Archive for January, 2010

Chart, car market, month, quarter : euphoria in december

It started again ! As fast as a V8 engine… The car market has been euphoric in december in Thailand, eventhough with a view per quarter, we are back to “normal levels” (catching up effect).

Let’s start per month.

Both market, commercial and passengers, increased to a total of 72 000 units sold in december.

Then, with the year on year percentage of growth.

The base effect (the hole of end 2008) is of course playing.

And per quarter.

Q4 was a real “Green Shoot”, on… speed. 😉

Let’s be cautious for the coming months (catching up effect)… But without any incentive from the gvt, that’s a nice performance.

It shows that cars… still have a powerful (and fatal) attraction on people. They are willing to line up to buy cars. Social status. Feeling of power ? Or necessity ?

Who could blame them ? Look at our western morons… It’s even worse : governments in 2009 gave money away, allowing individuals to buy new cars… USA, France, Germany…  You name it. Cash for clunkers. “Prime à la casse”. Happy. More debt, but happy. 😉 And what we will do in 2010 and 2011 ? That’s obviously another story…

As for China… it became the first car market in the world in 2009 (in units)… It’s not growth anymore… it’s a mania on drugs.

So again : I won’t blame the Thais.

(source, Bank Of Thailand)

THA to hotels : “Don’t lower your prices, you’d risk to attract more customers”

Hotels and tour operators have been urged not to offer extra-low room rates and low-priced package tours to foreign agents, because of the possibility of long-term damage to the tourist industry.

Thai Hotels Association (THA) president Prakit Chinamourphong said average hotel-room rates in Bangkok were already lower than those in other major cities in the region. […]

“What we’re considering is how we can prevent hotels and tour operators from offering foreigners further discounts.

They should be trying other strategies instead of cutting prices,” Prakit said, adding that cutting prices would not help operators to survive in the long term and would also damage the overall tourism industry.

A recent report on the Phuket hotel market prepared by local consultancy C9 Hotelworks said discounting by Phuket hotels cost the industry on the island US$300 million (Bt9.92 billion) in room revenue last year. (Nation)

How on earth people can be so blind ? So utterly and convincingly dumb ? Even by thai standards, Prakit is breaking the sound barrier of dirt stupidity.

This man basically is saying : “don’t lower your prices too much… you would risk to attract more customers”.

This man doesn’t understand that hotels are not lowering their rates for pleasure… but because of a very challenging environment !
-a freaking global crisis
-higher competition (tourism is a global market and supply is increasing while demand is shrinking)

Lower solvent demand + higher supply= prices going down.

This rule is so obvious. But still, Prakit doesn’t get it.

Prakit thinks that he’s leading… a cartel. Well, we all know that thai business operators hate competition (tik mak ! too much work !)… But tourism is a global market. Even in Thailand, the smartest and the strongest will reduce their prices. Because they have no choice.

Prakit, being a perfect thai, would like the hotels… instead to increase their prices ! It’s a good old trick business love to do here. Zero imagination. Zero knowledge. Zero talent. Little people mafia-minded. Little crooks.

We are going to rephrase for Prakit : you can say whatever you want, if you continue to build 5 stars “spa” hotels accross Thailand, and if the global crisis continues to deepen then prices will go down. Because all the hotels in the world will compete for less and less tourists.

Lowering prices is only one further step… toward bankruptcy. But it allows a few to survive, while the sheeps, the weakest are slaughtered.

It’s called natural selection. And it’s’ a very healthy mechanism in any free market.

Overcapacity must be destroyed.

And It will.

People like Prakit, like all his westerns peers (AKA the clowns : Bernanke, Trichet, Geitner, Obama, Sarkozy etc.), live in a Lalaland where banks, businesses (and banks and businesses preferably owned by friends of course) are always growing, never failing.

The January Flatulence aims at USA : “We swear ! We’re fighting IP rights violations”

Thailand’s Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Phonlabutr will officially visit the US to discuss with US officials about upgrading Thailand from the current Priority Watch List (PWL) following the country’s serious efforts in continuing crackdown on intellectual property rights violations. […]

From January to October 2009, Thailand prosecuted 6,731 intellectual property violation cases and seized more than five million exhibits, a 75 per cent increase from the same period in the previous year.

The crackdown indicates that Thailand is sincere about solving the problem on a continuous basis, Mr Alongkorn said, adding that he is confident the US trade agency would definitely remove Thailand from the list. (TNA)

Alongkorn is a liar. And a hypocrite. Like all his friends at the government.

He can throw in the air whatever figures he wants… I mean why not saying : “Thailand seized 500 millions pirated  DVD” ? Or 1 billion ? Or 1 trillion ? Who cares ?

Those figures are POINTLESS and GROTESQUE.

Because :
-since Abhisit, aka The Great Democrator (non elected but UK educated and who loves “the rule of law”), was nominated Prime Minister (thanks to a bozo coup)…  he did nothing to seriously address this situation.

