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>

Fading Prudence

Hong Kong’s proposed new budget continues a dramatic shift in the size and role of government that breaks through the boundaries of the Basic Law. From 1997-2007 Hong Kong grew total public spending at an average of 2.3% per annum. The recently announced budget shows growth since then that willContinue reading>

Hong Kong’s Bequest

  The idea of positive non-intervention is arguably one of Hong Kong’ s greatest bequests to political thought. This idea is even more relevant today as ad-hoc government responses to economic problems are creating an ever deeper financial crisis. Yet despite the better performance of Hong Kong because of itsContinue reading>