2011-06-24

More on the Alipay dispute

Caixin is stayaing on top of the Alipay dispute, with this latest article giving a background to the situation.

Getting to the Bottom of the Alipay Dispute

2011-06-23

Signs of the Social Mood: The End of Gender?

In bear markets, culture heads towards androgyny.

The End Of Gender?

The article has a long list of news and events that describe the trend. Then again, Lady Gaga's CD sales are dropping...

2011-06-22

Social mood headlines

In case you missed them...

The ongoing antibiotic resistant stories continue, this time from Hong Kong, which also has an outbreak of scarlet fever.
No halt to scarlet fever's spread
Doctors blame drug resistance caused by abuse of antibiotics as infection continues its path across the city, with 28 children falling ill yesterday


No need to guess the mood in this one: 'We can't contain our anger any longer'
More than 4,000 workers at a Korean-owned handbag factory in Guangzhou's Panyu district spent a third day on strike yesterday, demanding better pay and more respect.
People working for Simone Limited at the Hualong plant in Meishan village halted production on Monday in protest over what they described as a "harsh working environment" and to call for better pay in light of the surging price of goods.


Could a Dangerous Fungus Lurk in Your Dishwasher?

Chinese all over the Goldman yuan short call

高盛为何唱空人民币

Several of the articles on the site breakdown this WSJ article: Investors Hazard Bold Bet on Yuan

There's also an article on Soros' position (one-third of assets betting on the yuan), hedge funds short China, discussion of economic indicators and a possible slowdown in the economy.

2011-06-20

Battle In Burma

YANGON: In its first public comments on a week of fighting in northeast Myanmar, the government said Saturday that ethnic Kachin rebels fired first and the army had to act to protect a major Chinese-built hydroelectric power project.

The skirmishes were some of the fiercest in nearly two decades between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army. They erupted June 9, displacing at least 10,000 people over the course of about one week. The rebels have blamed the government for launching an offensive after militia fighters rejected a call to leave the strategic region.

The government says it did call on rebels to leave, but accused them of firing first after threatening Chinese technicians and detaining two army officers, according to a report Saturday in the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

Extremely Disturbing Barely-Noticed Story of the Week

2011-06-15

Alipay fiasco

Caixin has a summary of the Alipay fiasco and they've also written an editorial very critical of Alibaba founder Jack Ma. In sum, Jack Ma was seen as one of the country's leading entrepreneurs, earning widespread acclaim abroad as well as at home. His actions fit the foreign stereotype of shady Chinese business practices, stripping a company of the good assets while leaving the foreigners with the stub. Thus, he has caused damage not only to his own reputation and company, but to all of China.

Alipay Dispute

Of course, prices are falling anyway due to declining social mood and pure fraud cases are piling up, as overseas listed Chinese shares face intense scrutiny from short sellers.

The Australian sums of the current protest wave in China

Beijing battling protest fires on all fronts

Western media likes to hype the instability as reflecting poorly on the Communist party, but this is just the manifestation of negative social mood. There is no organized movement here, it's much less organized than Greece and other European protests, for instance, where national government policy is at issue.
A Monday editorial in the Global Times, a tabloid linked to the Communist Party, warned against trying to connect the recent incidents of unrest and draw conclusions about China's social stability. "China is not a nation where public anger collectively seeks to topple the existing order. It is time to debunk this ludicrous lie," it said.

It is ludicrous, but there's probably more public anger on the way...

2011-06-14

Facebook losing popularity?

Facebook loses 1.5 million users in Canada

Privacy concerns, yada yada. Privacy is slightly better now, why are people suddenly deciding to quit Facebook over privacy issues? Social mood...

2011-06-11

Social mood and "The Hum"

Tiny village is latest victim of the 'The hum'
Now a tiny English village is the latest community to claim to be being hit by the phenomenon known as "the hum".

Residents of Woodland, in County Durham, claim that every night a noise permeates the air similar to the throb of a car engine.

It is sometimes so strong that it even shakes the bed of one of the householders.
But no matter how hard they look, the community cannot find the source of the problem and, at their wits end, have called in the council to investigate.
Sounds like a social mood related phenomena and according to the article, "The Hum" was strongest during the last big trough in social mood.
It's most famous occurrence was in Bristol in the 1970s when more than a thousand people complained of the consistent drone causing nosebleeds, sleeplessness and headaches.

It vanished as mysteriously as it arrived and was never explained.

2011-06-08

Updated Elliot Wave analysis of Bitcoin

What a difference a few days make...

It's now looking as though what I though was Wave 5 should be classified as Wave 3, in which case the terminal value for Wave 5 could be north of $37 per Bitcoin (based on Fibonacci), assuming another reworking of the wave count is required. However, I'm mainly interested in the Elliot Wave analysis as a tool for clarifying the socionomic causes.

I predicted the government would become interested if Bitcoins became more popular and this prediction was rapidly fulfilled. Senator Charles Schumer says Bitcoin is money laundering and the DEA is concerned about it and other digital currencies.

Aside from hard drugs mentioned in my last post on the topic, I noticed in my Chinese microblog feed that one guy is offering VPN services for Bitcoins. VPNs allow Internet users in China and other countries to circumvent web censorship. The government constantly blocks free, advertising supported VPNs as soon as enough Chinese use them, and they've been finding ways to disrupt the paid VPNs used by many foreigners.

Finally, I found a better chart site for Bitcoin prices at Bitcoin Charts.

2011-06-04

Elliot Wave analysis of Bitcoin



Bitcoins are a digital currency with restricted quantity in order to keep their value. The price of Bitcoins was down around $1, but has recently exploded to more than $18 as the currency gains widespread media attention. Whether this is a one-time move or not—that's wholly dependent on how successful the currency becomes—but several mainstream articles on the currency appear to mark the optimistic and bubbly spike of a fifth wave higher.

Thinking in terms of a social phenomena that is expressed in Elliott Waves, odds favor this being a one-time spike, to be followed by a return to obscurity. Bitcoins are popular with a small portion of the population that understand how the system works. Media coverage has pulled in the bulk of the early adopters and there's unlikely to be enough buyers left to push up the price. This move will exhaust itself soon and the price will collapse in a Wave 2 correction. In order for the next move to take place (Wave 3), a new pool of users/buyers will need to emerge and this is where the rubber will meet the road. First, this pool will be much less sophisticated and they will need a reason to use Bitcoins...possibly some type of "killer app." Second, this second move will attract the attention of government because it will be far more conspicuous. Considering that there's already a "black market" that accepts Bitcoins and has a wide assortment of illegal drugs, an impossible conflict between one and two seem very likely. Based on history, I'd bet on black—the G men.

Disclosure: I have some Bitcoin that I generated by using the Bitcoin application.

Up-to-date charts are available at Mt.Gox.

An update to this post is available here.