-The government itself continues to break IP rights of pharmaceutical companies (US and europeans), through a grotesque “compulsory licenses” program. Abhisit didn’t reverse this policy iniated by the Junta (yes… in december 2006)  and followed after by Samak.

-Anybody can buy pirated DVD, copied software, T shirt and whatever stuff on Sukhumvit, at Fortune Town (floor 2 and 3), Panthip Plazza, in Phuket, Pattaya etc. Today, yesterday, 5 years ago, 10 years agos. And it’s likely to continue during the 5 next years etc.

-Last may, the US decided to keep Thailand on the Priority Watch List (read here). Since then, nothing has changed.

-Check some of my goodies :

-“Suppressing piracy ? We are working on it” (march 2008)
-Joke Of The Day : in 3 months, no more counterfeit goods (june 2008, Samak)
-Penultimate campaign to “eradicate counterfeit goods” (january 2009, with Abhisit)

-Hundred of thousands of people (maybe millions, all the tourists) are well aware of this situation. And it”s happening under the nose of the police… The police is of course part of this business, harvesting bribes.

So ?

I repeat : so ?

Does Abhisit have any self esteem ? Or does he really think that he can fool the americans ? 😉

But afterall… Why not ? The “Fuck you policy” is very fashionable nowadays (China is an expert at it, in every aspect). Any small country, any third world banana republic, any dictatorship leaded by lunatics is able today (and apparently willing) to say “fuck you” to the US, to Europe.

Fair enough. It’s unfortunate…. But I guess it’s inevitable… the obvious Fall of Rome, bis repetita.

What is unbearable… is the hypocrisy of the barbarians.

You want to loot Rome ? Do it, make our day ! But don’t try to hide yourself.

Don’t try to find lame excuse.

And as usual, I will finish by the official motto of this blog: Abhisit ? Change Yes We Can(‘t). 😉

2 sides of the same coin : more jetfighters and budget deficit

Cruel resonance

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Bt23 billion budget spreaded over five years for the Air Force to buy six Grippen fighter aircraft from Sweden and upgrade six F-16 fighter jets. (Nation)

And the very same day :

The cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft 2011 expenditure budget, amounting to 2.05 trillion baht, as proposed by the Budget Bureau and Finance Ministry, Korn Chatikavanij said.

The finance minister said since the expected revenue is 1.65 trillion baht, the budget would carry a deficit of about 400 billion baht. (Bangkok Post)

23 billions more for the clowns in uniforms. And a deficit of 400 billions for the country. Well done guys.

It’s not the first time. Since his “elections (ah ah ah) Abhist has been very generous with his masters (read here and there)…

Jetfighters, submarine… you name it. It’s not a buying spree anymore. It’s Santa Claus on Speed.

The alleged Prime Minister loves  to spend money Thailand doesn’t have in order to please the army.

Afterall, so many houses to refurbish. So many new Mercedes to buy ! Life is so short, right ? And times are hard.

I can only repeat the “chute” of my last piece :

The army is not the solution.

In Thailand, the army is obviously part of the problem.

And I should add : Abhisit is also part of the problem.

Amid a full global crisis… this man, this so called “democrat” is willing to increase the budget deficit in order to buy ridiculous, useless and overpriced toys for the army.

Childish ? Corrupted ? Cynical ? Or just plain dumb ?

Abhisit ? Change, Yes We Can(‘t) ! More than ever.

2 sides of the same coin : fireworks at the border and a defiant officer

A brief fight between Thai and Cambodian soldiers on the disputed site near Preah Vihar Temple was caused by misunderstanding and has been resolved, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Monday.

There is no report of casuality from both sides after they exchanged gunfire early Sunday about 20 kilometers from the temple. (Nation)

Abhisit is the misunderstanding. The alleged Prime Minister is unable to calm down and to give orders to a bunch of trigger-easy lunatics in military fatigues, the so called “Thai Army” ! It’s unbelievable.

It’s not the first time than those nuts are playing with their guns, like retarded children, at the border with Cambodia (read here, and there). So no surprise. Enough of the misunderstanding. No “oops I did it again”.

Where is Britney Spears ?

And each time, the clowns in Bangkok say “it’s a misunderstanding. Sorry, It won’t happen again”.

Of course, it’s a political game too… Abhisit is a victim… but also an accomplice. This little (and artificial, and grotesque) tension can serve him (with the story of Thaksin in Cambodia), to show that he’s a real warrior (ah ah ah ah), a real man. 😉

Now, let’s look at the other side of the same coin :

Army specialist Khattiya Sawasdipol, or Seh Daeng, said on Monday he would not rush to report to police to acknowledge charges of wrongful possession of war weapons found at his house.

