The Investment Scientist

Archive for May 2018

Early on the morning of May 13, President Trump tweeted:

“President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”

What?!?!?! Trump wants to save Chinese jobs? To say that I am caught by surprise is an understatement.

Let me give you a little background just in case you don’t pay attention to the news (God Bless You!)

When ZTE was caught selling telecom equipment to Iran and North Korea in 2016, they entered into a plea agreement with the US commerce department (Obama administration) that included the following stipulations:

  1. They will pay a $1.19 billion fine, the largest fine ever paid by a company.
  2. They will fire the four executives involved.
  3. They will discipline the 35 employees involved.

Fast forward to May 2018, just before the US trade delegation headed over to Beijing for negotiations, the US commerce department announced a 7-year ban on component exports to ZTE because they did not carry out the third stipulation of the plea agreement. It turns out the 35 employees were not disciplined, they were given their 2016 year-end bonus!

Read the rest of this entry »

The following is the content of my June 2012 newsletter. It’s still very relevant today.

As I am writing this, the markets are falling like a rock. The Dow has entered negative territory for the first time this year; Nasdaq, which was up 20% a mere two months ago, is up only 5% for the year. The S&P 500 has lost close to 10% of its value since its April 1 peak.

I wrote the above paragraph using typical financial press lingo. This type of language has the tendency to cause amygdala hijack.

The amygdala is a part of our brain that processes threats. When we perceive a threat, the amygdala takes over the whole brain. fMRI scans show that blood supplies are Read the rest of this entry »


Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.


%d bloggers like this: