Friday, November 14, 2008

Why You Need to be at Hong Lim Park Tomorrow (15 November)

Message from betsybug

It's coming to five weeks after our first rally at Hong Lim Park. In that time, much has been achieved by us all - we have come together and we are now more organised as a group, and we know better some of the true nature of this perverse product DBS has sold us. Some have gotten a form of redress from DBS; the bank has been forced to make some grudging admissions, and they have relented by holding dialogue sessions with us.

But for the vast majority of us, we are no nearer a resolution. Much has been achieved, but much more needs to be done.

We must see this contest between us and the bank as a marathon race. We must see that it is a not dash of a hundred meters, for we cannot finish a marathon if we try to sustain the speed of a sprint race. So, we must learn to live our everyday lives, do our work, spend time with our families, take care of our minds and bodies, and go on with the framing of our plans even as we tussle with DBS. However painful the loss, despair must not debilitate us, slow our pace, or weaken our resolve.

Some of you will remember the actor Gregory Peck who carried very memorably the role of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird". He quotes Churchill to illustrate the code that Atticus lives by: "Withhold no sacrifice; grudge no toil; seek no sordid gain; fear no foe: all will be well".

We have asked all of you to be truthful in your letters and interviews. We must not claim what has not happened and what was not said. If the bank will not do the right thing, then we must be the ones who will set the example for them. Be truthful, not fearful. Be not afraid for it is not us who have carried out a wrongful deed - it is not us who must fear.

Some of us may weary from the fight when the end is not easily seen. But the end may be around the corner, and we could have stopped just short. Can we later justify our inactions to ourselves or to our families? DBS has said they are responsible to their shareholders for compensations they make, but are our families not our shareholders, and are we not answerable to our own stakeholders?

"All will be well". If each of us just do our little share, pull our small portion of the weight, push back our part of the wall, then together, big as DBS may be, and small as each one of us is, together we can shame even such a behemoth onto a proper and correct path of action. Because, in the end, we know that we are right, and on their side, they will know they have done wrong.

We hope to see you at Hong Lim Park tomorrow.



Anonymous said...

Mr Wang Says So said...

Let's put it this way .... In the past year or so, there have been cases going to the UK court, where a bank is sued by a much more sophisticated client than your typical ah ma / ah pek. In fact the key case was a case against JP Morgan by a hedge fund.

Basically the hedge fund lost a huge amount of its money in a certain structured investment, and went to court, and despite the fact that the hedge fund was run by top finance professionals (including ex-traders from investment banks), the hedge fund ran all the same arguments that the ah mas / ah peks are now running against DBS.

In other words, the hedge fund claimed: "I didn't understand ... the bank did not explain the risk ... I so poor thing, now I lost all my money ... it's not fair ... there is misselling ... they shouldn't have sold it to me ..." Etc etc.

Well, the decision was very clear. The court threw out the case. The hedge fund lost. In a nutshell, the court said: "Excuse me, you're a hedge fund. You guys are professional investors. You looked at the documents, you signed all the documents, you should know what you're doing. Lose money, your problem, dun come here complain complain hor."

The first moral of the story is that you can be a super-sophisticated hedge fund, or you can be a Singapore ah ma / ah pek, and either way, you could have gotten burned really, really bad in the financial crisis if you had bought the wrong sort of structured product.

The second moral of the story is that if you did get burned very bad, it is better to be uneducated, old and stupid, than to be smart, educated and financially-savvy.

November 14, 2008 10:07 AM

Anonymous said...

"The second moral of the story is that if you did get burned very bad, it is better to be uneducated, old and stupid, than to be smart, educated and financially-savvy"

Hey being educated has so many advantages that it must have its downsides, now and then.

As MM might have said (but didn't), "If educated people don't bother to open their eyes, why shld they be allowed to avoid losses?"

Anonymous said...

though i am very tired and stress out, i will still make it there.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Tan,

Be extra careful with what you say in public tomorrow. Everyone is watching including those on the other side of the fence. May God bless you!

Lucky Tan said...

"The second moral of the story is that if you did get burned very bad, it is better to be uneducated, old and stupid, than to be smart, educated and financially-savvy".....

Mr. Wang you're really getting smart here. Those products were immensely complex. They are so complex you can say any ordinary person(regardless of educational background) would be too uneducated to understand it. Also, the products are so bad, anyone who understood it wouldn't have bought it. The only way to sell this stuff is to misrepresent it.

As all the documents were signed, the only case the investors have is mis-selling....and the only way to win this is for the govt to probe the banks.

Anonymous said...

Not all structure products are toxic and what the hedge fund bought is probably different from Minibonds & HighNotes.

Show me a case where a hedge fund who bought Minibonds went to court and lost ?