Maj-Gen Khattiya said he would surrender to police, but he would wait another seven days or so to let things cool down a bit and then he would surrender in the early hours of the morning, possibly between 2am and 4am. (Bangkok Post)

Voila ! Another lunatic who thinks that he is above the law, because… well he wears an uniform and because he loves guns.

I mean : what’s going on ? Who is this guy with those ridiculous James Bond scenarios (“I’ll arrive between 2h15 and 3h48 AM, I’ll wear black sunglasses. Why ? Because my name is Seh Daeng with a S and a D.”) ?

Wake me up, it’s a nightmare.

Those are 2 small events. Indeed. But they are symbolic. They show what is the biggest problem for the country, its biggest liability : the army.

The army is not the solution.

In Thailand, the army is obviously part of the problem.

BOT’s fantasies rewritten by the thai press fantasies

Consider this headline from the Nation :

The Bank of Thailand yesterday officially signalled a policy-rate hike in the second half of the year but promised to take into account the pace of economic recovery and inflation before making any move.

Then, read what was really said by the Bank Of Thailand :

He said monetary policy could return to normalcy this year if the private sector and the economy saw stable expansion. If core inflation rises above 2.3 per cent in the third or fourth quarter in the wake of higher oil and commodity prices, the central bank may consider the possibility of increasing the policy rate.

First : the current monetary policy is abnormal. 😉 We knew it. But it’s good to repeat it for the sheeps.

Second : the BOT never said It would increase rates. They just repeated what the textbooks are saying : if inflation remains low, if the economy is growing… if… if… if then the central bank “may consider” increasing rates.

Let’s put it that way, for the morons at Nation : text books and fantasies are useless.

And since people who are able to connect at least 2 neurons know that there isn’t any sustainable recovery, just several dope fixes injected to the world economy, then the situation will get worse, then any rate hike is likely to remain a fiction. A fantasy.

Now, let’s study the own fantasies of the thai Central Bank. And you’ll find out why I call them “morons”.

Consider this striking sentence :

At a press conference yesterday, BOT Assistant Governor Paiboon Kittisrikangwan said inflation would remain low this year, because the government had extended its measures to ease the cost of living until the end of the first quarter. Headline inflation, without volatile items like energy, could be 3-5 per cent, while core inflation could be 1.3-2.3 per cent.

The BOT official states that inflation will remain low… BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZES PRICES OF SEVERAL GOODS AND SERVICES.

Breath. Five minutes. And then read again. Voila 😉

A magistral proof that those so called “officials” are totally moronic, indeed. It’s even an understatement.

If we follow their twisted logic, then inflation couldn’t exist anymore on earth (and the solar system). Just declare it illegal, and/or subsidize ALL the prices. Case closed.

Damned ! I’m wondering why Germany didn’t find this magical cure in the 1920s. Or more recently Zimbabwe. 😉 Or Venezuela.

But let’s be clear : this insanity is absolutely not an exclusivity of thai central bankers… I mean, if you look around, the FED, the BOJ, the ECB… it’s even worse. Much worse.

With such clowns driving our car… the crash against the 2010 Great Wall is likely to be bloody. And really messy.

Accused of corruption ? Give a toy to the plebeians, like a referendum for teenagers

Chairman of the sufficiency economy project, Mechai Viravaidya, will this Friday reveal guidelines on fund allocation to district chiefs nationwide. He said these guidelines should minimise corruption because provisions have been made for those involved in graft to face criminal charges.

The project had been initially suspended due to reports of corruption. Mechai attributed the negative news to poor public relations and lack of public understanding and participation. Of the projects submitted earlier, 74 per cent were for the procurement of equipment.

“Under the new guidelines, anybody above the age of 15 is entitled to voice their opinion. This is the first time that the country’s youth, numbering about 5 million, will offer opinions on how the Bt18.6-billion government budget should be allocated,” he said.

A nationwide referendum for most-needed projects will take place on January 31 and participants will be encouraged to point to all traces of corruption. (Nation)

Vertigo… ! Breathtaking ! Pills, we need pills !

Instead of addressing these accusations, the government is toying with cheap marketing tricks…

And you’ll appreciate the ridiculous rethoric : “we can’t do wrong, because we would face criminal charges, so you see we really can’t do wrong”. 😉

And why not asking the new born babies for their opinions ? Or the elephants perhaps ? Sure, that would be trendy. It would probably please Abhisit the Great Communicator.

They are totally burned out.

Anyway, the bottom line is :
-confronted with accusations of corruption… the government tries everything It can to create red herrings, in order to divert attention.
-since we are heading toward the The Mother Of All The Battles (with Thaksin, at least this is what they say)… The government needs badly to give away huge amounts of money, to buy people, minds and votes.

Change with Abhisit ? Yes We Can’t. More than ever.

Let’s organize a referendum for babies to find out. Or for animals. And plants too (no discrimination). That could be revealing.


Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.