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WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN [till the next boo-boo]

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Nobel winner Paul Krugman has praised Gordon Brown [left] for his strong leadership in the current economic crisis. He didn't say anything about the other guy. The other guy earns more than Brown [£187,000 or S$480,542]. PM Lee earns S$3.76 MILLION.


British prime minister Gordon Brown has called for the recent falls in the price of oil to be passed on to UK consumers. The price of oil has plummeted - from a high of US$147 a barrel for US light crude this summer to US$77.99 on Friday, Oct 10.

The prime minister said: "I want these price cuts passed onto the consumer, and passed on as quickly as possible."

The general view is that oil prices will continue to fall to around US$60-$70 a barrel. So why did $ingapore raise power rates by 21 per cent?


The nation-builder press, September 30, 2008.

Ten days before PM Gordon Brown demanded petrol price cuts in the UK, the $heeple of $ingapore were told they had to pay more to the government's power companies.


These power companies have NEVER made losses before. In previous years, they have been making profits.

2007 Market share of big 4 energy retailers in $ingapore [all are either government-owned or linked]

$ingapore Power's SP Services Ltd - 37.4%
Seraya Energy Pte Ltd - 18.5
Senoko Energy Supply Pte Ltd - 17.9
Tuas Power Supply Pte Ltd - 14.4

a) $ingapore Power:

2007/2008 - net profit - S$1,086 million [or S$1.086 BILLION]
2006/2007 - net profit - S$1,067 million [or S$1.067 BILLION]

b) $eraya Energy:

2007/2008 - net profit - S$218 million
2006/2007 - net profit - S$168 million

c) $enoko Power*:

2007/2008 - net profit - S$130 million
2006/2007 - net profit - S$131 million

*Temasek Holdings, a government company, recently sold $enoko Power to a private group.

d) Tuas Energy

2006/2007 - net profit - S$177 million
2005/2006 - net profit - S$104 million




Most bus and train journeys except those for children, students and national servicemen, will see fare increases from October 1 2008. The Public Transport Council (PTC) has given the green light for an overall fare rise. Fares for adult bus and train rides will increase by 10 cents across the board.

For those who use EZ-Link cards, fares on buses and trains will see an increase of 4 cents per ride. In a news release, the PTC also announced a new maximum EZ-Link fare-band, with an additional 5-cent increase for long-distance rides on buses and trains. WHY is there a need for a fare hike NOW?

The Chairman of the PTC is the Far King Gerard Ee.

You can read the mumbo-jumbo press report here. Notice how a simple matter like fare prices has become more complicated with euphemisms like "fare adjustments" for fare hike.


$ingapore bus and taxi operator ComfortDelGro Corp said Oct 2 it has bought a taxi operator in Britain for £800,000. The purchase by ComfortDelGro's 51-percent-owned unit CityFleet (UK) will give the $ingapore firm control of Liverpool-based Merseyside Radio Meter Cabs Ltd, which operates a radio circuit with a total fleet of 400 licensed taxis. - Reuters

ComfortDelGro is a government-linked company and one of the largest taxi operators in the world. Clearly, they are not losing any money but expanding.



Here's their latest salaries:

President - $3,870,000 (21.43% up from the current $3,187,100)

Prime Minister - $3,760,000 (21.64% up from the current $3,091,200)

Ministers/Snr Perm Sects - $1,940,000 (21.74% up from the current $1,593,500)

AOs at SR9 grade [senior civil servants] - $398,000 (3.65% up from the current $384,000)

Member of Parliaments - $225,000 (4.02% up from the current $216,300)

What good is it to pay civil servants such high salaries? See below.


The nation-builder press, September 16, 2008.

"High inflation eating into wage gains... Workers ended up seeing their real wages shrink by 4 per cent on average, compared to the same period last year."

The nation-builder press, September 30, 2008.

"Electricity bills will go up about 21 per cent tomorrow [Oct 1], the highest one-time increase in about seven years, according to the Energy Market Authority. Those living in three-room Housing Board flats, for example, will see their average monthly power bills rise by $14, while five-roomers will pay $23 more a month."

The nation-builder press, October 7, 2008.

"From January, if you have a SingTel land line at home - over 90 per cent of households do - you will have to pay $10 more per year... for each line. Local call charges will go up, too. Based on current usage, this works out to an additional $1.50 a month... per telephone line."



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The nation-builder press, October 6, 2008.

