Sunday 16th June 2019

Dear Reader,

What a momentous week!

Why Carrie Lam must go
The "suspension" of the Extradition Bill, which will likely lapse in July 2020, is not the end of an increasing erosion of HK's autonomy. With a rubber-stamp legislature, the only thing that now prevents draconian legislation is massive public pressure. Mrs Lam has irrevocably lost the public trust. Beijing will hold her accountable for the loss of control last week, after a suitable interval to disconnect the issues, but this will not prevent the increasing erosion of HK's autonomy. (16-Jun-2019)

The Trump Dump: war-gaming the next move against China
The US Administration has so far focused entirely on the trade account, but when the potential for tariffs is exhausted, if not sooner, Trump may start to wonder why US funds have hundreds of billions of dollars invested in stocks and bonds of Chinese state-backed companies, and use OFAC powers to order them to divest. (2-Jun-2019)

Judge warned by Chief Justice after signing petition against extradition bill
South China Morning Post, 8-Jun-2019
We note that the HK Law Reform Commission includes the Chief Justice and another permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal - so judges do indeed express views on proposed changes to laws - but the fast-track Extradition Bill never went through the LRC. The Chief Executive should now withdraw the bill and refer the issue to the LRC.

Leung Chun Kwong v Civil Service & Inland Revenue
HK Court of Final Appeal, 6-Jun-2019
In a victory for common sense, Mr Leung, a gay man legally married overseas, wins. The CFA unanimously overturns the Court of Appeal, which found that the "prevailing views of the community on marriage" was relevant. In a nutshell, the whole point of prohibiting discrimination against minorities is to prevent the majority view (if there is one) from trampling over their rights. The CFA also held that there was no rational connection between denying Leung his employment benefits and joint taxation and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage (if that is a legitimate aim).

Concentration warning in Best Mart (2360)
SFC, 5-Jun-2019
The top 20 holders have 95.77%.

And much more besides...
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David M. Webb