The SEC’s crackdown on ICOs has finally brought it to Hollywood. The agency – which in a ruling issued over the summer legally qualified ICOs as securities – said today that celebrities who endorse token sales might be violating so-called ‘anti-touting’ laws if they don’t state what compensation they received, if any. As we’ve pointed out numerous times, celebrity endorsements of ICOs have become something of a punchline in recent months as Floyd Mayweather, Paris Hilton, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Rodman and many, many others have embraced the trend. *** In some cases, the celebrities apparently experienced a twinge of regret and deleted their endorsements from their social media platforms, like Hilton did with Lydian Coin – a company that has few to recommend it aside from an indecipherable White Paper and a CEO who pled guilty to beating his girlfriend. More broadly, regulators from Canada to China to Singapore are cracking down on ICOs to try and protect gullible investors. Most have taken a similar approach to the SEC by declaring the tokens to be securities subject to securities laws and regulations that generally prohibit outright fraud.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 2, 2017.
Tragedy struck the USS John S. McCain on Monday, when the destroyer collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Singapore, leaving 10 sailors missing and five injured. The US Navy is still struggling to find all of the remains of the missing sailors, and has ordered an operational pause for all naval fleets around the world as investigators try to figure out exactly why this terrible accident occurred. Among the possible causes that are being looked into, one has a raised a few eyebrows. Over the summer there have been two accidental collisions involving the 7th fleet, and a total of 4 similar incidents this year. This has led some Navy officials to suspect that a cyber attack may have been responsible for the crash, as well as other recent Naval accidents. The Navy has not ruled out an intentional action behind the latest deadly collision between a Navy destroyer and a merchant ship, the chief of naval operations told reporters Monday. ‘That’s is certainly something we are giving full consideration to but we have no indication that that’s the case – yet,’ Adm. John Richardson, the CNO, said at the Pentagon.
This post was published at shtfplan on August 22nd, 2017.
It was late at night but the new Terminal 3 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport outside Jakarta was still bustling with families and friends waiting for their loved ones returning from abroad. My friend Noor Huda Ismail was just arriving from Singapore, and I decided to pick him up and discuss ‘certain issues’ with him in the car, on the way to the capital. Lately he and I were busy, awfully busy, and a one-hour journey seemed to be the most appropriate setting for the exchange of at least some essential ideas and information. Huda could easily pass for the most knowledgeable Indonesian ‘expert on terrorism’; a Muslim man who grew up and was educated in the madrasahs that have produced some of the most notorious jihadi cadres in the country. Later he became the man who managed to ‘get away’ from the extremism, to study, and to finally become a respected filmmaker and a thinker. For years, both of us have been studying a complex web produced by Western imperialism – a web, which has literally destroyed entire countries, while locking other ones ‘behind bars’, in virtual neo-colonialist slavery. All this done in the name of ‘freedom’ and democracy, naturally, and often using various religions as tools, even as weapons. Inside the car we managed to quickly ‘compare notes’. Huda filled me in on his groundbreaking film ‘Jihad Selfie’, while I informed him about my political revolutionary novel ‘Aurora’, and my big work in progress, a book about Afghanistan. I also mentioned my future ‘Afghan’ film, a dark love story, a drama about betrayal, collaboration and the virtual collapse of one family; a film which I’m preparing to produce and direct sometime during the next year. ‘Afghanistan,’ he says, ‘that’s where the roots of so many things lie… You recall that in the 80’s, the U. S. was using some local, Indonesian, jihadi cadres, sending them to Afghanistan…’
Everything Gets Worse (Part XII) – Pakistan vs. India After 70 years of so-called independence, one has to be a professional victim not to look within oneself for the reasons for starvation, unnatural deaths, utter backwardness, drudgery, disease, and misery in India. Intellectual capital accumulated in the West over the last 2,500 years – available for free in real-time via the internet – can be downloaded by a passionate learner. In the age of modern technology, another mostly free gift from the West which has significantly leveled the playing field, societies that wanted economic convergence with the West, such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, HK, China, etc., have either achieved it rapidly, or have strongly trended toward it. *** Given that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has been at the helm for only three years, it is hard to blame him in general for any of the above mentioned monstrosities marring daily life in India. The best the head of the executive of an extremely diverse and complicated country can achieve is to nudge the Titanic in the right direction.
This post was published at Acting-Man on April 21, 2017.
