The following clip give a sense of what goes on from day to day inside Citadel that trades more volume than the NYSE every day, as well as the pros and cons ...
As Channel NewsAsia relates, the Republic's banking industry is in good shape, with the prudential and regulatory frameworks for banks here "remaining strong" and regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) continuing to be proactive in its oversight, says Fitch Ratings.
Local regulatory standards are "progressing apace with global best practices", the ratings agency said in its report on the local banking system on Thursday (Aug 28). For instance, banks here have maintained high capitalisation under MAS' Basel III rules - which is 2 percentage points above those prescribed by the Basel Committee.
Another example is how the three local banks - DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB) - will need to meet a minimum core Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 9 per cent, Tier 1 CAR of 10.5 per cent and total CAR of 12.5 per cent.
Fitch says the banks already meet these requirements as of end-June 2014.
As Reuters reports, China could have a new homegrown operating system by October.
Computer technology became an area of tension between China and the United States after a number of run-ins over cyber security. China is now looking to help its domestic industry catch up with imported systems such as Microsoft's Windows and Google's mobile operating system Android.
The operating system would first appear on desktop devices and later extend to smartphone and other mobile devices, Xinhua said, citing Ni Guangnan who heads an official OS development alliance established in March.
He said he hoped domestically built software would be able to replace desktop operating systems within one to two years and mobile operating systems within three to five years.
Forget Hong Kong, London and New York: when it comes to the pinnacle in absolute real estate insanity - perhaps in all of history - look no further than James Bond's favorite gambling mecca, Monaco.
It is in this tiny Riviera principality where we find the Tour Odeon, a double-skyscraper being built by Groupe Marzocco SAM near Monaco’s Mediterranean seafront, which will contain a 3,300 square-meter (35,500 square-foot) penthouse with a water slide connecting a dance floor to a circular open-air swimming pool.
The description is nice, but it is the bottom line that is mindblowing: Bloomberg reports that the apartment may sell for more than 300 million euros ($400 million) when it goes on the market next year, French magazine Challenges reported.
That would make it the world’s most expensive penthouse, according to broker Knight Frank LLP.
Soros has once again increased his total SPY Put to a new record high of $2.2 billion, or nearly double the previous all time high, and a whopping 17% of his total AUM.
Some observations, which we presented previously: the "Soros Put" is a legacy hedge position that the 84-year old has been rolling over every quarter since 2010. Since this was an increase of 638% Q/Q this has some people concerned that the author of 'reflexivity' and the founder of "open societies" may be anticipating some major market downside.
Furthermore, remember that what was disclosed yesterday is a snapshot of Soros' holdings as of 45 days ago. What he may or may not have done with his hedge since then is largely unknown, and since there are no investor letters, there is no way of knowing even on a leaked basis how the billionaire has since positioned for the market.
As Australian Financial Review relates, the “phenomenal” influx of Chinese money into the local residential property market could be the best thing that has happened to the local economy as it struggles to make its difficult transition from an unprecedented mining boom.
The demand from foreign investors for Australian bricks and mortar is set to intensify for at least three years, driving a boom in apartment construction activity and boosting the bottom lines of listed companies such as Lend Lease, Mirvac and Goodman Group, according to research by CLSA.
Around 10 million of the wealthiest Chinese families, or around one in seven, are interested in migrating to Australia, according to a survey conducted by the broker. And home ownership in a desirable destination country is “a key reason” for the flood of money coming into the Sydney and Melbourne property markets, conclude the broker’s analysts.
Not all of those 10 million households will have the financial wherewithal to ultimately act on their desire to relocate Down Under, but it is representative of a powerful trend.
As the Bangkok Post reports, seven gold futures dealers have agreed in principle on the format of a physical gold exchange, moving a step closer to establishing the country's first spot gold market.
The dealers, which have a combined 90% market share of trade in paper and physical gold, have unanimously agreed on the make-up of the spot gold exchange, said Gold Traders Association chairman Jitti Tangsithpakdi.
The plan will be proposed to the Thailand Futures Exchange (TFEX) on Aug 18.
