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How much is the Singapore National Reserve?

 
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Prince



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: How much is the Singapore National Reserve? Reply with quote

Temasek approaches Nasdaq to buy LSE stake: report


International Business Times:

27 August 2007 @ 01:53 pm EST


LONDON - Singapore's state-owned Temasek Holdings has approached Nasdaq to buy its 30 percent stake in the London Stock Exchange, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Sunday Times said in an unsourced report that Temasek had made the approach in recent days and the deal could lead to a full takeover of the LSE by the Singaporean investor.

On August 20, Nasdaq Stock Market said it might sell its stake in the LSE, worth 800 million pounds ($1.6 billion), to bolster its chances of buying Nordic exchange operator OMX and it was already in touch with interested parties.

The U.S. exchange company said later in the day in a statement that it would not sell its LSE stake to a single buyer.

The reported interest by Temasek, which owns stakes in UK banks Barclays and Standard Chartered, comes amid growing protectionism in Europe and the United States towards sovereign wealth funds making aggressive overseas investments in search of higher returns.

The International Monetary Fund said in June it was growing uneasy about the trillions of dollars managed by largely secretive sovereign wealth funds because it fears their activities could disrupt financial markets.

Government-owned investment vehicles such as Temasek and its sister agency Government of Singapore Investment Corp control about $2 trillion -- roughly the size of France's economy -- and are expected to grow to $12 trillion by 2015.

The newspaper said several parties, including the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, may enter the fray as well as investment and infrastructure funds, while the Observer newspaper said that Nasdaq was seeking to sell up to half of its LSE stake to Deutsche Boerse.

Temasek and Nasdaq were not immediately available for comment, while Deutsche Boerse declined to comment.

Nasdaq, eager to expand its presence in overseas markets, is locked in a $4 billion bidding war with Borse Dubai for OMX, which owns exchanges in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and the Baltic states.

Nasdaq wants to use the sales proceeds to pay down debt and buy back shares, which would effectively raise the value of its cash-and-share bid for OMX and give it a boost in the fast-consolidating global stock exchanges.

Stock exchanges around the world have been looking at tie-ups to achieve global reach and economies of scale as members demand more sophisticated products and cheaper trading.

New York Stock Exchange owner NYSE Group became NYSE Euronext after snapping up pan-European exchange Euronext in April, while the LSE is buying Italian rival Borsa Italiana after fending off several advances, including Nasdaq's.

(Additional reporting by Ovais Subhani in Singapore and Andreas Framke in Frankfurt)

==============================================

So, we have at least $2 trillion and yet our people have to submit
themselves to buy Life Annuity or CPF Life and cannot withdraw out
their CPF money, and our poor and helpless cannot be reasonably
give a meaningful allowance to see them through their twilight years.

What kind of a socialist country is this?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are waiting for that rainy day to come. Then we will get an umbrella each.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buying foreign banks a bad deal?

With US$22 b spent on the buying spree for troubled international banks, and with crumbling values as more misdeeds or debt were revealed, many were chuckling in glee. See, supertalents messing up our reserves. Many are waiting at the sidelines hoping for such opportunities to take potshots at the highly paid and highly acclaimed supertalents in our midst.

Are the criticisms justified? I was in favour of these acquisitions from the start. And I am still hopefully optimistic that these were good decisions and will bring in good returns in the long run. It is only in difficult times like this that these top banks have to go down on their knees to beg for fund injections. Without such a window of opportunities, we can wait till the cow comes home for them to divest their interests to a sovereign wealth fund like ours.

The recent developments seeing these risky investments plunged in their values in the billions surely will bring up the questions of due diligence. Did we go in with eyes wide open or eyes wide shut? Were we told of the full story before parting with our billions? And did we protect ourselves from such an eventuality, or did we know how much risk we are exposing ourselves to?

If the decision makers went in fully aware of the possible pitfalls and consequences, and the decision made based on acceptable calculated risk, then the public should not take issues with the short term fluctuation. We only need to fear if we are conned into parting with our billions by the banks that did not fully disclose their full liabilities and debt to us. And if that be the case, hopefully legal actions can recover some of the damages. And rightfully too, the decision makers need to be kicked in the arse.

When all due diligence have been taken, and the losses were due to developments that were difficult to foresee, then the public should not be too harsh on their criticisms.

We can now hope that everything is within our control and expectations, and in the long run we shall reap the fruits of risk taking and opportunism.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UBS is looking like a rotten deal

The UBS deal is not looking too healthy at this point in time. Hopefully our investment has provided for the latest can of worms. If we are just extending a loan, collecting dividend and can get our money back if we elect not to convert to shares, then we are ok.

