Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cybersecurity Innovator:Impermium Corporation

How do we protect ourselves on the Internet?To a large degree,it's the websites we rely upon that need to take care of us,according to Mark Risher,co-founder and CEO of cybersecurity gatekeeper Impermium Corporation.They need to look very broadly,not just at the password.How is she doing?What computer is she utilising?
We have to look at all the accounts and potential invaders.There has been a widespread increase in attacks.The hackers can act with impunity from anywhere in the world,and we're just gonna see more of them.Public broadcaster National Public Radio and asset manager BlackRock are among the recent victims of cyber attacks.
Impermium provides security for more than 300,000 websites worldwide.Tumblr,Pinterest,ESPN,CNN and The Washington Post are among their clients.The company uses social reputation to identify the actor behind each transaction.
With its Social SIGINT data set,the firm uses intelligent algorithms to identify threats.Malicious users look differently;visit different sites;come from different parts of the Internet;and behave differently,Impermium says.Social rep collected from its more than 300,000 sites provides invaluable insight into both known and emerging threats.
Impermium is backed by leading venture capital firms.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Asia This Day:Dreamliner Cleared;Bangladesh's Rising Star

Boeing sighed with relief as All Nippon Airways announced it will return the iconic 787 Dreamliner to service on June 1,following a successful test flight of the revamped aircraft.Ethiopian Airlines has already done so.
Australia's revenue shortfall has widened,Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.This is in spite of the unpopular Minerals Resource Rent Tax which her government imposed,which brought in much less than projected because of falling commodities prices and miners taking deductions.
India's Nifty Fifty futures index rose Monday morning on an upbeat meteorological forecast.A normal monsoon season is expected this year,which is good news for the agricultural sector.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index was up 0.25% in early Monday trading.
Bangladesh is considered the new manufacturing hotspot in Asia as Chinese costs rise,causing companies to shift operations to the poorer nation.Bangladesh manufacturing is worth 18 billion dollars now,with textiles alone accounting for 10% of GDP.Eighty percent of exports are going to the US and the EU.
Asian officials must act early to cool down overheating economies,the IMF said.
Chinese banks are reporting record profits,but manufacturing growth has slowed to 5.3%,below expectations.The current way of growing the Chinese economy by fixed asset growth is unsustainable,said Victor Wang,Deputy Head of Hong Kong/China Research at Macquarie Group.
Macquarie Group Ltd(MQG:ASX),Boeing(BA)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Intelligence Insider:North Korea,Libya and Iran

The Iranians will welcome our departure from Afghanistan,said Lieutenant General James R. Clapper,Jr.,US Air Force retired,Director of National Intelligence.Their interest is in maintaining their interests in Iraq and Afghanistan,although they have not been as successful in the latter.They are providing explosives to Western Afghanistan,General Clapper told the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
The Afghan National Security Forces need continuing military intelligence and counterintelligence advice and assistance.
We had a general idea of the situation in Eastern Libya,the lack of control over the militias by the central government.The April and June 2012 attacks on the Benghazi consulate before the deadly September 11 attack were reported by the Directorate of National Intelligence.One of the lessons of Benghazi was the need of providing tactical level intelligence to the facilities.
It was a three-phase attack on the Benghazi consulate which took the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and two other Americans.Some of it was more vandalism and looting.The FBI has made some progress in id-ing the terrorists who made the attack.
I did not have any conversations with the Secretary of State or the President during the seven and a half hours of the 2012 Benghazi consulate attack.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is driven by his need to consolidate his power.The generals pretty much tell him what he wants to hear.The Chinese are certainly rethinking their relationship with North Korea.The Iranians are a little wary of North Korea.
North Korea has the basic ingredients for a nuclear armed missile.They've never launched their intercontinental missiles,so we don't know if they would work.The Defense Intelligence Agency has a higher level of confidence in North Korea's capability than the other agencies.
I agree that reduced intelligence for our leaders because of sequestration will threaten our national security.We had to cut four billion dollars in seven months,and it is substantial.We don't start to get better until 2022 or 2023,General Clapper,the senior US intelligence official,warned the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
Following his US Air Force career from 1963-95,General Clapper,72,was Director of the Defense Intelligence and National Geospatial-Intelligence agencies,and was also Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Investing Today:Trends and Prospects

