Thursday, March 5, 2009

Some News

I have received news from our personnel the other day. Just when I was fretting that there must be something wrong, I received an email a few hours later. There really is some hope in the world. Or perhaps it is some form of synchronicity or global consciousness where those people concerned can pick up my thoughts. But really the schedule is getting tight and I will be leaving in about 4 weeks if everything goes according to plan. I wonder why the overseas staff is not replying but more of the local staff. I guess it's as it should be but I again placed some sinister reasons behind this situation. I will meet the local personnel tomorrow and I think most of my concerns or questions will be addressed.

The training is going well I think and the staff is responding positively. But now it's the IBM team who have problems. They now have difficulty doing the tasks and our project is delayed. I think it would be good to delay the go live to allow the other staff to pick up and learn. I also suspect that the China team in the factory also needs more time to understand fully the application. The factories are undertaking some shutdowns to adapt to the slowdown in demand so their attention maybe wavering. The economic situation seems to be worsening. But I am heartened by the recent visit of Gordon Brown to the US. Amongst all the world leaders, I think he has the best chance and credibility of proposing new solutions being the Britain's chancellor of the Exchequer. He has proposed good solutions to help the British financial crisis. He is probably the best hope in saving the world.
In the end, I think Gordon Brown will be remembered for his actions on the financial crisis. He has been warning every body of this crisis for many years now as well as a clear headed analysis and proposals to solve the problem. I hope people will listen to him. I think what is also significant is the focus and stimulus programs of the US and China. I think these moves will greatly help prevent a true catastrophe. I hope these moves will serve as a beacon of hope. Despite the doom and gloom, I think I detect a sliver of hope. I think a bottom has been reached and despite possible announcements of bank and state failures, a process seems to be in place that is absorbing these failures. The system is truly resilient.
I am finishing Greenspan's 'The Age of Turbulence'. He is way of the mark in some sections after looking at the recent financial disasters. He truly lost the road in the later years though one wonders if the Federal Reserve have any powers to curb greed. But one thing is clear, the free market does not work without some regulation from government. There should be a global regulatory framework and people like Gordon Brown and George Soros have a few ideas on how this should be done. Last night, I listened to professor Robert Shiller who wrote the book 'Irrational Exuberance'. From his works and like minded people, the theory of free market equilibrium will likely be replaced by behavioral finance or how people misunderstand risk when making investment decisions.
After investing actively for the past years, I look at my portfolio and I think it's not so bad. Before the crisis, I regret that I have been too diversified if one follows Warren Buffet's view point. But my diversification may have cushioned me from loses as I focused on defensive stocks. Now I get to practice theory and see the result. As Soros says, the stock market is like a laboratory where one can test theories. Though my portfolio as below water, I am still OK and hope to learn more. I plan to listen to Robert Shiller's Yale course available in the Internet to the public. This is one thing that I hope to have achieved here which is to increase my financial literacy and experience that hopefully I can use in the future.

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