Apologies for the delay this morning, technical problems.
In May there were fears that credit demand in China had decreased precipitously. It turns out those fears were misplaced, as the May lending numbers are out and loans surpassed analysts’ estimates. As Bloomberg reports in Jump in China Loans Helps Wen’s Efforts to End Slowdown:
Local-currency lending was 793.2 billion yuan ($125 billion), the People’s Bank of China said on its website yesterday. That was the most on record for the month of May and more than analysts’ 700 billion yuan median forecast. Loans extended for a year or more accounted for 34 percent of the total, up from 28 percent in April.
Bank deposits also rose unexpectedly. FT Alphaville says there is something for both bears and bulls in the latest data releases, and BeyondBrics even goes so far as to ask if we are seeing China green shoots. China’s economy is clearly struggling, but not as much as some of the pundits would like you to believe. I am sticking with my belief that China will muddle through, at least in the short to medium term.
In a possible sign that some smart money sees a bottoming of the real estate market, Hong Kong developer Wharf Holdings made a large investment into Greentown China. Greentown is in deep trouble and Wharf got a deal. Greentown shorts got killed Monday as the stock rose 33%. Perhaps Beijing encouraged this deal, as consolidation is better than bankruptcy, but Wharf is not dumb money and would not make such a large investment unless they saw real value and the potential for the market to turn.
The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Orlik has two good articles examining interest rate reform and China’s banking system. Both Charting the Brouhaha Over China’s Banks and Beijing Finds a Path to Liberalizing Rates are worth reading. Orlik knows his subject and is the author of the recent book Understanding China’s Economic Indicators: Translating the Data into Investment Opportunities.
I personally do not believe that any of the Big Four firms would do these things. There is always the possibility that a rogue partner could undermine the firm’s quality systems. If the fraud were later discovered the firm would be in a tough position. It will be tempting to early retire the partner and then try to sweep the problem under the rug. There have been persistent allegations this year by people in the investment community that that is exactly what has happened in at least one situation…
These allegations demand a response – from both Hempton and the Big Four firms. Hempton needs to put up his evidence, if not to the public, at least to the PCAOB and SEC. Maybe he has done that, and perhaps his allegations have led to some of the current (and likely continued and expanded) actions against the Big Four by the SEC. The Big Four firms need to aggressively push back on Hempton’s allegations. If they have a problem, they need to disinfect it with sunlight. As countercultural as it may be to them, they need to throw any rogue partners to the wolves.
Professor Jeremy Wallace believes Hempton overstates his case, as I do. Wallace writes in On Chinese Kleptocracy: Stationary versus Roving Bandits that:
The individuals that make up the regime in China steal, but they also think about maintaining control of the country over the long-term. The people under their rule overwhelmingly remain poor but are still better off in economic terms than they were 30 years ago. The big game is not theft of deposits to go to the children of Politburo Standing Committee members trust funds; it is to produce sustained economic growth that allows the Party to stay in power. To use Mancur Olson’s phrase, the Party is a stationary bandit, not a roving one. A roving bandit takes everything and moves on. The Party acts as a stationary bandit, to maximize its take over time it is interested in increasing the size of the pie so that there is more to steal in the future. The regime is not stripping factories bare thinking about only today, it is navigating a complex route to continued rule through continued economic development…
…The piece boils down many of the essential ingredients of the political economy of contemporary China. However, it boils them down a bit too far and ends up oversimplifying in putting theft at the top of the list of concerns of the party over remaining in power.
The Atlantic’s Brian Fung writes that Monday’s Apple’s WWDC Keynote Was All About China. Apple announced several localized product enhancements and deals for the China market, including the launch of Chinese Siri. Fung quotes Scott Forstall, senior VP for iOS, as saying “you can now do local search even in China.”
So does that mean Chinese Siri will be hosted behind the great firewall? How will the keyword filtering and censorship work? Apple’s China services include far more than just hardware and the company collects all sorts of data on Chinese users. Google avoided collected personal information of its China users to avoid a replay of Yahoo’s Shi Tao problem. Should we care, or is it no big deal as Apple is just obeying the law, as anyone who wants to operate in China must? As I discussed a few days ago, China’s smartphone market is extremely competitive, prices are dropping fast, and Apple does not have a lock on the phone market here.
