Expect more riveting action from Anson and Richard show The future of Hong Kong democracy, they said, lay in the word CARL. That is Chan Anson (Fang On-sang) and Richard Li Tzar-kai, in that order. The two rising stars of democracy share a belief in the importance of universal suffrage by 2012. And that is why the young Mr Li called for 'true democracy' and why Mrs Chan, now a senior citizen, is willing to go down for a street fight with former subordinate Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee for a seat in the Legislative Council. Mr Li was reported to be the man behind Mrs Chan's decision to come on the stage as both met for a dinner last week, but their connections go a long way back. First, the long-serving civil servant's mentor is former chief secretary David Ford, whom Mr Li hired as PCCW non-executive director in 2002. Mr Ford was particularly instrumental in advising Mr Li on how to deal with China Netcom in the PCCW share saga last year. The family factor also came into play. Mrs Chan's son, Andrew, is an executive at PCCW, having served in the group's record division, Music Nations, and at present with Now TV, according to a couple of sources from the telecommunications industry. Mrs Chan's daughter, Michelle, used to work in Hutchison Telecom before marrying her husband, Alex, who was at Hutchison China. Both left the Li Ka-shing conglomerate after marriage. What CARL will achieve is anything but predictable. Both are far from being in the mainland's favourite books, but together the two powerful Hong Kong figures may bring some hope that the impossible can be made possible in the city. Based on their track records, we can predict Mrs Chan would easily see off Ms Ip in the Island election, just as easily as analysts tip PCCW shares to underperform the broad market. The show 'When Anson meets Richard' has just started. So, grab a chair and enjoy. Buffett takes his time We have reason to believe Warren Buffett does not like faxes or e-mails. That is why when he disposed of HK$1.1 billion worth of PetroChina shares, he didn't immediately inform our stock exchange and regulator. Mr Buffett (below) sold some shares on August 29, but did not make a filing until September 1. (Spare him, his 77th birthday fell on August 30). When Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing officials received his filing by post (dated September 1) on Tuesday night, they could only put it up after the market close yesterday. This was the second recent disposal from Mr Buffett. He first sold about HK$210 million worth of shares, at around HK$12.44, in July. In August, he sold 92.65 million shares at between HK$11.47 and HK$11.64, leaving him with 2.05 billion shares, or 9.72 per cent. How many shares he still owns almost two weeks on remains anybody's guess. You could ask our postman if he has some insider tips. TCI move rouses interest Wonder what The Children's Investment Fund Management has been up to these days. On Tuesday, Deutsche Bank disclosed it owned 22.47 per cent of The Link Reit, surpassing TCI's 18.35 per cent. Later it emerged that the stake was virtually the same as that owned by TCI, as it had pledged the shares to Deutsche Bank. Why so? The TCI move roused the interest of Link Reit board members, but even they could not figure out the real reason behind it. One suggested that TCI, like other hedge funds, might have been burned in the subprime crisis. Besides, Link Reit is also underperforming mainland shares, having gained only 3 per cent this year. TCI's portfolio of Hong Kong-listed shares - that is, of those companies in which it has disclosed a more than 5 per cent stake - shows a 50 per cent gain on the initial investments to around HK$10 billion. But that kind of return seems far below what investors would have expected for a top-notch hedge fund in the booming market. We'll watch with interest to see if the Children can bring in some more excitement for its fans.