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Showing posts from December, 2009

Thoughts for 2009

Year 2009 is over very soon in less than an hour before we usher in the year 2010. Having spent some quality time taking stock on the goals set for in the beginning of year 2009, it looks like many goals remain unmet.

An analysis on the unmet goals seem to indicate dependencies among them -- an unmet goal can result in another goal not met.

With 2010 drawing near, it's time to list out new resolutions. I guess the basic rule in doing anything is to do whatever you think is not against your conscience.

Places I visited in Thailand from 25 - 31 Dec 2009

Decided to jot down my Thailand (25 to 31 Dec) itinerary so I will never forget it again. All in all, the experience was fantastic with the far beyond my expectations of Thais' warm and friendliness towards tourists. This is the first time I ever had the chance to interact with the local strangers that much.


My memory dump

25 Dec 2009
Check in to Somerset Lake Point service residence.
Dinner at Took Lae Dee.Sukhumvit night market.26 Dec 2009
Standing Buddha at Wat Indrawiharn.Lucky Buddha (reached there but did not manage to visit it because of an on-going ceremony). There is no Lucky Buddha in Bangkok.Erawan Lapidary (a scam but we were not conned and so please do not visit it).
Chin Jewelry Co. Ltd.
Chatuchak Weekend Market.27 Dec 2009
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.Maeklong Railway Market.Fuji Restaurant at Siam Center.28 Dec 2009
Sunflower fields at Lopburi.Pa Sak Jolasid Dam at Lopburi.Phra Prang Sam Yot at Lopburi.Fifth Avenue for dinner at Mah Boon Krong (MBK) Center.Mah B…

Tempted to subscribe mobile broadband?

Can I live life without Internet access? My answer would be a YES or NO. My answer is YES if I do not wish to stay abreast to what's happening around the world. My answer is NO especially when the new semester is coming soon and I need Internet access to ballot for modules.

Having moved to a new residential location, I am yet to get myself a Internet broadband plan. The only reason why I am online and hooked onto the Internet typing this blog entry is because of a USB dongle from a friend. One obvious advantage of mobile broandband service is of course mobile - one can hook onto the Internet anywhere.

Trying my best to resist temptations to subscribe mobile broadband. NO NO NO!

Christmas and New Year Period - Foreign Market Schedule

Please kindly take note of the following Foreign Markets holidays schedule during the Christmas and New Year period:

Principles of Accounts - Which is right?

Secondary school's Principles of Accounts textbook uses Creditors (XXX) instead of Accounts Payable, and Debtors (YYY) instead of Accounts Receivable in their balance sheets. So which is right?

I am 100 per cent sure A/P and A/R are correct since they are used in real corporate financial statements. However, creditors and debtors are not wrong too since they are used in GCE 'O' Levels textbook and guidebooks.





Chinese banks hide 'pool of credit risk': Fitch

Chinese banks hide 'pool of credit risk': Fitch
Business Times
19 Dec 2009

Chinese banks are creating a 'growing pool of hidden credit risk' through financial moves that shift loans off balance sheets to comply with government capital requirements, Fitch Ratings warned yesterday.

The ratings agency said in a report that the practice could lead to conditions similar to those which triggered the US sub-prime crisis, in which banks suffered huge losses on mortgage-backed securities when housing prices fell.

Fitch said banks were selling loans to financial institutions or repackaging them into wealth-management products in largely unreported transactions.

'These transactions, which free up space to extend new loans and lessen the pressure on capital and liquidity, can lead to a noticeable reduction in a bank's outstanding loans,' analysts Charlene Chu and Wen Chunling said.

'Fitch suspects this activity was one factor behind the marked slowdown in aggregate loan g…

Rise and Fall in Dubai

If you are interested to read how inflationary property market can lead to a fall in an economy, read the article below. If you are interested to understand the importance of supply matching real demand, read the article below.

Rise and Fall in Dubai: An Austrian Perspective [via]

Warren Buffett remark on Gold

“Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or some place. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.”

Interesting :)

Are banks getting even bigger?

If we have learned anything over the last couple of years, it is that banks that are too big to fail pose too much of a risk to the economy. Any serious effort to reform the financial system must ensure that no such banks exist.

Even Bigger Than Too Big to Fail [via]

New rules on telco contract duration to benefit consumers

Come March 2010, telcos in Singapore will not be allowed to lock-in consumers for more than 24 months. Also from next March, consumers who sign on a contract longer than three months and who terminate their contract before the end of their contract period will no longer have to pay a fixed early termination charge. Instead, they will see these charges decrease over time on a month-by-month basis as they serve out their contract.

These are new guidelines set out by IDA Singapore.

Consumers to Benefit from New Guidelines on Telecommunication Services [via]

Accounting of Love


I will CREDIT you my love,
If you will DEBIT me your love.
I'll record our romance in a JOURNAL,
And POST it to the LEDGER of my heart.

I'll keep an ACCOUNT of our love,
This way you'll know the BALANCE c/d,
And the AMOUNT of love I have for you.

