Kwan Chi-shing, 47, is confident he can get through the tough times ahead, but admits he may have to get out of the taxi business if it is possible. Business has dropped by more than 20 per cent, as the Hang Seng Index has dived a lot in the past two weeks. The stock market has still got the energy to rebound a bit after falling over 1,000 points but that didn't happen over the past two weeks. It just kept falling. Most of my customers during the rush hour are office workers. They've got extra money for taking cabs in the morning and can get up later when the stock market is doing well. But now most of my customers in the morning are students who pay a few dollars to share a cab ride. I only manage to get short-journey passengers. It is very quiet during the morning rush hour. Many office workers would rather get up earlier in the morning and go to work by other means than take a taxi. But the situation is better than back in 2003, during Sars [severe acute respiratory syndrome]. No one was in the street five years ago, as people dared not go out. It was an epidemic and most people preferred staying at home. Parents did not want to take their children out during holidays. It is very difficult to find customers, but if drivers look really hard for business we can still make a living. So, I am still quite optimistic. I know that life is going to be difficult in the next few years but I think the situation will not be as bad as in 2003. Many economists and academics warn that the whole world will be in trouble because a 'Great Depression' is approaching. Some have even said the situation might be worse than in 1929. But I don't think so. I do not have the economic data and I do not conduct studies. Still, I don't think the economy will be as bad as that as many people still have jobs. Businessmen want to cut costs and consumers want to cut spending. Still, there are things that they will have to buy and there is spending that cannot be cut, such as on daily necessities. But many taxi drivers are quite worried. Some of them are thinking about changing jobs. People must spend money on food and toilet paper but taking a taxi ride is not necessary. The gloomy economic outlook hits us hard and directly. So, many are looking for jobs elsewhere. They want to take up other jobs when the economy is bad and come back to work as taxi drivers when the situation improves. I am thinking about changing jobs, too, but I am already over 40. If I cannot find a better alternative, then I'll just stick with the taxi business. I survived the Sars epidemic. I have confidence that I can get through the hard times ahead. Although I don't have a lot of savings I keep my eye on the price of HSBC stock every day. If it drops under HK$80, I think I will buy some. I think investors should only put money in the market when they have spare money. They should not use money that is for food, rent and mortgages, for example, to buy stocks. It is very dangerous and risky. It is very important to make sure that one has plenty of cash in his account before making investment decisions. I feel very sorry for investors who have bought minibonds issued by Lehman Brothers. I think banks should pay the money back to investors who were misled by banks' frontline sales staff. I am not saying every investor should get their money back, because I think most of them know very well what they were buying when they signed the contracts with banks. Some investors had put their money into fixed deposits all their lives, so why would they suddenly change their investment plan? The reason is quite obvious - bank staff convinced them, or should I say misled them, to do so. But some buyers are well educated and they knew very well what they were buying. These people, of course, should face the consequence of their own investment decisions. But it seems that many of them are claiming they were misled. Maybe these people are still checking stock prices at home and have invested a lot in warrants and have other risky investment plans. Then why should these people be given their money back in this case?