Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dow 10,000 Again

Here's an oldie but a goodie: Dow 10,000.

We last saw that level (on the way up, that is) six years ago, and we first crossed Dow 10,000 a full 10 years ago. (The latter fact is no doubt deeply depressing to buy-and-hold investors, but at least it has a nice symmetry to it.)

Dow 10,000? Slam dunk. Dow 11,000? Not so much. -- DailyFinance

It's interesting to observe the chart: Dow first reaches 10,000 level 10 years ago. The biggest bull run is between Oct 9, 2002 and Oct 9, 2007. Also you will, depressingly, observe that had you put your money in the Dow in 1999 when it first reached 10,000 and did not sell, you would get your money back now after quite a ride!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Virgin Scholar

A leading Egyptian scholar has demanded that people caught importing a female virginity-faking device into the country should face the death penalty.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Egypt anger over virginity faking

I wonder what those "scholars" will think of next? Death penalty for flying on Virgin Atlantic?! Anything is possible sadly!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Qaddafi on Fire

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said, should be solved by the creation of a single state, which Mr. Qaddafi called Israteen, but Mr. Qaddafi stressed it was wrong to infer that Arabs hate the Jews. “You are the ones who burned them, not us. You expelled them,” he said, referring apparently to European nations.

Qaddafi’s First U.N. Speech Is a Rambling Diatribe -

A speech at the UN General Assembly that should not exceed 15 minutes extended to 90 minutes! It sounded very entertaining but I am not sure if the participants enjoyed it!

For Mr. Obama personally, however, he had only warm words, calling on the collected nations to welcome “our son” on the occasion of his first United Nations appearance. “We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as the president of America,” he said, adding that he feared America would return to its old ways after the end of Mr. Obama’s term.

Long live Obama! Long live our Arab leaders!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Doing Business in Kuwait

Businesses in low-income countries struggle with twice the burden of regulation as those in high-income countries. Developed countries have an average of ten times as many newly registered businesses for every adult as countries in Africa and the Middle East. Almost two-thirds of the world’s workers are still employed in the informal sector. The World Bank’s latest progress report, optimistic though it is, is a reminder of how far there is still to go in getting business regulations right.

The World Bank's Doing Business report: Reforming through the tough times | The Economist

On the occasion of the 9 day public holiday due to end of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fiter celebration, I came across an interesting report on doing business in different countries. Unsurprisingly Kuwait ranks close to the bottom compared to other GCC countries (the exception is Oman). The overall rank for ease of doing business is 61 out of 183 countries.

What struck me though is how bad Kuwait ranks in terms of ease of starting a business which is 137th! How bad can this be?! So much for trying to encourage the private sector. Go on enjoy your 9 day holiday, starting a business can wait! Happy Eid.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fighting Swine Flue


They argue that it would be better to concentrate on vaccinating those most likely to spread the virus—both schoolchildren and people between the ages of 30 and 40, who are likely to be the parents of those children, and who are, at the moment, at the bottom of the vaccination priority list.

Influenza vaccination: How to stop an outbreak | The Economist

Rather than vaccinating the elderly, pregnant women and infants, which is the traditional priority for vaccination a mathematical model suggests a more effective method. This focuses on those most likely to spread the flue rather than those mostly at risk. Applying this model to historical incidents it proves to be more effective. This also seems to be the recommendation of America's Centers of Disease Control for different reasons; the flue seems to effect young adults more than the elderly.