Joseph Yam Chi-Kwong has finally confessed. More than two years ago, he did something that was an insult to the people of Hong Kong and a slap in the face of good taste. He kept it to himself, but the guilt must have weighed heavily on his soul. Because yesterday, something inside him snapped. Consumed by self-loathing, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief decided to make a clean breast of it and let the chips fall where they may. To summarise: Hong Kong's coins are embarrassing and 'repulsive' and it's all his fault. We're not making that up. He actually said it in a column he has just published on the HKMA Web site. 'The dull and unattractive coins of Hong Kong hardly befit Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre,' the money man concedes. 'If readers examine the design of our coins they will find it, at best, unattractive and unremarkable. Those with any artistic sense might even think it repulsive. 'I am the one to blame for this sorry state. 'Yes, the coins were designed by me and I am sorry that users have to put up with them every day.' Mr Yam then explains the mitigating circumstances behind this crime against aesthetics. 'At the time, the picture that was to adorn our coins was top secret,' he says. 'So much so that even a single artist could not be entrusted with the information.' And so it was that he found himself flitting about Hong Kong on a cloak-and-dagger flower-drawing mission. In the interests of national coin-decoration security, our HKMA hero was forced to make untruthful statements, duping the innocent out of their flower photos. 'I obtained a number of photographs of the bauhinia on the pretence that I was designing the logo for the HKMA,' he now admits. 'For the Chinese characters, I copied the relevant ones myself from a piece of calligraphy I commissioned on a passage containing those characters. It was then a simple scissors and paste job that a primary school child would find easy.' The result: repulsive coins. Now a shame-filled Mr Yam 'would like to offer [his] belated apologies to the people of Hong Kong'. Our bank boss concludes by asking that his pathetic artistic efforts be replaced by something more worthy 'if only to make me feel less guilty'. Needless to say, the HKMA chief won't be involved in creating the next batch. He no longer makes cents. We see publisher and presidential hopeful Steve Forbes has been gnashing his teeth over the lurking presence of 'Chinese companies' such as Hutchison Whampoa at either end of the Panama Canal. 'Having Chinese companies managing both ends of the strategic chokepoint between the Atlantic and the Pacific is simply unacceptable to American security,' he said. 'The Forbes Administration will prevent the hostile interference in the Western Hemisphere by outside powers such as Communist China.' Perhaps he's plotting to impose sanctions against Li Ka-shing by evicting him from his coveted spot on Forbes magazine's world's-richest people list. Sino Land's chairman has somehow managed to slip through the Net. After his company's annual general meeting yesterday, Robert Ng Chee-Siong was asked whether the firm had any interest in telecom or high-tech business. Of course, Mr Ng said. No company can afford to ignore this global trend. But he added that involvement in these industries required knowledge and experience. Of which he has neither. Mr Ng amazed his audience with this pronouncement: 'So far I do not know the difference between analogue and digital. And I believe many people do not know about it.' Wonder if he's spotted the difference between vinyl and CDs yet. Thinking of moving to the southern United States? Read these Texan bumper-stickers and think twice: Keep honking, I'm reloading. I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it. Beer: more than just a breakfast drink. Some people are alive because it's illegal to kill them. I got a gun for my wife, best trade I've ever made.