Weekly Reading Summary: Aug. 16-Aug. 23, 2020

 

The Economist [Fri, 07 Aug 2020]
Many students buy the university experience not just to boost their earning capacity, but also to get away from their parents, make friends and find partners.

In Australia foreign students provide a quarter of universities’ income. In Canada the tuition fees for a science degree at McGill, one of the country’s top universities, cost C$45,656 ($34,000) a year for an overseas student, compared with C$2,623 for a local.

The Economist [Fri, 14 Aug 2020]
Mr Xi’s new economic agenda is to make markets and innovation work better within tightly defined boundaries and subject to all-seeing Communist Party surveillance. It isn’t Milton Friedman, but this ruthless mix of autocracy, technology and dynamism could propel growth for years.

LAST YEAR Zotye, a carmaker, used it to tackle weak sales, and Wuliangye, a distiller, to improve the quality of its baiju; it helped Zheshang Bank to digitise its operations and catalysed the development of energy-saving technologies at China National Nuclear Power. “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” is, on the basis of these companies’ annual reports, quite the business-practice panacea.

世界变得越来越复杂,人们意识不到自己有多么无知。结果是,一群对气象学或生物学一窍不通的人就气候变化和转基因作物等议题吵翻了天,而另一群根本不知道伊拉克或乌克兰在哪儿的人,极力主张要对这些地区采取行动。人们很少发觉自己的无知,因为他们会沉浸在一个高度同质性的环境中,其信念被不断自证与加强,鲜有相左之声。 — 尤瓦尔·赫拉利(《人类简史》作者)

曾看到一句很经典的话:当年,懂毛的去了台湾,懂老蒋的留在大陆,两个都懂的去了美国。

他只是辍学,并没有停止学习。

在人类学家玛格丽特·米德的论述里,人类文明最初的标志是“愈合的骨折股骨化石”——在远古时代,断了股骨的人,除非得到他人帮助,否则必死无疑,因为伤者不能打猎,也难逃野兽伤害。

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Visit to Temple, Mansion, and Cemetery of Confucius

Confucius (BC 551-BC 479) is very famous in China, and his theory has influenced Chinese for thousands of years.

A quick Q&A:
Why Confucius is so famous in China? Simple, he has developed theory on how to be a good man, and also, he is supporter of emperors.

Absorb the good things and reject the bad things. This is my principle to his theory.

Visited Temple, Mansion, and Cemetery of Confucius last week.
Temple of Confucius: built by Duke Ai of Lu (BC 521-BC 468) in year BC 478, after Confucius passed away;
Mansion of Confucius: built in year 1377, mansion of Confucius’ descendants, obviously, Confucius has not lived there;
Cemetery of Confucius: Confucius buried there, and in year 1684, it is expanded to 1,998,000 square meters, of course, allowed and supported by the government (Ming Dynasty).
The temple, mansion, and cemetery has been renovated several times ever since built.

Temple of Confucius:
Gate:

The Chinese letters on memorial gateway means Confucius is the best in history:

Red plate on Cypress means this tree is more than 500 years:

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Weekly Reading Summary: Aug. 03-Aug. 09, 2020

The Economist [Fri, 24 Jul 2020]
Farmers say crops tell the story: if you see cotton, it’s the south; if wheat, the west. Only when gazing on great expanses of corn or soyabean are you in the Midwest.

A report last September by a group of mayors noted that 86% of Americans live in metro areas, producing 91% of national income.

The best-run cities of America’s Midwest offer lessons in recovery
– If a town centre is an attractive place to live, work and play—with renovated bike paths, lots of parks, restaurants and nightlife—that draws young graduates, the newly retired and more.
– Cities also do well when they tap their own resources, or local social capital, instead of hoping for federal help or for a one-off giant investor who, with enough subsidies, will come in as a saviour.
– Another lesson is that the most successful places bet on “eds and meds”. Cities with a decent university or an expansive hospital system (often the two go together) reliably outperform others.
– cities with the deepest pools of talented workers tend to be long-term winners.
– Investing in its people is, ultimately, the Midwest’s greatest strength

One insight: rather than luring investors with incentives, cities should just create appealing living conditions. A second: cities have more assets than they realise. Public land can be exploited to raise funds for redevelopment and better public transport.

