Outlier economic and global outlook #1, Part 1

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As at 21 March 2019, economic conditions around the globe are steadily getting worse.

In the United States international revenue has spiraled down due to declining exchange rates and the negative effects of the ongoing trade wars. Pundits M (maverick economic watchers) see slowing international macroeconomic conditions and weaker global trade growth trends continue. The year-over-year decline in FedEx Express international revenue and China’s industrial output and retail sales softening with a jump in unemployment are worrying case examples.

Will the US-China trade negotiations put a floor under it? China is likely to avoid quantitative easing and massive deficit spending. Germany cannot hide the daunting external risks. Turkey entered its first recession in a decade. U.S. manufacturing output was down for the second straight month in February. Freight volumes dropped for three months in a row. Class-8 freight trucks were down 58% from a year ago. Residential construction spending plunged for the six month in a row.

The economy pundits point to low prices for corn, soybeans, milk and beef. In the 12-month period ending in June 2018, more than 80 farms filed for bankruptcy – doubling the number over the same period in 2013 and 2014. Now record floods devastating a wide swath of the farm belt across Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and some neighboring states. First estimates of lost crops and livestock are approaching $1 billion in Nebraska alone. With their stockpiles of grain gone, the one thing that can stand between them and financial ruin farmers have also lost their livestock as a result of the devastating floods.

Global economic conditions continues to deteriorate and in particular the global financial system is vulnerable as .global debt-to-GDP ratios have risen to 231% compared with 208% in June 2018. The U.S. FedEx bleak outlook for the economic future is a very ominous sign as an economic downturn at this time could ultimately set off a very disturbing chain of events.

Industrial production on a year-over-year basis in Europe has fallen for three months in a row. Pundits C (conforming economic watchers) leading economic indicators also took a dramatic turn south. U.S. stock market valuations (SP500 using fourth quarter 2018 data) warms that over 60% of available term-spreads have inverted – meaning valuations are beginning to get close to sounding the alarm. All measuring of pick-ups and decelerations in economic growth are now in negative territory.

Nonetheless the net worth of the American household grows virtually every single quarter year over year. It typically coincides with economic trouble during rare periods when it doesn’t expan and contraction in net worth has always indicated an economic recession was imminent. A more than a 4% decline in sequential quarters is a warning. It is importance that the U.S. stock market remains above the fourth quarter 2018 low in the near term to avoid risk of entering an overall wealth contraction. The current slowing rate of asset growth to +0.8% require a deeper wealth contraction below zero to have the same meaning as in past recessions.

Let’s note that the main components of net worth are real estate and investments. Contracting individual net worth is due primarily to depreciating home values and or stock market declines. The 2000 to 2001 tech bubble implosion home values continued to climb at a double digit pace registering only a modest overall net worth contraction whereas the stock market fell nearly 50%. The most significant wealth contraction since the Great Depression occurred in 2008 with stock market capitulation but was greatly exacerbated by the rare collapse in real estate of 34%. Only if the U.S. stock market end a quarter in 2019 beneath its nadir of the fourth quarter 2018 will there be a wealth panic coinciding with a contracting U.S. economy. The stock market in March 2019 so far is right back to the highs of 2019 is impressive, as if the market is becoming certain there will be a China trade deal. Any net worth issue for 2019 will not be a headwind and possibly and green shoots for a new global expansion can be heralded.

Only if China fail to offer a sufficient solution that risks triggering a severe escalation of the trade crisis. A policy misstep by Trump and Xi could lead to at least a modest contraction in our GDP and household wealth. Then the topic de jour will be declines in gross exports and Pundits M trajectory of weak global macroeconomic conditions will take hold.

Pundits Y (mainstream orthodox economic watchers) note that the Federal Reserve will remain the top holder of U.S. Treasuries for the foreseeable future after the central bank said it would stop shrinking its $4 trillion balance sheet by the end of September. Its balance sheet was less than a quarter of its current size and consisted almost entirely of Treasury securities before the financial crisis of late 2007. The Fed’s quantitative easing (QE) bought a mix of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from the end of 2008 to late 2014 (six years) resulting in its balance sheet mushrooming nearly five-fold due fostering an economic recovery.

Treasuries now account for 55% of the assets on the Fed’s balance sheet. MBS is about 40%. Other assets include gold. Some securities range in maturity from 1-month bills to 30-year bonds. Before the financial crisis the Fed’s preference was for short-term securities such as T-bills, which mature in a year or less. In addition notes maturing between five and 10 years accounted for just 7% of the Fed’s Treasury holdings. The longest-term securities which matured in 10 years or more were around 10% of its portfolio.

By early 2013 the five-to-10 year sector shot up to as much as 52% as the Fed was making a concerted effort to lengthen its maturity profile to pressure long-term bond yields lower and boost the housing market. The longest-dated bonds grew to account for 25% and its holding of T-bills dropped to near zero. Today the Fed’s five-to-10 year paper is about 11% and its holdings of long-dated bonds has risen to nearly 30%.

It’s a piped dream that overall balance sheet can shrink a bit more relative to the U.S. economy. It was roughly 25% of annual U.S. economic output at its peak compared with around 6% before the crisis. As a percentage of nominal gross domestic output, the balance sheet today is just 20% of the $21 trillion U.S. economy. The Fed’s goal is about 17% and then growing the portfolio at a pace to maintain that balance sheet-to-GDP ratio over the long term. All of this is happening at a time when the US economy is close to full employment and the Fed has a 2% inflation goal.

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Bond prices rose sharply on 20.3.19 after the Fed forecast slower economic growth. The policy to stop shrinking its bond portfolio in September should hold down long-term interest rates. Bond yields touched the lowest level in more than a year. The Nasdaq edged up 5 points ( 0.1%) to 7,728 but the S&P 500 fell 8 points (0.3%) to 2,824. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 141 points (0.5%) to 25,745. As the outlook for higher rates dimmed prices of banks fell. Incidentally the Dow was weighted by Boeing shares which for instance on 11.3.19 wiped nearly $16 billion off Boeing’s market value, marking an abrupt reversal for a stock that had been the runaway top performer of 2019.

Bottom-line outcome was a rainbow fire as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to 2.53%. This was comparatively positive as the US 10-year Treasury notes on 12.3.19 was 2.65% and two-year yield was at 2.49%.

Now the Fed’s target range currently was 2.25% to 2.50% whereas the “effective” federal funds rate on 20.3.19 was 2.41% which was above the 2.40% interest rate (IOER) the U.S. central bank currently pays on the excess reserves that banks leave with it.

To understand what was troubling we understand that the rise in the average cost for U.S. banks to borrow excess reserves from each other overnight (known as federal funds) or “effective” federal funds rate could be due to the plan to halt the shrinkage of the U.S. central bank’s bond holdings. If the effective rate increases further there would alarm about the central bank’s effectiveness in controlling short-term rates.

In 2018, the Fed adjusted the IOER twice in an effort to keep the effective fed funds rate in the middle of its target range. Pundits Y recalled that in 2018 yields on 10-year Treasury paper held at 3.24% at one stage, near a seven-year top.

Rising treasury yields tend to dampen stocks and threaten the economic outlook, thus putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to go slow on policy tightening. Although tailwind from increased trade friction did not lead to any morphing into a recession the Dow dropped 92 points on 17.9.18 when the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was above 3%. The alarm bells were not sounded although it reached 3.05% because the then strong dollar kept inflation in check.

At end of November 2018 the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell turned dovish albeit without political reference. Treasuries rallied hard to down 10-year yields at 2.99%. It appeared that the Fed’s perception of strong economy might not be as solid. The gap in interest rates between 2-year and 10-year Treasury securities dipped to 0.15% point. The spread between the 3-year and 5-year notes dropped to negative 0.01 percentage point on 3.12.18, the first time that had happened since 2007. For gauging recession risk and weighing investor doubt about the future, an inversion of the yield curve is significant because it has preceded past recessions.

