Saturday, August 22, 2020

A positive and helpful attitude

I want to share this story about a colleague, Mr. K, who has a positive and helpful attitude.

Quora: Why is Germany taking the side of China against the US?

Clifford Nelson replied.

Lets see…

The US is trying to force Germany to stop the pipeline because the US wants Germany to have to buy much more expensive US petroleum. The Russian petroleum that goes through the Baltic Sea cannot be taxed by the Ukraine, and so make US oil more competitive. Bald faced self interest at the cost of Germany. US is a bully.

Trying for force Germany to make all Huawei products illegal.
They make the best and cheapest telecommunications equipment and the nobody has ever released and evidence that it is used for spying, in fact there seems to not even be any rumors that any data has been lost because of Huawei products, unlike the case the US, which has been proven to spy on its allies. This is just another case of the US being a bully.

US failed to hold up agreement with Iran, and Europe depends on Iran for keeping energy costs low. In addition the US has again proven that is it just a bully since there was no evidence that Iran was not going to stand by the agreement, and American stupidity has just made the situation worse.
Trump constantly shows lack of respect for Merkel who is very much respected by her own country. German officials were so alarmed by Trump's conversations with Angela Merkel that they took extra steps to make sure they stayed secret, according to a CNN report.

Trump pushed Germany to increase military spending. Who benefits from military spending, why the biggest arms dealer in the world, the US. US attempts to push that Russia is such a danger when it has half the GDP of Germany alone, and is now two countries away. Russia is not the post WW2 USSR with the Warsaw pact behind it. Russia in not even close to Imperial Russia since Ukraine, Belarus and all the other Russian republics are no longer under the control of Russia.

Germany is much better of to cozy up to China since China is much less a threat to Germany than the US. China does not have either the economic or military leverage that the US does, so the sooner that Germany strengthens the European position with China, it can use that as a threat against bullying by the US. China has never even attempted to bully Germany, unlike the US. And President Xi has always been respectful of Merkel, unlike Trump.

The sooner Germany stands up to the US the better, because when a bully fails, he usually starts to show respect. Thus the sooner that Germany will get the respect is deserves from the US instead of continuing to be just be pushed around. And the rest of Europe will benefit since Germany is a much better friend than the US, and it can help them against the bully.

My question to you is why should Germany do any of the things the US has been demanding Germany do. None are in the best interest of Germany….not one. Much better for Germany to do what is best for Germany, rather than what is the US thinks is best for the US for Germany to do. Also better for Germany to do what is best for Europe and no longer what is best for the US. The sooner European counties can tell the bully to go pound sand, the better. They US has not been a good world leader for decades, and there should be push back. Its adventures in the Middle East have all backfired, The sanctions have not worked and only hurt Europe.

And to show how bad the leadership is, just look at how badly it handled the virus. It was thought the the US would have the best response, but that was wrong. Instead China did. Who has the best control over things? Who is now constantly reacting and just doing stupid things? the US.

And American economic policy of ridiculously low interest rates, which is sure to result into a real disaster in the future. Because US interest rates were so low the rest of the world was forced to follow. Money the is too cheap is destructive, and now the US deficit is skyrocketing and the US Fed balance sheet is so out of balance that if interest rates go where they should, this debt will just continue to increase. It is not just the US that will suffer badly, but the whole world when the balancing act finally fails. Such bad leadership.

Create temporary jobs during the economic downturn

I suggest the following measures to create meaningful jobs during the economic downturn.

1) Allow each teacher to employ an assistant, working 4 hours a day, and earn $15 per hour, to help monitor the students in the class and studying at home.

This will create 30,000 jobs.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Quora: What exactly is the problem between China and US?

Thye Kim Meng, LLB (hons)/ Bsc (hons)Eng from London/Wolverhampton replied.

America want the world to follow a rule based order led by US leadership. So far so good。And Singapore really stands out to champion it.

(So what's the problem?)

Until you see that they changed the rule when it becomes inconvenience for them ( by not following it) or quit the cell group they helped to form ( WHO). Or interpret the rules in their favour ( freedom of navigation ) or freedom to war ( excuse , crime against humanity), harbour terrorist groups ( dissidents, freedom fighter) that want régime change to a country not listening to US directions. The list is endless.

China happens to be a country clever enough to play by the rules and win. And this is an issue US cannot resolve.

Trump is trying to reset this. He is trying very hard ( his advisors rather, Bannon failed, Pompeo takes over) to break up 70 years of US rules and since the Ping Pong diplomacy.

China and the West are two distinct civilizations. China model v Western model.The twain shall never meet in seeing their roles in humanity. Accordingly to Mao in his description of the problem. Best to recognize the differences and co exist.

WOTC - Did PAP get a clear mandate?

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 77% of the respondents said that the PAP did not get a clear mandate from the voters in GE2020. Here are their reasons.

WOTC - Workers Party required to give alternative policies

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 71% of the participants should that the Workers Party should be given access to the relevant data and the support of the civil servants, if they are expected to give alternative policies.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should we open the border to revive the economy?

