. . . And the winner is - awardees

Investment bankers aren't known for their shrinking violet ways.

These are people with egos - people with a keen sense of competition.

And competitive, ego-driven personalities can be relied upon to embrace one thing - awards.

Any awards.

It matters not whether it's the 'Best Investment Bank of the Year' award or the 'Best deal brokered After Three O'Clock But Before Three Forty-five' prize.

If it's an excuse to strut about and make a speech, the bankers will be there.

Hence the proliferation of industry mags with the phrase 'special awards issue' bannered across the top.

Apparently those have been raising advertising revenue . . . and questions.

It's a little-known fact that reps of all Hong Kong's top investment banks hold lunch meetings to gossip and plot.

The last one was spent discussing the more dubious awards being doled out - and the seemingly random methodology behind them.

Some suspected that trade rags were exploiting egos to drum up advertising.

The bank reps toyed with the idea of organising an advertising boycott of all awards issues. But that idea was rejected.

Instead, they hired an independent assessor to investigate contest hosts and their judging methods.

We've been told only that the results are in . . . and interesting.

Nothing like a little cloak-and-dagger to liven things up around Exchange Square's investment bank ghetto.

Lai See thinks the bankers should produce a special magazine honouring the various publications with a 'Best Award Giver Award'.

They could even sell advertising.

Nude balls: Lai See has been negligent in her duty. We have failed to keep you abreast of the latest developments in the debate that has been tearing our favourite community apart.

Yes, we mean The Discovery Bay Giant Ball Saga.

Dedicated readers may recall in a previous column that property pushers had erected the brightly coloured orbs in the plaza to make DB look 'fun'.

When citizens cried 'eye sore', they encased the spheres in synthetic moss.

This quickly fell prey to acts of random sabotage.

No doubt by now DB fetishists will be tossing and turning at night as they ask themselves - did the anti-Giant-Ball clique triumph in the end? Alas no.

'The typhoon season is almost here and still the Plaza Balls persist,' someone calling himself Balls2U proclaimed on the community's cyber bulletin board.

'The green plastic 'moss' that they sprouted is falling off now and can be seen being blown around the plaza by the gentlest breeze.

'So what happens when a typhoon hits??? 'What can we expect? Ball sprouts flying through the air and the balls themselves totally denuded of fake foliage.

'Big coloured plastic balls covered in plastic moss, white wires dangling dangerously from trees, green plastic moss surrounding trees to hide their natural beauty.

'What next - plastic people sitting at the plaza tables with canned laughter to entice newcomers to our community?' Lai See doubts DB powers-that-be were planning to go that far.

Still, if you drop it in the DB suggestion box they'll probably think about it.

High hopes: A poster has been erected in the window of the Cova coffee and cake shop in Quarry Bay. It is promoting gifts for Father's Day, saying: 'Dad - hope you have a Father's Day'.

You can't fault them for creating unrealistic expectations.

Graphic: whee14gbz