Just when you thought it was safe to be bearish in peace, self-styled gurus all over town have decided to jump on to the wildly optimistic bandwagon. Look at the events of the last few weeks. For one, red-chip stocks have jumped back into vogue. If you'd predicted that a couple of months ago, you would probably have been laughed out of Exchange Square all the way to Citibank Plaza. But the red chip has been given the green light by investors - and suddenly, nobody remembers their catastrophically low share prices a few thousand index points ago. On to perversely bullish occurrence No 2. News emerged this week that the cake coupon is once again the hottest investment item in the SAR. No less than three big bakery chains have been run off their feet in recent days by housewives madly hoarding coupons allowing them to buy sets of custard tarts, cream cakes and croissants. Some of these are presumably the same customers who - a few short months ago - redeemed thousands of coupons worth of pastries and pies in the incredible cake runs of 1997 and 1998. Many ended up feeding most of the redeemed delicacies to pet guinea pigs, because they could not possibly get through such colossal cake caches. Others lost huge stashes of 'cake futures' in the collapse of the Maria's Bakery chain earlier this year. But that is of little import now - and the cake confidence index is again soaring. Even an authority as reputable as Standard & Poor's changed its negative tune. Straight after the Government's notorious market intervention, S&P made a bearish call on the outlook for Hong Kong. A couple of months later, it was like listening to a totally new ratings agency. This time around, S&P suggested the worst was over for Hong Kong, and that our economy's recovery might begin as early as mid-1999. Even taxi drivers, veritable princes of pessimism right up until October, have started to perk up and say the end of the recession is nigh. And what better example can there be of the Hong Kong capacity to put the best spin on things, than the new-found hero status of former Governor Chris Patten? Let's face it: Hong Kongers couldn't get rid of him fast enough last year. There was all that euphoria about Hong Kong being the 'child returning to its mother'. The disappearance of the last vestige of colonial rule, it was said, was the best thing that could happen to Hong Kong. Yet, remarkably, 'Fat Pang' was lavished with love when he came back to plug his new book late last month. Notice a trend here? Yep, either Hong Kong is experiencing its most pronounced case of mass amnesia - or we look on the bright side given the slightest excuse. Your correspondent has had to pinch himself lately. Are we really living in the same economy where just two-and-a-bit short months ago, stock market Armageddon and the imminent death of the peg seemed very real possibilities? The transformation of sentiment prompted one market commentator to note: 'These people don't only have short memories: they have no memories at all.' It's hard to dispute his argument. Lai See has a theory that Hong Kong is the city embodiment of a certain United States president: Seemingly on its last legs one week, then celebrating yet another resurrection the next. Doesn't it all sound like the life story of William Jefferson Clinton in recent times? Facing one hammer blow after another to his credibility - and indeed, his presidency - during his second term, Mr Clinton has emerged with his popularity enhanced, if anything. Similarly, Hong Kongers seem to shrug off each prediction of the city's imminent 'death'. 'We've heard it all before' seems to be the motto. So if Mr Clinton is the latest 'Teflon president' in the US, then Hong Kong surely must be the Teflon city. And not even a Typhoon Monica will be able to wreak havoc on the indomitable Hong Kong spirit.