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Disappointing moment

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Obviously when Chinese track star Liu Xiang quit the race due to heel injury, we are all disappointed. Not only the fact he could not get a “face saving” gold medal, and he is China’s only hope on track and field (at least from men side); but also the fact we did not know how serious his injury was. At the same thing, I can fully appreciate the pressure on him, imagine 1.3 billion put hope on me. I would not think about that probability. My wife has a lot sympathy for Liu Xiang, but I rebutted “at least he is far richer than most of Chinese” πŸ™‚

Stock market
China TechFaith also disappoints:
From Reuters, UPDATE 2-China TechFaith gives weak Q3 outlook; to cut jobs. So CNTF is following Spreadtrum SPRD’s step. Don’t try to bottom fish on them yet! I expect the handset business in China continues to be challenging, for the near future.

The broader market:
The US market goes sideways as financials and consumer spending continue the downward pressure. In China, the mood is much pessimistic, as the Shanghai composite drop around 2300, the lowest since early 2006. So are we heading to a real estate crash in China? Let’s me borrow one word from Mr. Greenspan, it’s possible, but unlikely.

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NBC Olympics broadcast: the good, the bad

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For US audience of Beijing Olympics, NBC (including CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Telemundo and Oxygen) is the only place for extensive coverage, because the exclusive broadcast deal between NBC and IOC. While NBC did unprecedent largely positive coverage of this event, Beijing and China, I can still felt the “colored glass” of some of the comments from the anchors from time to time.

The good: the scale
NBC nearly sent all the best crews to Beijing, it is doing live broadcasting for more than 2,000 hours, covering topic from sports to the Chinese traditional snack food in Beijing. And it is airing the regular programs such as “Today” (Matt and Meredith), 5:30 PM evening news (Brian), Meet the Press (Tom) from Beijing, in addition to extensive Olympics coverage. So in other words, NBC News Operation division is essentially moved from New York to Beijing these days.

Because NBC has experience in technology, their camera crews did the opening ceremony better than CCTV (the delayed video playback was a business decision). It also has so many channels so popular sports such as gymnastics, swimming, women volleyball etc are well covered.

The bad

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The people behind opening ceremony: Zhang Yi Mou and

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his crew. The opening ceremony beat many people’s expectation. Yesterday and Today I have heard two coworkers walked over to my office and congratulating me. I think we should thank Zhang Yi Mou and his crew instead, in addition to people who provide the $300 million budget πŸ™‚

Zhang Yi Mou
(Courtsy of Yu Pei, blog)

This may not be a complete team of directors who work for the openning ceremony.

An interesting story about Zhang Yi Mou, when he first started as a camera-man, he had to sold his blood to get a decent camera (I think the time is around 1980).

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Anything is possible

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Let me borrow the ad slogan from Li Ning’s apparel and shoes company: anything is possible. His performance in sky demonstrated this idea very well. So as the opening ceremony, I think it blew away a lot of people’s expectations. So congrats to Mr. Zhang Yimou and each of 15,000 performers, and their families, for the hard work and dedication. For Li Ning, this is also a personal redemption: after winning 3 gold medals in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Li Ning failed badly in 1988 Soul Olympics, and was blamed and ridicued when he came back from Soul. He kept his mouth shut, built China’s own sports brand (Li Ning) in last 20 years. Now he got this honor.

Li Ning Olympics torch light run in sky opening ceremony pic
(Li Ning run in the sky to light the Olympics cauldron, source: CCTV)

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Olympics official starts, market, tax refund

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Beijing Olympics offically started just couple hours ago. Thanks to NBC pursuit of rating and advertising dollars, US auduiences won’t see live broadcast of the opening ceremony. A video playback will be shown tonight at 6:30 PM at local NBC channel (KSDK channel 5 in the case of St. Louis). It will last 4.5 hrs.

Sadly as I expected (did I sound like Dai Tou Da Ge), Shangai Composite Index dropped nearly 5% in this historical opening day. It seems neither fund managers nor retail investors (Shan Hu) are listening to president Hu’s advice, which is to have a strong and balanced stock market. Maybe those people will regret it sometime later?

