Blame the blame game Last week's IPO ballot bungles left regulators and bankers struggling to offload blame. China Life Insurance's lead sponsor, Citigroup, copped much of the flak, with its boss Francis Leung Pak-to being the public face of the retail offering. Mr Leung, however, had his own bone to pick with the process, complaining about the requirement of providing chunky prospectuses. Shouldn't Hong Kong get with the programme and make electronic documentation available via CD-Rom, he asked. Yesterday, he got his answer from stock exchange chief executive Paul Chow Man-yiu, who sniffily remarked that electronic prospectus dissemination had been possible since March's amendment to the company law. Was this a rebuff to the troublesome Mr Leung? Barely suppressing a chuckle, he came back: 'I did not say that.' Free offers at a price 'Tis the season to be merry and that of course means more absurd 'free' offers. Two weeks ago, H-share index futures launched with the enticing offer of a $50 ParknShop voucher for the first 800 contracts traded. Little matter that the average value of a contract was about $200,000. Last week, International Bank of Asia struck on the same idea, offering punters a $50 ParknShop voucher for depositing IPO refund cheques exceeding $500,000. Punters can receive up to $1,000 in vouchers if they deposit $10 million. Put another way, they can receive 'free' shopping worth one hundredth of 1 per cent of their deposit. What was it that Karl Marx wrote about 'false consciousness'?