Good morning

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The headlines:

  1. The reappearance of Xi Jinping.

    Link: There’s Wally!

    Two weeks of speculation. And suddenly, there’s Xi. At an agricultural show. Smiling at children.

  2. The China-Japan territorial dispute.

    Link: what the crazy.

    So last week, Japan announced that it would be buying the disputed islands from a private Japanese owner. This prompted the Chinese to send it warships. Here’s a map:

    The Islands on a Map - dot not to size.

    Here’s a picture of the islands:

    Pretty though.

    Here’re the Chinese surveillance ships:

    Chinese Surveillance

    Here’s another picture of the islands, with a boat that’s illegal from someone’s perspective:

    Who's boat is that?!

    Here’re the Japanese coast guard:

    And you are...?

    Presumably, that boat was Chinese and filled with activists.

    Shanghai has been breaking out in riots since last week. The Japanese are calling for a guarantee of the safety of their citizens from China. And the Japanese envoy to China died yesterday after contracting an “unspecified illness” two days earlier.


  3. Fed policy will “destroy the world”.

    Link: all the drama.

    Marc Faber tends to be wildly acclaimed as a prophet (by commenters on news articles). False or otherwise.

    And his general message seems to be a bit like Oprah’s: “and YOU’RE a money printer, and YOU’RE a money printer and EVE’YBODY’S A MONEY PRINTER!!!”. And I quote:

    “Mr Bernanke is a money-printer […] the next Fed chairman will also be a money-printer. The Europeans will print money. The Chinese will print money. Everybody will print money”.

    Frankly, he just sounds off a lot. I love it.

  4. Apple wins another patent case.

    Link: also in the USA, funnily enough.

    Does anyone notice how the Americans seem to be siding with the American company? I mean – I’m always on Apple’s side. But just because I’m biased doesn’t mean that I can’t observe bias.

    This ruling comes from the US International Trade Commission, where Samsung was accusing Apple of violating some of its patents.

    I’ve lost track of wins versus losses.

  5. Vodafone and the $2.2 billion tax provision.

    Link: when in India.

    There’s been a change in India’s tax law. Which results in said provision. And to put it into perspective – a $2.2 billion tax provision should be compared to a $13 billion net income figure that Vodafone is expected to earn this year.

    The provision arises out of Vodafone’s 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd’s Indian operations. Previously, Vodafone defeated the India Tax Authority in court on the matter.

    But as is standard with Tax Authorities – when you can’t win under the current legislation, just change the legislation. So the amended law now says that the Indian government can retrospectively tax cross-border transactions going back to April 1, 1962.

    Which sounds completely fair, does it not?

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.