When the stock god loses interest, that's the bottom How much has the economic gloom affected the mood of Hong Kong's tycoons at Christmas? Consider the case of Henderson Land Development chairman Lee Shau-kee, whom the local media dubbed 'Asia's stock god' for being kind enough to offer stock tips to the public in the past two years. A year ago, at his property flagship's annual meeting, Mr Lee named his six top picks - China Life Insurance, China Merchants Bank, China Shenhua Energy, China Overseas Land & Investment, CNOOC and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing - as his Christmas picks when the Hang Seng Index was hovering at 30,000 points. A year later, this portfolio has lost half its value. So yesterday Mr Lee baulked at sharing his secrets. The reason for this sudden reticence? At Henderson's annual meeting, Mr Lee revealed he had received two letters from investors who now sat on losses following his advice. They even asked Mr Lee if he would compensate their losses. 'I no longer dare to talk about the stock market,' said Mr Lee, who has stopped doling out index target figures or stock codes. Instead, these days he encourages investors to take a break and go on a holiday. Mr Lee, also known as Uncle Four, is believed to have suffered a huge paper loss in the sharp market downturn since September, although he might have also hedged his losses by short selling futures or US financial stocks. Last month, he started unloading his long-term and substantial holding in China Life. Days later, he admitted he lost a huge chunk of his personal investment. Yesterday, he said he would stay on the defensive and stick to his portfolio for another year or two for better returns. 'Warren Buffett is not a stupid guy,' he told the press, drawing inspiration from the world's biggest bottom fisher in this financial crisis. Lai See thinks the bear market could bottom out when the biggest bull of the Hong Kong market is no longer having fun talking about the Hang Seng Index. Listen to what Uncle Four has to say next time. Invite triggers blast-off A businessman calling himself Guy Fawkes received an invitation to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce lunch for the Shenzhou-7 astronauts at the weekend. This is the reply he sent back: 'If people want to have lunch with space cadets, we already have an ample, highly paid stock here. 'Why not invite the current government administration to talk about overpaid trainee undersecretaries, the ministerial accountability system where the buck never seems to stop, failure by the world's highest-paid central banker to supervise minibonds being sold by banks to the public, the construction waste tax that encourages illegal dumping, ignoring New Territories taxi associations when formulating new urban taxi charges, the pollution, the flawed anti-smoking legislation that still continues to endanger bar workers, the HK$10 billion donation from Hong Kong to the Sichuan earthquake fund and the delay in ordering charter evacuation flights to Thailand?' With all that fuel for thought, Mr Fawkes is in danger of going into orbit himself. Pet statues a bust Spare a thought for Swire Properties, which recently built statues of three cats and a dog outside its Island East playground in a creative burst. But it seems too creative for some Taikoo Shing residents, who oppose the work of art, though for different reasons. One resident, we gather, wondered why a dog was depicted when Swire does not permit residents to have dogs. Another complained why there was only one dog. Yet another one complained her flat faced the dog head, while another said he didn't really like the idea of three cats and a dog. Swire said it only meant to bring art to an open space. While the dog statue was meant to protect people's health, the cats were meant to protect wealth. But who knew pet busts would become a pet peeve? Here's to the crisis A reader, who calls herself 'Credit Crunched Cheryl', says Harlan Goldstein's outlet Tuscany by H at Lan Kwai Fong is raising a few wry laughs. The drinks menu of Hang Seng Happy Hour reads: Sub Prime Martinis, Bear Market Beers, Going Long (Island Ice Tea), Going Short Scotch and Recession Rum Punch. Well, Harlan G may have lost his restaurant franchise at IFC, but not his humour.