If underlying economies were linked with stocks the spillover effect of deflated wealth was enormous because only the U.S. and Japan were clearly in positive territory in respect of stocks performance. In any scenario there was a need to see continued rise in business investment otherwise even the boom of U.S. companies current earnings would subside.

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Outlier economic and global outlook #1, Part 2

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More tales of 2018 world developments

A first week December report had the U.S. global trade deficit in October jumped to a 10-year high and that the deficit with China surged 7.1% to a record $43.1 billion. U.S. cash aid to farmers hit by China tariffs was about $12 billion. Together with the Administration’s tax cuts and the Fed’s balance sheet bond reduction of $50 billion per month, shortage of dollars in the market meant that the U.S. Treasury would print more dollars.

For mainstream watchers who noted that China’s ownership of U.S. bonds, bills and notes was reduced by $10 million from $1.18 trillion in June 2018 – it’ was less than 1% but let’s connect the dots pertaining to the onset of world order reform. Dumping U.S debt by China would be at a steady pace albeit slow because of the risk exposure of their trillion dollar holdings.

The 2018 inflationary pressures of higher crude oil prices would push affected third world nations to purchase oil on the Shanghai and Hong Kong markets where China’s petro-yuan thrust would then move to the forefront. Nymex crude oil had increased by $4 to above $72 per barrel which was a 5% hit. The petro-yuan thrust would hamper the western economies central banks liquidity drains and a new world order currency would no longer be free from a gold peg. On the horizon was the Fed shrinking its balance sheet, meaning the bonds they were selling were sucking dollars out of the economy. Some emerging markets using their dollar reserves to prop up their own currencies and economies would lead to a ponzi scheme because borrowing money just to pay back old debts meant that.

Foreigners cannot buy more U.S. debt due to shortage of dollars in the market so the Fed will monetize the U.S. Treasury and outstanding debts by just printing more dollars, meaning deflating all outstanding debts – the greatest ponzi scheme. How else will the U.S. Treasury be able to get the funding they need to run the biggest deficits since the Great Financial Recession of 2008, partly also due to Trump’s tax cuts.

The first week of March 2019 saw European Central Bank Chairman Mario Draghi announcing a new long-term lending facility for European banks and promising not to raise interest rates for the next year. Equities subsequently plunged with European banks, autos and basic resources performing worst. Negative short-term interest rates in the past four years were doing more harm than good and the ECB was out of ammunition. Negative interest rates suck deposits out of the banking system, reducing bank profitability. Negative interest rates also forces Germans to increase savings at the expense of consumption, which depresses economic activity.

Hence the Euro zone planned roller coaster quantitative easing rides will become painful options. A reformed world order in global reserve currency could finally take place with China’s nuclear option of dumping U.S. debt. The Chinese leveraging on its petro-yuan agenda would spare all parties the cost of exchanging dollars in the oil trade. Again, in due course some traders instead of holding surplus assets in yuan would freely convert them to gold at China’s exchange markets.

The prevailing October 2018 macro-economic scenario was China’s September exports of 14.5% increase from a year earlier. In spite of escalating trade tensions the weaker renminbi contributed to China’s $34 billion surplus with the U.S. This surpassed the record of $31 billion in August. Tariffs imposed on $250 billion of exports to the US was mitigated by the Yuan depreciation of about 6% against the dollar.

Although the Shanghai Composite Index had touched a nearly four-year low China’s GDP of 6.5% in the third quarter from a year earlier was only slightly down from the 6.7% pace in the previous quarter. China had set a GDP growth target of around 6.5% for 2018 compared with 6.9% economy expansion the previous year. Jump in exports of electrical machinery – the biggest export item from China to the U.S was a sign exporters might have pushed out shipments ahead of implementation of the latest tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese exports. Downside risk could be expected in the fourth quarter.

Many nations like present day China, a previously staunch socialist country tilted to Maoism succumbed in modern times to housing and commercial real estate bubbles in matters of economics and governing communities. In the light of a Britain-Germany Brexit negotiations stand off after June 2017 what were some new developments?

Since 2013 Deng’s domestic political strategy had been replaced with neo-Maoism and neo-Stalinism with regard to realpolitik. Hard to eradicate, the personality cult of the dominant leader had been revived. At the 19th communist party congress Xi set himself up for open-ended rule with the abolition of presidential term limit. There was no designated successor and selective anti-corruption campaign had shattered the personal security pact among the ruling elites. In China’s one-party state any lethal threat to the CCP upended the delicate balance of power at the apex of the regime. Official ideological orthodox had altered to a personality cult of lackey second echelon leaders blindly carrying out earmarked policies.

Xi’s signature foreign policy initiatives of the $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), strategic partnership with Russia and South China Sea intrusions were viewed as confrontational. The United States agnostic viewpoint then changed as China became a threat to its global leadership. With a perception that Trump’s resolute trade war was on the cards many of China’s elite turned to Deng’s forty year ago way forward insightful questioning of “Why have America’s friends grown rich but its enemies have grown poor?”

As at mid August 2018, some pundits did not perceive it in that light. Those who mind did not matter. Those who matter did not mind. How practical it was to be liked by some, not all was Trump’s motivation. The “Trump-Xi friendship” in resolving trade war tit-for-tat measures and threats would be called upon when needed. The prevailing trade war escalation deflected and was working in the U.S. realpolitik lifting of China’s ZTE sanctions – not withstanding whether it was a quid pro quo or anything else.

The greenback was trading near a 13-month high and the U.S. GDP surged at a 4.1% annualized rate in the April-June period. The Dow was once again above 25,000 points and Asian stocks recent slide turned northwards on news of a late August US-China trade talks. Some would see China’s Sinopec offering to take up the surge in shale oil production unlike in May when constraints were imminent. In spite of China’s threat of an anti-dumping probe into U.S. sorghum imports the buying for animal feed had not dampened and even corn imports from the U.S had risen to one of highest levels in the past decade.

Venezuela’s plan to raise crude oil production and Iran turning more to China as the world’s largest importer of crude most certainly would see the Chinese leveraging on its petro-yuan agenda, henceforth sparing all parties the cost of exchanging dollars in the oil trade. The sellers would be able to convert renminbi into gold should they not take up Chinese goods or there be a comparative deterioration in the currency. A reformed world order in global reserve currency could finally take place and freely be convertible to gold.

The increase use of the renminbi in global financial trade would support the yuan vis-a-vis the mighty dollar. Strengthening of the yuan of course would deflect any suspicion of currency manipulation in the matter of ever growing US trade deficit with China.

Outlier economic and global outlook #1, Part 3

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Extraordinary efforts by the U.S. Federal Reserve to foster an economic recovery from the financial crisis through asset purchases and rock-bottom interest rates have provided essential support for the market during its 10 year bull run. The S&P 500’s post-crisis low close was 676 points on March 9, 2009. On 9.3.19 the benchmark index closed at 2,743, down 2% for the week but represented a quadrupling of the 9.3.09 value – a handsome windfall for a savvy investor.

Sweeping corporate tax cuts passed by President Donald Trump fueled market gains for much of 2018 before a steep sell-off starting in September raised fears the bull run was coming to the end. The S&P 500 has turned in a handsome annualized return of 15%, with the consumer discretionary and information technology indexes each up about 20% annually.

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The Brexit Quadrum

The UK economy after Brexit will prosper. It is hauntingly a services sector nation, not one that over depends on manufacturing exports. Malaysia’s GDP growth of more than 5% per annum is within reach of the United Kingdom. Inflation due to rising crude oil prices hit many countries but the US and UK are not badly affected because of their strong currencies. Once out of the euro zone food imports need to be mostly sourced elsewhere. Even currently the UK exports to the rest of the world have gown by 2.5% per year versus 1.5% per year to Europe.

