statistics: FT

Why ‘knowing it all’ won’t help you at work: Fortune

Since antiquity, moneymen have been the target of vitriol: History

Investing Process

The Biggest Investment Mistakes — in the Words of Jean-Marie Eveillard, Howard Marks, et al.: BeyondProxy

Pale Yale: What the Yale Model Can’t Teach You; The situations of the Yale Endowment Fund and most individual investors are worlds apart: Morningstar

Ownership structure in the local companies needs to be balanced for limiting the domination of family stakes in order to help check the alleged practices of manipulating their operational and financial activities through Real Earnings Management (REM): FE

Attributes of successful growth companies; New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) undertook a study of what it takes to be a successful business growing internationally: NZTE

Greater China

China’s Capital Flows Measure Tumbles Amid Fund-Flight Concern: Bloomberg

China’s Jenga Economy On Shaky Ground: Reliance on credit means policymakers face tough choices in addressing imbalances in Asia’s largest economy. Barron’s

China Pricks Bubble but Stocks Still Frothy: WSJ

How the Communist Party knocked down Macau’s house of cards in just six weeks: SCMP

Chinese funds aggressively shorting commodities linked to copper dive: Reuters

China to ramp up anti-corruption drive, focus on SOEs: WCT

This Is How Xiaomi Keeps The Cost Of Its Smartphones So Low: Techcrunch

Explainer: Margin finance in China: FT

Hong Kong puts talent before cash with visa scheme suspension: FT

In China, breakfast remains a matter of the heart; Nobody loves things western more than the Chinese, but the east dominates breakfast: FT

Real Estate Tycoon Zhang Guiping Latest To Take Aim At China’s Film Boom: Forbes

Mainland Goliath Slays David Junket Group, But Beijing Moves Overblown: Forbes

China’s internet finance sector challenges state-owned banks: SCMP

Shanghai’s option market launch shadowed by regulatory probes, brokerage suspensions: SCMP

China sees small bubble in stocks better than property bust: SCMP

Birmingham International says former employee misappropriated at least HK$30 million: SCMP

China’s Stimulus Quagmire: Monday’s stock-market tear illustrates some of Beijing’s problems spurring growth.: WSJ

Tapping China’s ‘Silver Hair Industry’; From Nutritional Drinks to Nursing Homes, Sheer Numbers Make Chinese Seniors a Coveted Market: WSJ

What We Can Learn From The Richest Man In Asia: ZeroHedge

Investors to get taste of new China via Shenzhen trading link: Reuters

Crashing China Stocks as Easy as Flicking a Switch: Bloomberg

China’s $20 Trillion Headache Underscored by Stock Swings: Bloomberg

China’s Effort to Curb Rollercoaster Stocks Channels Money to Shadow Banking: Bloomberg

Standard Bank Seen Writing Off Metal Held in China Probe: Bloomberg


Credit Suisse Sues REI Agro in Singapore Over Alleged Loan Fraud for non-existent trades of the staple using a web of sham rice-trading companies in Singapore and Hong Kong: Bloomberg

Can India repeat China’s ascent?: FT

How Twitter changed its mind on India: Forbes

Burger Flippers in U.S. Make About as Much as State Bank Chiefs in India: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

Is JY Lee coming to fore in Samsung empire?: KH

Controversy over OB’s free use of Hangang water: KT

Samsung Electronics ponders stock split to appease investors: Reuters


Indonesia Pushes Pertamina Revamp in State Enterprise Reform: Bloomberg

Editorial: Jokowi Administration Is Its Own Worst Enemy: JG

Editorial: Jokowi Must Draw a Lesson From Basuki: JG

Jokowi Inaugurates Politician-Heavy Advisory Board: JG

Editorial: Jokowi’s gratitude. There is no such thing as a free lunch, so goes the maxim that politicians well and to which they adhere. Jokowi selected 9 advisers from among those who backed his successful presidential bid last year. JG

Basuki Shakes Up Jakarta’s City-Owned Enterprises’ Board: JG

Political Analysts Ask Jokowi: Why Can’t You Be More Like Basuki?: JG

Indonesia to inject funds into infrastructure-related firms: Reuters

Malaysia to unveil policy changes as oil earnings slide: Reuters

Singapore’s anti-graft laws: 5 possible areas for reform: BT


Major British Banks Say Bitcoin Is Risky And Could Help Terrorists: BI

Macro managers seek return of volatility; Hedge funds have seen lean times during recent market tranquillity: FT

S.E.C. Reversal of a ruling that kept corporate governance questions from being put to a company’s investors May Clear Way for Shareholders to Challenge Companies: NYT

Calpers takes axe to costly private equity managers: FT

Are central banks a destabilising force? Swiss example shows how imbalances can correct violently: FT

Which of  Europe’s leading lenders will reap the QE dividend?: FT

After SNB shock, ‘Swiss Made’ may mean more expensive: Reuters

Land of a Million Elevators Rises Again to Lift Otis in Spain: Bloomberg

Energy & Commodities

OPEC’s Future Seen in Mining Slump as Oil Hit in Shale War: Bloomberg

How Low Can Oil Go? Traders Balk at Making the Call; As Crude Extends Slide, Even Those Who Bet on Lower Prices Are Getting Nervous; ‘It’s Bloody Nuts’: WSJ

World’s Largest Traders Use Offshore Supertankers to Store Oil; Companies Are Buying Oil Now to Sell Later When Prices Rise: WSJ

Commodities trader Noble to exit cocoa business: Reuters

Price Collapse Hits Scavengers Who Scrape the Bottom of Big Oil’s Barrel: Bloomberg


Biotech Rivalry Gets Nasty in Mudslinging Battle Over Data: Bloomberg


LinkedIn seeks to embrace left-out blue-collar workers: FT

Movie Studio by Amazon for Screens Big and Small: NYT

Amazon to Begin Producing, Acquiring Original Movies: WSJ

Israel’s high-tech boom is double-edged sword: Reuters

Consumer & Others

Halting the discounters’ march: French supermarkets are fighting back against Aldi and Lidl—at great cost: Economist

How The Watch Industry Will Save Itself: Techcrunch

The price of chocolate: How Canadian chocolatiers are getting burned by the Swiss franc: FP

Barramundi Asia is poised to become the world’s largest barramundi supplier while remaining environmentally sustainable.: BT

J.C. Penney Resurrects Its Catalog; Giant Print Book, Ditched Five Years Ago, Helps Drive Web Sales: WSJ

Big-name companies get crafty with sub-brands: TheAge

TAG Heuer Casts Aside ‘Swiss Made’ Label to Take On Apple Watch: Bloomberg

The Incentivized Asian “Wedge” Snake to Tunnel Corporate Wealth

 “Bamboo Innovators bend, not break, even in the most terrifying storm that would snap the mighty resisting oak tree. It survives, therefore it conquers.”
BAMBOO LETTER UPDATE | January 19, 2015
Bamboo Innovator Insight (Issue 66)

  • The weekly insight is a teaser into the opportunities – and pitfalls! – in the Asian capital jungles.
  • Get The Moat Report Asia – a monthly in-depth presentation report of around 30-40 pages covering the business model of the company, why it has a wide moat and why the moat may continue to widen, a special section on “Inside the Leader’s Mind” to understand their thinking process in building up the business, the context – why now (certain corporate or industry events or groundbreaking news), valuations (why it can compound 2-3x in the next 5 years), potential risks and how it is part of the systematic process in the Bamboo Innovator Index of 200+ companies out of 15,000+ in the Asia ex-Japan universe.
  • Our paid Members from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing.
 The Incentivized Asian “Wedge” Snake to Tunnel Corporate WealthWith the volatility in the currency market as the Swiss National Bank abandoned the EURCHF floor which sent the Swiss franc soaring and the ASEAN currencies Indonesian rupiah and Malaysian ringgit dropping to the decade lows against the dollar, we are reminded of what happened during the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis. Many auditors could not finalize the accounts of their clients in time because they did not have vital information about the foreign exchange losses incurred and debt covenants triggered on the dollar-denominated loans that their clients had piled up when the dollar-based debt was cheap. As the local currencies devalued sharply against the dollar, resulting in substantially more local currencies needed to service the dollar-denominated interest payments, a wave of default swept across the Asian corporate landscape. But there is a twist to the default story – an accounting tunneling twist.

Two short Asian cases. After the onset of the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis, United Engineers Malaysia (UEM), a relatively healthy firm with strong growth prospects, bought out some management-controlled shares of its financially-troubled parent, Renong Corporation, at artificially high prices. Both firms are controlled by the same “family” (Halim Bin Saad via nominee accounts and connected to former finance minister Daim Zainuddin) through a pyramid structure. The buyout directly tunneled corporate wealth to the family at the expense of minority shareholders of both firms. Ting Pek Khiing, Chairman of the Ekran Group, issued shares in Ekran in May 1997 with the declared intention of purchasing shares in the holding company of Bakun Hydro-Electric Corporation, the operator of the largest hydroelectric project ever undertaken in Malaysia. Instead, as the crisis took hold, the money from the share issuance was ultimately used, via third parties, to buy out Ting’s stakes in several of the Ekran Group’s publicly traded affiliates. These are not the typical western-style accruals-based earnings management; they are artful Asian accounting tunneling methods to abuse minority shareholders. “Because I Can”, the controlling owners hissed. But how did they really carry out the tunneling? And how can we detect the incentivized Asian “wedge” snake that tunnels corporate wealth?

Warm regards,


The Moat Report Asia

A new monthly issue of The Moat Report Asia is now available!

Access the in-depth idea presentation:

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 19 Jan (Mon) – Raffles Hotel Paint Job Helps Make Goh Cheng Liang Singapore’s Richest; How To Be Compassionate: 3 Research-Backed Steps To A Happier Life


How To Be Compassionate: 3 Research-Backed Steps To A Happier Life: Bark

Martin Franklin, Jarden: a repentant corporate raider: FT

Lunch with the FT: Marc Andreessen; The Netscape founder and tech investor talks about the trouble with stock markets, what he looks for in entrepreneurs and why illegal immigration is good for America: FT

How insecurity and preening kill corporate common sense; The fear of being found out is just one reason why the rot sets in but entrepreneurs offer hope: FT

Mitt Romney and the downside of blind perseverance: Fortune


The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking: Amazon, Farnam

Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons by Seymour Schulich, a Canadian billionaire and philanthropist: Amazon

Investing Process

When stocks are more affordable, but not cheaper; What makes stocks cheap or expensive are their valuation multiples and earnings prospects, not board lot sizes: BT

Greater China

From ‘superman’ to ‘big tiger’, Li Ka-shing loses favour with Beijing: SCMP

Suspension of migration investment scheme hits HK stock brokers hard: SCMP

Shenzhen stock market waits in the wings as drawcard for foreign investors; With blessings from the top, the city is likely to gain a market link with Hong Kong but with mostly smaller companies, risks are seen as higher: SCMP

Hong Kong Regulator Alleges Misleading Research; SFC Pursues Actions Against Moody’s, Citron: WSJ

China Graftbusters Put Kaisa Cat Among the Pigeons: Bloomberg

China Stocks Plunge on Margin-Trading Suspensions as Citic Sinks; Why China Margin-Loan Curbs Are Sinking Stocks: Chart of the Day: Bloomberg, Bloomberg2

Kaisa on Brink of Dollar Default Spooks Money Managers; Kaisa Stress Spreading to Loans as Nomura Sees Big Selling Push: Bloomberg, Bloomberg2

Haitong Plunge Cheers Short-Sellers as Bearish Bets Near Record: Bloomberg

China Dream Ends for Handan as Steel Slump Spurs Property Losses: Bloomberg

Shanghai Widens Lead Over Singapore as Busiest Box Port: Bloomberg

China’s shipyards brace for leaner times as oil slump sours rig building spree: Bloomberg

Scientists raise alarm on China’s fishy aqua farms: Reuters

Now that the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) has been doomed to bankruptcy, tongues are wagging over what’s really wrong with it: ChinaPost

Officials chowing on US$630 meal during Bund stampede: Hua Shang Daily: WCT may have overestimated rural e-commerce demand: WCT

Beware black swan in HK housing rush; Just as the property market continued soaring to new heights, Chief Executive CY Leung declared the housing shortage would soon end. Standard

Xiaomi Looks Overseas After Winning Fans in China; Smartphone Vendor Targets Brazil, Russia, Other Emerging Markets: WSJ


