e-money lai see next when red packets get full green makeover It isn't just Joseph Yam Chi-kwong who is seeing green. Hot on the heels of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief's appeal for people to use old banknotes for lai see this year, Standard Chartered Bank has come over all environmental with its plea for recycling of the red packets. We received a pack yesterday, with words on the back reading: 'Kung Hei Fat Choi - to protect our environment for future generations, please re-use this red packet which is made of recyclable materials.' Lai See has also noticed that more banks and corporations are designing lai see packets that fold closed, instead of having to use glue. They are also not using typical Chinese horoscopes (for example, the Year of the Dog), but a more generic design to make the packets timeless. Every bit helps, but we wager Hong Kong is still a way off from the prospect of e-money lai see to friends and offspring. noteworthy hazards of the job It doesn't take a fung shui expert to work out that the lofty bankers and government officials chosen to sign Hong Kong dollar notes haven't exactly been a fortuitous bunch. Look at the fate of former BOC (Hong Kong) chief Liu Jinbao. He's currently serving a suspended death penalty for corruption on the mainland. Former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung spectacularly fell from grace - in the eyes of the public at least - with his surreptitious purchase of a large saloon car just before he raised car taxes. It did see him ultimately depart his government post. So we wonder what lies in store for Peter Wong Tung-shun. The former No2 at Standard Chartered Hong Kong will soon have his scrawl on two different banknotes, as he signs on behalf of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp's executive director. Mr Wong's bank notes are scheduled to come out before the Lunar New Year but we understand there is a large reserve of notes signed by former general manager Raymond Or Ching-fai (now chief executive of Hang Seng Bank) that have to be cleared out first. Another high-flyer who may be at risk of the bank note curse is Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen. His autographed $10 notes are being released later this year. Be afraid. different banks, same deal Still on the topic of Peter Wong, yesterday saw him chairing the Hong Kong Association of Banks' regular Friday meeting, something he has done twice over the past three years, but this time on behalf of HSBC. Asked to comment on his feelings this time compared with his days at Standard Chartered, he was fast to play down his brush with musical chairs. 'I have been in the industry for 20 years, and it doesn't matter which bank I represented - it is all the same.'' A discerning soul, indeed. paying the price for a day off They are working Citibank staff so hard these days that they are willing to pay $700,000 for a day off. It isn't as bad as it looks. About a third of the bank's 4,000 employees decided to chip in between $150 and $3,000 for a charitable cause, Operation Santa Claus, in return for a one-day holiday this year. Still, with $700,000 raised, it was obviously a popular choice. Lai See wonders if you can pay for superiors to take a day off, too? merrill Lynch in charity big picture First-timer Citibank and last year's champion Merrill Lynch were the top two donors to Operation Santa Claus, which this year broke a record with close to $10 million raised. As an eight-year participant, Merrill Lynch has even gone so far as to design its own charity logo, shocking many with its artistic talent.