What is evident now is that putting money in ailing banks or organisations is not enough. We need to put our people in charge. With the resignation of Marcel Ospel, it would be good if we can put our top talents in to restructure the bank and save it before it goes to the pawnshop.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Singapore's GIC may participate in UBS rights offering - report
April 14, 2008: 09:17 PM EST
SINGAPORE, Apr. 14, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- The Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC) may participate in the 15-billion Swiss franc ($15 billion) rights offering of Swiss investment banking giant UBS (NYSE:UBS) AG, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

This will be the second time that GIC will be injecting capital into UBS following an 11 billion franc investment in December last year....'


This time they are going in with eyes wide open. The first time they went in there were some uncertainties and a little wet behind the ears. This time there is no excuse if they foul it up.

Basic questions, is this a bottomless pit? Are all the woms out crawling? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? What are the safeguards and protection to our investments if there are more than meet the eyes?

The worst thing that can happen is to put in good money after bad money. Better do all the homework thoroughly. Billions of our money are at stake.
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Grunt



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You see both GIC & Temasek, hell in fact even the good government
uses this reasoning :

1. Ours are long term goal.

So you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel that is,
as long as the invested principal is alive & kicking - the investment
is sound and the gain will come some time in the future against all
current and mid-term odds.

2. It's an honest mistake.

We can't be the winner in every hand that we bet can we ?
Similarly, as in Mas Selamat escaped, there will be lapses and
unforseen circumstances beyond the control of our almighty
talents. In the schemes of things, they will reassure you that
the winning hands are more than the losing ones that count.
Else, who want to work for you !

With regards to checks and balances.
It's all State secret and divulging them would put Singapore and it's
People in great disadvantage and our Reserves in jeopardy.

The cheek of some to say that they are not a Sovereign Wealth Fund !
Then again the Ministry of Finance or rather the Prime Minister office
should know better.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

800 more chips on the table

800 chips of $1m each are on the Merill Lynch table. Temasek had earlier bought US$4.4 bil worth of Merrill Lynch shares and with the additional $800 mil through exercising its option, it now holds near to 10% of Merrill Lynch.

Would this large holding qualify Temasek to have a say and the management of the company? Or we are so trusting to let the Merrill Lynch managers to run the show at will and believing that they will manage the company for our interest? What are the safeguards to protect our investments? It is incredulous to put in so much money and did not have a say in the company.

Today paper reported that 'Temasek is currently sitting on paper losses of US$1.2 bil from its investments in Merrill Lynch and Barclays.' As long term investments, the returns will come in in a matter of time.

As for concerns on the long term time frame and lack of disclosure on grounds of secrecy, investments in such high profile institutions cannot go unnoticed. These organisations are subject to public scrutiny in their own countries and any mismanagement or poor showing will be exposed quite quickly as in this case. They may hide and delay as much as they like, but they can't hide forever or for too long.

The truth will be out sooner than expected.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much is our reserves?

Everyone seems to be quoting this word, 'reserves' freely. How much is actually our reserves, what constitute our reserves and where are they? Our CPF a part of the reserves? How much of Temasek and GIC assets are part of our reserves? Then there is another reserves guarded by the President. How much is this and where and in what form?

Can someone clarify on the above mess and put the amount and parts in a simpler manner so that we know what it is all about?
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Green Peas



Joined: 24 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: GIC and Temasek Lost $300 billion in 10 months. Reply with quote

Hi, Mr Redbean,

Let me, this kaypo and stupid fellow try to answer you:

1. National Reserve - more than $100billion, according to MM LKY during his interview given on 6 Feb 2009 (CNA).

2. GIC Reserve - $550 billion, lost about $200 billion;
left $350 billion, with $21 billion in cash and the rest in worthless papers.

3. Temasek Reserve - $185 billion, lost $58 billion;
left $127 billion as at Nov 2008 = 31% loss.
But if include Dec 2008 and Jan 2009 losses, it is likely to have lost 50%. So left $95 billion.

So Total Reserves was $100 + $550 + 185 = $835 billion.

Total Losses = $295 to $300 billion or 36% of capital in 10 months.
(From Mar 2008 to Jan 2009).

After deducting the losses, the total left is about $535 billion.

That means loss of $30 billion per month.

That means $8,571 per Singaporean per month.

That means my household of 5 = $42,855 per month.

If the amount is distributed to every citizen every month, nobody needs to work yet our economy will still go on by itself for at least 10 years.