Billionaires Facing Higher Debt Costs on Oil Slump: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

Samsung Loses Connection with Chinese Consumers in 2014: Caixin

Korea to build casino resorts, more hotels, duty-free shops: KH

Weak Yen Rekindles Hope for ‘Made in Japan’; Electronics Makers Among the Vanguard of Those Bringing Production Back Home: WSJ

Nasdaq to Provide Trading Platform for Japan’s Biggest Derivatives Exchange: WSJ

A vision for Korea’s next half-century: We have to break the vicious cycle of fighting back over every single claim that is made.: JA


Raffles Hotel Paint Job Helps Make Goh Cheng Liang Singapore’s Richest: Bloomberg

Jokowi Administration Is Its Own Worst Enemy: JG

For Indonesians, President’s Political Outsider Status Loses Its Luster: NYT

Indonesia’s Indofood to cut stake in China Minzhong: Reuters

Vietnam PM Says Impossible to Ban Social Media, urging officials instead to embrace websites like Facebook to spread the government’s message. JGlobe


How Pepperstone is profiting from the Swiss currency carnage: BRW

It’s Time to End Financial Advisers’ 1% Fees; Low-Cost Online Advisers Are Challenging Traditional Advisers: WSJ

California is overtaking Brazil as the world’s seventh-largest economy, bolstered by rising employment, home values and personal and corporate income, a year after the most-populous state surpassed Russia and Italy.: Bloomberg

Suitmaker Zegna Tears Up Budget as SNB Shock Clouds View: Bloomberg

High risk of crowded trade unravelling; Strands linking rising dollar, higher stocks and lower oil less resilient: FT

Swiss franc turmoil hits retail currency traders; regulators have tolerated industry for long: FT

UK logistics sector hit by collapse of couriers and hauliers: FT

Bank Losses From Swiss Currency Surprise Seen Mounting: Bloomberg

AIM stocks miss target but backers remain undeterred: FT

Stay calm, New York has its first $100 million apartment: Quartz

Swiss Credibility Shaken By “Franc-mageddon”; Currency policy u-turn rattles markets and signals to Asia that European money printing may be on the way.: Barron’s

It’s Time to End Financial Advisers’ 1% Fees; Low-Cost Online Advisers Are Challenging Traditional Advisers: WSJ


Priceline eyes shift to mobile bookings: FT

Wireless charging for wearable devices to see boom: WCT

Foreign Founders Should Look Beyond Silicon Valley: Techcrunch

Banking Start-Ups Adopt New Tools for Lending: NYT

Unalloyed success story of aluminium helps to keep the shine on Apple; Apple is well placed to benefit from the current slide in commodity and energy prices: telegraph

Insurance via Internet Is Squeezing Agents; Walmart and Google have recently established websites that allow consumers to compare the premiums of various companies for auto, home and other types of insurance, and buy policies: NYT


Riding High, Biotech Firms Remain Wary: NYT

Robots to fill role in dementia care: AsiaOne

Anti-Vaccine Parents Found to Stick Together as Their Ranks Grow: Bloomberg

Energy & Commodities

Commodities Fraud Explained: Qingdao case; If the judge decides Mercuria could not have repaid Citi as it could not access the metal, banks are likely to be more cautious about engaging in repo financing, especially in China. FT

Argentina’s ‘Soy King’ abdicates in favor of biotech: CNBC

The Cheap-Oil Reform Moment; Ending fuel subsidies is progress, but India and Indonesia need far more.: WSJ

Consumer & Others

Panda Restaurant Billionaire Couple Buys 4.9% Stake In China Mall Chain: Forbes

Tesco turns to branding experts to reverse fortunes: Guardian

Gucci Revival Rests on CEO Bringing Sexy Back to Design Choices: Bloomberg

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 18 Jan (Sun) – Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge; Researchers have found that something as small as text message reminders can help children born into poor families close the gap with richer students


Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge; Researchers have found that something as small as text message reminders can help children born into poor families close the gap with richer students. NYT

Machines That Drove the Revolution: Many brilliant inventors contributed to the rise of industry. Three British men, Joseph Bramah, Henry Maudslay and James Nasmyth, built tools to build products. Barron’s

Some of Today’s Most Prominent Artists on Courage, Creativity, Criticism, Success, and What It Means to Be a Great Artist: BP

How to Master the Vital Balance of Freedom and Restraint: Young André Gide’s Rules of Conduct: BP

This Bill Gates Quote Summarizes What The Tech World Thought Of Steve Jobs: BI

Silicon Valley Investor Paul Graham Reveals One Of The Biggest Mistakes Startups Should Avoid: BI

The Art of Tough Love: Samuel Beckett Shows You How to Give Constructive Feedback on Your Friends’ Creative Work: BP

The Picasso Variations: Why the painter’s late work veers from the sloppy to the sublime. Nation

The Greatest Definition of Love: BP

Greater China

Why China Is Raiding Foreign Companies At Dawn: BI

Whose city will Hong Kong be after Li Ka-shing family is gone?: SCMP

Regulators can’t fail to notice head-turning share price gains; With shares of state enterprises significantly outperforming markets ahead of restructurings it’s hard to ignore claims of insider trading: SCMP


Everest Macro Hedge Fund Blows Up After Nearly $1 BIllion In Swiss Franc Losses: ZeroHedge, WSJ

Still Want to Trade Currencies? Speculators who think they are investors almost always end up broke sooner or later. The more money they borrow to speculate with, the more certain they are to go broke. WSJ

Energy & Commodities

Is Aluminum The Next Commodity To Crash?: ZeroHedge

Consumer & Others

How Target’s grand reveal of store locations contributed to its demise in Canada: FP

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 17 Jan (Sat) – When Stress Rises, Empathy Suffers


When Stress Rises, Empathy Suffers: WSJ

Split in Fortunes Stalks U.S. Schoolchildren; Kids born to middle and lower-income families could find it harder to catch up in later life as wealthier children enjoy ever larger advantages. Bloomberg

How to go from start-up to global phenomenon: Q&A with DocuSign’s Tom Gonser: Hire crazy people: Fortune

Prime time for Woody: An Amazon TV series is the latest project for the 79-year-old comic with a relentless work ethic: FT

Van Gogh failed as an art dealer, dropped out of divinity school and was deemed too zealous to be a missionary. At 27, he took his brother’s advice and became a painter: WSJ

What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: HBR

Why Hitler Wished He Was Muslim: The Führer admired Atatürk’s subordination of religion to the state—and his ruthless treatment of minorities. WSJ

Investing Process

Can investors judge chief executives’ performance? How to assess company leadership: FT

Greater China

Hong Kong still competitive despite Li Ka-shing’s departure for Cayman Islands: SCMP

Cartoons Spoofing Corrupt Politicians in China Anger City: NYT

Xi’s advice to youngsters on dealing with stress draws debate: People

Good Times Are Over for Local Gov’ts; Debt has piled up and the property market is middling, meaning it is time for officials to return to the basics of budgeting: Caixin

In China’s Antigraft Campaign, Small Victories and Bigger Doubts: NYT

Chinese Mourn Leader, Ousted After Tiananmen, on 10th Death Anniversary: JG

Shenyang’s Oddball Architecture: Critics Call Buildings Like Pearl of the North Tower a Symptom of China’s ‘Edifice Complex’: WSJ

‘Little Emperors’ Wage War on China’s Deadliest Killers: Bloomberg


One of the highest accounting fraud in India since Satyam with Delhi-based Lilliput Kidswear put under liquidation; Bain brought action against EY for “fraud, aiding and abetting fraud, negligent misrepresentation”: VCC

How Kalanithi Maran lost SpiceJet; Ajay Singh and yet another set of investors try their luck at turning around an airline with an amazing history: Forbes

Gilead’s India Patent Snag May Spur Low-Cost Sovaldi Copies: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

Japan Mints First Robot Billionaire: Forbes

Chaebols: King of the Conglomerates: Campden


Rupiah Drop to ’98 Low Puts Fund Managers on Alert; Lippo Karawaci, the nation’s second-largest listed developer by market value, has Rp10.1tr ($800m) of dollar-denominated bonds and reported Rp181.8bn of forex losses in 3Q: Bloomberg

Malaysia Is Asia’s ‘Undisputed Loser’ From Oil and Fiscal Cuts Are Looming: Bloomberg


Short Sellers Now Taking Aim at Emerging-Market Bonds: Bloomberg

Demise of Swiss currency cap predicted by lone forecaster in Texas: SCMP

Swiss franc shock triggers mortgage panic for wealthy homeowners; Here’s Why Losses Triggered by Franc-Cap Removal Were So Painful: Telegraph, Bloomberg

How to corner markets, Bitcoin style: FT

Swiss Franc Bets Turned on a Dime; Small Investors Who Juiced Bets With Borrowed Cash Got a Rude Awakening (Literally): WSJ

Surge of Swiss Franc Triggers Hundreds of Millions in Losses; Brokerage FXCM Gets Rescue Package; Deutsche Bank and Citigroup Suffer Big Hits: WSJ

Energy & Commodities

ASIC to crack down on miners’ dodgy overseas assets; failure of auditors to meet generally accepted auditing standards with respect to collecting evidence regarding overseas operations. AFR

Welcome to ‘Normal’ Crude Oil Price, Trading at 100-Year Average: Bloomberg

The Cruel Oil-Market Math Conspiring Against ETF Bulls: Bloomberg

Oil Export Myths: Lifting the ban will increase U.S. supply and energy security. WSJ


The Seed Bubble Has Popped: Techcrunch

E-commerce entrepreneurs tap growing S-E Asia demand: TheStar

Hedge fund founder Chanos says shorting Intel shares: CNBC: Reuters


Tokyo scientists aim to make body parts with 3-D printer: JT

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 16 Jan (Fri) – Feeling Smart: Why Our Emotions Are More Rational Than We Think; Political risk in Chinese finance: Kung-fu fighting; A legal dispute and a default illuminate the darker corners of Chinese finance


Prevent Your Star Performers from Losing Passion for Their Work: HBR

The Secret to Raising Smart Kids: HINT: Don’t tell your kids that they are. More than three decades of research shows that a focus on “process”—not on intelligence or ability—is key to success in school and in life: SA

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Fear to tread; A controversial trial on a mysterious disease continues to yield insights: Economist

A new tool in the quest to understand—and co-opt—nature’s secrets of flying: Economist

The Great Depression: Root causes; Lessons from the 1930s: Economist

The network effect: Being a good networker pays off—but it requires skill as well as shamelessness: Economist

The roots of jihadism: A struggle that shames; Islamist violence stems much more from recent history than from the faith’s essentials: Economist

The founder of collapsed real estate investment firm First Leaside Group of Companies perpetrated a fraud on investors, the Ontario Securities Commission said: FP

Shiller: What Good Are Economists?: PS

The Capabilities Your Organization Needs to Sustain Innovation: HBR

Woman held in Osaka for allegedly turning traffic signs into street art: JT

How Fake Sports Are Turning Man Cave Dwellers Into Millionaires: BW


Feeling Smart: Why Our Emotions Are More Rational Than We Think; There’s An Advantage To Blushing In Social Situations: Amazon, BI

Greater China

Political risk in Chinese finance: Kung-fu fighting; A legal dispute and a default illuminate the darker corners of Chinese finance: Economist

China funds bring Chaos to metals markets; Shanghai Chaos is just one of the Chinese entities active in commodity markets. Others inc Ye Qingjun, known as China’s George Soros for parlaying a Rmb100,000 mortgage into a RMB10bn fortune: FT

Chinese hedge funds drive copper plunge; Traders say bear assault was ‘beautifully’ timed: FT

Superman Li Ka-shing sheds his concubines; Asia’s most successful tycoon has many reasons for shaking up his empire: Economist

Henderson Land’s billionaire Lee Shau Kee: “But in a year or two, the price may fall back to where it was.” Lee unlikely to follow its rival Cheung Kong on restructuring its assets or moving its incorporation out of Hong Kong. Standard

5 Reasons Why Tesla Is Struggling In China: BI

President Xi Just Took His War On Corruption To A Whole New Level: BI

China’s shadow banking is back with a vengeance-and it brings bad omens with it: Quartz

Henderson Land (0012) chairman Lee Shau-kee laid out bold plans to build cheap homes for the elderly and young people. Standard