Gallup has released an encouraging poll that purports to show that the majority of Chinese Prioritize Environment Over Economy. The reactions on Sina Weibo are interesting. For those wondering what “鸡的屁” (pronounced gee duh p, literally meaning chicken’s butt) means, it is a weibo-ism for GDP.
Two more China bankers are under investigation. The head of China Postal Savings Bank has been detained and the chairman of Yantai Bank will face criminal charges for corruption. Banking is a dangerous business, I guess because that is where the money is.
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- U.S. Exemptions From Iran Oil Sanctions Leave Out China – NYTimes.com
Less than three weeks before stringent American sanctions intended to reduce Iran’s oil exports take effect, the Obama administration announced on Monday that it would exempt seven major importers of Iranian oil — but not China — from the measures because these countries had “significantly reduced” their oil purchases from Iran.
Shandong Agricultural Bureau now investigating apple “pesticide bags”
- Jump in China Loans Helps Wen’s Efforts to End Slowdown – Bloomberg
China’s new loans exceeded estimates in May and more money went into longer-term lending, signaling support for investment projects that may help to prevent a deeper economic slowdown.
- China Auto Glut Builds as Plant Shipments Outstrip Sales – Bloomberg
Carmakers are giving Chinese dealers no relief in their effort to reduce a glut of unsold automobiles in a slowing economy, as factories pump passenger vehicles into showrooms faster than distributors can sell them.
Moutai reveals 2012 production volumes in attempt to fight fake liquor sales//
- 人民日报-全国麦收过六成 已收获小麦2.16亿亩 今年夏粮总产有望创历史新高
Page 1 People’s Daily says this summer’s grain harvest will be a record
- China plans to accelerate Internet construction – Xinhua | English.news.cn
China will accelerate the Internet construction and ensure that over 45 percent of its population have access to the Internet by 2015, said the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-2015) released Monday.
- Investor Jim Rogers to wed his money and daughters to China｜Markets｜Business｜WantChinaTimes.com
Rogers is investing heavily in the world’s second-largest economy — with both his money and blood. He announced publicly that he would like to find Chinese men for his daughters, reports our sister newspaper the China Times.
- Tibet sees over 1,000 foreign tourists daily – Xinhua | English.news.cn
i thought banned?//
Tourism numbers have been increasing for southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region, with more than 1,000 tourists visiting the region every day, the Tibet Tourism Bureau said Monday.
The bureau said 1,588 foreign tourists from 40 countries, including the United States, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Japan and Nepal, visited Tibet on Sunday.
- School bus fire kills 4 children in central China – Xinhua | English.news.cn
An overloaded kindergarten school bus caught fire on Monday in Puyang City in central China’s Henan Province, killing 4 children
- China urges Japan to stop making new troubles over Diaoyu Islands – Xinhua | English.news.cn
China on Monday urged Japan to stop causing new troubles over the Diaoyu Islands as reports say dozens of Japanese including several lawmakers had landed on the islands.
- President Hu pins hope on innovations – Xinhua | English.news.cn
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Monday that innovations were key to the country’s development, at a conference attended by more than 1,200 esteemed scientists and engineers.
They attended the biennial conference of the country’s two top think tanks with research capacities, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), advising the government and industries on key scientific and technological issues
- EDGAR Filing Documents for Cloudary
Shanda trying again to list its online literature subsidiary Cloudary in a US IPO
- Outsource of labor tightened in China|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn
China’s recruitment agencies that help laborers work overseas will have to set up a security fund of at least three million yuan ($473,000) for possible evacuation and compensation during emergencies or if contracts fail, according to a new regulation
- New action plan will safeguard human rights|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn
China will enforce measures to prevent extortion of confession by torture and collecting evidence through illegal methods, said a government action plan released on Monday.
The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-15), published by the State Council Information Office, pledges that no one will be forced to prove himself or herself guilty.
- Foreign Purchases of U.S. Homes Rise Strongly – WSJ.com
A survey released Monday showed that the six-year slide in U.S. housing prices, coupled with the rising value of some foreign currencies and continued instability in Europe, is fueling a property-buying binge in the U.S. by wealthy foreigners.
