Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rakyat biasa Singapore mengenai gelaran 'World's Richest'

Locals unhappy with ‘World’s Richest’ tag

August 26, 2012
The Boston Consulting Group’s 2012 global wealth report, released in June, said that Singapore had the highest percentage of millionaire households in the world.
By Kalinga Seneviratne
Singapore was recently ranked as the world’s richest country. But there is much scepticism about such rankings among average citizens here.
According to the Wealth Report 2012 produced by real estate firm Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank, this tiny Southeast Asian island republic with a per capita income of 56,532 dollars is now the richest country in the world. And in 2010, it was placed third in world wealthiest rankings by the IMF and fourth by the World Bank.
“I feel life remains the same as it has been for the past five to 10 years” George Fu, a corporate communications manager in his late twenties told IPS when asked about his country’s new status as the world’s richest country.
“Despite being rich, common issues still linger on,” he says, adding, “flats are expensive, cars are expensive and education is expensive (for the average citizen).”
He compares Singapore with an equally rich country in the region: the tiny oil-rich Brunei, where the government provides free education, medication and subsidised housing to its citizens. Pointing out that no such subsidies are given by the government to its citizens here, he says “wearing the ‘richest country in the world’ tag doesn’t really improve our lives.”
Manu Bhaskaran, co-author of a recent policy paper on a new social compact for Singapore published by the government-funded think tank Institute of Policy Studies, argues that a country can be rich and still have high income inequality.
“The drivers of growth in Singapore – high finance, high-end tourism and highly capital-intensive manufacturing – tend to benefit high-income earners more than the average worker,” he told IPS.
“Also the growth of the past few years has been driven substantially by extremely large inflows of foreign workers, which have probably helped to keep wages at the lower income levels in check.”
While the Wealth Report estimates Singapore’s per capita income as $56,532, most foreign workers are paid less than 1,000 dollars a month. The policy paper on a new social impact notes that there has been wage stagnation for the bulk of the workforce here, while the income of the top one to two percent has risen sharply.
“(This) makes inequality today more jarring and potentially more damaging to our social and political cohesion than before,” the report warns.
“A growth model overly focused on achieving high GDP growth fuelled by a huge increase in foreign workers meant that the average citizen has not benefited as much from GDP growth as they desired,” Bhaskaran argues.
Uber-wealthy class of people
According to the Wealth Report, Singapore will see a 67 percent increase in centa-millionaires over the next four years – an uber-wealthy class of people with over 100 million dollars in disposable income. The Boston Consulting Group’s 2012 global wealth report, released in June, said that Singapore had the highest percentage of millionaire households in the world.
In 2011, Singapore was also ranked for the first time as the world’s best country for international meetings, by the Union of International Associations. The country generated over 450 million dollars in tourist receipts last year.
An island of just over four million people, Singapore attracted more than 10 million visitors last year, most from across Asia coming here to enjoy many new entertainment attractions developed over the past decade, as well as for high-end shopping.
With its high density of brand-name boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, upmarket nightclubs and entertainment centres, and luxury hotels such as Marina Bay Sands, Singapore is growing in importance for the world’s high-net-worth individuals.
There is a widespread perception, especially among bloggers and in Internet forum discussions, that Singapore’s wealth ranking based on per capita GDP is not an accurate indication of the population’s wealth, because a lot of this income is concentrated at the top levels and most of it is derived from economic activities off-shore.
One taxi driver who only gave his name as Alwin told IPS “this is a pay and pay country, we have to pay for everything, government gives nothing.” He was referring to the governing PAP (Peoples Action Party) founded by the country’s legendary former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
Another taxi driver blogging on the anti-government website ‘The Temasek Times’ argued that the average Singaporean does not earn anywhere near the levels of the average citizen of Norway or Switzerland – two countries ranked just below Singapore in the Wealth Report.
Writing under the name of ‘Displaced Sinki’, he said that despite having an overseas degree and 20 years experience at the executive levels of the professional scale, after the age of 50 he has become “structurally unemployed” and is left to drive taxis, earning less than 20,000 dollars a year.
“Being jobless at an older age is a tormenting experience and one cannot expect any handouts or assistance from our illustrious PAP government during such difficult times because like all things here, everyone has to simply fend for themselves in this unforgiving nation,” he complained.
Old people working
Corporate communications manager Fu says that everyday he walks to work through Chinatown, one of the poorest areas in this city state, where he sees homeless and helpless senior citizens lying on the streets unattended.
But he sees this ranking as useful to market Singapore as an investment haven.
“I do see this survey attracting more millionaires or billionaires from China or other wealthy nations coming and settling down here, and investments and business ventures streaming here to tap the rich segment of the population,” he says.
“It’s the people who make the country, not the government,” argues 72-year-old neighbourhood shopkeeper Venkat, who migrated here from India at the age of eight. He has three sons, all university graduates and earning salaries.
“In India if your son works, parents will expect to be supported and stay at home,” he told IPS.
“Here you will see old people cleaning, cooking and selling food in hawker centres (food markets). They earn their living and don’t bother the children. That’s the work ethic which makes Singapore rich.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Real cuplrits behind UK LIBOR scandal

Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers
David Rockefeller, family owns the Federal Reserve System and therefore owns United States of America
Timothy Geithner, Chairman of US Federal Reserve, take instruction from US Federal Reserve owner Rockefeller and not the President or Congress

The Libor Scandal In Full Perspective

The article about the Libor scandal, coauthored with Nomi Prins, received much attention, with Internet repostings, foreign translation, and video interviews. To further clarify the situation, this article brings to the forefront implications that might not be obvious to those without insider experience and knowledge.

The price of Treasury bonds is supported by the Federal Reserve’s large purchases. The Federal Reserve’s purchases are often misread as demand arising from a “flight to quality” due to concern about the EU sovereign debt problem and possible failure of the euro.

Another rationale used to explain the demand for Treasuries despite their negative yield is the “flight to safety.” A 2% yield on a Treasury bond is less of a negative interest rate than the yield of a few basis points on a bank CD, and the US government, unlike banks, can use its central bank to print the money to pay off its debts.

It is possible that some investors purchase Treasuries for these reasons. However, the “safety” and “flight to quality” explanations could not exist if interest rates were rising or were expected to rise. The Federal Reserve prevents the rise in interest rates and decline in bond prices, which normally result from continually issuing new debt in enormous quantities at negative interest rates, by announcing that it has a low interest rate policy and will purchase bonds to keep bond prices high. Without this Fed policy, there could be no flight to safety or quality.

It is the prospect of ever lower interest rates that causes investors to purchase bonds that do not pay a real rate of interest. Bond purchasers make up for the negative interest rate by the rise in price in the bonds caused by the next round of low interest rates. As the Federal Reserve and the banks drive down the interest rate, the issued bonds rise in value, and their purchasers enjoy capital gains.

As the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are themselves fixing interest rates at historic lows in order to mask the insolvency of their respective banking systems, they naturally do not object that the banks themselves contribute to the success of this policy by fixing the LIbor rate and by selling massive amounts of interest rate swaps, a way of shorting interest rates and driving them down or preventing them from rising.

The lower is Libor, the higher is the price or evaluations of floating-rate debt instruments, such as CDOs, and thus the stronger the banks’ balance sheets appear.

Does this mean that the US and UK financial systems can only be kept afloat by fraud that harms purchasers of interest rate swaps, which include municipalities advised by sellers of interest rate swaps, and those with saving accounts?

The answer is yes, but the Libor scandal is only a small part of the interest rate rigging scandal. The Federal Reserve itself has been rigging interest rates. How else could debt issued in profusion be bearing negative interest rates?

As villainous as they might be, Barclays bank chief executive Bob Diamond, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs are not the main villains. The main villains are former Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs chairman Robert Rubin, who pushed Congress for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, and the sponsors of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act. Glass-Steagall was put in place in 1933 in order to prevent the kind of financial excesses that produced the current ongoing financial crisis.

President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, presented the removal of all constraints on financial chicanery as “financial modernization.” Taking restraints off of banks was part of the hubristic response to “the end of history.” Capitalism had won the struggle with socialism and communism. Vindicated capitalism no longer needed its concessions to social welfare and regulation that capitalism used in order to compete with socialism.

The constraints on capitalism could now be thrown off, because markets were self-regulating as Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, among many, declared. It was financial deregulation--the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the removal of limits on debt leverage, the absence of regulation of OTC derivatives, the removal of limits on speculative positions in future markets--that caused the ongoing financial crisis. No doubt but that JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and others were after maximum profits by hook or crook, but their opportunity came from the neoconservative triumphalism of “democratic capitalism’s” historical victory over alternative socio-politico-economic systems.

The ongoing crisis cannot be addressed without restoring the laws and regulations that were repealed and discarded. But putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again is an enormous task full of its own perils.

The financial concentration that deregulation fostered has left us with broken financial institutions that are too big to fail. To understand the fullness of the problem, consider the law suits that are expected to be filed against the banks that fixed the Libor rate by those who were harmed by the fraud. Some are saying that as the fraud was known by the central banks and not reported, that the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England should be indicted for their participation in the fraud.