Taiwan’s XYZprinting aiming to dominate global 3D printer market: WCT

The government in Beijing is entering China’s already crowded venture capital industry, saying it will establish a Rmb40bn ($6.5bn) fund to help seed companies in emerging industries.: FT

China pension reform targets civil servant privileges: FT

Smartphones At Tipping Point In China: Forbes

China Dec bank loans post big miss, reliance on credit losing its potency: Reuters

Pacific Basin Shipping reports HK$1 billion in impairment charges: SCMP

The Chinese Dream on Wheels: The Shanghai Auto Museum exhibits the contradictions—and occasional surreality—of contemporary China. WSJ

For China, even good numbers don’t add up: TODAY

China Snares 16 Generals for Graft as Xi Widens Military Probe: Bloomberg


The Hindutva rate of growth: Narendra Modi finds his economic ambitions jeopardised by his party’s ideology: Economist

Japan & Korea

Won over: Local Koreans, fed up of paying over the odds, are shopping abroad: Economist

Korea earmarks W180tr to build creative economy: KH

Will Hyundai’s duty-free plan succeed? Hyundai Development is planning to open a duty-free store, in an attempt to pick up the last slice of one of the very few flourishing industries in Korea.  KH

Hyundai Motor to reignite succession drive: KT


Coup-politics in Thailand: Yingluck in the dock; An ousted prime minister faces impeachment. Is it for show?: Economist

How Jokowi Wasted His Mandate in Just 88 Days; Activists’ last hope is that despite the House’s approval, the president will decide against installing Budi Gunawan as the new police chief: JG

Philippines Answers Investor’s Prayers. Is faith in one of Asia’s top performing markets justified?: Barron’s

Singapore Empty Homes May Climb to Highest Since 1998 on Curbs: Bloomberg


Skyscraper Index Goes Global: ZeroHedge

Vanguard’s record inflows prove passive is massive: FT

Saxo Bank says will revisit Swiss franc trades, clients may suffer; It is time to close Saxo Bank down. Saxo is just stealing from its clients. It did a deal and they traded at a rate – and they are rewriting : Reuters, Bronte

Swiss-Franc Move Cripples Currency Brokers; FXCM Suffers ‘Significant’ Losses; New Zealand Currency Trading House to Close After SNB’s Move; 2 FX Brokers Suffer “Significant Losses” After SNB Surprise, “In Breach Of Regulatory Capital Requirements”; Casualties mounted from the Swiss currency shock as a U.S. online brokerage said client debts threatened to push it out of compliance with capital rules and a New Zealand-based dealer went out of business: WSJ, ZeroHedgeBloomberg

Economic Lessons From Switzerland’s One-Day, 18 Percent Currency Rise; Swiss Shock Tarnishes Central Banks: Decision Reflects Tough Times for Monetary-Policy Makers; Swiss Move Roils Global Markets; SNB’s Surprise Scrapping of Euro Cap Triggers Turmoil Among Bonds and Currencies; “It’s Carnage” – Swiss Franc Soars Most Ever After SNB Abandons EURCHF Floor; Macro Hedge Funds Crushed; SNB Officials Eating Words Risk Lasting Investor Aches: NYT, WSJ, WSJ2, ZeroHedge, Bloomberg

Swiss Currency Shock Hits Exporters;  ‘Words Fail Me,’ Says Swatch CEO; Who wants to buy a hotel? Swiss Alps in shock over franc’s rise; Vintage Wine Merchants Toast Swiss Central Bank as Markets Reel: Bloomberg, Bloomberg2Reuters

Mind the gap in multi-speed world economy after oil plunge: Reuters

Bitcoin revealed: a Ponzi scheme for redistributing wealth from one libertarian to another: WaPo

Forget Everything You Didn’t Understand About Bitcoin: BW


Computing, fast and slow: IBM is not about to go down, but life in the cloud will be tough: Economist

Airlines and the internet: Phantom flights; The economics of air ticketing can produce some peculiarities: Economist

Here’s A Great Theory About How Amazon Tracks Dishonest Customers; Amazon has a “Sugar index” for every customer which tracks their total number of refunds and concessions, and compares it against the total value of all their orders: BI

A revolutionarily simple app lets seeing volunteers be eyes for the blind?: Quartz

The father of the iPod is now in charge of Google Glass: Quartz

Fintech start-up helps ordinary people ‘invest like Warren Buffett’; A free platform, which is giving away investment formulas based on the strategies used by multi-millionaire investors, is hoping to democratise stock market investment: Telegraph

Why Nordstrom’s Digital Strategy Works (and Yours Probably Doesn’t): HBR

Australian internet provider TPG has declared “the world of internet has moved on” and suspended sales of its dial-up internet plans. TheAge

Google’s new Translate app shines in a crowded field: TheAge

Apple Sneaks Up on Cheaper PCs: BW

Finance Should Hurry to the Big Data Party; CFOs need to invest in financial planning and analysis to get the biggest bang from Big Data.: CFO

Energy & Commodities

BP: Blood in the water; The oil giant’s troubles could make it a takeover target, especially if the price of crude keeps falling: Economist

Seize the day: The fall in the price of oil and gas provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix bad energy policies: Economist

No help from Ottawa as Alberta’s economy devastated by oil collapse: FP

Looking for Value in Oil’s Bargain Bin: In the Wake of Crude’s Slide, Energy Veteran Sees Long-Term Value in MLPs: WSJ


Healthcare: Counting the cost of cancer; The cost of new drugs is pushing health budgets to the limit: FT

Drugmakers exposed to ‘L.P.G risks’: ‘lobby,’ ‘patent’ and ‘generic.’ Maeil

Consumer & Others

Ikea’s Strategy For Becoming The World’s Most Successful Retailer; Is IKEA the Most Influential Retailer of the Past 25 Years?: BI, Robin

Target’s failure to bring Cherry Coke to Canada helped doom its international expansion plans: Quartz

Pride took down a giant: How Target’s corporate hubris was its Canadian undoing; Target Corp’s spectacular Canada flop: A gold standard case study for what retailers shouldn’t do: FP1, FP2, FP3

Why Target failed in Canada; Target to Exit Canada After Failed Expansion; Retailer Says Couldn’t See Profits There Until 2021; CEO ‘Gave It Every Chance’: Fortune, WSJ

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 15 Jan (Thurs) – Managing fast and slow in a world that keeps accelerating; Varying the pace of work in an accelerating world


Managing fast and slow in a world that keeps accelerating; Varying the pace of work in an accelerating world: FT

Deutsche Bank Sued by TPV Founder by Stanley Pan Fang-Jen Over $32 Million Trading Losses in FX Derivatives and Accumulators: Bloomberg

Mutual Fund Billionaire Accused of Fraud in Suit; lawsuit claims that Charles B. Johnson concealed $146 million in Franklin Resources shares that were intended to go to the heir of an early investor: NYT

Singapore accountant Ewe Pang Kooi, managing partner of certified public accounting firm Ewe, Loke & Partners, ‘pocketed’ $40m from clients: AsiaOne

Accountants Play Critical Role in Establishing Global Transparency; If CPAs are like the Swiss-Army knife, then transparency is the Master Key that unlocks good business practices; transparency holds decision-makers accountable: AICPA

Family Firms Face ‘Sticky Baton’ Syndrome: Most family-owned businesses don’t plan for a successor, and the top executives stay longer than they should.: CFO

Deloitte ranks 100 ‘most exceptional’ companies: Google’s not one, nor is Amazon: Fortune

Why We’re Losing to Radical Islam: Fourteen years after 9/11, we still lack a strategy. Congress should lead with hearings on the enemy and how to prevail: WSJ

A Second Mona Lisa? Science Offers Few Clues: WSJ

Why Brands Need to Practice ‘Nimbleocity’: K@W

How Teaching Online Courses Helped One Entrepreneur Put A Down Payment On A House: BI

Here’s How The Most Prolific Art Forger In US History Gets Away With It: BI

Investing Process & Research

Why you should buy the most despised company in America; Hated companies carry an Unpopular Discount, making it easier for them to confound expectations: Marketwatch

Michael Mauboussin: Capital Allocation Outside the U.S.: VW

Flexible Business Models and Firms’ Financial Reporting Practices: SSRN

Greater China

The prudent mogul breaks up his empire; Investors tolerate the foibles of a founder who displays talent, but are suspicious of his successors: FT

Jiangsu SOHO Units Miss $32.3 Million Letter of Credit Payments: Bloomberg

BAML: Dr. Copper Is Shouting ‘Sell’ Chinese Stocks: BI

China Adds 3.5 Million Investors as Funds Exit: Chart of the Day: Bloomberg

Founder Securities denies related company embezzled 2.8 billion yuan: SCMP

Kaisa an object lesson in the perils of China: Reuters

China Regulators Watching Online Loans as Risks Multiply: Bloomberg

Li Ka-shing’s new CK Property group seen focusing outside HK, China: SCMP

A review of Hong Kong’s aerospace financing rules could see the city leapfrog Singapore to become the first choice financial centre for Asia’s rapidly expanding aviation industry.: SCMP

Premium Price for Li Ka-shing Reshuffle: WSJ

Gene sequencing controversial but lucrative in China: WCT

What Does 2015 Have In Store For China’s Healthcare Economy?: Forbes

Could China Become The OPEC Of Solar Manufacturing?: Forbes

Innovative Chinese Drone Maker Gets $10M Boost To Go Mainstream: Forbes

Hong Kong Chief Executive Warns: Don’t Challenge Beijing; “The root of many social and economic problems in Hong Kong lies in the shortage of land for development. We cannot have our cake and eat it.”: WSJ

Beijing’s Concern Grows Over Anti-Corruption Critics: WSJ

Pension Fund to Lose Out as Chinese Brokerages Raise Cash; Private Placements Allow Firms’ Parents to Avoid Payments: WSJ


Jet Air Falls Most in a Month After Goyal Pledges Stake; Jet Air Founder Agreed to Refrain From Reducing Stake: Bloomberg

Rural India slowdown threatens Modi’s promise of ‘better days’: Reuters

India in 2015: Optimism Returns as Modi Finds His Footing: K@W

Delhi’s tortoise limbers up to challenge Beijing’s hare: FT

Japan & Korea

Lotte succession war far from over; even though Dong-joo lost his official titles, he still holds considerable stakes in Lotte Confectionary and other key units of the group here. Has Shin Dong-bin won Lotte succession race?: KH

Korean students think English lessons ‘useless’: KTKH


Anonymous letter sparks off Malaysian-listed mTouche discovery of RM6.3m accounting fraud: TheStar

Thai Housewife’s Small-Cap Fever Masks Valuation Risk: JGlobe

More non-Asean firms prepared for AEC: TheStar

Proposed Johor multi-billion-ringgit Forest City Project scaled down: TheStar

Myanmar set to open first stock exchange: AsiaOne

Singapore 2014 Home Sales Drop to Lowest in Six Years on Curbs: Bloomberg


Spoofers Tricked High-Speed Traders by Hitting Keys Fast: Bloomberg

Golden parachutes are lead balloon for investors: Chiefs’ merger-related windfalls face increasing scrutiny: FT

The bitcoin crash is worse than both crude oil and the ruble: Quartz

In Vanguard’s Shadow, Small Firm Scores Tweaking Indexes: Bloomberg

Bitcoin’s Plunge Bites ‘Miners’; As Value Falls, Some Pull Plug on Computers Supporting System: WSJ

Investment firms face FRC crackdown over stewardship code: FT


Samsung Tries to Shake Google Reliance With $92 India Phone: Bloomberg

A swarm of incredibly cheap camera drones is buzzing your way: Quartz

‘I’ll believe it when I see it’: BlackBerry Ltd reportedly gets US$7.5B takeover offer from Samsung: FP

Study Highlights Silicon Valley’s Powerful Economic Mix: NYT

To Keep BlackBerry Alive, CEO Leans on the Internet of Things: JGlobe

Carlos Slim becomes top New York Times shareholder: Reuters, Bloomberg

Sellers Need Amazon, but at What Cost?; Aware That E-Commerce Platform Is Also a Rival, Firms Aim to Lessen Dependence; ‘In a Way, It’s a Deal With the Devil’: WSJ

Google Translate App Now Converts Spoken Conversations, Text From Photos: WSJ

The things Amazon chooses to charge you more for (and why): WaPo

Google partners with auto suppliers on self-driving car: Reuters

Google Apps Exec: ‘The Whole Industry Looked At Us Like We Were Crazy’: BI

Energy & Commodities

Commodity Traders Exploit Crude Crash to Make Oil Storage King: Bloomberg

Copper prices collapsed to a 5½ year low as investors in China and Asia sold heavily: WSJ

Inglorious writedowns: Gold sector’s bad bets wiping out lifetime earnings — and investor confidence: FP

How once-booming Calgary is now becoming the drag on national home prices: FP

America’s Going to Lose the Oil Price War: Bloomberg

Banks withdrawal opens doors for niche financiers in gold sector: Reuters

Copper’s plunge: bad omen for world economy or just an interesting sideshow?: Reuters

Brazil’s Petrobras Is Hit by Oil-Price Drop, Corruption Probe; State-Run Oil Company’s Aggressive Offshore Expansion Is Threatened: WSJ

4 Reasons Warren Buffett Should Fear Oil’s Plunge (and a Few Reasons He’ll Like It): Bloomberg

Here Are The Countries Feeling The Pain Of The Copper Crash: BI


FBI raids Florida firm Med-Care Diabetic & Medical Supplies with ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ link; firm allegedly engaged in Medicare fraud by using aggressive and misleading telemarketers to sell unneeded medical equipment to patients: Reuters

FDA Clears ‘Pacemaker for the Stomach’: WSJ

Consumer & Others

Historic chocolatier Ernest Hillier for sale after collapse; Australia’s oldest chocolate maker, Ernest Hillier, goes bust: BRW, TheAge

How family business Coopers is growing despite punters switching from beer to wine and cider: BRW

Elon Musk’s Next Plan: Millions of Tesla Electric Cars and Factories On Three Continents: Forbes

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 14 Jan (Wed) – Marrisa Mayer: “I’ve got to tell you the dirty little secret of Google’s 20% time. It’s really 120% time.”


