Remember Yaohan, the Japanese-founded department store chain that bowed out in a blaze of glory last year with a raft of bargain-priced liquidation sales all over the SAR? Well, the mess that was left with the company's collapse is still being sorted out, and the liquidators of the local Yaohan holding company, Yaohan Hongkong Corp, have come across the odd interesting item. We hear the assets taking up most of the time of the liquidator, Stephen Liu Yiu-keung of Ernst & Young, have been - wait for it - golf club memberships owned by a fully-owned Yaohan subsidiary, Yaohan Department Stores. The company held a total of five memberships for golf clubs in Macau, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Two memberships in Macau were sold a few weeks back for around the $300,000 mark - a far cry from the $735,000 they cost back in 1991. Another in Shenzhen did better, fetching in excess of $500,000 - although we hear it took two months for the liquidator to fetch the right price. But the jewel in the crown of the five memberships is still up for sale: a single membership of the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling. Yaohan reportedly paid in the vicinity of $2-3 million to hit a ball with a stick around Fanling in the 1980s. Mr Liu will not put an exact figure on how much he expects to fetch for the membership now, although he does admit to having some trouble finding 'the right buyer'. The liquidators will consider offers on this one: but don't bother to call if you have less than about $6.5 million handy. We asked Mr Liu whether he happened to have spent an inordinate amount of time traipsing around golf courses in the region in his bid to find 'the right buyers' for the memberships. 'Not at all,' he said. 'They come to me.' A pity, really. We were thinking it all sounded like the perfect excuse for a golfing holiday. Investment banker Marc Faber is normally known as a peddler of pessimism - but yesterday he was sounding rather cheered by radical moves by Australian ship-loading company Patrick Stevedores to lock out its entire unionised workforce yesterday. Observers were saying these actions could cause a national dock strike in the country, but our Dr Doom was adamant they were good for Australia. Mr Faber, of course, has a personal interest in this case. A couple of months back, he was revealed as the man behind a mystery consortium said to be training former soldiers as industrial mercenaries to break the grip of trade unions on Australian docks. He remains adamant the wharf workers were 'a very negative part of Australia's foreign trade', and that breaking union power on Australian docks would greatly benefit the country. Mr Faber, however, will be taking no further direct part in moves to fight union workers in Australia. 'From now on, my interest will be purely from the sidelines,' he said with some certainty. Mr Faber still found time for spreading some gloom. He lambasted that other publicity-shy Hong Kong market tipster, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Peter Churchouse, for sticking to his tip the Hang Seng will be at 15,800 points at the end of the year. 'It's a pipe dream,' he said. Mr Faber is convinced recent international unions, like the mega-merger announced this week between Travelers Group and Citicorp, are bad signs for North American markets, and world markets in general. 'History shows that merger mania occurs near stock exchange peaks,' he said, citing similar events preceding the 1929 and 1987 international crashes. We were fascinated yesterday by the latest ploy of those wacky guys at the Hong Kong Tourist Association in their mission to get people flooding back into the SAR. Their recipe for revival? Why, undercover shoppers, of course! Mystery shoppers will visit 240 selected Association of Retailers and Tourism Services shops to assess the quality of services they offer. Hate to say it, guys, but how 'undercover' can these shoppers be? Given that many Hong Kong shops have been almost constantly empty lately, it might just be easy to spot those mysterious shopping detectives. Alert Hong Kong shopkeepers may be on the lookout for certain types of customers in the next few weeks. We suspect shoppers wearing detective-style trench coats and dark glasses, who - surprise of surprises - enter stores and ask lots of questions, will be handled with the utmost courtesy.