Mis-selling is mis-selling regardless whether the investor is a hedge fund or ah pek/ah ma !
If you rob a bank, will the police let you go if you are a 70 year old ah pek ?? No right, because law is law, no matter your status.

Anonymous said...

not sure the purpose of the 5.40 PM posting - is it to discourage and demoralise the victims further ?

unfortunately for the perpetrators and their backers, the painful memory of the victims will be long and for generations to come.

for your information, JP Morgan, UBS, Merill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup,.. actually the whole lot ... have been heavily fined and forced to return customers' funds by US regulators and courts. Now this is saying something about their integrity...

Anonymous said...

What time is the meeting? I thought there's a Sri Lanka vigil tomorrow at 5pm?

Why only DBS mentioned? What about OCBC, Hong Leong, UOB etc? Pinnacle also suffered as much as Lehmann.

Why the lack of publicity on blogs too?

Pardon the many qn marks!

Chew Boon Keng said...

Don't simply talk talk only lah.
Go to Hong Lim to-morrow to show your support.
The larger the crowd the more they will open their eyes.

Someone said that we went in with our eyes open, is that why they are closing their eyes on us?

Chew Boon Keng

Anonymous said...

My respect to you, Mr Tan.

May Heaven bless and guide you all the way.

Warmest regards.

Anonymous said...

We missed the meeting last week. It has become a routine to us. We will continue to be there until something favourable is done for us. Whether it is marathon, we will carry on and not give up. The FI is hoping that we loose our stamina and ive up. No way

Anonymous said...

Me and my wife are also victims. We will definitely be there tonight. We were definitely misled by the Financial manager.
Mr. Tan KL thanks u very much for organising the session. We are really in a lost now. By the way, the newspaper has advised all victims to file a complain to the FI quickly if we feel we are being misled for purchasing the pinnacle notes. Should I do it immediately or should I wait until tonight session? I am very frustrated now. Please advise asap.
God bless you for your good deeds Mr. TanKL

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,
I am a person who cannot accept injustice.

I learnt long ago about singaporean's Apathetic nature, self preservation mentality (selfish) and 'kia' mentality as well as ugly singaporean syndrome.

That made me asking myself, should people fight for justice / freedom for singaporeans who by and large are like that.

Then, I realised, despite these ugly people, I shall still step forward and fight. Fight for myself. Fight for the society I want.

So, even though I am not affected by this investment at all, I shall still make time and attend today's HLP rally.

Why? If I do not do it, who am i expecting would do it for me? yes, many singaporeans will not do it and come forward, even when they are affected by the investment. But not me. Every little effort counts. There can be no wave without the 1st drop of water.

Tear down this wall.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr anonymous for the support. Really appreciate it. I am really touch by your kindness to help in whatever way. After reading your note, I then realised that there are still people like you who see injustice and willing to put an effort to help even you are not affected. A big thanks to you again. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

"I am a person who cannot accept injustice. "

So do I

but unlike most, i dont detest or de-rile it

i EMBRACE it, because Injustice IS Reality

(and as for your statement "Fight for the society I want. ", remember, what YOU want might not be what YOUR neighbor wants)

Anonymous said...

Compare USA, HK & S'pore, there's three types of standard.
USA has the highest standard, full refund + fine the FI.
HK is second, with government support to reprimand the FIs. S'pore, ho, last with MAS taiji and government leaders add chiili sauce to your already hurting wound.
If more countries start to disclose, S'pore will still be last. Why? Because what happened here is already the ulitmate of how human mankind can treat each other and how a government can treat her people. It cannot get worse anymore! Shame to you all first class and "gracious" people, and yet you want to be Asia financial hub and teach Donald how to run his country. You are truly making a joke out of yourself. Wake up !!!

Anonymous said...

Mr Tan

If u issue a call to the general public to go down to hong lim to show support, many will respond. Many like myself who did not suffer from this mis-selling fiasco will respond to show solidarity. We need to show the big biz boys and clubs that ordinary people are no pushovers...


AlphavilleSG said...

Mr Wang please go eat shit... And I have said so that we need to examine the RMs role in this, when a professor of finance has a hard time deciphering the product, and gave a qualified answer that what was sold is a complex entanglement.

Hence erstwhile, when RMs busied themselves hawking these products, with a systematic lack of oversight from management, focusing instead on volume as the currency...

Mr Wang you being a big snotty lawyer care to explain to us, the unqualified masses, why under the Financial Advisor Act, section 27, it states,

" No licensee shall make a recommendation with respect to any investment product to a person who may reasonably be expected to rely on the recommendation if the licensee does not have a reasonable basis for making the recommendation to the person. "

If you don't understand the product you are selling, under what circumstances are the buyers NOT at risk of being mis-sold?

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