- Iran sanctions: U.S., China still talking – POLITICO.com
The Obama administration is continuing “good faith” talks with China about applying pressure on Iran to come clean on its nuclear program, senior officials said Monday.
- China’s investment arms extend reach – FT.com
CIC and Safe have now been joined by a third investor, China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Sasac), which has also become more active. Sasac has been given about $10bn for its China reform fund which was established to support Chinese outbound investment. Today, Sasac can make investments through the state-owned enterprises it supervises or directly itself. Sasac’s new initiative is meant to turn China’s state-owned enterprises into multinational powerhouses by making acquisitions offshore, an objective similar to that of CICs.
- Chinese group buys Georgian bank | beyondbrics
A pioneering Chinese company is planning to buy a bank in Georgia – and become, it says, the first privately-owned Chinese group to buy a foreign bank. At around $100m, it’s a small deal for China but a pretty big one for investment-hungry Georgia – and for Xinjiang Hualing Industry and Trade Group.
- Greentown China: property ladders – FT.com
Congratulations to Greentown China, a Chinese property developer with one of the sector’s weakest balance sheets, for landing a catch as mighty as Wharf Holdings, the Hong Kong property conglomerate. Those left on the dance floor will be reviewing their prospects of getting hitched.
- ‘Proof’ Links Flame, Stuxnet Super Cyber Weapons: Researchers – Yahoo! News
can China and other reverse-engineer this now?
- 科技网 –《科技日报》– 解放军总医院海南分院正式开诊
The original story about Gen Liu Yuan visit to Hainan//
- Top general and Bo ally dispels rumours | SCMP.com
Did Xinwei Yuekan and the the WSJ get this story wrong, or was Liu under suspicion and is now trying to prove all OK?//
A senior People’s Liberation Army senior believed to be closely linked to disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai made a high-profile appearance in Hainan at the weekend, in what analysts said was probably an attempt to dispel rumours that he had been implicated in the nation’s biggest political scandal in two decades.
General Liu Yuan , the political commissar of the PLA’s General Logistics Department, showed up with Hainan party secretary Luo Baoming on Saturday at the provincial branch of the Beijing-based PLA General Hospital – commonly known as the No 301 Hospital – according to the Beijing-based Science and Technology Daily.
- Zhang Ziyi files lawsuits against Apple and Next | SCMP.com
sounds like suing Boxun 2. WIll US media like the New Yorker follow up on their reporting about the rumors, or have they moved on, regardless of whether the coverage was fair?//
Film star Zhang Ziyi formally filed defamation lawsuits in Hong Kong and the United States yesterday against media which reported last month that she had sex with disgraced former Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai for money.
In Hong Kong, Zhang has hired law firm Haldanes and senior counsel Jason Pow, renowned for handling defamation cases, for her suits against Apple Daily and Next Magazine, according to China News Service and her spokesman’s Sina microblog. She is also suing a US-based Chinese language news portal, which the China News Service report said was the source of the allegations.
- 章子怡起诉多家媒体 称“陪睡”报道属诽谤_网易新闻中心
Zhang Ziyi sues multiple HK media for spreading hooker rumors. She may not be a hooker but she is hated by the China movie community, and I am aware one reason why. She and her small, loyal team are trying to raise 10m USD for the sequel to a movie in which she starred buut to which she does not own the rights. totally shameless, smacks of desperation
- Lara Farrar: My Shanghai Next Door Neighbor Is Chinese Dissident Feng Zhenghu
wonder for how long after this article. landlords easily pressured
- 北京拟装6万电子眼监控餐馆 阻断地沟油源头_新闻_腾讯网
Beijing considering installing surveillance cameras in all 60,000 city restaurants to fight gutter oil
Han Han launches an online magazine and Interactive platform “One” in partnership with Tencent
- Ferrari Struggles with Spin in China, Yet Again, After Convoy Busted for Speeding – China Real Time Report – WSJ
Ferrari sold 500 cars in China in 2011, up from 300 a year earlier
- Jing Daily: J. Crew Partners With Lane Crawford For China Rollout, E-Commerce
American Brand Starting With Online-Only Strategy In Greater China Region
- Plea for foreign teens’ deportation-Global Times
Drunk, brawling foreign teens in Shanghai. Lucky if they just get deported. If true they should do time
- US visitor can add chengguan to resume |Society |chinadaily.com.cn
Josh Garcia will leave Zhuzhou in Central China’s Hunan province next week, with a uniform of chengguan, a urban management officer, a gift from the local urban management bureau for his temporary service there.
