Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Taking risky bets with our reserves

At the US ambassador's reception last night, a Singaporean asked me, "Mr. Tan, if you are the President and there is another global financial crisis, will you allow our GIC to make an investment such as the risky purchase of Citibank? How would you stop it?"  I told him that I will think about it and post my reply.

I know that it is outside of the scope of the duty of the President (who is responsible only for safeguarding  the past reserves) and the Minister of Law had said the the President should not interfere with the actual investments of the fund.

In an earlier statement, I said that the investment of the reserves should be made prudently and for the long term. I believe that the investment policy should be within the duty of the President. As there is disagreement on this point, it is better for this matter resolved at a later date.

As the safeguarding of the CPF savings and the national reserves is so important to the people,  it is important for the people to choose a candidate who has the financial knowledge and expertise and is able to take an independent view from the people responsible to invest the reserves. This is the essence of the custodial role and holding the second key.

Tan Kin Lian

1 comment:

Rick said...

Mr Tan,

If you become our President in the near future, please find a way to control investment of our national reserves even if it is outside the power of the office of the President. There may be a way around the limitation.

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