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.
On the subject of Deutsche Bank and why are banks getting hammered? What Phil says is correct, the PPT or ubiquitous "they" don't want a repeat of 2008 and may intercede if necessary. TBD.
I don't want to lead anyone astray, but its what I've been Nattering about for quite awhile. It's not oil, it's not credit, it's not bank stocks, it's not (FILL IN THE BLANK). Those laments are symptoms of a much greater problem, simply put in ONE WORD: LIQUIDITY.
The gap down had set up for a big bearish move lower, but the collapse never appeared. Instead, lows held as support. On the flip side, an attempt at a rally couldn't get off the ground, but markets were able to do enough to register a close above the open.
The S&P closed with a spinning top below support. Watch for a strong 'sell' signal in the MACD as other technicals remain bearish. The only positive is the strong relative performance against the Russell 2000.
The Nasdaq experienced a big gap down yesterday, and today offered a brief move to test the gap. Bulls need a gap higher to leave what could be a very good bullish ...
Gold jumped 2 percent to a 7-1/2-month high yesterday, briefly touching the psychological level of $1,200 an ounce. Falling bank shares and stock markets and worries over global economic growth and a new financial crisis prompted investors to seek the safety of gold.
When assets reach prior highs, its time to pay attention from a Risk On & Risk Off basis.
The chart on the left is Silver, going back to the mid 1970’s. As you can see it reached $50 in the early 1980’s and then quickly reversed, losing over 90% of its value in the next 14-years. Then it embarked on a rally, starting in the early 1990’s. This rally took Silver back to the $50 level in 2011, which ended up being a “Double Top” nearly 30-years later. After hitting the $50 level again, buyers disappeared and sellers stepped forward....
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Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.
Panic. Worry. Sell.
In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our mind and ignored it.
A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.
We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.
Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.
Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
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.
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