While the catalyst is unclear, it appears the market dropped as headlines of further sanctions against Russia appeared and reports of China deploying 150,000 troops to its North Korea border. According to Korean news agency Chosun, the “Chinese army has deployed about 150,000 troops to the North Korean border in two groups to prepare for unforeseen circumstances.” The reason: the prospect of “military options”, such as preemptive attacks on North Korea, like the one the United States launched on Syria. More Google translated: As the United States announced its independent North Korean behavior and moved the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered Calvinus (CVN-70) carrier class to Singapore, the Chinese army has deployed about 150,000 troops in two groups to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. “The report said. It is because of the prospect of taking “military options”, such as preemptive attacks on North Korea, just as the United States has launched an air raid on Syria.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 10, 2017.
While the catalyst is unclear, it appears the market dropped as headlines of further sanctions against Russia appeared and reports of China deploiying 150,000 troops to its North Korea border. According to Korean news agency Chosun, the “Chinese army has deployed about 150,000 troops to the North Korean border in two groups to prepare for unforeseen circumstances.” The reason: the prospect of “military options”, such as preemptive attacks on North Korea, like the one the United States launched on Syria. More Google translated: As the United States announced its independent North Korean behavior and moved the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered Calvinus (CVN-70) carrier class to Singapore, the Chinese army has deployed about 150,000 troops in two groups to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. “The report said. It is because of the prospect of taking “military options”, such as preemptive attacks on North Korea, just as the United States has launched an air raid on Syria.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 10, 2017.
One day after NBC reported that the National Security Council had presented Trump with three options vis-a-vis North Korea, namely i) put American nukes in South Korea , ii) kill Kim Jong-un or iii) use the CIA to infiltrate North Korea to sabotage or take out key infrastructure, a US carrier group has departed Singapore and is headed for North Korea. According to Reuters, a U. S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula, a U. S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea’s advancing weapons program. The strike group, called Carl Vinson, includes an aircraft carrier and will make its way from Singapore toward the Korean peninsula.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 8, 2017.
As had been periodically leaked over the past several weeks, overnight both Poliico and the WSJ confirm that President Trump has offered former Utah governor Jon Huntsman the job of U. S. ambassador to Russia and is in the process of submitting paperwork to accept the position; Huntsman is said to have accepted the offer. This is the latest sign of backtracking from plans for Washington-Moscow conciliation, a development which will make future reports based on “anonymous sources” that Trump is a Kremlin puppet even more problematic. *** The 56-year-old Mr. Huntsman’s long record in politics and diplomacy – as governor of Utah and ambassador to Singapore under President George H. W. Bush and to China under President Barack Obama – likely will assure him of an easy confirmation in Congress. Huntsman, who served as ambassador to Singapore under President George H. W. Bush and then to China under President Barack Obama, was an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump during last year’s campaign.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 9, 2017.
From the Bab al-Mandab to the strait of Malacca, from the strait of Hormuz to the strait of Lombok, all the way to the key logistical hub of Diego Garcia 2,500 miles southeast of Hormuz, the question pops up: How will the unpredictable new normal in Washington – which is not exactly China-friendly – affect the wider Indian Ocean? At play are way more than key chokepoints in an area that straddles naval supply chains and through which also flows almost 40% of the oil that powers Asian-Pacific economies. This is about the future of the Maritime Silk Road, a key component of the Chinese One Belt, One Road (OBOR), and thus about how Big Power politics will unfold in a key realm of the Rimland. India imports almost 80% of its energy from the Middle East via the Indian Ocean. Thus, for Delhi, protection of supply chains must be the norm, as in the current drive to develop three carrier battle groups and at least 160 naval vessels, including submarines, before 2022. That also implies boosting a cooperation agreement with the nations bordering the strait of Malacca – Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia – and developing military infrastructure in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. China for its part advances a relentless economic / infrastructural drive from Myanmar to Pakistan, from Bangladesh to the Maldives, from Sri Lanka to Djibouti – a counterbalance to the impossibility of fully implementing ‘escape from Malacca’, the complex, multi-pronged Beijing strategy for diversifying energy supplies. The privileged infrastructure connectivity hub remains the megaport of Gwadar in the Arabian Sea – which will be controlled for the next 40 years by a Chinese company. Gwadar is the naval destination of the US$46 billion (and counting) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) originating in Xinjiang, which will be the economic New Silk Roads game-changer in South Asia.
