We’ve gone through worse times, and yet. The Philippines has experienced higher inflation rates in the distant past, the last double-digit figure of 10.4 percent being in 1994. Filipinos may find this hard to remember, especially since the following years saw a tempering despite all the various regional and global crises. Perhaps, the biggest factor that rankles most with the recently felt crisis is the continued instability of rice prices. History will bear out that inflation and rice prices almost always go together. When inflation rises, expect rice prices to spike, and vice versa. Since February this year, Filipinos have been seeing the cost of a kilo of rice inch up. And because rice accounts for 30 percent of a household budget on average, having to spend more every week for about 10 kilos without a commensurate increase in income has raised big worries. One of the more important grounded lessons in economics that I learned as an oilman was the sensitivity of two products: … [Read more...] about Is the crisis end in sight?
Yahoo foreign exchange rate
Which to believe as Indians await a general election in 2019: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words, or his actions? This question is asked repeatedly, observing a significant mismatch between the prime minister’s words and actions. During his election campaign in 2014, Modi promised to bring back black money from abroad and deposit US$22,000 (1.5 million rupees) into every citizen’s bank account. The government has completed more than four years in office but the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is trying relentlessly to avoid questions on when these 1.5 million rupees will be deposited. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox Interestingly, black money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose by 50% to $1.03 billion in 2017 over the previous year. The surge in Indian money held with Swiss banks comes as a surprise given India’s claim of continuing clampdown on suspected black money stashed abroad, including in banks of … [Read more...] about Why believing Modi will be hard this time for Indian voters
A person’s signature can be his most powerful weapon — it can make him a married man, a benefactor, a game-changer. After all, it wasn’t only John Hancock who made history with his signature. A signature can also open doors, close deals, and even be a stamp of a baby’s legitimacy. But for the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), a 167-year-old financial institution, the oldest in Southeast Asia, it’s the key to the best life that you can afford. So when BPI launched its new BPI Visa Signature card, we knew it was going to be game-changing. After all, it targets only the tip of the social pyramid in the Philippines, “a card that we offer to the smallest but most valuable segment of our over eight million retail clients,” BPI president Cezar Consing said at a dinner at the Grand Hyatt Manila that was a signature in itself with its presentation and taste. (From left) Stuart Tomlison, Jojo Ocampo, Jenny Lacerna, Visa’s Jay Tirona and Dan … [Read more...] about Only for a chosen few
Celebrity chef, traveler and story-teller Anthony Bourdain – host of CNN’s award-winning series “Parts Unknown” – died Friday at age 61 in his hotel room in Paris, apparently a suicide. “In death, as in life, Anthony Bourdain brought us closer together,” said CNN in announcing Bourdain’s demise. “Through the simple act of sharing meals, he showcased both the extraordinary diversity of cultures and cuisines, yet how much we all have in common.” After US President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, Bourdain was interviewed by writer Alexander Bisley. In that exchange, he said something about the Philippines, which he has visited many times in the course of his sharing meals in parts less traveled. Excerpts: Bisley: What concerns you about Trump? Bourdain: What I am not concerned about with Trump? Wherever one lives in the world right now I wouldn’t feel too comfortable about the rise of authoritarianism. I think … [Read more...] about What Bourdain said of Duterte’s regime