During the dying years of the Qing Dynasty, Dowager Qi Xi usurped the throne and was the de facto emperor. She placed little children as emperors and did not allow them to run the country the way they wanted. The emperors were allowed to happily spend their time in the brothels and surrounded by pretty women while the Dowager ran the Empire to protect her position.
One of the emperors had syphilis but the Imperial physicians would not dare say so and diagnosed it as measles, and treated it as measles. Of course the disease would take the emperor away in the course of time. The Empire continued for several more decades, appearing good but rotting and dying through neglect and mismanagement and the illusion that everything was just fine.
We used to have a healthy and vibrant stock market. Many people made money, some became billionaire and millionaires. The industry provided many jobs, good jobs with good incomes. Many still believe that the industry is healthy and looking pretty good.
My understanding is that the industry is suffering from financial syphilis. The open sores are there but no one wants to see them. So everyday is still a party. But the ugly truths cannot be hidden for long. Some broking houses have started to take remedial actions to cut operating costs. They need real incomes to support the operation, rental and payroll, operating costs etc etc must be paid in real money. With dwindling commission, the operation cannot go on like before.
The first sign of trouble would come when backroom staff is cut. Retrenchment is the best proof that the industry is blowing in the wind. Just wait for it to happen. Next to go with be the remisiers. If the remisiers cannot generate enough business to cover their operating cost, they too will walk out voluntarily. And this is not going to be the end. As the revenue from commission keeps evaporating into thin air, don’t believe in the fictitious volumes chalked up by the machines, the slide down will gather speed. Broking houses will do M&A for different reasons, down sizing and selling off whatever is left to other houses that still think they can continue to operate and make profits in a dying industry.
Every action will be taken to treat the sores. But no one would want to know anything about the syphilis and how to get rid of it, how to cut the gangrenous foot that is rotting away, how to put the patient through a regime of chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells. As long as no one bothers, there is no problem really. Where got syphilis? Everything is just doing fine.
How many white rabbits can a magician pull from his little hat?