On Friday, November 25, Fidel Castro died at age 90. The former revolutionary and hardline dictator of Cuba was among the 20th century’s longest-serving leaders, third only to Elizabeth II and Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, who passed away in October. Castro’s death comes at a pivotal moment in U. S.-Cuban relations. With trade between the two countries on the path to normalization, and with U. S. airlines making scheduled flights to Havana for the first time in more than 50 years, President-elect Donald J. Trump has pledged to reinstate many of the Cold War embargos that were lifted by President Barack Obama. ‘If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U. S. as a whole, I will terminate deal,’ Trump tweeted on November 28. In light of Castro’s passing, we are rerunning this Frank Talk from March 2015, in which Frank compares and analyzes the widely divergent economies of Cuba and Singapore under their now-deceased leaders, Castro and Lee Kuan Yew. It would be nearly impossible to find two world leaders in living memory whose influence is more inextricably linked to the countries they presided over than Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away this Monday at the age of 91. You might find this hard to believe now, but in 1959 – the year both leaders assumed power – Cuba was a much wealthier nation than Singapore. Whereas Singapore was little more than a sleepy former colonial trading and naval outpost with very few natural resources, Cuba enjoyed a thriving tourism industry and was rich in tobacco, sugar and coffee.
This post was published at GoldSeek on 30 November 2016.
Violence, alcoholism, and obesity pose the biggest risks in the U. S. But the rest of the world isn’t doing much better. As Bloomberg reports, Iceland and Sweden share the top slot with Singapore as world leaders when it comes to health goals set by the United Nations, according to a report published in the Lancet. Using the UN’s sustainable development goals as guideposts, which measure the obvious (poverty, clean water, education) and less obvious (societal inequality, industry innovation), more than 1,870 researchers in 124 countries compiled data on 33 different indicators of progress toward the UN goals related to health.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2016.
Two aides to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the nation is planning to bring in more overseas workers to bolster the shrinking labor force. Masahiko Shibayama, a lawmaker in Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who serves as a special adviser to the prime minister, said in an interview in Singapore on Friday that policies under consideration may result in a doubling of foreign workers in Japan. ‘Probably a lot of strategies are going to be adopted in the coming few years,’ Shibayama said. ‘I don’t think it’s a fixed goal of the government but, in my opinion, doubling the number of foreign workers cannot be avoided in this global market situation. We have to make a sustainable system for accepting more and more foreign workers.’ Immigration has often been proposed as a solution to Japan’s demographic woes in an aging society with a low birthrate. Abe has vowed to stop the population from falling below 100 million from the current 127 million, though the idea of bringing in more foreigners has yet to take root amid concerns about the potential effect on a relatively closed society.
Donald Trump “is unfit to be President” according to President Obama who challenged congressional Republicans who have criticized their presidential nominee to disavow his candidacy. “The question I think they have to ask themselves is, if you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?” Obama said Tuesday at a news conference at the White House following a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. “What does this say about your party that this is your standard bearer? This isn’t a situation where you have an episodic gaffe. This is daily. Weekly.” “There has to come a point at which you say someone who makes those kinds of statements doesn’t have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world,” Obama said. Never the shrinking violet, Donald Trump lashed out at Obama’s “failed leadership”…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on AUG 2, 2016.
I’m excited. Tomorrow starts our summer Liberty & Entrepreneurship camp, an annual event that our foundation sponsors in which some of my most accomplished friends and I mentor young students from all over the world. This year we have students from dozens of countries, places like Indonesia, Ecuador, Nigeria, Brazil, New Zealand, Ukraine, Canada, Estonia, China, Venezuela, Singapore, India, and the United States. We’ll spend five days together at a beautiful lakeside resort here in Lithuania helping them build real skills in value creation, business development, investing, and more. Before I sign off for the next few days, though, I wanted to pass along an impressive speech that was recently given by this year’s recipient of the Templeton Prize. The Templeton Prize is named after legendary investor Sir John Templeton, who passed away in 2008.
Turkey’s Erdogan recounts night of coup, mulls death penalty (AP) Dissidents Silenced, GOP Convention Turns Attacks on Clinton (WSJ) U. S. police deaths build momentum for law to treat attacks as hate crimes (Reuters) Police across US patrolling in pairs after ambush attacks (AP) UK will not invoke EU Article 50 this year, government lawyer says (Reuters) EU State-Aid Rules for Banks in Crisis Backed by Top Court (BBG) Islamic State flag found in room of German train attacker (Reuters) Fed Officials Gain Confidence They Can Raise Rates This Year (WSJ) Document Shows Less Limits on Iran Nuke Work (AP) Daimler, DAF, Others Fined Record $3.2 Billion for European Truck Cartel (Handesblatt) In some U. S. cities, police push back against ‘open-carry’ gun laws (Reuters) ECB Fast Exhausting German Bonds for QE Buying as Yields Tumble (BBG) Startup Deal Activity Keeps Falling Worldwide (BBG) Turkey Central Bank Cuts Overnight Lending Rate to 8.75 Percent (BBG) Singapore Exchange Blames Faulty Disk for Market’s Trading Halt (BBG) Facebook to Pay Internet Stars for Live Video (WSJ) Dad’s Tape Could Jail Banker Son Accused of Offering Stock Tips (BBG) Russian Consumers Still in Shock as They Cut Back on Food and Medicine (BBG) Overnight Media Digest WSJ – On the first night of Donald Trump’s convention, Republicans assailed Hillary Clinton for the 2012 attack on Benghazi, illegal immigration and recent killings of police officers – hours after hundreds of delegates shouting for a roll-call vote to disrupt his forthcoming nomination and one state delegation walked off the floor.– A core of alleged coup plotters were charged on Monday as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened judicial vengeance against them.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 19, 2016.