"When Dr Tony Tan, executive director of $ingapore's biggest sovereign wealth fund [GIC], warned in July [2008!!!] that the world might plunge into its worst recession in 30 years, many shrugged off his remarks as too gloomy. Three months later, Dr Tan's prophecy of doom is becoming a reality as the credit crisis ravages US and European banks and takes a toll on the global economy."
- Nation-builder press, Oct 6, 2008.

"By any objective measure, that's hindsight - the view from where the sun never shines."
- The young, restless and cynical Mirror of Opinion, Oct 6, 2008.

Here's a short list of stories that ran on the internet as well as on the BigO website since August 2007. The whole list is too long to run here.

Judgment Week On Wall Street: The Junk Credit Crisis (Aug 14, 2007)

As commentator Mike Whitney observes: "We are now in the first phase of Greenspan's Depression. The stock market is headed for the doldrums and the economy will quickly follow. Many more mortgage lenders, hedge funds and investment banks will be carried out feet first." But what else will happen after the stock market bloodbath on August 3? And why is it happening?

Stock Market Brush Fire: Will There Be A Run On The Banks? (Aug 17, 2007)

By now, an estimated US$326 billion has been pumped into the world's banking system to prevent its collapse. But banks, equities, hedge funds, insurance companies and pension funds are all waiting in line to suffer major losses if the free fall doesn't stop. Commentator Mike Whitney looks at the exploding bubble.

The Predicted Financial Storm Has Arrived (Sept 7, 2007)

It was the IMF who noted earlier that the world's financial structure was getting too complicated, obscuring risks. Now the financial crisis is a reality. The problem is - there is no authority with power to regulate and tame the beast. Commentary by Gabriel Kolko.

Are The Banks In Trouble? (Sept 11, 2007)

Money is never free. Neither is spending without cost. Every dollar borrowed to buy a home is debt created. When the Fed accelerated "easy money" it was not just extending "credit" to a larger number of Americans. It was also creating debt at an incredible rate. Now banks are stuck holding toxic/bad debt. Not all will remain standing. Some banks will fail. Who to blame for the current financial crisis and impending recession? Mike Whitney offers the view from ring side. It's all green.

R.I.P. American Economy (Sept 18, 2007)

America is more broke than it realises, observes former Reagan administration Treasury Assistant Secretary, Paul Craig Roberts. It now has a US$800 billion trade deficit with nearly every nation in the world.

US Banks Brace For Storm Surge As Dollar And Credit System Reel (Sept 21, 2007)

On September 18, the US Fed cut interest rates to send markets shooting back into the black. But it's really just a shot of heroin for credit junkies. As economic commentator Mike Whitney predicts, the rot inside the world's banking system will reveal itself in the coming months.

The Era Of Global Financial Instability (Sept 25, 2007)

The recent interest rate cuts show that the US Federal Reserve is planning to balance the current account deficit on the backs of the American middle class. As a result, it will be harder to get credit, and consumer spending will shrivel. Prices at the supermarket and gas pump will rise immediately; probably within the next few months if not weeks. As commentator Mike Whitney says, "The people must take over control of their own currency again. The Federal Reserve must be abolished."

It's Time For The Banks To Face The Hangman (Oct 19, 2007)

Nobody listened when Warren Buffet warned that financial derivatives would be a "weapon of mass destruction". In the end someone has to pay off the bad debt. Productivity and real economic growth which takes time has been replaced in the new economic order by the bubble economy's overnight profit mantra: THINK ESCALATING PROPERTY AND SHARE PRICES. Then say "gambling". Whatever happened to the "Protestant work ethic"? Mike Whitney suggests it's time for U.S. banks to bite the bullet and reform the system.

Housing Flameout: California Falls Into The Sea (Oct 22, 2007)

After one of the longest spending sprees, U.S. banks currently hold record amounts of mortgage-related assets on their books. If the housing market were to go into a deep recession resulting in massive mortgage defaults, the U.S. banking system could sustain huge losses similar to what the Japanese banks experienced in the 1990s. Widespread bankruptcies and a long period of no growth may be waiting to happen, writes Mike Whitney.

And the above articles are just from 2007.


"If there are other banks of the quality of the two that we bought into, with the promise and the capabilities and inherent capabilities to recover, we have got the liquidity to meet it, to make such an investment,'' Lee Kuan Yew, 84, said in a Bloomberg Television interview late yesterday. "We will not rule it out.''

- Bloomberg, APRIL 30, 2008. Lee is $ingapore's former prime minister and the prophet of Temasek.


$ingapore government company Temasek Holdings didn't participate in a US$10 billion stock offering by Bank of America, allowing a dilution of the stake it will own in the bank after a takeover deal with Merrill Lynch. Temasek was aware of the deal but didn't buy any shares, a person familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires Oct 8, 2008.

