Movies Watched -- A Touch of Sin

Added on by C. Maoxian.

This is a movie by Jia Zhangke, a young Chinese filmmaker whom I joke makes copycat European arthouse films in the same way that other Chinese manufacturers make fake Gucci handbags and Rolex watches.  

There are four separate tragedies presented and the movie runs over two hours. The first is a pure revenge fantasy ... this movie obviously is banned in China because any kind of violent solution to the various social problems presented is a no-no.  I wasn't that thrilled with it, or any of Jia's other movies for that matter.

Any Form of Racing Other Than on Foot

Added on by C. Maoxian.

(For Accidental Death & Disablement Benefit and Total and Permanent Disability Benefit) 
The insurance under this benefit does not cover injury caused or aggravated directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by: 
1. Active, passive participation in war, declared or undeclared, civil war, revolution, riot, civil commotion, strike, insurrection or criminal activities; 
2. An act or attempted act of self-injury or suicide whether mentally sane or insane or whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs other than those prescribed by a registered, qualified medical practitioner; 
自殺或自我毀傷(不論神智是否清 醒),或在酒精或未經註冊醫生處方之藥物影響下所自致之傷害; 
3. Engaging or taking part in professional sports, including martial arts, scuba diving, mountaineering or rock climbing (necessitating the use of ropes or guides), aviation of any kind other than as a passenger on a regularly scheduled passenger flight on a commercial aircraft or any form of racing other than on foot. 

NQ Mobile Next Stop in Lows 3s

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Voodoo from that green circled spot puts this in the low 3s, say, $3.15 a share, next stop.  You'd have to go back to 2011 to find someone whose cost basis is lower than the current price ... basically every shareholder here is underwater, many disastrously so ... this means there's no "support."

Money Market Fund Growth in China

Added on by C. Maoxian.

A chart from HSBC, but I don't know how accurate it is ... Yu'e Bao has over 500 billion in assets now from zero last June ... that would take the chart from 400 to 900 ... I'm not sure where the other 500-600 billion is coming from since Yu'e Bao's competitors are relatively small.

Moving to T+1 Settlement

Added on by C. Maoxian.

From DBS Vickers:

Increasing AUM size is putting pressure on operation costs and redemptions as money market funds usually have to set aside 5-10% of assets as a liquidity reserve to prepare for redemptions. Looking at Yu'e Bao’s better liquidity due to support from Alipay, we assume a 5% reserve ratio to arrive at a liquidity reserve of Rmb25bn while daily average idle funding parked at Alipay is about Rmb30- 40bn. Yu'e Bao may hit the assets under management limit of Rmb1trn in the near term based on our estimates. In view of rising liquidity risks, Yu'e Bao announced in April that it will delay withdrawals of >Rmb50,000 to T+1 settlement if made before 5pm or T+2 settlement if made after 5pm. Other online money market funds such as Tencent’s Li Cai Tong or Baidu’s Baizhuan are also adopting T+1 settlements now.

Heads of State

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Angela Merkel is visiting Beijing and traffic was more or less shut down on Chang'an Avenue this afternoon to allow her motorcade to pass. I loved this Beijing cabbie's pose as he waited. He's got it all: the wife beater, the gut, the combover, the omnipresent cigarette ... something timeless about him.

(Click to enlarge)

Movies Watched -- Sound City

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Another recording studio documentary, like Muscle Shoals, except Sound City was in California and Joe Gottfried seems to have worked only with white musicians. This one touched more on the technology side of things and how some software called Pro Tools? has changed the whole music business.  Apparently people "make" albums on their laptops now and recording studios are obsolete.  This one I also fast forwarded after an hour or so in.

Movies Watched -- The Act of Killing

Added on by C. Maoxian.

This one was hard to watch and I stopped after 100 minutes (with another hour to go). Movie is about the death squads in Indonesia who murdered around a million "communists" in 1965-66.  A lot of those killed were ethnic Chinese. There's a paramilitary organization called Pancasila Youth that still exists, has millions of members, specializes in intimidation, shakedowns (again of Chinese merchants), vote rigging, etc. Weird, I didn't know Indonesia is that screwed up.  

The movie tried to mix in these strange performance art pieces, bizarre. Made an uncomfortable viewing experience ("the banality of evil") that much worse. It didn't help that the sidekick of one of the executioners (seen dancing on a former killing ground in screenshot below) looked exactly like Stephen Chow's sidekick in Kung Fu Hustle.

Movies Watched -- The Crash Reel

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Told the story of a professional snowboarder named Kevin Pearce who suffered a terrible fall (see below) in 2009 and is brain damaged as a result. Documented his recovery which was pretty amazing ... he's a genuinely sweet kid, has a really nice, strong family behind him ... when they did play the crash reel of all these skateboarders and BMXers, and snowmobile and dirtbike jumpers, I admit I covered my eyes, couldn't watch it. 22 foot walls in the half pipe present a lot of risk. I had a childhood friend who was in a terrible car crash and is also brain damaged as a result ... he too made a remarkable recovery, but like Pearce, is not his old self. Good movie to show to someone who takes outsized risks, it might make them think twice.

NQ Mobile Closes at $4.58

Added on by C. Maoxian.

No great surprise to those of us who have been following this stock: NQ Mobile Inc. Announces Changes to its Board of Directors and Provides Status Update of the 2013 Annual Audit. Can't wait to read Frederick Ziegel's next company update. He's an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets who has been bullish on NQ (Buy rating, $33 price target), even after everyone else (Piper Jaffray, Macquarie, Cannacord) wisely suspended coverage.

Movies Watched -- The Stories We Tell

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Spoilers ... the filmmaker tricks the audience by mixing real old family film footage with re-created scenes ... I wondered why there was so much old film footage at first .... anyway, the story of a Milkman's Child, i.e., the girl's father isn't her biological father and she doesn't learn that fact until she's in her twenties. The people who really suffered here, besides the girl, were her mother and real father who kept the secret, and the man who raised her, once he learns the truth.  Her siblings are hurt too, but not as badly as the older generation.  All the young people in this movie are really attractive and intelligent and articulate, despite being Canadian (a joke).  I don't think I would have found the story as engaging if the people had been dumb and ugly.