Reading Chinese – Dr Chan’s June newsletter

I am a fan of Dr Chan writings, and look forward to his monthly newsletter. Reading his newsletter is quite an exercise in Chinese reading as he uses considerable proverbs and simile. Nevertheless it is worth the effort. The English translation is provided in his newsletter. In reading both version, I can feel thatmuch of the nuances are lost when writing is translated, even by the author himself.





欧元已经从1 欧元兑1.6 美元贬值1 欧元1.2 美元,这对美国也不是好事。欧元区



[bian3 zhi2 – depreciate ; dui4 – exchange ;xing4 zai le4 huo4 – gloat over rival’s misfortune; wai4 hui4 chu3 bei4 – foreign exchange]



[qu3dai4 – replace ; dafu2 – substantial ; ren4you2 – allow ; wei hai4 – endanger ]




[fu2 chi2 – assist ; da e2 – big crocodile (speculator) ]




[zhu3 quan2 ping2 ji – sovereign rating ; ce4 lue4 – tactic ; guan wang4 wei2 zhu3 – watch from sidelines ; qing ju3 wang4 dong – act in haste]





[cuo4 shi4 – measure taken ; chao3 zuo4 – hype ; feng sheng cao3 dong4 – grass bend at sound of wind ; cao3 mu4 jie bing – in every bush is a soldier (become jittery) ]


不利消息一再传出,上海综合指数也一度跌破2600 点,这是一个



[ fan3 tan3 – reboounce ; jin3 zhang zhuang4 tai4 – tense situation ] 





[ yu2 lei2 – torpedo; xing shi wn4 zui4 – send punitive forces against ; yin ying – shaodow (tragic experience) ]





[zha4 – explode ; yi kou2 yao3 ding – allege (arbitrary assertion); tuo – drag on /delay ; guo2 wu4 qing – secretary of state ; bi4 – compel ; zhi4 cai2 – sanction ]






[shi ya – pressure ]

English translation by Dr Chan:

In my newsletter last month, I said I was concerned over US stocks kept

rising in spite of troubles in Euro zone, and had the ‘chill at the top 高处不胜寒

feeling. US stocks eventually took some beating, pushing down Singapore market as



Euro has dropped from 1:1.6 to 1:1.2 US$. The devaluation of Euro is not

good to US either. When Euro zone started having troubles, US was happy at first,

as US$ had devalued as a result of printing voluminous currency notes during the

past 2 years. Some countries’ foreign reserve began to accumulate Euro, an act

which made US to worry Euro might replace US$ as the world curreny. Therefore US

was happy when Euro devalued as US$ would still be the strongest currency in the

world. However, the devaluation of Euro has benefited Europe whose exports rose

rapidly last month. Thus, US will not let Euro freefall too long to jeopardise US

economy. I think US will support Euro exchange rate when necessary, and if this

happens hedge funds and international crocodiles cannot match the combined force

of Europe/US governments.


Both Greece and Spain have problems; their sovereign bonds have been

downgraded. I believe other southern European countries would have problems too.

Right now, do not do anything in haste, sideline and monitor the trend for the time



Now is the time to test investors’ patience. Bull market is still going on, but

market adjustments are unavoidable. I have said that China’s determination to clamp

down property prices is inevitable, and the measures to underpin property prices are

getting harsher and harsher. Fanned by the media, the situation has become so

precarious that a slight shift of the market trend may make investors feel jittery. I may

even use two Chinese idioms 「风声草东,草木皆兵」(literary means: the sound

of wind bends the grass, every bud taken for a bugbearto describe the situation.

Shanghai composite index at one time dropped below the important benchmark

2600 point at which the Shanghai composite index rebounded last year. It shows at

this level there had been strong supports. There are many Singapore listed

companies’ investments in China, their influences are by no means small.

Beside Euro zone problems the tension on the Korean Peninsula also sent

the market into a tailspin on the first day of last month.


It is worthwhile to take note of the North/South Korea issue. South Korea

said its warship ‘Tianan’ was sunk by North Korea’s torpedo, and would retaliate with

war measures. However I believe a conflict of war is unlikely, as China, USA and

Russia are not willing to start a war, and so North/South Koreas are unable to start a



The sinking of warship ‘Tianan’ was awhile ago. At first USA and South

Korea said the incident had nothing to do with North Korea. When US Secretary of

State Hilary Clinton visited China and Chinese Premier visited South Korea and

Japan, ‘Tianan’ was then said to have been sunk by North Korea. The timely

accusation is to press China to sanction North Korea.


US Government is revamping its financial systems; how benefitial or

harmful is yet to be seen. US Government keeps pressing financial organisations,

even brings them to court. These measures may affect the stock markets. US

Government thinks US stocks have gone up high enough to take some beating. If

the revamping process is not properly done, stock markets may face some tricky




About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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