Compounding MPF mistakes

Next Magazine (Second opinion A006, 2012.12.13)   Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) schemes have used compulsion to require funds now worth $412 billion to be taken from the wages of employees and invested with approved providers. Over the 12-year life of the scheme, the aggregate returns have been 3.4% after feesContinue reading>

Head in the clouds

Next Magazine (Second opinion A004, 2012.11.15)   High above Central in an eyrie so elevated that most people would get dizzy looking down, lies the offices of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Its primary responsibilities are to maintain currency and banking stability, which require very specific and skilled, butContinue reading>

Excess reserves

Next Magazine (Second opinion A004, 2012.9.06)   It feels good to be well endowed with reserves. It provides animpression of strength and the ability to handle future threats.Reserves offer the comforting stability of being well prepared for arainy day. All this seems consistent with Hong Kong’s values and wellreserved indeedContinue reading>

Hosing down housing hopes

Next Magazine (Second opinion A004, 2012.8.09)   “Affordable housing” sounds like a worthy objective for the incoming government. Unfortunately, policies so far announced such as reviving the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) further distort a market where conflicting objectives make for bad policy.

Fighting “crony capitalism”

Next Magazine (Second opinion A002, 2012.7.12)   The United States is developing the characteristics of Italian style crony capitalism according to a new book A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity by Luigi Zingales, an Italian born finance professor at the University of Chicago.

End Government Land Monopoly

Next Magazine (Second opinion A002, 2012.5.31)   As I recall after a long drive from Central, the route to the Tai Tong Lychee Valley winds down a steep path from the nearby road to a large car park. The entrance to the valley was marked by a large arch suggestingContinue reading>

Dare to be different

Next Magazine (Second opinion A002, 2012.5.3) As an employer in Hong Kong, every week I see resumes from people around the world who are looking to work here. As frequently there are businesses looking to establish themselves here in many industries, artists looking to establish a name in Asia andContinue reading>

Government Is Not The Solution

Next Magazine (Second opinion A002, 2012.4.5) “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.” —Continue reading>

Too much government is corrupting

Next Magazine (Second opinion A002, 2012.3.15)   The people of Hong Kong look at their government and many see slippage of standards and question whether the civil service and officials any longer share their values. The crescendo of allegations about building code violations, conflicts of interest on committees, travel andContinue reading>