Vote in


Time to open the border to travelers form low risk countries

 Straits Times:

Out of 83k arrivals from June 18 to Aug 6, 152 had the virus |

TKL comment - 2 per 1000 had the virus. But there are others who are asymptomatic.

If they wear the mask in crowded places, it should not spread the virus. Even if it does, it only spreads to some people.

My conclusion is - there is no need to close the border. We can open now from countries with low infection rate. This applies to most country.

By continuing to close the order or continuing the circuit breaker, we will surely and slowly kill the economy and the tens of thousand livelihoods.

Even the reserves can run out very quickly.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should the public transport system be rationalised?

Vote in

Premium financing for purchase of annuity

 Dear Mr Tan,

I like to ask upon your views on premium financing for annuities. The concept of premium financing is rather new to me as it wasn’t available back then. The spread for my loan is 0.75%+ 3M COF rates from a local bank. The current rate of 3M COF is at 0.28% now.

I couldn’t find any negative points except the premium financing may affect my TDSR in the event i decided to buy a new property. I live my whole life without taking more debt than i can handle, i have no car loan or mortgage presently. Leveraging on low interest debt like this, in pursuing higher roi returns, increasing monthly cashflow sound like a good idea to me. I attached the BI for you to look through and advice if necessary.

I advise people, NEVER make any investment with borrowed money.
This includes financing the purchase of annuity.
If you want to know why, you should join FISCA and read this article

Also read

Improve communication with the public

 The government makes it difficult for the public to communicate with the civil servants.

Here is my exchange with the Land Transport Authority.

 Do you find this confusing? I do! Several ministers are in two or more ministries. Insane!!

Appointment of Ministers
Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien will be appointed Minister for Sustainability and the Environment. (The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources will be renamed the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.) She will relinquish her appointment as Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

Mr Lawrence Wong will be appointed Minister for Education. He will remain Second Minister for Finance, and relinquish his appointment as Minister for National Development.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli will be appointed Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health. He will remain the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs and relinquish his appointment as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

Mr Ong Ye Kung will be appointed Minister for Transport. He will relinquish his appointment as Minister for Education.

Mr Desmond Lee will be appointed Minister for National Development. He will relinquish his appointment as Minister for Social and Family Development but will remain in the Ministry and be concurrently appointed as Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration.

Ms Indranee Rajah will be appointed Second Minister for National Development, and relinquish her appointment as Second Minister for Education. She will remain Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and as Second Minister for Finance.

Dr Tan See Leng will be appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry.

Dr Maliki Osman will be promoted to full Minister. He will be appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Education and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs. He will relinquish his appointment as the Mayor of South East District.

Mr Edwin Tong will be promoted to full Minister. He will be appointed Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law.

Mr Zaqy Mohamad will be promoted to Senior Minister of State. He will remain at the Ministry of Manpower and take up an additional appointment at the Ministry of Defence.

Ms Low Yen Ling will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. She will relinquish her appointments at the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Education. She will also remain as Mayor of South West District.

Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of National Development. He will relinquish his appointments at the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social and Family Development.

Ms Sun Xueling will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social and Family Development. She will relinquish her appointments at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development.

Vote on these issues in the Wisdom of the Crowd

WOTC - PAP lost more seats in GRC than SMC

 Wisdom of the Crowd: the PAP lost more seats in the GRC than in the SMCs. 64% said that they will lose more GRCs in the future. 20% said - serve them right.

WOTC - Change of ministers

 Wisdom of the Crowd: How many ministries will change ministers in the new cabinet? 48% expect 4 to 6 ministers. 23% expect up to 3 ministers.

The actual changes were transport, national development, environment, social and family, culture, community and youth.

Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets

 My friend said.

Mr. Tan,
I received this letter from finance minister Heng.

"As part of the Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets, the Government has provided a $4.6 billion Care and Support Package and another $1.1 billion for a Solidarity Payment. These will give more assurance and support to Singaporeans and their families during this challenging period.

You would have received the $600 Solidarity Payment in April of which $300 was brought forward from the Care and Support - Cash. Together with the latest payment of Care and Support - Cash, these are the benefits you would have received.
Solidarity Payment $600
Passion Card Top-up paid in cash $100."

Hello, finance minister. I catch no ball, OK? Why so complicated?

What a minute! The total of $4.6 billion and $1.1 billion is $5.7 billion. But the government is spending $95 billion! Where does the other $90 billion go to?

I may be elderly, but I am not stupid - OK?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should the town council be restructured?
2. How was National Day 2020?

Vote in

WOTC - Transport minister

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 20% of the respondents guessed correctly that Ong YK will be the transport minister. The other 80% chose somebody else.

WOTC - Heng SK

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 45% of the respondents said that Heng SK will not be the prime minister. 55% said he will be within the next few years.

Quora; Why is the US and Trump trying to damage China economically by imposing sanctions and banning Chinese companies like TikTok and WeChat?

 Paul Mitchell answered.