Average life expectancy, at 60 years, is decades less than in richer places. Violence is partly to blame. On May 31st 18 people were murdered in Chicago, its bloodiest day in six decades. Yet Melvin, a barber, won’t blame those in Englewood. “Once you got torn down neighbourhoods, abandoned buildings, drug infested, guns, then you know these kids, they’re vulnerable.” Many homes, shops and churches have been boarded up for years. A Whole Foods supermarket opened in 2016, but is mostly used by commuters who pull in from a motorway. Chicago can feel almost as segregated as South Africa just after apartheid. The common story of Bronzeville and Englewood is of slow-motion ejection of African-Americans. The mostly white, Hispanic and Asian populations north of Chicago are flourishing. But black residents are flocking out. The black population in the city has shrunk by nearly 290,000 this century. People go to suburbs, to Indiana or, in a “reverse great migration”, back south. The census this year is likely to show, for the first time, more Hispanics than African-Americans in Chicago.

“How can you provide a middle-class way of life if the jobs are serving omelettes in a restaurant?”

Training does not have to mean four-year degrees. Instead what is needed are vocational skills that can be taught simultaneously by companies and colleges.

The bulk of our success is in advanced manufacturing, in family-owned, mid-sized firms in their third or fourth generation of ownership, just like in Germany.”

TO BUILD A great city is simple, the politician Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said. First create a university, then wait 200 years. They in turn spread prosperity, in three ways. One is to bring in young people, often a city-sized population. Second, universities pool employable talent. Third, universities can refocus a city’s economy.

On average, 32% of Americans (25 or older) have at least a bachelor’s degree.

The average age of cars on American roads has approached almost 12 years, and around a quarter are at least 16 years old, according to IHS Markit.

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Fight against the UNQUALIFIED PPEs

I am a Chinese!

To Chinese: it is not ashamed to admit problems, it is shameful to hide and do the wrong thing.
To non-Chinese: Chinese are also human beings, there are good people and bad people, same as in your country.

It is a hard year for apparel business (my main business, worked in this field for 20 years, up to now), to keep business running, I have been supplying PPEs to my clients and therefore, have connections with various PPE suppliers.

To learn more about the PPEs, I have joined different wechat groups. Below is a screenshot from one group, the price is surely very very low:

The non-Chinese would say: Chinese are horrible! But, wait! Ask yourself a question: why the unqualified masks can sell? Who bought such masks? The Chinese bad businessman surely should be condemned and punished, the buyers should be the same.

I have read news on bad quality PPEs from China, there are complaints and claims from various countries, Canada even asked Chinese suppliers for recall. Unfortunately, no reports on punishment of importers read.

To fight against the unqualified PPEs, Chinese should have basic business ethics, buyers should focus on quality, rather than price only. Please believe that Chinese factories can always meet your target price, the quality will be surely a problem-if price is unreasonable, I also believe buyers know the fact.

PPEs are about life, Human Lives Matter!

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Summary On Visit of An Medical Protective Supplies Exhibition

The Economist [Fri, 03 Jul 2020]
Covid-19 is here for a while at least. The vulnerable will be afraid to go out and innovation will slow, creating a 90% economy that consistently fails to reach its potential. Many people will fall ill and some of them will die. You may have lost interest in the pandemic. It has not lost interest in you.

It is a hard year for everyone, at least 2020. We have seen many historic events-the rampant of Coronavirus, the death of Kobe, the US stock market circuit breaker, the date change of Olympics, the lock-down of many countries, the recession of economy,  the collapse of oil prices…, whatsoever, life need to go on.

BE ALIVE is the number 1 priority, especially for the elders and vulnerables. Herd immunity? Or strict control regardless of privacy like China? I am not sure which one is right.

It has been about 5 months since my last business trip, for security. My company mainly deal with the apparel business, however, we also deal with PPEs due to impact of the virus.

Attended a medical supplies exhibition, seems business in China is recovering. And glad to meet many good factories during the exhibition, so we can continue supply PPEs to our clients with better products.

Safety is important, China government is trying to control the spread of covid-19, airport security is wearing protective gowns, and sit on each other seat is advised:
 

Also, Chinese can generally follow the rules, everyone at the exhibition wears face mask:

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Weekly Reading Summary: June 22-June 28, 2020

The Economist [Fri, 12 Jun 2020]
As a rule, someone whose failings were subordinate to their claim to greatness should stay, whereas someone whose main contribution to history was baleful should go.

