The Real Laws Of Demand And Supply Weekend

1) The Hunt For The Financial Industry's Most Wanted Hacker: the story of a nasty piece of code, and the hunt for its creator. 


Zeus is, of course, ruler of all Olympian gods in Greek mythology - but that's not the only thing about the Greek gods. They were petty, wrathful, they played awful tricks on humans...  Love the way of thinking this article about the aptly named malware brings:

"In any outbreak it is important to identify patient zero. ...In the nine-year  online epidemic that helped create cybercrime as we know it, we get (the guy who posted on asking about bad code he found on his sister's computer)..." 

Nine years. In the cyber version of resistant strains of a virus, The Code Formerly Known As Zeus would've morphed into something way more unfathomable.

"...Most of the technology world was too busy with the iPhone, which Apple launched on June 29, 2007. Almost immediately, consumers began receiving e-mails promising links to free iPhone screensavers. Those who clicked them ended up with the latest ZeuS variant instead.......The code now allowed hackers to insert themselves into the middle of an online banking session... victims had logged themselves in, so the sessions seemed 100 percent legitimate."

"...the drive to innovate remained constant..."

Well, ceteris paribus the laws of demand and supply would state that as long as it pays more to be a crook than a regulator, you will get first-rate crooks and second-rate regulators. (What? They would... 😀 though yes there are exceptions to the rule; say, a rich guy who decides to clean up the city and uses his resources to do so... I know one - his name is Batman :D)

"...the FBI announced a $3 million reward for information that could lead to his arrest, the biggest bounty ever put on a cybercriminal..." 

Real life Batmans fund $3 million bounties 😉 



2) Now ya talkin'... The Rise Of The Compliance Guru And Banker Ire: The real growth area in U.S. finance is compliance. That’s definitely a bummer for people trying to make money. Is it also bad for the economy?

HANG on - "definitely a bummer for people trying to make money?" How is it an acceptable premise that the growth of compliance in the US bums people in finance who are trying to make money?! Bloomberg, we expect better of you.

The rise in compliance is a bummer for people in finance trying to make money in a less-than-legitimate way. It's good for everyone else in finance - because a not-talked-about-enough consequence of the banker witch hunt* is the number of bankers who had jobs completely unrelated to the trouble areas who were still affected, and the investors who claimed mis-sell to try and recoup funds lost fair and square from gambling the markets rather than exercising some restraint.   

(*Witch hunt. Y'know, when they put you in a cage and throw you in the river and if you sank you were innocent, but if you floated you were a witch who would then be burned at the stake... See, innocent and dead is apparently so much better than guilty and dead...)

Oh, and this has NOTHING to do with the people who were duped - they deserve compensation and the dupe-ers retribution. What I'm saying is that the people who fake being mis-sold to in order to take advantage of compensation are standing in the way of everyone else getting their rightful reimbursements because a) it's holding up payouts while banks check for genuine mis-selling b) it would further overtax bank books - which means more banks going belly up and people getting fired. (Sorry, but did you think the "right" people left the industry? The ones who left first were the ones who thought "This isn't worth it anymore," because the witch hunt brought out even worse  in the work environment. As for the others... Well, it is the cockroaches that have been around since the dinosaurs and they are the ones that thrive in filth and chaos...)

Here's another tough one:


Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson Foods

"...Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson Foods, told the saddest compliance story at the conference. The company employed a cleaning woman named Joyce. "She had cancer, her husband had died, and she was raising her three grand-babies," Smith said. One day, she found a gift card on the office floor, took it to Walmart, and spent it. "And it cost her her job," he said. "We're tough on trust issues. Trust is a must."..."


You know what I'm going to say right, following my first two items - Compliance in Information Technology are going to be the new Investment Banking. 🙂



3) But it's not FUN... How Minions Destroyed The Internet: the horrible story of the perfect meme. Well, when you use a bright yellow gob that makes sounds - with no discernible ethnicity or accents - it's a lot easier to make the jokes without getting flamed for racism etc... It's huge, when you think about all the anonymous hate comments, accusatory comments and general amount of time and emotional energy spent on such social issues. But everybody can identify with a minion!

pic from

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One of those things you read to know what minions and memes are. It's the difference between why the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles took off while the Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills ...didn't really.

Y'know, there was another longreads article by Harvard Magazine about how T.S Eliot's time at Harvard shaped his writing, and then there are all these raves in the comments, and I still didn't get it (caveat for people reading the blog hor), so instead this is what Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills look like:

tattoo-teen-fighters-team-248x350 tttt3

-pic from



4) In contrast to the intense world of compliance and coding... Couple Quits Jobs And Sells Everything To Travel The World With Their Cat.

couple-sells-everything-travels-world-cat-matt-jessica-johnson-6 couple-sells-everything-travels-world-cat-matt-jessica-johnson-7 couple-sells-everything-travels-world-cat-matt-jessica-johnson-13 couple-sells-everything-travels-world-cat-matt-jessica-johnson-14



5) Rockstar Skit this week is Lucky Number Seven.... For One Of 'Em.

Miss recently turned three, and among others received a large gold helium balloon with the number 3. (How old are you now? <Point to balloon>) For her second balloon, she then chose the number 7.

Me: Really? You don't want something else? (Even as the salesgirl demurs because she's never seen a toddler insist on a numbered balloon over all the other pretty or cute animal options...)

Miss: No, want 7. Ko-ko is seven. 

So everyone is just melting as she receives the huge number 7 balloon.

Miss: Ko-ko, for you - <holds shorter end and delightedly starts swatting the bro with the longer end>

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Have a good weekend, dears...

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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  • Elle Cheong

    Aww, the little miss is too adorable 🙂 When I was younger, I insisted on chopping off my hair when I needed a haircut just so that I could be like my kor kor 😛

    • Aileen

      Wow… What’s the age difference between you, is it like my kids’ 4.5 years? Fortunately the gap is fairly wide for these two because otherwise I think my older one would have an even harder time standing up to the younger one 😀

      • Elle Cheong

        Me and my bro have a five years age gap. I’m 25 this year and he is turning 30 in October. He now lives in Jakarta, Indonesia and I’m in KL, Malaysia so we don’t see each other much but occasional FB messages helps.

      • Aileen

        Ohh very similar age gap to the Rockstars then… They’re almost exactly 4.5 yrs apart..

  • mun

    Little Miss Rockstar with a big heart! I thought it was a round balloon with 7 printed on it until I saw the photos – really a 7 balloon and a huge one too! where was her 3 balloon? Not in the photos. Mommy holding it?

    Hope all of you had a good weekend!

    • Aileen

      The “3” balloon was already at home… We got it couple days earlier cos I can’t fit more than one helium balloon of that size at a time in a taxi…