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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Winnie's Travel Blog: Meltdown in Iceland

Check out Winnie's Meltdown in Iceland discussing this little country near Greenland, and the unique ways of preparing unusual foods for consumption which make durians seem tame by comparison.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What is the true Warranty Expiration Date of a product?

Have you ever bought something and found that it needed warranty service and thought it should actually be in warranty when the manufacturer says it was out of warranty? This blog post gives some insight on how it is computed, based on personal experience, and may shed some light on the mystery.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ACSian High Finance Comments: Bar Stool Economics 2: How the Taxes REALLY Works

An alternate view of Bar Stool Economics
ACSian High Finance Comments: Bar Stool Economics 2: How the Taxes REALLY Works

ACSian High Finance Comments: Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

Income taxes explained in the mini-world of a bar.
ACSian High Finance Comments: Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics

Contaminated Milk Products

It was reported last month that Taiwanese produced instant "milk" coffee under the brand name of Mr. Brown was contaminated with Melamine. Since the FDA and other governments cannot locate and test all brands, it is probably wise to stop drinking all the condensed milk, instant milk coffees and milk teas produced in South East Asia (such as the popular DeDe and Nara Thai ice tea brands, and Singapore's Owl brand) since any number of them may have purchased their milk from China as thousands of multinational food companies source food there. Each individual company has to certify that their milk products are safe and free from melamine contamination before consumers begin to buy their goods again. In fact, I hope food labelling now should move towards the food-source country as well as the country of manufacture.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Comments on the Global Financial Crisis - Linda Lim

Linda Lim, one of our ACSian cohorts and Professor of Strategy, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan was kind enough to provide copies of her latest thoughts on some factors leading to the global financial crisis, the role reversal of the Asian Financial crisis a decade ago,
consideration of whether we are entering a new age of greater caution and prudence, and the role of Credit, Credibility and Political Creed.
Shedding Light on the Factors
Reversal of Fortune
New era of caution and prudence?
Credit, Credibility and Political Creed

Friday, October 17, 2008

ACSian High Finance Comments: Buy American. I am - by Warren Buffet

ACSian High Finance Comments: Buy American. I am - by Warren Buffet
An article forwarded by an ACSian where the Oracle of Omaha says he is buying equities.

Guess Who and Where? Singapore Satay on Sale

A photo with one of our cohorts selling Satay and other items many years ago. Guess Who? The other person is a public figure in Singapore. Please enter answers using the comments link. Extra credit for identifying where.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ACSian Tidbits: Faith

Faith, the dog who walks on two legs. ACSian Tidbits: Faith

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ACSian in Action: Noor Quek in Breast Cancer Fundraiser

Check out Noor Quek in her activities to raise funds for Breast Cancer Fundraiser

"ACS Echo" - "A" Level Class of 68's 40th Anniversary

The following comes from "ACS Echo Alumni Roundup" in the Oct-Nov 2008 issue

The ‘A” Level Class of 68’s 40th Anniversary celebrations held at The Churchill Room of The Tanglin Club on 9 August (Singapore National Day) was attended by more than 50 members of the cohort.

Among those present were 7 schoolmates who flew in from as far as the USA, Qatar and Australia to join the celebrations, and former teachers and principals.

The occasion was a joyous and entertaining one with performances by Andrew Liew, Noor Quek (our very own Anita Sarawak) and Irene Hoe (of Sugar & Spice fame).

Another highlight of the evening was the virtuoso performance in ballroom dancing by Shahid Mujtaba from San Francisco, USA. He was in so much demand that ticket numbers had to be allocated to the girls queuing up to dance with him!

Apparently impressed with his star ‘nerd’ pupil, Mr. Wan Fook Weng remarked ‘this is what a foreign education does for you!”

The complete article together with photographs is available here

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ACSian High Finance Comments: We Are Facing an 'Inflation Holocaust': Jim Rogers

Markets do not trust the governments' plans to keep struggling banks alive and investors will only calm down when the companies with bad assets are allowed to go bankrupt, legendary investor Jim Rogers, CEO of Rogers Holdings, told CNBC on Friday.

"The way to solve this problem is to let people go bankrupt," Rogers said.

ACSian High Finance Comments: We Are Facing an 'Inflation Holocaust': Jim Rogers

Sounds pretty unpleasant. What do others think?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

ACSian High Finance Comments: Financial Engineering: A Primer on SubPrime Mortgages

Taken from a PowerPoint Slideshow with unknown authorship sent by one of our cohorts, it explains in a cartoon presentation what many of us have been trying to understand in simple terms - what the subprime mortgage market has, how it seems to work, and why it may be causing the disasters we are now seeing.

