Government to plunge city into despair with ‘fun amusements and exciting ambience’

You thought ‘Hello Hong Kong’ was depressing? Now try the ‘Happy Hong Kong’ themed promotion-cum-concept – promised (or threatened) in yesterday’s Budget. It combines the misery that is bound to ensue when someone asks bureaucrats to be creative, with the condescension that dates back to when colonial officials started acknowledging a ‘community’ back in the 60s-70s.

Also from HKFP

When asked why the amount to be handed out during the upcoming fiscal year was lower than last year during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Chan said, “HK$5,000 is the best we can do.”

There was talk of giving tax breaks to employers of overseas domestic helpers – so five grand of free beer for the middle class is relatively prudent.

David Webb looks at the government’s deficit: according to the Financial Secretary it’s HK$140 billion; net of proceeds from bond issues, it’s HK$206 billion. This is like saying ‘My family overspent by $1,400 this month, not counting the $600 we blew on the credit card’.

Family fleeing government ‘gourmet experience

Don’t they read the news? The HK Democratic Party – still going after a fashion – has to cancel its Spring dinner after the hotel finds a convenient gas problem. 

‘These are not bugs in an otherwise reasonable system, they are features’ – two minutes’ comments by Michael Kovrig at the Munich Security Conference.

From Nikkei Asia – the vanishing of Bao Fan is a warning to Chinese business and investors…

…the technocrats now appear to be out of the loop as the Communist Party effectively disappears another leading face of China’s tech industry.

…How Bao might have run afoul of Beijing is anyone’s guess — and that is just the problem. The lack of transparency is part of a pattern that welcomes more comparisons to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s treatment of oligarchs than to the teachings of Adam Smith. Global investors are left wondering which of their favorite CEOs might get “Jack Ma-ed” next.

The FT reports that Bao…

…was preparing to move some of his fortune from China and Hong Kong to Singapore in the months leading up to his disappearance…

Remember when Hong Kong was supposed to be the big hub-zone for family offices?

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12 Responses to Government to plunge city into despair with ‘fun amusements and exciting ambience’

  1. Alex Low says:

    Surely if they’re going full bread and circuses they need to take a leaf out of the Romans’ book and start feeding the democrats to the lions?

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Okay so my question is WHY even bother with a big public spectacle speech by the Financial Czar on budget surpluses or deficits if A) the numbers – as Webb says – are fudged and opaque anyway, B) you’re not in a governmental system that is predicated on accountability and this is just a big charades game and finally, C) the folks you’re addressing are rubber stampers told what to do and have already done their horse trading for whatever piece of the pie?

    For the foreign companies/banks/traders/finance types that are still in HK? For face so (what’s left of) the international media can report on HK’s financial openness? For shoring up confidence in the financial aspect since “rule of law” is on the outs?

    Help me out.

  3. Old Mind Doctor says:

    Masking the truth?

  4. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Chinese Netizen

    “Important characteristics of Kabuki theatre include its particular costumes, stage devices and props as well as specific plays, language and acting styles, in which the actor holds a characteristic pose to establish his character.”

  5. reductio says:

    So let me get this right? We’re 200bn in debt and but still going ahead with both the Northern Metropolis and Lantau Vision programmes? Very prudent, Paul.

  6. asiaseen says:

    No, the 200bn is merely the excess of spending over income. There’s about 1 trillion or more sculling around in various pockets and the back of the sofa.

  7. asiaseen says:

    Home and Youth Affairs Secretary Alice Mak on Thursday said she believes the Jockey Club will be more than capable of paying a planned special football betting duty, and should be proud to be able to make a contribution towards Hong Kong’s recovery after the pandemic.

    I notice she’s not offering to contribute part of her over-generous salary (which she could well afford) to helping HK recover.

    Where do such people come from? Has she not noticed what HKJC does with its money?

  8. Beer Boy says:

    I for one am grateful the government will give me another HKD5k of free beers from 7/11

    Love you, John Lee <>

  9. @ reductio 1:51pm says:

    You are correct EXCEPT…

    Please don’t forget the free beers from 7/11 @ HKD5k a pop confirmed.

    “Let them eat cake” – nothing more prudent than that

  10. Mc says:

    “ There’s about 1 trillion or more sculling around in various pockets and the back of the sofa.”

    And massive pointless infrastructure projects will redirect that nicely to Mainland SOEs….

  11. Lossa adjustments says:

    @Chinese Netizen
    Even Webb is kind of understating it:
    There’s also the HKMA’s Exchange Fund (that backs the HK dollar and the US dollar peg) which lost HK$559.1 billion in assets last year (the government did some creative accountancy and passed it off as an investment loss of HK$202.4 billion).
    As one reply to Webb’s tweet says: “The bigger deficit in is government transparency now.”

  12. Chinese Netizen says:

    Thanks for all the insight folks!

    It’s why I cum here regularly!

Comments are closed.