Furry Brown Dog

Dedicated to the memory of my canine friend…

Archive for the ‘US’ Category

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) blasts the GOP on House floor

leave a comment »

Now here’s something you don’t see every day. Rep Anthony Weiner (D-NY) blasting his Republican colleagues in an animated 1 and 1/2 minute speech for using procedure to hold up legislation.

If only Singapore had folks like this in parliament.

Advertisements

Written by defennder

July 31, 2010 at 12:11 AM

Posted in US

Are America’s problems cyclical or structural?

leave a comment »

Recently there has been some discussion concerning whether the economic malaise Americans are currently undergoing is structural or cyclical in nature. The former view holds that current high unemployment rate about 9.5% is here to stay whereas the latter holds that after a period of painful credit de-leveraging by America’s indebted households businesses, things will simply be back to business.

Now personally not too long ago I believed the problem was cyclical, namely that after the recession is over we should see an uptick in employment along with output and unemployment will decrease back to below 5%. But lately, some worrying signs have emerged that structural unemployment may be here to stay.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by defennder

July 30, 2010 at 6:08 PM

RIP Sen. Ted Kennedy (1932-2009)

leave a comment »

There’s a lot one can say about Senator Kennedy’s contributions to America. I would like to do so, but given the time constraints I am faced with I can’t at present. Still, a quote of his highlighted by Media Matters is worth reflecting upon in his passing:

“Throughout our history, the press has been an indispensable check on government. The information produced by the press contributes to our policy debates, exposes wrongdoing, and in fundamental ways makes our democracy work. A government that acts in the sunshine is far less likely to behave in unlawful or tyrannical ways. A citizenry informed by a free and robust press is essential to our nation.” – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, 10/4/2007

Clearly this applies to other countries as well, not just the US. Rest in peace, Kennedy.

Written by defennder

August 27, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Posted in US

Why electricity tariffs are over-priced

leave a comment »

This will come as no surprise to some, but for others it’s a different story. Singaporeans are grossly over-paying their electrical bills. Here’s why. Earlier in late June, I wrote that it made no sense for electricity tariffs to be pegged to fuel oil when a whopping 80% of power generated here derives from natural gas. As mentioned earlier, the state media justified pegging tariffs to fuel oil prices by claiming there isn’t any natural gas benchmark, even though there is.

To justify such a peg, one should be able to provide good evidence that oil prices are strongly correlated with natural gas prices ie. the ratio of oil to gas prices should be rather stable. Unfortunately, that is far from the case. Seeking Alpha has an article based on this WSJ report highlighting the startling disconnect between oil and natural gas prices.

Continue reading

Written by defennder

August 26, 2009 at 5:42 PM

SGX set to launch first pan-Asian “dark pool”

with 2 comments

Singapore News Alternatives, a blog which hosts news reports from foreign sources on Singapore highlighted an intriguing report out a few days back (see here for a more comprehensive analysis):

SGX to launch Asia’s first secretive “dark pool” for institutional players
Xinhua, 12 Aug 2009
SINGAPORE, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) — The first exchange-backed dark pool in Asia will be launched by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in a joint venture.
According to local TV broadcaster Channel News Asia on Wednesday, SGX will partner Chi-X Global, a global provider of market infrastructure technologies and trading venues, in a joint venture.
A exchange-backed dark pool is a network where transactions made are concealed from the public.

Continue reading

Written by defennder

August 15, 2009 at 12:56 AM

Goldman Sachs, cap & trade and Henry Paulson

leave a comment »

This is a screenshot of Goldman Sachs’ homepage taken today:

Goldman Sachs homepage on 8th Aug

Isn’t it odd that Goldman Sachs, an investment bank on Wall Street would care about climate change? Indeed why should they even care about it? The answer would be more apparent if one considers Goldman Sachs’ involvement in cap and trade.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by defennder

August 9, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Posted in Economics and business, US

Tagged with

AIG reports surprising Q2 profit

leave a comment »

Here’s something I didn’t expect at all: AIG reported a surprising Q2 profit of $2.30 per share.  The international insurance corporation has been tanking lately, and had to be bailed out for about US$180 bn, the largest of any Wall St financial corporation. Now that US$180 bn is quoted by the press quite often, but a closer examination finds that AIG owes only about US$70 bn at most.  How is this possible? I wasn’t aware of this until I checked the details. ProPublica explained as follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by defennder

August 8, 2009 at 12:38 AM

Posted in Economics and business, US

Tagged with