That is my estimate of the DAMAGE DONE!
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Green Peas



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Temasek Takes Severe Hit. Reply with quote

Temasek takes severe hit

By Thanong Khanthong
The Nation
Published on February 9, 2009


CEO Ho Ching's exit won't alter fortunes of the sovereign wealth fund in short term

Ho Ching's resignation as CEO of Temasek Holdings would not cloud heavy losses of about 40 per cent at Singapore's sovereign wealth fund amid the global financial market meltdown.

The Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC) is also suffering similar heavy losses.

An investment analyst in Singapore said Temasek's results will be released in April and he estimated that of its US$125 billion portfolio as of March 2008, Temasek would have lost 40 per cent, leaving it with about US$75 billion left.

As for the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore or GIC, the investment analyst said it would also lose more than a third of the value of its investment portfolio.

"GIC started the crisis with roughly Singapore $550 billion in reserves. My estimate is that it has lost about $190-$200 billion of that, leaving it with about $350 billion left. This amount is equivalent to 200 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product," he added.

"So both have lost money but their performance has not been out of line with other large funds, possibly a bit better. These are all worst-case estimates."

Ho, the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsieng Loong, announced last week that after almost seven years at the helm of Temasek, she would step down by October this year. She would be succeeded by Chip Goodyear, a former CEO of BHP Billiton Ltd, who would be the first foreigner to run the sovereign wealth fund.

Temasek Holdings was set up by proceeds from the privatisation of Singapore's state-owned firms, while GIC by international reserves of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Both represent the investment vehicles of Singapore, which has eyed for a global reach for its investment.

The transition is taking place at a time when Singapore is suffering the worst economic problems since 1960s. Temasek, racked a return of about 17 per cent a year since its inception in 1974 and March this year, is also going to face a drastic restructuring of its investment strategy.

Under her leadership, and also as wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsian Loong, Ho led Temasek to embark on audacious acquisitions in China, Asia, Europe and the United States. Temasek's buy-out of Shin Corp, previously owned by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in January 2006 sparked out a political turmoil inside Thailand followed by a military coup in September that same year.

Ho's resignation has also sparked a debate inside Singapore. Tharman Shangmugaratnam, the finance minister, preferred to handle the issue with a diplomatic term, saying that Ho's departure wasn't linked to the performance of Temasek's investments.

"Whether this is a way of making a change of someone who is related to the prime minister, this has been a point that I've dealt with since the first day Ho Ching was appointed as CEO. I was very instrumental in bringing in Ho Ching and it was based purely on merit and has nothing to do with her relationship to anyone," he said.

The investment analyst in Singapore said Ho's resignation was planned for about a year. "I don't think it has much to do with Temasek's performance. This is Singapore, favoured people are not made to resign for performance! I think Singapore leaders are more concerned over the Sovereign Wealth Fund issue. It becomes more difficult to defend Singapore's sovereign wealth fund as a non-state actor with no political agenda if the wife of the prime minister is running it," he said.

Singapore's economy is facing a severe downturn, with growth rate plunging into the negative territory. "We recently revised downward our GDP forecast to minus 2.8 per cent to reflect the likelihood that the contraction in the first half of 2009 could be deeper than previously expected," said Citi's Asia Economic Outlook and strategy (January 23, 2009). "Advance estimates for the fourth quarter of 2008 showed a contraction of 2.6 per cent from a year ago, down sharply from 0.3 per cent the previous quarter. On a quarter on quarter seasonally adjusted annualised rate, the fourth quarter GDP contracted 16.9 per cent - the worst on record."

Singapore has recently entered into a currency swap arrangement with the US Federal Reserve, which worked out the swap arrangements with selected countries including Brazil and Korea, to avert the financial crisis, data of the US Federal Reserve show.

Unlike Korea, which has drawn down the currency swap arrangement, Singapore has not yet drawn down the swap.


Source: The Nation:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/02/09/headlines/headlines_30095260.php
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Green Peas



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't paper over cracks with paper losses

WONG WEI KONG
Fri, Feb 13, 2009
The Business Times


PAPER losses are not real losses - but it can be argued that the two are really just different sides of the same coin.

And there could be danger in taking too sanguine a view of paper losses, and seeing them as something of less concern than real losses.

Let's put it this way: the one meaningful difference between a paper loss and a real or realised loss is holding power, or the ability of an investor to sit out the loss against another's need to sell and thereby realise the loss.

All the factors leading to the loss, whether paper or real, are similar, such as wrong calls, misplaced assumptions, unfortunate timing or bad advice.

Tuesday's revelation of the performance of Temasek Holdings provides a study on paper losses.

