News around the World

Nearly 1 billion people had their of personal data leaked in China possibly

A massive online database in China apparently containing the personal data of up to one billion Chinese citizens was left unsecured and publicly accessible possibly for more than a year.

Those personal data was collected by the Shanghai police and stored in a database had been hosted by Alibaba Cloud. Both Alibaba and Shanghai police did not aware of this possibly data leak until last week. An anonymous user in a hacker forum offered to sell the data for 10 bitcoin and brought it to wider attention.

The anonymous user claimed the data included names, address, mobile numbers, national ID numbers, ages, birthplaces, and billions of records of phone calls made to police to report on civil disputes and crimes. As China is home to 1.4 billion people, the data breach of 1 million personal data could potentially affect more than 70% of the population. This would be the largest leak of public information by far.

The database which did not require a password possibly was shut down already. However, it is unclear how many people have accessed or downloaded the database during the 14 months of more. Experts are worried that this personal data leak might lead to extortion. Extortion of individual will often happen after data leaks. Hackers can even try to ransom individual using the leaked information.

 

Image source: https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220422142130-02-cyber-attack-cellphone-stock-exlarge-169.jpeg

Investment

Crypto experts shrug off the bitcoin plunge and here are the reasons

Cryptocurrency is having a terrible week. Still, long-term investors are really care about the steep drops in the value of digital currency and the temporarily halt of withdrawals in the exchanges. 

Bitcoin, the world most valuable cryptocurrency, dropped nearly to USD 21,000 in recent days. it is sitting nearly 70% below its historical high of USD 68,000 per coin in November 2021. Ether, the second most valuable digital currency has lost about nearly 75% of its highs.

Due to the extreme market conditions, crypto exchanges like Binance and Celsius Network temporarily halted withdrawals and indicating that it would “take time” to reopen the exchanges.

In the meantime, Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States by trading volume announced it would lay off about 18% of its workforce and citing that “could lead to another crypto winter and could last for an extended period.”

However, the leaders in the cryptosphere are not really worried about the volatile market. They believe that the bear market in crypto is not the same as the bear market for stocks: the lows are more extreme, but then so are the highs. Crypto bear markets usually drew down 85 to 90% and then bounced back according to the past performance. Crypto market is naturally more volatile.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/round-silver-and-gold-coins-730564/

 

Investment

Gold Price Down USD 50 on the Day Indicating Markets in Chaos.

The markets in chaos: precious metals prices down, Bitcoin price hits lowest level since December 2020 and stocks plunges. Analysts warn of panic selling as investors are pre-reacting to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike on this Wednesday following a high inflation rate of the U.S.

The inflation is now expecting at annual pace of 8.6%. economists believe the Fed will need to get more aggressive to tame the inflation. The U.S. dollar reacted positively to the expected rate hike and goes stronger. In response to rising yields and a strong U.S. dollar, Gold saw a very sharp sell off as it plunged around USD 50 per oz on the day.

The precious metals are struggling as investors are still digesting inflation data and the looming economy downturn in China caused by the latest outbreak in Beijing and Shanghai. The latest lockdowns could lead to a much more extended period of supply chain issues and disruption.

Even though the market expects that the Fed will have an aggressive rate hike, but it is still not enough to get the inflation under control.

in the meantime, gold remains at risk of a more significant selloff. The support at USD 1,800 per ounce might not hold and we will see a retreat towards USD 1,750 per ounce. 

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/gold-and-silver-round-coins-and-bullions-8442328/

Investment

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been reviewing the ways that brokers trading every day

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been reviewing the ways that brokers trading every day. Investors are worried that the way millions of everyday global investors buy and sell stocks is going to change. And this change will be bad news for so-called free-trading apps like Robinhood as well as other similar business models.

When an investor buy or sell stocks on an app, the trade seems to be instantaneous. But, this buy-sell action is a complex process of Wall Street players exploiting tiny differences in prices to rake in huge amounts of cash.

Here is now it works:

When you place a buy or sell order, your broker for example Robinhood takes your order to a firm known as a wholesaler or market makers – the middlemen who are supposed to get you the best prices and who pay the brokers for the privilege of executing the trades. They typically make pennies off each transaction.

And the process above is called “payment for order flow”. Now this process has come under scrutiny by regulators due to the fallout from the January 2021 run-up stocks like GameStop.

The SEC are likely to roll our new rules as early as this Wednesday. One proposed new rule will be added more competition at the middleman level to ensure retail investors are really getting the best prices. It may also mean trading orders will be routed into auctions where trading firms would have to compete to execute them. In the future, investors may need to pay more trading fees on so-called free-trading apps.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silver-iphone-2068664/

Investment

The global economy is on the edge of a precipice

The global economy is on the edge of a precipice, and it may be the biggest crisis since the Second World War.

The invasion of Ukraine has compounded the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It brings the cost of the food and fuel to skyrocket which weighing on the economic recovery and fanning inflation.

Rising interest rates are putting more pressure on countries, companies, and households. Climate changes, market turbulence and ongoing supply chain constraints also make the situation become more worse.

To lower economic stress, the IMP is calling for government officials and business leaders meeting in Davos to discuss reducing trade barriers.

However, earlier this month, Indian government decided to ban the export of wheat and it triggered the price of grain soaring. Some countries are heading in the opposite direction of IMF and implementing restrictions on trade in food and agriculture products that could probably exacerbate the shortages and push the prices even higher.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/american-and-chinese-flags-and-usa-dollars-4386371/

Investment

“Fragmentation” is underway

“Fragmentation” – one the many buzzwords heard around Davos this week. “Fragmentation”, it is referring to a breakdown of the kind of free-wheeling, border-crossing trades and investments which have built the global economic order over the past three decades. It also means “deglobalization” – rebuilding fences between nations and nations.