- Apple’s WWDC Keynote Was All About China – The Atlantic
- A Dream of the Rule of Law – Caixin Online
On the campus of the China University of Political Science and Law, an eye-catching monument inscribed by legal expert Jiang Ping with the words “Rule of Law for Everyone” stands tall.
At the university’s 60th anniversary on May 16, Jiang said: “Personal independence and academic freedom is the soul of the university.” The commemoration of the university’s anniversary should be a reflection on its own shortcomings to seek a direction for future development, he said.
Jiang served as dean of the China University of Political Science and Law from 1998 to 2000. Although in the position for only two years, students and alumni called him “dean for life.” In legal circles he is known as one of the “Three Legal Teachers,” along with Guo Daohui and Li Bu.
- Yantai Bank Chairman’s Case Now a Criminal Matter – Caixin Online
The chairman of Yantai Bank has been turned over to local police for criminal investigation, part of a wider graft inquiry in the coastal city in the eastern province of Shandong.
Zhuang Yonghui, 56, was taken into custody earlier by the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. His case is being handled by the local procuratorate, police bureau and banking regulator. The case will be given to judicial authorities soon, sources close to the situation said…
Restructured from Yantai Commercial Bank, Yantai Bank was established in March 2009 after inviting foreign strategic investors, Hang Seng Bank and Wing Lung Bank, in late 2008. By the end of 2010, Hang Seng was the largest shareholder, with a 20 percent stake, and Wing Lung held 4.99 percent, making it the third-largest shareh
- Head of Postal Savings Bank in Corruption Probe – Caixin Online
The president of the Postal Savings Bank of China is being investigated for corruption by the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog, a source close to the bank told Caixin.
Tao Liming, bank president since March 2007, is being investigated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. Tao is accused of illegal lending, the source said.
- Firepower bristles in South China Sea as rivalries harden | Reuters
China’s military muscle becomes too expansive to conceal and its ambitions too pressing to postpone.
The current row with Southeast Asian nations over territorial claims in the energy-rich South China Sea is a prime manifestation of this change, especially the standoff with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal.
- Chinese Lending Statistics Are Out, And They’re Better Than Expected – Business Insider
The biggest surprise, however, came from the deposit side, with Chinese Yuan deposit going up by RMB 1.22 trillion despite various sources saying that deposits are falling throughout the month.
- Xiaomi’s Huge Valuation Proves iPhone’s China Dominance Is Far From Assured | PandoDaily
- 住房信息全国联网再推迟 城市跨区域联网难_中国经济网――国家经济门户
more delays in building a nationwide real estate owner database/network. far too many interests do not want this information easily searchable and/or in one place
- Sex for a cell phone: China’s underage prostitution epidemic｜Society｜In-depth｜WantChinaTimes.com
Recent news reports about Chinese congressmen and businessmen in Yongkang City, Zhejiang province having sexual relations with underage female students have flooded the media in China. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences called it “the mere tip of the iceberg” in a survey report.
- Petition sought for humiliated job seeker on Chinese TV show｜Society｜News｜WantChinaTimes.com
Lee Kai-Fu, the Taiwanese-born CEO of China’s career consulting agency Innovation Works, initiated a petition on his microblog to boycott a reality TV show for humiliating a job-seeker who fainted on stage.
His call has prompted strong attacks from those in charge of running the interviews on the show. The TV crew has since apologized to the interviewee.
- China: green shoots ahoy? | beyondbrics
It’s been a while since the dreaded “green shoots” phrase was last rolled out. And we can’t claim credit for it this time. Instead, it is the China economics team at Barclays, in one of their many reports looking at the weekend’s data points.And, to be fair, there is some cause for a spot of optimism.
