2/25/2009

The enormity of it all

Which is more serious? The escape of an international terrorist who was planning to blow up our airport or the loss of at least $100b of our reserves, or the tax payers' money? Is the selling of the series of minibonds and other toxic products to the public more serious than a stock market beefed up with many dubious stocks or management that we hardly know and accounting systems that are difficult to verify, and a system that allows the big boys to bring the small investors to the cleaners? Both are very serious issues and have very serious implications to the well being of the state and its people. It would be best for the professionals to deal with them in depth than for me to touch on them briefly in an internet forum. Let me deal with the Mas Selamat escape versus the $100b loss. We can look at them from the implications and consequences to come, as well as the lapses and the system to prevent their occurrence. We can also look at the execution and the processes that led to these two incidents. In the Selamat case, we can't imagine how he would hit back and the untold damages and pain that can be inflicted on the people and assets. We can live our lives as if nothing has happened. But wait, if he is around, and should he be successful in what he set out to do before, we will regret deeply for his escape. When it happens, no amount of consolation and remorse can make up for it. No excuses can make up for it. How he escaped and the patching up of the system had been dealt with and hopefully, keeping our fingers crossed, it is not going to happen a second time. And the $100b loss! How long it took to build up this sum of money? How much can it do for the people if we have not lost them? And how long will it take to make back this kind of money? Just think about it. To be fair, some part of the losses are expected given the risk involved in investing. But two points need to relook at. Should so much money be invested in high risk assets? Then the next question is whether some deals were done too hastily, insufficient ground work and effort to understand the risk involved, and could be avoided? And the most silly question to ask is whether we have been too trusting of the Americans? Yes, we lost a lot of money, billions in the last few deals, mostly because of trust. And we put in so much money without even a board representation! What, playing masak masak? Giving away Monopoly Games money? These are huge sums of money that must be carefully handled and managed. The way it was distributed begs for a serious re examination and introspection into our mentality, policies and decision making in these areas. Trust and too trusting will get us only into deep shit. Would there be serious indept analyses of these incidents by the professionals and academics, or would they find them too hot to handle? I will touch on the toxic products and stock market separately.

1 comment:

Matilah_Singapura said...

The money wasn't yours to begin with. So you can relax on making it such a big deal.

The money was lost the day the government took it off the people — by force.

Stop being such a cry-baby and man up!