Saturday, October 04, 2008

Greed and exploitation

Twenty years ago, we can trust banks, insurance companies, doctors, lawyers and professionals to be honest and to look after the interest of ordinary people. This is called ethics.

In recent years, many people have become greedy and want to earn a lot of money, very fast. They are willing to exploit ordinary people to make more profit, so long as they do not break the letter of the law. Ethics and morals have deteriorated.

Regulators have also taken the approach of "buyer's beware". They think that it is all right for the smart and powerful peopl, to exploit the weak and the poor.

We are now in an unethical, dishonest world. It is quite sad.

20 comments:

ym said...

this is all due to the global network of banks' and their big brother central banks' ability to print money out of thin air ie creating fake money as credit..

notice how 1bil nowadays is like spare change while merely 10yrs ago 100mil is an unimaginable amt?

printing money out of nothing creates a mad rush to earn money fast... nobody wants to create real wealth and value, everybody just wants to sit back and watch stocks, investments, properties appreciate ie making our economy exactly like a ponzi scheme..

Anonymous said...

Well-said...such a sad FACT and reality of life and society.....

ym said...

this is the result of global banks and their big brother central banks printing money out of thin air ie creating fake money as debt..

this creates a mad rush to earn money fast, even if the avenue is borderline illegal or immoral..

nobody wants to create real wealth anymore.. everybody just wants to sit back and make easy money from booming assets like stocks, property,.. our economy has become exactly like a ponzi scheme..

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you.

retiring banker said...

Mr Tan,
I agree with u totally. There is too much greed n exploitation nowadays. But anyway, as we all know once the level of trust is gone, it is going to be very hard for the bank to tap on these clients now. Many of my friends said they will kwai kwai and die die put their life savings in Fixed deposits only coz they dun trust all the other banking products anymore..
So the banks here will have to take another generation to win back the trust... Now all the RMs can retire early......

Anonymous said...

So sad indeed. As an educator, it frightens me to look at our children growing up in this immoral world. The most sinful part is that many think it is alright to get rich at all cost.They believe in working smart, not working hard. Young graduates, investment bankers, relationship managers, etc.....earning tens of thousands of dollars a month and top management by the millions.No wonder it is so difficult to teach values in schools now.

Anonymous said...

The regulator is short-sighted by allowing this. There is a political cost and will only create more social instability.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Thanks to the likes of AIA and Citibank and the product-pushing culture that they promote.

Anonymous said...

Who/what drives people to become so money-minded? Our society or ourselves? Who dares to say money is not important and no need to get more?
We need money to pay almost everything and anything.
The strong need/desire of money made a person become "bad".

Anonymous said...

Imagine with a 4-O level you can get a license to become an insurance agent after passing or tikam tikam a few multiple choice exams. The standard is so horribly low that passing is a formality and no skills gained at all.These people licensed as agents immediately go to 'work' on their friends and friends' friends before hitting the road for other victims. A rookie in the first year can earn as much $10K a month. The get from 'advising' on insurance, investment, estate matter.It is absurdly fantastic they become an expert on these areas over night.
Do you know how much a top insurance agent earn a year? more than $500K. No wonder every body from truck, taxi drivers, clerks receptionist secretaries, factory workers, tour guides, to engineers , bankers and teachers and accountants, they all want to become insurance agents. A taxi driver turned agent can earn much as much as an accountant turned agent. How?, you maybe wondering? Skills?
The answer is hard work, see as many people as possible, you don't have to be an expert or know any thing about insurance, just know a little bit of the product, truth mixed with lies, mis-selling mixed with misrepresentation, disclose what is in favour of you, and use other non financial skills that they can think of.
Why is it possible?
The consumers are equally clueless, gullible, naive, too trusting, pressured, dumb, stupid and proud. Their knowledge of insurance or investment is low to zero. They depend on peers, sibling, freinds' approval or as guide.Even professionals like those featured in Sunday Times are as dumb when it comes to insurance. They too have the same set of ideas above insurance.Their emotion , their ego, pride get exploited. Idiotic ideas but they think they are smart.
Because of this situation the condition is just ripe for exploitation by greedy insurance agents.
If the rich get exploited there is no quarrel .It is another way to distribute wealth of nation. Unfortunately 95% of the consumers are cheated , fleeced, conned, misled, and you know what and they are the ordinary man in the street, the aunties and uncles, the idiots and fools, the old folks, the weak and frail, the clueless, uneducated and educated and the confused.
If the agents make money through decent means no one would object but their earnings are as good as ill gotten, legally or illegally this will be determined in due course.
Today, the pursuit of money has crossed beyond the borders of ethics, conscience, legality, morals. They have become acceptable social norms.

