Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Austerity, Tea or Me?

Ayah is back to buying Utusan Melayau and I bit my lips hard enough when I saw the picture of someone having tea party with his selected internet friends on the front page. EEEEEEEEEE!

How could one spend so much time and resources having one - lavishly when my adik-adik in boarding schools are being asked to go back home during weekend because their 'bilik makan' are closed?

From there, I picked the word "austerity" and that led me to "How to beat Austerity Britain". Interesting and of course, you have read about Spain and Greece taking austerity measures to ease their financial woes and that sent their people on the streets protesting.

While I am not sure if those countries also spend on no-value-added socio-economic activities like ours (I think I contribute better outside the cell if you know what i mean), I presume they have to take those stern and painful measures that hit the poors the most to stay afloat as a nation.

But as I delved further on austerity measures being implemented throughout history, I cannot help but see these measures being carried out here in our Ibu Pertiwi for the past 2 decades. So, I must call them 'distorted austerity measures' because 'yang miskin semakin miskin, yang kaya terus menjulang harta' where: -

1. We see food prices are getting higher by days (as a result of reduced food subsidies and manipulative hoarding), fuel prices seem to climb quietly (again, tukar nama, naik harga), rotting education system, dying government hospitals being shorthanded in terms of qualified personnel, equipments and space;

2. On the other hands, we spend billions on still-waiting-to-complete damning damn, new palace, new convention centre, malfunctions trains and buses (ops, lupa pula kapal selam yang lambat nak menyelam - kesian); millions on overpaid GLC bosses, loop-sided water and IPP concessions and yes, my favourite part - legalised bookmaking activities (satu kontrak untuk awak, 2 juta untuk saya, satu YB untuk awak, lima juta untuk saya - wow! truly skim cepat kaya) and funding endless 'sesi bertemu rakyat' (my foot!).

It is sad. How could we allow this to happen all these years? Are we not intelligent enough? Are we not sensible enough? Or perhaps, like some, just have some tea and talk about this and that austerity, mediocrisy, hypocrisy, absurdity sampai mati.

It is even sadded because we thought once we have intelligent people to run something, we should just leave everything to them. Heck NO! I came across an Bloomberg's interview transcript with Michael Lewis here on "his newest book, “The Big Short” chronicles how a small handful of investors anticipated the subprime-mortgage collapse and positioned themselves to make fantastic profits".

"They who are of the opinion that Money will do everything, may very well be suspected to do everything for Money" ~ George Savile, Complete Works, 1912

You really have to read the transcript - it is mindblowing for me because so many 'collapses' in this world were well 'enginered', demonised by greed that is natural in all of us (if only we know how to control it and where to apply it). And yes, I know you would agree with me looking at all those racial and reliogion spats being hyped up by certain quarters of homo sapiens and the missing billions from our coffers by selected fews.

In my industry, I meet a lot of intelligent people that 'engineer' financial models using assumptions that do not make economic sense at all yet they think those figures look bloody good on papers. On that note, I make a point not to trust any engineers and economists because these two groups of intellect are normally the ones that bring this world down.

Sometimes, we could be intelligent or so we think because we know so many stuffs but what good do they make if they don't make any sense to many?

Yes, I don't think we need financial engineering to pass through this murky, bloodish financial backwaters for it is more important and pertinent to engineer the mentality of the intelligents and make this world a better place.

Oh, since we are talking about cents we made and billions we lost, Uncle Antares shared a heartwarming story about Uncle Ben Bernanke during his weekly Senate Finance Committee meeting.

Yes, money could get us somewhere but in this maddening world, we are too busy making one we forget its real value - to live life better with people we care.

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting somewhere we don't have but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have"

~ Frederick Koenig

Austerity, Tea or Me? All have benefits if ONLY you know how to handle...


Antares said...

I'll pick YOU anytime, Fisha :-)

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Fisha, Politicians and CEOs are out to make money.
And politicians will tell you not to do what they do.
One of the first things they do when after being elected is to raise their salaries...

Before elections, you see them everywhere. The moment they in office, you don't see them anymore till the next elections.

And most politicians are blind....they can't, don't see what they don't want to see...how can they with their designer sunglasses, tinted windows on their cars.

There are two kinds of people I have never tryst, not even with my grandmother...politicians and lawyers.

I fully agree what you posted. The rich become richer....
Best regards, Lee.

Fi-sha said...

Dear Uncle Antares
Right choice you made there :) since I would be the least caustic...

Dear Uncle Lee

Yes, never trust politicians but I do trust one or two lawyers and one wrote a beautiful post here: -


My apology gentlemen for my long silence...