Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Financial Crisis: Is The Worst Over?

Source : The Business Times, September 23, 2008

Do you think that the latest news on Lehman Brothers' collapse indicates that the global economic climate would worsen further, or is the worst over for the sector that you operate in?

Kenny Yap
Managing Director
Qian Hu Corporation

MY gut feel is if US congress approved the US$700 billion rescue package and no more banks collapse, we might be seeing the end of the global financial crisis. Typically, after one or one-and-a-half years of crisis, people kind of get used to that, learn ways to move on and become less panicky. If there's no more bad news, confidence should be back by year end. Let's hope for a better tomorrow!

John Koh
Managing Partner

THERE are currently uncertainties in the financial markets and global economies which are unlike what most people have seen in the last decade or so, and it is extremely difficult to predict whether market conditions are heading south or northward simply because the world is very different from what it used to be 10 years ago. WMRC LLP has been actively assisting our clients in the private banking and asset management sectors since our inception, and we have seen good years as well as bad ones. Looking at the current situation, we will continue to do good work for our clients as we believe bad times present lurking opportunities which many would have missed. Surviving bad times is the best test of one's true mettle and besides, pockets of opportunities continue to exist in times like these.

Jackie Cheng Ee Lieng
Hisaka Holdings

YES, I think it will trigger further downside for the global economy, because most traditional banks are still exposed to investment banks - be it through their structured products or through collaboration on funding investments. There are likely to be more investment banks that have yet to come clean on the status of the exposure. Now, my view is that the financial authorities around the world must assure the public that they will save all the traditional banks so as to restore the confidence of the public. This will prevent mass withdrawals by depositors, which would only make things worse.

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