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  • September 20, 2014
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  1. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    How to eradicate poverty - at least by the official definition

    Posted Oct 03rd 2013, 12:00am by Tom Holland

    ... - at least by the official definition At the weekend, the Hong Kong government rolled out its latest big idea: an official poverty line. In its wisdom, the government decreed that anyone earning less ... Setting your poverty line relative to median income is a little like having an education secretary who declares that all children should get above-average exam grades. Your policy is never going ...

  2. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Spending on old folks isn't the problem- it's the solution

    Posted Jan 14th 2014, 01:37am by Tom Holland

    ... be eligible. In that case the Health and Welfare Fund could easily pay a monthly stipend of HK$4,000 (at constant 2014 prices) to the remainder- enough to support them above the current poverty line ... even make a dent in the Health and Welfare Fund's assets. Assuming it continues to generate an average annual real return of 3.8 per cent in line with the Exchange Fund's long-term ...

  3. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Fiscal report based on lunatic projection of capital spending

    Posted Mar 04th 2014, 05:09am by Tom Holland

    ... to no traffic on its glittering spans. These flawed projections of capital spending undermine the report's whole premise. Factor in more modest spending on infrastructure, in line with Hong ...

  4. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    It's not heresy to expect grand projects to pay for themselves

    Posted Feb 28th 2014, 01:01am by Tom Holland

    ... Kong's population of over-60s. If we also assume a very modest 3.3 per cent real investment return in line with the Exchange Fund's performance over the last 20 years, then that HK$1.6 ... a painfully steep hidden tax in the form of sky-high property costs. For example, in line with the government's much-vaunted "user pays principle", we could charge visitors to the city ...

  5. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Even an export rebound won't do much to lift China growth

    Posted Feb 13th 2014, 01:07am by Tom Holland

    ... lines shutting down and the pace of shipments abating over the previous week, all the negative effects should have been felt last month. Instead, exports boomed. Some commentators attempted ...

  6. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Chinese investors should avoid Britain's rotten egg rail project

    Posted Jan 13th 2014, 12:55am by Tom Holland

    ... in the making. One former government adviser says the arguments for building the new line smell so bad, it should called not HS2 but H2S, after the chemical formula for hydrogen sulphide, the poisonous ... backers. What's needed, the British government believes, is an entirely new, purpose built 350km/h high speed passenger line to reduce journey times and ease overcrowding. This will not come ...

  7. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    To think clearly, our officials should stand on their heads

    Posted Jan 20th 2014, 12:15am by Tom Holland

    ... Tom Holland Like the trams, financial chief John Tsang and his advisers' thought processes run along same old lines; they should apply inverse thinking To think clearly, our officials ... their thought processes run only along the same old lines. They appear incapable of taking a new direction. This inflexibility of mind severely constrains their problem-solving abilities. In particular, ...

  8. Business - Economy - MONITOR

    CY's policies will exacerbate city's coming down-cycle

    Posted Jan 16th 2014, 02:36am by Tom Holland

    ... when it comes to redistributing a little of Hong Kong's wealth to the city's least well-off, the chief executive is clearly thinking along the right sort of lines. It's in two ...

  9. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    The dark cloud behind China's new silver lining

    Posted Oct 23rd 2012, 12:00am by Tom Holland

    ... silver lining Financial market players have no doubt that the economic data Beijing released last Thursday were a good thing. Sure, the headline number was hardly impressive. At 7.4 per cent ... far, it is a major gain. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's H-share index of locally listed mainland companies has climbed 2.4 per cent. As usual, however, wherever there is a silver lining ...

  10. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Nothing new in Beijing's latest 'clampdown' on shadow loans

    Posted Jan 08th 2014, 03:33am by Tom Holland

    ... this is a high-risk market, where both its opacity and the rapid speed of its growth only magnify the probability of a nasty train wreck along the lines of the crisis which hit the US shadow banking system ...




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