Tag Archives: money

Differences with Hong Kong and China… Story by Alex Chow

Hong Kong is a southern metropolitan city of China. In the eyes of foreigners, people form Hong Kong are considered as Chinese, rarely Japanese or Korean. Hong Kong is an inseparable part of China indeed and thus people form Hong Kong are Chinese undoubtedly. Still, people from Hong Kong prefer to call themselves Hongkonger since there are plentiful differences between Hong Kong and China in terms of politics, culture, and economy. As a result, Hong Kong people have a distinct ethnic identity in compare of Chinese.

First and foremost, Hong Kong and China have entirely opposite political system. In mainland China, there is a one-party dictatorship, the powers of executive, legislative, judicial and the fourth estate are all under control of the Communist Party. Although political decisions have to be voted in the Standing Committee, all representatives are nothing but voting machines.

Two Systems... A passport in China needs to be checked in Hong Kong
Two Systems… A passport in China needs to be checked in Hong Kong

Everything is under the control of the president of the party, there are not genuine vote and election. In Hong Kong, people value democracy, rule of law and the separation of powers. Every require of funding and legislation must seek agreement from the legislative council so as to limit the power of the government.As such, there have been many pro-democracy protests recently in Hong Kong.

When it comes to the culture, Hong Kong inherits Chinese culture and is influenced by western culture deeply as Hong Kong was a colony of Britain till 1997. Even though Hong Kong was returned to China, Hong Kong is still being an international city. Hong Kong embraces all kind of cultures. For example, Hongkongers watch a vast number of American, Japanese, Korean and Chinese movies. Also, as a gourmet paradise, you can find food form different parts of the world in Hong Kong. Compared to Hong Kong, China is more xenophobic. They perceive America and Japan are evil empires. For instance, there was an enormous anti-Japan campaign in China, people ruined every Japanese product they can find.

Separate Currencies... Hong Kong and China have vastly different economies, and use separate money
Separate Currencies… Hong Kong and China have vastly different economies

Speaking of the economy. Hong Kong worships capitalism while China believes communism. Hong Kong has the freest economy system among the world but China has a strictly planed and regulated economy system. There is such a big comparison in the light of “one country, two systems” so Hong Kong is independent in terms of economy and politics. Additionally, Hong Kong has its own currency peg to the US dollar instead of using RMB. This is part of why Hong Kong is a large trading center, comparable to Wall Street—its service economy can serve large parts of the world remotely.

The two regions have distinct history, culture, and economies. Though both city and country have an important connection, the term “Chinese” cannot show all the features of Hong Kong. Hence, people in Hong Kong find themselves Hongkongers instead of Chinese.

Another Bubble? The Imminent Collapse of the Derivative Market Story By: John Holmes

Have you ever made a bet? Was that bet against the market? The medium for this type of betting is known as the derivative market – and it may lead to a global financial crisis.

Derivatives…an example of gambling on the market. Photo by: The Economic Collapse.
Derivatives…an example of gambling on the market. Photo by: The Economic Collapse.

But what exactly is the derivative market? What is a derivative? A derivative, according to Investopedia, is “a contract between two or more parties whose value is based on an agreed-upon underlying financial asset.” Basically, the value of the contract derives from the underlying asset. Common assets typically include commodities, interest rates, and bonds. You can think of it as a bet. For example, person A tells person B that the price of oil is going to rise starting at $100 per a barrel. To officially promote his claim, person A and person B sign a contract based on person A’s speculation. Now, if the price of oil rises above $100 per a barrel – say, $120 per a barrel – person A receives the difference between his speculated price and the current price (in this example, $120-$100 = $20). If he is wrong, person A loses that margin. The derivative market is simply the medium in which derivatives are traded.

A derivative can come in many forms, including futures, options, swaps, and warrants. For example, speculators may use a futures contract to make a profit on their conjecture of a commodity price increase. Farmers may also use commodity derivatives as insurance on their product. For example, a farmer may lock in an acceptable price of their produce, saying the price of their commodity is going to be lower. If the price does drop, the farmer still makes a profit on the difference between his set price and the current price.

To put derivatives in basic form, it is a bet on the market. Whether that bet is based on the price of a commodity or rising insurance rates is entirely based on the contract between the two parties.

Derivatives can be a feasible method to hedge your funds, just as in the case of the farmer. However, as with any form of gambling, there is a risk that can lead to a financial crisis.