There are certain types of home buyers that want a new home.I don't see that dissipating quickly,said Carl Tannenbaum,chief economist at Northern Trust.Prices almost across the country are rising nicely.
I don't think the risk of disinflation in the US is terribly high.The Great Recession created a lot of capacity in factories and labour markets,and we're just now bringing that down.As long as we don't have backsliding,I think the Federal Reserve will start tapering back their asset purchasing.
Chinese home prices rose as those in Guangzhou soared by the most in over two years.
The late forties and early fifties are the only really comparable period to today,according to Barry Knapp,head of equity strategy at Barclays Capital.Not until the Fed exited did defensive stocks underperform.
Looking deep within the equity market,any exposure to China massively underperformed in the past month.Japan's gain is the rest of Asia's loss.
Ford says it can capture 6% of the Chinese auto market by 2015,while Intel forecasts Q2 earnings that may beat estimates on server chip demand.PepsiCo's Q1 profit beat estimates as snack food sales rose.
iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction ETF(ITB),Intel(INTC),PepsiCo(PEP),Ford Motor Company(F),iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund(FXI)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Asia This Day:Sunny Asian Markets;New Zealand Deals With Downpour

The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose Monday on the recovery of risk appetite.
New Zealand is expecting more heavy rainfall as residents assess the damage from a weekend deluge.At least 90 homes in the Tasman district experienced some flooding,and swells of up to four metres were noted at Astrolabe Reef in the Bay of Plenty.
There was also concern that a cargo of plastic beads was spreading over beaches after a shipping container aboard the shipwreck Rena was damaged by the storm.
India's Nifty Fifty index rose 0.55% Monday with most sectors showing strength,except for the IT sector that was dragging the market down a bit.Reliance was up 0.99% and Bharat Petroleum climbed 0.90%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index rose 0.6% ,led by consumer and telecoms shares.Asian stocks were up generally Monday on Japanese exporters rallying because of the weak yen,as the G20 developed nations didn't object to Japan's policy stimulus.The G20 feel that the Bank of Japan's plan to buy seven trillion yen,or 70.02 billion dollars,of bonds per week will boost both the Japanese recovery and the global economy,according to Rajiv Biswas,chief economist for the Asia Pacific at IHS Global Insight.
The Nikkei 225 index rose 2.00%,while the ASX 200 gained 0.49%.Gold surged 1.78% to 1420.40 an ounce as hedge funds found it to be a bargain after last week's collapse.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Should You Invest in JP Morgan Chase

Money center bank JP Morgan Chase scored record profits for Q1,up 33% to 6.5 billion dollars.Their credit quality also improved and they raised their dividend.On the down side,revenue dropped 3.6% to 25.1 billion because of lower interest income,as well as lower margins and higher costs in their mortgage business.
Overall,it was a good quarter at Chase.Interest income is something they have no control over.That is based on Federal Reserve policy.
We do believe in getting rid of too big to fail,said Marianne Lake,Chief Financial Officer,who is British.I've been in the financial community here at JP Morgan Chase for more than a decade.We're diligent in our work.We say what we know.We tell the truth.
It's intense to work with CEO Jaimie Dimon.We do have an open dialogue.I disagree with him now and then.
It's a really good bench.We're all old hands at JP Morgan Chase.The operations committee is a great bench,Ms.Lake emphasised.
JP Morgan Chase(JPM)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Asia This Day:Chinese Growth Disappoints;Australia's Golf Triumph

Australian home loans were up 2% in February,and those in arrears were at their lowest since December 2010.Indeed,people were paying their loans off several months ahead of time.
The Bank of Japan will continue with its easing programme until we achieve the inflation target of  2 %,said BOJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda.
Hong Kong air pollution was very high at all three roadside monitoring stations.
China GDP growth was disappointing,coming in at 7.7%,versus the 8.0% estimate.Asian shares declined in response in early Monday trading,with the MSCI Asia Pacific index heading down 0.37%.
China's mass consumption is basically stable,said Pu Yonghao of UBS Wealth Management.Corporate investment is weak,however,as is real estate and government investment because of government policies.UBS downgraded China to neutral in response,along with Brazil,India and Russia,which also underperformed.
On the other hand,UBS favours South Korea because of Samsung's success.The Korean colour is basically Samsung's colour.China has to push up innovation and regain pricing power.It's their brand.
In golf,the Australians made a concerted push at The Masters tournament in Augusta,Georgia as Adam Scott bested Argentina's Angel Cabrera in a playoff to take the coveted green jacket,the highest honour in professional golf.Scott and his fellow countrymen Jason Day and Marc Leishman played like men possessed all weekend.They would no longer be denied the prize that had eluded them forever.
At the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix near Shanghai,Spain's Fernando Alonso captured first place,while Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Great Britain's Lewis Hamilton took second and third,respectively.There were nine lead changes by six different leaders in the action-packed race that filled the stands of Shanghai International Circuit with flag-waving fans.
The overall F1 points leader is World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany,who finished fourth.His team Red Bull-Renault leads in the constructor's standings.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (SSNLF)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pfizer Breast Cancer Drug Gets Breakthrough Designation