UK jobless rate falls to new 43 year-low. The Euro zone June industry output plunges. Macron’s hollow 2017 election victory (France’s loss) now can look forward to French ports being excluded from European Commission plans for a new shipping route linking Ireland with the Continent post Brexit.

Italy and France budget deficits trajectory will exceed the EU commission’s guidelines and a no-deal Brexit will leave a giant size financial hole in the commission’s coffers. In August last year Greece warned it will need more financial aid from Brussels in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario as the financial fallout could leave the country facing increased financial and political instability if there was a shortfall in the EU budget up to 2020. With a £10bn-a-year black hole in EU finances any Euro zone planned roller coaster quantitative easing rides will be painful options.

Leaving the EU without a deal on March 29 might bring some short-term instability but in the longer term it would allow the United Kingdom to thrive through forging beneficial trade deals across the world. Commonwealth New Zealand and Australia will be prominent for dairy products for instance to mitigate anticipated food imports.

Household consumption of the UK is a high 66% of GDP and job opportunities in the service sectors will be resilient, with tourism and banking enabling the job market to hold. A crash in house prices is unlikely as the UK will continue to see wealthy folks of third world countries drawn to it, thus people in the UK will keep on spending. This augers well for the UK since there is greater resilience to any likelihood of a global downturn.

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An outlier Malaysian economic outlook

The Foreign direct investment into Malaysia increased to MYR 3.95 billion in the third quarter of 2018 compared to MYR 2.84 billion in the previous period. This bodes well for the government three-year period to improve the economy because there must be continued rise in business investment.

Brent crude oil prices holding above $75 per barrel is a blessing for Malaysia. More important is that higher prevailing oil price has contributed to palm based bio-diesel spread over palm oil to hit US$219 per tonne in early October 2018. It would be a badly needed growth engine in a scenario of weaker palm oil prices. Malaysia’s 720,410 tonnes of bio-diesel production in 2017 could reach 1.2 million tonnes in 2019. Its export could double the 235,291 tonnes in 2017.

In Malaysia although Brent crude price is currently below $70 per barrel, a B10 program will increase local consumption of palm oil and help reduce surplus in the global market. A new rule will come into full force from February 2019 to phase in the B10 biodiesel mandate on truck manufacturers such as Scania and bus manufacturers assuring engine warranty extension with usage of B10 in Malaysia.

The inflection point will set in with the ability of companies to service their debts. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) must be greater than their interest expense. China might be in dire stance here if not for the nation’s high currency reserves. With higher crude oil price inflation worsens most countries economic situations. Malaysia of course is stabilized by Brent crude above $70 per barrel and its currency depreciation against the dollar is comparatively much better off than China and Indonesia. The Malaysian government’s ¥200 billion (RM7.34 billion) 10-year Samurai bond issuance of March 2019 is a brilliant move in attracting foreign investors to Malaysia. The coupon rate was estimated to be at 0.65% but Malaysia managed to lower it to 0.63% per annum.

Dr Mahathir official visit to China in mid-August 2018 was to place his own affinity with China correctly when he clarified the burden of Chinese-backed projects initiated by the previous government. The construction of the East Coast Railway Line (ECRL) and the Suria Strategic Energy Resources (SSER) pipeline project were thought to be perverted. There was no suspicion that Beijing did not act in good faith thus things ought to be sorted out. China’s support for Malaysia’s palm oil would help and a bilateral trade payment in ringgit and yuan agreement will upend new Chinese direct investments.

Outlier economic and bespoke investing outlook #29

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Besp 29 text pic _mar 6,19

Keeping just 1 gram in cimb gold investment account after liquidating on 27.2.19 our cum loss of MYR181.46 is 9% of hold money MYR2000.

Taking world gold price to be USD1287.03, it is 5.6% higher than the base of 22.11.16. The EP of MYR171.26 is almost 3% lower than base.

The Outlier economic and bespoke investing outlook page of my blog Hope Tribute Malaysia stated that in 2011 my hold money was MYR9,000. So what was the R.O.I. on the hold money? A measly 19.4% p.a. was one outcome.

In gold investment article 2 we had reiterated we plucked from the prudent-tinged air MYR9,000 as the hold money. If you are one of those who do not blink with daily MYR100 pittance on family meals alone multiply that sum by 5 or 10 times. Remember this is in context of “Losing it all should not disrupt your lifestyle or family responsibilities”. Being prudent is imperative if our viewpoint is that strictly embarking in speculation is not noble but humans are such that a little of “evil on the side” oils the mechanics of raising needed capital by enterprises as one of the factors of economics supply and nurturing innovation in the grand scheme of things.

So having a loss of MYR181.46 of hold money MYR2000 is far from losing our shirts. But for those who had 10 times the hold money a 10% loss on MYR20,000 can be significant to a small time investor.

We really have to go back to 25.4.18 re Bespoke Investing feature #22 to assess our patience in sitting it out when we stated that relative to our world gold price of $1350 upward bias price threshold level, the second week of April 2018 recorded a brief price surge touching $1363 on 11.4.18 and $1364 on 12.4.18 as US stocks futures were down on Syria tensions.

Thus we are now packing it up in relation to gold investing. The EP value (MYR equivalent price per gram) has not been any higher than base of MYR176.65.

Outlier economic and bespoke investing outlook #28

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The Hope Tribute Malaysia post “Outlier economic and bespoke investing outlook #27” of 4.12.18 is referred.

Compared with the 4.12.18 scenario the Ringgit strengthened against the greenback at 4.1310, thus although the world gold price against base has increased by 8.4% the local gold price is still below base MYR175.72. The EP is 0.7% lower than base.

Outlier #28 EP value_feb 18,19

The pending cash out quote spread is now MYR6.00 at MYR169.10 (cimb gold acct), indeed above our last purchase cost of MYR166 meaning increasing our gold holdings on 12.10.18 and 28.11.18 are vindicated.

Because world gold price has risen with the weakening greenback, a $1350 price threshold.appear to be more prudent for the next legs up precious gold investing because we want a EP above base cushion.

U.S – China trade talks are in order and since end of November 2018 the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell remained dovish. Briexit developments appear to be going our way and France’s yellow vest protests are in their 14th week, which underscores our attachment with George Soros’ 17 February 2019 inkling of the European conglomerate of countries is “sleepwalking into oblivion”.

Update 1 March 2019

World gold price closed higher on 18.2.19 and local gold price on 20.2.19 was 1% higher than base. The EP of MYR 177.70 was 0.5% higher. You have to go back to 9 June 2017 (post Britain 8/6 elections) when the EP was 178.09 at one stage on world gold price of USD1279 and forex MYR4.3310 to the dollar. Local gold price was MYR178.20 per gram.

Hope outlier EP feb 22c,19

The Dow closed 26,031 points and world gold price recovered to USD1329 per ounce on 22.2.19. Liquidated gold holdings on 27.2.19 to place hold money elsewhere.

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Don Q Scriptural Acts book preview.

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The religious biographical novel condenses the themes of a 2017 publication “Man from Quaint City” and “21st Century Don Quixote” of 2018 with updates on actual world events.

Hope contents pic Don Q acts_feb 15,19

The eBook and paperback formats are now available on Amazon.com

“How to Read the Quran” preview followup

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How to Read the Quran” preview followup

Preview URL is https://www.createspace.com/pub/https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1251180

eBook Preview Description: Write-up to follow through the 1st book preview of “How to read the Quran” since publication in mid-November 2018. It is entered in Amazon KDP Pen to Publish Contest.. Please give your rating.

How to read the Quran is a five-module approach to garner a seamless understanding of the core message of the scripture without being distracted by apparently haphazard not sequential narratives of divine guidance and decrees. Readers could juggle and combine the process to suit their preference and style. It is not meant to be Hut School teaching of correct rendition of verses in Arabic. What matters is for commoners to understand their role of fulfilling their obligations to their maker and then the Islamic precept of “Amanah” in the workplace, elsewhere and when at rest will ensue with robust vigor.

