Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Live from Singapore!

I would like to inform all readers of this site/blog that I'm currently writing from the beautiful city-state of Singapore, the first stop on a trip through Asia I recently embarked upon.

This morning (Thursday, Sept 18th) I woke up to some interesting headlines on my blackberry, and by interesting I mean frightening... It isn't everyday US stock markets plunge by over 4.5%. I'll share the headlines of two well respected and widely read newspapers.

I'll share the headlines of two well respected and widely read newspapers here in Singapore—the Straights Times and the Business Times.

The Straights Times -- SAVING PRIVATE AMERICA. COST SO FAR? --- US $ 905 billion

1. AIG --- $85 billion
2. Financing Lehman Brothers via JP Morgan -- $87 billion
3. Fannie and Freddie Mac --- $ 200 billion
4. Financing JP Morgans buyout of Bear Sterns -- $29 billion
5. Outstanding loans to banks --- $200 billion
6. Federal Housing Administration --- $300 billion
7. Grants to local communities --- $4 billion


Pretty scary if you ask me... On the bright side, when you walk the streets of Singapore things don't appear that bad (at least on the surface).

I am by no means a expert on this little city-state so please by all means, I encourage readers to let me know if my observations of this city and my subsequent analysis are a bit skewed by my ignorance.

Singapore intrigues me to no end. It is no mystery why this city has grown into the trading center it has. Strategically situated at the Southern tip of Malaysia at the Straights of Malacca it serves as a middle point of exchange for incredible volume of goods bound for all part of the world.

I have never in my life seen so many unloading cranes for cargo shipments. i am not sure on the exact figures and it may simply be that Singapore's small size makes its shipping capacity appear larger than it actually is, but New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Long Beach and Baltimore (a few of the biggest ports in the US) do not even remotely compare.

The city-state appears to have run out of land and in efforts to continue growing and producing a prosperous life for its people, the government has embarked on a major construction project to build up the near by island of Sentosa. Check out one of the pics I found running a Google image search on the island.

Sentosa island will soon emerge as a new and vibrant part of Singapore, increasing Singapore's total living space, economy and offering new opportunities for the residents of this city-state.

Amazing no?...