Sunday, September 30, 2007

Change MacBook Refresh Rate

Previously, I was researching on changing the refresh rates of the MacBook because I find that there seems to be something missing. I found that looking at my previous Fujitsu laptop a much better experience than looking at the MacBook.

Anyway, these are the steps to change the MacBook refresh rate:
  1. Use the native resolution 1280 x 800
  2. Get the program to change the refresh rate at
  3. Run the SwitchResX Control application
  4. Ensure the Settings of is at Color LCD
  5. Click on the Custom tab
  6. Click on the + tab
  7. Change the vertical scan rate to 70Hz. Ensure the rest of the parameters are the same
  8. Save the settings and Click OK
  9. Reboot
  10. Open System Preferences > Displays
  11. Choose 70Hz under the Refresh Rate
  12. Reboot

These settings works fine on my Macbook. However, if you've encountered any problems, in the SwitchResX Control application, there's an option called Factory Settings. I've got this information from here.

I hope this helps...

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Temasek and GIC returns

I refer to a section of the reply given by Jacqueline Poh, from the Ministry of Finance:

The current arrangement thus enables all CPF members to earn fair and risk-free returns on their retirement savings, while benefiting from the good performance of GIC and Temasek through the annual Budget. This is the right way to help Singaporeans save for their old age, and enjoy peace of mind in their golden years.

I think she missed the main point. The point is that up to now, there's no law or formula stating that some of the returns of GIC and Temasek should be channeled back to Singaporeans. This lack of transparency is causing Singaporeans to be over-active in their imagination. Given the government's track record of using law or formulas, it's a wonder why up to now, no such formula has been enacted.

I refer to the recent bonuses given to the MINDEF personnel. A formula was introduced where the GDP increase was linked to their special bonus. Is it so hard to enact a law that says returns above x%, xx% of it will be returned to Singaporeans as a form of bonus??

As the saying goes... Take money easy, give money hard. Give raise easy, give benefits hard.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

CPF to include compulsory risk pooling??

I believe the MPs really do not have any idea what is insurance! Risk pooling is first of all, done on one person's CHOICE, not because it is compulsory. Why is it on a person's choice is because we think that we can beat the odds and end up benefiting from the product. Another reason for insurance is because we want our loved ones to be well taken care of. The key word is loved ones. The 2 main purpose for insurance, at least for me. Currently, the MPs are taking away these 2 main reasons, and forcing us to accept it??? I hope that after 6months of deliberation, they will wake up their idea on what exactly is insurance!

Furthermore, under both the annuities products currently provided by Income, and Great Eastern, both has a clause that says that the person will get back at the very least, the principal which was paid to them, minus the payouts given out. That's one of the main reason why people do go into annuities. There's an assurance that I get at least my money back, and the family can use it. There is a reason why structured deposit was so popular in the past, although it's a crappy product that gives you less interest than the Fixed Deposit. Anyway, you take that clause away, it becomes a money making machine for the insurers.

Under Great Eastern's product fact sheet, it's also stated that there's a 50% chance of a man living to 80 years old, and a woman living to 85 years old. As a guy, I have a less than 50% chance of living to 85 years old!

Can you please tell me which insurer is going to provide this annuity product? I want to work for them because they are going to be rich! This whole CPF annuity thing seems to be something that was proposed by the insurer, to their benefit, and not to our benefit.

If this annuity does not get resolved, the government will face this when election comes by, and be assured that the Singaporeans WILL remember this.

Feds cut their benchmark interest rates by 0.5% in September

This month is really interesting to see how the central banks function.I have written a post before on why the Feds should not cut their interest rates. I was quite disappointed when they cut by 50 basis points. Why is this so?

Simply put, cutting the rates would leave to a devaluation of the USD, and majority of all the transactions in the world is dominated in ... ... USD. I'm not an economics major, but putting it simply, demand and supply being constant, currency loses value, therefore price increase. Now the Feds have cut their interest rates, inflation will go up across the board for the WORLD, simply because most transactions are denominated in USD. Look at the price of oil and you can see the effects. Just because of that cut in the interest rates, I think the price of oil will hover average around USD70 per barrel instead.

