Saturday 11 October 2008

What? Me worry about the economy?

"Hell in Asia"?

After reading the front page headline in The Straits Times yesterday morning, I looked out my window, expecting to see Haw Par Villa come alive, only to be disappointed by the blithely sunny day. Sure, it was hot, but not that hot.

The world economy may be going down in flames, but the kids still have to prepare for their year-end exams and I have go to work. In short, life goes on.

If I didn't have a job to go to, then maybe I'll start dusting off my hellfire-retardant suit.

I’m with the 51 percent of the 100 people surveyed who said that they were not concerned by the financial crisis in The New Paper yesterday.

Why am I not panicking when all these apocalyptic headlines and news pictures of stock watchers with their hand melodramatically covering various parts of their face appear to suggest that I should?

If I were on the Qantas plane that suddenly plunged 2.5km, I would be the first to yell, “We’re all going to die!”

But the stock market in freefall? Shrug.

I’m either too poor or not poor enough to feel affected by such macroeconomics.

I'm too poor because my entire investment portfolio consists of some SingTel shares the Government gave out years ago.

I’m not poor enough because although the cost of everything has gone up, that just means that the next time the teen behind the McDonald’s counter asks if I want to upsize my meal, I will regretfully decline.

Having lived through Black Monday, the dotcom bust and Sars, I believe in reverse gravity: Whatever goes down must come up – eventually.

Hey, even the passengers on that Qantas flight survived.

My hero is Oei Hong Leong who bought stock in fallen giant AIG and two weeks later, made $7million in these “hellish” times, seemingly without any sweat. And then he gave it away!

Maybe he can also take my life’s savings and turn it into a couple million overnight. How many AIG shares can I get for $3,072.28?

- Published in The New Paper, 10 October 2008