Learned wisdom or playing to the crowd on East-West divide Ronnie Chan Chichung, the loquacious chairman of Hang Lung Properties, has been treating us to more of his wit and wisdom. In a column in the Financial Times recently, he wrote that the West should stop preaching to the East. The main reason for this he says is that the Western economic model has failed because of its inherent conflicts of interest and the West has therefore lost its moral authority - so much so that that authority is now on a par with the developing East. After more in this vein the property developer-sage ends by posing the less than earth-shattering question: 'How can we make this new world order better and safer?' Our first thought is that Chan (left) should stick to developing property. Our second is that he could try building smaller and better buildings, more environmentally friendly and so on. But of course there is a catch - he won't be able to make the billions he's made in the past. As for pontificating about moral authority, he's a fine one to talk after his experience on the audit committee of Enron Corp when it collapsed wiping out billions of dollars in employee pension benefits. But Chan always likes to have it both ways and plays to galleries in the East and West when it suits. HKMA goes mystery shopping The Lehmans Brothers Holdings minibond debacle is still having an impact in Hong Kong. We saw the Securities and Futures Commission last month taking the unusual step of actively discouraging retail investors from investing in the shares of Rusal when the Russian aluminium company lists later this month - a case, many observed, of closing the stable door after the horse had bolted. Not to be outdone, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is closing its stable door. Starting this year it is going to employ the services of a market research company to organise what it calls 'mystery shopping' whereby researchers posing as retail investors approach banks and pretend to be interested in their financial products. The aim is to ensure that the banks are complying with the code of conduct and go through the process of ensuring their customers understand what they are buying. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Their next task must surely to be to devise a test for the HKMA and the SFC to determine just how soundly they are sleeping at their respective wheels. The numbers game Mainland businessman Qin Hui, who yesterday gave up control of Sing Pao to Carson Yeung Ka-sing of Birmingham City football club fame, is a colourful character but is not very good with numbers. In a notice reporting the transaction in the South China Morning Post yesterday he said he had injected more than HK$2 billion into the newspaper since he bought into it in 2004. However, in a notice he has published today he says he only invested HK$200 million. Sing Pao has lost money every year since 2005 under his stewardship. However, he appears to have had better luck with figures in some of his other ventures. He reportedly owned the Paradise nightclub in the five-star Beijing Great Wall Sheraton Hotel which had a reputation for the allure of its female staff. Corporate tee off Here's something to excite corporate golf buffs. The World Corporate Golf Challenge is coming to Hong Kong. It is the world's largest and most prestigious inter-companies golf tournament with thousands of businessmen transferring their boardroom battles to the fairways every year. Two Up Front, the Hong Kong-based sports PR and publishing concern, have acquired the Hong Kong leg of the tournament for three years. The aim is to have 20 teams comprising four players with a maximum handicap of 24 - so, not too demanding - to participate in the contest on March 5 at the Discovery Bay Golf Club on Lantau Island. The winners get an all expenses paid trip to play in the World Final in South Africa in May. Interested teams should register through the website at www.wcgc-hongkong.com . The organisers are confident of a good turn out. 'Corporate golfers in Hong Kong have been crying out for a meaningful and high-profile tournament that carries a real incentive to play well,' said Simon Wait, the project director of Two Up Front.