- FT Alphaville » China’s pick ‘n mix economic data
Excuse the cliche, but there really IS something for everyone in the many bits of Chinese economic data released in the past few days.
- Taiwan probes missing computer of Kuang Hua No. 6 ‘stealth’ boat | China Defense Mashup
Taiwan’s military said on Monday it is looking into how a top-secret computer from a “stealth” warship went missing, amid concerns it might have fallen into Chinese hands.
The laptop, installed on board a “Kuang Hua No. 6″ class guided-missile vessel, disappeared late last month while the vessel was anchored at the southern port of Tsoying, Taiwan’s largest naval base, the military said…
I personally do not believe that any of the Big Four firms would do these things. There is always the possibility that a rogue partner could undermine the firm’s quality systems. If the fraud were later discovered the firm would be in a tough position. It will be tempting to early retire the partner and then try to sweep the problem under the rug. There have been persistent allegations this year by people in the investment community that that is exactly what has happened in at least one situation.
- CCTV Finds the Way to Viewers’ Hearts is Through Gorgeous Food Documentary – China Real Time Report – WSJ
CCTV, China’s state television broadcaster, is known for dutiful programming such as the Communist Party documentary “The Flag,” but it has struck a chord with viewers by focusing on a topic near and dear to Chinese hearts: food.
In “A Bite of China,” which premiered last month, filmmakers equipped with high-definition cameras scoured the country chronicling a culinary heritage that can be hard to find in the urban jungles of Beijing and Shanghai.
- China’s Loans Exceed Estimates in Sign Slowdown May Be Reversed – Bloomberg
Local-currency loans were 793.2 billion yuan ($125 billion), the People’s Bank of China said on its website today. That compared with the 700 billion yuan median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 29 economists and 681.8 billion yuan in April. M2 money supply grew 13.2 percent last month from a year earlier, compared with an estimate of 12.9 percent.
- Allegations of Big Four corruption | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis
- Charting the Brouhaha Over China’s Banks – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s leaders have fired the opening salvo in what might turn out to be the battle of the banks. Late last week, in parallel with an interest rate cut to boost growth, China’s central bank moved to allow the market a greater role in setting lending and deposit rates – kicking off a long awaited reform of China’s creaking financial sector and threatening to eat away the main source of banks’ profitability. What’s the problem with the old approach to setting interest rates, and what’s at stake in reform? China Real Time lays it out with a little help from The Wall Street Journal’s chart wizards in Hong Kong.
- Majority of Chinese Prioritize Environment Over Economy WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fifty-seven percent of Chinese adults surveyed in 2011 — before the country’s economic slowdown grabbed headlines — prioritized protecting the environment, even at the risk of curbing economic growth. About one in five believed economic growth is more important. Chinese attitudes are typical of those in other emerging-market economies, where residents sided with the environment over the economy in earlier surveys.
- Competing Power Suppliers in Nasty Gridlock – Caixin Online Ten years of power sector competition has cut electricity bills in some areas while fueling violence in others.. It appears to be dawning on officials at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that cooperative, cross-border financial investigations are completely foreign to China
- Watchdogs Growl over Concept-Stock Probes – Caixin Online Beijing securities regulators are refusing to help U.S. counterparts investigate fraud charges against U.S.-listed Chinese firms
- Chen Guangcheng’s mother, brother talk after China pulls security from Dongshigu | McClatchy
- Myanmar Clashes Spur Web Use, Crackdown – WSJ.com An outbreak of sectarian violence in western Myanmar is helping nudge this once-reclusive country further into the Internet age as people take to the Web to condemn the clashes and help organize street protests of their own, creating a new set of challenges for the country’s military-backed government. President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in Rakhine state near Bangladesh in a televised address Sunday, effectively enabling military control of the area after unrest claimed at least 17 lives in recent days, according to state media.
- Beijing Finds a Path to Liberalizing Rates – WSJ.com If there is no need to lock up funds in low-yielding reserves, there is no need to offset that with a wide interest margin. A stronger yuan, and a greater balance between China’s economy and the rest of the world, has helped create the conditions for liberalizing the country’s interest rates without sacrificing all of banks’ profits. As China’s leaders look for ways to boost growth and reform the economy, that hasn’t come a moment too soon.
