Home Top Weekly Reads Top News this Week (19 June)

Top News this Week (19 June)


Rounding up top investing articles from around the web, including articles shared in our Facebook Group and Reddit Community: r/SingaporeInvestments.

Fed makes biggest rate hike since 1994 to tame surging inflation (Straits Times)

“Clearly, today’s 75-basis point increase is an unusually large one and I do not expect moves of this size to be common,” Mr Powell told a post-meeting press conference. 

The Fed’s hawkish commitment to controlling inflation has already touched off a broad tightening of credit conditions being felt in US housing and stock markets, and is likely to slow demand throughout the economy – the Fed’s intent.

“Our objective really is to bring inflation down to 2 per cent while the labour market remains strong… What is becoming more clear is that many factors that we don’t control are going to play a very significant role in deciding whether that is possible or not,” Mr Powell said, citing the war in Ukraine and global supply concerns.

“There is a path for us to get there… It is not getting easier. It is getting more challenging,” he told reporters, noting that the rate hikes announced last month and in March so far had not only failed to slow inflation, but also allowed it to continue accelerating to a level that recent data indicated had begun to influence public attitudes in a way that could make the Fed’s job even harder.

A day after Powell’s assurances about the economy, markets are worried that ‘the Fed breaks something’ (CNBC)

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell insisted Wednesday that the central bank is not deliberately trying to cause a recession and that the economy is on solid footing.
  • “With all due respect to that comment, it’s just not consistent with the data on the ground,” said RBC economist Tom Porcelli.
  • In the aftermath of Wednesday’s decision to raise benchmark interest rates 75 basis points, Wall Street reaction coalesced around a few common themes.

China stocks lead gains in Asia-Pacific following release of better-than-expected Chinese economic data (CNBC)

  • Shares in China led gains regionally in mixed Asia-Pacific trading on Wednesday.
  • China’s retail sales in May fell 6.7% year-on-year, better than the expected 7.1% fall predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll.
  • The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield last stood at 3.429% — down from 3.48%, an 11-year high it reached on Tuesday. The 2-year rate was at 3.37%.

Some Ang Mo Kio residents dismayed by top-up for similar-sized Sers replacement units; HDB exploring options (Straits Times)

When part-time hairdresser Janice Ong learnt in April that her Ang Mo Kio Housing Board block was among the four picked for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), she thought she would be getting a brand-new flat with little to no extra money out of her pocket.

So it came as a shock to the 54-year-old when she realised that she might have to fork out more than $100,000, if she were to pick a similar-sized four-room flat at the Sers replacement site.

Change in HDB’s minimum occupation period rule for Sers replacement flats (Straits Times)

Buyers of replacement Housing Board (HDB) flats under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) will now be able to sell their units only five years from the date of collecting the keys, starting with the Ang Mo Kio Sers site.

Previously, they could sell either seven years from the date of selection of the flat or five years from the date of collection. That meant that some owners were able to sell their units even before they have lived in it for five years.

Bill Gates blasts crypto, NFTs as based on ‘greater fool’ theory (Straits Times)

Billionaire Bill Gates dismissed cryptocurrency projects such as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as shams “based on the greater fool theory” at a climate conference on Tuesday (June 14), reviving past criticisms of digital assets.

The greater fool theory argues that prices go up because people are able to sell an overpriced item to a “greater fool”, whether or not it is overvalued. That is, of course, until there are no greater fools left.

“Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely,” Mr Gates said sarcastically while speaking at an event in Berkeley, California, hosted by TechCrunch. He said he is neither long nor short the asset class.

Shopee laying off staff across Southeast Asia & South America (Mothership)

Mothership understands that some workers in its ShopeePay and ShopeeFood teams in the Southeast Asian region will be laid off.

Shopee will also lay off some workers in in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, as well as shutter operations in Spain, according to the Straits Times (ST).

Netflix plans Squid Game reality show with big cash prize, no fatal consequences (CNA)

Unlike the series where the stakes are life or death, the worst possible fate in this 456 player competition will be leaving without the US$4.56 million (S$6.35 million) winnings, which Netflix claims is the largest lump sum prize in reality TV history. Squid Game became Netflix’s most-watched series when it was released in September 2021 as it told the story of cash-strapped contestants who play childhood games for a chance to win life-changing sums of money.

The 10-episode reality competition will include games inspired by the original show, as well as new additions, Netflix said.

MHA seeks public feedback on proposals to regulate debt collection activities in Singapore (CNA)

“Over the past few years, there has been a high number of police reports made against debt collection companies and their staff for conducting debt collection in a manner that caused alarm and nuisance to members of the public,” said MHA in a consultation paper on Wednesday (Jun 15).

MHA said that it recognises debt collection is a “legitimate activity that facilitates the fulfilment of financial obligations”. “However, in view of the increasing concerns, there may be a need to institute upstream regulatory interventions on the industry, to better manage the disamenities from such activities,” it added.

Free iPhones for waiters: Malaysia’s eateries in desperate bid to woo workers (Straits Times)

Battered by a shortage of workers, desperate restaurant owners are turning to robot waiters or even offering Malaysians expensive iPhones if they stay in the job for six months.

The shortage was largely caused by the exodus of a large number of foreign workers at the start of the pandemic. They have not been able to come back as the government had banned the entry of new foreign workers.

Next supermoon on July 13 is biggest & brightest one of 2022 (Mothership)

A supermoon refers to a full moon when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth, causing it to appear larger and brighter. Supermoons only occur about three to four times a year, and always consecutively. This year’s biggest and brightest full moon will fall on July 13.

I coach CEOs of multimillion-dollar businesses—here’s what I wish more people did early in their careers (CNBC)

  1. mentor offers you counsel and advice, often based on their advanced experience. They don’t need to be in your organization, but they should be able to offer insights into how you can be more successful at work.
  2. An advocate speaks in support of your work and talent, often informally. They may be a former manager who confirms your strong leadership skills, or a colleague who nudges a manager to consider you for a promotion.
  3. sponsor is typically senior and has strong organizational power. They put their own reputation on the line to vouch for you. Sponsors generally work at your current company or at a company you’d like to work for.

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