What Self-Made Billionaires Do Best: They don’t just generate results. They produce breakthroughs.: Strategy@

Marrisa Mayer: “I’ve got to tell you the dirty little secret of Google’s 20% time. It’s really 120% time.”: BI

The Productivity Hacks I Used To Write A 93,000-Word Book In Six Weeks: BI

Lessons for politicians from the Sage of Omaha: FT

Why storytelling is important for entrepreneurial success: FP

Charles Darwin Had A Fascinating Outlook On Daily Exercise: BI

The Secret Scam of Cheap Earbuds; Why You Can’t Get Decent Earphones for Less Than $100: Gizmodo

How I try to catch out liars and bores in job interviews; I have used specialist background checking firms but never polygraph testing: FT

Nasty Gal’s 30-Year-Old CEO Explains Why She Suddenly Stepped Down: BI

Just how huge the biggest sea creatures are—in one amazing chart; why do some animals grow so large—and what’s keeping the rest of their species from doing so? But size isn’t always an advantage. Quartz

‘Passion pay’; Young job seekers have coined the term “passion pay,” which satirically refers to the reality that interns and apprentices are supposed to be passionate enough to put up with poor treatment: KH

Kudos for the Korean language: KT

Ruben Vardanian, former Troika Dialog CEO: a grumbling optimist: FT

How to share the world with true believers behind global terror; First, accept that we are playing the long game of containment: FT

The 14 Principles Of The Future Organization: Forbes

Why English, Not Mandarin, Is the Language of Innovation: HBR

The roots of rebels: SCMP

Family Business Woes – Professionalize to optimize: U.S. Family firms are no longer winging it: Barron’s

How to Look Smarter: The Tactics People Use to Look Intelligent Often Backfire; Fancy Words Don’t Work: WSJ

The Investor’s Manifesto: Safal

Investing Process

Phosphagenics CEO vows to rebuild company’s reputation after it was embroiled in a $6 million fraud conducted by former CEO Esra Ogru to fund her lifestyle and support her sick daughter: TheAge1, TheAge2

Warren Buffett’s investing successors blew it in 2014; Stock picks like General Motors and Viacom didn’t pan out for Berkshire Hathaway’s Ted Weschler and Todd Combs: Fortune

Greater China

Here’s The Who’s Who In China’s Offshore Tax Havens: BI, ICIJ

Troubles at China’s Kaisa mark watershed for offshore investors: Reuters

Baby milk manufacturer Yashili International shares slide 6 pct on profit warning; “The sector is booming so it is ridiculous to say the sector is not doing well” : SCMP

Musk looks around corner of China slowdown: FT

Wanda challenges Disney with shift from property to theme parks: FT

Enforcing with a smile: Enforcers of China’s one-child policy are trying a new, gentler approach: Economist

46 percent of honey on the market in Taiwan does not meet industry food safety standards: ChinaPost

France is struggling with monitoring a long list of radicals: ChinaPost

Poor Chinese provinces are being forced to send their water to wealthier regions: Quartz

Alibaba’s UC Browser Is World’s No.1 Third Party Mobile Browser: Forbes

Death of Asia Television a showcase of meddling and politics, irresponsible shareholders: SCMP

China train firms CNR and CSR reject claims of insider trading: SCMP

Lessons in “sustainable” finance from local Chinese governments; There is a common misperception that land revenue has already dropped sharply in 2014. : FT

Overcapacity Drags on China Aluminum Prices: JG

Censored Chinese report links mystery coal tycoon Zhang Xinming to political elite: SCMP


Indian luxury cars: JLR takes on the Germans: Forbes

How Domino’s Reinvented Itself to Win in India: FastCo

Japan & Korea

80% of S. Koreans in 20s say they can get rich at expense of others; Over half of South Korean youngsters in their 20s disagreed that working hard guarantees a better life: Maeil

Lotte chief says his brother’s dismissal follows his father’s decision: Maeil

Disentangling Chaebol Isn’t Easy: Hyundai Glovis Block Sale Fails; Hyundai Motor succession plan suffers setback: Barron’sKT

Chaebol scions, SM chief and actress in W130 bil. illegal FX deals: KT

Twist in large retailer saga in Korea: KH

More foreign students launching businesses in Japan: JT

Japan’s Return-on-Equity Revolution: Shinzo Abe’s reforms are empowering shareholders and spurring profits.: WSJ

Daihatsu dismantling ‘Toyota Way’ as market changes: Reuters

Why Isn’t Japan Inc. Helping Japan?: Bloomberg


Jokowi’s Next Hurdle: What Indonesia Can Tackle Post Fuel Revamp: JG

Nat Rothschild is fighting former Asia Resource Minerals chairman Samin Tan’s move to grab control as the Indonesian coal miner struggles to avoid defaulting on $450 million of debt: JG

After 100 days, the performance of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration can be judged by examining whether most of his policies have been government- or incident-driven: JP

Stalled Merger Puts the Brakes on Malaysia’s Islamic Megabank Dream: Bloomberg


FASB Rids Income Statements of ‘Extraordinary Items’: CFO

Tighter credit rules hit aspiring homeowners around the world: FT

Can subprime auto loans crash the financial system?: Fortune

Withering regulations will make for shrivelled banks; Europe has no Frederica Mac to finance mortgages: FT

Bid to Lower Corporate Tax Rate Stirs Backlash From Business: Bloomberg

‘Hide Not Slide’ Orders Were Slippery and Hidden: Bloomberg

Heat Death: Venture Capital in the 1980s: RW

Investors may wait longer for higher dividends from U.S. banks: Reuters

US$3 trillion inheritance expected in Asia over next 30 years: report: BT

Companies Tiptoe Back Toward ‘Made in the U.S.A.’; For years, the U.S. has ceded more and more of its manufacturing to low-cost corners of the global economy. Some firms now want to come home.: WSJ

Global Economic Perspectives from a Pragmatic Capitalist: AA

Asia’s Political Cartoonists at Risk: Threats of prosecution silence satirists in India, Malaysia and Singapore.: WSJ

Don’t Buck the Dollar Trend: Overseas Borrowers Could Send Greenback Higher Still: WSJ


The Clever Way Amazon Gets Away With Not Always Offering The Lowest Prices: BI

We Just Learned A Whole Lot About How The Apple Watch Works: BI

If The Apple Patent Is The Real Reason GoPro Is Crashing, Then Investors Are Being Dumb; GoPro shares drop as Apple granted patent for wearable camera: BI, TheAge

The little engine that could: Why turbocharged four-cylinder engines now rule the road: Economist

Streaming hasn’t killed the radio star: Quartz

TV Makers Set a New Strategy: ‘Quantum Dot’ Technology Offers Vibrant Colors, Leaving Crisp OLED Images on Hold: WSJ

Energy & Commodities

Buffett Trapped by Oil Plunge After BNSF Commits to Rail Upgrade: Bloomberg

What cheap gas? Some automakers still determined to sell electric cars: ChinaPost

US energy: Off the grid; Utilities threatened as more businesses and homes produce own power: FT

Was the 2008 oil price an anomaly?: FT

Back to the Future? Oil Replays 1980s Bust; Rise of Shale Extraction Speeds Output and Changes Equation for OPEC, U.S. Producers: WSJ

Oil at $40, and Below, Gaining Traction on Wall Street; Oil Collapse of 1986 Shows Rebound Could Be Years Away; Oil Spread Shows Saudi Shale Strategy Working; WTI Crude Oil Surpasses Brent for First Time Since 2013; Demand for Protection Against Oil at $40 a Barrel Reaches Record: Bloomberg1, Bloomberg2, Bloomberg3, Bloomberg4, Bloomberg5


Fluidic Analytics develops tools to warn of diseases: FT

After Roiling Hepatitis Market, Express Scripts Turns to Cholesterol: Bloomberg

Consumer & Others

The arrival of Sephora in Australia is more likely to disrupt the likes of Soul Pattinson and Priceline than David Jones and Myer: BRW

Investors haven’t been this spooked by Tiffany since 9/11: Quartz

Why Online Retailers Are Starting to Care About Your Feelings: HBR

Refrigerators now include sound systems, televisions and sparkling water dispensers. GE is launching one this fall that makes coffee: WSJ

Tesla Won’t Turn Profitable Until 2020; Luxury Electric Car Maker Sees GAAP Earnings When Mass-Market Car In Full Production: WSJ

Western Tools To Catch An Asian Snake?

 “Bamboo Innovators bend, not break, even in the most terrifying storm that would snap the mighty resisting oak tree. It survives, therefore it conquers.”
BAMBOO LETTER UPDATE | January 12, 2015
Bamboo Innovator Insight (Issue 65)

  • The weekly insight is a teaser into the opportunities – and pitfalls! – in the Asian capital jungles.
  • Get The Moat Report Asia – a monthly in-depth presentation report of around 30-40 pages covering the business model of the company, why it has a wide moat and why the moat may continue to widen, a special section on “Inside the Leader’s Mind” to understand their thinking process in building up the business, the context – why now (certain corporate or industry events or groundbreaking news), valuations (why it can compound 2-3x in the next 5 years), potential risks and how it is part of the systematic process in the Bamboo Innovator Index of 200+ companies out of 15,000+ in the Asia ex-Japan universe.
  • Our paid Members from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing.
 Western Tools To Catch An Asian Snake?“Why are there so many short-sellers’ reports, including those by Muddy Waters’ Carson Block, Kerrisdale’s Sahm Adrangi and Anonymous Analytics, in 2011? Why do so many Chinese stocks unravel in accounting frauds in 2011? There’s Sino-Forest, Long-Top, China Agri-Tech, ChinaCast Education etc. Is there a contagion effect in accounting fraud cases? Is accounting fraud a systemic risk? Why is 2011 so ‘special’ as a year of accounting fraud?”

Interestingly, “2011” had happened before – in the late 1990s.

This week marks the 16th anniversary of the bankruptcy of GITIC (Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corp) on Jan 16, 1999, which was the biggest in the history of China to date, and still the first and formal of a major financial institution. The collapse of GITIC led to the closure of hundreds of trust companies and thousands of urban credit cooperatives. Zhu Rongji tasked financial wizard Wang Qishan, the current Vice-Premier and anti-corruption tsar, to clean up the mess. Accounting irregularities were uncovered in many Chinese companies that were affiliated to GITIC. The central government did not bail out GITIC despite great expectations and foreign bondholders in GITIC saw a recovery rate of 12.5%.