The global financial meltdown cost the Singapore investment company a $58 billion loss in eight months, the government said. Temasek's net portfolio value fell 31 per cent from $185 billion on March 31, 2008 to $127 billion on Nov 30, 2008.

The loss is on paper, it was stressed, and the government said it had full confidence in Temasek as well as the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) to ride out the market downturn as long-term investors and produce solid returns over time.

What can be said about this? For one thing, it is a paper loss because Temasek has a holding power that is the envy of most fund managers. Second, given its very longterm horizon, it is improbable that any of these losses will be realised (indeed, they could turn to gains). But all that should not prevent a review of what led to the losses.

To be fair, the drop in Temasek's net portfolio value was less than the fall in some regional equity indices (the MSCI Singapore index lost 44 per cent and MSCI Asia ex-Japan shed 45 per cent over the same period).

Still, there's nothing to stop Temasek from outperforming the rest of the market by a bigger margin or to book a much smaller loss (or even gain) - which is what Singapore Airlines did, by booking a hedging gain amid steep losses within the industry.

Too often, paper losses are used to soften the blow of investments that have not gone according to plan. But in the real world, paper losses do have consequences.

Take listed companies. A lot of the losses or weaker earnings being announced by companies are down to fair-value adjustments, with accounting rules requiring firms to mark down the value of their investments or assets even if they have not realised the losses - in other words, paper losses. But the market still treats these as bottomline results, and the fact that these are paper losses does not save the companies from being punished by investors.

It's the same for individuals. An investor who had borrowed to buy shares would be asked to top up the balance if he suffers paper losses of a certain extent, even if he does not realise the loss. A homeowner will also be asked to top up, if the value of his property drops by a certain extent from the original valuation, even if it's all on paper. The concept of negative equity and accounting for it, in fact, hinges on the treatment of paper losses as potential actual losses.

So there are realities to paper losses.

Back to Temasek: It's highly likely, given the nature of its mandate and its long-term view, that the damage to its portfolio will remain "just" paper losses. Yet, the extent of the paper loss - a shock to many Singaporeans - should still lead to a closer examination or a rethink of the way Temasek operates and invests. If all's fine, and only the markets are to be blamed, so much the better. If some adjustments are needed, now is as good a time as any to begin that process.

Source: AsiaOne Online:

http://news.asiaone.com/News/The%2BBusiness%2BTimes/Story/A1Story20090213-121570.html
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Green Peas



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject: Temasek 2 Years Growth Wiped Out in Months. Reply with quote

2 years of Temasek growth wiped out in months

By EMILYN YAP
Wed, Feb 11, 2009
The Business Times

The global financial meltdown cost Temasek Holdings a $58 billion paper loss in eight months, the government revealed yesterday. And the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation's portfolio is expected to yield a lower than average return this year.

But despite the blows, the government has full confidence in Temasek and GIC to ride out the market downturn - and says they will produce solid returns in the long term.

Putting an end to market speculation on investment losses due to the worldwide financial crisis, Senior Minister of State (Finance and Transport) Lim Hwee Hua told Parliament yesterday that Temasek's net portfolio value fell 31 per cent from $185 billion at March 31, 2008 to $127 billion at Nov 30, 2008.

This means that almost two years of asset growth was erased on paper in a few months - Temasek's net portfolio value was $129 billion at March 31, 2006.

'The initial absolute figure (of $58 billion) may seem surprising,' said RBS regional strategy analyst Andrew Orchard. 'But if we look at this in the context of how markets have performed over the past 12 months, then (Temasek's) performance seems to be in line.'

As Mrs Lim noted, the drop in Temasek's net portfolio value was less than the fall in some regional equity indices. For instance, the MSCI (Singapore) lost 44 per cent and MSCI (Asia ex-Japan) shed 45 per cent over the same period.

No details were disclosed yesterday on how individual investments by Temasek have fared - something that MP Ho Geok Choo (West Coast GRC) asked about.

Mrs Lim said: 'It is in the nature of investments that some will lose money while others will make money.' The key is to weigh risks and returns 'so the portfolio will do well on an overall basis,' she said.

The financial fallout has threatened the value of Temasek's investments in major financial institutions such as Barclays and Merrill Lynch. The Financial Times estimated in January that the paper loss on Temasek's stakes in Merrill Lynch could exceed US$2 billion.

Temasek said last week that its current CEO, Ho Ching, will step down on Oct 1, handing over the reins to Chip Goodyear. It stressed that this was not related to Temasek's recent paper losses.

Returns aside, the spotlight also fell on Temasek's investment mandate - MP Inderjit Singh (Ang Mo Kio GRC) for instance, suggested that the state-owned investment company take up the task of rescuing local companies.

