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5/22/2009

A brilliant strategy gone awry

The concept and strategy to invest in some of the biggest financial institutions by GIC and Temasek were a brilliant move. These financial institutions are the strategic centres in the movement of funds across the world, and proxies to the world economy. Having an interest in them, a controlling stake, is akin to the days of the British Empire when they controlled all the strategic sea ports. If GIC and Temasek were successful in this endeavour, we would have transformed ourselves as the controller and master of the world financial system. Unfortunately things did not turn out as planned. I can superficially see three possible reasons for the disastrous loss of billions of our savings. 1, it could be professional incompetence. But this is unlikely to be acknowledged as everyone involved in the plans are professional trained and experts in their fields. And they must have done their due diligence. 2, and very obvious, is the blinded trust of the American system and corporate chiefs. We looked like bright eyed little children in awe of the Americans, and believing in everything they said and did, thinking that what we see would be what we get. And we bought cart loads of rotten eggs. Then when the smell came forth, the Americans came with more baskets of rotten eggs, and we bought again, trusting them completely. Now we knew that the system was rotten and the salesmen were crooks, selling rotten eggs without telling us so. 3. The third reason is providence. When the mandate of heaven is passe, no matter how brilliant and able our people are, things will go wrong, and go disastrously wrong. Man proposes, heaven disposes. Having said that, the concept and strategy are still sound and should not be forsaken just because of the failure. With the experience of all the bunglings, we could be wiser in making our next move. Of course, hoping at the same time that providence is kinder and in our favour.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anything is only brilliant when it produces positive result.

There were men with brilliant minds but sin in their existences outwitting others, bullying the weak and enriching themselves.

"A brilliant strategy gone awry" probably because the strategist(s) at the other end(s) was more brilliant than the 'brilliant strategy' at this end.

Hope my comment is not too confusing.

Kaffein said...

Actually you left out other main points:

1. Hao lian (proud in Hokkien)
- Too proud that they know hoot about how these investments are run but blindly pay top dollar for lousy pieces of advice. The cracks had already started to appear >5 years ago.

2. Nepotism
- You cover me, I cover you. So all ok, no need to have accountability. Afterall, what can those few oppositions do whom I can't fix?

3. Not my matter, what
- All the losses are not they monies. Afterall, just increase GST or some other ridiculous increases to get more capital. From POSB given free to DBS, to privatising of transports and other government agencies, the common man are the ones who will eventaully bite the bullet. I don't see the ministers taking a pay cut during recession, do you?

Kaffein

Anonymous said...

Its brilliant when you and your family have the only key to the entire nation's reserves, and there are no guards at the door.

Anonymous said...

YOU WIN some.

You lose SOME.

Wally Buffet.

singaporenewsalternative said...

Stock market will collapse - Jim Rogers

"Don’t be fooled by the 30 percent-plus rally over the last six weeks" says wall street king Jim Rogers.

http://jimrogers1.blogspot.com/

Matilah_Singapura said...

The essential point is this: the government has no business being in business.

When a govt loses money it stays in business. When a private company makes bad decisions, the consequences are born by those responsible — i.e. those who are VOLUNTARILY connected to the enterprise. They lose, they pay.

When a govt fails, everyone is connected non voluntarily. They lose, you pay.

Anonymous said...

Guys,

I cannot agree with you more. These people who has lose our money has no shame. Since they do not need to answer to anyone, they can simply brush aside their losses by giving lousy excuses and treating the peasants/lesser motals in Singapore as idiots.

As long as there is only 1 party in government, things will not change.

RookieLim

Anonymous said...

It is disappointing and sad that all these years the people do not get to share any benefit from those investments. Price of everything, including housing utilities and all other essential goods and services has gone up excessively and incessantly causing a lot of hardships on the people.

Conversely, the Remunerations of our leaders and top civil servants keeping increasing even for ceremonial and superfluous appointments of MM, SM and DPMs etc.

It seems that there is no sense of proportion and conscience in the Leadership.

I do foresee that history will do justice one day not too far from the future just like what happened in the Phillipines and Indonesia records. But, i must also say that the Historical Justice will not alleviate the sufferings we are undergoing. It(history) will nevertheless, be some consolation to the spirits of the People

patriot

Anonymous said...

Redbeans,
you miss out the most important reason for the loss that is treating
- Paper loss not as actual loss. They still thought that they are playing monopoly game gamble through throw of dice. In the game, when you lost, you just exchange toilet paper and therefore doens't have to accountable to the toilet paper. But they bring this mentality in Temasek and GIC and start gamble the "toilet paper" creating disasterous result.

Another reason is that when you start bring HoJinx due to despotism as head, the investment naturally get JINX.

redbean said...

the redbeans may not share the benefits of the huge war chest being used to play monopoly game. but the redbeans did share in contributing to this war chest through paying for all the high costs in the system. the share of the redbeans is one way. will there be a return to their contributions? i mean a meaningful return like a few millions each and now a few hundred bucks.

jim rogers may have made his bucks. but his recent calls have mostly been wrong. but in the long term he could be right. america is bankrupt, and bankrupt of new ideas to make quick bucks in the millions to pay the million dollar supertalents in the all sectors of their economy, the ceos, the lawyers and the financial crooks.

and the poor american masses, like the redbeans, will have to foot the bill for the excesses and failures.

redbean said...

and yes, too many expensive and redundant positions have been created. and who is paying for them?

Matilah_Singapura said...

> and who is paying for them? < The people — who got the govt they deserve.

Vote well, or vote not... or

...Consider joining the visa queue at the ____[insert county of choice]___ High Commission/Embassy.