Temasek's decision follows steep declines in shares of financial firms. Temasek has invested about US$6 billion in Merrill Lynch since December, making it the largest single investor, with a 14 per cent stake. It's unclear how much of Bank of America Temasek will own post-acquisition, but Tuesday's share offering will reduce the stake by about 10 per cent.

The recent drop in Bank of America's share price indicates the Merrill Lynch investment has begun to suffer. Bank of America's all-stock deal in September to buy Merrill Lynch for US$44 billion, valuing the firm at US$29 a share and above Temasek's cost of US$24 a share. [Some commentators too quickly said this was profit for Temasek.]

But Bank of America's shares have since fallen to US$23.77 as of Tuesday's close, down from $33.74 before the offer was announced on Sept 15. That means Temasek will be paid with shares now worth 30 per cent less.

Some 40 per cent of Temasek's S$185 billion (US$126 billion) was invested in the financial services sector as of March 31, 2008. - Dow Jones

Last December and in January 2008, the $ingapore government through the GIC and Temasek Holdings spent US$24 BILLION buying shares in US and European banks and financial institutions. The value of these investments have all fallen sharply.

The money used was $ingaporeans' savings.



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Note: Those who are sensitive and easily offended please do not click on the link.

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JBJ  R.I.P. 1926-2008

I met him many times at the Kerala Restaurant, Jalan Ibrahim, Johor Bahru, and chatted with him about his Workers Party. He was a man worth his salt. His steadfastness and righteousness was there for all to see. It is a shame that we do not have anyone, and I repeat anyone, on both sides of the border to match him.

He was a very approachable person and talked to anyone who acknowledged him. A simple man, with his trade mark side-burns, collared T-shirts and short pants and sandals… popped into Johor Bahru very often for his thosai and air suam.

My first encounter with him was in the late '80s at the Kerala outlet and I was sort of mesmerized to start a conversation with him. However, the many repeated encounters somewhat thawed my anxiety and thereafter we were familiar to each other. He would always address me, "Hello, young man", and I would call him "Sir" and our conversation would usually center on the political happenings of our countries.

Can I equate him with Karpal? No, he was a few notches above him. Can I equate him with D R Seenivasagam? Yes, he was as fearless as DRS, a fighter at that.

I also had the misfortune to meet up with him after the demise of his wife - and that was the only time he was at his lowest. His eyes welled with tears as he spoke to me of his only love. He really felt bad for her and regretted that he did not do enough for her. It was a moment that has stood memorably for me thus far.

He advised me repeatedly to stop my smoking habit. He told me that LKY was an incorrigible smoker during the '60s and eventually became a non-smoker. I will never forget his fatherly advice tho' I still puff away.

I feel privileged to have befriended a LEGEND who was a simpleton fighting for the masses. And he never expected any returns. May his soul rest in peace. - BR [from the RastamanJB blog]

The writer is a Malaysian.

In his later years, JBJ, a Singaporean, spent much of his weekends in the city of Johor Bahru, Malaysia. He was made a bankrupt and could not stand for political elections. He also lost his licence to practice law for much of his later life. Although politically and legally castrated, he never lost his gonads.

$ingaporeans should not try to emulate this man. His life is a roadmap for all who dare oppose $ingapore's monolithic PAP. The best option is to MIGRATE. Thousands leave $heep city every year to be replaced by  replicants - newly-minted citizens.

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To print a copy of the poster, click here:


The nation-builder press Jan 21, 2008.

In January, GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Seng thought it was a good buy. But by Sept 24, he said: "We were surprised by the onset and magnitude of the market turmoil starting in July last year. What seemed like a contained problem of delinquencies in US sub-prime mortgages quickly spread to other segments of the credit markets." Doesn't he read widely?


To all ex-UBS employees, welcome to $ingapore. The first lesson is the men at the top NEVER get the chop.

Oct 1: UBS AG, the European bank with the biggest losses from the credit crisis, plans to eliminate about 1,900 jobs in its investment banking, equities, and fixed income units, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The bank may announce the plans at Thursday's [Oct 2] shareholder meeting, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they weren't authorized to discuss the cuts, which would amount to about 10 per cent of the total investment banking staff. The cuts add to the 7,000 already announced by Zurich-based UBS.

The bank's share price has dropped 59 per cent so far this year, paring its market value to about 56-billion Swiss francs. UBS has taken writedowns and credit losses of US$44.2-billion since the credit crisis began last year, more than any other European bank. - Bloomberg/ Reuters


$ingapore's government has so far spent US$24 BILLION of $ingaporeans' money on US and European banks and financial institutions. The government has said the investments are for the long term. Strongman Lee Kuan Yew has said the returns to investment will take 30 years to materialise. This is in 2038.