It seems to me that the US is warning the world. Play fairly, otherwise, I will make sure everyone loses. Why is this so?
  1. USD currency loses strength
  2. Inflation goes up higher for the rest of the world due to the world's dependencies on USD
  3. The rest of the world's currencies strengthen to combat inflation
  4. US Companies find it less attractive to invest in other countries
  5. US Companies invests back into US, instead of other countries
  6. Other countries hit by the double whammy of higher inflation, and lesser investments
Again, let me say that I do not major in economics, but this is a logical conclusion I can gather from what's happening. Everyone loses in this case, including the US. I sure hope that they maintain the 4.75% rate for at least a year. China and India should stop being in denial and take concrete steps in reigning in their growth, and ensuring their trade surplus is reasonable. Pollution is going up too fast, global warming is here. Food crops harvests are getting lower.

Just imagine... USD loses value, price goes up. Crop harvests yields are lower, price goes up too. These are essential goods. Hyperinflation coming? This is not impossible, and there's no running away from it if that path is taken.

How to live your childhood dreams

I came across this lecture by a Professor by the name of Randy, from the Carnegie Mellon University. He has contracted pancreatic cancer, and he only had 3-6months of good health. He gave his last lecture in the university, entitled How to live your childhood dreams, also popularly known as the Lecture Of A Lifetime. This is the link to his full lecture. It's about an hour and a half.

It's very thought provoking, and might lead you to re-think on how you live your life, and how you see things. There were many take-aways throughout this lecture. One of which goes something like this: When there's a time where you made a mistake, and no one said anything about it, that means they have given up on you.

All should watch this video. It was done by ABC news. It's a streaming video so make sure you have one and a half hours to spare. :)

For those interested in the alice project, the website is here.

Updated: Finally know what's a fakehead from this post here. Darn. I'm slow...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wait 6months for CPF Annuity Report??

Here I was waiting for the full picture of the CPF changes to come this month, and the most important one I am interested in was missing.

I am very curious. Who is the original person who recommended annuities to resolve the longevity issue? Did this person do enough research on what on earth is an annuity? Who is going to pay for this additional 6months of "research" into this annuities issue? Why isn't this done before the announcement by the PM during the National Day Rally?

Knowing the way politics work, what the PM said during the national day rally will still stand, even if we're totally unhappy about it. Still, my earlier comments still stand on annuity. There is no way anyone (at least me) will put any money into any annuity if we're not guaranteed our principal. However, there can be variations to this stand.

In our current setup, a minimum sum of $120,000 will allow a person to receive $1,275 for 20 years after 62 years old, according to the CPF calculator in the CPF website, after adjusting for inflation. Since the annuity is going to be compulsory, and there's nothing we can do about it, based on the concept of risk-pooling, a larger base of users will mitigate the risk for the insurers.

Therefore, if this whole minimum sum is pushed into the annuity at age 55, we should be able to get at least $1,000 per month, for life from age 65 onwards. This is just my guess though, as I'm not related to the financial industry, and I'm guessing using the trends of the current annuities. I still strongly think that the principal, minus the payouts, SHOULD be returned to the family. We did not pay our taxes (GST included) just so that the government can raise their own pay, and force us to subsidize others when our families might be in need of the money. This doesn't add up.

However, annuities itself is not without risk. That was why I was lamenting the fact that CPF is no longer risk free. We're subjected to policies changes, and now annuities. The risk for annuities, based on my understanding:
  1. The risk of the insurer going bankrupt due to various reasons like bad management, bad investment decisions, or just plain unlucky.
  2. The risk of the payout being insufficient due to a possibility of high inflation in our golden years, thus eroding our purchasing power.
  3. The risk of not living long enough.

Ultimately, insurance is all about risks. The insurers are betting that you will not live long enough, we are betting that we'll live till a 100.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Inflation is up 2.9%!

Just like the media to play down the rate of inflation. It was reported the other way around that the average inflation rate is 1.3%.

Why we should not use the average inflation rate? Because the inflation rate increase is not one-off! It's because of the government insistence of increasing the GST rate, just before the subprime mess blown up. Inflation rates are going to be at least 2.6% from now on for a period of time. Food prices are shooting up due to global warming, plus the oil price. The CNA news article even got the July inflation wrong! July inflation was 2.6%, not 2.1%.

Let me rephrase the news article.

