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‘China to Cleanse Online Content That ‘Bad-Mouths’ Its Economy’

Bloomberg [c]:

China kicked off a two-month campaign to crack down on commercial platforms and social media accounts that post finance-related information that’s deemed harmful to its economy.

The initiative will focus on rectifying violations including those that “maliciously” bad-mouth China’s financial markets and falsely interpret domestic policies and economic data, the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement late Friday. Those who republish foreign media reports or commentaries that falsely interpret domestic financial topics “without taking a stance or making a judgment” will also be targeted, it added.

The move is aimed at cultivating a “benign” online environment for public opinion that can facilitate “sustainable and healthy development” of China’s economy and its society, according to the statement. It followed a draft proposal issued earlier Friday by the cyberspace regulator to regulate algorithms that technology firms use to recommend videos and other content.

One of the reasons I’m keen on direct indexing becoming more mainstream is so I can take countries like China out of my pension investment portfolio. I do want the diversification of a ‘world index tracker’, but it would be nice to take dodgy countries like China out of the pot.

And it probably wouldn’t even cost me anything. I mean that’s half of the reason I want to take it out! Sure, morally I disagree with China. But I also think they simply won’t perform in the long run.

They haven’t done especially well over the past 10 years:

Oh and in other China news, ‘China Slashes Kids’ Gaming Time to Just Three Hours a Week‘ [c]:

Gaming platforms from Tencent Holdings Ltd. to NetEase Inc. can henceforth only offer online gaming to minors from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, weekends and public holidays, state news agency Xinhua reported, citing a notice by the National Press and Publication Administration. The new rules, which limit teen playing time to three hours most weeks of the year, is a major step-up from a previous restriction set in 2019 of 1.5 hours per day, most days.

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‘The Mormon Church Amassed $100 Billion. It Was the Best-Kept Secret in the Investment World.’

The Wall Street Journal [c]:

[Ensign Peak’s (The Mormon Church’s investment division)] assets did total roughly $80 billion to $100 billion as of last year, some of the former employees said. That is at least double the size of Harvard University’s endowment and as large as the size of SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the world’s largest tech-investment fund.

[…] Church officials acknowledged the size of the fund is a tightly held secret, which they said was because Ensign Peak depends on donations—known as tithing—from the church’s 16 million world-wide members.

[…] “We don’t know when the next 2008 is going to take place,”… “If something like that were to happen again, we won’t have to stop missionary work.”

During the last financial crisis, they didn’t touch the reserves Ensign Peak had amassed, church officials said. Instead, the church cut the budget.

[…] Whereas university endowments generally subsidize operating costs with investment income, Ensign Peak does the opposite. Annual donations from the church’s members more than covers the church’s budget. The surplus goes to Ensign Peak. Members of the religion must give 10% of their income each year to remain in good standing.

Dean Davies, another member of the ecclesiastical arm that oversees Ensign Peak, said the church doesn’t publicly share its assets because “these funds are sacred” and “we don’t flaunt them for public review and critique.”

Imagine being a Mormon. You’re not allowed to even drink coffee, and you’re required to give 10% of your income to the church. And then you find out your religion has an investment fund worth $100 billion. Although Mormonism has always been a joke of religion, so perhaps it’s fitting.

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Landlord Lloyds

The Guardian [c]:

It is already the UK’s largest mortgage lender, and now Lloyds Banking Group aims to become one of its biggest private landlords, with a target of buying 50,000 homes in the next 10 years.

Each year property prices seem to rise, wages seem to stagnate and now Britain moves closer and closer to modern feudalism. (Can you tell I’m trying to get on the property ladder right now?)

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Just invest

Banker on Fire:

Remember: there’s never a time when the stock market looks like a good investment. Things are either “too scary” or “too good to be true”.

Transferring your hard-earned money out of your bank and into an investing account and then hitting that ‘buy’ button is always scary. Because there is always a reason to just stay in cash. But remember, the perfect time to invest simply doesn’t exist (without hindsight anyway). So simply understand your risk tolerance, choose the appropriate asset allocation, and just invest.