Need a sheep while you wait? *&#@ sigh...


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GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Seng said: "We were surprised by the onset and magnitude of the market turmoil starting in July last year. What seemed like a contained problem of delinquencies in US sub-prime mortgages quickly spread to other segments of the credit markets." Doesn't he read widely?

On Sept 18, 2008, the $ingapore government's GIC said it will explore investing in Morgan Stanley if it is approached. "GIC explores all opportunities when approached," said Jennifer Lewis, a spokeswoman for the $ingapore sovereign wealth fund.

We have no idea why GIC did not buy a stake in Morgan Stanley. $ingapore has spent US$24 BILLION on banks and financial companies early in 2008.

To print a copy of the poster, click here:


The $ingapore government finally offered its first report after 27 years on the goings on of its Government of $ingapore Investment Corporation or GIC. The report seems to suggest it earns less than 5 cents for every dollar it invests. And that this covers the past 20 years. Not great. Guess what they are now saying?

"Looking ahead we see a more challenging investment environment than what we have experienced since GIC's formation in 1981," Group Chief Investment Officer Ng Kok Song said in the $ingapore state investor's first annual report released Sept 23, 2008.

The figures cover the past 20 years to March 2008. Recent purchases include big stakes in Swiss bank UBS and Citigroup. UBS shares have fallen about 59 per cent since GIC paid 11 billion Swiss francs (S$14 billion) for its initial 9-per-cent stake in the Swiss banking giant last December. Meanwhile, Citigroup's shares have dropped 26 per cent since GIC spent US$6.9 billion (S$9.7 billion) for a 4-per-cent stake in the US bank in January 2008.

If they could only earn less than 5 cents during the "good years" think what they will do with your money in today's market? It's probably better to have a smaller GIC and return the excess funds to $ingaporeans.

The GIC is shaping to be another sacred cow. Where's our cow killer?

%&@# sigh...

* This is based on GIC's claim of 4.5 per cent of real returns from a portfolio of US$100 BILLION.

The nation-builder press, September 24, 2008.


In the nation-builder press report Sept 24, 2008, the writer reported: "Fund managers such as Mr Ng Kok Hoi, APS Asset Management's chief investment officer noted that GIC's real returns were 'respectable' for a fund of its size and portfolio composition".

The writer was probably referring to Mr Wong Kok Hoi of APS. Mr Wong was a former employee of GIC.

Mr Wong Kok Hoi is Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer of APS Asset Management. He has 21 years of investment experience. Wong previously worked in the Government of $ingapore Investment Corporation [GIC], Citicorp (4 years as CIO of Cititrust Tokyo) and the Monetary Authority of $ingapore.


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The nation-builder press, September 12, 2008.

The nation-builder press, September 12, 2008.

This group has the former TNUC Income CEO, among others, behind it. Their leaders have also written for the nation-builder press, the propaganda media. When the $ingapore government said it's now ok to demonstrate at Speaker's Corner, they obeyed.

- The young, restless and cynical Mirror Of Opinion, Sept 12, 2008.

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Time to move on?


At first glance, it looked as if the shotgun marriage of Merrill Lynch & Co. with Bank of America Corp. had bailed out Temasek Holdings, who had poured nearly US$6 billion into the investment bank this year, only to watch the value of its stake evaporate.

The $ingapore government-controlled entity is Merrill's largest shareholder with a 7.5 per cent stake. Temasek put US$5 billion into Merrill at US$48 a share [NOTE: A bargain?] between December and February, but a reset payment for losses on the original investment and additional US$900 million poured in last month ended up averaging out the sovereign wealth fund's buy-in price to only US$23.11 a share, based on Bloomberg calculations from exchange filings.

At Bank of America's orginal estimate of US$29 a share, Temasek would have ended up making US$1.5 billion on its investment. Unfortunately, the markets haven't been kind to the stocks of either Bank of America or Merrill. At the end of the day, Bank of America was down US$7.19 or 21.3 per cent to close US$26.55, while Merrill Lynch only gained a penny at close, ending the day at US$17.06 a share, leaving Temasek's investment still well into the loss column. - George White

The BoA offer is an all-stock deal. So the value depends on the stock's value/price. Keep up to date with Merrill Lynch's and BoA's stock price here:

Strongman Lee Kuan Yew thinks it will take 30 years, in 2038 to make money on $ingapore's "long-term investments". Hug a sheep while you wait...

%&@# sigh...


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