By 2016 more than a fifth of humankind was living in cities of 1m people or more. The largest 300 metropolitan areas now generate half the world’s GDP and two-thirds of that GDP’s growth.

Edward Glaeser, an economist at Harvard University, has shown that urban density increases workers’ productivity and minimises their carbon footprints.

The Economist [Fri, 05 Jun 2020]
The army kills its enemies. Police are supposed to serve and protect Americans without violating their civil rights—and to face consequences for violating those rights.

if today’s protests slide into persistent rioting, as in 1968 after Martin Luther King’s assassination, the harm they cause could be felt most keenly in African-American districts. Those people who can leave will. The left-behind will be worse off, as home values plunge and jobs and shops disappear. The police may withdraw, leading to an increase in crime, which in turn may eventually bring more violent policing. The scars will be visible for decades.

In a presidential election, fear often beats idealism. Law and order helped Richard Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey in 1968. It could work again.

The Economist [Fri, 29 May 2020]
it seems likely that infection by people who have not, or not yet, developed symptoms accounts for about a third to a half of cases.

East Asian countries’ success in controlling the disease argues in favour of masks. In many of their cities, masks have been worn for years to protect against pollution or disease, so people covered their faces as soon as they got wind of covid-19. In the West mask-wearing is alien. And in all of the countries where mask-wearing is common practice, the epidemic was swiftly suppressed.

地摊经济:

“地摊经济”是“全民创业”降维概念和运动,这是有违经济和市场规律的。我作为一名创业者,深知创业成功概率有多大,以及创业需要多大的付出和伴随的副作用有多大。摆地摊只可以起到行为和情绪的纾困,换句话说是一剂安慰剂。

从地摊经济运动,想起一则经济学法则:拇指法则(Rule of thumb)。它的经济学解释是:“拇指规则”是指经济决策者对信息的处理方式不是按照理性预期的方式,把所有获得的信息都引入到决策模型中,他们往往遵循的是:只考虑重要信息,而忽略掉其他信息。管理学,经济学和教育学中经常把“拇指规则”引申为一种试探法、经验法、启发法(heuristics)。

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Want 3M 1860 Masks? Be careful, you might dealing with scammers!

I run a company in China, specialized in apparel OEM and apparel stocklots business. However:
1) At the beginning of this year, China factories can not run;
2) Then later, buyers cancel orders and no new orders come in.
Therefore, we are forced to supply PPEs. Many Chinese clothes factories change to produce masks, so we can source from them easily. We firstly supply masks, and then supply other products, including Hand Sanitizers and Bottles, Protective Clothes/Gowns, Protective Gloves, Protective Medical Goggles (high quality goggles, can also use as ski goggles), Hospital Beds,Isolation Chamber, Sanitary Wipe, Infrared Thermometer, Disinfection Tunnel, Non Woven Fabric For Mask.

3M standards for good quality, and many buyers want to source 3M masks from China. We are able to supply 3M 9001/9002/9501/9502, but can NOT supply 3M 1860.

Recently one of our client contacted us for 3M 1860, and the order is real. We had an investigation on the supply chain. I am fully responsible for the information provide below:

  •  All 3M medical masks are under Chinese Government control, including 1860, 3M only supply to China Government, this is directly from my connection in 3M China.
  •  There are many brokers in China, saying that they have connections with 3M management officials, or with connections with big China State companies, so they can get the products. All are scammers!
  •  I talked with one broker, to know how they run the business, and was told 1 billion pcs can be ready within 7 days, sign contract with 3M and 3M will prepare the products from various warehouses all around the world. This could be ridiculous!
  •  I also checked with my friend who work at China Customs, they have data on how many exports of 3M, the information is very very few 1860 shipped out of China;
  • I was also told by the 3M China connection that there is no inventory at all. Not to mention 1 billion, even if 1 million pcs, delivery time is next year, if we place order now.

However, seems the broker is really working hard, he provided me the “Customs Declaration Form of Imported Goods” document, which should be issued by the China Customs and shows they have helped one Chinese company imported 50 million pcs 3M 1860 into China, as below, seems it is authentic, but there is one problem. If you can not find the tell-tale, contact me, I will advise.

