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>

We need talents

(Next Magazine, 2015/5/28, A002, Second Opinion, Andrew Work) We need talents Hong Kong, as Lord Palmerston famously declared, was “a barren rock with nary a house upon it.” We have transformed into a great world city by importing the essentials for survival: water, food, construction materials, power and above all, humanContinue 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>

Join TPP not AIIB

Next Magazine (2015/4/2, A002, Second Opinion, Andrew Work) Join TPP not AIIB Instead of the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Hong Kong should join the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is in keeping with our roots as a free port that has created, over the last century and a half,Continue reading>

Tiger by the Tail

Tiger by the Tail(2015/3/12) (Next Magazine, 2015/3/12, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is concerned about the risks in the property market in Hong Kong. They see the sharp rise in prices owing much to the “unconventional” monetary policies and zero interest rates in the US.Continue reading>

Privatize Our SOEs

Next Magazine (2015.01.01, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) As we seek to heal the wounds of the political divide and show that “one country two systems” might have meaning, we could do worse than focus on removing more activities from the political realm. This is no more important than in theContinue reading>