Saturday, February 7, 2009

It Is Always Darkest Before Day Dawn

Probably Hong Kong is now entering a real crisis besides WWII in the past 70 years. I have been gone through all these bad days! In 1962, Typhoon Wanda struck Hong Kong severely and caused Damages and casualties widespread throughout the Colony. 130 people were killed and 53 were missing. Approximately 72,000 people were registered as being homeless. Of a total of 20,287 small craft in Colony waters, 726 were wrecked, 571 were sunk and 756 damaged. Of a total of 132 ocean-going ships, 24 were beached and 12 involved in collisions. The "Vinkon" and "Haijye" ran aground near the railway line at Tai Po Kau and on Harbour Island respectively. The typhoon played havoc with field crops, fruits, vegetables and flowers in various districts of the New Territories. The loss was tremendous. I was in kindergarten and had fun for no school. This was a life and death case, more serious than any type of economy crisis. Of course, I was a bit too young to understand the issue at that time
People grew richer entering the 1970s. Not surprisingly, people started to look for some means of investment. The passing of Banking Ordinance of 1964 would begin the tightening up of banks. People began to have more trust in their banks, and the accumulation of savings led to people's willingness to invest.
Soon the stock rush began. New stocks were on sale every day; brokerage houses mushroomed; some people quit their own jobs to become full-time investors, suffering a kind of urban disease named "stock illness". It is said that the investors during this period numbered to 500,000. The Hang Seng Index kept soaring, it experienced 1700 points dropped to 400 point and then it rose up from 400 to 700 points and then right at that moment, people thought that the Hay day was coming and brought whatever they have into the black hole stock! All in sudden, Partly thanks to the foreign manipulators, the HS index dropped from 700 down to 150 points. the Stock market crashed in March. Many people were left bankrupted. Urban legend had it that the Castle Peak Psychiatric hospitals became full-house once the market crashed. The Hong Kong economy recovered only slowly over the next few years.

The lack of foreign exchange control and low tax contributed to the competitiveness of Hong Kong's economy. Though a floating rate, coupled with panic about the intensified political talk of the handover sent consumer confidence to an all-time low causing Black Saturday in 1983. The end result is that Hong Kong adopted a linked exchange rate system. The exchange rate between Hong Kong dollar and United States dollar was fixed at HKD $7.8 = US $1. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority's exchange fund was responsible for keeping the market rate stable. In the short period from just a decade ago, inflation would also increase from a rate of 5% in the 1970s to 12.7% by 1983. I still can recall that in 1981, we were suffering with extremely high interest rate of 18-21%, In 1987, the stock market fluctuated again…in 1997, then all of us had experienced a trigger from Thailand cause Asian Stock market turmoil. In 2001 Word Trade tower invasion and Economy Bubble burst on IT and Photonic market …
After another two years of more or less not much of a surprises, a Foshan professor went to the Hong Kong stayed in Metropark Hotel room 803 in Feb 2003 and that way he bought the first known case of SARS to HK and killed many people especial the victim in To Tai Garden Block E... Total death casualties was 916 persons. We have been stopping almost all commercial business, No customer visit to HK not customer coming to us. Tourists were scared to come to HK. HK people are not allowed or welcome to visit other country… Hong Kong became a city of plague! Everyone were wearing a N95 mask, no schools, I bought 2 cases of N95 using as I thought that might take over a year, well, the SARS left us in September quietly.
This time, so call, the worst crisis and some financial reporters used a new term “Economy Tsunami” to describe the disaster. It is true that the economy was bad, I had never had such a long vacation in my life... But I believe that it will go away one day!

This is the proper definition of recession by some economics Books

Recession:A recession occurs when a nation's living standards drop and prices increase. This downturn in economic activity is widely defined as a decline in a country's gross domestic product for at least 2 quarters. Depression:An economic condition caused by a massive decrease in business activity, falling prices, reduced purchasing power, excess of supply over demand, rising unemployment, and other negative economic factors.
I can say now we are in a state of between recession and depression.
Someone said “When your neighbor lost his job, it is Recession. When you lose your job, it is Depression!”

Our CEO had announced that we do not have layoff culture to the media last December. It was a typical CSR and if everyone would have maintained all the jobs for their employees, recession will not occur anymore.

This is observations a friend of mine returning from US last week: Most electronics, clothing, home game, room designer stores had very low inventories and offering huge discounts. It was obvious that they were not reordering inventory after the Christmas shopping season which finished a month ago. Many building, roads, bridges and construction projects are on hold. Sales in real estate that can't close on home sales.

People were actually laid off due to an operation closure. If the layoff is to be continued to worsen. There will have 5 million unemployment in US within this years.

People are all hesitate for car purchases. US Car sales is smaller in number than car sales in China!

The US government Obama is coming up with another 800 Billions stimulus package which is being called "Porkulus", because only 12% of it will go to actual economic stimulus, and the rest is going to pork barrel spending. Where do all these trillions of dollars come from? The tax payers won't be able to ever pay for all of this government spending, because many are without jobs. US is kept busy in printing bank notes and one day the US dollar will depreciate!
Then HK will be affected as we are packed with green backs!
The US financial system is being socialized by a bunch of crooked politicians who have no idea about how to run a business.
US schools are teaching the youth that Capitalism is a bad thing!
There are taxes levied on everything in the US! And all the government waste is an outrage.

Business overall is horrible everywhere and more so in China. Taiwan is down as well. We believe all this media doom and gloom and stop buying stuff. Maybe this is the Lords way of letting us know where we are to materialism and to get closer to each other as family and friends.

Thought the situation is bad, live is going on! My daughters asked me how to handle. I sent them through e-mail on tips for better life in 2009.

Take at least 10Km walk every week. And while you
walk, chat with your friends, and smile as smile is the ultimate anti-depressant. Smiling will keep the NEGATIVE BLUES away.

Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day, let your mind calm.
Try to sleep at 2300-0300 everyday to allow your kidney to rest.
When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, “Thank god, I’ve gained one day!”
Play more games and read more books than you did in
2008. If you have not read any book in 2008, that is the real problems!
Eat good Butter, not margarine!
More tea, less coffee, more water, less sugar, less salt and cream
Eat until you feel 65% full, not more than that level.
Try to make at least three people smile each day.
Talk Friendly, Act professionally.
Dress up neatly, brush your shoe before you meet your customers.
AQ, EQ not IQ that matters.
Life can never be fair, but it's still good.
Angry is a short madness. Think for 15 seconds when you are angry, then you calm down and feel well.
Work 30% more.
Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show

Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In
three years, will this matter?'

It is always darkest before day dawn as the best is yet to come.
7 Feb 2009.

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