The first book preview URL is https://www.createspace.com/pub/community/give.review.do?id=1250691 Updates and some editing on the book preview is published on the blog Hope Tribute Malaysia https://hopetributemalaysia.wordpress.com/

Both the eBook and paperback book are now available on Amazon.com. Post publication events and world order reform developments not withstanding, the manuscript passages on cited cases remain spot on. Anecdotes such as one on student loan defaulters leading to honoring pledges and repaying debts without persistent demands draw on blog postings of Hope Tribute Malaysia. Under the category “Outlier economic and bespoke investing outlook” gold investing articles relate world events for signs of a reformed new order because upward bias in precious gold prices is dependent on it. Post publication of book the pertinent G20 summit in Argentina is an event covered in the latest #27 feature. Extracts from the post illuminate why our manuscript cited cases still hold.

. . . We had on 16.8.18 (Gold investing outlook #24) stated that the “Trump-Xi friendship” in resolving trade war tit-for-tat measures and threats would be called upon when needed. Indeed Beijing would revert to buying substantial amount of U.S. agricultural and energy products and to start purchasing agricultural products from U.S. farmers immediately.

The G20 summit also sealed a landmark deal on world trade reform. The UK parliament vote against Premier May’s brexit proposal would further contribute to a new world order. It was scheduled for 11 December but was aborted, hence this 3rd book preview. We wrote on 23.10.18 that with China’s cautious but clear bent on a new order for world trade and reserve currency we can look forward to world gold price above $1300 in December 2018.

On another front, France’s “Overthrow the bourgeoisie!”, anarchist sentiment culminated with a graffito on the Arc de Triomphe monument reading “Macron resign” on 2.12.18. The protesters were firstly angry about the green taxes that have raised gasoline prices, now in the fifth week it has become an uprising of rural France against policies favoring the industrialists at the expense of pensioners and the lower labor force. It points to a world where trade unions, church organizations and political parties are fading in importance. The yellow vest movement that didn’t exist a month ago became consolidated quickly because anger travels swiftly on social media without leaders. President Macron’s popularity is now in the mid 20% only.

In a contemporary democracy if compromises do not occur in formal debates, such spontaneous anti-politics movements can easily be hijacked by people with darker agendas. Hash tags of Yellow Vests protests spilling over into Belgium and the Netherlands are overtaking brexit in significance.

. . . In Malaysia although Brent crude price is way below $70 per barrel, a B10 program will increase local consumption of palm oil and help reduce surplus in the global market. A new rule will come into full force from February 2019 to phase in the B10 biodiesel mandate on truck manufacturers such as Scania and bus manufacturers assuring engine warranty extension with usage of B10 in Malaysia.

Foreign direct investment into Malaysia increased to MYR 3.95 billion in the third quarter of 2018 compared to MYR 2.84 billion in the previous period. This bodes well for the government three-year period to improve the economy because there must be continued rise in business investment.

In our manuscript, Addendum B Point 5.31 . . the closures at the date of publication the following passages still hold.

5.31 A published poll on 4.11.18 had France far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s party leading Macron. France’s 2017 presidential elections saw Macron winning with 65.5% of the vote on a turnout of about 74%, with Marine Le Pen’s high-spending and anti-immigrant manifesto attracting an estimated 11 million votes. In the author’s mind the defeat of France’s far-right opposition leader was a loss to the French masses.

4.94 Not in the limelight, scientists in China have successfully cultivated paddy in salty waters along the Yellow Sea coastal city of Qingdao. Some types of grain produced in between 4.4 tons and 9 tons of rice per hectare. Presently farmers growing some types of saline-tolerant rice could get 1.5 tons per hectare. Only by doubling the yield would it be commercially viable. God’s bounty awaits the ingenuity of man to reap and prosper. Consumers have taken to its flavor and texture and in China the rice grown in salty water is thought to have several health benefits.

Malaysia’s 720,410 tonnes of bio-diesel production in 2017 could reach 1.2 million tonnes in 2019. This of course depends on Brent crude oil prices holding above $70 per barrel. Instead of penalizing oil palm because of misplaced notions of sustainability, the European Union after depleting their forests has the audacity to champion measures to victimize the economies of developing nations. Greater oil palm cultivation would make renewable bio-diesel not only a growth engine for Malaysia and Indonesia but indeed contribute a greater good for humanity’s economic need for energy.

The above developments illustrate one aspect of the grand scheme of things even as mankind seek the bounties of God – a timeless theme in all scriptures.

4.96   There no longer is a need for a UK’s “special partnership” with the European Union and it’s a positive factor development for a reformed world order. Each nation ought to abide only by its own laws and unique homeland needs. Theresa May’s vision for Britain after Brexit now has to be a no-deal Brexit. Germany’s Merkel may try to upset the course by saying that a Brexit deal should be flexible. Where was she when Theresa May made her case on 22.9.17 in Florence? Why bend backwards to comply with Euro zone rulings?

UK jobless rate falls to new 43 year-low. The Euro zone June industry output plunges. Macron’s hollow election victory (France’s loss) now can look forward to French ports being excluded from European Commission plans for a new shipping route linking Ireland with the Continent post Brexit.

Poland getting suspended because of political interference in its legal system; the Greeks pointing out a British no-deal Brexit would leave EU finances £10bn-a-year short and add “increased financial and political instability” to the nation are developments on which the UK politicians ought to leverage in convincing all and sundry that a no-deal Brexit is favorable.

4.97 The euro zone direction is an on-going restrain on new world order reform and British Prime Minister Theresa bent on the European Union’s offer to extend the transition period of Brexit could lead to a confidence vote on her premiership in December 2018. What a dismal development because a no-deal Brexit would be a positive for new world order reform. After all the Czech prime minister would pass emergency legislation to ensure British citizens continued to have the same access to the republic.

Most cross references of Reminder verses are appended in Addendum A with points 1.0 to 3.0 in sync with the discourse of Modules 1 through Module 3. Points 4.0 and 5.0 of Addendum B is synchronized with Module 4 and 5. The bespoke investment strategies which focuses on everything having its place and exercising prudence are part of relishing the abandon life. We need to be prudent in investing and the featured articles illustrate the importance of not creating any ills for a life of serenity.

How to read the Quran is entered in Amazon KDP Pen to Publish Contest. Here’s one final quixotic shot in sharing the light is a twitter-like sum up.

The premise of new world order headwinds in 2018 and Brexit being a positive development underscore nations surviving by learning in order to avoid crude madness that history has so far counted. A brighter future of humanity and advancement of the grand scheme of things will be shaped by peculiarly startling efforts of real action of world leaders as they balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world.

By “the grand scheme of things” is about God’s plan for mankind in general and everyone in particular. Relative to race, it’s reaching out to all and sundry to learn their heritage and culture. Minimizing our own “footprint” with co-dependent friendships rather than squabbling over matters of faith for no one group of people is categorically the guided ones

There are 5 modules. Relating to fair trading and equitable economic system we will elaborate more on Pharaoh and the like in Module 4. At this juncture let’s focus on some actions of distraught committed by ancient communities which had gone astray.

Pharaoh of course broke up communities into factions. In general communities which have divided their system and become sects (Arabic: “syiyaan”), whereby each group rejoices with what it has is the Reminder’s euphemism of religion. No other Arabic word in the Quran for religion is closer than “syiyaan”. Followers of the Creed of Abraham are not with them in anything. When trading the upright person does not defraud others or seek abnormal gains from imprudent customers and desperate suppliers.

The Word of God is truth and it does not change. If you were to follow the common run of those on earth, they will lead you away from the ordained way of life. Their opinions are but conjecture and they basically lie. Some specific directives to people gone astray are:

(a) You shall not touch the orphans’ money except for their own good.

(b) Give full measure when you trade and weigh with an equitable balance.

(c) Practice fair trading and refrain from profiteering.