Mrs Lim turned down this idea, maintaining that Temasek invests on a purely commercial basis. 'If Temasek is asked to undertake a national agenda, it would in fact validate some of the concerns over sovereign wealth funds having political objectives, and may ultimately impede Temasek's ability to participate in investments internationally,' she cautioned.

Nevertheless, she added that Temasek and its companies will increase their local investment exposure as long as there are attractive opportunities. 'As to whether there should be another fund to rescue companies, this is an assessment that the government will have to make over time,' she said.

GIC is also unlikely to emerge unscathed from the tough investment climate. Mrs Lim said its 20-year average return at March this year will be lower than that in 2008 - but not 'sharply down'. GIC's 20-year average return was 5.8 per cent in nominal Singapore-dollar terms at March 2008.

Mrs Lim stressed that Temasek and GIC have long-term investment horizons - and the ability and resources to weather multiple economic and market cycles. 'The government is confident they will continue to deliver good long-term returns within the risk limits set,' she said.

Dim near-term projections aside, Mrs Lim reassured the Parliament that a drop in the value of investments will not translate to a large decline in funds for government spending. Several MPs such as Inderjit Singh had expressed such concern.

But Mrs Lim said that under the net investment returns (NIR) framework, the amount the government may spend takes into account expected annual returns over a 20-year horizon for assets held by GIC and MAS - not actual year-to-year returns.

'This reduces the volatility introduced to the government's Budget from fluctuations in the NIR contribution' and avoids 'a boom-bust pattern in government spending', she explained.


Source: This article was first published in The Business Times on February 11, 2009.

Link: http://business.asiaone.com/Business/News/My%2BMoney/Story/A1Story20090211-121201.html
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Green Peas



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MM Lee explains Singapore's long-term investment horizon

By Valarie Tan
Channel NewsAsia
06 February 2009 2325 hrs


SINGAPORE : Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said the country has over S$100 billion in reserves today, unlike the 1960s when the country first gained independence.

But the Republic has not relied on borrowing to fund its investments.

Mr Lee said: "Within three to four years, the economy must recover."

The minister mentor gave his forecast on the economy to 1,500 of his Tanjong Pagar constituents at a Lunar New Year dinner on Friday.

He said that the Singapore government turned many of its stocks and shares into cash early last year before prices went down. That was why the country was able to invest in the American banks.

Mr Lee explained: "When we invest, we are investing for 10, 15, 20 years. You may look as if you are making a big loss today, but you have not borrowed money to invest. You will ride the storm, the company recovers, your shares go up."

But he said that Singapore is not a master of its own economy.

He said: "Of all the economies in the world, we have the highest percentage of external trade - three and a quarter times our GDP. No other country has got that size of external trade. So when the external trade shrinks, remember it is going to hurt us."

Still, Mr Lee is confident Singapore will recover from the current downturn, due to various reasons like good labour relations and pro-investment climate in the country. But he said that giving handouts will not help boost spending and the economy.

"So those MPs who say, 'Give S$300 to every citizen and we will boost the retailers', they just do not understand the bigger picture. You give S$300 like that and it is gone in a shot, and all the things that they will buy, three-quarters of it are imported," he said.

Mr Lee added that, with luck, America's economy may recover by the end of this year or early 2010. He said the outcome of President Barack Obama's economic plans is expected in nine months. And by then, the Singapore government may have to update its record S$20.6 billion national budget. -

Source: CNA/ms

Link: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/407319/1/.html
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Green Peas,

Thanks for the update. One of my concerns is double accounting or duplication. Let's say our reserve is $100b kept some where. This source will credit $100b in its account. Next it lends $100b to GIC for investments. GIC will now credit its account with $100b. Now its portfolio will have increased by $100b.

See, $100b becomes $200b in two separate accounts. The original account may not have a liability, the latter has. We need to know the net asset of each less the liabilities.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time to face the crisis squarely

All the ifs and buts and maybes must be put aside. We are facing a crisis. There is no where to hide. The country is facing a crisis. The people are also facing a crisis. It is time the man himself calls for a TV conference and talk to the nation.

I would expect the man to say, look people, we are in difficult times. The whole world is also in difficult times, and we are not alone. Yes, we have been hit. Some of our investments have gone sour. Here are the numbers. We have so much and we have lost so much. Period.

Now we need to go forward together in this crisis. We are family. We will face this crisis head on, squarely. We will do everything we can, for the country and for the people. Let's stand united, lock arms, as one people, one nation. We shall overcome.

Thank you and have a good nite sleep. It is not the end of the world.
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