ACSian High Finance Comments: Financial Engineering: A Primer on SubPrime Mortgages

ACSian High Finance Comments: All That Money You've Lost - Where Did IT go?

With all the losses in the stock market, housing values, and just about everything else except what you owe, who is getting rich? This article claims that it has simply disappeared....
it is a little tough to swallow...
ACSian High Finance Comments: All That Money You've Lost - Where Did IT go?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

[ACSians] Launch of ACSian High Finance Comments Blog

Various ACSians have offered jokes, comments and articles about the current financial crises. With the addition of an item today by none other than our cohort Linda Lim that was published in the Yale University website, the blog in now ready for reading by the general public. Linda discusses if Asia can rescue the global economy.

Given that so many of our cohorts and classmates are in the banking, finance and economy related businesses, comments and articles from all are welcome - I believe the comments reflected make more sense than the testimony of the CEOs of some of these high flying companies to US Congress. You may choose a pen name, your real name, or remain anonymous.

The Other Wall

Where in the world is the other great wall besides the one we always hear about? Check it out here

No Starbucks in BA

Check out Winnie's posting on how to get around the lack of Starbucks in BA..... where in the world is BA? (Worthless prize for the first person to get it right by recording it here in the comments section.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008


If you think life in this land of sand is harsh and unforgiving, you're right!

World's richest country it may be with a per capita GDP of US$76k (compared to US$24k back in the old kampong), but it is desperately short on creature comforts and not exactly known for its vibrant night life. In fact the raunchiest thing one could get up to in Doha is to tune into Fashion TV. why did we choose this land of sand to languish in when there is the south of France? For me, it is the excitement of building something new in a strange land. Death is maintenance, boredom is repetition , and sameness is suicidal. While life in Doha is suicidly boring, I get my kicks as midwife and proud parent to a spanking new baby bank. After all, how many new banks are being born (versus biting the dust) these days anywhere in the world amidst these new hard times? The business action, if not the night life, is here in the Middle East, at least for next couple of years.

"No man shall languish alone." Not sure which bard or bird uttered those pathetic words, probably me. I learnt through the avalanche of emails preceding our 40 Years On reunion that I was not the lone languishee in this land of sand. The fateful discovery of alternative life conversation went something like this:

"Josh (Joshua Choo), is that really you?"
"So what are you doing here?"
"Opening a new restaurant"
"Really, where?"
"At West Bay"
"Really! I stay at West Bay. Where exactly?"
"At Ezdan (an apartment complex in Doha) Tower 3"
"...(screaming) Gosh Josh, I stay at Ezdan Tower 3 !!!"

So it came to past that Josh and I reunite forty years on in a strange land at a time in our lives where most people prefer sipping tea or sashaying down the Champs Elysee.
No not us .
Still crazy after all these years.

If you are ever in our neck of the woods (or sand bank to be more exact), accomodation is guaranteed at my pad, so is access and availability to good wholesome Singapore food. There is one catch though, you will have to share my room with my balls (golf) and clubs (golf, what were you thinking!).

No doubt off the beaten tourist trap as tourist traps go but Doha is worth a visit 'cos you get to kill two old birds with one stone or sand pebble. So while the streets may be dusty (ok, ok very dusty with all the construction going on), they are paved with oil and gas. Opprtunities abound but are elusive like the shifting sands. Growth sectors include real estate and construction, financial services and tourism (yes, tourism).

Like the Great Gatsby and Mas Selamat, we languish on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. And so we beat on until one day ...
we fly higher, run faster, stretch farther.

Friends and fellow languishees wherever you are:

The Best Is Yet To Be

"No man shall languish alone"

.....posted on behalf of Andy Liew

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Links to Singapore Grand Prix

The Singapore Grand Prix - Big Pictures
"Formula One Racing held its 800th race on Sunday in Singapore,with the Singapore Grand Prix - also the first Formula One race held at night. Organizers built, then lined a 5 kilometer track with over 1,600 lamps, said to be four times brighter than those used at football stadiums. Twenty drivers drove 61 laps for a total of 309 kilometers at speeds sometimes approaching 300 kilometers per hour - in a country that once banned the sport, in part for promoting reckless driving.  Driver Fernando Alonso of Renault won the race with a time of 1:57:16.304."
- September 29, 2008

Singapore the big winner in first night grand prix
- September 29,2008

Singapore hopes F1 will rev up economy
-  September 29,2008

2008 Singapore Grand Prix
 - Wikipedia Entry

And from Singapore based websites...
Singapore Grand Prix