(d) Be perfectly honest when you serve as a witness, even if it is against a near relative or when there is enmity. You shall not accept or utter anything that you yourself cannot ascertain.

(e) Follow God’s way. Do not be arrogant and accept no object of worship or say things without knowledge about God. Do not follow the teachings of preachers without discernment because they have no authority to forbid the permitted.

(f) Commit to submission to God alone just as every created thing in the universe is submitting to God.

When common folks recite verse 6 of the Opener during formalized prayers they are clearly asking to be shown the straight way. Al Baqarah proclaims the true guidance is in this book for those who believe in the revelation sent to Muhammad and before his time. Those who follow the guidance will prosper while those who do not believe make mischief on the earth.

Up to verse 25 stipulated are 4 core decrees:

1) From what God provides they contribute;

2) Do not corrupt the Earth;

3) Not cause for God to be associated with anything;

4) Deliver good news to those who do deeds of righteousness, for them is the garden.

Al Baqarah, signs and explanations numbering 286 in total; none of the 286 pointers clarifies how any religious rituals need to be done or how often they are to be established. Is there a need to in the first place?

As a corollary to that practical matters of living out an abundant life or conversely one filled with injustices is the thrust of the teachings in the scriptures. In whatever capacity we are to deliver some of divine guidance for a life of abundance.

Upon comprehending the scriptures we cannot miss the lesson to be just. Do not use the courts to unjustly consume part of the properties of other people or from being penalized. It is not virtuousness if you try to sidestep God’s system through back door means.

Common folks opting for anything “kosher” cannot be at peril to injustice otherwise it’s just branding, hiding under a cloak of piousness. What is in the value of ritual prayers and other sectarian rites if they do not prevent you from transgression and shameful acts?

The individual who wins God’s favors conditions himself to constantly question any sectarian tenet and the accompanying rituals and rites if there is any worthy outcome which ultimately improves one’s character and righteousness – focus of the scriptural teachings.

Addendum A Point 2.24 What are the deeds of a pious person? Do you realize that the perceptions of most people are conditioned by precepts propagated by community leaders and extended families? Fact is that even a much honored prophet can be viewed as at a loss. Moses was seeking to learn from a “servant of God” [read Q18:65-82] and Moses was baffled as to why wrecking a lifeline boat, killing an innocent child and wringing laborious charity to the inhospitable could be righteous. The three events and the lesson of the narration contrasts with the perception of people who have taken their priests and scholars [see Q9:31] as lords besides God – which of course make them deemed idol-worshipers. The righteous person is not recognized because of the predominance of man-made religious laws and cult beliefs.

Q6:115-116 . . . The Word of God is truth and it does not change. If you were to follow the common run of those on earth they will lead you away from the Way of God. Their opinions are but conjecture and they basically lie. [Inferred from the verse, not ad verbatim]

Khidr also mentioned to Moses to be patient in judgment. He had killed the lad. Is this not against the common understanding that killing another human is a grave sin? Apparently not – if you are in the state of higher awakening and that you are free of ritualistic laws and norms set by fellow humans – no matter how learned they are in their religious knowledge passed down generation to generation of forefathers, whether written or memorized.

Every people have their rites and ceremonies but God has prescribed a law and an open way through divine revelation. If God had so willed, there would be just a single people, but God’s plan is to test mankind in what was given; so strive as in a race in all virtues.

The Almighty’s laws are just and the accomplishment of God’s fair recompense invariably holds. Know that contentment is a product of the heart to be relished whether your personal or financial fortune flourishes or take a turn for the worse. The finest retreat is being free from evil and filled with contentment in life – attaining repose while being ever surrounded by affluence and unwholesome distractions. Man’s innate tendency to what is right and his inclination to virtues is influenced by interlocking selfish desires, wrong focus, cult practices, customs and superstitions.

The doorman of a guesthouse gains the respect of city visitors by his robust character and state of repose. He serves them with dignified conversation about the city attractions and seasonal anecdotes. Even the lift attendant can enjoy his work and stand tall in executing his job extremely well, adding pleasant brief interlude to the holiday experience of guests.

The store keeper, the street cleaner, the farm work hand or the construction manual worker all can be happy at work and contented in life. Their strength of character and inner peace draw people to their mannerism and wisdom. The rural elder who earns his keep in a fishing vessel can impart to you the serenity of life’s true riches even without uttering a word but silent eye reflection of an upright being in its finest nature.

Thus arrogance begone. Seek refuge with the Lord, ever cherishing mankind and shoo away the mischief of the whisperer which is within us. Only in this manner will one be able to live peacefully and keep the soul at rest when we are realizing the bounties of God.

Book Preview Questions:

Q1) Can we reflect scriptural guidance in modern times through citing real new world reform?

Q2) Will folks negate tolerance for corrupt leaders in their midst by relating pertinent anecdotes?

Q3) Will readers be encouraged to reabsorb the true teachings of all scriptures?

Q4) Will you support the book in the Amazon KDP Pen to Publish Contest.

Outlier economic and bespoke investing outlook #27

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aa

Outlier economic outlook #27 . . . ready for the next legs

Hope Gold investg #27 jpec pic

While we wait till world gold price to burst out of our target $1300 per ounce price area in December or January next year and the EP value (MYR equivalent price per gram) to be higher than base of MYR176.65 we had islightly increased our gold holdings on 12.10.18 and 28.11.18 to lower our average gold holding costs to MYR228.56 per gram.

In setting the pace for the next legs up in world gold prices we must be prudent that our next outlay observe the $1300 price threshold. Perhaps then the local gold price would be MYR171 per gram and above the spread of MYR5.00 of pending cash out quote of MYR166 (circa our last purchase cost).

In respect of our previous Outlier economic and bespoke investing outlook posting of 19.9.18:

besp#27_forex n EP value

The Ringgit continued to weaken against the greenback at 4.2210 but was comparatively stronger than the previous day 4.2400 rate. Otherwise the EP value of 167.01 would be about 95% of base MYR176.65. All currencies have improved after the US-China trade battle escalation was put on hold at the G20 Argentina summit meeting between Trump and Xi. Brent crude oil price also increased to around $62 per barrel, which was $85 per barrel at the end of October. Any further improvement of crude price would strengthen the Ringgit but the Dollar decline would affect Malaysia local gold price if world gold price increased only slightly as what happened on 4 December. Relative to 3 December, world gold price increased by 64.6 basis points but local gold price increased by only 42.3 basis points.

We had on 16.8.18 (Gold investing outlook #24) stated that the “Trump-Xi friendship” in resolving trade war tit-for-tat measures and threats would be called upon when needed. Indeed Beijing would revert to buying substantial amount of U.S. agricultural and energy products and to start purchasing agricultural products from U.S. farmers immediately.

The G20 summit also sealed a landmark deal on world trade reform. The UK parliament vote against Premier May’s brexit proposal would further contribute to a new world order. We wrote on 23.10.18 that with China’s cautious but clear bent on a new order for world trade and reserve currency we can look forward to world gold price above $1300 in December 2018.

On another front, France’s “Overthrow the bourgeoisie!”, anarchist sentiment culminated with a graffito on the Arc de Triomphe monument reading “Macron resign” on 2.12.18. The protesters were angry about the green taxes that have raised gasoline prices and they did not like the speed limits on French roads too. It points to a world where trade unions, church organizations and political parties are fading in importance. The yellow vest movement that didn’t exist a month ago became consolidated quickly because anger is one of the things that travels quickly on social media.

In a contemporary democracy if compromises do not occur in formal debates, such spontaneous anti-politics movements can easily be hijacked by people with darker agendas.