Our courtship,
Is carried out on WORKSHEET.
ADJUSTING ENTRIES are necessary,
To make our love steady.

We are meant for each other,
Because the TOTAL of our love,
Is one and the same.

When down the aisle we take.
PROFIT & LOSS statement,
Tells what has happened.

Let's see our BALANCE SHEET,
Oh, my goodness!
It shows a dozen kids!

Stocks mostly gain

At this point in time, all stocks in my portfolio are now above waters except one - Singapore Exchange. The stocks in positive territory are ST Engineering (non employee shares) (18.22%), Koh Brothers (5%), SMRT (6.86%), Mapletree Logistics (13.06%), Parkway Holdings (32.71%), and EPure International (10.32%).

Got a special gift from Experts-Exchange :)

I just collected a gift, all the way from the United States, from Experts-Exchange. Thanks for the early Christmas surprise :)

A guide to privacy on Facebook

A guide to privacy on Facebook [via]

Weekly Address: Learning from History to Reform Wall Street

The President explains that while he continues to focus on jobs, it is also profoundly important to address the problems that created this economic mess in the first place. He commends the House of Representatives for passing reforms to our financial system, including a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and blasts Republican Leaders and financial industry lobbyists for their joint "pep rally" to defeat it. Obama voiced his displeasure in seeing big banks not learning from past mistakes and repeat giving massive bonuses to senior executives.

Facebook accounts hacked

I was stupefied to read Facebook users actually witnessed their accounts hacked right in front of their eyes. The hacker impersonated to be the actual user to ask for cash. Cyber crimes leveraging on social engineering weaknesses are the trickiest in my opinion.

Facebook accounts hacked [via]

Offline Gmail graduates from Labs

Google has announced that "Offline Gmail", an experimental feature that lets users access their web-based Gmail accounts while not connected to the internet, has finally graduated from being a Google Labs project and is being rolled out to all users.

This is not unexpected after Google announced they will not be upgrading their Google Gears and will move to HTML 5.0 instead to solve their offline mobile woes.

Offline Gmail graduates from Labs [via]

Google Quick Scroll is a browser extension that helps you find what you are searching for faster.

Google Quick Scroll is a browser extension that helps you find what you are searching for faster.

After you click on a Google search result, Quick Scroll may appear on the bottom-right corner of the page, showing one or more bits of text from the page that are relevant to your query. Clicking on the text will take you to that part of the page.

Quick Scroll tries to stay out of your way, and appears only when it is likely to be useful.

NOTE: Quick Scroll works only on Google Chrome 4 BETA browser.

One–Year Extension of 4% Floor Rate for all SMA and RA Monies to end of 2010

The Singapore government has announced a one–year extension of 4% floor rate on all Special and Medisave Accounts (SMA) monies and Retirement Account (RA) monies for another year until 31 December 2010.

One–Year Extension of 4% Floor Rate for all SMA and RA Monies to end of 2010

Minister Mentor Lee paid millions for not doing the work

Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew is paid millions but all for not doing the work. He is an exception and is merely just doing the forecasting work.

"We also have a rule, I'm the exception to the rule, I'm 86.

But I'm not doing the work; I'm just forecasting... The work is being done by younger people in their late 40s and 50s. So there's an energy and a drive, and an understanding of the contemporary world. And they are also linked up with the younger generation of voters"

MM Lee says having younger politicians create better results for S'pore [via]

Gmail Labs finally allows setting default text style

Ever since Gmail was launched more than half a decade ago, Gmail Labs finally released capability in setting default text style when composing an email. This new feature can be enabled from the Labs tab, then go to General Settings and set your preferences just once.

This new feature looks almost perfect if not for Gmail Labs forgetting to set text style for signature to be the same as the 'Default Text Style'.

New in Labs: Default text styling [via]

Google Street View launched in Singapore

Google Street View has arrived in Singapore - making it the first in Southeast Asia to have a virtual street guide based on photographs.

The photo above shows a car by Google travelling around on the streets of Singapore, taking snapshots of the little island.

Google Street View launched in Singapore [via]

Dubai financial debacle will make Thaksin more desperate

Dubai financial debacle will make Thaksin more desperate
The Nation
Published on December 1, 2009

MUCH has been said about the Dubai debt moratorium, whose ripple effect on other economies and financial institutions has yet to be determined. Thailand might have to bear some negative effects, as the country imports crude oil from Dubai. For goods and services, transactions will have to be adjusted to cope with the latest development.

But a well-known, notorious Thai citizen stands to be affected immensely, either through investment or personal predicament. Thaksin Shinawatra, according to news reports, has left Dubai for a trip to an unnamed European country. His purpose was also not disclosed.

The trouble in Dubai also means a lot of trouble for Thaksin, whose name and passport have been changed - from Thai to a strange-sounding name in his newly acquired Nicaraguan passport. For some years now, the fugitive has used Dubai as his base for investment and political campaigns to destabilise t…