Friday, May 9, 2014

Fw: East Asia Pacific Urged to Adopt Policies to Protect More Workers

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From: World Bank East Asia and Pacific <>
Date: Wed, 07 May 2014 21:56:41 -0400
To: Bob Sefcik<>
ReplyTo: World Bank East Asia and Pacific <>
Subject: East Asia Pacific Urged to Adopt Policies to Protect More Workers

World Bank MAY 8, 2014
East Asia and Pacific
East Asia Pacific At Work: Employment, Enterprise and Well-Being  
East Asia Pacific Urged to Adopt Policies to Protect More Workers

Current regulations favor salaried, prime-age males at the expense of women and youth. New report says solid economic fundamentals are first step toward ensuring all people are protected.

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Fw: The Mystery Billionaires Behind the Fourth-Largest U.S. Charity

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From: "Businessweek Daily" <>
Date: Fri, 09 May 2014 06:13:37 -0400
To: Robert E Sefcik<>
ReplyTo: "Bloomberg Businessweek" <>
Subject: The Mystery Billionaires Behind the Fourth-Largest U.S. Charity

New Issue: Lenovo Is the Raccoon of Tech Companies

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The Mystery Billionaires Behind the Fourth-Largest U.S. Charity

Using different financial vehicles to mask their identities, three incredibly wealthy men have given away more than $13 billion in almost total secrecy. In this week's issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, Zachary R. Mider reveals the elaborate financial web that kept them anonymous - until now.

The Tea Party Gets Into the News Biz

On June 3, the Heritage Foundation will launch the Daily Signal, a new digital news site whose primary focus will be straight reporting.

With Big Obstacles Ahead, Tesla Still Isn't Checking Its Rear View

The forces of supply and demand don't apply to Tesla, or so Elon Musk says. The arrival of the BMW's i8 and the Mercedes B-class Electric Drive might test that assumption.

Beijing's DIY Clean Air Movement: If You Can't Afford an $800 Air Filter, Build Your Own

Air pollution in China has fueled a market for ultra-expensive air filters. Thomas Talhelm, a Fulbright scholar in China, figured out he could build his own for about $35, and then he set out to teach everyone else how.

"Over the past five years, we beat every PC company in the world."

-Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo, to Drake Bennett, who chronicles the company's ten-year rise to become the top-selling PC-maker in the world.


From Condé Nast Traveler this Week

How Google Earth Led to the Discovery of a Long-Lost Forest
Amazing Drone Video of NYC From Above
Airline Rolls out New "Flying Apartments"
Apps That Make You Feel Like a Local Anywhere

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Fw: U.S. Fed chief cites sputtering housing market as a worry

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From: "CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief: Asia Pacific Edition" <>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2014 17:30:50 -0500 (CDT)
To: <>
Subject: U.S. Fed chief cites sputtering housing market as a worry

Yellen cites sputtering housing market as a worry | Numerous factors to weigh on China banks this year, economist says | Ukraine rebels push for Sunday vote despite Putin
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May 9, 2014
CFA Institute: Financial NewsBrief - Aisa Pacific Edition

