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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
While overnight the massive student protest crowd swelled to as much as 200,000 according to eyewitnesses as today's deadline for their demands that HK Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying resign arrives, the gathering was surprisingly peaceful. That may change at any moment.
BREAKING: Hong Kong police warn of serious consequences if protesters charge government buildings
Exceptionally good news from California today: A federal judge ruled CALpers claim of "Sanctity of Pensions" is invalid. Today's ruling went even further than the bankrupt city of Stockton originally sought in court.
When it comes to monthly market volatility in the S&P 500, October tops the list, ranging from its 16.3% surge in 1974 to its 21.8% plunge in 1987. How will October 2014 stack up on the volatility scale? Time will tell. But the month certainly opened on a weak note, dropping 1.32%, the sixth largest one-day decline so far this year. The index closed a bit off its -1.52% intraday low at the start of the final hour of trading. The intraday range was at the 96th percentile of the 189 market days of 2014.
The selloff in equities was matched by a rally in Treasuries. The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.42%, down 10 bps from yesterday's close.
Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions
As we see on the daily chart, today's selling came on increased volume.
Better than a Bitcoin? The Mexican Libertad is a real coin made out of silver or gold whose value is based on the price of silver or gold. It's tangible, like our coins and paper money, but the value is pegged to its weight in previous metal.
The Libertad is a Mexican coin that was first issued in 1981 in .999 fine gold and then in silver in 1982. Beginning in 1991, the Libertades became the only coins in the world that were issued in the convenient sizes of 1/20, 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 ounce—again, in both gold and silver. This made them very practical if they were to be used as currency.
The CBOE Vix Index topped 17.0 and the highest level since early-August on Monday morning amid declines in U.S. equities to start the trading week. The volatility index is off its earlier highs to trade 5.0% higher on the session at 15.65 as of 11:30 am ET. Options volume on the VIX is hovering near 360,000 contracts, or just more than 50% of the average daily reading of around 660,000 contracts. Calls are far more active than put options, as evidenced by the call/put ratio up above 4.2 in morning trading, perhaps as some traders position for volatility to stick around.
Large call spreads traded on the VIX today caught our attention as one big optio...
Yes, the market showed significant weakness last week for the first time in quite a while. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved triple digits each day. But it was all quite predictable, as I suggested in last week's article, and certainly nothing to worry about. Now the market appears to be poised for a modest technical rebound, and longer term, U.S. equities should be in good shape for a year-end rally. However, I still believe more downside is in order before any new highs are challenged. Moreover, market breadth is important for a sustained bull run, so the challenge for investors will be to put together broader bullish conviction, including the small caps.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, re...
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Ebola is spreading too quickly for Ebola-vaccine makers to conduct typical studies of safety and efficacy on experimental vaccines. Instead, vaccines will be tested for basic safety, but then deployed with protocols devised now in order to test for efficacy essentially on the field. Testing has to be expedited because the situation in West Africa gets worse every day while there are no approved vaccines or other treatments.
The chart below is from a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showing estimates of the virus's trajectory projecting out to November 1, 2014. If current trends continue...
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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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