Today's question: what do ordinary shareholders in one of the world's largest banking groups worry about? Risk of mainland exposure? An increase in non-performing loans? War in Europe affecting returns? Nope. They're fretting over the colour of their share certificates. An investor brought his concerns before chief executive Keith Whitson at an informal HSBC Holdings shareholders' meeting yesterday. Would new certificates from the bank's New York Stock Exchange float be the same colour as the existing ones? And wouldn't it be better and less confusing if the bankers came up with a new hue? Mr Whitson was flummoxed by this one. It seems he hadn't been fully briefed as to the aesthetic properties of the new shares. Lai See was unable to find anyone at HSBC who had. But she offers the firm this advise; if you decide to use the colours from your logo, blend the two together. These days, red ink makes people nervous. They'll feel better if their shares are in the pink. Microsoft programmers have been hiding their feelings. Unfortunately for Bill Gates, they've been doing it in Microsoft programmes. If you haven't happened across it already, you'll find employee sentiment stashed in the SR-1 version of Microsoft Word. Simply type in and highlight the phrase 'I'd like to see Bill Gates dead'. Then meander over to 'Tools' and change the language to 'English US' before returning to Tools and clicking 'Thesaurus'. It responds to the yearning for Mr Gates' demise with 'I'll drink to that'. Nice to see a little byte of rebellion in the computer community. North Koreans are not fooled by America's feigned interest in Yugoslavia. They know it's all just an excuse to distract people from the true plan. The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland just issued a bulletin warning the United States and South Korea that he is on to them. He knows the two nations plan to join forces and turn America's weapons on to North Korea. 'It is not difficult to guess that this war will engulf even the Korean peninsula,' the nation's news agency reported him as saying. But North Korea isn't worried. It is ready for them. 'If the US unleashes a war of aggression in defiance of our repeated warnings, our army and people will not miss this opportunity but wipe out all aggressors and achieve the historical cause of national reunification,' the North Korean News Service warns. 'The South Korean rulers who go berserk as bullet-shields for the US will not escape from a forlorn wandering spirit in this just war.' There you have it. The lesson: avoid going berserk or you'll be chased about by moody nomadic ghosts. Nothing like a story with a moral to it. Masaharu Nonaka is in big trouble. Last week the 58-year-old tore off his clothes and committed hara-kiri in his bosses' office. So Japanese police yesterday decided to issue a report against the dead man for illegal possession of weapons and breaking into a building. On March 23, Japan's Bridgestone chief tried in vain to stop the 58-year-old employee from committing ritual suicide in his office, an Agence France-Presse report tells us. Police finally managed to break the door down just as Nonaka, armed with two knives, stabbed himself in the stomach. The fatally injured employee was arrested by police and rushed to a nearby hospital. He died a few hours from his self-inflicted wounds. But it seemed he's wanted, dead or alive. 'It is up to prosecutors to decide whether to press charges or not, but we did what we had to do,' said a police official in Tokyo. 'We sent the papers to the prosecutors' office because we do not want to bury the case just because he is dead.' Interesting choice of words.