Inflation is up 2.9% (August) compared to a year ago.
Inflation is up 0.3% compared to July.

My guess is that the average inflation should be around average 1.8% this year, using an average of 2.8% until the end of the year. Next year it is going to jump even more.

Now, what's our bank interest rate? 0.25%
Now, what's our FDs for < $50,000? <1.2% for most banks.

Oh yeah... This is great!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Locking your Unattended Mac

For those who are used to the Windows machine, there are some short cuts that would lock your PC when you leave it un-attended. For the Mac however, it's hard to find such shortcuts. I have researched and found a few ways of locking your mac.

  1. Sleep your computer. You can refer to the keyboard shortcut post here. Do note that once your computer goes to sleep, so does your upload/download. The equivalent is also to close the lid of the Mac
  2. Click on your account name on the top right hand corner of the Mac, and click on Login Window.
  3. Please refer to the securing your mac post here to enable password prompt for the screensaver. After which, use your Finder, click on the Macintosh HD, and goto /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/, and drag the ScreenSaverEngine application to your toolbar. If you need to lock your computer, just click on this icon to activate the screensaver. Since you have enabled the password prompt, it will prompt you for the password if you touch the Mac.

Hope this helps...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

SMRT Prudent Management??

Saw an article previously that said SMRT will appeal to PTC, saying that to reject the hike because of high ROTA is penalizing prudent management. PTC said that their decision is not subjected to any forms of appeal.

Prudent Management?? Let me list down the prudent management:
  1. Letting the screens meant to show the train arrival show more advertisements than telling us when the train comes.
  2. The ratio of the number of screens showing the train arrival time and the size of the station is very inadequate. Sometimes even if they show the arrival time, you can't see it because it's too far.
  3. The announcements sometimes announce that a certain train is coming at a certain platform (e.g. Platform A). Point is, unless you have very good eyesight, you would have absolutely NO IDEA where is platform A.
  4. Singapore, being a multi-racial country, should have canned messages that speaks in 4 languages. SMRT used to have that. Now, very rare. Sometimes, we even get broken english spoken through the telecom.
  5. Insufficient train maps at the station. I've taken trains in HK and Shanghai, and when I lift up my head, I could see the train map at every fixed interval along the track. Seems like only City Hall and Raffles Place have this in place. All train stations should have it. Prudent management??
  6. Insufficient train maps in the train itself. Enough said.
  7. Stuffy trains during peak hours. Saving on aircon??

So based on this prudent management, they deserve a hike in fares??
I still strongly believe that PTC should have a SLA, like the taxis. Failure to hit a certain level, and you'll get fined. Now if you adhere to the service level, and have high ROTA, THAT is prudent management. This is called taking advantage of the monopoly status, and minimal capital re-investment.

Proposed Compulsory Annuity vs MediShield

I love to link things up which I find similar. Now I see a very close pattern between the proposed annuity and MediShield, and I think the government would like to link both of them together as an example. Why the linkage? Because like MediShield, the proposed annuity is suppose to be low-cost, and provide a basic level of service. There will be additional "riders" which will increase the level of service. However, that's where the comparison ends.

Insurance is always treated as an expense. Why? Because you're buying something to offset a risk of something happening. Therefore, in the Medishield case, the base premium is very low, with a base level of "service", and therefore it worked.

For the proposed annuity, its a different ball game altogether. Annuity is NOT treated as an expense. It's like an endowment policy. You buy into the product, with the expectation that you will get something back in return, regardless of any conditions. In all the annuity and endowment products you see in the market (at least in Singapore), you will get something back. Sometimes you might not get back all your principal (that's another matter) but the key point is that you get something back. According to the bits and pieces announced, it seems like this is NOT the case for this proposed annuity.

This is definitely a big no no. Annuities, although offered by insurers, are not treated by the general public as an expense. It's treated as in investment product offered by insurers. In the case of annuity, every product that I know of will at least give back the principal to the buyer. Therefore, no matter how much you tweak it, this basic condition should still be there!

How to address the issue of longevity? I have another solution outside of annuities. Why not inflation-linked bonds?? The Singapore government can always issue special inflation-linked bonds designed just for the CPF-SA account (Should rename to the longevity account). Therefore, the payouts will increase in proportion to the inflation. This inflation-linked bonds can even be "linked" to GIC/Temasek returns.