As People's Daily China reports, the first restaurant featuring robotic waiters and chefs has opened in Suzhou, Jiangsu .. each robot costs RMB 40,000 and speaks 40 sentences .. more than many fast-food workers we suspect.
Nowadays the greatest strategic risk for an investor is not a bad investment but political exposure in the form of capital controls and wealth confiscation. Here are some examples:
1. IMF Endorses Capital Controls
Bloomberg reported in December 2012 that the “IMF has endorsed the use of capital controls in certain circumstances.“
This is particularly important because the IMF, arguably an even more prominent institution since the global financial crisis started, has always had an official stance against capital controls. “In a reversal of its historic support for unrestricted flows of money across borders, the IMF said controls can be useful...”
Will individual governments jump on this bandwagon? “It will be tacitly endorsed by a lot of central banks,” says Boston University professor Kevin Gallagher.
2. Academic Support for Capital Controls
Many mainstream economists support capital controls. For example, famed Harvard Economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff wrote the following earlier this year:
Governments should consider taking a more eclectic range of economic measures than have been the norm over the past generation or two. The policies put in place so far, such as budgetary austerity, are little match for the size of the problem, and may make things worse.
“Ms. Reinhart and Mr. Rogoff suggest debt write-downs and ‘financial repression’, meaning the use of a combination of moderate inflation and constraints on the flow of capital to reduce debt burdens.”
The Reinhart and Rogoff report basically signals to politicians that it’s not only acceptable but desirable to reduce their debts by restricting the flow of capital across borders. Such action would keep funds locked inside countries where said politicians can plunder them as they see fit.
3. Confiscation of Savings
“So, what’s the big deal?” Some might think. “I live here, work here, shop here, spend here, and invest here. I don’t really need funds outside my country anyway!”
Well, it’s self-evident that putting all of one’s eggs in any single basket, no matter how safe and sound that basket may seem, is risky—extremely risky in today’s financial climate.
The IMF, in a report entitled “Taxing Times,” published in October of 2013, on page 49, states:
“The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a capital levy--a one-off tax on private wealth—as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability.”
The problem is debt. And now countries with higher debt levels are seeking to justify a tax on the wealth of private citizens.
So, to skeptics regarding the value of international diversification, I would ask: Does the country you live in have a lot of debt? Is it unsustainable?
If debt levels are dangerously high, the IMF says your politicians could repay it by taking some of your wealth.
The appeal is that such a task, if implemented before avoidance is possible and there is a belief that is will never be repeated, does not distort behavior, and may be seen by some as fair. The conditions for success are strong, but also need to be weighed against the risks of the alternatives, which include repudiating public debt or inflating it away.
The IMF has made it clear that invoking a levy on your assets would have to be done before you have time to make other arrangements. There will be no advance notice. It will be fast, cold, and cruel.
Notice also that one option is to simply inflate debt away. Given the amount of indebtedness in much of the world, inflation will certainly be part of the “solution,” with or without outright confiscation of your savings.
Further, the IMF has already studied how much the tax would have to be:
The tax rates needed to bring down public debt to pre-crisis levels are sizable: reducing debt ratios to 2007 levels would require, for a sample of 15 euro area countries, a tax rate of about 10% on households with a positive net worth.
Note that the criterion is not billionaire status, nor millionaire, nor even “comfortably well off.” The tax would apply to anyone with a positive net worth. And the 10% wealth-grab would, of course, be on top of regular income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, etc.
4. Confiscation of Pension Funds
Unfortunately, it’s not just savings. Carmen Reinhart (again) and M. Belén Sbrancia made the following suggestions in a 2011 paper:
Historically, periods of high indebtedness have been associated with a rising incidence of default or restructuring of public and private debts. A subtle type of debt restructuring takes the form of ‘financial repression.’ Financial repression includes directed lending to government by captive domestic audiences (such as pension funds), explicit or implicit caps on interest rates, regulation of cross-border capital movements, and (generally) a tighter connection between government and banks.
