The Philippine Onion

Lies and half-truths shall set you free

Archive for the ‘economics’ Category

Manila pleasure-givers say no to US $

Posted by commiedyan on December 22, 2007

by e-kunomista

If there are still any doubts that the US dollar has not yet hit bottom, prostitutes in the red light districts of Manila just put those to rest: most are increasingly rejecting the greenback in favor of the euro, yuan, and yen. Among the most sophisticated in the world in the battle against HIV/AIDS Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in business, economics, people, politics | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

December 24 to January 2 official Philippine holidays—Palace

Posted by commiedyan on December 16, 2007

Malacañang ‘open house’ on Christmas Day

December 24 to January 2 next year are official special holidays, Malacañang loudmouth Ignacio Bunye, who recently cheated death in Kuwait, announced yesterday. Assuaging concerns on lost productivity however, the national government has also decided to make at least five regular holidays next year, probably including Lenten holy days, regular work days.

“We are not kowtowing to the Catholic Church, this is simply part of the president’s policy on holiday economics,” Bunye said. Holiday economics is premised on the belief that the tourism benefits of lumping weekends and holidays into contiguous periods, far outweigh the costs of adjustment in the production sectors. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in breaking news, economics, Malacañang, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The incredible shrinking pan de sal

Posted by commiedyan on December 15, 2007

If you generally have bread for breakfast you’d already have noticed any of the following:

  • You’ve paid more for the usual quantity;
  • You’ve been having less for the same bill;
  • You’ve had the same number of pieces for the same bill.

The adjustment of choice for our local bakers is to shrink Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in business, economics, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ignore this at your own loss

Posted by commiedyan on December 14, 2007

Dear reader,

I have good news for you. Ignore this letter at your own loss, because this isn’t one of the scams the Central Bank has recently warned against as you will see if you read on.

First of all, while I promise you millions, how quickly you get the money is entirely up to you and the effort you put in the endeavor; this isn’t a scheme to turn iron into gold Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in business, economics, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

San Miguel Foods to Sumilao farmers: “cease to exist!”

Posted by commiedyan on December 11, 2007

The management of San Miguel Foods yesterday asked the Department of Agrarian Reform to issue a ‘cease to exist order‘ (CTO) against the farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon who have been standing in the way of the company’s grandiose plans to transform all town residents into millionaires by allowing them to market the methane gas from its piggery.

The farmers, who walked for almost two months and 1,700 kilometers from Sumilao to Manila, earlier asked DAR secretary Nasser Pangandaman to issue a ‘cease and desist order‘ (CDO) against San Miguel’s illegal piggery. Last Friday, Pangandaman, asked the parties to submit their respective position papers by Monday so he could finally rule on the matter. We learned that during the farmers’ trek, the DAR secretary was busy picking his nose while counting the lizards on the ceiling that were discussing land reform. Or he could have been dreaming of lechon and dinuguan. Or he was just being cautious about not violationg the human rights of Danding Cojuangco…

So on Human Rights Day yesterday, the farmers, who held that their position and the issues were already well known to the secretary, wanted to humbly comply with the climate changing order. But they were prevented from entering the DAR compound on orders of Pangandaman himself. He would authorize the entry of only the farmers’ lawyers because the farmers were unkempt and he feared violence and that they might not leave etcetera etcetera. But the farmers stood their ground and said they were the claimants and not their lawyers.

There are a few Cebuano words whose meanings cannot be captured in Tagalog or English: Pastilan! Intaon! Lecheng yawa!

Posted in analysis, breaking news, economics, politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Cebollas sin lagrimas: gold tumbles on ‘medalla de oro’ award to Arroyo

Posted by commiedyan on December 6, 2007

by Henry C. Bollas

London (via ZTE broadband)–World commodity markets were inundated early today with sell orders for spot and futures gold as the news sunk in of alleged Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo getting the ‘medalla de oro‘ award Tuesday from the Universidad de Alcala in Madrid. The highest civilian award was conferred allegedly for Arroyo’s “defense of human rights, particularly her role in abolishing the death penalty in the Philippines.”

Que calamidad! Arroyo de lagrimas! (Flood of tears!)” a stock trader at the Bovespa in Madrid said. At the Chicago Mercantile Board, an analyst said “gold has lost half its luster forever.” She revealed hedge funds were dumping gold in favor of oil and onions. Oil prices had begun to slide despite the decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to maintain current production levels, probably because of a recent Japanese invention curtailing demand. Oil bets are now off, the lady said. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in breaking news, business, economics, foreign affairs, politics, religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Faking our way to the First World and beyond

Posted by commiedyan on December 5, 2007

by e-kunomista

As Christmas nears, banks and the Central Bank have been deluged by reports of fake currency in circulation. According to ANC’s Charo Logarta, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) normally receives about P100,000 worth of fake bills from commercial banks each month. But what about the fake bills which have thus far not been detected? No one really knows. Before the congressional elections this year, fake P1000, 500, and 100 bills were reported to have been used to buy votes. But so what?

