Archive for February, 2010

The Next Asia: banker’s book doesn’t add up

February 21, 2010

Stephen Roach was one of the big shots on Wall Street for decades before moving to Hong Kong to head investment bank Morgan Stanley’s Asian operations. Lauded as a “thought leader” in the finance world, Roach’s book The Next Asia demonstrates how little thought it takes to win that accolade. Roach doesn’t have much to say about Asia that you haven’t heard before, but the book is instructive as an illustration of the arrogance that crashed the global economy and believes those same bankers deserve seven figure bonuses so they can try again.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.

Singapore lets the games begin

February 12, 2010

The first casino in Singapore opens this Sunday. The US$4.6 billion Resorts World Sentosa project features the world’s largest Universal Studios theme park, six hotels, and, later, the world’s largest aquarium. Later this year, Las Vegas Sands, owner of the Venetian resorts in Las Vegas and Macau, will open the US$5.6 billion Marina Bay Sands as Singapore’s second integrated resort, featuring Asia’s largest convention center along with its casino. Singapore’s government wants the added tourist amenities; to get them built, it’s willing to tolerate the casinos, albeit with restrictions on size and some key operations. The authorities bent the rules to enable Resorts World Sentosa, owned by Malaysia-based Genting, to open its casino in time for Chinese New Year before the Universal Studios theme park is fully operational. As the developers struggle to make these obscenely expensive resorts profitable, the high stakes game to watch is whether Singapore keeps bending the rules in their favor.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.


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