- Godiva to Double Store Network in Fastest-Growing Chinese Market – Bloomberg Godiva, a maker of luxury Belgian chocolate, plans to double its boutique network in China in 2012 as consumers there develop a taste for fine cocoa.
- Hollywood dreams move to China – latimes.com Movie and TV actors, directors, special effects professionals and more are finding work in the nascent Chinese film industry. But there are catches.
- Bombardier to Help China’s First Jetliner Win Overseas Approvals – Bloomberg selling its future?//Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B) plans to help Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China win overseas approval for the in-development C919 plane that’s leading the country’s challenge to Boeing Co. (BA) and Airbus SAS.
- Could Deflation Come to China?-Global Economic Intersection The bottom line is that there is no Armageddon yet looming for China. But there are some signs of a slowdown that could actually have deflationary components. And after the boom China has experienced for the past 20 years the type of slowdown that is envisioned by Michael Pettis, with any deflationary aspects at all, might be viewed by some as Armageddon.
- China Goes Where Obamacare Refused to Tread: Takes on Big Pharma on High Priced Drugs « naked capitalism this Chinese initiative is completely kosher under WTO rules when life-saving medicines are too costly. Given the high prices put on certain AIDS and cancer drugs in dollar terms, they’re the perfect targets for an action like this. India gave a compulsory license for the manufacture of Nexavar which is used to treat kidney and liver cancers. China appears to be using the compulsory license threat to improve its bargaining leverage for some of the newer HIV drugs, such at Gilead’s tenofovir. China was excluded from a deal with a group of nations to buy tenofovir by paying cost plus a small royalty. Gilead has offered more concessions after the media leaked that China was considering implementing compulsory licensing.
- China, Africa trade volume to hit 150 billion – People’s Daily Online Trade volume between China and Africa in 2011 is expected to exceed 150 billion U.S. dollars
- Chinese Banks May Lose 100Bln Income amid New Round Rate Cut-Caijing government blind to risks on china’s balance sheets that this 100b could help cover, or are concerns about bank bad debt overblown?// Chinese banks may lose as much as 100 billion RMB income generated from spread between interest paid on deposits and on loans after the central bank announced to expand the bands within which lending and deposit rates can float, the official Xinhua quoted an analyst as saying in a report.
- 宋卫平首次承认绿城高速度高负债发展模式错误_财经_腾讯网 In discussing the Wharf investment, Greentown CEO Song Weiping admits firm expanded too fast
- Funding puts value of China’s Xiaomi at $4B – ZDNet Asia News Xiaomi has received funding which now values the Chinese smartphone maker at US$4 billion, with its financial documents showing a net profit of 2.5 billion yuan (US$393 million).
- 邮储银行行长陶礼明因违规贷款被双规 China Post Savings Bank head Tao Liming under investigation, 2 other senior China Post execs also in trouble
- 国美加速布局电商涉足奢侈品 黄光裕前特助任CEO_科技频道_凤凰网 Gome getting into the luxury goods business. A friend been working on this for months
- This Week at War: An Arms Race America Can’t Win – By Robert Haddick | Foreign Policy U.S. military planners face unfavorable trends in the Western Pacific. Panetta and his lieutenants have sent reinforcements to the region and are rewriting their military doctrines. Although these measures necessary, U.S. policymakers will need another way. Good strategy requires finding enduring advantages. The alliance network in the region provides U.S. commanders with partner military forces, basing options, operational experience, and deterrence against escalation, advantages China won’t match any time soon. In this sense, the solution to the challenging military problem U.S. forces face in the Western Pacific will be found as much with more diplomacy as with more firepower.
- US, Phl to expand intel sharing – The Philippine Star » News » Headlines The US and the Philippines said Friday they are expanding intelligence sharing and cooperation on maritime security, as President Barack Obama reiterated Washington’s desire to be viewed as a Pacific power.
- Twitter As An (On-going) Experiment: An Investor/Trader’s Perspective « thelongshorttrader
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