Articles: Economics

At last, the Webb-site HKSAR Accounts Explorer
In honour of the 25th anniversary of the SAR, a new tool to deep-dive into its financial history. This may be our last major project, but we hope you will agree that it was worth the time. (14-Jun-2022)
HK is running out of time to re-join the World
As our Editor sits in the air-lock waiting to re-enter HK, he looks at the now-unconstitutional quarantine regulations and the harm they are doing to HK. (5-May-2022)
Webb on "Backchat" re China's 5-year plan 2021-2025
RTHK, 24-Aug-2021
How to end HK's border lockdown
HK's economic recovery depends on fully re-opening its borders, but it can't when so few have been vaccinated. With near-zero COVID, we must use other vaccination incentives. We propose a 4-pronged solution, including a VacciLottery and an inbound travel exemption. (27-Apr-2021)
Meter Madness
How HK's policies of pseudo-anonymity and deep under-pricing of metered parking have resulted in a half-baked not-very-smart upgrade to the system, launched yesterday. (19-Jan-2021)
COVID-19: were the lockdowns worth the socio-economic cost? Video replay
These are the slides from a "Webbinar" with David Webb hosted by Exeter College, Oxford University, this evening. As vaccines draw near, the debate on the global policy responses to the pandemic should begin. (4-Dec-2020)
Govt adopts part of our CICS proposal - now get it right
3 days after our article last Monday, the HK Govt began talking about a compensation scheme for virus-positive tests, to incentivise self-employed symptomatic people facing loss of income to come forward. But early reports suggest it will be too little and won't apply to close contacts, deterring people who are symptomatic if the close contact is a family member who will be deprived of income while in the quarantine camp. Get it right! (22-Nov-2020)
Discover COVID cases with behavioural economics, not force of law
The HK Government has again displayed its authoritarian streak by introducing a mandatory testing law. Instead, citizens and their close contacts should be compensated for as long as they are compulsorily isolated after one of them tests positive. For the self-employed, this would remove a deterrent to seeing a doctor when sick, and thereby also reduce the spread of other diseases. (16-Nov-2020)
HK Financial Secretary's letter to SFC on National Security Law
SFC, 17-Jul-2020
This "Dear Ashley" letter was circulated to intermediaries by the SFC on Friday night but doesn't appear on its website, so now it appears on ours. Good to know that we remain free to opine that the mainland's centrally-planned, authoritarian, state-owned economy is unsustainable and will eventually change to a democratic, open, free-market economy and society to deliver the growth that its citizens expect.
HK employers must eat this free lunch
An economically illiterate leadership has decided to spray HK$80bn at HK's economy, benefitting employers who had no intention of making lay-offs, by paying the firms up to HK$54k per job. Some firms have even prospered during COVID-19. It's a wasteful way to return hoarded reserves to the economy, but all companies now have a legal duty to shareholders to eat this free lunch. They should resist any Government pressure to not collect it. (9-Apr-2020)
Facilitating shareholder activism in Asia
Webb-site founder David Webb presented at the PNB Corporate Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. In the opening address, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad declared that "Government has no business to be in business". That's encouraging, if it means that Malaysia will sell off Government-Linked Companies in a wave of public offers, harnessing market forces to boost growth and shared prosperity. (31-Oct-2019)
Webb on HK protests and China: a 1-hour podcast
Hidden Forces, 19-Aug-2019
Recorded at 9pm HKT on 16-Aug-2019, a wide-ranging discussion on the unsustainability of HK's model of civil liberties without democracy and the possible outcomes, as well as the unsustainability of the centrally-planned Chinese economic model.
An investor's vision for the future of HK (podcast)
Bloomberg, 22-Jun-2019
Webb on corporate governance, small caps, the Extradition Bill and the future of HK & China.

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