2011 is the year of the shadow banking crisis rearing its ugly head, akin to the late 1990s, leading to a tightening in credit conditions, which in turn resulted in companies finding it more difficult to opportunistically use the roll-away “other receivables” accounting tunneling trick with cheap money. The GITIC case informed us that many of the audited investment and financial assets that stood in the books of the balance sheet to generate “revenue” in the income statement did not belong to GITIC at all since it held it in some sort of “trust”. Hence the low asset recovery rate. Credibility of China and Chinese financial system was tarnished for a long time.

Last week also witnessed the first Chinese property company – Kaisa Group Holdings (1638 HK) – to default on offshore bonds held by foreign investors, ranging from BlackRock to Fidelity. Kaisa has total debt of around $5bn.Kaisa

This news was followed by the $24bn reorganization of the business empire controlled by Asia’s wealthiest entrepreneur Li Ka-Shing.  The non-property assets of Li’s Cheung Kong (1 HK) and its subsidiary Hutchison Whampoa (13 HK) would be injected into a new company, Caymans-incorporated CK Hutchison (CKH). Property interests will go into another new Caymans-registered entity, Cheung Kong Property (CKP), which will seek a separate listing.

The “official” reason is said to eliminate the 23% valuation discount that the Cheung Kong stock has to bear with as a holding company of Hutchison. Under the restructuring plan, Cheung Kong shareholders will receive one CKH Holdings share for every Cheung Kong share, while CKH will offer Hutchison shareholders 0.684 CKH share for every Hutchison share. All eligible CKH shareholders will receive one CKP share for every CKH share. The share swap ratio puts Cheung Kong shareholders, including the Li family, at an advantage. Hutchison shareholders will get 31% less of the new entity of the future property and non-property arms than their Cheung Kong peers. The Li family will get a 30.15% direct ownership in both the property and non-property arms, instead of an indirect holding of Hutchison through Cheung Kong.

Noteworthy is that Hutchison could have sold its property business to Cheung Kong for the latter’s non-property assets. This could have been followed by a distribution of Hutchison shares held by Cheung Kong to Cheung Kong shareholders. In addition, Li’s controlled companies have been reducing their exposure to Greater China property, with Hutchinson Whampoa selling off its stake in Hutchinson Harbour Ring, which owns two properties in Shanghai, and other property assets in China. Coupled with the Kaisa default event, the strong actions appear to reflect his bearish outlook on the Greater China market, that something ominous could be imminent?…

Warm regards,


The Moat Report Asia

A new monthly issue of The Moat Report Asia is now available!

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Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 13 Jan (Tues) – A Man Fell Down A Massive Hole In China And Turned The Experience Into An iPhone Game


A Man Fell Down A Massive Hole In China And Turned The Experience Into An iPhone Game: BI

How ‘Active Listening’ Makes Both Participants in a Conversation Feel Better: Use Body Language and Verbal Cues to Encourage the Person Talking and Prevent Listener Burnout: WSJ

Let Me Die, Chinese Mother Says as Cancer Bills Pile Up: Bloomberg

One Of The Most Common Theories Of Effective Education May Be A Myth: BI

When a moral machine is better than a flawed human being; Scrutiny of artificial intelligence must challenge ideas about our superiority: FT

Rethinking punishment of CEOs: JA

I tried a brain-altering wearable that allows users to change their moods on demand: Quartz

Grooming Asia’s finance leaders; We need leaders with the prominence to represent the interests of Asian markets, who can help the evolution away from being “regulation-takers”. BT

CEOs in Asia Want More Strategic Thinking From CFOs: CFO

Elusive Middle Ground in Punishment of White-Collar Criminals: NYT

Berkshire Beyond Buffett: Final Chapters: StevenTowns

Greater China

“China’s Buffett” tops ranking of wealthy Chinese investors: FT

Physical exam industry in China looks to be altered by big data: WCT

Xi faces struggle to rein in ballooning car ownership in China: SCMP

More telecoms acquisitions in store for Li conglomerate in Europe: SCMP

In China, Projects to Make Great Wall Feel Small: SCMP

China Water Stress May Worsen Even With Transfer Projects: Bloomberg

Chinese Car Dealers Find Days of ‘Printing Money’ Ending: Bloomberg

Falling Oil Prices Help Overhaul of a Hong Kong Empire: NYT

China’s $300 Billion Errors May Mask Fund Outflows, Goldman Says: Bloomberg


Bold messages from Bollywood in an era of intolerance; India is producing films that are socially relevant, entertaining and profitable: FT

Modi Advances Solar Plan for India With $4 Billion Plant: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

Investors turn away from Korea-style long-short funds: Maeil

Short Sellers Bet Korean Shipyards’ Misery to Deepen: Bloomberg

Korea’s tax agency clamps down on value-added cheating: JA

Trucks zoom when economy tanks in Korea: JA

Korea in the next 40 years: KT


Stronger measures in pipeline to keep Singapore’s anti-corruption culture alive: PM Lee: CNA

Stock Exchange of Thailand and SEC to plug private placement loopholes to prevent retail investors from being taken advantage of, and putting them on an equal footing with public investors: NM


Under investor pressure, DuPont sells its 130-year-old theater: Fortune

Predictions 2015: Animal Spirits and Crisis Ghosts: Reuters


Rebuilding History’s Biggest Dot-Com Bust: Online-Grocery Firm Instacart Farms Out Jobs and Food, Hoping to Make It Where Webvan Failed: WSJ

Here’s Why Some People In The Wearables Industry Think Apple’s Watch Will Fail: A black screen sitting on someone’s wrist will not look good, and therefore, the product will fail. BI

SAP profits meet expectations as it shifts to the cloud: FT

Dealmaking puts Brazil at the centre of global telecoms war: FT

With Golden Globe Win, Amazon Shakes Up Yet Another Industry by becoming the first digital streaming service to win one for best TV series: NYT

How Baidu is Following in Facebook’s Footsteps; Facebook won over many skeptics by demonstrating rapid mobile growth. Now, Baidu is blazing a similar trail.: Barron’s

Silk Road Case Shines Light on Shadowy Online World: Trial of Alleged Mastermind Ulbricht Is Test of Government’s Reach Over Internet Crime: WSJ

Here’s How The Apple Watch Could Help You Go Grocery Shopping: BI


US healthcare: Big data diagnoses fraud; Investigators use data mining tools to claw back billions stolen by crooked doctors and clinics: FT

Commodities & Energy

StanChart faces $4.4 billion commodities hit, may need to raise cash – analysts: Reuters

As Oil Slips Below $50, Canada Digs In for Long Haul: WSJ

A group of Australia’s richest individuals and families has lost more than $5 billion combined on the stockmarket in the past 12 months, with shares hit hard by falling commodity prices and uncertain economic conditions.: TheAge

Consumer & Others

How Tiffany Lost Its Shine: Four Challenges Facing the Blue Box: Bloomberg

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 11 Jan (Sun) – Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: 15 Resolutions for 2015 from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds


Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: 15 Resolutions for 2015 from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds: BrainPickings

“Compassion… asks us to look into our own hearts, discover what gives us pain, and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.”: BrainPickings

Happy 100th Birthday, Alan Watts: The Pioneer of Eastern Philosophy in the West on What Reality Is and How to Become What You Are: BrainPickings

‘Dairy Godfather’ Zheng Junhuai has returned to the industry after a spell in jail for embezzlement at Yili Dairy, saying he is the man to clean up the baby milk formula business: SCMP1, SCMP2

Pure Gym founder Andrew Cave on how he built Britain’s biggest gym chain: Telegraph

Eight Powerful Negotiation Tips For Introverts: Forbes

Corporate Empathy Is Not an Oxymoron: HBR

Thoughts on “Teaching Economics After the Crash”: Medium

The Real Story of How America Became an Economic Superpower: Atlantic

Could a 200-year-old whale offer clues to help humans live longer?: CBS

AQR’s Cliff Asness: Shareholder Value Is Undervalued: AQR

Investing Process

Dodge & Cox’s Secret Ingredient: Dodge & Cox’s superior performance, small roster of funds, and steady inflows are bucking just about every trend in the fund industry today. Here’s how it’s done. Barron’s

Greater China

Analysts fear China financial crisis as deflation looms: Guardian

Three Reasons To Watch Taiwan In 2015: Forbes

Occupy Central ‘not reason behind Li Ka-shing’s reorganisation of business empire’: SCMP

Shanghai Stock Exchange to Allow Same-Day Trading for ETFs: Bloomberg


Indian PM showcases ‘Modi-nomics’ at investment summit: CNA

Alibaba to Invest About $575 Million in Indian Online-Shopping Service, Paytm; China’s Alibaba and Affiliate Zhejiang Ant to Take 30% Stake in One97 Communications: WSJ


Return of the Stockpickers: Active managers are likely to recapture their lost glory as interest rates rise. Barron’s

Energy & Commodities

‘Sometimes the lessons are painful’: Oilpatch veterans reflect on life in a downturn: FP


Hearing Is Believing: The newest old art form: Riveting tales, told aloud, as audiobooks. NYT

Apple Emerges As A Promising Internet Of Things Platform At CES 2015: Forbes

Decentralize All The Things!: Techcrunch

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 10 Jan (Sat) – The Daily Routines Of 26 Famous Creative People; How Li Ka-shing killed three birds with one restructuring


The Daily Routines Of 26 Famous Creative People: BI

Why are some people so good at persisting?: SVN

Trapped in a Polar Vortex: Ernest Shackleton and his crew were marooned for months on Antarctic ice. All of the men survived. WSJ

Dartmouth Gives Students a Lesson — Don’t Cheat in Ethics Class: Bloomberg

Sir Terence Matthews, who has started more than 100 companies in his career, is helping the next generation build businesses and a future.: BT

Losing Faith in JPMorgan, Two Churches Claim Self-Dealing: Bloomberg

Wayne Gretzky Would Have Been a Great Investor As Well; “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been” : Pender

Novelist Haruki Murakami resurfaces: After decades shunning publicity, the surrealist writer is taking to the web — as an agony uncle: FT

What a Great Place to Work Ought to Look Like: Define and pursue a higher purpose that makes employees proud: NYT

Forex Trader Alex Hope With a Taste for Bubbly Convicted in $7.5 Million Investment Scam in Britain: NYT

Japanese Tourists Find Fraud a Risk in Visits to Kolkata: WSJ

Why Asia’s Rich Need A Family Constitution: A succession document can help families maintain their wealth over many generations Barron’s

How our brain determines if the product is worth the price: Forbes

Why decisive leadership matters: Forbes

Sometimes Cutting R&D Spending Can Yield More Innovation: HBR

To Make Money with Digital, Be an Innovator – Not a Strategist: HBR

Politics and survival in the jungle: TheStar

The Real Kings of Chess Are Computers? WSJ

When I Questioned the History of Muhammad: British scholar Tom Holland found himself in a firestorm—and under threat—when he raised doubts about the traditional account of the origins of Islam. WSJ

Investing Process

Riddle of the Pyramids: What Is Herbalife? Is Herbalife a successful marketer of protein shakes or something more terrible than a Ponzi scheme? NYT

When the CEO Is a Big Investor, Should You Buy Too? Stocks With High Executive Ownership Perform Better, a Study Suggests: WSJ

Greater China

Kaisa ‘Hidden Hands’ Means 10% Threshold for Junk-Rated Builders; Kaisa Bondholders Dream of White Knight as Default Becomes Real: Bloomberg1, Bloomberg2

Cheung Kong to Buy Out Hutchison in $24 Billion Restructure; How Li Ka-shing killed three birds with one restructuring; Li Ka-shing business empire shifts base from Hong Kong to Cayman Islands: Bloomberg, SCMP1, SCMP2, FT

Asia’s Richest Builds Fortress for Future: Li Ka-shing’s business empire reorganization simplifies the ownership structure. It also provides him a bulwark against rising rates and a war chest for new acquisitions; Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing , is reorganizing his empire into two companies, separating his Hong Kong property assets from his internationally focused ports-to-telecom conglomerate: WSJ, WSJ2