Deglobalization won’t happen overnight but it is not a new issue. Supply-chain disruption, war in Ukraine, growing political divides and trade disputes are renewing concerns about a return of an era of isolation.

Here are the micro-deglobalization playing out in real time:

China’s ride-hailing giant Didi officially delisted its share from NYSE

Starbucks and McDonald’s pulled out of Russian market

Airbnb said it would pull all of it listings in China

Malaysia moved to restrict exports of Chicken to its neighbors

Microsoft slowly scale back their China practice

These supply chains have been built over 30 years, so it’s just really difficult to move them into another country. The US baby formular shortage is a huge public health crisis that indicates the peril of relying too much on domestic production for essential goods. It is far more complicated if governments around the world are doing deglobalization.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/antique-antique-globe-antique-shop-antique-store-414916/

Investment

Decoupling, one of the biggest risk to the global economy

Global Markets may still underestimate the impact of China’s strict zero-Covid policy. Until now, nearly 400 million people across the mainland China are under full or partial lockdown. 

Investors probably do not aware of this zero-Covid policy as much more attention remains focused on the Russian-Ukraine war and the US Federal Reserve rate hikes.

However, more and more analysts are ringing warning bells as Shanghai, a city of 25 million and one of China’s premiere manufacturing is under the indefinite lockdown. The quarantines left the largest port in the world understaffed. Food supplies stuck in shipping containers, incoming cargo is now stuck at Shanghai marine terminals and cargo airlines were cancelled all flight in and out of the city. Sony, Apple supplier plants, Quanta Factory and Tesla factory in and around Shanghai, are idle.

The impact on China is major and the ripple effect on the global economy is also significant.

The ongoing disruption to manufacturing and shipping in China may help accelerate the US president Joe Biden to reduce US dependence on products and supply chains from China. Some US economic leaders believe that decoupling is underway. However, it is extremely difficult. Globalization is not something that is easy to be reversed because it would be incredibly costly. 

Investment

Gold price is going much higher

Gold price is getting back above USD 1,800 per troy ounce. Investors expect it will continue to move higher because it is unlikely the Federal Reserve will be able to fet the inflation under control.

The growth thread of inflation and stagflation are pushing more investors reevaluate their safe-haven hedge and rearrange their investment profolio.

The inflation the year is very different from the last few years. The current inflation is not being driven by consumer demand. Prices go up because of major supply-chain around the world especially the second largest economy, China.

There is nothing the Federal Reserve can do to fix the supply chain as the inflation is on the long side of the track. With gold prices back over USD 1,800 per troy ounce, the market will see bullish momentum very soon. 

My Collections

The design for American Eagle Gold Coin – in God we trust. And in Gold we trust

The American Eagle Gold Coin is an officeal gold bullion coins of United States starting from 1986. It was produced by United States Mint. The composition of the gold coins included 91.67% gold, 3% silver and 5.33% Copper. Therefore, the fineness of this gold coin is just 22K.

The obverse of the gold coin depicts the figure of Lady Liberty. And the reverse design features a male eagle carrying an olive branch flying above a female eagle and her baby.

Let me tell you something special about American Eagle Gold Coins.

For the Eagle minted in 1986-1991, they are dated with Roman Numerals. And starting from 1992, US mint changed to use Arabic numerals for dating Gold American Eagle Coins. 

Here is the gold coin in 1990 with dated with Roman Numerals “MCMXC”.

And starting mid 2021, the reserve design of American Eagle Gold Coin changes again! It features a side profile of a Bald ealge.

The new design is stunning!                    

As the the new design is launching in mid of 2021, the collectors around the world will definitely collect the old designs of American Eagle Gold Coins especially the old design dated year 2021 and the those dated with Roman Numerals.

My Collections

Why do Horseshoes mean Lucky?

I have received a very interesting coin recenetly. It is a coin in a horseshoe shape.

2021 Palau Lucky Horseshoe Antique Finish High Relief Silver Coin

Some people may see western people hang horseshoes over their doors of the buildings. Someone like me would like to ask the reason behind this little thing. Why horseshoes?

Let me share you a story about hanging horseshoes over the doors.

This story is about a hermit – St. Dunstan.

St. Dunstan was a very quite and humble hermit as well as skilled metalworker. He lived in a hut where near the church of St Mary.

One night, there was a Devil came to his hut as a woman. However, St. Dunstan vigilantly noticed that he was a Devil instead of a woman. He saw his cloven hooves beneath the dress he wore. Dunstan noticed that the Devil was limping on one of his cloven hooves. He pretended to offer a shoe to help the Devil. He then nailed a red hot horseshoe onto the Devil hoof. 

The Devil screamed and begged St. Dunstan to take it off. Of course St. Dunstan was not going to do it easily.

He said, “You have to make a promise that you will always respect the symbol of the horseshoe and never enter a building that is protected by the sign of a horseshoe.”

Nowsdays, people are still telling about this story to Children in England. And hanging horseshoes over their doors have become one of their tradional. Also, people have different preference about hanging heel up or Down.

Some says that if you hang the horseshoe like a shape of a cup, it means horseshoe fills with good luck, holding it for everyone who lives in that house. 

Some says that if you hang the horseshoe downward, it means good luck flows out from the horseshoe and onto all the visitors and family who come into that house.

Up or down? Which one do you prefer? Let me know your thought.