Revamping the financial system
Chok Tong talked about the changes in the financial industry and the fear of unscrupulous or toxic products. Investors are returning to basics, looking for smaller but steadier gains like bonds, govt bonds, not any cheap bonds. With all the cheats and thiefs exposed, and the American govt watching them like a hawk, hopefully they will not be allowed to design another batch of fraudulent products to cheat the masses. All the sins and crimes orginated from the US though they were brushed aside as something of lesser evil. Evil they were. So, how would all these white collar cheats and crimes affect us? Today we read in the ST that SGX needs to compete for IPOs. We either compete for good IPOs or be content with sub standard companies that ended up as another bunch of frauds. The confidence among our investors have also been hurt badly by all these fly by night companies. Many have been suspended due to frauds that were dressed up as pristine companies with great growth potentials. And the parties involved in the dressing ups, making all the fees, are still at large, laughing all the way to the banks. This is only one aspect of the financial systems that need to be placed under the microscope. The other are the practices adopted by big funds that capitalised on their muscle and technology to exploit the system to their advantage, often leading to the destruction of values of stocks. Dubious trading strategies and methodologies that are contrary to the well being of stocks and the stock market must not be allowed to be practised in our stockmarket. The gains of a little clearing fee and the fictitious churning to give the impression that the market is alive and healthy is not worth it for the huge losses incurred by innocent and small investors. There is a need to revamp the way the stock market is operating.