Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Real question should be, why no such procedures in place, or overlooked!? Coutts fined £8.75m for lax checks on laundering - Business News - Business - The Independent

Coutts fined £8.75m for lax checks on laundering - Business News - Business - The Independent:

would this be another example of growth/profit by all means.. !?
corners should not be cut in name of short term growth/profits.

Key question that is not answered is why was there no such procedure put in place despite money laundering regulations came into force back in December 2007!!

or focusing on fining is much more important/simplistic?? surely next step is to also ensure that they put in place strict procedures/monitory service to ensure that it will not happen again!? or am I missing the point!

"Coutts, the bank famed for handling the finances of the Queen and around half the England football team, was fined £8.75m for "serious, systemic" money-laundering failures yesterday."

"The fine is Coutts' second dressing down by the City watchdog in a matter of months. In November, it was fined £6.3m for mis-selling savings products linked to the collapsed US insurer AIG. In that instance it also paid compensation to clients."

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

key signs to look out for! Why ovarian cancer is called the silent killer

Why ovarian cancer is called the silent killer:

make sure you keep note!

"So what are the key signs to look out for? The most common ones include:
* Persistent pelvic or abdominal pain
* Increased abdominal size and persistent bloating
* Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Lawyer for Banks Accuses MBIA Chief of Insider Trading -

Lawyer for Banks Accuses MBIA Chief of Insider Trading -

Oh well.. gosh. almost missed it! ;-)

must read to keep up..

"The nasty litigation between a group of banks and the bond insurer MBIA just got nastier.

A lawyer for the banks has accused Joseph W. Brown Jr., MBIA’s chief executive, of illegally trading in MBIA stock while in possession of confidential information. The insider trading claim was made during a hearing late Friday at Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Robert J. Giuffra Jr., the banks’ lawyer, said that Mr. Brown was “pregnant with inside information” about MBIA’s pending February 2009 restructuring when he bought his company’s stock in the months before the announcement."

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

My comments re: Another European Carrier Goes VC: Orange Partners With Publicis, Iris In $400M Fund | TechCrunch

Another European Carrier Goes VC: Orange Partners With Publicis, Iris In $400M Fund | TechCrunch:

B2C startup maybe (Fred Destin claims fund might be too much money for EU focused).. but hope they will be clever enough to look at more lucrative and not 'hit' based B2B startup market.. !? communicating what they might want to invest in would help for sure.

"Today sees the launch of one more venture capital fund backed by a large European telecoms carrier: Orange, the retail face of France Telecom, is teaming up with the advertising giant Publicis and Iris Capital Management to start OP Ventures Growth, a new $400-million-plus fund to back French and other European technology startups.

Orange and Publicis are contributing half of those funds, $200 million (€150 million) with the total to be used both for seed capital/early stage investments, as well as later rounds; and the deal will see the carrier and ad giant effectively become minority partners (24.5 percent each) in Iris.

must read & my thoughts... Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs -

Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs -

This article is a must read...

despite him being an executive director only (not managing director).. it still highlights what I have been saying for many years, which is the fact that investment banking is about short term profit rather than doing something that is good and make sense from the company's point of view (without killing chicken for the eggs)..

Its very brave of him to do so, I hope he has a big enough war chest of pot of gold to defend forth coming law suits... lets hope someone else dare to hire him in the future.. !?

"What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym."

"Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa." .. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

my interpretation/thoughts after going to the "A Man's story" screening about Ozwald Boateng

If it was not because of the special screening (with Ozwald himself's Q&A), I would probably not have gone, not because I don't like him or the fashion, designer's world, but just I have literally hundreds of DVDs (good number of them sadly not yet opened!) and already gone to enough cinema screenings (last one was pretty good with The Artist, brilliant.. to John Carter 3D, pretty good, not Avatar though, need more expression from the main man .... etc...)

I had no expectation as I walked in the theater to watch A Man's story, except I was hoping to learn more about the guy I keep seeing on the news.. and challenges he might have received from trying to make it 'in the British establishment'.. as even as I Chinese, I see the class/race challenge in UK first hand. (mind you, I do have quite a few Lord, Sir friends/contacts after all these years, but a good portion of them don't seem to 'see me' still!!).

I am however glad that I was there to listen.. to the man himself.. some of the best photos are here in this blog post.

Ozwald is wow.. very cool, to say the least.. and I did not realise the height he has achieved in the fashion world, best comparison I can conjure up (hopefully not considered as derogatory, if so, pls suggest better analogy) is that he is like the Black and non gay version of Tom Ford!? not sure if Ozwald has his 'perfumery' yet..

The film was raw, and cool.. filmed over 12 years.. but felt like minutes.. my thirst of learning more about challenges of being in the fashion industry or his life story was not quenched..

All the while being a positive person however, I would like to say that for me this is Part 2 of the Ozwald's story.. I would like to see Part 1, namely how he came to be "The man" and the challenges faced and how he over come it.. and in Part 2, really wish more of his 'rage' being shown, as if it was any common man, the reaction would have been broken furniture to say the least! if Ozwald is so cool in real life, I bet he would be Bruce Wayne the Batman in reality... I would also like more to be added to make it Part 2.5 which is what other 'business challenges' he faced, and or are facing and how that is being overcome...

