Friday, February 20, 2009

Why Temasek & GIC should start cutting losses in banks.... Part 2

Part 1 is here : Link.

Yesterday Citigroup and Bank of America stocks fell further - both stocks fell 14% in one day. The window for selling these stocks is fast closing. The US Treasury announced "stress tests" that will be conducted on banks to apply "the appropriate therapy"[Link]. For banks such as Bank of America and Citigroup which are insolvent zombies, shareholders will wiped out in all solutions now being considered by the US Treasury.
"Citi to me is still the biggest risk position out there...."
Singapore not only made bad decisions investing in these banks when most of the investment community knew that they were in trouble and extremely risky, they continuously denied that mistakes were made and insisted that they are long term investments (link, link). They missed all the chances of mitigating their losses and they will probably miss last chance to exit from these bad investments. There is little doubt that a lot of credibility will be lost when these investments get wiped out.

There is a need for greater transparency (if not complete transparency) and reform in Temasek/GIC. If they had done it earlier when billions were lost in Shin Corp, we might have prevented the devastating losses in those banks. If they don't do it now, we will be seeing unnecessary loss of taxpayers' money in the future.


Anonymous said...

Well, if Temasick do not sell and suffer huge losses, thry can pin the blame on Chip Goodyear. He's here to carry the S*** left by Madam Ho.

Anonymous said...

Nevermind. Chip Goodyear is paid millions to carry the blame. This is a good job though. I do not mind taking this job.

Anonymous said...

The losses are so huge and mind boggling that the usual satire and jokes and Temasek and GIC are no longer funny .... sigh.

I think it is sinking in that a big chunk of our reserves (although the quantum is still a mystery) is gone. And no one is responsible, no one has to answer, no one is accountable. No one.

Anonymous said...

i would like to know: to what extent did lky's role as an advisor to Citigroup play in the decision of GIC to buy in?

will some mp pls raise this question in the parliament? your party will get my vote this round.

Anonymous said...

They still have a lot left even after these losses.

Do not underestimate them. Maybe $1 billion to them is like a few thousand to you ordinary folk.

Anonymous said...

GIC and Temasek would not cut loss, their action in ABC learning, Micropolis, Shin Corps, etc; demonstrated their strong will to lose everything rather than picking the pieces. After that, it would be Muhahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahaha,

The lee family and ministers already took enough overseas for comfortable retirement.

Anonymous said...

There were two men shipwrecked on this island. The minute they got on to the island one of them started screaming and yelling, "We're going to die! We're going to die! There's no food! No water! We're going to die!" The second man was propped up against a palm tree and acting so calmly it drove the first man crazy. "Don't you understand?!? We're going to die!!" The second man replied, "You don't understand, I make $100,000 a week….we'll get found soon" The first man looked at him quite dumbfounded and asked, "What difference does that make?!? We're on an island with no food and no water! We're going to DIE!!!" The second man answered, "You just don't get it, do you: I make $100,000 a week, and I tithe ten percent of that $100,000 each week to my church----I give $10,000 each week to my church." The First Man, still dumbfounded said, " I still don't understand!" The Second Man said: "Listen, I said to relax, I TITHE $10,000 a week to my church, BELIEVE ME, My pastor will find me!"

Anonymous said...

There are many checks and balances in place when it comes to giving even a measly million to needy citizens.

There are hardly any of such checks and balances when it comes to investing billions into insolvent banks.

Losing $50 billion in risky investments is called 'long-term' investing. Giving $4 billion to help needy citizens and setting up a social security net is considered 'squandering' our reserves.

Heads we lose, tails PAP wins.

Anonymous said...

A young college co-ed came running in tears to her father. "Dad, you gave me some terrible financial advice!"

"I did? What did I tell you?" said the dad.

"You told me to put my money in that big bank, and now that big bank is in trouble."

"What are you talking about? That's one of the largest banks in the state," he said. "there must be some mistake."