Detecting counterfeit

According to currency experts at the central bank, there is a simple way to ascertain genuine and legal tender with a cheap magnifying glass. Just look under the name Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in analysis, business, economics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Math lessons for Vic Mangosteen;business lessons from Danding Co(co)juangco

Posted by commiedyan on December 1, 2007

eduardo-cojuangco-jr.jpg

by Henry C. Bollas

Here’s the fruity Vic Mangosteen:

“EDUARDO Cojuangco Jr. borrowed P374 million from Cocobank to acquire the EnriqueZobel block in San Miguel Corp. in December 1983. As of yesterday’s market close, that 20 percent block, which paved the way for Cojuangco to eventually control the region’s largest food, beverage and packaging complex, was already worth about P18.8 billion, representing a 50-fold return in 24 years. Stated another way, Cojuangco saw his original investment, even during his exile years following the Marcos ouster, double every year.”

“San Miguel was trading at P22 a share when the hush-hush sale was being negotiated; Zobel, for still unknown reasons, did not seek any premium from Cojuangco for his block, according to the book, Boss Danding, by Earl G. Parreno.”

Hey thanks for the lesson Mangosteen, but your math is wrong and perhaps your politics is even Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in business, economics, people, politics, Roxas watch | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Why gasoline prices might suddenly dive

Posted by commiedyan on November 30, 2007

by e-kunomista

It’s really fundamentally a supply and demand thing, with the former not rising as fast as the latter. The major sources of demand growth in the past few years have been China and India. The fast pace of growth in China and the even higher growth in energy consumption has in fact made it the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases this year, overtaking the United States.

(We are a bit intrigued by the allusion of the respected economist Ciel Habito to possible price manipulation in the local petroleum market in his latest column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It was under his watch in the NEDA that the downstream oil industry was deregulated. Perhaps this is politically motivated).

But oil analysts agree that a big part of demand is speculative, coming from hedge funds trying to find shelter from the falling US$ by buying into commodity futures, minerals, agricultural staple, and oil. In the old days, speculation could be limited by physical storage capacity, but these days what’s influencing prices are futures contracts lodged in code in cyberspace. No need for Mr. and Mrs. Shady to hide oil barrels under the bed.

In normal markets, speculators play a positive role in stabilizing prices because they buy when prices are low and sell when high, thus narrowing the range and reducing volatility. Otherwise they’d lose their underpants if they do the reverse, right? But when a few hedge funds collude, they might be able to keep prices high with their self-fulfilling prophesy. But what feeds speculation are mainly geopolitical and weather-related events. Some researchers say that without the speculative element, prices should be within the $50-60/barrel range. (An earlier body of work of the Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz focused on price stabilization and speculation).

The silver lining is that persistently high prices of oil and coal fuels development of cleaner alternatives. But what if oil and coal prices are artificially high because of speculation? What will happen to the alternative energy developers who based their feasibility studies on wrong relative price projections?

Granting that a few players have cornered the futures market, they still take large risks, especially if a spate of good Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in analysis, economics, foreign affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Mar Roxas’s prelude to a kiss

Posted by commiedyan on November 27, 2007

Yes, under the most liberal interpretation of party, the one that crowned Mar Roxas in Club Filipino yesterday certainly was, according to ANC’s Ricky Carandang. But what kiss are we talking about here? From his girlfriend who can’t decide whether Mar is the man of the hour, a celebrity of the day, or the flavor of the month? A kiss of death?

The first concrete indication of Mar Roxas’s presidential dream was his kowtowing to the local multinational cement lobby when he was still trade and industry secretary. Little did he know at the time that the entry of cheaper cement imports not only rejuvenated the local construction industry but also improved air quality in Metro Manila. How so? Because at that time the 18 cement factories within the Metro Manila air shed were operating at just around 50% of capacity, and studies by the Philippine Institute of Development Studies had clearly indicated a local cartel.

During the recent senate hearing on oil prices, Senator Roxas was again dancing to a populist tune, knowing fully well his questions were really just rhetorical. While we support his effort in enacting a good anti-trust law, we wonder whether he will really proceed with that and fight the cement cartel, among others, concretely.

Have a good one, Mar. And see you in 2010.

P.S.

Here’s a good one from SunStar Iloilo.

Posted in briefly noted, economics, religion, Roxas watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »