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.
Private equity firm Irving Place Capital ("IPC") and Victor Technologies ("Victor") announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement to sell Victor to Colfax Corporation ("Colfax") (NYSE: CFX), a global manufacturer of gas- and fluid-handling and fabrication technology products. The all cash transaction values Victor at approximately $947 million, including the assumption of debt, and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Victor is a leading designer and manufacturer of a comprehensive suite of metal cutting, gas control, and specialty welding products. IPC acquired Victor, which was previously named Thermadyne Holdings Corporation, in a take-private transaction in December 2010.
"We are pleased with the progress that we have made in partnership ...
Who says QE is ineffective? If you’re an owner of real estate or financial assets, it’s pretty darn f*cking effective.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The net worth of U.S. households and nonprofit organizations rose 14% last year, or almost $10 trillion, to $80.7 trillion, the highest on record, according to a Federal Reserve report released Thursday. Even adjusted for inflation using the Fed’s preferred gauge of prices, U.S. household net worth—the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus debts and other liabilities—hit a fresh record.
Plenty of excuses out there for this evening's collosal miss in Chinese exports (-18.1% YoY vs an expectation of a 7.5% rise) mainly based on timing issues over the Lunar New Year (but didn't the 45 economists who forecast this data know the dates before they forecast?) This is a 6-sigma miss and plunges China's trade balance to its biggest miss on record and 2nd largest deficit on record. Combining Jan and Feb data (i.e. smoothing over the holiday), exports are still down 1.6% YoY - not good for the much-heralded global recovery. Exports to the rest of the BRICs were all down over 20% but no there is no contagion from an emergin...
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There is a fairly regular pattern to how the market behaves during what is called the "four-year election cycle." Typically, we get a peak in the spring, a bottom in late summer, and then a strong rally into the pre-election year:
We more or less had that pattern in 2010-2011, where we peaked in the spring, bottomed in the summer, and then rallied into the middle of the pre-election year (2011):
The Global X Social Media Index ETF (Ticker: SOCL) touched fresh record highs on Thursday morning, surprising no one given the top three holdings of the Fund are Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings (12.678%), Facebook Inc. (12.506%) and LinkedIn Corp. (8.166%), which are up 130%, 160% and 22%, respectively, since this time last year. The SOCL reflects the performance of companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing and other web-based media applications. Shares in the ETF rose 1.3% today to a new high of $23.00, and have soared approximately 65% since this time last year.
Today brought three better than expected economic releases from Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, and Personal Income. The ISM figure was quite unexpected and Personal Income was well above expectations. If we ignore for a moment that the Final GDP reading for Q4 was lowered on Friday (which may or may not have been primarily caused by severe weather), we have had a week of better than expected economic numbers. Corporate earnings have also continued to exceed forecasts, albeit with a bit more cautious guidance.
Of course, none of that matters when the “war drums” start beating. Russia and the Ukraine are engaged in a serious game of “chicken” with a bear in the hen house. The Russian ruble has borne the brunt of the damage so far with a double digit drop today again...
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This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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