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  • The Shutdown Bangkok Protests: Is Thailand A Safer Investment Than You Think? [View article]
    I remember the Cha-Cha or charter change debates in the Philippines where it was observed that Parliamentary forms of democratic gov't have much fewer coups and tend to be more stable than federal forms of democratic gov't like what we have in the USA (although Thailand might be a special case...) Think about it: Clinton would have probably been gone in 1994, Bush in 2006 and Obama in 2010 if we had a similar system with no confidence votes and snap elections when they really pissed us off. Instead, Bush limped along for the final 2 years and Obama is pretty much a lame duck already ruling by decree without Congress.

    In the worst case though, the military and the King could step in and impose some sort of temporary gov't or rule if there is complete deadlock.
    Mar 13 11:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Shutdown Bangkok Protests: Is Thailand A Safer Investment Than You Think? [View article]
    Well, that was after he tried to get the full $1.85B or whatever tax free! :)

    What I meant by the Juan Peron reference was that Peron might be long dead, but his shadow, politics and ideas continue to haunt Argentina and probably will forever as Christina Kirchner still uses his political and economic playbook. Thaksin will continue to overshadow Thailand as well - if for any reason because he showed future politicians how to at least win elections that aren't rigged or controlled by the elite.
    Mar 4 11:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Shutdown Bangkok Protests: Is Thailand A Safer Investment Than You Think? [View article]
    "just about everywhere in the country with killings and shootings, bomb attacks and lynchings just about everywhere" and some of the other things you mention ("22 elite families") sounds just like the Philippines where I lived for several years and never got overly exited about! Granted, maybe I just got immune to hearing about such things every time there was an election there along with other dire predictions.

    Its true, Thaksin came to power in the most honest/clean elections they have probably had BUT that's the problem as the poor and the rural voters will always outnumber the middle class and the urbanites. HOWEVER, he also gave himself a great tax deal when he sold his telco company shares to Singaporeans - to a big degree, that's what got him overthrown and really hated by his enemies...
    Mar 4 10:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Shutdown Bangkok Protests: Is Thailand A Safer Investment Than You Think? [View article]
    Of course some are being paid. Even in America, I think the unions were paying people to picket Wal-Mart or Mcd's while in Washington DC, the protesters or rally attendees are usually the employees of one camp or the other or the College Democrats / College Republicans. Everyone else is too busy trying to earn a living or just to survive.

    Look at our own military as well where I think most of our officer corp leans along with most white enlisted soldiers from the South lean GOP but there are probably plenty of others from other parts of the country who vote DEM. But if I am not mistaken, Thailand also has compulsory military service and you can pay money to avoid it - meaning the middle class and wealthy aren't enlisted or serving but there would be plenty of soldiers from rural areas and the north who are serving.
    Mar 4 09:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Shutdown Bangkok Protests: Is Thailand A Safer Investment Than You Think? [View article]
    I posted all my pictures at http://bit.ly/1hITC8T that were taken last Tuesday. While I only saw one day of the protests, I can't imagine most days having been much different or coming anywhere close to what was seen in Venezuela or in Kiev recently. After all, these protests are backed by middle class Thais who need to earn a living on most days of the week...
    Mar 4 08:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    FPAFY looks like its almost back to where it started the year and yea, its probably foreign outflows plus whatever is happening in Indonesia as its businesses or investments are probably pretty sound (Indofoods is a good business in and of itself if you like mee goreng!). A daily trading average of 18k shares does not look too bad - if you are willing and able to invest in OTC stocks (Note: I don't think I can with my discount broker).
    Jul 11 06:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    "Why perception of PH corruption decreased under PNoy" http://bit.ly/12CUthN

    "A lack of political scandals and the replacement of top government officials linked to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo are just some of the reasons why more Filipinos believe corruption has decreased, however slightly, under President Benigno Aquino III, a watchdog group said."
    Jul 10 02:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy This Utility For Its 7.25% Yield [View article]
    FYI: According to the last sentence in a May 8th press release: "Starting on May 20th, 2013 (inclusive), EDP shares shall be traded on the NYSE Euronext Lisbon stock exchange without the right to payment of dividends (ex-dividend right)." http://bit.ly/18ABifF
    Jul 5 07:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    Worth noting:

    Philippine Stocks Enter Bear Market as Foreign Outflows Surge
    http://bloom.bg/14UgqfW

    “The slump was caused by expectations the U.S. will taper monetary stimulus and not by a deterioration in the Philippine economic and corporate outlook,” Jerome Gonzalez, who helps manage $230 million at Philequity Management Inc., said by phone today. “This has opened a good window to come in and start buying in tranches. Our fundamentals remain intact.”
    Jun 24 11:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    Please read more closely: "As of the end of the first week of June..." according to Google Finance, which NOW has the EPHE down 3.1% as of June 22nd. So all gains for the year disappeared over the last week+ as investors exit emerging markets.

    If you wish to look at lots of PH data, please go to the BSP website at http://www.bsp.gov.ph or the NSCB site at http://www.nscb.gov.ph as they have just about everything... :)
    Jun 22 05:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    I think they spent $2 billion to extend the line just two stations to the airport. You know there used to be train tracks across the Bay Bridge when they built it? They got ripped up and replaced by car lanes. So when they built BART, they had to tunnel under the bay which probably cost a fortune even in the 70s or whenever they did it...
    Jun 14 03:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    Because, unless you live in an older compact city on the east coast, you really can't get around without one plus govt regs encouraged urban sprawl when the car was developed. Trains only work in China and Europe where its more densely populated or big cities are close together... You can always buy a cheap used car though. Its just that too many Americans want a new and expensive one bought on borrowed money... Manila traffic is much worst than anything in the USA as car plans from employers tend to be a standard benefit for many managers and professionals...
    Jun 14 03:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    I have a friend in the PH who is the son of a general. He complained to me once that the Philippine National Police (PNP) kids get to go to fancy private schools and have all the latest gadgets while military kids like him attend public schools and go to the University of the Philippines - if they are smart enough to get in... So at least the military is reasonably honest (the defense budget is probably so low, there is nothing to steal!)

    Ironically, most of the shoe collection was ruined in the bad typhoon that hit a few years ago and flooded most of metro Manila along with the museum they were stored in.
    Jun 13 11:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    In the USA, their unions get them what they want as no politician will dare oppose a police union or refuse contributions from one :)
    Jun 13 09:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Philippines: More 2 Steps Forward And 1 Step Back? [View article]
    Actually the Philippines is rich in natural resources as its the ring of fire, but they have thrown up obstacles (or rather the Church, nationalists and others) to ensure they stay in the ground while Filipino mining professionals have mostly left the country. Some of the foreign investment in electronics that left the PH for cheaper China and is now leaving expensive China has come back, but Philippine labor laws make the country's labor too expensive (and some investment incentive policies have been erratic in the past) - which is rather ironic given the poverty levels there... So mfg goes to Thailand, Vietnam and even Indonesia, Cambodia or Penang in Malaysia. Tourism and infra projects to facilitate them would help, but there is not much to see or do in the PH compared to the rest of SE Asia e.g. no Angkor Watt or something really unique.

    See my last article: http://seekingalpha.co...
    Jun 13 01:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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