#207 who do you trust?

Having money is a problem these days. Putting money in the bank is no consolation either.

You lose your hard earned cash when a financial institution collapsed. I was told you could file for misrepresentation — that the profile of products bought did not suit the personality of one. How does this work?

The high turnover of officers serving you in the banks leaves one insecure and lacking continuity especially for the smaller or new savers. 

Why the high turnover of bank officers? The officer has to perform, otherwise the manager will be breathing down his neck daily. Should he not perform according to portfolio, the officer is shown the exit. If he did well, he was rewarded handsomely.

The latest news: Iceland is a country that is going bankrupt! What does that mean? Will those who had savings in the banks see these evaporate?

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#201 a roof over my head

I’m grateful to our Singapore’s first echelon of leaders under the leadership of the then prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew who concertedly provided housing for her citizens.

Not that the government provided cheap-rented housing but they were able to come up with a national scheme known as the central provident fund where we were forced to set aside a sum monthly throughout our working life and we were able to use that saving to buy a housing unit of flats (apartments) built by the Housing Development Board — these were much cheaper than the condominiums in the property market. (Of course, if one considers one’s face more important, then one should consider purchasing a condominium!)

Today about 80%-90% of Singaporeans lived in these housing estates. I recall as I was growing up, I did wonder if I could purchase one when the cost of each unit had escalated as compared to the price that our parents paid. Nonetheless, in our twilight years, we could safely say we do own a home of our own.

Many expatrates, especially those from the West were able to accumulate after a two-year contract working here to purchase a property of their own in their home country.

Sadly with the subprime crisis in the US, I feel sad and bad as I read about many new homeless resort to living in cars to tie over this critical period.

Many in the West who could afford a good spacious home had to forego and now living in smaller and more affordable homes.

Personally I would be most distraught without a roof over my head — if I retired or caught without a job in the subprime and credit crises!

#99 inconsistencies

There are many inconsistencies floating around the happenings in the world today.

UBS the 3rd largest bank in the world snowed under by huge losses created by the subprime in the US. If this is so, then why are banks in the US not go bust?

High inflation rates. Understanding a little…apparently a result of more supply of money to that demanded is the reason to inflate prices. What is the rationale?

The World Bank is taking out gold reserve to help the ‘money’ crunch…

What exactly is happening around the world?

#41

Subprime and credit crunch are symptoms of a lack of integrity in the banking system. 

Has this encouragement ‘to live on credit’ taking its toll? Whoever started this ‘living on personal credit is the smart way’ is reaping ill harvest!

The interesting thing is the management sets quotas and expects its employees to rake in good profit margin. If the employee cannot deliver, he is axed. What should he do? Change the numbers to fill the quota…and a tale of downfall! When problem arises, the management (rather top executives) looks for a scapegoat among its underlings!

In the event, guess where or what does the management use to plug the hole? Yours and my money — the taxpayers! The average people’s hard earn money…the executives continue to draw their salaries! There are situations where executives would conveniently take their share out before the collapse!

For subprime, those who cannot service their home loans, lose their houses…who cares if they live on the street!??!! (sic!)

Is there big bucks to be made? Can one make big bucks without digging one’s grave? If there were, surely there’d be ‘oodles’ of rich people around.

The truth is we lie to one another in the name of risk-taking! It’s true that unless one takes risks, one cannot move forward or achieve a target. However there are risks worth taking and risks not worth taking. Risks itself is neutral but when there is manipulation, trouble sneaks in and spirals.