Tycoon Li Ka-shing to revamp empire to address valuation discount: Reuters

Local debt accounting made messy by unclear numbers in China: WCT

Rail firm execs in China accused of insider trading before merger: WCT

Slowdown Spurs China Property Industry to Embrace the Internet: Caixin

Shortage of Organ Donors in China? Blame Confucianism: Bloomberg

Jack Ma Calls Tencent Move ‘Stupid,’ Apologizes for JD Insults: Bloomberg

China’s “big four” banks lose out as savers gain sophistication: FT

Xi’s 2015 mission: Fighting graft, tightening grip on China: TODAY


Pharma Tycoon Dilip Shanghvi Has Powered India’s Second-Biggest Fortune: Forbes

India in 140 characters: Twitter’s rise in the country: Forbes

Japan & Korea

How ‘Nut-Gate’ Can Improve South Korea’s Economy: Bloomberg

Samsung Returns to Roots in Components as Phones Stall: Bloomberg

Lotte heir ousted from all posts of Japanese operations: Maeil

A string of Korean luxury goods firms file for receivership on floundering economy: Maeil

Will Abe’s growth strategy make Japan’s cups flow over?: AsiaOne


1MDB Woes Exacerbate Bank Cash Squeeze in Malaysia: Bloomberg

Governance: giant steps ahead for South East Asia: MYT

Will Thai voters support an ‘outsider’ PM?: AsiaOne

Impeachment of Ousted Thai PM Shinawatra Could Test Fragile Calm: JGlobe

The Jakarta administration says it will compel operators of minimarts throughout the capital to sell items produced by small and medium enterprises, as part of efforts to empower the latter: JGlobe

Jakarta Governor Says Out With Old Cars; Sputtering Start for the Dream Car for Millions of Indonesians; Bumpy Ride: President Jokowi faces conflicting calls on ending or maintaining the cheap-car program introduced by Yudhoyono: JGlobe1, JGlobe2

Preventing graft in procurement: the Indonesian government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla has taken up corruption eradication as one of their main programs : JPost

Word of caution on M’sian property from SCCI-BT forum: BT


Petrobras Contagion Ignites Brazil Company Bond Plummet: Bloomberg

Peltz Says DuPont Spinoff Has ‘1970s-Style’ Governance: Bloomberg

Britain’s biggest export: wealth; The current-account deficit might explain Britain’s joyless recovery: Economist

Uncertain economic fortunes in a world of cheap oil; Investors in debt issued by riskier companies face losing out: FT

Sri Lanka’s Strongman President Voted Out After Decade in Power; “We expect a life without fear. I voted for him because he said he will create equal opportunities for all” : JGlobe

Aussie landlords swallow losses to bet on price gains: SMH

DuPont Fight About More Than Just Returns; Nelson Peltz’s Trian’s Push Shows Market Outperformance Won’t Ward Off Activists: WSJ

Energy & Commodities

OPEC Finds Everyone Else Guilty in Oil-Glut Blame Game: Bloomberg

Cheap Sofas Offer Port as Oil’s Crash Slams Canada Stocks: Bloomberg

Oil Export Plunge Signals Canada Economy Running on Empty: Bloomberg

Don’t Bank on Oil Rebound Says Fund That Foresaw Collapse: Bloomberg

Berkshire plays a vital role in the world chocolate industry: Economist

Denmark produces 40% of its power from wind-more than any other country on earth: Quartz

Saudi Arabia’s Cure for Shale Could Entail Shock Therapy: WSJ

U.S. Dairies Get Crash Course in Exporting: Cooling Chinese Demand Points Up Unpredictability of Global Prices: WSJ


Nordic countries point the way to cashless societies: Reuters

TSMC’s IoT platform to be mass produced this year: WCT

‘Belty’ Offers Tech Solution to Weighty Problem: JGlobe

New Transportation Options Aim to Be ‘Un-Segway’: JGlobe

Why we should welcome the hype of another dotcom bubble?: Telegraph

Fit for Motivation, If Not Precision: Wearable Gadgets to Count Steps and Calories Fall Short on Accuracy, But They’re Good Cheerleaders: WSJ

Q&A: on why wearables are so ugly, and why Hollywood and Silicon Valley don’t get along: WaPo


Can You Really Reverse Hearing Loss? Drugmakers Try Gene Therapy: Bloomberg

Biotech’s Price Wars Are Just Beginning: Bloomberg

From Vertigo to Tinnitus, Ear Ailments Are New Focus for Drugs: NYT

The Future of Medicine Is in Your Smartphone: New tools are tilting health-care control from doctors to patients: WSJ

Consumer & Others

Lego is partnering with Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche to make these seriously awesome toy cars: Quartz

Why Fashion Insiders Are Buzzing About Patagonia: WSJ

GM Readies Electric Rival to Tesla: WSJ

Samsonite vs. Prada: Travelling Different Paths: Barron’s

Investors Bet Australian Beachwear Tide Will Rise; Saban Brands Deal for Mambo Is Latest in Wave of Deals: WSJ

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 9 Jan (Fri) – The Power of Asking Pivotal Questions; Mahatma Gandhi and the Art of Travel


The Power of Asking Pivotal Questions: MIT Sloan

Mahatma Gandhi and the Art of Travel: Bloomberg

Can’t get satisfaction? Be entrepreneurial: FT

Why Our Brains Don’t Respond To Our Attempts At Habit Change; We often try to change our behavior by reinforcing negative actions. Here’s how to reframe your motivation and finally follow through: FastCo

How Lego Became The Apple Of Toys; After a decade-long slump, Lego has rebuilt itself into a global juggernaut. An exclusive look inside the company’s top-secret Future Lab: FastCo

In divvying up assets in bankruptcies, Hong Kong liquidators need sensitive touch; Mat Ng is the liquidator currently handling fallen chief secretary Hui’s bankruptcy, selling his music record collection and other assets to repay his creditors. SCMP

Liquidator runs after mistress of bankrupt former HK chief secretary: “I have the duty to chase all assets of Mr. Hui to return to his creditors”: SCMP

The Type of Innovation That Builds Nations: HBR

Family-run jeweller K.M. Oli Mohamed stands the test of a century: TheStar

Grandson’s quest to revive faded Tibor brand’ Sam Reich’s challenge is to restore the famous designer textile name: FT

The lessons learnt by early high flyers: What is it like to achieve extraordinary success at a tender age?Life – The lessons learnt by early high flyers: FT

Integrity Is Free: Strategy&

The Impact of Anand Mahindra’s Nanhi Kali project; These schools focus on skill development of students out of colleges and polytechnic institutes and prepare them for jobs; Forbes

Santander chairman casts aside late father’s strategy: FT

Yuan-dynasty landscapes: Even better than the real thing: Economist

From $1000 to $10 million in a decade; Bashiry’s company, Broadband Solutions, was a one-man start-up in 2005; a broadband voice and data company catering specifically for small businesses: TheAge

17 Tips For Writing An Excellent Email Subject Line: BI

What you need to know about success: Success is messy. DWS

Marking the New Year through history: KoreaTimes

Bill Gates says ‘poop water’ is safe: KoreaTimes

Top Ranked Leaders Know This Secret: Ask For Feedback: Forbes

The frustrating hunt for Genghis Khan’s long-lost tomb just got a whole lot easier: WaPo

Mastering the ‘Name Your Product Category’ Game: MIT

Press Enter for Ecstasy: Chemists all over the planet send their recipes to Chinese factories that make the drugs and ship them by airfreight to avoid detection.: WSJ

Colleges Turn to Personality Assessments to Find Successful Students; Some School Are Looking Past SAT or ACT Admission Tests: WSJ

Why Digital-Movie Effects Still Can’t Do a Human Face; Even today, computer animation can’t begin to reproduce the subtle facial expressions that are the key to human communication: WSJ

The Type of Innovation That Builds Nations: HBR


Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture: Amazon

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently: Amazon

Five Of The Best Books On Communication: ValueWalk

Investing Process

Tocqueville’s François Sicart: A Devoted Contrarian Needs Patience: Tocqueville

Greater China

Chinese Property Developer Kaisa Group Appears to Default on offshore bonds, in a development that is raising concerns among global investors; Chinese Developer Kaisa On Verge Of $5Bn Default; Who’s Next?: WSJ, ZeroHedge

Li Ka-shing Is Hong Kong’s Richest Man For 17th Consecutive Year: Forbes1, Forbes2

China’s Anticorruption Campaign Drives Out M.B.A. Students: WSJ

China’s courtship of Latin America tested; China’s decelerating economy and crumbling commodity prices are testing its courtship of Latin America and underscores Beijing’s reluctance to commit cash blindly : FT

Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT, 遠東航空) refuted a Chinese-language magazine’s claim that the airline’s president hollowed out about NT$500 million of company assets: ChinaPost

Taiwan prosecutors conducted a search on the residence of Lin Rong-jin (林榮錦), the former chairman of pharmaceutical company TTY Biopharm (東洋製藥), on suspicion of hollowing out company assets. ChinaPost

Taiwan’s high speed train company is reportedly set to go bankrupt in March 2015, but Taiwan’s government is likely to take over the company’s management in January,: ChinaPost

Li Ning issued a profit warning, saying it expects to suffer a net loss of up to 820 million yuan (HK$1.04 billion) in 2014, more than double its net loss of 391.54 million yuan in 2013.: SCMP

Casino Bad Bets Hit Hong Kong Rich Hard: Forbes

Occupy Central Bodes Well For Hong Kong’s Future, Billionaire Lui Che Woo Says: Forbes

For One Hong Kong Billionaire Optimist, Occupy Central Signaled “Buy”: Forbes

Vast Wealth and a So-so Business; Heiress Pansy Ho Weighs In, Again. MGM Macau made Pansy Ho a billionaire many times over, thanks to a deal she capitalized on more than ten years ago when U.S. casino operators were maneuvering for a foothold : Forbes

Will Taiwan Gain From Embracing China Traders? Making it easier for Chinese retail investors to access local shares is a boon for an already buoyant market.: Barron’s


The Gujarat model: How Modi-nomics was forged in one of India’s most business-friendly states: Economist

India’s Stagnant Courts Resist Reform: BW

Modi throws open doors to people of Indian origin around the globe: Reuters

Modi’s Chauvinism Problem: ProjectSyndicate

Modi Struggles to Unlock $200 Billion in Stalled Projects: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

Korean Air ‘Nut-Rage’ Executive Could Be Headed To Prison For 15 Years: BI

Line, a Korea-Japanese messaging app with more than 500 million registered users, is launching a service called Line Taxi, TechInAsia reports.: BI

Korean investors shifting investments from stocks to bonds en masses: Maeil

Lotte’s endangered dream: If Lotte wants to build the world’s most fun building, there’s no reason it can’t make it the safest as well. JA

SK Innovation, Korea’s largest oil refiner, will most likely post an operating loss in 2014, hit by plunging oil prices.: KoreaTimes

GungHo, Nintendo to combine ‘Super Mario Bros.’ and ‘Puzzle and Dragons’: JapanTimes

Japan’s Fight to Change Suicide Culture Hurt by Latest Recession: Bloomberg


Universal Robina wants to satisfy ASEAN tastes: Nikkei

Widodo Plans Land Bank to Quicken Indonesia Infrastructure: Bloomberg

Indonesia may yet steal a march on India in reforming its economy: SCMP

Marina Bay Sands sues chairman of China Packaging Group for S$3.9 million over debts in Hong Kong; The company’s share price plunged 27.4%: SCMP

Fighting dirty: Muhammad Yusuf, the chief of Indonesia’s financial intelligence unit Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Centre (PPATK), is understandably frustrated because law enforcement agencies have not properly followed up: JPost

The movement of the Siamese capital to the area in the late 18th century led to an increase in population and investment in building canals for irrigation and transport. This led to the first great transformation of Bangkok: Nation

SGX panned as a place to raise funds in 2015; Association which says it represents nearly 30 listed firms urges Singapore businesses to consider markets abroad: BT1, BT2


Move to liquidate student property fund; The offshore fund is one of a string of student property vehicles marketed to retail investors that have fallen foul of liquidity problems over the past two years.: FT

Pivotal Insider Ruling Is Put to Test: At Issue Is Gesture of Friendship Cited by SEC: WSJ

Missing From Most Pimco Stock Funds: Individual Stocks: WSJ

Scammers Target Brokerage Accounts; The Morgan Stanley Data Breach Is a Reminder of the Big Dollars at Risk: WSJ

Capitalism begins at home: Providing better and more affordable housing could be the next “capitalist achievement”: Economist

The magic of mining: Minting the digital currency has become a big, ruthlessly competitive business: Economist

A crack in the vault: Chatter about breaking up large banks goes public: Economist

Lost a fortune, seeking a role; The seven German Landesbanken that survived the financial crisis are still a mess: Economist

