Skip to main content

2008 According To Nury Vittachi


None of us will ever forget 2008, a year of extraordinary headlines. Bill Gates is no longer Microsoft boss. The US is no longer the world's financial model. The world's biggest investment banks have vanished. This columnist is still not rich and famous. (Just thought I'd slip that in.)

It was the year in which many of us heard things that we never thought we'd hear.

For example, I was stunned in September to hear this REAL quote from a US Treasury Department spokeswoman, explaining how the US$700 billion (HK$5.46 trillion) number was chosen for the Wall Street bailout: "It's not based on any particular data point - we just wanted to choose a really large number."

So THAT'S how they do it. The world's most powerful financial experts sit in a big room and make up a number.

"Er, how about 70?"

"Why 70?"

"It's my IQ."

"Mine, too. No, wait, hang on. Maybe it should be bigger."

"Okay, how about 700?"

"Let's make it WAY bigger, in case we get a percentage."

"Okay, 700 BILLION."

"Yeah, that'll do. Let's adjourn for a drink. Saving the world financial system is thirsty work!"

Or perhaps the most amazing quote of the year came from US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who proposed a law saying: "Decisions by the secretary may not be reviewed by any court of law or administrative agency."

I wonder how THAT conversation went?

He must have phoned George W Bush. Paulson: "Hey, Dubya? I need a favor. Can you pass legislation putting me totally above the law so I can do anything I like?"

Bush: "Sorta like God, you mean?"

Paulson: "Yeah, that's about right."

Bush: "Sure! Anything for my ole buddy."

And it's not just international politics, either. In our personal lives, we all heard people saying things that we couldn't imagine them saying a year ago, thanks to a range of unexpected news events - from the contaminated melamine milk scandal, to the rise of Australia's Putonghua- speaking Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Here are the top 10 most unexpected utterances of 2008:

1. Cleaner to investment banker: "Let's meet for coffee. Don't worry, I'll pay."

2. Parent to child: "Put down that milk. If you're thirsty, go drink Coke."

3. Parent to child: "See that black guy on TV? He's just been elected president of the United States of America."

4. Newscaster to audience: "A US court found OJ Simpson guilty as charged, and sentenced him to a long jail term."

5. Adult to adult: "You invested in the world's largest banks? No wonder you lost your money. You should have opted for something less dodgy, like a teenage dotcom start-up."

6. Chinese citizen to protester: "Sure you can trust the government. Just ask a Tibetan."

7. Contestant to quizmaster: "What's the capital of Iceland? Er, 10 dollars?"

8. Visiting Caucasian leader to Chinese leader: "Let's talk in Putonghua. And, no, I won't need the interpreter."

9. Parent to child: "No, darling, Captain Jack Sparrow is not a Somali."

10. Richard Dawkins, who made a fortune with his anti-religious best-selling book: "Thank God I'm an atheist."

p/s photo: Han Chae Young



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Master, A National Treasure

REPOST:  Its been more than two years since I posted on my sifu. This is probably the most significant posting I had done thus far that does not involve business or politics. My circle of close friends and business colleagues have benefited significantly from his treatment.


My Master, Dr. Law Chin Han (from my iPhone)

Where shall I start? OK, just based on real life experiences of those who are close to me. The entire Tong family (Bukit Kiara Properties) absolutely swear that he is the master of masters when it comes to acupuncture (and dentistry as well). To me, you can probably find many great dentists, but to find a real Master in acupuncture, thats a whole different ballgame.


I am not big aficionado of Chinese medicine or acupuncture initially. I guess you have to go through the whole shebang to appreciate the real life changing effects from a master.


My business partner and very close friend went to him after 15 years of persistent gout problem, he will get his heavy attacks at least…

PUC - An Assessment

PUC has tried to reinvent itself following the untimely passing of its founder last year. His younger brother, who was highly successful in his own right, was running Pictureworks in a number of countries in Asia.

The Shares Price Rise & Possible Catalysts

Share price has broken its all time high comfortably. The rise has been steady and not at all volatile, accompanied by steady volume, which would indicate longer term investors and some funds already accumulating nd not selling back to the market.


Potential Catalyst #1

The just launched Presto app. Tried it and went to the briefing. Its a game changer for PUC for sure. They have already indicated that the e-wallet will be launched only in 1Q2018. Now what is Presto, why Presto. Its very much like Lazada or eBay or Alibaba. Lazada is a platform for retailers to sell, full stop. eBay is more for the personal one man operations. Alibaba is more for wholesalers and distributors.

Presto links retailers/f&b/services originators with en…

How Long Will The Bull Lasts For Malaysia

Are we in a bull run? Of course we are. Not to labour the point but I highlighted the start of the bull run back in January this year... and got a lot of naysayers but never mind:






























p/s: needless to say, this is Jing Tian ... beautiful face and a certain kind of freshness in her looks and acting career thus far



http://malaysiafinance.blogspot.my/2016/12/bank-negara-may-have-switched-on-bull.html


I would like to extend my prediction that the bull run for Bursa stocks should continue to run well till the end of the year. What we are seeing for the past 3 weeks was a general lull where volume suddenly shrunk but the general trend is still intact. My reasons for saying so:

a) the overall equity markets globally will be supported by a benign recovery complemented by a timid approach to raising rates by most central banks

b) thanks to a drastic bear run for most commodities, and to a lesser extent some oil & gas players, the undertone for "cost of materials" have been weak and has pr…