Reader Dave Shaw informs us he recently received a weighty tome from the Hongkong Bank entitled Life Style Plus. The glittering catalogue offered all sorts of 'must-have' items at discounts if you used the points accumulated on the credit card supplied by the bank. Dave glanced through the book and noticed a mini-stereo system listed as costing $3,065, or $2,541 plus 3,000 of the credit card points. You even could get it free if you happened to have a mere 635,300 points. What made Dave really notice this so-called bargain was that he was looking for a stereo system along similar lines. After a cursory search in Tsim Sha Tsui, David paid $2,500 for a stereo which was the same model as that offered by Hongkong Bank - and that was without really trying to haggle. Good to know the bank is continuing its quest to drive a hard bargain for customers. Credit Lyonnais' useful new publication, 97 Questions about '97, is by and large a serious look at issues relating to this year's festivities - but it manages to find space for frivolity amid the big-picture issues. Consider, for example, a question on how letters should be addressed. Credit Lyonnais notes Chinese authorities would like to have mail sent to 'Hong Kong, China'. 'But one has the feeling that even with international attention focused on the region, residents will still get plenty of letters addressed to 'Hong Kong, Japan' and 'Hong Kong, Singapore'.' Another quirky one is on whether the Lan Kwai Fong bars Club 97 and Post 97 will change their names. (Answer: no plans to change, as yet.) And as for post-handover safety, the booklet feels Hong Kongers have little to fear. However, it does make note of one possible trouble spot - 'the main bar of the Foreign Correspondents' Club, where a large part of the estimated 5,000 journalists due in town to cover the handover will be fighting it out for lager.' In a recent interview, Price Waterhouse world managing partner Howard Hughes said the accounting firm had 'a four-year plan for China'. Whatever happened to five-year plans? Perhaps PW has got a limited concentration span. Analysts have called Lai See to have a grumble about contents of the three-page statement put out for Hutchison Whampoa's profit announcement last week. Hutchison chairman Li Ka-shing kept himself very much to the bare essentials by reporting strictly statutory numbers in his not terribly enlightening review of earnings for investors. The only non-essential figures he made available were previously released subscriber figures for the firm's telecommunications interests. Said one market figure: 'They certainly don't seem to have any relatives who are analysts.' A little spiel showing strange parallels between the lives, careers and deaths of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy has been sent in by a reader. It goes as follows: Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846, Kennedy in 1946. Lincoln was elected president in 1860, Kennedy was elected president in 1960. The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters. Both were concerned with civil rights. The wives of both lost children while living in the White House. Both presidents were shot on a Friday. Both were shot in the head. Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy; Kennedy's was named Lincoln. Both allegedly were assassinated by Southerners and were succeeded by Southerners. Both successors were named Johnson. Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808. Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908. John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's alleged assassin, was born in 1839. Lee Harvey Oswald, arrested for Kennedy's assassination, was born in 1939. Both alleged assassins were known by their three names, and the names of both contain 15 letters. Booth ran from a theatre and was caught in a warehouse. Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theatre. Both Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials. Last but not least - a week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland AND a week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe. Still on matters American, the Los Angeles Times informs us an unusual Corporate Cycling Challenge will take place in the city next week. The challenge will consist of relay teams on three-wheeled mountain bikes racing around an indoor track at the LA Convention Centre. And what do they use for batons in a corporate bike relay? Briefcases, of course.