Return of the hired gun: How private armies will remake modern warfare: Economist

US still the dominant superpower in derivatives trade: FT

Risks lurk in failure to simplify finance: FT

Deutsche Bank reveals 7 reasons why ‘Canada is in serious trouble,’ starting with a 63% overvalued housing market: FP

DuPont Finds Itself a Target of an Activist: NYT

Beware the Currency Wars of 2015; More aggressive currency devaluations in Asia and Europe could create great systemic risks world-wide.: WSJ

Europe’s Largest Bank Stock Suspended, Admits Need For $8.9 Billion Capital Raise: ZeroHedge

The BRICs Will Be Cut to the ICs if Brazil and Russia Don’t Shape Up, Warns Phrasemaker O’Neill : Bloomberg


In China, Shirtmaker TAL Uses Data Analysis for Efficiency Boost: BW

Samsung Gets Mugged in Androidland: Bloomberg

Five Rules for Strategic Partnerships in a Digital World: Strategy&

Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su, Fortune 500’s newest woman CEO, talks about her first 90 days on the job and details her plans for the tech giant. Fortune

Xero Wants All Small Businesses To Do Accounting In The Cloud: Forbes

Meet the market shapers: A new breed of high-tech economist is helping firms crack new markets: Economist

Hidden in the long tail: Consumers reap the benefits of e-commerce in surprising ways: Economist

A Chinese Company Is Already Making Fake Apple Watches And Proudly Displaying Them In Las Vegas; Apple Watch faces attack of the clones at CES: BI, FT

Google Is Losing Its Grip On Search: BI

GoPro expansion to focus on China; GoPro’s Need for Speed; Camera Maker’s Stock Valuation May Be Too Pricey: FT, WSJ

Tech world feels its way through the dark in internet of things: FT

Memo to activist investors: Unless you understand tech, you’ll do more harm than good: Pando

How Flipboard Is The Epitome Of Web 3.0; Every year, Flipboard looks more and more like the future of magazines.: Medium

Online retail share crash heralds bursting of tech bubble: Telegraph

What is Xiaomi?: Stratechery

Amazon Bought This Man’s Company. Now He’s Coming for Them: BW

12 million driverless cars to be on the road by 2035: Reuters

If Mark Zuckerberg is the next Oprah, Facebook is in trouble: WaPo

The Dark Side of Information Technology: MIT

Energy & Commodities

Energy bondholders could lose out in refinance deals; Risk heightened by weaker investor protection written into bonds: FT

Barrick Gold Corp comes under fire, cut to underperform in extensive analyst report: FP

‘No white knight coming’: Distressed natural gas producers hunker down amid new energy reality: FP

Wall Street isn’t feeling so ‘super’ about the oil trade: Fortune

Oil-Price Drop Takes Shine Off Steel Town; Ohio Workers Who Benefited From Energy Boom Now Face Layoffs: WSJ

Cargill Energy-Trading Earnings Rise While Crude Plunges: Bloomberg

Oil Plunge Leaves $27 Billion of Energy Bonds Junk Priced: Bloomberg

Why OPEC Is Talking Oil Down, Not Up, After 48% Selloff: Bloomberg

Oil Slump Giving Asian M&A Predators One-Year Window for Deals: Bloomberg


The Drugs That Companies Promote to Doctors Are Rarely Breakthroughs: NYT

The $3 billion startup that wants to help you to make medicines in your own body: Fortune

Consumer & Others

McDonald’s: When the chips are down; After a long run of success, the world’s largest fast-food chain is floundering-and activist investors are circling; Why slightly more upmarket outlets are eating fast food’s lunch: Economist (Part 1, Part 2)

Soylent’s Magical Milkshake Is Now Worth $100 Million: BI

GameStop Has A Brilliant Plan To Avoid Becoming The Next Blockbuster: BI

LVMH head Ravi Thakran looking to invest in Australia’s ‘hidden gems’: BRW

Fiat has already benefited from spinning off its most valuable brand Ferrari, but can the legendary Italian sports car company find a new gear on its own?: Forbes

Under Armour Overtakes Adidas in U.S. Sportswear Market; Baltimore-Based Company Boosts Sales in Apparel and Footwear at German Rival’s Expense: WSJ

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 8 Jan (Thurs) – Billionaire Mark Cuban Used To Stay Up All Night Reading About Stamps; This habit served him well over the years when the transactions started to get larger and more serious


Billionaire Mark Cuban Used To Stay Up All Night Reading About Stamps; This habit served him well over the years when the transactions started to get larger and more serious. BI

This Trait Helped Carl Icahn Become A Billionaire: BI

Bill Gates Is Revolutionizing How History Is Taught, And We Went To A Poor NYC High School To See It In Action: BI

Gates Foundation Uses Art to Encourage Vaccination: NYT

What I Learned About Life After Interviewing 80 Highly Successful People: LinkedIn

BILL ACKMAN: We’re Doing ‘God’s Work’ On Herbalife: BI

Reforming Islam: Where change comes from: Economist

How Stores Manipulate Prices So You’ll Spend More: BI

EU Banned Pesticides to Help Bees, But Now Other Bugs Are Invading: Bloomberg

So Many Earth-Like Planets, So Few Telescopes: NYT

Top educator calls for abolition of college entrance tests: KoreaTimes

Making homework count: BT

Negotiating deals from a position of powerlessness: Forbes

What Unilever shares with Google and Apple: Fortune

Can a Philosophical Position be Considered Securities Fraud? An Unusual Boardroom Battle, in Academia: MediumNYT

The Curious Science of When Multitasking Works: HBR

Architecture Continues To Implode: More Insiders Admit The Profession Is Failing: Forbes

Morgan Stanley Insider Data Theft Spotlights ‘Profiling Analytics’: WSJ

To ‘Think Like a Freak,’ Start with These Three Words: K@W

The Art and Science of Sound: How Music Influences Consumers: K@W

Investing Process

Tailored Accounting at IPOs Raises Flags; Critics Say Companies’ Increased Use of Customized Earnings Measures Could Confuse Investors: WSJ

CSC to Pay $190 Million to Settle SEC Accounting Probe: Bloomberg

Vltava Fund Q4 Letter: Eight Important Lessons: ValueWalk

Greater China

Short sellers feel the heat from Chinese solar group Hanergy: FT

Zenith says ‘stalling’ by Founder behind dispute over 3b yuan; Founder says current, future profits harmed by legal brawl with Zenith: SCMP

Taiwan Shares Rise Most in Two Months on Chinese Investor Report: Bloomberg, SCMP

Speculation on China’s local debt as reporting deadline passes: Want ChinaTimes

What could happen in China in 2015? What do you get when you add slower economic growth, greater volatility, and rising competition to more international flights and genuine Chinese innovation? : McKinsey

China’s ‘new normal’ is more Alibabas, fewer smokestacks: The trick for policy makers will be to shift resources from the public to the private sector: FT

China Cities Crack Down on Illegal Cabs Using Car-Hailing Apps: Bloomberg

China Wants Taxes Paid by Citizens Living Afar: NYT

Yantai Penghui Copper halts production as it runs out of cash: SCMP

Revamping China’s Fiscal System; A major overhaul promises to make government spending more responsible—and accountable. WSJ

China Amps Up an Old Dream of Green Belts: WSJ


Modi Passes Thatcher Test as Indian Coal Union Strike Ends: Bloomberg

Billionaire Investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Picks IIndian ome Lenders to Ride Modi Rally: Bloomberg

BlackRock Is Optimistic About India’s Road Building Efforts: Bloomberg

On Diaspora Day Jan 9, Marking the Centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Return to India: JGlobe

Japan & Korea

‘Nut Rage’ Reignites Backlash Against South Korea’s Family-Run Conglomerates; Outburst by Daughter of Korean Air Chairman Puts Focus on Chaebol’s Nepotism Problems: WSJ

Hyundai-Kia: two become one?: EIU

Chaebol scions promoted to executives at young age: KoreaHerald

CJ chairman’s sister given lesser role; the 57-year-old Miky Lee wielded powerful influence on the country’s 14th-largest conglomerate, which centers on entertainment, retail and food. JA

Panasonic ponders moving production back to Japan from China: WantChinaTimes

Gyeonggi to start ‘Dream school’ to help students discover their potential. KoreaTimes


Standard Chartered Plans to Cut 11% of Malaysia Jobs: Bloomberg

Daunting Myanmar mining risks keeps investors to a brave handful; For now, Myanmar is the domain of small, wildcat companies specialising in high-risk frontier investment: SCMP

Made in Indonesia, but Does It Work? JGlobe

Thriller in Manila In Aquino’s Final Round; Philippines favored among investors but President faces challenges in lifting economy before leaving office.: Barron’s

Singapore’s tax system toughens up: BT


Standard Chartered to close equities business globally nad dismantle its stock broking, equity research, and equity listing desks: Reuters

Currency swings pose challenges for Asian groups: FT

The American manufacturing renaissance that never was: Fortune

Aussie financial services industry can’t afford any more scandals: TheAge

Energy & Commodities

Safest Banks’ Advantage Disappears as Oil Slumps: Canada Credit: Bloomberg

The First Shale Casualty: WBH Energy Files For Bankruptcy; Many More Coming: ZeroHedge

U.A.E. Energy Minister Says Oil Glut Could Run for Years: Bloomberg

How $50 Oil Changes Almost Everything: Bloomberg

Four-fifths of global coal reserves ‘must stay in ground’ to tackle climate change: Telegraph

Oil Firms’ New Dilemma: Save, or Borrow More? Drop in Oil Prices Will Force Producers to Cut Dividends and Investments or Get More in Debt: WSJ

Billions of dollars worth of projects face an uncertain future amid write-downs and job losses across Australia’s battered oil and gas sectors as the global oil crash deepens.: TheAge


Ford CEO Fields Predicts Driverless Cars on Roads in 5 Years: Bloomberg

Video-ripping website earns its creator almost $30,000 every month with no op costs; A healthcare website for scheduling medical visits; A spam-busting, self-destructing email service; Selling “libraries” for app prototyping. BI

Is YouTube The Yahoo Of 2015? Techcrunch

On the road with information technology: Leading carmakers are driven to strut their stuff at the International CES in Las Vegas: JA

MediaTek to power Google’s audio streaming technology: WantChinaTimes

An Online Jeweler Creates Links With Brick-and-Mortar Shops: NYT

With apps able to act as cameras, media players and so much more, the world of consumer electronics is in turmoil as smartphones supersede all other devices. NYT

The Real Story Behind Jeff Bezos’ Fire Phone Debacle and What It Means for Amazon’s Future: FastCo

Digital Business Models Should Have to Follow the Law, Too: HBR

The 2015 “Sleeper Ideas” List: Trends, Stocks, And Private Companies To Watch: Forbes


‘Ingenious’ Antibiotic Discovery ‘Challenges Long-Held Scientific Beliefs’; “The new research is based on the premise that everything on earth is teeming with microbes that compete fiercely to survive”: BI

For First Time, F.D.A. Panel Approves Generic Copy of Costly Biologic Drug: NYT

Antibiotic Pulled From Dirt Ends 25-Year Drug Drought: Bloomberg

Scientists Discover New Antibiotic; A Potential Weapon Against a Range of Diseases; Discovery Is a Much-Needed Breakthrough in Quest to Overcome Growing Resistance to Existing Drugs: WSJ

Consumer & Others

Keurig is using its successful coffee playbook to bring you homemade Dr. Pepper: Quartz

Human Tooth Found in McDonald’s Japan Fries: WSJ

26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20

26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20


Etienne Garbugli @egarbugli 

(10 SlideShares) , Senior UX Researcher & Innovation Consultant, Lean B2B Author at

Uploaded on Mar 28, 2013

Help fund the book:
In December 2013, this presentation was voted Most Liked presentation of the year by SlideShare. It was included in their Zeitgeist.