"I don't think so," she sniffed. "They just returned one of my checks with a note saying, 'Insufficient Funds'."

Anonymous said...

One thing good will come out of the mistakes of GIC and Temasek, and that is it will make people wake up to the fallacy of thinking that the old man's decisions and ideas are always correct.

Lost Citizen

Anonymous said...

Pastor's Life Humor

How to Address Inmates

A pastor just fresh from Bible College, was invited to speak at a chapel service in a prison.

He was very excited but being his very first time, he was very nervous as well. He thought hard how to introduce his message. On the day he arrived at the prison, he was greeted by a large group of prisoners waiting to hear him. As the young pastor walked and stood behind the pulpit, he said, ‘Good morning. It’s so good to see you here!’

by bauhinia

A Bishop had a dread of getting leprosy. He had read that the early signs are loss of feeling in the limbs, and was always pinching his legs, and if it hurt, he was reassured.

On one occasion at a dinner he reached under the table and pinched his leg. He couldn't feel a thing. He pinched it again - harder this time. Still no sensation.

The Bishop visibly blanched and blurted out, " Oh, no ! I've got it ! "
" You've got what ? "
" I've got leprosy ! "
" But how do you know ? "
" Well, one of the early signs is loss of feeling in the leg. I've just pinched my leg twice and I didn't feel a thing ! "

A young lady sitting next to him remarked, " It was my leg you were pinching, Bishop. "

Goat for Dinner

The young couple invited their elderly preacher for Sunday dinner. While they were in the kitchen preparing the meal, the minister asked their son what they were having. "Goat," the little boy replied.
"Goat?" replied the startled man of the cloth, "Are you sure about that?"
"Yep," said the youngster. "I heard Dad say to Mom, 'Today is just as good as any to have the old goat for dinner.'"

Three preachers were driving down the road when they missed a turn and went into the ditch. As they pulled themselves together, a drunk pulled up and asked if they were all right.
"Oh, yes, Jesus is with us," one replied.
The drunk thought that over for a minute. "Well, you'd better let him get in with me, you're going to kill him!"

submitted by Rita S.

Report from the Pastor Search Committee:

We do not have a happy report to give. We have not been able to find a
suitable candidate for this church, though we have one promising prospect.
Thank you for your suggestions. We have followed up on each one with
interviews or by calling at least three references. The following is our
confidential report.

ADAM: Good man but has problems with his wife. One reference told us how he
and his wife enjoyed walking nude in the woods.
NOAH: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic
building projects.

JOSEPH: A big thinker, but a braggart; believes in dream interpreting and
has a prison record.
MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator; even stutters at times.
Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings. Some say he
left an earlier church over a murder charge.

DEBORAH: One word --- Female.
DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he
had with his neighbor's wife.

SOLOMON: Great preacher, but serious woman problem.
ELIJAH: Prone to depression; collapses under pressure.
HOSEA: A tender and loving pastor, but our people could never handle his
wife's occupation.

JONAH: Told us he was swallowed up by a great fish. He said the fish later
spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.
AMOS: Too much of a country hick. Backward and unpolished. With some
seminary training, he might have promise; but he has a hang-up against
wealthy people.

JOHN: Says he is a Baptist, but doesn't dress like one. May be too
Pentecostal. Tends to lift both hands in the air to worship when he gets
excited. You know we limit to one hand. Sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird
diet, and provokes denominational leaders.
PETER: Too blue collar. Has a bad temper, even said to have cursed. He's a
loose cannon.

PAUL: Powerful CEO type and fascinating preacher. However, he's short on
tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh, and has been known to preach
all night.
TIMOTHY: Too young.

JESUS: Has had popular times, but once when his church grew to 5000, He
managed to offend them all; and his church dwindled down to twelve people.
Seldom stays in one place very long. And, of course, he is single.
JUDAS: His references are solid. A steady plodder. Conservative. Good
connections. Knows how to handle money. We're inviting him to preach this
Sunday in view of a call.

