Kam's travails give bankers a sense of Shadenfreude The travails of Democratic Party lawmaker Kam Nai-wai have given rise to a certain amount of Shadenfreude among bankers. Kam's admission that he 'had feelings for his former assistant ... but did not pursue her' has given the media a field day as they chase him all over town to get to the bottom of the sacking of his former assistant Kimmie Wong. It has also led to a couple of banking sources admitting they have derived some pleasure from Kam's discomfort after having come into contact with him over the Lehman Brothers minibonds debacle. One of the bankers described him as being a very difficult person to deal with - 'a nightmare, worse than Long Hair' (fellow legislator Leung Kwok-hung). Kam took up the Lehman case within a month of becoming a legislator last year. He was instrumental in organising meetings for minibond victims and devising tactics to campaign against the 19 banks that sold them. Although the bondholders have been offered 60 per cent of their money back, it doesn't look like Kam is going to be receiving too much support from them either. Quarter notes If the Bank of China (Hong Kong) could sell four million Olympic banknotes, how come Standard Chartered is having trouble getting rid of a million of its 150th anniversary bills? The answer is mainland shoppers. It turns out Standard Chartered's HK$150 commemorative banknotes are not exactly top of the list for mainlanders holidaying here during the Golden Week. In fact, the general public's feedback on the notes is lukewarm at best, sharply different from the overnight queues of locals and mainlanders for those Olympics banknotes last year. We gather Standard Chartered asked BOC for advice about selling commemorative notes, but it seems people at the London-based bank have been over-optimistic about the take-up rate in a city of seven million and, more importantly, whether the notes would suit their cousins' taste. Standard Chartered has been coy about the public sale, which ends next week. Mortal and venial sins HSBC Holdings chairman Stephen Green (below) is reported to have told the BBC in an interview in Istanbul that the entire banking industry 'owes the real world an apology' for the financial crisis. Along with saying sorry for nearly bringing down the world's economy, contributing to the loss of millions of jobs and the collapse of thousands of companies, they could also apologise for overdraft and credit and debit card charges and for their impenetrable bank statements. Green turns creepy The concept of recycling is being applied to the business of death. A Taiwanese crematorium has come up with a green - but controversial - solution to use the exhaust from its ovens to power the building's air-conditioning system. The Taipei Mortuary Services Office is reported to have invested about HK$1.87 million on the recycling technology and plans to have a trial run soon. However, the idea does not sit comfortably with one city councillor, who said: 'It's creepy having mourners cooled by air-conditioning powered by the bodies of their relatives being burnt downstairs.' Others have also voiced concerns about disrespecting the dead and their families. The crematorium insists it will not abort the project, but may consider using the electricity for the lighting system instead. We wonder what our new funeral companies - Sino-Life Group and Vision Tech International Holdings - think about this business model. As long as Eternite Newly listed Eternite International bucked the recent trend of struggling debut stocks to surge five times to HK$1.28 in the first 15 minutes of trading yesterday. The tiny jewellery maker, which had a placement price of 25 HK cents on the GEM board, surprised punters who had become convinced that the stock market was home to sinking ships rather than soaring rockets at the moment. Unfortunately, the surge did not last long and the stock soon turned south - against a broad-based stock rally - ending the day at 40.5 HK cents. Although that was still up 62 per cent, anyone left holding the stock would be bemoaning the fact that it had an average trading price of 72 HK cents.