Bamboo Innovator Daily Insight: 7 Jan (Wed) – Giant Bicycle tycoon King Liu who has vowed to change the world with bicycles says he began to know himself only at age 50, started understanding management only at 60, found an outlet for his passion only at 70, and began to feel that age is only a number at 80


Giant Bicycle founder King Liu strives to ‘be the only, not the first’; King Liu is known throughout Taiwan and around the globe as the founder of the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer: WantChinaTimes

Elon Musk Loves This Winston Churchill Quote About ‘Going Through Hell’: BI

Elon Musk Just Gave An Amazing Tip On How To Learn A Lot Quickly: BI

A Cereal Company CEO Has Lost $218 Million Of His Own Money On Herbalife: BI

What Resilience Means, and Why It Matters: HBR

Accountants need to be strong in their ethical principles: BT

How Fanduel Is Turning Fantasy Sports Into Real Money: Forbes

Haruki Murakami to become ‘agony uncle’; Reclusive Japanese novelist to answer ‘curveball enquiries’; Who am I? What is Life? Author Haruki Murakami to the Rescue: FT, JGlobe

City Link crash reminds us turnrounds can be perilous; The company’s problems were probably irreversible but now it must treat its staff decently: FT

Teach the children well: Achieving excellent education for all: Forbes

10 Surefire Ways To Boost Your Productivity In 2015: Forbes

Decoding leadership: What really matters: McKinsey

The Melbourne man at the centre of an alleged $110m mortgage fraud holds a senior position in major mortgage brokerage network, raising concerns that the true scale of the potential financial losses is yet to be known: TheAge

Instead of resolving to exercise more or eat less, try adding new skills to your wheelhouse this year. Whether it’s learning to golf or to ski, to sing or to code or to speak a new language, the window of opportunity never close: WSJ

Firms eyeing growth in anti-fraud market: AsiaOne

Investing Process & Research

Wolf Pack Activism: SSRN

Nine Reasons Why We Must Rethink Our Fundamental Beliefs About Stock Investing: ValueWalk

Skills That Separate You as an Investment Manager: Context Creation: CFA

The Quants on the Left Bank: How Paris-Based Physicists Used Algorithms to Get Big Returns: Bloomberg

Greater China

There’s a Leadership Crisis in Chinese Property Firms — They’re Defaulting. Who’s Next to Go? Bloomberg

Chris Patten: Emperor Xi’s dilemma; Even Xi has had to obey the first rule: Don’t name the corrupt until the Party decides who they are. ProjectSyndicate

The mainland’s colonization of the Hong Kong economy: Reuters

Legal DNA sequencing-based screening coming to China soon: WantChinaTimes

Apple may change China distribution after fraud case: WantChinaTimes

Survey shows Shanghai-Hong stock connect not yet popular with international investors: SCMP

Scale and reach of anti-graft probes set to increase; More mainland companies could find themselves targets of graft busters as the multibillion-dollar boom industries of recent years are investigated: SCMP

Two Kaisa Group partners demand refund of 1.2b yuan as problems get worse: SCMP

The Chinese Empire’s Burning Peripheries; Crackdowns in Hong Kong and Xinjiang threaten Taiwan-and regional peace. WSJ

China’s SUV Boom Faces Growth Slowdown; Foreign and Domestic Auto Makers Add Models, But a Price Crunch Looms: WSJ


Modi Pledge Tested by India Budget Deficit Already 99% of Target: Bloomberg

Science Struggles in India: Bloomberg

Havells India MD wants to grow the Indian business aggressively; Anil Rai Gupta, Havells India’s new chairman and managing director, talks about growth, expansion and warding off competition in the electrical goods market: Forbes

The Piramal family’s purposeful philanthropy; For Ajay Piramal, wealth earned is not to keep, but to share. It is a legacy he’s inherited from his grandfather, and one his children are upholding through their work with the Piramal Found: Forbes

India Stock Sales to Lift World’s Lowest Float: Chart of the Day: Bloomberg

Japan & Korea

Startups on the Menu as Venture Capitalists Shop in Seoul: Bloomberg

Govt-biz nexus in Asian accounting fraud: Legal battle looms over Moneual loan fraud: KoreaHerald

Success story in China: Hansae Dream, Lock & Lock, Dongsung Ecore: Maeil

Police are seeking cooperation with Interpol to locate Coko Entertainment co-CEO Kim Woo-jong, who fled to the United States in Nov last year after allegedly embezzling hundreds of millions of won in company funds. KoreaTimes

Japan Traders Call 2015 Pivotal Year as Oil, Yen Aid Growth: Bloomberg

Japanese corporate leaders welcomed the recent plunge in oil prices, saying it would bolster Japan’s faltering economic recovery even as it roils global financial markets. WSJ

In South Korea, Rivals Samsung and LG Fight Dirty Over Washing Machines: WSJ

How a 574% Stock Gain Highlights What’s at Stake for Abe: Bloomberg

Shorts in Tokyo Soars to Record on Abenomics Skepticism: Bloomberg


United Overseas Bank (UOB) has launched a $181 million suit against a subsidiary of Indonesian giant Lippo Group and seven individuals, claiming they conspired to get inflated housing loans: AsiaOne

What Retirement? Singapore Older Workers Stay on the Job: Bloomberg

Waiver on Patent Fee to Boost Indonesian Innovation: JGlobe

Japan’s Misadventures in Burma: WSJ

Singapore home owners will need to brace themselves for even higher mortgage payments this year as an impending interest rate increase in the US looms closer; highly leveraged households sitting on floating rate plans risk being stung: TODAY

Time to rethink SGX’s watchdog role: AsiaOne

Top Thai Pension Fund to Cut Bond Holdings in Stocks Push: Bloomberg


Rising Dollar Presses Asian Borrowers; Bad Loans Mount as Chinese Growth Slows; Risk From Higher Rates: WSJ

The world’s richest nations are borrowing for free. Free Money in Bond Markets Shows Global Economy Still Struggling. Bloomberg

Spectre of sovereign bond defaults looms; A rift is forming between the havens and the exposed: FT

How financiers turned back forces of equality; Growth of banking sector has helped turn back egalitarian trend: FT

Public finances: A world of debt; The global crisis left many economies heavily indebted. But there are ways policy makers can repair the damage: FT

A Contrarian View of Emerging Markets: An interview with Brian Singer, head of dynamic allocation strategies at William Blair in Chicago. Barron’s

How Even Dairy Farmers Get Squeezed by Rigging in the $5.3 Trillion Currency Market: Bloomberg

Bill Gross’ 2015 Outlook: “The Good Times Are Over, The Time For Risk Taking Has Passed”: Janus

Surviving (and Thriving From) a Breakup: Investors are pressuring companies for spin-offs, but do such transactions create shareholder value?: CFO

The world’s richest nations are borrowing for free. Free Money in Bond Markets Shows Global Economy Still Struggling. Bloomberg


Sony Just Solved The Biggest Problem With Google Glass: BI

The devil wears de la Renta: Is Yahoo’s high-profile chief executive a failure? A new book by Nicholas Carlson offers nearly everything short of an answer. Fortune

Apple Watch Must Be Ahead of Its Time; Product’s Potential Looks Constrained Relative to Earlier Devices: WSJ

Google and the Self-Driving Delusion: Who wants to be on the road with the guy whose car is screaming at him to wake up and take control? WSJ

Virtual Reality Is Taking Its Time Becoming a Consumer Reality; Razer Introduces a New VR Headset at CES as the Industry Tries to Crack a ‘Chicken or Egg’ Problem: WSJ

Energy & Commodities

Deep Debt Keeps Oil Firms Pumping; Producers Have Increased Their Borrowings by 55% Since 2010: WSJ

Transocean $9.1 Billion Debt May Be Cut to Junk on Oil Slump: Bloomberg


Crazy Infographic Shows How Deadly Superbugs Will Be In The Post-Antibiotic Era: BI

Rethinking cancer risks: JapanTimes

Biosimilar Drugs Face U.S. Test; FDA Panel Will Decide Whether to Recommend Approval: WSJ

Consumer & Others

Why McDonald’s Isn’t Shake Shack and Probably Shouldn’t Be: NYT

Fast Retailing Selling At Haute Couture Prices; At 39 times projected earnings the mass market fashion retailer’s shares have run too far, too fast. Barron’s

Reinventing The Pizza; Pizza Studio is adapting the quick and made-to-order model, championed by Chipotle and Subway, to pizza: Forbes

Cost cuts, asset sales and writedowns in store for Tesco: Reuters

Moat Report Asia Monthly (Jan 2015) – “Keeping Life Good At Home”: The Dream of “One India”

 “Bamboo Innovators bend, not break, even in the most terrifying storm that would snap the mighty resisting oak tree. It survives, therefore it conquers.”
BAMBOO LETTER UPDATE | January 5, 2015
Bamboo Innovator Insight (Issue 64)§  The weekly insight is a teaser into the opportunities – and pitfalls! – in the Asian capital jungles.§  Get The Moat Report Asia – a monthly in-depth presentation report of around 30-40 pages covering the business model of the company, why it has a wide moat and why the moat may continue to widen, a special section on “Inside the Leader’s Mind” to understand their thinking process in building up the business, the context – why now (certain corporate or industry events or groundbreaking news), valuations (why it can compound 2-3x in the next 5 years), potential risks and how it is part of the systematic process in the Bamboo Innovator Index of 200+ companies out of 15,000+ in the Asia ex-Japan universe.

§  Our paid Members from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing.

 Dear Friends,Can You Guess This Asian Wide-Moat Company?

“Keeping Life Good At Home”: The Dream of “One India”

Q: “Ji, what motivates you? How did you push yourself over the years and not give up with all the problems and challenges?”

Mr. K: “Problems are part of life, whenever you do business. It will come to anybody who do business. Solve it and move forward. You keep on talking, there’s no solution. You need to keep moving forward. My motivation comes from the family, the support of the wife, and life being good at home was very important. Without that, you cannot do it. She didn’t push me. She kept life good at home and that’s what kept me going. No pushing. It’s the key to success, a good home environment.”

“Keeping life good at home”. This is a beautiful and fitting message for the New Year 2015 in India who is seeking to implement the uniform GST tax rate, with effective from April 1, 2016. The GST would replace more than a dozen taxes that increase incentives for corruption and offer the economy a boost of as much as 1.7%. Modi’s government had presented the uniform GST tax-rate proposal to the lower house in Delhi on Dec 18 last year and aims to pass the bill in the session of parliament beginning in Feb 2015. Since the GST unifies the states into a single landmass, into “One India”, inter-state movement will be seamless. By “keeping life good at home” with the various reforms and policies, companies which enjoy a pan-India manufacturing and distributing presence will reduce their logistics cost and stand to gain significantly in the domestic home market.

Can you guess who is Mr. K? Our latest monthly Moat Report Asia for January 2015 examines an Indian company established by Mr. K in 1988, now the #1 leader in the industry with a market share of 20% – and a beneficiary of the “One India” GST reform.

Led by Mr. K and his two sons who joined the business in 2000, the family business has transformed the industry in India with their vision, patient sacrifice and stable capital through long-term profound investments in building up the unique business model of loyal dealer network with over 10,000 point-of-sales, a pan-India manufacturing and distribution presence, superior design capability and production technology and marketing innovations, giving it a distinct competitive edge and premium pricing power over its peers. Thus, while its peers are impacted by the rising cost pressure, rupee volatility, and an uncertain business environment, the company went on to not only consolidate the fragmented industry but also successfully create a consumer ‘pull’ from catering to the aspirations of the consumers in the entire value pyramid with its quality product offerings. The company enjoys the highest brand equity in the industry and has consistently the highest ROA, ROE and profit margin, and the most efficient cash conversion cycle in the industry. Its Pan-India network means the company has the ability to move products quickest off shelves, at a rate equivalent to the size of 20 international football fields every day! The company has strong fundamentals with ROE at 26% and EBIT margins at 15+% that is far higher than its rivals’ 4-5% to support valuations.

Through shrewd capital allocation policy in reinvesting its profits back into widening the moat of the business, the company has grown its production capacity over 54-folds in a smart, asset-lighter way without blowing up its balance sheet and not raising any capital from the equity market since its 1988 IPO – by acquiring management control in efficient regional producers at a low capital cost which generated revenue from day one and serviced markets faster in selling with their own brand. With the plan to double production capacity in the next three years by Mar FY2018, and strong industry dynamics over the next 7-8 years supported by policies such as the GST reform, Swachh Bharat (Toilet for All by 2019) and “Housing for All by 2020”, the company’s mid- to long-term growth outlook is resilient and market value could potentially triple in 3-5 years. Mr. K’s family owns 52.1% of the company which is their flagship business vehicle.

Who is Mr. K and his listed family business?

Warm regards,


The Moat Report Asia

A new monthly issue of The Moat Report Asia is now available!

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