On a positive note, I received my federal tax refund today. Just in time for more stock bargain hunting when CitiGroup and Merril are bailing out? My wife will not like this idea πŸ™‚

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China: embracing bear market after Olympics?

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Couple days ago I suggested the China stock market could have a relief rally after Olympics, when the party is over without major glitches. I still belive Beijing Olympics will turn out to be ok, amid so much worries from human rights protests to security threats. I also believe Chinese economy will not stand still after the Olympics.

But I change my view on Chinese stocks today, after the Chinese ADRs dropped big in the US: from FXI (NYSE: FXI), to CHL (NYSE: CHL), to Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU), all dropped around 5% or more today, less than 14 hours before the opening ceremony (which will begin Beijing time 8:08 PM, Aug.8 ). The problem is not only the expected slow down of Chinese economy, but also due to most Chinese stocks (from Shanghai, to Honghong, to NewYork) are over valued. Now they will get a reality check. Give an example, ICBC (1398.HK, 601398.SS), traded at 3 times book value, according to JRJ. That’s much higher than the US counter part such as BoA (NYSE: BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). Algthough we know US banks are in trouble lately because of subprime/credit crisis, ICBC can not justify its 3 times PB ratio if its growth slows down (which is possible).

So hold some cash, hold your breath, and I expect we are having a rough ride in the near future πŸ™‚

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Olympic game starts, CFA level I registration

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Yes, the game already started, e.g, the women’s soccer. This morning I saw the team USA vs. team Norway on MSNBC. The US lost 2 goals in first 5 minutes, not a good way to start a game.

BTW, here is the TV schedule on NBA family (NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, USA, Oxygen). You need to type in your zip code to get exact listing. Personally I can not wait to see the opening ceremony on 7 PM Friday.

CFA level I December exam
I registered this one again, this time I will take it in Shanghai (Dec 7 Sunday). Note December is more like a make up test, so there are not as many test centers as the June exam. For instance, St. Louis does not have one. Here is a link to December test centers. Click on the December 2008 (PDF) file there to find your nearby testing place.

CFA curriculum pic
(CFA curriculum, source: CFA Institute)

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A post Olympics rally in the making?

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Yesterday the terrist attack in China Northwest Xinjiang province caught a lot people’s nerve. People felt nervous because they think bad things could happen in Beijing during this Olympics. My sense is it will NOT, because Beijing is probablly the most heavily guarded city in the world in next 2.5 weeks (Aug 8 to 24).

China Water Cube pic
(Bird Nest and Water Cube; source:

Interestingly there is a theory in the market that says “China economy growth will dramatically slow down post Olympics”, this assertion may not turn out to be true either. Because just like the Olympics effect on economy is overly-hyped, the China economy will continue to grow at a healthy speed because:

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Is Olympics Sponsorship worth the money?

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There are a lot discussion about this topic a while ago with the March 14 Tibet incident, the pro-Tibet protests caused Olympics torch relay incident in Paris, and the pro-China and pro-Tibet supporters shoutout in San Francisco afterwards…I guess it’s a media nightmare for the west Olympics sponsors such as Coca Cola. Controversy or not, the show is here, this Friday, 8:08 PM Beijing time (that is 8:08 AM Eastern) we will see the opening ceremony.

Before I jump into the various corporate Olympics sponsors, let me take another look at hosting (my home) country China. We all know China spent vast amount of money build up the infrustructure in Beijing: the Bird Nest, the Water Cube, the subway, and so on. But the Olympics money spree does not stop in Beijing and Qingdao. The cross country torch relay, even with Lenovo and Coke sponsorship, still cost local goverments tons of money in terms of security. The shutdown of polluting plants near Beijing also costs money. Many Chinese people question whether it is worthwhile to spend all the money and effort to host Olympics, when western media outlets are still looking at China with critical eyes, and when China is still a country with many people under or around poverty (there is tremdous needs in education, and healthcare).

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