At end of November the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell turned dovish albeit without political reference. Treasuries rallied hard to down 10-year yields at 2.99%. It appears that the Fed’s strong economy may not be as solid. The gap in interest rates between 2-year and 10-year Treasury securities dipped to 0.15% point.. The spread between the 3-year and 5-year notes dropped to negative 0.01 percentage point on 3.12.18, the first time that has happened since 2007. For gauging recession risk and weighing investor doubt about the future, an inversion of the yield curve is significant because it has preceded past recessions.

Factory orders in China are down. The Dow closed 25,826 points on 3.12.18, up 287 or 1.1% on the Monday after the weekend G20 summit. It had in early trading +440 points or around +1.7%. President Trump rebuke of interest rate hikes is becoming the new reality, not tired of winning!

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In Malaysia although Brent crude price is way below $70 per barrel, a B10 program will increase local consumption of palm oil and help reduce surplus in the global market. A new rule will come into full force from February 2019 to phase in the B10 biodiesel mandate on truck manufacturers such as Scania and bus manufacturers assuring engine warranty extension with usage of B10 in Malaysia.

Foreign direct investment into Malaysia increased to MYR 3.95 billion in the third quarter of 2018 compared to MYR 2.84 billion in the previous period. This bodes well for the government three-year period to improve the economy because there must be continued rise in business investment.

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Update 20 December 2018

Far from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell turning dovish, the Fed signaled further gradual rate hikes and no break from cutting its massive bond portfolio. A first week December report had the U.S. global trade deficit in October jumped to a 10-year high and that the deficit with China surged 7.1% to a record $43.1 billion.

U.S. cash aid to farmers hit by China tariffs is about $12 billion. Together with the Administration’s tax cuts and now the Fed’s balance sheet bond reduction of $50 billion per month, shortage of dollars in the market will just mean that the U.S. Treasury will print more dollars. You can’t create gold at will, unlike paper cash. World gold price above $1300 in December or January next year will signal the next precious gold price legs up.

The situation in the EU too will support this trajectory. Italy and France budget deficits will exceed the EU commission’s guidelines and UK leaving the EU without a Brexit deal will leave a giant size financial hole in the commission’s coffers.

Does not Premier May remember that the EU had said that with a £40bn payoff a deal could be agreed? In August Greece warned it will need more financial aid from Brussels in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario. The financial fallout from a no-deal Brexit could leave the country facing increased financial and political instability if there was a shortfall in the EU budget up to 2020. With a £10bn-a-year black hole in EU finances, let the EU rejoice in a no deal Brexit. We already wrote back in April that the Euro zone planned roller coaster quantitative easing rides would be painful options. A reformed world order in global reserve currency could finally take place with China slowly but surely dumping U.S. debt.

2nd Book Preview of “How to Read the Quran”

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The first book preview URL is https://www.createspace.com/pub/community/give.review.do?id=1250691  Updates and some editing on the book preview is published on my blog Hope Tribute Malaysia https://hopetributemalaysia.wordpress.com/

Both the eBook and paperback book are now available on Amazon.com.

Quran preview notice 1

We had cited some current world developments to help reflect scriptural guidance postulations relative to modern times. The narratives on Brexit still hold, the comments on Macron’s European Army now is intrigued with Merkel joining in but Trump’s mocking response “Make France great again!” even surpass our alluring to most EU communities being alienated by any bent on Neverland federalism. In our book, the somewhat leader of lost EU commission boys, Macron could now bring the European Union to rue because of his view to possibly even defend against the U.S.

The Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria not wanting to sign United Nations’ The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration agreement come December do not contradict our notion of right-wing governments focusing on their own respective homeland priorities.

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On 17.11.18 more than 100,000 protesters in France linked the rising cost of diesel fuel to Macron, the “president of the rich.” His approval ratings now at 26% is far lower than the US President’s 40%. Ex-environment minister, Nicolas Hulot said in an August radio interview that greenhouse gas emissions was not reduced.

Can Macron’s carbon tax measures to curb climate change which ends up hurting the working class with increased retail diesel prices be good governance. Legislative policies ought to directly make industrialists pay by investments in more efficient manufacturing processes.

Australia and New Zealand on 18.11.18 indicated they will jointly fund a US$1.7 billion plan to increase electricity supply from 13% of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) eight million-strong population now to 70% by 2030. Australia is expected to give around A$572 million in development aid to PNG for the 2018-2019 period.

The aid donors could be seeking to counter China’s influence in the strategic Pacific region. During the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (Apec) annual summit in PNG, the opposition leader, Gary Juffa cited Malaysia’s Dr Mahathir scrapping China-linked projects worth hundreds of billions of ringgit by citing affordability issues. He warned that there were that PNG could be unable to cope with Chinese BRI investments debt burdens.

After the Apec summit, Dr Mahathir mentioned to a congregation at Hohola Mosque in PGN about reading and understanding the Quran in your own language. “If you read the Quran, it will teach you what is the way of life for the Muslims. But if you go according to certain interpretations by leaders, then you may not be getting the right message of the Quran that’s found in the Quran,” Dr Mahathir said. “The Quran should be the final guidance for us. Whenever we fail to understand or whenever we find teachings to be in doubt, go back to the Quran.”

Post publication events and world order reform developments not withstanding, the manuscript passages on cited events and case references are spot on. The title remains a valid contemporary approach to garner a seamless understanding of the scriptural teachings without being distracted by apparently haphazard not sequential narratives of divine guidance and decrees of the Quran.

Book Preview “How to read the Quran”

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How to read the Quran

https://www.createspace.com/pub/community/give.review.do?id=1250691

Hope Quran text pic 2

Short stories of one recalcitrant pipe piper’s quest to expound scriptural guidance for the layman to nonchalantly absorb universal noble values interspersed in story telling is a refreshing approach to entice young and adult minds.

Relative to The Good Country Index, are there world economic developments tilted for the future of humanity? A call circa 24 October 2018 for a Marshall Plan for Africa is a prominent instance. The Czech Prime Minister made the suggestion because the European Union wanted to spend more than $11 billion on increasing the number of border officers from 1,500 to 10,000 for stopping illegal migrants particularly from that continent. Can citing world developments help reflect some scriptural guidance in modern times?

Investment to prod up specific African economies would help deter the poverty stricken populace from seeking greener pastures abroad because most people prefer to stay put in their homeland. Other EU nations like Poland and Hungary also are opened on measures to persuade potential migrants to stay in Africa. In the grand scheme of things nationalistic objectives could also result in a greater good of others – the workings of universal energies at play. Some call them angels, they still constitute spiritual forces from God.

Not in the limelight, scientists in China have successfully cultivated paddy in salty waters along the Yellow Sea coastal city of Qingdao. Some types of grain produced in between 4.4 tons and 9 tons of rice per hectare. Presently farmers growing some types of saline-tolerant rice could get 1.5 tons per hectare. Only by doubling the yield would it be commercially viable. God’s bounty awaits the ingenuity of man to reap and prosper. Consumers have taken to its flavor and texture and in China the rice grown in salty water is thought to have several health benefits.

Malaysia’s 720,410 tonnes of bio-diesel production in 2017 could reach 1.2 million tonnes in 2019. This of course depends on Brent crude oil prices holding above $70 per barrel. Instead of penalizing oil palm because of misplaced notions of sustainability, the European Union after depleting their forests has the audacity to champion measures to victimize the economies of developing nations. Greater oil palm cultivation would make renewable bio-diesel not only a growth engine for Malaysia and Indonesia but indeed contribute a greater good for humanity’s economic need for partly renewable energy.

The above developments illustrate one aspect of the grand scheme of things even as mankind seek the bounties of God – a timeless theme in all scriptures. The Quran is also called the Reminder which connotes the scripture as the seal, meaning the conclusive rendering of divine rules and customs which are true and what are not. The five modules of the manuscript expand on the themes set out in Al Fatihah, the opener of the Quran. Many scholars regard its seven verses as the essence of the scripture.

