The SAR economy was like a drunkard during the nadir of the Asian economic crisis in 1998, according to Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph Yam Chi-kwong. The bizarre description was derived from an acronym - Sport - that Mr Yam used to explain the five factors an economy needed to benefit from globalisation. In the acronym, S denotes size; P policy orientation, which should be prudent; O openness; R rules of the game or international market; and T transparency. 'For those of us in the region wishing to embrace globalisation . . . we should ensure that we have the capacity for Sport,' Mr Yam said. He played word games by removing the P for policy orientation and R for rules of the game to get Sot - a drunkard. 'Even if your policy orientation is prudent and you play by the global rules of the game you can still be tossed around to such an extent you feel like a sot - that was how Hong Kong felt in 1998,' Mr Yam said. 'The size of our financial markets, which is not too big, not too small, our complete openness and our transparency characterised by information asymmetry worked against us.' Part of the hangover cure was the Government intervention in the stock and futures markets of August 1998. 'Although we pursued prudent policies and we played with international rules of the game that worked against us but thankfully . . . we sobered up quite quickly, although not without the help of some market intervention.' Mr Yam was speaking at the second day of the general meeting of the Pacific Economic Co-operation Council. The conference concludes today.