The scandalous diary of a medium-level official was posted online (in Chinese) and then spread like wildfire through China and beyond. Han Feng, a director of the Guanxi tobacco monopoly bureau, describes a life of sexcapades and bribery.
Han has already stepped down from his post, according to China Daily.
Here are some excerpts:
Sept. 16, 2007: Wang asked me for lunch at the Guijing Hotel. There were just the two of us. He gave me two bottles of Moutai liquor and 50,000 yuan. I deposited 30,000 yuan and took 20,000 home.
Sept. 18: 21-32 degrees, sunny – Morning in the “living quarters” – Afternoon: go to hotel & asked for a room, Ms. Long is coming – had red wine at dinner – go to GuoDa hotel, Xiao Tan is there, her menstruation is coming…
Sept. 20: When I got to the office this afternoon, Chen stopped by and gave me 10,000 yuan. Li gave me 2,000 yuan.
Dec. 4: Drank too much & Xiao Pai too, I asked her to come to my room…
Dec. 11: Evening, dinner with Mr Wang & Mr Hu, Commissar of the local Land Bureau – We decided to pay 5,000,000RMB (about USD 800,000) application fee and they will give us the land… Then we drank a lot!
Dec. 29: 2007 has been a good year. Work is going smoothly. Income is as high as 200,000 yuan Womanizing is on the right track. It’s been a lucky year with women. I need to pay attention to my health with so many sex partners.
Jan. 25: Award meeting. We obtained the “advanced citizen” award status as a unit… which means I get my salary and bonus increased to 250,000 this year.
They also questioned whether the rescue of GMAC, achieved in part by making it a bank, had created a long-term situation in which the government guarantee of bank deposits was subsidizing sales at General Motors and Chrysler.
GMAC is the primary source of financing for GM and Chrysler dealers, and a major source of loans for buyers of their vehicles. Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor who chairs the panel, said she understood GMAC’s utility for GM and Chrysler.
"What I don’t understand," she said, "is what the justification is for being an independent bank that takes deposits that has a backup from the United States government."
Ron Bloom, a senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, told the panel that the rescue of GMAC was necessary to save the automakers, and that the $17.2 billion price tag was a good deal for taxpayers. He said that no other lender or combination of lenders could have quickly replaced GMAC’s role in the marketplace.
Goldman is trying to diffuse the increasingly harsh light being turned on its dubious practices in the collateralized debt obligation market, with the wattage turned up considerably last week by a story in the New York Times that described how a synthetic CDO program called Abacus was the means by which Goldman famously went “net short” subprime. We’ve mentioned Abacus repeatedly because AIG wrote guarantees on at least some of the Abacus trades.
One of the things that has been frustrating in watching this debate is the peculiar propensity of quite a few observers to defend Goldman and its brethren, and to argue, effectively, caveat emptor. Contrary to the fantasies of libertarians, that is not in fact how markets, particularly securities markets, operate. In virtually every market in the world, when someone represents his wares as being sound and safe and they turn out to be “bad” and dangerous, the seller is considered to have some responsibility for the damage. Remember those Pintos that turned into fireballs when rear-ended? The pets that died from pet food laced with melamine from China? No one suggested that the buyers of those products were at fault.
The fall out from climate gate is much deeper and broader than hoped for by the global warming network--the web of corporate interests, academics and bureaucrats exposed as rigging the climate change debate. But it is also more fun than anyone anticipated.
Regardless of where you fall on the climate debate, this jib-jab style video is fun.
He just says it under his breath, right as he’s going off the air, but at the 2:36 mark of this video, you can hear University of East Anglia professor Andrew Watson saying "what an a**hole" in reference to a critic.
Yes, the embattled scientests just keep digging. (via CBS News and Drudge)
Climate skeptics claim hacked e-mails prove, once and for all, that global warming is a hoax
The climate-change obsessed blogosphere — including both those who accept the science behind anthropogenic climate change and those who deny it — is in an absolute uproar today after the revelation that an unknown party hacked into the computer system of an important climate research center and posted hundreds of private e-mails to a Russian FTP server.
If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW," says the Telegraph’s James Delingpole.
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey claims the emails discuss "repetitive, false data of higher temperatures."
The National Review’s Chris Horner salivates, "The blue-dress moment may have arrived."
"The crimes revealed in the e-mails promise to be the global warming scandal of the century," blares Michelle Malkin.
The Australia Herald-Sun’s Andrew Bolt claims the emails are "proof of a conspiracy which is one of the largest, most extraordinary and most disgraceful in modern [sic] science."
RealClimate, a blog maintained by real climate scientists, is busy doing damage control. This story will no doubt rage for weeks, so I’m just going to pick one example of the back and forth before trying to take some time to go deeper, if merited…
So what’s going on here? Put aside the question of whether the words "trick" or "hide" have nefarious or innocuous meanings. The scientific problem is that in attempting to reconstruct temperatures in the past, climate scientists are often faced with the problem that there were no humans standing around holding thermometers and writing down temperatures. So scientists use "proxies" — tree rings, or ice cores, or fossilized clams, or lake pollen trapped in sediment…
Overall, the more data we have, the more clear it has become to the vast majority of scientists working in this field that the earth has gotten significantly hotter at an alarming rate in the last century, most likely due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And if there really is a smoking gun in the…
The writing has been on the wall for so-called "Flash" trading for several weeks now, as exchanges like NASDAQ and BATS have already ended the practice of allowing certain clients a preferential look at the order flow. Today, though, the SEC voted to move forward on an outright ban of the controversial practice. Next up will be a public comment period, followed by another vote, which will almost certainly go the same way.
Next up, the critics will train all their efforts at high-frequency, rebate-capture trading strategies.
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
An interesting article on MarketWatch today caught my attention. The subhead is the money quote, “Back in April every economist in a survey thought yields would rise. Guess what they did next.”
Every? The article refers to 67 economists polled by Bloomberg, all of whom would seem to believe in the quantity theory of money. This means they believe a rising money supply causes rising prices. That means they think the bond market expects inflation. Which means they expect the interest rate to rise, because investors will somehow demand more.
IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonalds are three of America’s largest corporations and most well-known brands. They are true multinationals in every sense of the word and they dominate their industries both at home and abroad. They are numbers 23, 58 and 106 on the Fortune 500 list, respectively. Together, they make up 12 percent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s total weighting.
And all three are plagued by the same problem – they’re shrinking. More than this, their shrinkage is finally being recognized on The Street, now that investors are peeling back all of the layers of buybac...
Europe was in rally mode when the US markets opened, and the EURO STOXX 50 would subsequently close with a 2.19% gain. The S&P 500 opened at its intraday low, up 0.28%, and headed higher through the day to its 2.02% high in the final hour. Its closing gain of 1.96% was its best one-day performance since its 2.18% surge on October 10th of last year. The popular financial press attibutes today's gain to speculation more ECB stimulus and the strong Apple-earnings effect.
The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.23%, up 3 bps from yesterday's close.
Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.
Here is a daily chart of the index. In yesterday's update I pointed out the proximity of the close to the 200-day price moving average. It certainly offered no resistance today, and volume was 23% above its 50...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices? In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...
Shares in Apple (Ticker: AAPL) are near their highs of the session in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, adding to the muted gains seen earlier in the day, following the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes and after activist investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn tweeted, “Tmrw we’ll be sending an open letter to @tim_cook. Believe it will be interesting.” Icahn’s tweet hit the ether at 2:33 pm ET and was met with a spike in volume in Apple shares. The stock is currently up 2.0% on the day at $100.75 as of 3:15 pm ET.
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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