What follows is not an apology for fraud. It merely describes consequences of holding those responsible accountable.

Imagine the Federal reserve called before Congress or the Department of Justice to answer why it did not report on the fraud perpetrated by private banks, fraud that was supporting the Federal Reserve’s own rigging of interest rates (and the same in the UK.)

The Federal reserve will reply: “So, you want us to let interest rates go up? Are you prepared to come up with the money to bail out the FDIC-insured depositors of JPMorganChase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, etc.? Are you prepared for US Treasury prices to collapse, wiping out bond funds and the remaining wealth in the US and driving up interest rates, making the interest rate on new federal debt necessary to finance the huge budget deficits impossible to pay, and finishing off what is left of the real estate market? Are you prepared to take responsibility, you who deregulated the financial system, for this economic armageddon?

Obviously, the politicians will say NO, continue with the fraud. The harm to people from collapse far exceeds the harm in lost interest from fixing the low interest rates in order to forestall collapse. The Federal Reserve will say that we are doing our best to create profits for the banks that will permit us eventually to unwind the fraud and return to normal. Congress will see no better alternative to this.

But the question remains: How long can the regime of negative interest rates continue while debt explodes upward? Currently, everyone in the US who counts and most who don’t have an interest in holding off armageddon. No one wants to tip over the boat. If the banks are sued for damages and lack the money to pay, the Federal Reserve can create the money for the banks to pay.

If the collapse of the system does not result from scandals, it will come from outside. The dollar is the world reserve currency. This means that the dollar’s exchange value is boosted, despite the dismal economic outlook in the US, by the fact that, as the currency for settling international accounts, there is international demand for the dollar. Country A settles its trade deficit with country B in dollars; country B settles its account with country C in dollars; and so on throughout the countries of the world.

For whatever the reason--perhaps to curtail their accumulation of suspect dollars or to bring Washington’s power to an end--the BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, are agreeing to settle their trade between themselves in their own currencies, thus abandoning the use of the dollar.

According to reports, China and Japan have reached agreement to settle their trade between themselves in their own currencies.

The moves away from the dollar as the currency of international transactions means that the dollar’s exchange value will fall as the demand for dollars falls. Whereas the Federal Reserve can create dollars with which to purchase the Treasury’s debt, thus preventing a fall in bond prices, the Federal Reserve cannot prop up the dollar’s exchange value by creating more dollars with which to purchase dollars. Dollars would have to be taken off the foreign exchange market by purchasing them with other currencies, but in order to have these currencies the US would have to be running a trade surplus, not a long-term trade deficit.

In the short-run, the Federal Reserve could arrange currency swap agreements in which foreign central banks swap their currencies for dollars in order to supply the Federal Reserve with currencies with which to soak up dollars. However, only a limited number of swaps could be negotiated before foreign central banks understood that the dollar’s fall in value was not a temporary event that could be propped up with currency swaps.

As the value of the dollar will fall as countries move away from its use as reserve currency, the values of dollar-denominated assets also will fall. The Federal Reserve, even with full cooperation from the banking system employing every fraud technique known, cannot prevent interest rates from rising on debt instruments denominated in a currency whose value is falling.

Think about it this way. A person, fund, or institution owns bonds or any debt instruments carrying a negative rate of interest, but continues to hold the instruments because interest rates, despite the increase in debt, are creeping down, raising bond prices and producing capital gains in the bonds. What happens when the exchange value of the currency in which the debt instruments are denominated falls? Can the price of the bond stay high even though the value of the currency in which the bond is denominated falls?

The drop in the exchange value of the currency hits the bond price in a second way. The price of imports rise, and this pushes up prices. The inflation measures will show higher inflation. How long will people hold debt instruments paying negative interest rates as inflation rises? Perhaps there are historical cases in which bond prices continue to rise indefinitely (or even hold firm) as inflation rises, but I have never heard of them.

As the Federal Reserve can create money, theoretically the Federal Reserve’s prop-up schemes could continue until the Federal Reserve owns all dollar-denominated financial assets. To cover the holes in its own balance sheet, the Federal Reserve could just print more money.

Some suspect that the Federal Reserve, in order to forestall a declining dollar and thus declining prices of dollar-denominated financial instruments, is behind the sales of naked shorts every time demand for physical bullion drives up the price of gold and silver. The short sales--paper sales--cancel the impact on price of the increased demand for bullion.