With this as a backdrop, voluminous cross references of Reminder verses are appended in Addendum A with points 1.0 to 3.0 in sync with the discourse of Module 1 through Module 3. Points 4.0 and 5.0 of Addendum B links with Modules 4 and 5. There are only sporadic citing of teachings of other scriptures because the author is only conversant with the Reminder.

With commonplace scenarios illustrations and everyday life anecdotes the manuscript aims to better reflect the nature of what is written in the scriptures relative to modern times. It can be a reference text to prompt discussion topics in any comparative religious study in college and high schools.

In the modern economic system discourse, starting with Point 4.91, Points 4.94 to 4.97 passages relate some world economic and realpolitik developments relative to The Good Country Index and the Islamicity Index of Scheherazade S Rehman and Hossein Askari. Note that these contents are not in the main manuscript for we do not want to distract readers from the approach on how to read the Quran.

In discussions on comparative religions the Addendum Points 1.0 to 5.0 are better suited than the main script text because of ease of referencing relevant passages and cited verses. They also contain added drilled down passages to render a more comprehensive perspective. Technically the discourses then facilitate academic arguments. Twelve topics (T1 to T12) in question form are listed in Addendum C as closure to Addendum A and B. These are obvious debating subjects.

The message of the scriptures is not about how to worship the Almighty Creator of the universe. Practical matters of living out an abundant life or conversely one filled with injustices is the thrust of the teachings in the scriptures. The layman needs to understand the scriptures and upon acquiring knowledge he then establishes his submissions or in Arabic “lamasajidan” to the best of his capacity. Anyone can have a life of abundance, living a peaceful life while recognizing the distinction between the truth and falsehood.

In whatever capacity we are to deliver some of the clear divine guidance which broadly explains everything about a life of abundance. To obey the messengers means to follow the message since messengers are the ones chosen to deliver the word of God. None of them create any of God’s laws but merely conveyed them. Muhammad quoted what was revealed to him when clarifying the teachings. Yet some coreligionists tout that they strictly follow the way of their prophets.

To realize the abundant life contribution in the cause of the Almighty is crystallized with noble intent and benign knowledge. In a nutshell the best contribution is a deed done not even expecting a word of thanks but purely consciously carried out for the good countenance of God. We then are striving to fulfill our Amanah even at the workplace where most of our time is spent.

By noble intent we mean in contrast to aspirations for bigger businesses and branded cars, luxurious abode and many children, hoarded money, elegant clothes and fine jewelry, exquisite meals and sensual relationships. All is pure vanity or because of greed and pride as described as the pull of passions in the Readings.

More poignant is that the Islamicity study of Scheherazade S Rehman and Hossein Askari found that most self-declared Islamic countries did not adhere to Islamic principles concerning economic, financial, political, legal, social and governance issues. Very provokingly it questions how man can live the true meaning of Islam. The true parameters are trust, justice, fairness, freedom. People do not lock their doors when they go out and yet no one trespasses the property. If you return a broken egg to the grocer he replaces it without question. People are honest in their dealings irrespective of the value of the transaction.

Their study of 208 countries assessed if they were governed on Islamic principles using criteria such as corruption, human liberties, financial systems, economic opportunity and economic freedom. Malaysia was ranked 38th, the highest among Muslim countries.

Andrej Babis the Czech prime minister had formed his ANO party in 2013 with the promise to end corruption. So does the 2018 new coalition government of Malaysia under Dr Mahathir. Malaysia’s prime minister in waiting, Anwar Ibrahim called for a new program to help the poor regardless of race. The affirmative action policies for the country’s Malay majority getting discarded would be a right governance step, going by the Creed of Abraham and the really needy Malays would still be helped out. Those who were well off would no longer abuse the system envisioned in the scriptures for an abundant life among communities of all races. Of course being the majority, more Malays would benefit but there would be light for Indian and Chinese communities as well.

The euro zone direction is an on-going restrain on new world order reform and British Prime Minister Theresa bent on the European Union’s offer to extend the transition period of Brexit could lead to a confidence vote on her premiership in December 2018. What a dismal development because a no-deal Brexit would be a positive for new world order reform. After all the Czech prime minister would pass emergency legislation in the Czech Republic to ensure British citizens continued to have the same access to the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Hungary and even Germany are almost on the verge of following the footsteps of neo-fascistic Italians as the rising tide of populism veer to prioritizing each country’s homeland needs. They would fight Brussels’ encroachment and for instance combat illegal migration by making the task of protecting Europe’s borders to nation states. The UK must also have a similar policy for its own homeland need.

The United States October 2018 plan to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia would also make all former Soviet republics Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia more aggressive towards the European commission which the UK could leverage on.

All the specified nations are in the top 60 of the Good Country index. Germany, Austria and Hungary are ahead of Singapore which is 15th in ranking. Italy is 16th, Malaysia is 37th and India 59th. as comparisons. All in all let each nation’s people judge the actions of its own government. It’s back to their respective Amanah, not left to some self-righteous bureaucracy in Brussels.

With very personal anecdotes of a biographical character, Harris (adapted from a novel entitled “Man from Quaint City”) some tales churn up everyday life situations which illuminate prominent divine laws. Typically he is known among the extended family youngsters as one who keeps his promises and a person not to be fooled around in respect of commitments made. He walks the talk where it concerns honoring pledges. Some people will not repay even small debts without persistent demands. In Malaysia student loans taken by Muslims have very high default rates.

Together with current economic and realpolitik observations this book provides an approach on how to read the Quran. Readers could juggle and combine the process to suit their preference and style. It is not meant to be Hut School traditional teaching of correct rendition of verses in Arabic. What matters is for commoners to understand their role of fulfilling their obligations to their maker and then the Islamic precept of “Amanah” in the workplace and when at rest will ensue with robust vigor.

Akin to becoming a 21st century book of epistles, parodying renditions of principles of the Creed of Abraham the liturgical readings which the Quran in a sense is, a reference listing of virtues can be deciphered. Next, how to read the Quran without being distracted by apparently haphazard not sequential narratives of divine guidance and decrees in order to garner a seamless understanding of the core message of the scripture?

The premise of new world order headwinds in 2018 and Brexit being a positive development underscore nations surviving by learning in order to avoid crude madness that history has so far counted. A brighter future of humanity and advancement of the grand scheme of things will be shaped by peculiarly startling efforts of real action of world leaders as they balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world.

There is no doubt a designated system as providence for mankind and serenity for any layman. Religiously speaking it becomes a pathway to paradise if you will, provided perception of the way (Arabic: “deen”) is cleansed of falsehood and you constantly adhere to God’s commands. We need to be committed and embrace the straight pathway or method needed for success. The divine system is elaborated in relation to policies and their implementation for the present and longer range governance of society to neatly wrap up the Amanah tapestry.

Let’s note that a system is a way of working, organizing or doing something in which people follow a plan or set of rules whether working, organizing events or partaking in leisure activities therein situations and activities then have a sense of orderliness. With a career in business performance improvement spanning over twenty years there are no apologies for using the business lingua franca in paraphrasing some verses of the scriptures to show what the decrees emphasize relative to work ethics, innovation and governance.

Excerpts from Addendum A:

. . . (Points 3.25, 3.26 & 3.27) Corruption in the land means destruction of property and crops, persecution based on religious beliefs, victimization, causing riots and mischief, being overbearing to the under-privileged, weak, poor and needy, being unjustly insolent in self glorification, following a tyrant’s bidding, as well as in the public domain – using force for one’s own gain, unfair business practices, not giving full measure, not keeping trusts, profiteering and barring study because of religious beliefs.

Lawful measures mean in adherence to God’s justice and concept of fairness and mercy in dealings and transactions. This also means no exploitative monopolies, particularly in sectors related to infrastructure, utilities and essential public services.

The wont of God is always justice and bias fairness to man, truth to be savored. Man is warned not to connive ruthlessly to own property for greed, envy and plain vanities or to use wealth as bait for the judges with intent that he or she may illegally possess other people’s property.

