Articles Category

Lant Prichett, a Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, said local students pay too much attention in memorisation for exams instead of understanding the study materials. “Most students leave primary and secondary school without mastering the subjects. By the time they reach the tertiary level, they are left far behind. There is no deep understanding of the materials. Instead, it is rote memorisation, applying theory and regurgitating it during exams,” he said as quoted by Free Malaysia Today. Pritchett hasRead More
Today, eight people have the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population. Stop and think about this. It is a mind-boggling concept. Last year we said we would have needed a double-decker bus to transport the 62 people we thought owned the same as the poorest 3.6 billion on the planet. In 2017, thanks to more accurate data, we find that in fact this group would fit in a single golf buggy. Today nearly 800 million people – one in nine – across the world will goRead More

Posted On January 19, 2017By Ophir IIIn Articles

Suicide to buy a house now, says consultant

PETALING JAYA: A property consultant has advised prospective house buyers to wait until property prices come down, saying making a purchase at current prices and in the face of a bleak economic outlook would be like committing suicide. Ernest Cheong, who has been a chartered property surveyor and consultant for more than 40 years, said the property market does not exist in isolation and people needed to pay attention to the local and global economic situation. He advised the public to shed the widespread belief that only house ownership couldRead More
Economic inequality in America has been rising steadily since the Reagan era. Why? A new research paper identifies what it say is the main culprit: the fact that we’ve stopped taxing the rich. There are, of course, many contributing factors to the post-Reagan Age of Inequality that has finally grown so dire that it is warping our electoral politics past recognition: the decline in union bargaining power, the influence of money on politics, the deregulation of the financial industries, fortunes spawned by new technologies, and more. But a new National BureauRead More

Posted On January 15, 2017By Ophir IIIn Articles

The gold market in 2017

Download the paper Excerpt from World Gold Council: In 2016, investors around the world returned in large numbers to the gold market, as a combination of macroeconomic drivers and pent up demand kept interest in gold high. As we start the new year, there are some concerns that US dollar strength may limit gold’s appeal. We believe that, on the contrary, not only will gold remain highly relevant as a strategic portfolio component, but also six major trends will support demand for gold throughout 2017. The World Gold Council’s 2017Read More

Posted On January 14, 2017By Ophir IIIn Articles

Do we really need to fear China money?

CORPORATIONS from China that have been mopping up assets outside their country must be feeling squeezed. From the United States to Europe, Africa and even in Asia, including Malaysia, investments from China are being questioned. The fear is that the Chinese companies would take control of the vital assets and eventually, the economy. Compounding the matter is that most companies from China are either state-owned or have strong political ties with the Government. In China itself, the Government has imposed restrictions such as capital controls since late last year toRead More

Posted On January 14, 2017By Ophir IIIn Articles

Singapore tries to become a fintech hub

IN AN era when architectural masterpieces curve and bloom (Zaha Hadid), or shimmy and fold (Frank Gehry), designers of central-bank buildings remain reassuringly fond of right angles. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state’s central bank and financial regulator, is housed in a boxy tower just south of the central business district. But tucked into one corner is a room called “LookingGlass@MAS” that desperately wants to be Silicon Valley: witness the scruffily dressed young men, whiteboards on wheels covered in buzzwords and the kitchen along one wall. This isRead More
Thought the lira was due a breather after last year’s eye-watering losses? Think again. Turkey’s political quagmire has been exacerbated by central bank inaction and higher-than-expected inflation to make the lira the worst-performing currency of 2017. The currency has dropped 8.6 percent against the dollar in the year’s first eight trading days, adding to last year’s 17 percent slump. It’s set a new record on six of them. The pace of the depreciation has been so steep, it’s left all other major currencies trailing in its wake: the next worst-performerRead More
THE Malaysian property market has gone through a difficult patch and while no one can predict the future accurately, 2017 is not expected to be rosy either. Thus, it is imperative that decisions are made based on due diligence and careful study of the property market, say local property experts. But as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Find out what the real estate industry has to say about the year that has passed and what areas investors and homebuyers need to look at this year.  Read More

Posted On January 11, 2017By Ophir IIIn Articles

In the wrong hands, fintech can be abused

LAST month, I wrote a commentary entitled “Beware the fintech fraudsters”. In a nutshell, the concern raised was that like all new innovations, in the wrong hands, financial technology or fintech can be abused. Regulations play a key role in ensuring that the industry develops in a healthy way for consumers to enjoy better access to financial services, which is the raison d’etre of fintech. Hence, it is interesting to note that Bank Negara had this week added a company called Dinar Dirham Global that operates the websites andRead More