Jim Rogers told me to come here. We were having dinner a few weeks ago in Singapore, and Jim had just returned that morning from Russia full of optimism for the improving economy. I had been meaning to come back here anyhow to scout out private equity deals. But after hearing Jim’s take on Russia having just met with a lot of the country’s business elite, it really lit a fire. As I’ve written so many times in this letter, I’m really a pathetic tourist. I’ve been to Paris countless times and have never bothered to visit the Eiffel Tower. When I travel, it’s to either build and maintain relationships, or to put boots on the ground and seek out risks and opportunities first hand. On my return to Russia, the country has not disappointed. You’ve probably heard about how the Russian economy has been depressed over the last few years.
After all of the posturing that the US and China have been doing in recent months as it relates to the South China Sea, the time is drawing near for The Hague to issue a decision on one of the main sources of the tension, namely a maritime complaint that the Philippines filed against China back in 2013. As a quick reminder, many countries have claims that overlap each other in the South China Sea, and China in particular has decided that its claim trumps any others. In June, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter went to Singapore and made it known that the US was going to “remain the most powerful military and main underwriter of security in the region for decades to come, and there should be no doubts about that“, adding that China was in danger of “erecting a Great Wall of self-isolation” if it continued its actions. Subsequently China threatened to leave the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea if The Hague didn’t side with China in its ruling, saying that type of ruling would be the worst outcome of the dispute.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2016.
And with Singapore and a growing list of other countries on both sides of the Pacific, we are making progress toward finalizing a far-reaching new trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The so-called TPP will lower barriers, raise standards, and drive long-term growth across the region. It will cover 40 percent of the world’s total trade and establish strong protections for workers and the environment. Better jobs with higher wages and safer working conditions, including for women, migrant workers and others too often in the past excluded from the formal economy will help build Asia’s middle class and rebalance the global economy. Canada and Mexico have already joined the original TPP partners. We continue to consult with Japan. And we are offering to assist with capacity building, so that every country in ASEAN can eventually join. We welcome the interest of any nation willing to meet 21st century standards as embodied in the TPP, including China. – Hillary Clinton, November 2012 You’d think the American pubic deserves to have access to this information before the election. Barack Obama disagrees. From the International Business Times:
By Andrew May, a FINRA attorney at May Law in Chicago: In the early 2000′s, the world was gripped by the SARS epidemic unfolding in Southeast Asia. Mankind was yet again battling a deadly disease, and at the forefront of this battle was the Genome Institute in Singapore. At the time, Elizabeth Holmes, a young volunteer from Stanford traveled to help the team work on their software. Holmes left Stanford a few years later and decided she wanted to get into medicine and help save lives. The only problem was that she hated the sight of blood and needles. Assuming that there were a lot of other people who hated needles and blood as much as she did, she decided to tackle the most basic health care service on the planet – blood tests. Her company, Theranos, was based on the design for handheld blood testing instrument that could instantly give results with just a few drops of blood. It was meant to work just like the diabetes self-test kits, but detect a lot more than just blood sugar levels. A tiny drop of blood could be used for more than 70 different tests at the Theranos labs. The company started selling kits at Walgreens and testing at more than 41 locations in the country.
This post was published at Wolf Street by Andrew May ‘ April 23, 2016.
The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries. Who will benefit from the TPP? American workers? Consumers? Small businesses? Taxpayers? Or the biggest multinational corporations in the world? One strong hint is buried in the fine print of the closely guarded draft. The provision, an increasingly common feature of trade agreements, is called ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlement,’ or ISDS. The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U. S. sovereignty. ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U. S. laws – and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers – without ever stepping foot in a U. S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U. S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U. S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U. S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions – and even billions – of dollars in damages.