Yes, your retirement account is now a “captive domestic audience.” Are you ready to “lend” it to the government? “Directed” means “compulsory” in the above statement, and you may not have a choice if “regulation of cross-border capital movements”—capital controls—are instituted.
5. Eurozone Sanctions Money-Grabs
Germany’s Bundesbank weighed in on this subject last January:
“Countries about to go bankrupt should draw on the private wealth of their citizens through a one-off capital levy before asking other states for help.”
The context here is that of Germans not wanting to have to pay for the mistakes of Italians, Greeks, Cypriots, or whatnot. Fair enough, but the “capital levy” prescription is still a confiscation of funds from individuals’ banks or brokerage accounts.
A capital levy corresponds to the principle of national responsibility, according to which tax payers are responsible for their government’s obligations before solidarity of other states is required.
This view effectively nullifies all objections. It’s a clear warning.
6. Canada Jumps on the Confiscation Bandwagon
You may recall this text from last year’s budget in Canada:
“The Government proposes to implement a bail-in regime for systemically important banks.”
A bail-in is what they call it when a government takes depositors’ money to plug a bank’s financial holes—just as was done in Cyprus last year.
This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital.
What’s a “bank liability”? Your deposits. How quickly could they do such a thing? They just told us: fast enough that you won’t have time to react.
By the way, the Canadian bail-in was approved on a national level just one week after the final decision was made for the Cyprus bail-in.
Source: Casey Research (modified)
A company I was recently introduced to is the world's largest producer of 3D Titanium printed materials. Weapons, intricate machine parts, the list is unbelievable. Things I literally never even knew existed. NASA for example are sending a 3D printer up into space so that astronauts can print themselves tools or spare parts. Why lug an entire laundry list of spare parts if you can just print on demand?
The company founder and I spoke about where the future lies. Combining 3D printing with nanotechnology is completely mind blowing. Imagine a world where materials are "printed" only to move about and execute pre-programmed orders. The technology for this exists and is being tested NOW. Little nano bot armies being created, and re-creating themselves and other things.
Right now MIT's Skylar Tibbits are printing objects which can change shape. They do this using "shape memory plastics." Think of your favourite shoe, which is now moulded to your own foot, bunyons and all. Well, how about printing a new shoe which changes its shape according to your specifications?
Tailor made products in the future will be exactly that. Imagine for a minute a body scan which takes all your measurements, together with how you walk, run, swing a golf club, or sit in a chair. Feed this information into a computer which then produces you optimal clothing designs for your particular body. Now off to the printer you go and just print your shoes, trousers and shirts. Yes, clothing is being 3D printed.
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing has already radically changed the prosthetics industry. Take a look at this video.
As nice as it may be to have really comfortable clothing... and how amazing it is to change peoples lives as shown in the video, where this technology gets really important is in life sciences.
There is a scene in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker has his hand repaired by robots. George Lucas knew nothing about 3D printing at the time (or did he?), but his depictions of a future replete with technology is startlingly accurate. Bio-printing involves the printing of human cells. Organs are tricky to print, but skin grafts through to blood vessels are much easier to print due to their structure being predominantly flat.
Printing skin commercially is very close to coming mainstream. It is now possible to utilize laser technology to generate a map of a wound together with precise measurements, and to then print a skin graft specifically for that particular wound. Say goodbye to generic and painful skin grafts.
While it's not mainstream yet, successful printing of bone and muscle implants have been conducted. Organs have already been bio-printed, though I've not come across any evidence of successful implants being done ... yet.
Source: Capitalist Exploits
Over the past 6 months, there has been much talk about the strategic proximity between Russia and China, made even more proximal following the "Holy Grail" gas deal announced in May which would not have happened on such an accelerated time frame had it not been for US escalation in Ukraine.
Yet little has been said about the relationship between Russia and India.
That is about to change when yesterday the Russian central bank announced that having been increasingly shunned by the west, Russia discussed cooperation with Reserve Bank of India Executive Director Shrikant Padmanabhan.
The punchline: India agreed to create a task group to work out a mechanism for using national currencies in settlements. And so another major bilateral arrangement is set up that completely bypasses the dollar.
Source: Zero Hedge
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