If God were to expand sustenance for people they would act outrageously on earth. Thus we receive sustenance or personal dependence (Arabic: “resqi ia-yu-solaa”) only in due measure. Herein understand why the universal energies do reverse the gesture for the unscrupulous. Those who are shielded from their own avarice and covetousness will be prosperous. Nothing of what is spent in the least in the cause of God is waste for it will be replaced many folds.

God grants wisdom to whom He pleases and he to whom wisdom is granted receives indeed a benefit overflowing but none will grasp the message other than men of understanding.

The worthwhile social-economic goals of a nation depend very much on the circumstances and stage of development of a country or society. Economic policies required to ensure peace and solidarity of a people in order that its economic activities substantially increase must always be in line with God’s grand scheme of things.

There must of course be no injustice even in the short term although it might be thought to be required for attaining long term strategies because any endeavor in conflict with the Way of God will not bring prosperity in the long run. There is sufficient flexibility and alternative strategies other than injustice to advance one’s economy.

For example, it is righteous to cater for the under-privileged and needy and to provide special facilities to uplift them – but not on the criteria of race and creed.

Equilibrium in the universal system is not merely the meeting of the forces of demand and supply but in not exceeding the bounds of the Way of God. It centers very much on what is called ‘the Golden Mean’ – the middle way or moderation or appropriateness. Paraphrased, it means fair prices, no abnormal profits, balance focus of all strategic sectors for economic investment.

It is because of God’s graciousness and mercy that man was created and the “inherent religion” (striving to be closer to God) within man makes each person inclined towards fulfilling the innate trust of attaining attributes of forbearance, love and mercy.

. . . (Point 3.51) God vide Q20:51-53 gave each thing its form and guided it. The Earth is characterized by valleys and pathways for travel and rain from the sky to sustain varied vegetation. The Buddha’s advice to fall back on direct knowledge from one’s own experience does not have to be mathematical exactness. Correct understanding of the corollary to scriptural narratives is the important factor that made the difference to realizing the path of ease prescribed in the scriptures.

By observing that each created thing has its unique form and nature whereby creatures and plants function instinctively and are governed by their natural inclination for growth and survival points to a supreme creator. Water as the universal solvent cleanse as well as rejuvenates its inherent pure properties as rain to sustain varied vegetation underscores the fact. Also read Point 2.52.

No human mind can invent such a miraculous substance and even think of it cleansing itself through evaporation. While using water and acknowledging its beneficial properties as a divine gift to mankind we pay homage to the wondrous creation of God. Only if we are conscious of the factual ingenuity of God’s creation do we embrace remembrance of the Lord of the worlds and we are actually seeking through the Almighty’s bounties the treasured countenance like a child diligently finishing his or her chores to see a parent’s smiling face. Also read Point 1.54.

Do we even have the thought to make water cleanse itself? Well, as water evaporates into the atmosphere and rejuvenates the earth as rain the miraculous process is just beyond our imagination. This is characterizing Islamicity in motion. All in all, the corollary to Q20:51-53 is that God exists as our Maker and Creator of the whole universe. How better to explain the opener verses 1, 2 and 3? Both the righteous and unscrupulous benefit from rain and water. That’s the subtle meaning of the Most Merciful attribute of God. Would not the expert coreligionist now not prefer to exhort narratives from the scripture instead of conjectured tales of handed down traditions?

Excerpts from Addendum B:

. . . (Point 5.27) At work or in business or any position where you need to fulfill your trust with God, you consciously strive over and above the expected roles and responsibilities in order to really excel in harmony with your true potential in playing a role to contribute in the grand scheme of things. Not being successful does not make Harris cease and desist from endeavoring to his utmost even when others deem it quixotic.

To realize the abundant life contribution in the cause of the Almighty is crystallized with noble intent and understanding akin to Khidr’s non-referencing of man-made norms. In a nutshell the best contribution is a deed done not even expecting a word of thanks but purely consciously carried out for the good countenance of God. We then are striving to fulfill our Amanah even at the workplace where most of our time is spent. Read Point 5.14 for cross-references of passages in this manuscript with this theme.

By noble intent we mean in contrast to aspirations for bigger businesses and branded cars, luxurious abode and many children, hoarded money, elegant clothes and fine jewelry, exquisite meals and sensual relationships. All is pure vanity or because of greed and pride. See Point 1.73 on the pull of passions.

. . . (Point 5.33) Not tweaked, market mechanisms are vulnerable instruments for achieving the public good because big capital rules politics in western economies. Even in Germany, Merkel’s coalition government is under pressure for neglecting social economic policies in favor of export market thrusts to grow GDP thereby benefiting industrialists leading to suppressing wages of workers, particularly women with high propensities to consume and organically expand economies.

Public policies must not be disproportionately weighted toward the interests of capital against labor. Low unemployment and a good system of apprenticeships would prosper communities. Readers might want to revisit Points 4.72 ( . . must not be lopped sided to favor the speculators in the stock markets, special interest groups in business and industry) and 4.91 ( . . 3% to 5% of the population controls or hold the economic pie).

In China politics rule money and policies facilitate the market to adapt towards social stability. In democratic nations increasingly marginalized workers change governments. Good governance must monitor monopolies over energy and water supply, cut off real estate and financial markets debt leverage abnormal gains because markets themselves are not neutral per se.

No game of throne should seal self preservation objectives against the middle road of defending all and sundry. Most prominent is inflict no evil and pain on others, the least in threading together worthy policies to choose from. Read Point 3.20 (3.21 to 3.28 discourses), Point 4.13 . . Some ancient rogue community committed evil in the land, and Point 4.91 on the subject of economics and governing communities.

The Chinese government cutting import tariffs on goods from November lower costs for domestic consumers and companies. Inflation in the United States has been controlled by low consumer good prices, largely thanks to China. When everything in the supermarket goes up by 10-15% American households already drowning in credit card and student loan debt, will be hit especially hard as interests rates increase. Weaker consumer spending will tank the markets.

Americans household debt, driven by a $9.1 trillion in mortgages, is now $837 billion higher than its previous peak in 2008 just as the last recession took hold and brought on massive deleveraging across the U.S.

Hope Quran text pic

. . . (Point 5.34) After President Trump’s telephone call to China’s President Xi in early November, the world is hoping the two economic giants will resolve their trade dispute. Read Point 4.96 on resolving trade war which the author had written in his blog on 16.8.18.

Both Trump and Xi can be considered high profile recalcitrant characters involved in reforming world order of the day. Hopefully they remain attuned to Point 5.25 “fighting rogue windmills”, not becoming villain windmills steeped in attitudes of complacency and mischief. Their planned meeting at the G20 gathering at the end of November to spur a win-win trade deal would raise standards of living all over the globe. Counter tariffs placed by competing nations can lead to a drastic jump in domestic prices, benefiting only a handful but inflicting evil and pain on the masses.

. . . (Point 5.36) The prime minister of Malaysia wants to break up monopolies. He ordered the state-affiliated company, Telekom Malaysia to share its vast cable ducts for high-speed broadband thus saving new operators the expense of laying underground fiber-optic networks. There would soon be no longer with a single entity holding the sole concession to import rice to Malaysia. Mandatory inspections of used vehicles before resale would also be liberalized to allow multiple companies to handle them. Reviewing and streamlining the role of state-owned enterprises and monopoly entities to meet the objectives of enhancing market efficiency and fair competition will be on-going. See linkages with Points 3.25, 4.52 . . What cartels and monopolies must be broken up or be supervised, Point 4.91 . . unfair monopolistic practices which favor just a few operators or suppliers . . price fixing by cartels.

Book Preview Questions:

Q1) Can we reflect scriptural guidance in modern times through citing real new world reform?

Q2) Will folks negate tolerance for corrupt leaders in their midst by relating pertinent anecdotes?

Q3) Will readers be encouraged to reabsorb the true teachings of all scriptures?