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2009 Updates

05 Nov 2009 - Simon Johnson gives a good summary of where we are now in The Baseline Scenario.

29 Oct 2009 -Dark pools are becoming popular with institutional investors. I find their rise to be a disturbing trend. Proponents of dark pools point to the better liquidity provided; but for who? Obviously it helps big funds who trade with the big investment banks and/ or have access to such pools. Funds with access to such pools will be able to have more information than the average investor. I can think of nothing good for the retail investor on the street or for that matter, small funds. A publically listed firm should trade on an exchange with price discovery available to all. Whatever happened to fair play?

29 Oct 2009 - Paul Volcker may not have been popular in some circles but he did what was necessary to fix America's stagflation problem. It pays to listen to him but it seems nobody is. He's recommended implementing a modern day Glass-Steagall Act; separating commercial banking and investment banking. It seems John Reed, agrees with him. (The repeal of Glass-Steagall allowed Citibank, which Reed headed, to merge with Travelers.)

7 Oct 2009 - The Cove is an unconventional documentary about the dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan. The show explains to us where all those cute dolphins in the marine parks come from and how captivity stresses them out. ( Life is practically a prison). It also exposes the senseless killing of dolphins, which do not make the cut for performing, by needlessly harpooning them in the cove. The mercury laden meat is then practically given away to the public. Dolphins like most large fish and marine mammals have unhealthily high levels of mercury in them.

Like most well edited shows, the film takes a few liberties in omitting some pertinent facts but I don't think it detracts from the central message. In the interest of a balanced view, indignant viewers should temper their emotions first by reading this article.

On a separate note, an interesting article questioning the currently unsustainable fishing practices supported by governments.

11 Sep 2009 - A somewhat old article by Eric Sprott and David Franklin on who exactly is going to buy all that debt for the stimulus. It seems no one. Either they cannot afford it or don't want anymore; and thus debasement of the US Dollar is inevitable. I fall in this camp but I would be interested to hear other views.

28 Aug 2009 - Some people have mentioned that the formatting of the site is off. I use multiple browsers to check the presentation of the site. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of Internet Explorer 6 anymore and have no way of checking with it. I've ensured that this site is coded to web specifications and have made great efforts to keep it as simple as possible to prevent incompatibilities. If you are using IE6, it's time upgrade to IE8 or Firefox. The site looks great with the new browsers!

10 Aug 2009 - The Fund is finally ready. It's official name is the 'Kunlun K-10 Fund Ltd'. Please contact me for more details if you are interested. It has been a very very long process and I'm glad to say it's finally over. We are good to go. Thanks to all involved in the setup.

30 Jul 2009 - If you are looking for just about any statistic regarding the current state of the US economy (and by extension whether we are out of the woods yet), you might want to check the article titled The End Of The End Of The Recession from Zero Hedge.

22 May 2009 - Malcolm Gladwell’s 'Outliers' is worth a read. I found it an enlightening book except for one chapter. Gladwell claims that the Chinese culture of rice growing has resulted in Chinese excelling in Math. It sounds good but I don't buy that argument one bit. I'll let readers decide. I would read it in conjunction with Jared Diamond’s 'Guns, Germs and Steel'. They seem to complement each other, strangely enough.

28 Mar 2009 - The world is celebrating Earth Hour. I think it's a good way to draw awareness to the issue of climate change. But it's only a start. One hour isn't going to change anything but hopefully it will encourage people to do more. It's going to require a combination of technology as well as conservation if we have to reduce our global impact by more than 75%. Click here to learn more about my attempts to reduce my carbon footprint.

28 Feb 2009 - Before spending all the money on saving the banks, perhaps it might be a good idea to first approximate the magnitude of the problem? Here is a good blog on understanding bank solvency. On a slightly unrelated topic: I'm always fascinated by analysis that is well thought out and forms correct conclusions ex-ante. It's always easier to claim to have been correct ex-post. For those who are interested in how Alex Dalmady "outted" the Stanford International Bank, do read his article "Duck Tales".

11 Dec 2008 - It's coming to the end of the year and I've read many books this year. I'd like to recommend two. Get Smarter by Seymour Schulich and Derek DeCloet and Bernard Baruch's Autobiography- Baruch: My Own Story. Get Smarter is especially geared to the 20-40 year old crowd with loads of life lessons and practical tips. The website has a few preview pages which you can browse through. It's worth taking a look. Bernard Baruch, for the unacquainted, was a very prominent American financier and statesman during the 1st half of the 20th century. The book reads very easily and is an unbelievable treasure trove of investment advice. Mind you, there is no one magic formula he gives but the principles he espouses will certainly stand the test of time. One quote I liked: "Whatever men attempt, they seem driven to try to overdo. When hopes are soaring, I always repeat to myself, "Two and two still make four and no one has ever invented a way of getting something for nothing." When the outlook is steeped in pessimism I remind myself, "Two and two still make four and you can't keep mankind down for long." "

11 Dec 2008 - I've been pretty busy doing a massive tech upgrade. Put in a whole bunch of backup systems and also got myself a new computer. I've gotten rid of desktops for good. There's just one for backup and testing but otherwise, we are totally notebook based. Much greener for the environment. Microsoft is also going to love me for this: Vista isn't THAT bad when patched with SP1 and has >2GB of RAM. (Edit: 11 Sep 09 - I should clarify that 'not that bad' does not mean good. It's stable and works but is way too bloated and boots slowly. A 10 minute boot up time is unacceptable. My clock stops when the hard disk stops whirring, not when I see the login screen, which is how they usually measure it.)

11 Oct 2008 - Rudyard Kipling's 'IF'. A good reminder to oneself to keep a steady head and heart.

10 Oct 2008 - John Train's Twelve Choruses of a Market Cycle is an apt read for these volatile times. Which stage are we in?

23 Sep 2008 - Site is up.