Lai See

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 January, 2012, 12:00am


Citigroup Ponzi drama rumbles on with appeal launched

The long-running saga involving former Citigroup private banker Ramesh Sadhwani, who allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme from 2004 to 2009, continues to rumble on.

In October, Citigroup was reprimanded by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for failing to notice the scheme and was fined HK$6 million. Lisa Chan Sin-man, who supervised Sadhwani, had her licence suspended.

However, Sadhwani, the man at the centre of the scandal, fled Hong Kong in 2009 when the scheme began to unravel.

The SFC has presumably informed Sadhwani of the penalty it had in mind. This would have involved at least the suspension of his licence and probably further action.

Sadhwani, however, has appealed and this is to be considered by the Securities and Futures Appeals Tribunal, which has the authority to uphold the decision, vary it, or quash it. Until that process is completed we will hear nothing more.

What's cooking?

We're off to the 28th Digby Memorial Lecture this evening. The lecture was initiated in 1969 in honour of Professor Kenelm Hutchinson Digby, who was the first to make academic and professional contributions to surgery in Hong Kong. Digby held the chair of surgery at the University of Hong Kong from 1923 to 1945.

Tonight's lecture will be delivered by Anthony Wu Ting-yuk, chairman of the Hospital Authority.

We can't help feeling that the title of his lecture, A Recipe for Disaster Leadership doesn't quite capture what he has in mind, which is perhaps more along the lines of 'A Recipe for Disaster Management' or 'A Recipe for Crisis Management'. We look to our politicians for 'A Recipe in Crisis Leadership'.

Asia's world city in the Alps

A reader stayed at the Royal Automobile Club in London not so long ago. But he was surprised to receive an invoice from the club addressed to him in Honk (sic) Kong, Switzerland.

Good to know the RAC knows the location of Asia's world city.

Brewing up a storm

Some strange news from New Zealand. We read that a woman has been barred from a beer-brewing competition because she is not a man.

Rachel Beer - that's her real name - tried to enter the home-brewing competition in the Lake Hayes Agricultural show being held in the South Island adventure tourist centre of Queenstown this weekend. However, she was told if she entered a brew it would not be judged because the contest was for 'blokes only', Reuters reports.

Beer has taken a sanguine view of this blatant discrimination in New Zealand, where it is illegal, saying she will seek to get the rules changed. New Zealand was the first Western country to give women the vote in national elections, in 1893.

The final approach

Tired of base jumping? Swimming with sharks lost its thrill? For those readers who like to live life to the fullest and miss those adrenalin-fuelled landings at Kai Tak Airport before it closed in 1998, there are plenty of other suitable destinations where you can watch your life pass before your eyes as you line up for the final approach - so to speak.

The Daily Telegraph has put together a list of the 10 most frightening landings in the world, starting with Paro in Bhutan, at which only eight pilots are qualified (although, to our admittedly biased eye, it seems pretty tame compared to landing at Kai Tak during monsoon season).

Check them out at

Heights of depression

Barclays Capital has come up with yet another indicator of looming uncertainty, which it says points to an impending economic correction in China and India.

Barclays has mapped an 'unhealthy correlation' between construction of the world's tallest buildings and financial crises over the past 140 years, including the Great Depression and the Asian financial crisis, Associated Press reports.

The firm says more than half of the 124 skyscrapers being built worldwide are in China. India has two skyscrapers but is building 14, including the world's second-tallest tower, in Mumbai.

Skyscraper-building, Barclays says, is usually associated with periods of easy credit, excessive optimism and rising land prices, which often occur before market corrections.

But things are different now, aren't they?