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Aztec Nachos

By Derek On February 3, 2012

“Physicians are rather like undescended testicles, they are difficult to locate and when found, are pretty ineffective.”Susi Greenwood

The Macau gaming sector has been on a tear with January revenue rising 35% y-y alone, slightly ahead of forecasts. Compare this to former head of the brat pack, Las Vegas where gaming revenues are up only single digits last year. According to a Chinese gambler I know, there is a big difference between Macau and Vegas:

“Vegas is fun. Macau isn’t fun. It’s just serious.”

This is amply reflected by revenue composition in Las Vegas where gambling accounts for less than half. I guess the rest is hotels, hookers and hot dogs: “Nevada resorts earned 34.1% of revenue from food, beverage, and ‘other offerings’…” reads the official blurb. Macau reportedly has ‘other offerings’ as well but it primarily exists as a safety valve and a popular way for Chinese

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Killing Chickens

By Derek On January 31, 2012

“Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to realize you’re really strangers.”  - Mary Tyler Moore

The slow motion train wreck that is Greece has reached a very interesting point with Germany throwing down the gauntlet and insisting the Greeks give up sovereignty in order to receive their desperately needed (second) 130 bn euro bailout in March. Of course, the Greeks are up in arms over this and any politician that agrees to such a demand from a foreign power is signing his own death sentence. Implications:

1)       Germany is now willing to see Greece out of the Euro zone

2)       Germany is sending a strong message to the PIIGs (as the Chinese say, “Kill the chicken to scare the monkey”).

Angie” by the Rolling Stones, will be the song they start singing on the rocky streets of Athens:

“….Angie, you’re beautiful, but ain’t it time we said

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What to Do If You Lose Your Job

By Derek On January 25, 2012

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” - Kipling

It is a cold January here manning the fort on the eastern front of global finance. All is quiet on the high plains in Hong Kong as the Chinese New Year holiday comes to a hazy end. With the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, activity in our markets is sure to pick up. A lot of that activity, however, will be cost cutting rather than money making. Last year, the global financial industry may have lost 200,000 jobs, depending on the source. Let’s look at the recent announcements of some of the big banks:

Citi: Plans to cut another 1,200 jobs in the IB. Share price down 38%, 2011

JPM: Cut workforce 4%, plans to cut another 1,000 jobs. Shares down 11%

MS: Plans to cut 1,600 jobs. Shares down 33% 2011

GS: Cut 2,400 jobs last year,

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