This will silenced the critics in a few ways:
  1. The purchasing power will not be reduced since the bonds are inflation-linked
  2. In some way, the government is channeling the returns of the investments back to Singaporeans, instead of locking it away in some mysterious place, causing so much resentment.
  3. Since its inflation-linked, the power of compound interests will increase our retirement funds substantially, therefore increasing the chance that our funds will not run out.
After which, the owner of the funds could have some options on withdrawal. They can spread it out to maybe 85 years old, 90 years old, 95 years old, etc etc. This will depend on the individual.
I hope some good will come out of this. If they really force us to buy an annuity where we are not guaranteed our principal, I will find some way to remove almost everything from my CPF. With the government changing the CPF rules every now and then, it is no more risk free.

Anger Management

I like this quote from the Slice Of Life:

And realise that a lot of the time, obnoxious people want to make you angry. They just want to provoke an outburst or negative reaction. It makes them feel big and powerful. So what's the best way to get even? Forget! Let them know that they have no power over your mood.

Be cool... :)

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

CPF Dilemma

CPF returns vs GIC/Temasek returns

I would think this is the hottest topic now. For me, I'm kinda torn between wanting more returns, and the stability of the returns in the long run.

GIC has a 8-9% returns, and Temasek 18% returns over a long period of time. The keyword is long period of time. Therefore, it is highly possible that we can have few years of negative growth, but few years of super high growth, therefore resulting in a 9-18% returns. What will happen at the period where the investment is negative? Where will the payout come from if CPF is holding such an investment portfolio? Answer is from the years where you make money. Therefore, it is not possible to give a 8% guaranteed returns per annum, which payout every month. It's simply not sustainable, based on past history. A 5% is doable though, but quite difficult.

Therefore, as much as I like to compare the both of them, they are actually quite different because CPF requires a regular payout, while GIC/Temasek is really in for the long run, and is able to take losses for some of the years. CPF cannot afford to. I disagree with using the reserves for this too. Main reason... We are a little red dot, with 0 resources. Many had already said that its a miracle that we managed to survive, and thrive so well. The reserves are there to buffer us in case of some big calamity.

But still, the difference between the returns is too great to be ignored. One way is that a portion of the returns from GIC/Temasek to be ear-marked to be given back to Singaporeans. Might be in the form of the New Singapore Shares for example. Since this portion is not guaranteed, GIC/Temasek is free to carry on their current investment plans. Otherwise, we will always say that the big fat profits made by GIC/Temasek is used to raise the salaries of our government.

Given the lack of transparency, how can you blame us from thinking in this way??

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Updated CPF Changes

I have updated this CPF summary post with the most recent changes. Basically they have updated almost every single item, except for the annuity portion. Incidentally, this is the portion I'm most interested in. A report will only be out in 6 months time. That's long... :(

Oh well, all in all, the changes are quite ok, and reasonable. Budget friendly too, and in a way, election friendly. :) Anyway, there's no mention of the cost of all these changes. I just hope they don't start following the US and start having budget deficits. We cannot afford that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Respect yourself

I like to quote this from the Slice of Life. Very meaningful.

Respect your own opinions. You don't have to believe that your stand is always the right one, but stop knocking your ideas all the time. It not only reduces your self-esteem, it fuels the perception that you're incompetent. Believe that your views have value. Give them value. Make people see what can come out of your suggestion.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Global warming to hurt Singapore

Singapore, being a country closest to the equator, did not look at solar power although the country should be one of the best places to research into this area. Research into solar energy will help reduce the greenhouse effect, not to mention reduce the price of oil.

But did they do it?? No... And now ice caps are melting, and a whole new shipping route will be up, bypassing Singapore.

Reap what you sow. Now researching into solar energy?? A bit too late right?? Still, better late than never.

Property here cheap???

Today's newspaper article once again compared Singapore with the other countries, saying that Singapore is not expensive compared to Hong Kong and Mumbai.

The main question they should ask themselves is that how big are their cities compared to Singapore? And how much they earn average compared to Singapore. HK salaries are on average twice more than Singapore for the same job!!

I get it!! There's a conspiracy to make us move to our neighboring countries so we can attract more foreign imports into the country! Where else can we move if the property prices go beyond the average folks?? Even HDBs are going for more than half a million. Yeah right. Use the word inflation. I'm going to use the word called election soon!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

HDB Boon Keng $650psf???!?!?