After the church service a little boy told the pastor, "When I grow up, I'm going to give you some money." "Well, thank you," the pastor replied, "but why?" "Because my daddy says you're one of the poorest preachers we've ever had."

During the last Sunday service that the visiting pastor was to spend at the church he served for some months, his hat was passed around for a goodwill, farewell offering.

When it returned to the pastor, it was empty. The pastor didn’t flinch. He raised the hat to heaven. "I thank you, Lord, that I got my hat back from this congregation."

Struggling to make ends meet on a first-call salary, the pastor was livid when he confronted his wife with the receipt for a $250 dress she had bought. "How could you do this?!"
"I was outside the store looking at the dress in the window, and then I found myself trying it on," she explained. "It was like Satan was whispering in my ear, 'You look fabulous in that dress. Buy it!'" "Well," the pastor replied, "You know how I deal with that kind of temptation. I say, 'Get behind me, Satan!'" "I did," replied his wife, "but then he said, 'It looks fabulous from back here, too!'"

Anonymous said...

Struggling to make ends meet on a first-call salary, the pastor was livid when he confronted his wife with the receipt for a $250 dress she had bought. "How could you do this?!"
"I was outside the store looking at the dress in the window, and then I found myself trying it on," she explained. "It was like Satan was whispering in my ear, 'You look fabulous in that dress. Buy it!'" "Well," the pastor replied, "You know how I deal with that kind of temptation. I say, 'Get behind me, Satan!'" "I did," replied his wife, "but then he said, 'It looks fabulous from back here, too!'"

Anonymous said...

"They still have a lot left even after these losses." - Anon 9:26am

Harvard endowment, the largest of its kind with over $30 billion, is projected to lose 30% of its investment. As a result, it is freezing faculty salaries, raising tuition, and offering early retirement to cut costs.

The losses sustained by GIC/Temasek will have real consequences.

Seriously, it is better to get out late than sorry. There are still billions to salvage, not pocket change by any means!

Anonymous said...

One pastor asked another pastor, "If you were a monkey what would you want to be called?""I dont know",one pastor said."The other one said "monk."

Anonymous said...

well, after the last "go-round" with the committee, I realized I have much in common with Balaam. I have to bless my enemies and take advice from an a...donkey.

Ah Pat said...

To the troll who keeps posting religious jokes/comments here, please stop.

Lucky, could you kindly delete those comments? Why should this post digress from its original scope?

And anyway, speaking of cutting losses, on one hand they lose BILLIONS, on the other hand, they expect public transport users to be grateful for the 80 million SGD they will spend to cut fares by TWO CENTS. Another world class act by our world number 1 gahmen. Kudos!!

Anonymous said...

"will some mp pls raise this question in the parliament? your party will get my vote this round."

Don't expect the sham parliament with the sham MPs to ask the tough question. Spore is a dictatorship with zero accountability to citizens. Live with it!

Onlooker said...

As usual they do not want to correct the error when it is still possible.
What else can make them look worse than this complacency.

PLS do not feed the PAtroll Dog, ignore it long e nuff it will go away.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky

Actually, you are missing the point.

Considering that SWFs are guaranteed to fail, I would say that Ho Ching (and Harry) did well considering that we are not insolvent yet.

You (and us) allowed GIC and Temasek Holdings to evolve into SWFs. It is OUR fault.

If we had insisted that the money have been invested in schools, a Mr Valentine would not be shouting that schools are destroying our children.

If we had invested in our infrastructure, we would not be squeezed like sardines on trains / stuck on CTE daily.

If we had invested in our domestic economy and get off our addiction to FDI, we would not need JCS today.

And shifting our best and finest into the armed forces in peace time is sheer stupidity. But how many parents actively push their kids to do just that? to become SAF\President scholars?

And as a millionaire investor, u know that we should write-off all those investments and move on. Common sense. But HC and Harry are not there to make money. Power is their drug.

