Lai See

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 September, 2011, 12:00am


Chef Goldstein could prove to be punching above his weight

What to make of the boxing promotion that is going around Facebook with none other than chef Harlan Goldstein in an aggressive pose attired in boxing gloves? Harlan a closet boxer?

Further investigation on the internet reveals a YouTube movie from 2009 of him cavorting in skimpy clothing, sometimes engaging with others, sometimes alone brandishing random accessories. On closer inspection it appears that he is going through a fitness regime and the movie purports to show him getting fitter in preparation for what we are led to believe is a boxing match. In fact, all we see is him clowning around in the ring with an 'opponent'. There's no blood and, worryingly, the portly pugilist doesn't appear to lose much of his bulk during his various stages of activity. Good luck on the night Harlan.

How does it go again?

In these financially uncertain times it is always good to find reassurance. Those worried about property prices falling will have been gladdened to hear strategist Andrew Look share his view of the financial world at a charity seminar organised by SHK Fund Management.

In a nutshell, Hong Kong industrials/exporters will continue to underperform, dragged down by deteriorating US consumer confidence as property prices continue to fall and unemployment rises.

China's GDP growth will be supported by infrastructure investment and consumption growth. And property prices in Hong Kong are unlikely to fall given the sustainably low rates, limited land supply and strong liquidity inflow. So grit your teeth and fill your boots?

Drawing the wrong conclusion

We know that you need true grit to live and work in Hong Kong, but this is ridiculous. A reader drew Lai See's attention to a line of children's pencil cases that seem to have been designed by someone who, like the 17th-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, viewed life as 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short'.

The pencil case is adorned with uplifting words such as panic, depression, stress, anger, tension, crisis, exhaustion, consternation, headache, and, inevitably, breakdown. Nothing like looking on the bright side. If you want to make sure your kid's switched on to the realities of life in the HKSAR, just check out the stationery department at Jusco.

The Silvio rating

We read that market wags have come up with a new way for credit agencies to express their worries about the indebtedness of Italy. Notwithstanding the objections of Silvio Berlusconi, The Independent tells us they've downgraded the country's rating from bunga bunga to just bunga.

Scots kings of 'speed greed'

Something strange is occurring in Britain. In recent months people have been rioting in the streets. Now we hear of another quieter, but more insidious, decline in social behaviour. The British are apparently becoming less patient. The Daily Telegraph reports a survey of over 2,000 adults by Giffgaff, a division of O2, the mobile phone company, shows that people in Scotland are the least patient people in Britain, getting frustrated after just five minutes of waiting on the telephone. Callers in the east of England and the West Country reach snapping point after 51/2 minutes, while the most patient is the North East. People there will hold for an average of seven minutes before losing their temper. Dr Roger Henderson, a stress expert, told the newspaper: 'There is an increasing unwillingness to wait in queues, a phenomenon I call 'speed greed' that reflects our growing demand for instant gratification and access to information and service. Our expectations are now such that if we do not get the service we expect very quickly, our stress levels increase quickly and significantly.'

Adelson has the golden touch

That Sheldon Adelson must be made of rubber. Three years after investing US$1 billion to keep Las Vegas Sands Corp out of bankruptcy, Adelson, who is the chairman and chief executive of Sands, has bounced back into the top 10 of the Forbes Richest People in America list. His net worth grew by US$7 billion, moving him up five places to eighth spot. Forbes says nearly 90 per cent of Las Vegas Sands' operating profit comes from his Asian casinos. Adelson wants to get the stock back to over US$100, near its 2007 peak. The stock traded as low as US$1.50 in 2008 and is now over US$48. Brings tears to the eyes.