3/24/2011

I want to write a book

I have been thinking about writing a book on the housing fiasco over the last ten years. There are plenty of materials to write about and it is also of great public interest. I thought about it but decided not to. For everything that needs to be said were all public knowledge. How the fiasco started, how it was continued and how it was solved or presumably solved were all very subjective? Whatever I write will be a very biased one sided view, my view on the issue . So what is new other than flattering my little ego? Yes, there are things that the public still wanted to know but will not be told. Some hard truths like the cost of building a flat, the nitty gritty that goes into the formula to come out with the cost of building a flat will be such a highly guarded secret that it will never see the light for at least another generation. If such a vital piece of information cannot be written, why would anyone bother to read my book? So I quietly shelf my plan for my great book.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

M(e) B(uay) T(ahan)...another "Hard truths for Singapore" book?

Anonymous said...

i hope to pay at least $10k for autographed copies for each of my flat occupiers..AFFORDABLE MAH

Anonymous said...

Our generation to come will get to "enjoy" this fiction book like what watching repeat telecasts of somebody breaking down does for our generation

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Someone was complaining that Mahathir's latest book was not doing well. I suggest they try to sell it under fiction instead of history or autobiography.

That may do the trick.

Anonymous said...

>>That may do the trick

and how about throwing in a DVD???

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

With Anwar look a like? Top seller guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

Anything You write on housing in Sin, You got to be 100% POLITICALLY RIGHT, otherwise not only You get free housing in a big bungalow, your every cent in the bank may part with You forever.

Don't pray pray Brother.

patriot

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Who would want to read my book? Even with DVD included, it would not go off the shelf. I made a wise decision not to waste my time writing it: )

Matilah_Singapura said...

I plan to write something similar.

The "fiasco" as you put it -- must be traced way back to its roots over 40 years ago.

The PAP in the early days used Eminent Domain laws to appropriate private land at way below market price. This was the start of the problem.

It then used centrally confiscated money (CPF) to fund the building of "public housing" and sold them at "fixed prices".

Without going thru the whole story -- this dislocated the capital structure and a whole lot of other economic no-no's.

What central economic policies result in is eventual SHORTAGES. When you have shortages, you have massive price rises.

Add to that, the creation of credit bubbles in the housing market...

...and you have the disaster you have now.

Sometimes it takes decades for bad economic choices to manifest itself -- HDB is one example.

In the early days, Singapore grew its economy by strict centrally planned Keynesian policies. In the recent 2 decades, this has taken on larger proportions as the MAS have continued to debase the purchasing power of the SGD -- thus adding to the upward pressure on prices.

And now the price the piper's called has to be paid.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Really, actually, no bluff, the earlier policies might have their flaws, but all manageable. The people with their properties taken at a pittance lost out. It reminds me of Patriot. I too got a kampong hut acquired.

Up till the 30,000 units of excess HDB flats, not too big a problem that could not be resolved. The 30,000 over built flats were a happy problem though someone fouled it up.

The subsequent foul ups were stinkingly foul. And that was the start of the real shit that is being spread around today. The first piece of shit was bad, but to create a bigger piece of shit is shameful and disgusting.

No, not my problem? Nothing to do with me. I didn't see it coming.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean:

> the earlier policies might have their flaws, but all manageable. <

Well, there's the rub. That is when the human cognitive biases cut in to influence judgement: just because it looks like it is working, you immediately think you made the "right decision", and you base further "policies" on what you just judged (wrongly) as a "good" decision. (Back to the illusions caused by "patternicity" -- as discussed previously).

People often forget the importance of TIME and its FUNDAMENTAL ROLE in catalaxy. Every human is an ACTOR and those ACTIONS take place in TIME, and the cumulative effects of those individual actions expressed collectively take TIME to appear. Adverse economic affects therefore, can remain dormant for decades, whilst government policy is always created on-the-fly, using "facts" which are apparent in the present -- unbeknown to the decision makers as "erroneous" in addition to the decision makers themselves having self-interest motivations to take advantage of their positions of power.

And so many years later, you have a fucking ugly mess, where people have to indebt themselves to the magnitude of several years of wages and salary all directed to CONSUMPTION (paying off their home) instead of REAL savings and personal economic security.