Concerned Singaporean

Anonymous said...

How would FI staff feel if their own parents lose their bulk of their life savings buying such products from RM.

Anonymous said...

Warrant Buffet and Bill Gate have more than they need. So they give the excess away to benefit the underprivileged.

Refused to follow said...

I used to be a financial advisor with a small finance co. In Feb 08 when the market was falling, we were told to sell unit trusts aggressively before the Apr 08 dateline whereby the new CPF ruling to set aside $60000 before anyone can do investments. I thought goodness, I had just sold my own unit trust anticipating the market to fall further and here we were told to ask people to buy! True enough market fell through to Apr. This time again we were told to take advantage of the 'low prices' and to aggressively sell unit trusts again. It seems that there is always a good time for the ordinary people to buy. I went against all these conventions and refused to sell any unit trust all this while. What I intend to do is do my own investments in shares, ETFs and the likes as I can play the market as and when I like and not subject to any fund managers managing my portfolio. In fact I had asked and confirmed that fund managers for unit trusts cannot sell off all their holdings and hold cash awaiting for markets to fall drastically and then buy when the prices are low. That means when markets fall, they will be holding on to tonnes of losses. It irks me when people say hold for the long term. May I ask how long is the business cycle now? Take profit when time arises as I have seen many people having profits but succumbed to the belief of investing for the long haul and their profits reduced to losses over that few months.

Anonymous said...

That's why financial education is important - in order not be exploited. We need more people like Mr Tan to educate and keep the public informed.

Ning said...

i see this as a bigger issue that we are facing.Is this a sign that we are losing our culture & values?

Having 4 O-levels doesn't mean that this person is not intelligent nor honest.

Anonymous said...

Having four O levels is not the problem. Just like the uneducated farmer is not the cause of the melemine tainted milk, blaming the cow or the farmer simply shows how gullible people still are. Do not insult your own intelligence to say that you have been conned by someone with just four O levels. It is actually a no brainer to see who are the real culprits if only you exercise your brain abit more, especially the left portion of your brain.

Anonymous said...

You don't need 4 o level to con people. Anybody can.If conning is your main reason insurance industry is the best and perfect place.You can be licensed to con.
But if helping others financially is your aim 4 O level is far too low to give advice on FINANCE. It is akin to seeing a 'doctor' with plumbing knowledge and skills. You sure get plundered.

poland said...

for the same reason many people thought highly qualified ppl working in DBS/Lehman is giving them a good deal.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan,

You are the only so called Singapore Elites that worh my full respect.

I grew up in China and from yong, I was told not to believe middlemen in the street, but banks are trustworthy because they have long-term perspective and would care their reputation.

After coming to Singapore, I was told by a RM from an insurance comapny that the insurance companies would try their best to provide the return as projected although it is not guaranteed. I bought some risky product (I did not understand the risk fully until recently) from the RM. Although the product is not performing well, but the insurance company does demonstrate their effort to perform in their anual reports.

It is not until the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy that I realize that the bank products in Singapore are sold on a "buyer beaware" basis. I think this rule should only be applied to buying products from pedllars as they will disppear after selling the products. It turned out banks in Singapore has beed downgraded to irresponsible middlemen with unbelievable privilege: they are legal.

I am holding DBS HN2, no matter how this product will terminate, I will keep its pricing statement to educate my children, and advice them to use it to educate their descendants too.

Anonymous said...

Investor are also as much as to blame for their silly and greedy action for more interest when they brought minibond. When they make money from it, they don't care of the risk. Now when everythings is lost, they cry fault.

Blog Archive