Random Thoughts: Feeling young in Old Europe

Donald Rumsfeld referred to Europe as “Old Europe” years ago in a speech and its something that has stuck in the back of my mind ever since. Population demographics of a country is tremendously important for the growth of a country and this is why SE Asia is still a fantastic place to be investment wise for the next 10-20 years, as I walk between the office and cafes/restaurants, I notice the average age of restaurant goers here are 60+, definitely not a good sign for the long term growth of Belgium nor most of Western Europe for that matter, this makes me curious as to how Russia looks when I’m there next week.

Over in the US, the Fed Chairman position, so Summers is out, markets have shifted to a risk-on environment for the past few days, will it last? What if Obama doesn’t choose the next Fed Chairman quickly? Will things collapse again? No idea, and btw don’t Fed Chairman’s normally out-last Presidents in the US so why does Obama’s viewpoint matter…?

Back in Thailand, with the infrastructure bill expected to be passed this week (19-20th), would there have been enough money thrown around all politicians to vote for the amendment and amnesty bill in Mr. T’s favour? Or perhaps the Democrats are still going to try and block the infrastructure bill stating that its unconstitutional, hey I’m normally against the dems but if PT is asking for 40-50% of a project value as bribes then I’m quite happy the democrats are blocking this.

Quick thought on Thai telco’s given their continued strong performance (parts of which we admittedly missed), we’ve noticed that the main carriers, especially True and DTAC are subsidising more and more of the popular phones, does this imply a shifting away from independent mobile phone retailers? What could the ramifications be for JMART/SAMART (SIM) ?

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