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Emerging Market Skeptic
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Having lived in SE Asia since 2004, I realize investors must take a more skeptical and realistic view of the risks and rewards that come with investing in emerging markets. I would be the most familiar with Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as I have... More
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Brain Gain Asia LLC
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Emerging Market Skeptic
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  • Jim Cramer's Mom Doesn't Own A Whirlpool

    My parents' new $500 Whirlpool wtw4930xw super capacity washing machine lasted just one month. That, along with China's Haier Electronics Group, should have executives and investors alike worried.

    Appliance maker Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) recently had a good earnings report and has been a solid performer for investors over the past few years to the point where Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC's Mad Money, has periodically recommended the stock as a way to bet on a recovery.

    However, he and many other investors along with Western consumers who are familiar with appliances made by General Electric (NYSE:GE) or Electrolux AB (OTCPK:ELUXY), may have overlooked the rise of China's Haier Electronics Group (OTCPK:HRELF), which now has the biggest global market share in the white goods segment (albeit Whirlpool has just announced a new acquisition in China). Moreover and given the recent bad experience my parents had with their new $500 Whirlpool wtw4930xw super capacity washing machine, I have a feeling neither Jim Cramer nor his mom own a Whirlpool appliance and that Whirlpool's management needs to reevaluate some of their priorities.

    Whirlpool's Recent Earnings Report and a Bigger Bet on China

    On July 19th, Whirlpool posted a stronger-than-expected jump in quarterly profit plus management raised its full-year outlook thanks to sales gains in all markets, including Europe and North America....

    To read the rest of this article, please click here to go to my personal website (

    Disclosure: I am long GE.

    Sep 03 10:21 AM | Link | Comment!
  • The Real Genius Of Steve Jobs: Progressives Ignored Apple's Labor Achilles Heel?

    The New Yorker once published an essay with a theory about the real genius of Steve Jobs being he was a "tweaker," but perhaps his real genius was to get everyone (especially many "progressives" and the media) to ignore what is increasingly becoming an Achilles heel for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) - the use or alleged "abuse" of "underpaid" Chinese labor at its Taiwanese subcontractor Foxconn (OTC:FXCOF) along with gentlemen's agreements not to poach employees from other Silicon Valley tech firms (to keep engineering salaries low). However and as an American company, Apple is increasingly being forced to take action against both real and imagined labor problems in China to avoid the PR nightmares faced by Nike (NYSE:NKE) some years ago. These actions will not only harm Apple's margins and bottom line, they will also give Samsung (OTC:SSNLF), a company that is not facing the same level of scrutiny or concern because its Korean, a big and growing competitive advantage for the long-term.

    Likewise, the growing volume of emails written by Steve Jobs that are being released as part of a lawsuit targeting several tech firms over do not hire gentlemen's agreements further threatens to tarnish his legacy, the image of Apple and cost hundreds of millions of dollars in legal claims. Those emails also make one wonder what other emails may lurk regarding labor conditions in the Chinese factories of Foxconn and other iPhone or iPad suppliers.

    Apple Products: Just Betamax Made in Chinese Sweatshops?

    To begin, let me explain where my point of view about Apple comes from. When I left the United States about a decade ago to live and work in Asia, Apple was, well, the computer company that gave my elementary...

    Seeking Alpha editors got strict about publishing Apple articles for page views some time ago (I attempted to have this article published in early February). So please visit the Emerging Market Skeptic website to read the entire article.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Mar 28 11:48 AM | Link | Comment!
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