Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who is the ball"less" guy?

If a subordinate's actions contributed to abuse of power or a blatant ignorance of human rights, then who should be responsible?

If the police represents the home ministry, then the minister is responsible. He cannot say, "Ask the police.". There is no room for this kind of blame game. Where is the ethics that a leader should portray? Oh, I is a politician I'm talking about. Politicians can only be politically correct. Well, not all politicians..just most of them.

If he has the guts to admit his ministry's faults in detaining a 6 year old girl for "being a threat to national security" then he should resign. If he should deny and wash his hands clean, he should resign too. The officers who detained the girl should resign too. And to top it up, they should all apologise publicly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Looming Recession?

Malaysia's projection of growth for next year remained positive, slightly over 3% as forecast by a number of local institutions. Britain's economy is projected to shrink about 0.9% next year. It is said to perform worst than the USA and the other member countries of the G7. So, does it look bad at all? Since, only the G7 will be experiencing somewhat 0% growth. Which means no growth, if we were to look at it more optimistically. Citizens of the world, this is bad news.

Governments and other financial institutions are doing their best to boost investors' confidence by assuring stable economic situation, sound financial sector and a host of other crap. They are not going out to lie or cheat you. They are only diverting your attention to something more appealing.

So, what should we do?

I don't actually know what's best to do now. However, I think it is best to save some money and be on the look out for investment opportunities. When the time is right (which can be never) put an amount of money you are willing to lose (just in case your investment goes bust) into the "safest" investment portfolio. As you can see, I mentioned the "safest" but not for some dumb reasons. Remember, never put all your eggs into one basket (that's if you have anymore eggs left). For now, I'm saving some eggs for the basket...Looming recession? I say, time for opportunist!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Global Depression

Of late, inflation, tumbling share markets, and a world wide financial crisis were the talk of the town. Even, an outbreak of dengue (or some claimed to be a mysterious disease caused by the droppings from swiftlets) is being overshadowed by the economic turmoil the world is facing. The talk of an opposition leader snatching the leadership from the present PM is no longer the focus of "political analyst" at coffee shops in town. What is looming behind the doors of the closet of all those involved in this "Great Depression"? Is there a Boogeyman waiting to pounce on the next easiest or juiciest victim?

"The worst is yet to come", cites a manager in the ready-mix industry. Maybe we are too pessimistic about the economy. Maybe we are too dependent on bailouts. Either way, we lack the confidence of fund managers both professional and amateur when the market was bullish. Probably when the market goes into hibernation, these fund managers will think of a better plan for the next bull run. If there are survivors during the past recession and depression, definitely we will see some this time around too. The question will always be, "Will the amount of money left in the market or its value for that matter suffice to re-generate a sluggish economy?". 

In economics, I learn that there is a 10 year cycle of an economic recession. Now, I think someone ought to teach that there is a 80 year cycle of a Great Depression! I thought I would only read about it in books and printings of that era. The only recollection of the that 1920s era is the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. However, the story Fitzgerald told that depicts the fruits of the American Dream were quickly forgotten during the Great Depression. Will the USA again repeat this act? Or will the world follow in the USA's footsteps? Conveniently forgetting all things negative while focus on rebuilding a crumbled economy and society, the economic powerhouses might help elevate the world out of this depression. Maybe, a Chinese Dream or an Indian Dream will be more appropriate this time around. 

John D. Rockefeller said that "These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come and gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again." (Schultz, 1999)

Schultz, Stanley K. (1999). "Crashing Hopes: The Great Depression". American History 102: Civil War to the PresentUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.