The rable here will believe everything u say so imho u could take the opportunity to prepare them. not incite more anger. The coming pain will do that. Only real pain will work. The day when the likes of Aaron starts to squeal like pigs, then u know it is time.

Until then, I am pretty sure u have read the reports from IMF, etc. Enjoy ur $$$ while it is still safe to do so lah.

Btw, you would also noticed that Ms Whitney is against nationalization of banks. If our scholars are doing such a bad job, what makes u think that yankee civil servants can do better(if they evn get pass stage 1)?

Anonymous said...

STI 1600.
Forget US. We got bigger worries.

Anonymous said...

the old man poke poke a few numbers and on the other another old old friend of his in that part of the world. so he asked the old neh?

the old friend said...wait. let me make a few powderful calls.

after a while

this old man received a late night call.

his old friend whispered softly into the cellphone .


the next day, the old man stepped out of his balcony and printed these words

you bunch of fiaking idiots who want to claim glory for proving me wrong or hope to dethrone me, let me tell you a thing or two....
..i eat salt more than you goons eat nasi ayam!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

For those who tire of excuses why people don't go to church these are the reasons why I never wash. 1. I was forced to wash as a child. 2. People who wash are hypocrites - they think they're cleaner than others. 3. There are so many kinds of soap I could never decide which was right. 4. I used to wash, but it got boring. 5. I only wash on Christmas and Easter. 6. None of my friends wash. 7. I'll start washing when I'm older. 8. I really don't have the time. 9. The bathroom isn't warm enough. 10.People who make soap are only after your money.

Ghost said...

I do think these losses should be cut because if the stock prices get any lower it will not be worth it. It might be better just to ride it if the prices get lower. I believe that's the thinking at GIC and Temasek, that it is now too low to cut.

Anonymous said...

anon 1:40

i particularly like pt no. 2 and 10. :)

Anonymous said...

Why go crazy about the losses when you should be focusing on the political shift that is happening now.
GCT should abandon ship now if he do not want to be drag down by LKY.

senile citizen said...

I have a bery serious question. Is my cpf money safe?

Anonymous said...

Lucky, the latest rumor in the market now is that BOA and CITI may be nationalized. If this happens, Singaporean may lose faith in our entire system and may even start a run on our CPF... Things may really become VERY VERY nasty. Watch this space.

Anonymous said...

How to withdraw CPF? Can see cannot touch hor!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Citi last traded US$2.51 and BoA US$3.91.

It is a matter of time before they are nationalised.

Well done and keep up the goof work and for those who are comforting themselves that there is still some loose change around good luck.

For the jokers thanks for the relief and your employment as court jesters is assured, jest send in your resumes.

Anonymous said...

The last recorded combine loss of GIC and TH is $108b. Divided by 3 million, each Singaporean is "poorer" by $36,000.

We are all truly "Lucky Tan's".

domready said...

C closed 1.95 (AH 2.09) with a low of 1.61. BAC is not much better after the past 2 weeks.


domready said...

Just to add, both lost >70% YTD.


unhappy said...

Hi Lucky Tan,

I have a nagging question I hope you can answer:- what will happen to GIC's investments in Citi if it is nationalised?
I thought they invested in convertible preferred bonds, and not shares? If citi is taken over by the US government, GIC's investment will still be intact right?

Anonymous said...


GIC investments are in preferred stock. Common and preferred stocks are typically wiped out in a bankruptcy. The following is from WSJ online:

"In January 2008, it invested US$6.88 billion in convertible preferred securities of Citigroup, which at the time would have given it a 4% stake in the bank if converted to common stock.

According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing in late January, GIC owns a beneficial 5.3% stake, or 303.8 million shares, in Citigroup. These include preferred shares that can be converted into 261.1 million common shares. Based on Citi's US$3.49 closing price on Friday, the stake is worth US$1.06 billion. U.S. markets were closed Monday."

domready said...

With preferred, if the company files for Chap 11 or is nationalized, the assets will be seized, valued, sold, and auctioned.