Monday, September 10, 2012

Soros, Germany and Singapore...National Conversation

I read Soros' article "Why Germany Should Lead or Leave" in Project Syndicate a couple of days ago. To me he makes sense but as a speculator and not a politician as that would be unrealistic.

All over the world including Singapore, it is hard to find political leaders of great courage these days.

Soros made really good sense if you are not running Germany. Would Angela Merkel be able to summon the courage and skill to pull off something like this? What would happen to German banks, savings etc.,

The best national leaders these days are known more for their disciplined realism than courageous imagination. I am presently reading One Click and I am encouraged by yet another example of courage and imagination in the tech world. In this instance it was Jeff Bezos of

Other countries can get by with disciplined and  realistic leaders. I am not sure such leadership is good enough for Singapore in the long run.  The world today is more dangerous than the one Venice faced five hundred years ago. Foreigners cannot understand why the more thoughtful among us are so demanding on this government. Singapore is in a uniquely vulnerable position. But it is good that many of them don't get it or else they might be nervous putting their money here! LOL. Not all are so ignorant, some very smart ones know how to manage their risk in Singapore. For them to think we are a querulous and ungrateful bunch is a small price to pay. Our investment horizons are longer than theirs and we do not diversify our risks as they do.

What would a young and vigorous LKY do if he was the German Chancellor today? You get the idea?

In my view the present government is barely able to keep Singapore safe. Meanwhile voters are making its job even harder by shrinking their policy space. Since they do not know how to bravely entertain ideas outside the box, they are hugging their dear sacred cows for false safety. Yes, safe in the short term but disaster in the long run.

Therefore the National Conversation is a waste of time. It is their means to get us to accept their version of the increasingly "hard facts of life", making us more stressed and tired with a heavier yoke over time without any light at the end of the tunnel. "Moderating expectation" is an exercise of trying to get citizens to be more realistic after hearing our dreams and aspirations, which is not a bad thing if done right but sadly, they have never known how. So count me out. I noticed some like Yeoh Lam Keong had opted out too. There will be many more to come.

What I like about Sam Walton, Henry Ford, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs etc., is that as imaginative visionaries they are actually realistic in a very unreasonable way. They are easily mistaken to be unrealistic while they were trying to build their enterprise. We must do the same or we shall surely lose our best and brightest to America. So much for the PM desire to moderate expectation so as to match his competence. I am afraid it is a recipe for eventual failure. So given the inadequate political leaders in Asia, voters respond with low TFRs, the ultimate vote of pessimism in the future, the slow suicide of their societies.

1 comment:

  1. In my view,Angela Merkel will neither lead or leave EU,she being a positive thinker will try & believe that "there must be a way".
    On the other hand,the investing community here (those with deep pocket)believes that EU is God sent opportunity and are buying into Europe,on the belief that when discovery comes,the money will double or triple,that is the hope.