Some also believe that they see the Federal Reserve’s hand in the stock market. One day stocks fall 200 points. The next day stocks rise 200 points. This up and down pattern has been ongoing for a long time. One possible explanation is that as wary investors sell their equity holdings, the Federal Reserve, or the “plunge protection team,” steps in and buys.

Just as the “terrorist threat” was used to destroy the laws that protect US civil liberty, the financial crisis has resulted in the Federal Reserve moving far outside its charter and normal operating behavior.

To sum up, what has happened is that irresponsible and thoughtless--in fact, ideological--deregulation of the financial sector has caused a financial crisis that can only be managed by fraud. Civil damages might be paid, but to halt the fraud itself would mean the collapse of the financial system. Those in charge of the system would prefer the collapse to come from outside, such as from a collapse in the value of the dollar that could be blamed on foreigners, because an outside cause gives them something to blame other than themselves.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pandelela suatu inspirasi - Pehin Sri Abdul Taib

Pandelela an inspiration, says Chief Minister

Posted on August 11, 2012, Saturday
Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud
KUCHING: The historic achievement of diver Pandelela Rinong at the Olympic Games in London should be an inspiration for future athletes, says Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“I am very proud that our ‘anak Sarawak’ has managed to clinch the bronze medal at the Olympics and this amazing achievement should serve as an inspiration to our sportsmen,” he said, adding that
he was confident the 19-year-old had the potential to achieve greater heights.
Taib told reporters this after the launching of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap 2.0 Open Day conducted by Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) here yesterday.
He added that efforts to produce a steady flow of athletes from schools, particularly those from rural areas, should be enhanced further.
“I also believe that our very own new state-of-the-art aquatic centre of excellence will be able to train and produce more world class athletes in the likes of Pandelela Rinong.”
He said he would announce a special reward when the athlete returned from the Olympics.
With the achievement, Pandelela will receive RM150,000 under the Youth and Sports Ministry’s incentive scheme and a monthly pension of RM2,000.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Anak Sarawak Pandelela membawa kejayaan dan kebanggaan kepada Malaysia

Pandelela Rinong Pamg, Olympian medal winner 2012

Posted on August 10, 2012, Friday

Pandelala Rinong Pamg –Bernama photo
PANDELELA, 19-year-old Bidayuh from Sarawak, is the first female Malaysian athlete to win a medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and the second Malaysian to win an Olympic medal in any sport other than badminton, when she took the bronze in the 10m diving event.
She is 5’3″ tall and weighs 49.5 kg.
Pandelela won a bronze medal in the Women’s 10 m Synchronized Platform with Mun Yee Leong and placed 5th in the Women’s 10 m platform at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships.
The diving lass also competed in the Women’s 10 m platform at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
She was the flag bearer for the Malaysian contingent at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore where she won the silver medals in the girls’ 10m platform event and 3m springboard event.
At New Delhi 2010, Pandelela won Malaysia’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal in an aquatic sport by winning the women’s 10m platform.
She became Malaysia’s first female flag bearer at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics where she competed in the 10m platform synchronized event with her partner Leong Mun Yee

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

DAP Assemblyman Manoharan menghina Chong Wei dan kata hanya kerajaan pakatan boleh dapat Gold Medal

DAP YB Manoharan mengejek titik peluh dan usaha Datuk Lee Chong Wei dengan memanggilnya  "Lee Chong AWAY".  Datuk Lee Chong Wei menyumbang 2 Pingat Perak Olimpik kepada negara.  Selain daripada membuat dan menyerbarkan racun dan fitnah, apakah khidmat DAP Manoharan kepada negara?


Pakatan has a very capable sports minister in waiting.Give Pakatan to rule Putrajaya to bring in the Gold in next Olympics in Rio 2016.
Malaysia will win its first GOLD Medal in Olympics after Pakatan takes over Putrajaya.
Many don't seemed to understand when I said "poor boy Lin Dan".Najib thinks of only money even in sports.Stop it.
Najib should stop promising monetary rewards to all our players before winning.
If Chong Wei played better than Lin Dan,why didn't he win?We must be firm with our players so that we can see a GOLD one day,
Whoever wins a GOLD Medal in OLYMPICS,we must congratulate them.
 If Chong played better than Lin Dan,why Chong Wei did not win?So who is talking nonsense?
Najib,whatever monetary reward promised for Chong Wei,please give it to the poor boy Lin Dan.
Lin Dan is so stylish.So modern.Doesn't look like a China man.But from China.Tattoo all over.
LIN DAN wins.He played better than Lee Chong AWAY