BitCoin bubble?

so much commentary on BitCoin on the biz news channels. A bubble? Real alternative in e-commerce payments? Been around for a while for online gaming, but will it go mainstream with retail? Will have to wait and see where it goes in 2014. Here’s an interesting article in The Economist just released today – http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21590766-virtual-currency-it-mathematically-elegant-increasingly-popular-and-highly

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An interesting paper on Sovereign Wealth Funds

An interesting paper on Sovereign Wealth Funds or SWFs written by a friend of mine at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Definitely worth a read if you want a primer into SWFs, their characteristics, and contemporary performance and relevance.

Sovereign Wealth Funds Allow Countries to Invest for More Than the Long Term

http://www.dallasfed.org/research/eclett/2013/el1310.cfm

As the authors note:

“Unconstrained by many limitations facing more-conventional asset managers, SWFs have evolved into a heterogeneous class of important, dynamic global investors. They regularly deploy substantial amounts of capital across public and private capital markets worldwide. The funds have a formidable global financial market presence and operate largely outside any comprehensive regulatory oversight. Bridging the worlds of international politics and high finance, SWFs require ongoing analysis so policymakers can better understand the funds and the implications of their investment decisions.”

A basic iced cappuccino for nearly 600 rupees?!

A basic iced cappuccino for nearly 600 rupees? Ridiculous? Yes. But the economics are understandable I guess. There’s only two cafés at the departure area of the Bandaranaike Int’l Airport and Coffee Bean is the only one with a substantial seating area and offering free wifi for customers. Coffee Bean will naturally exhibit profit maximising behaviour, using the near monopoly situation they have. They also have to make up for what is probably a very high monthly rent for their prime shop space. This book – ‘The Economic Naturalist’ by Bob Frank – has an interesting chapter that dissects the pricing dynamics of cafés in departure terminals of train stations.

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Bangkok makes impressive use of its waterways especially…

Bangkok makes impressive use of its waterways, especially the main one running through the heart of the city. Ferry services to the nearest BTS (overground metro), tourist sightseeing tours, luxury river cruises with onboard dining, regular shuttle boats for the locals, massive barges pulled by 4-5 tug boats carrying everything from garbage to car parts. We need to open up our waterways like the Hamilton Canal for private sector participation. Right now I think it’s restricted to the Navy-run service.

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