Good morning

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The headlines:

  1. The fried tarantula industry is under threat. 

    Link: I’m not kidding.

    Apparently, the fried tarantulas (dipped in garlic, chilli, soy and palm sugar then fried until crisp) have become so popular in the heart of Vietnam that the surrounding forests are running out of spiders. And they’re having to import them.

    When you watch the video and see the size of the mounds, I am less surprised. And yet, strangely, much more willing to walk through the forests of Vietnam.

  2. The RBA holds Australia’s overnight cash-rate constant. 

    Link: strengthening the Aussie dollar.

    The rate has been left constant at 3.5%, one of the highest amongst the developed countries:

    Or, more interestingly:

  3. An update on the Euro crisis. 

    Link: rumours of diplomatic “pushes”.

    Everyone is waiting for Mr Draghi and the ECB to announce their new policy toward protecting the Euro. All the big boys (and Angela Merkel) are shuttling around and sharing rumours.

    Mr D told the world that he had no problem with buying three year bonds to bring down the borrowing rates for governments in financial distress.

    The euro did this:

    The slight strengthening of the Euro...
  4. Singapore’s mega-churches. 

    Link: if only the evangelical ministries would list on exchanges.

    The story is about Singapore’s New Creation church, and the pastor’s powerpoint sermon on Miracle-Seed Sunday with Deloitte auditors in attendance to count the inflow of cash*. In return for contribution to the fund-raising, Pastor Joseph Prince asked God to reward the generous population with cars, homes, holidays and pay increases.

    Nothing like bargaining with the Lord.

    What I’d like to see is a listing of a megachurch on an exchange.

    Because whatever anyone says about being “free” to tithe or not, the reality is that peer pressure is peer pressure. You’re in a church surrounding by people giving money, with a pastor favouring those that give, and heavily implying that those that don’t are not as committed to the work of the Lord…

    It’s the definition of a very-captive consumer base. Fixed costs are limited to the pastor’s salary, lighting, musical instruments and hall rental. And, I guess, the occasional charitable project to show ministry.

    And, more to the point, the advertising is spread by word of mouth, with your clients committing themselves henceforth into eternity. A magnificent and almighty business model.

    I’d buy those shares.

    UPDATE: I found this yahoo answer when I was looking for any church’s that may have listed already. My honest feeling is that designating a church as a “non-profit organisation” may be considered a bad evil business decision for the founder-pastor-apostles of tomorrow.

    *Amongst other things, the powerpoint slides showed how to fill out a check to the church.

  5. Glencore won’t change Xstrata terms. 

    Link: three days to go.

    The story is that if the current offer is rejected on Friday, then Glencore will come back with a more conventional takeover offer, rather than the current merger-of-equals story.

    Excited for friday. Yes, I know. Nerd alert.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.