A Pfizer investigational compound,palbociclib,an oral drug,has received Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA for the potential treatment of patients with a form of breast cancer.The designation expedites the development and review of the compound,as it is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease and preliminary evidence indicates the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies.
Pfizer has initiated a Phase 3 study evaluating palbociclib in combination with letrozole versus letrozole alone as a first line treatment for post-menopausal patients with ER+,HER2- locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.The study is currently open and enrolling.
Preliminary Phase 2 data show that women treated with the combination of palbociclib with letrozole achieved statistically significant improvement in median survival compared to those treated with letrozole alone(26.1 months versus 7.5 months.)
Palbociclib is an inhibitor of cyclin dependent kinases,or enzymes that serve as on and off switches in tumour cells.The drug was shown to inhibit cell growth and supress DNA replication.Pfizer,the world's largest pharmaceutical company,is also investigating the drug's potential for treating other cancers.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Hewlett-Packard Shakeup-will it be enough

The Chairman of tech titan Hewlett-Packard,Ray Lane,has resigned along with two board members in an effort to clear the decks for CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround effort.Lane will stay on as a director,and activist investor Ralph Whitworth will assume the Chairman's role.
The Chairman runs the board,while the CEO runs the company.
The company is trying to recover from several disastrous moves in recent years,such as the botched acquisition of UK firm Autonomy and the unsuccessful tenure of Leo Apotheker as CEO.
We really want to see more fundamental changes in the board,said Anne Simpson,Senior Portfolio Manager and Director For Corporate Governance of CalPERS,the California Public Employee Retirement System,a major HP shareholder.We still don't think it's possible to take that fresh look that's needed.
This is chapter one in the new playbook for Hewlett-Packard.Think about the role of the auditor.You really need to be thinking about fresh eyes for the audit.Ralph Whitworth is stepping in to find the permanent Chairman.This is not Ralph's role.He's a catalyst,and that's a very important thing when a board has got itself into trouble.
We need a board that will stick around and back the new strategy.Shareholders now have the ability to intervene directly if the board doesn't succeed,and that's very important,Ms.Simpson pointed out.
CEO Meg Whitman unveiled the company's new Moonshot server on Monday,a super-dense server for hyperscale data centers and an attempt to find a product that will make up for declining PC sales.
RBC Capital Markets is maintaining its sector perform rating on the stock.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Asia This Day:Xi Jinping Addresses Forum;After Hours Futures Trading Begins

A major bilateral conference,the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013,has been taking place in the coastal town of Boao on South China's Hainan Island Province.It started Saturday and concludes today,Monday,April 8.The theme of the conference is "Asia Seeking Development for All:Restructuring,Responsibility and Cooperation."
New Chinese President Xi Jinping made a keynote address at the gathering.He said it has become an important forum with growing global influence and a new starting point.He hopes it will scale an ever greater height.
It is Mr.Xi's first multilateral diplomatic meeting in China since his election in March.He recently completed his first foreign trip to Russia,Tanzania,South Africa and Congo.He also attended the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban,South Africa,portraying China as unswervingly following a path of peaceful development.
At the Boao Forum,Mr.Xi warned that no one should be allowed to throw a region into chaos for selfish gains.Although growing interaction inevitably leads to friction,it is important that countries resolve differences through dialogue-remarks taken to be references to North Korea's recent barrage of bellicose rhetoric and military moves aimed at South Korea and its US ally.
The more China grows,the more development opportunities it will create for Asia and the world.In the next five years,China's imports will reach around 10 billion dollars,and its outbound investment will reach 500 billion,Mr.Xi predicted.Its outbound tourists may exceed 400 million.
China will continue to properly handle differences and frictions with relevant nations,while upholding its sovereignty,security and territorial integrity-i.e.,Taiwan belonging to China,as well as disputed islands in the South China sea.
The real challenge is to broaden and deepen the cooperation we've seen happen in Asia,said Stephen Groff,Vice President of the Asia Development Bank.The ADP has stepped up its presence in Myanmar,which has been on a course of  liberalisation of late.Myanmar may become a middle income nation.
We're quite confident that we're gonna see strong economic growth in the Philippines.It needs a lot of work to build the manufacturing sector to provide the kind of jobs that the people need there,Mr.Groff observed.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has introduced after hours futures trading.This will be from 5pm to 11pm local time.That way,traders can adjust their positions to late-breaking developments.Small brokers are complaining the change could put them out of business.The exchange replied that they are not in the business of increasing everyone's profits.
The MSCI Asia-Pacific index was flat in early Monday trading,but Japan's Nikkei average rose 2.3% on the Bank of Japan announcing another round of bond-buying.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Johnson and Johnson Heiress Dies in Poland

Barbara Piasecka Johnson,heiress to the vast Johnson and Johnson fortune,has died in Wroclaw,Poland where she grew up.She was 76 and had been seriously ill for some time.A degreed art historian,Mrs.Johnson was born in Staniewicze,Poland in 1937,an area now a part of Belarus.
After World War II,her family resettled in Wroclaw.Mrs.Johnson fled communist Poland in the late 1960s.After briefly studying in Rome,she emigrated to the United States with a hundred dollars in her pocket and not a word of English.J.Seward Johnson,Sr.,heir to the Johnson and Johnson health care company fortune,hired her as a maid and cook at his Oldwick,New Jersey estate.
A year later,Barbara left to study art at New York University.Mr.Johnson provided her with a Manhattan apartment,which he moved into with her.He divorced his second wife in 1971 and married Barbara,several decades his junior.
Following Mr.Johnson's death of prostrate cancer in 1983,her seven stepchildren contested the will in court,accusing her of being a manipulative gold digger.She denied the charge,saying Mr.Johnson disinherited the stepchildren because of their scandalous and disappointing behaviour.A settlement was reached in which she received about 300 million of the half billion dollar estate.
A woman of considerable beauty,Barbara made a name for herself as an art collector and philanthropist,eventually donating her art collection to her foundation for the benefit of the poor and sick,especially those with autism.She also achieved notoriety when she stepped in to rescue the famous Gdansk shipyard,base of the Solidarity movement that freed Poland from communism,from bankruptcy,an effort that ultimately proved unsuccessful.
Following her funeral Mass in Wroclaw cathedral on April 15,Barbara will be buried in that city,the girlhood home she never forgot.
Johnson and Johnson(JNJ)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mammoth Tusk Hunters - Photo Gallery

Mammoth Tusk Hunters - Photo Gallery

Asia This Day:Qantas and Emirates Join Forces;Japanese Hiring Up

Japan's Tankan business confidence survey was up less than expected,from -12 in February to -8 in March,although it was the best quarterly improvement in two years.At the same time,China also reported a slight miss in estimates as the Purchasing Managers Index rose to 50.9 in March from 50.1 in February.HSBC's China PMI reading rose to 51.6 from 50.4,a little stronger improvement than the government's version.
Asian markets were lower on the mildly disappointing data,with the MSCI Asia-Pacific index falling 0.74% in early Monday trading.Markets in Hong Kong,Australia and New Zealand remain closed till Tuesday for the Easter holiday.
Chinese authorities told Beijing and Shanghai to place new restrictions on home buying in an attempt to limit skyrocketing prices.Homeowners were not to be granted credit to buy second or third homes.
Australia's airline Qantas and the UAE's Emirates Air have inaugurated their new alliance with a symbolic first flight .It will now be possible for Qantas passengers to fly to 65 international destinations from Melbourne and Sydney with one connecting flight in Dubai,as opposed to only five destinations in a previous alliance with British Airways.This will shave two hours off of flights to Europe.
Bookings to Europe are up six-fold on the new routes,which Goldman Sachs believes will be worth about Australian 90 million dollars to Qantas-or US 94 million.Qantas has cut its deficit from A262 million to A91 million in the first half of the fiscal year on retiring old planes and cutting unprofitable routes.CEO Alan Joyce has pledged to return the carrier to profitability.
For the first time in three years,Japan Airlines graduated about a thousand new hires in a JAL hangar in Tokyo.The workers stood stock-still in formation at the ceremony Monday.
Nomura Securities has hired the most new graduates in four years on the strength of the banking industry.