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Weekly Reading Summary: May 11-May 17, 2020

Chinese feel insecure, so everyone try to deposit:

The Economist [Fri, 08 May 2020]: The lowest tenth of income earners in most countries often have no savings. In China they put aside roughly 20% of their earnings, an exceptionally high rate. One reason is that Chinese worry about having to provide for themselves in bad times. A stronger social safety-net would free people to spend more.

橡树资本:

橡树资本马克斯的三大利器:
1,时刻将风险控制置于首位。在他看来,真正的风险是亏本或者收益过低的可能性,而非一般人认为的价格波动。
2,以防御性投资为重,尽可能避免损失,这比争取高收益更加重要。橡树资本对任何一家公司的投资额不会超过总资产5%,而且投资优先债务、银行贷款等拥有强大追索权的债务。
3,极力避免杠杆的实用,因为杠杆意味着风险的放大,甚至导致资产永久损失的可能。

人人都能看到的市场机会稍纵即逝,普通投资者即便能抓到,也是收益寥寥。获利潜力最大的投资,是反其道行之: 在市场冷落时买入,在市场追捧时卖出。一旦市场预期发生变化,就能斩获巨大的利润 (防疫物资的事情,就是这样啊,深有感触)。

择股不择时,是马克斯的另一个重要的投资理念。完全依赖预测的投资是不靠谱的,因为经济学家往往根据历史表现做出推演,却无法预知意外事件的发生,更无法准确估计市场反应。马克斯不否认一两次准确预测的价值,但长期都保持准确预测的例子几乎没有。马克斯深信:持续且一致的优异表现只来源于对企业和个股拥有的专业认识,而非来自对宏观经济、利率走势或大盘点位的预测。深谙经济预测的局限性,马克斯在宏观分析上坚持采用周期性的视角。

在马克斯看来,一个完整的信贷周期有四个阶段:债务积累(投资环境好,债券发行量往往激增,但发行质量下降)-债务危机-衰退期-复苏期。最糟糕的事情不是经历市场波动或者盯盘带来的账面损失,而是在市场下跌到底部时将资产卖出。

投资者的合理预期应该是,我在市场上涨时买进,在继续上涨时买的越来越少,接着在市场下跌时,我再继续买进更多,然后我将长期持有。

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每天至少15000访问量

外贸企业建立独立企业站后,往往面临访问量过低的问题,这里,是一份Check List,只要坚持,必然会有效果。

  • 至少100页有实质内容的页面
  • 网站设计越简单越好,网站的设计尽量少用沉重的flash,java,javascript
  • 页面大小:越小越好
  • 内容:每天生成一个目录页(200-500字之间)。谷歌:关键词推荐工具。
  • 关键词密度和位置设置:在题目中,描述符中,标题中,url中,粗体中,斜体中,和页面中,都是用一次关键词。但要保证关键词的密度在5%到20%之间。
  • 指向国外的链接:在每个网页上,在你要强调的关键词下面做一个或两个指向高级别的网站。在链接文本中使用关键词。
  • 交叉链接:交叉链接指的是在同一个网站内的链接。我的理解是新发布post的时候,链接推荐一下类似的
  • 根据用户喜欢的关键词的设置文章。
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Masks Story in China, and the supply Chain

Bad Indian mask producer

Bad Chinese mask producer

This could be kidding, NO good quality mask would print so much info. 

In a world of Chaos, Everyone need to be good, and wise.

Ever since the outbreak of Coronavirus in China, my company has started dealing with with PPEs, this post is not aimed to sell, but to share, on what you need to know.

In Feb. and Mar., the situation in China is: disposable mask price goes from USD0.50/pack (20pcs) to USD10.00/pack (the highest level in my city), but nowhere to buy, because lack of supply. 

The Superpower Mighty Chinese Government immediately released policies to encourage factories (mainly clothes factories, car factories) to establish production lines, supply increased, adding that Chinese follow the lockdown policy, mask shortage eased.

Chinese government have no strict quality control on masks at that time. Poor Chinese!

Till end of Feb., SMS fabric (core fabric for mask) goes from USD3,000/MT to USD30,000/MT. Now? USD90,000/MT!

At the same time, huge demand from overseas countries stimulates the supply. Horrible business people produce in horrible workshop (see pics left), quality is a big problem.

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