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Leave the property market alone

(Next Magazine, 2015/12/17, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Leave the property market alone CY Leung is half right. It is not the job of the government to guarantee that property prices will not drop. As if on cue, the property market reportedly peaked in September.Yet given our Chief Executive’s uncharacteristic restrainedContinue reading>

Government intervention corrupts

(Next Magazine, 2015/11/19, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Government intervention corrupts AS our former Chief Executive Donald Tsang stood trial for misconduct while in office, Legco rejected last week an attempt to extend anticorruption law to cover the head of government. By focusing primarily on taking pecuniary benefits, this narrow viewContinue reading>

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A perfect storm

(Next Magazine, 2015/9/10, A004, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) A perfect storm There is every chance that Hong Kong’s economy is headed towards a perfect storm, where policies that might once have seemed sensible and affordable, can become a crushing burden. Think about the cumulative economic challenges. We have a symbiotic relationshipContinue reading>

Learn from Singapore

(Next Magazine, 2015/8/20, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Learn from Singapore If you have the wrong diagnosis you prescribe the wrong medicine and put at risk the health of the patient. That is the problem with our Chief Executive, Mr. CY Leung’s recent aim to address Hong Kong’s illnesses by abandoningContinue reading>

Freeing the electricity market

(Next Magazine, 2015/7/23, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Freeing the electricity market Hong Kong is known to have the world’s freest economy, an accolade repeatedly affirmed by both the Fraser Institute and Heritage Foundation. Many advocates of capitalism, however, disparage our economy as a hopelessly cartelized, uncompetitive and driven by theContinue reading>

Trim our CE’s power

(Next Magazine, 2015/7/2, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Trim our CE’s power Greece, 2,500 years after its prime, still captures the imagination and is central to debates about the best form of government and what government should do. Lessons from the ancient Greek city-states to Hong Kong are also apt. ThoseContinue reading>

Our market-driven educational edge

(Next Magazine, 2015/6/11, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Our market-driven educational edge Our government spends 21% of recurrent expenditure on education. This is our single biggest budget item. There can be no doubt that this priority reflects the values of our people. Education has traditionally been seen as a route, ifContinue reading>

Urban renewal needs no grand plans

(Next Magazine, 2015/5/14, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Urban renewal needs no grand plans Walk from Kennedy Town to Causeway Bay and you can see our town slowly being transformed. Street by street, block by block, old buildings are being refurbished and new, modern, functional buildings are rising on narrow sliversContinue reading>

Euthanasia of the middle-class

(Next Magazine, 2015/4/16, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Euthanasia of the middle-class HSBC was once a small start-up. Early pictures from 1871 show the founding General Manager, Victor Kresser, surrounded by a small group of half a dozen western clerks. Even as late as 1928, the vital local Chinese staffs wereContinue reading>