Key points however probably for "daily mail reader" is leave the business leaders alone! (this will be worth another dedicated blog post if/when I have time). Just see how much Ozwald is giving up (not sure if I can!) Yes, I know many CXOs that are dedicated and married (in some case) addicted to their jobs/missions.. how much do they have to give up.. AND still be drawn to the next bigger and seemingly impossible challenges.. as long as they are not cheating or running a boiler room, I say leave them to enjoy their spoils.. as many in fact has given up a lot, and have come back again and again after being knocked down again and again and again.. when most of these do-gooders or complainer, campaigners (e.g. billionaire/ mansion tax etc. but don't ask me, don't know best solution) are relaxing, twiddling their thumbs and think, these guys do not deserve it.. surely, watch 'a man's story' would give you some some ideas.. of course it would be much more powerful with Part 1, and 2.5 included.

that is just my initial thoughts.. as a Chinese that loves world cinema, we just love a semi-weeping "rag to riches" story that pull the heart strings.. no doubt there is enough raw material (apparently a year's worth of footage!!) .. therefore maybe Part 3 of Ozwarld's story is what we can all be looking forward to!

In short, "worth the watch", be warn though... now I and probably most in the audience, is wondering why I don't own a Boateng yet (maybe I am too short & fat for me to be as cool!)..

maybe employ value investing conglomerate model (dividend growth, vs exits)!?. Too Few Exits: The PE Camel Can't Pass Through the Eye of China's IPO Needle | China Private Equity

Too Few Exits: The PE Camel Can't Pass Through the Eye of China's IPO Needle | China Private Equity:

hmm.. very interesting.

I wonder if there is any linkage to the 'hidden economy' linkage to this story..!?? see the piece on new york times (re China's Hidden Wealth Feeds an Income Gap, January 25, 2012 ).

I personally think vintage/duration for VC/PE might need to be longer for the Chinese market given how quickly it evolves at present... it might make sense to employ a transparent private conglomerate model that focus on dividends (value investing) rather than short term exits.. but that is just IMHO.

"Measured by new capital raised and investment results achieved, China’s private equity industry has grown a position of global leadership in less than a decade. There is still no shortage of great companies eager for capital, and willing to sell shares at prices highly appealing to PE investors. But, unless something is done to increase significantly the number of PE exits every year,  the PE industry in China must eventually contract. That will have very broad consequences not just for Chinese entrepreneurs eager for expansion capital and liquidity for their shares, but also for hundreds of millions of Chinese, Americans and Europeans whose pension funds have money now invested in Chinese PE. Their retirements will be a little less comfortable if, as seems likely,  a diminishing number of the investments made in Chinese companies have a big IPO payday.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

maybe finally common sense prevail!!! ISDA Says Greece In Default, CDS Will Trigger - Forbes

ISDA Says Greece In Default, CDS Will Trigger - Forbes:

This now finally make perfect sense, lets call a sheep a sheep..

The handling of this case by ISDA just shows how much is the CDS contracts really worth in reality..

Math/Finance should have been rather straight forward... just black or white..

ISDA's indecision & now potential U-turn highlights one of the challenge of the model.. which is how could 'public' opinion changed its decision in days!? we are talking about literally billions!

"UPDATE 2 (2:48 p.m.): ISDA has now declared that Greece’s restructuring does represent a default, meaning credit default swaps will trigger. Read the statement here.

UPDATE (2:43 p.m.): An ISDA spokesman told Forbes no decision has been reached regarding on whether Greece’s restructuring qualifies as a credit event, which would in turn trigger CDS protection."

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Elaine Pagels on What the Book of Revelation Reveals -

Elaine Pagels on What the Book of Revelation Reveals -

Interesting new book indeed.

"The Book of Revelation reads as if John had wrapped up all our worst fears—fears of violence, plague, wild animals, unimaginable horrors from the abyss below the earth, lightning, hail, earthquakes and the atrocities or torture and war—into one gigantic nightmare. Yet this worst of all nightmares ends not in terror but in a glorious new world. Whether one sees in John's visions the destruction of the whole world or the dark tunnel that propels each of us toward our own death, his final vision suggests that even after the worst we can imagine has happened, we may find the astonishing gift of new life. Whether or not one shares that conviction, few readers miss seeing how these visions offer consolation and that most necessary of divine gifts—hope.


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Five Leadership Lessons From James T. Kirk - Forbes

Five Leadership Lessons From James T. Kirk - Forbes:

interesting take indeed...

"In his many years of service to the Federation, James Kirk embodied several leadership lessons that we can use in our own lives. We need to keep exploring and learning. We need to ensure that we encourage creativity and innovation by listening to the advice of people with vastly different opinions. We need to occasionally get down in the trenches with the members of our teams so we understand their needs and earn their trust and loyalty. We need to understand the psychology of our competitors and also learn to radically change course when circumstances dictate. By following these lessons, we can lead our organizations into places where none have gone before.


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