My opinion is this:

The USA runs on fear. It causes people to fear it, to get what it wants, but it does this because it itself is frightened, so ever ready to start a fight.

It’s why most of the population is armed, gun deaths are common, violence is glorified and negotiation and compromise are seen as weak. The epitome of this behaviour is Trump, who is a personification of these beliefs. He lies because he is frightened, he bullies because he is frightened, he is unhappy because he is frightened.

It’s why there are no go areas, mass murderers are household names, death row is glorified, there were lynchings of black people. Entitlement exists out if fear. Obesity exists as people try to soothe their fear. It’s all about being frightened.

The USA is scared of China because it’s bigger, richer, better organised, has happier people in it, growing as opposed to shrinking, so the USA is terrified, and now dangerous.

Monday, August 17, 2020

My bad experience with the CDP website

I have given my feedback to SGX about my impression of the CDP website.

I said that it is a terrible website.

They make it so difficult for the investor to login. I have to remember my code, password and go through a mobile phone verification. They do not allow any of the fields to be "remembered".

After that, I have to go through many clicks to see their portfolio.

I wanted to contact them but could not find a way to reach them and give my feedback.

I finally used their survey form. I scored the low point in all categories. In the detail column, I entered my email and mobile phone and asked them to contact me.

Are they interested?

Sembcorp Marine

 I wish to give this preliminary analysis of Sembcorp Marine (SCM).

I do not hold any shares in SCM but I now hold 20,000 shares in Sembcorp Industry (SCI). SCI is distributing its SCM shares to its shareholders. I expect to receive 90,000 SCM shares (worth about $20,000).

This is my preliminary analysis using the information available from Yahoo Finance. The relevant screen shots are shown below.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Bad investment in CapitaLand

 I logged into my CDP account to look at my long term holdings.

I received a big shock.

I owned 91,000 shares of CapitaLand with a cost price of $6.80. The current market price is $2,80. I lost $364,000. That is the biggest loss in my portfolio.

I looked at the price chart of CapitaLand and saw that it was indeed above $6.80 in its history. That was around its peak.

Stupid TKL. I must have bought it at a high price and it did not recover for ten years or so.

Stupid CapitaLand.

Read my further analysis here.

Quora: Is Donald Trump seriously considering defaulting on the national debt? Can his plan to buy back the debt at less than face value harm us more than the debt itself?

Terry Stewart answered:·

That would result in a Sovereign default for the USA, as has happened to a number of other badly run countries in the recent past; Argentina (2001, 2005, 2010, 2014), Venezuela (2017), Zimbabwe (2000, 2006).

One of the main results of a nation going into Soverign default is that country will then find extreme difficulty in getting further loans, and the debtor nation may find its monetary system undermined as a result.

As others have pointed out, Trump has spend most of his life defaulting on debt, which is no bank in the USA or Europe will lend him any money anymore, and why he got into bed with the Russians in the first place.

The last European bank to do so was Deutsche Bank, and this was a disaster for the bank and a major red flag to any future lenders.

For some reason this omnishambles is seen by Trump as evidence of his business acumen; welshing on your debt is somehow "smart", though at some level he must know how bad it would look if the extent of his finances became public knowledge.

What Trump has been doing in his business operations, he has now imported into government, where a similar outcome can be expected. Considering that the USA has been surviving on debt for years now this would result in a massive disaster for the country, as it would no longer be able to afford to run many of its programs.

Make outdoor jobs attractive to locals

I posed a photo of foreign workers working on a road repair project and added the observation - future jobs for locals.

I wish to underline the point that attractive and well paying office jobs will be difficult to come by in the future, under a changed global environment.

To remain employed, locals have to accept jobs that are now done by foreign workers. This includes the construction jobs, repair jobs, outdoor jobs and other non-office jobs.

What are the changes needed to make these jobs attractive to locals?

How to express a view without appearing to be arrogant?

I posted a photo of foreign workers working on the roadside and added the comment - Future jobs for locals.

I added the following - I will write when I return home. I am now walking in the hot sun, composing a poem.

X made this observation - Let's be realistic, most of us are educated, hence it is not a good comparison. Even ITE grads would qualify as supervisor positions.

TKL - Do not use the words - let's be realistic. It reflects arrogance. Do not presume you are right. Do not pass any judgment before you hear and understand the view of the other party.

X could not understand why I found his attitude to be arrogant.

Quora: Do you think China's military is a paper tiger that'll lose very rapidly to the U.S. when a war begins as some US government official claims?

 Reply by Tim Brennan, July 21

its been 75 years and the world still has not learned the lesson of 1945. Nuke are a game changer . there is no such thing as a nuclear powered paper tiger.

This is why its so dangerous that the worlds largest insane asylum (North Korea) having nukes is a threat to the world . They are the 105th largest GDP in the world , Jamaica has a larger GDP . Its not the Jamaica's of the world that want them.

Remember its 75 year old tech in the age of the 3D printer. Your cell phone has more computing power than NASA did when they put a man on the moon. There will never be a WW2 style war again but there could be a very bad day that ends up killing billions .

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