Updated 5 Jan 2008: Refer to this post for the newest pricing ($520psf average)

This is crazy!! I thought I will never see the time where HDB is selling for $650psf. That means for a 5 room flat, you can pay as much as SGD650,000!!

Has HDB forgotten the roots of why HDB was formed? What's their vision? What's their objective? Although Boon Keng HDB is built by private developers, the premium should not be excessive. This premium puts it more expensive than some of the condominiums around that area.

Is HDB sleeping???? If the pricing is really approved, Singapore be prepared for an inflation of 2 to 3% next year.

Ridiculous! And the civil sector just got a raise too! This is definitely going as a black mark.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What is Beauty?

I like this quote from the Slice Of Life:

Beauty, in its most wholesome sense, has to be authentic. The real You is the most attractive thing about you. If you depend solely on your external appearance to feel loved or valuable, then you'll probably forget to nurture your other attributes. In time, you'll find that you are not much more than a shell.

Beauty is being comfortable with yourself. It's the realization that you truly are your own person. That you are no longer accountable to the judgment of others. This is you and this is what you do, and the judgment of others should in no way overshadow your own interests and mental well-being.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Totally erase your files

Have you ever encountered the situation where you want to trade-in your laptop, and wish that you can wipe out all the data such that it cannot be retrieved? Actually, there is a hidden command in WinXP that allows you to do that. It's called cipher.

Cipher has many options and one of the options is /W. This is a snapshot of the help provided by cipher:
/W Removes data from available unused disk space on the entire
volume. If this option is chosen, all other options are ignored.
The directory specified can be anywhere in a local volume. If it
is a mount point or points to a directory in another volume, the
data on that volume will be removed.

My layman translation is that it will entirely wipe out all the data in the free space you have currently in the drive containing the directory specified. For example, if you have specified C:\Temp, it will make sure that all the free space in your Drive C will be wiped out.

However, if your C:\Temp points to another drive, it will wipe out the other drive's free space instead. This however, I have not tried. I have also not tried wiping out Drive D for example, so I'm not sure if my translation is correctly.

Do note that when you're running the command, close all your other applications. It may take some time as it does the following to your free space in the drive:
  • Write Hex 00 to every free space
  • Write Hex FF to every free space
  • Write random numbers to every free space

To run the command, please do the following:
  1. Goto Start > Run
  2. Type cmd
  3. Type cipher /W: (e.g. cipher /W:C:\Temp)

That's all to it. Just leave it there and it will make sure your free space is really free space. :)
Hope this helps...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Why the HDB $8,000 ceiling should not be raised

Just read an article giving the reasons why the HDB income ceiling should be raised. I'm now giving some reasons on why it should not be raised. Just 3 will do.
  1. What does the recent Walk-In-Selection (WIS) fights tell you about the demand and supply of HDB flats?
  2. What does the recent numbers of the balloting for both WIS and new flats, tell you about the demand and supply?
  3. What does the growing number of complaints that they could not get a chance to own a HDB flat tell you about the demand and supply?

For those who keep track of these happenings, they will know the reasons why the HDB income ceiling of $8,000 should not be raised. Simply put... Supply is much lower than demand. It's not like those who earn more than $8,000 could get an HDB flat. I can think of much more reasons but I think these 3 suffice. Anyone who knows about economics know that pricing is all about demand and supply.

Sometimes, you have to think about those people who try year after year, but still unable to ballot for a flat.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Co-relation between my guitar and mood

After reviewing my previous blog postings, I have realized something which I missed out if I did not write down my thoughts.

The period where I was most negative, seems to be also the period where I had no guitar practices for some reason or another.

Somehow, playing the guitar helps to tune and balance my mood, and helps me keep my sanity. I suspected this a long time ago but I guess I did not know how big an effect it is on my mood. Although I might complain that I do not have time to practice my guitar, but when I do squeeze out time to do it, I somehow feel better after playing, like now. :)

The wonders music does to you... Back to my guitar...