This doesn't end well.

Matilah_Singapura said...

What to do?

1. Because actions occur in time, there results are also fixed in time.

2. Even is one realises a "mistake", no one has successfully been able to go back in time to fix the mistake.

3. The HDB in particular and the housing market in general are built on severely misallocated capital structures -- although it is less so in the private market, thanks to outright ownership i.e. even if the market collapses, those who own outright (debt free) will be ok -- just pissed off, but ok.

4. Eventually the market will correct. "Legislation" is merely postponing the inevitable.

5. When it finally does crash (perhaps not in our lifetimes) there will be winners and losers as capital gets properly reallocated (in time) -- the proviso to "proper allocation" meaning no government interference.

6. Absolute nightmare worse-case scenario: Temasek steps in and buys the entire HDB housing stock and thus "rescues" the people, if necessary using the reserves as "collateral" to secure loans, which MAS will monetize and issue "new currency".

7. If the above happens -- game over for the average player, game on for those who have hedge funds which short sovereign debt.

Crisis = Danger + Opportunity

Anonymous said...

Oh to sum it up, it is all due to greed that makes almost everyone from political, business leaders to the simplest of laymen. Greed invariably breeds humans that go against humanities which result in total lack of consciences.

Luckily, due to limits in time and energy, much of the wealth becomes white elephant and at worst causes for disputes and wars. Sometimes, wars and killings are necessary.

patriot

Matilah_Singapura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matilah_Singapura said...

Response to patriot posted on my blog here.

Blogger comment-issue reported here

Anonymous said...

Matilah;

thank You very much for dedicating an article to educate and enlighten me on human greeds.

How or why said article requires a warning for access is beyond me, just a side track.

Though me wont go into science/evolution and religion to further decipher human greeds, me must say to a large extend me does agree with your 'definition' and causes/reasons for greeds to be 'seemingly' an innate nature of man(kind). And since it is an 'intrinsic' nature, fellow beings must accept and or learn to accept? Suffice to say that here, You and me might have a huge difference in comprehension and dissertation.

Me cannot apologizes for the difference that exist between us as me defines greed as a SPIRITUAL WEAKNESS and not something scientific, evolutionary and or religious. Me does have to disclose that me has a very personal interpretation of the word 'spiritual-spiritualism'. Me does not link spiritual and spiritualism to any supernatural element.

Lastly, may i say the word 'greed' and its' meanings, interpretations and implications are indeed very debatable. Albeit the fact that me have firm personal conception/idea of it, me am always interested in others understandings of it.

You have been kind and Your understandings with regard to the Local socio-political situations and the Leadership have always being very impressive. It is always a joy to read You.

patriot

Matilah_Singapura said...

I thank you for comments.

Individual differences do not concern me -- we share similarities, but are different from each other -- especially when it comes to points of view.

The main thrust of my article was to turn the light on to what happens in our brains. Actually it ALL happens in our brains -- like it or not, the "constructed reality" viewed through our beliefs is all we have. I use the word "brain" instead of "mind" because "mind" is the emergent property of our brain. You can have a brain without a mind -- e.g. preserved in a bottle of formaldehyde in a lab -- but you cannot have a mind without a brain.

All our experiences are subjective, and that is what makes us have unique and different existential lives. This is truly remarkable, and awe-inspiring.

The Scientific Method (TSM) acknowledges that fact of our brains -- as wonderful as they are -- are also error-prone, and therefore TSM is used to get closer to the objective reality as opposed to our own subjective experience and our "imagined" interpretation of that experience -- which because of the way our brains work, is often (not always, thankfully) WRONG.

I say "get closer" -- that means to reduce the probability of errors automatically generated in the processes of human consciousness.

We are Our Brains.

If you don't believe that claim, (and you shouldn't), observe someone you know well who has had brain damage due to trauma, disease or a stroke. If you knew them prior to their unfortunate mishap, you will notice how they've "changed" as a person -- often, and sadly, at the fundamental level.

Anonymous said...

The Brain is a biological organ.

The Mind is a spiritual entity.