Top Stories
Yellen cites sputtering housing market as a worry
In her latest remarks before Congress, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen cited the housing market as a laggard as other indicators point to an improving economy. "The recent flattening-out in housing activity could prove more protracted than currently expected, rather than resuming its earlier pace of recovery," Yellen said, adding that the Fed would keep an eye on the situation. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/7)
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Numerous factors to weigh on China banks this year, economist says
This year is shaping up as a year of major risks for China's banks, according to Xiang Songzuo, chief economist at the Agricultural Bank of China. Xiang cites the convergence of several factors, including shadow banking, industrial overcapacity, the burden of local government debt and the possibility of lower housing prices. "All these problems will be manifested in more bad loans, and that's why the banks will have an increasingly difficult time," Xiang said. (China)/Xinhuanet (5/8)
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Ukraine rebels push for Sunday vote despite Putin
Rebels in eastern Ukraine are proceeding with a Sunday vote on separating from Ukraine despite the entreaties of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an apparent softening of Moscow's stance. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (5/8)
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ECB holds rates but points to June adjustment
The European Central Bank left its rates on hold Thursday, but President Mario Draghi strongly hinted that an adjustment will be forthcoming at the bank's meeting next month. Policymakers await further data, but Draghi said that "the strengthening of the exchange rate in the context of low inflation is cause for serious concern." In all, his remarks were taken to mean the bank may be preparing for negative interest rates. Bloomberg (5/8), Bloomberg (5/8)
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Bank of England steers steady course
Although operating on a new forward guidance policy based on labor capacity, the Bank of England stood fast Thursday on its 0.5% interest rates and its bond buying. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (5/8)
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Becalmed global economy heralds Great Moderation
Experts are converging around the notion that the global economy is settling into a second round of the so-called Great Moderation that preceded the 2007 crisis. Market volatility and measures of risk are low and giving equities a growing advantage over bonds. Overall, persistently low interest rates, a policy focus on unemployment and calm markets are making for a "new macro-economic reality," said Ian Harnett, managing director at Absolute Strategy Research. Bloomberg (5/8)
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Regulatory Update
StanChart Korean unit is scolded over derivatives accounting
South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service has reprimanded the Korean unit of Standard Chartered Bank over violations of rules involving 1 trillion won worth of derivatives trades. The FSS said the bank recorded only the contracts advantageous to it in accounting books. Punitive measures may be forthcoming. Yonhap News Agency (South Korea) (subscription required) (5/8)
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Philippines to test banks' exposure to real estate
Noting the problematic nature of real estate lending in many banking systems, the Philippine central bank is planning stress tests for the nation's lenders in a bid to avoid a property bubble. The plans include introduction of a residential property-price index by midyear. Bloomberg (5/8)
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Hong Kong regulator hands out fine, 2 life bans
Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission has fined Kaiser Securities and Kaiser Futures for unauthorized activities under Macau law and banned two former bankers at ABN Amro and Standard Chartered from the industry for life. (5/8)
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Economic Trends & Outlook
China's exports up in April
China's export figures decisively defied expectations of a decline and rose 0.9% last month from a year before while imports gained as well. The trade surplus for April came to US$18.46 billion, indicating the recent slowdown in China may be easing as the global economy continues to recover. Bloomberg (5/8), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/8), Shanghai Daily (China)/Xinhuanet (5/8)
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Power-flexing China labor raises concerns
China's increasingly scarce, restive, organized and powerful labor force is posing a problem for local governments concerned that wage demands will spur an exodus of industries. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (5/7)
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U.S. wage gains seen pushing Fed on rates
One little-discussed factor that may drive the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise rates this year is the recent trend in wage gains, including the 2.3% annualized rise recorded last month, according to Deutsche Bank international economist Torsten Slok. Looking ahead, an economy that stays in recovery mode will lead to "more and more wage pressure" and "will force the Fed to turn more hawkish," Slok said in a report. Bloomberg (5/8)
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U.S. jobless claims decline
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week. Although the four-week moving average for claims was up, analysts say the longer-term trend is encouraging as employers cautiously step up hiring while awaiting signs of stronger consumer demand. Bloomberg (5/8)
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South Korean won's rise comes as domestic spending wanes
The stronger won threatens to cut into South Korean exports, weakening the nation's international trade position just as domestic spending slumps in the wake of last month's ferry disaster. And the outlook is for further gains in the Korean currency. (South Korea)/Yonhap News Agency (South Korea) (5/8)
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Australia job picture improves as hiring picks up
Australia's jobless rate held steady at 5.8% last month as employers added 14,200 jobs, suggesting an economy that continues to mend and pushing the Australian dollar higher. "Full-time jobs growth has improved markedly so far this year. Further, these indicators are consistent with the unemployment rate sitting around its current level, or possibly a little lower, in the near term," said Justin Fabo, senior economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. Bloomberg (5/7)
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Some fear budget slashing will undermine Australia recovery
Australia's economy is still tentatively adjusting to the end of a mining boom, but the prospect of impending budget cuts under the new government could undo the progress made so far, some fear. The government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott contends belt-tightening is imperative even though, as many point out, Australia's debt and deficit situation is much less imposing than those of the U.S. and Europe. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/7)
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Taiwan exports climb 6.2% in April
Taiwan's exports rose 6.2% in April from a year before on the back of a recovering global economy. Electronics led the way, but gains were broadly based across sectors. The Taipei Times (Taiwan) (5/8)
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Capital Markets & Financial Products
Survey finds Australian investors looking overseas
Offshore assets are the object of increasing interest from Australian investors looking for higher returns in what appears to be a less risky global environment, according to a survey by Certitude Global. "While it is true that a number of investors expressed concerns about some of the big issues, including instability in the Ukraine and Russia, a slowdown in the Chinese economy and the possibility of another market crash, this clearly did not influence their positive outlook for international markets," said Certitude CEO Craig Mowll. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (5/8)
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People & Personalities
Chae Sun-Byoung is promoted at Bank of Korea
Chae Sun-Byoung has been named director general of reserve management at the Bank of Korea. Chae comes to the job from a series of previous posts at the bank, including the departments of investment management, investment strategy and risk management. (5/8)
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