I was wondering if some hackers were recruited by the federal government to hack my notebook to either plant some Trojan horses or just to deny my access to the internet – surfing was bloody slow that I could leave my notebook to fetch its pages while I disappeared into kitchen to cook a bowl of instant noodle. Today, Streamyx admitted their broadband users will have to bear with sluggish surfing speeds until March 5 (since Feb 18) due to circuit faults on the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) between Malaysia and the United States. It further claimed that only servers located at United States would be affected but when I tried to do some transactions via Maybank2U it was crawling and screaming for help. I’m doubted if Maybank2U hosted their applications out of Malaysia though.
Anyway the breaking news was indeed the 50 basis point cut in OPR (overnight policy rate) by Central Bank to 2%, apparently because it was worried about growing risk of an economic contraction this year. The Central Bank has already cut the rate by a whopping 75 basis point about a month ago and to do so again with such quantum and span of time have indeed raised many eyebrows. If there’s one thing the federal government is good at, it is definitely its ability to lie through its teeth so much so that about half the analysts or economists interviewed were convinced the Central Bank will leave the OPR alone this time. How wrong they were but can’t blame them since even the PM-in-waiting Najib Razak almost swore that the country will be insulated from the current global Great Recession and we should continue partying all day and night *grin*.
It was not long ago that various government agencies were confident Malaysia’s economy will register GDP growth of 5.7% and 5.4% for the year 2008 and 2009 respectively. Of course all of us are now watching these smart people scrambling to revise the growth, repetitively *cool*. The question that Najib and his gang of financial experts should answer now is why desperately cut the OPR again? Are there unfavorable statistics that is beyond the government’s explanation once published? The social impact from the economic crisis has already been felt with longer queues at government hospitals and health clinics as people try to save. Strangely the federal government could still smiles from ear to ear making good money out of the fuel prices despite the crude oil going under $40 a barrel. Maybe the Prime Minister, whoever he is, should be made to appear before a US-like House Financial Services Committee where the President (in this case Prime Minister) will be grilled over controversial efforts such as bailout plans or packages. Anyone knows what happened to the first RM7 billion stimulus package?
Now, to see how bad U.S. economy has become since its 2007 peak, we got to measure the shares performance from some big boys:
- General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM, stock) shares have fallen from $30.30 to $2.22, less than the cost of a standard spark plug (about $3.79).
- A share of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C, stock), which cost $55.66 at the beginning of 2007, now costs $2.60. ATM fees can total $3 or more for using an out-of-network bank card.
- New York Times Co. shares have fallen from $24.27 to $3.95, cheaper than the $4 cost of its Sunday edition.
- General Electric Co. shares fell from $30.30 to $9.08, cheaper than a GE two-slice bagel toaster at Wal-Mart, selling Tuesday on the clearance rack for $12.
- Office Depot is down from $38.27 to $1.26, less than a 12-pack of medium point Papermate BallPoint Stick Pens which runs $1.89.
- US Airways has fallen from $53.89 to $3.66, less than the current $4 cost of two in-flight coffees.
Maybe, just maybe, you could witness the stock prices of the blue-chips tumbles and sit together with those so-called useless penny stocks.
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