With trillions of dollars of exposure to derivatives, several of the world’s largest banks have surpassed their amount of assets (see figure 2). The problem here is the fact that, if a bank loses out on their bet, they do not have enough assets to repay it.

The “Big Banks”… a comparison of their total assets and their exposure to derivatives. Photo by: The Economic Collapse.
The “Big Banks”… a comparison of their total assets and their exposure to derivatives. Photo by: The Economic Collapse.

A similar problem was encountered in 2008, with the crash of Lehman Brothers bank. According to Steve Denning, in an article contributed to Forbes magazine, “the root cause wasn’t just the reckless lending and the excessive risk taking. The problem at the core was a lack of transparency.” After the collapse of Lehman Brothers, no one knew the risks any particular bank took in their derivative exposures. In return, no economic activity was done between the banks. “Because all the big banks’ had been involved to an unknown degree in risky derivative trading, no one could tell whether any particular financial institution might suddenly implode,” says Denning.

However, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, banks continued exposing themselves to derivatives – increasing the total exposure to $500 trillion globally. If the banks collapse due to derivatives, it could lead to a stagnant market.

In addition to this, a new bill (Bill 292-I22) – drafted entirely by Citigroup lobbyists – passed December of 2015. This bill repeals the Dodd-Frank Law, ensuring Congress bails out the banks – even if they lose out in the derivative market. However, with trillions of dollars in derivatives exposure, this could prove to be a difficult task.

Attack on Charter….The Anime Dance Theft Story By: Mack Jastle

Attack on Charter….The Anime Dance Theft Story By: Mack Jastle

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s official.  A new criminal has joined the Forrest Bird wanted list.

Missing….The Anime Dance was cancelled after the money stolen out of Holly’s desk.  Photo-by: The Towne
Missing….The Anime Dance was cancelled after the money stolen out of Holly’s desk. Photo-by: The Towne

On Monday, March 7th, Holly Walker took the microphone at announcements to deliver the news about the Anime Dance, originally planned for Friday, March 11th.  Put on by the Anime club, the dance would have Japanese and American music, and would have been DJ’d by students.

On March 4th (a Friday EAD), Holly’s room and desk were broken into, and all the money collected thus far from ticket sales was taken.  In response to the theft, the Anime Dance was cancelled, and Holly has since stepped down as manager of events for the anime club.  According to reports, several tickets had been sold already, and there was about $30 collected from those ticket sales.

Many student around campus have expressed their dismay at the cancelling of the dance.  A lot of students are angry that the money was stolen, and are a little fed up with this kind of stuff happening.

Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve had instances of thievery or even vandalism on campus.  Last year, during the Piggy Hunt, someone snuck into the office and stole every single prize bag of Skittles.  While this wasn’t quite as serious as student’s hard earned money being stolen, this was dozens of bags of Skittles being stolen.  This isn’t any basic package of M&M’s that were talking about.  It’s sweet, delicious sugary goodness in all the colors of the rainbow.

Wait, what was I talking about?  Oh, right, thievery most foul.

And we’ve had our fair share of other incidents too.  Last year, the school grappled with the efforts of the vigilante known as the ‘Phantom Pisser,’ so named for his scent marking of the boys’ bathroom.  This culminated in an incredibly awkward gender advisory, after which he was never spotted again.

 

Opportunity lost….The dance would have featured both pop and Japanese music.  Photo-by: dreamstime.com
Opportunity lost….The dance would have featured both pop and Japanese music. Photo-by: dreamstime.com

Considering this past history, it isn’t like this is something we haven’t seen before.  But it is still strange.  What possible reason would someone have to break into Holly’s desk and steal the money?  It doesn’t really jive with the school’s philosophy of thou shalt not steal thine neighbor’s cash.

 

Regardless of the reasoning, it seems like a pretty petty thing to do.  Stealing money that students put into an event is really low, especially when someone else now has to pay back all of that money.  Holly had taken on the mantle of paying back those students that had bought tickets, and that money is coming out of her own pocket.

The Anime Dance would have filled the gap for dances this trimester, considering the fact that Student Council didn’t host one for 2nd trimester.  However, now students will have to wait till third trimester for prom.

Hopefully, this will mark a new turning point in our school’s history, one where we no longer vandalize or steal from each other.  Then maybe we can finally put on that Border Rave dance I keep hearing about.