US growth is definitely slowing down

The latest job report came out yesterday and fears of a recession is taking hold. Why? Because its the first time in 4 years where the US economy lost jobs (-4000), instead of adding on to jobs. Cut in jobs mean economic growth might be stalled. Since US is the biggest consumer of services, their slowing economy has an adverse effect on the global economy. No one will like this because it will affect almost each and every country in the world.

I was curious so I dug a little on the details. I'm not a economics graduate but I guess I can still understand some numbers. :)

Government sector (public): -28,000
Private sector: +24,000
Total: -4000

Therefore looking on this perspective, the general economy is still growing, abeit a little slower.

Government sector lost jobs due to the slower hiring in the education sector.

Private sector was largely affected by the construction and manufacturing. Construction we all know why. Manufacturing though, the most job cuts is due to the automobile sector. The reason behind that is most probably due to Toyota, high oil prices, and the upcoming energy bill "forcing" cars to be more energy efficient. However, services sector hiring is healthy.

By looking at the details, I don't see that recession is coming because the different sectors are balancing each other. By zooming out, and looking at the numbers using year on year, you'll find that there's virtually no change in numbers compared to Aug 2006. Therefore looking at it as a whole, the economy is still growing, just much slower.

I still do not believe that the US will go into recession just because of a major slowing down on one economy sector. Gone are the days where the country is only reliant on 1 particular sector for growth, especially for developed countries. If this still happens, it speaks alot of the current Bush administration.

However, the numbers do have an effect on the general global economy. The threat of a recession for US does go up. Singapore, being highly reliant on the US economy, will be affected, as our most recent newspaper articles show. Now is the time though to see if all the FTAs among Asia countries help in averting a recession. It will be interesting to see how our government will react to this piece of news.

So will this jobs data trigger a cut in the Fed's benchmark interest. Previously, I was of the opinion that the Fed would not cut at least for this year. However, for now, I think the Feds would be forced to cut 25 basis point in September. It'll be more of a psychological cut, instead of an economy-induced cut. After that, they will maintain the rate, and depending on the inflation data, they might raise the interest rates again. Of course this is a personal opinion, based on the various news I've read and dug out.

Having said that, the Feds might have more tricks up their sleeves. With new chiefs, come new ways of doing things. Who says you must take the same medicine to cure the same illness? :) I got a weird feeling that the Feds might not cut, but introduce some other measures. Easy money does not cure the illness. It just hides the symptoms.

This is really an interesting year...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Why are people so lazy??

Just witnessed something very stupid today.

Saw a few people standing about 5metres away from the traffic light, waiting for the green man to appear. The most "wonderful" part is that nobody press the button to indicate that they want to cross. Meaning, the light will never change to the green man. I see them patiently waiting for the green man which will never appear.

I never know why are people sometimes so lazy. Does it take a lot of effort to raise your hand and press the button? Yet, they wait there, and expect somebody else to press the button. It's like the bus. No one will want to press the bell unless it's very near the bus stop.

Going off. I've been very tired recently. I just need to touch the bed, and I can fall asleep. Not sure why...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Needs and Wants

I quote this from the Slice Of Life, which I find very meaningful:

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with desire. Desire can inspire us to greater love and selflessness. It can motivate us to improve ourselves. But if the things we want are unattainable, we must be able to accept it. We all can get what we want, if we can just want what we get.

As Donald Horban once said, "We don't need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it."

Thoughts on Bush and Bernake Speech

I was reading briefly on their speech last night regarding the sub-prime crisis. Basically, every analyst who read the speech interprets it differently. Most however seems to think that the Feds will rescue them because they are "ready to act" when necessary.

The key point however, is that they are ready to act if it spills to the broader economy. That's the keyword. Another is that they will not bail out speculators and investors who undertake too much risks.

Translated, the share markets are not their concern. However, if they see a drop of numbers in the general economy, they will act. However, acting on it does not necessarily mean cutting of interest rates. In nowhere did they mention anything about rates. Meaning, it could be government policies (like our CPF changes), or injection of liquidity, or even formation of some agency.

I'm still firm on the belief that they are trying to undo the damage of "easy money", and they will not cut rates so easily. The general economy of the US on the contrary has been steady. Everyone has been too focused on what US was like, but did not look at where US is going to be in the future.

My general thinking is still the same. Economy will slow, but it will not lead to a recession, provided there are no "external" factors.

This year is going to be interesting... Next year even more.
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