John Harding’s book, Escape from Paradise – Paperback and Kindle Versions


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Now, available in Kindle and Paperback! Free Kindle if you purchase Paperback. After buying Paperback, go for the free Kindle!

It took me two and a half evenings to complete your un-put-downable book…it is a unique contribution to the appreciation of a life in Singapore. Thank you for having written it. C. V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore.

Bought the book from Select this weekend and can’t put it down! It’s a great read! And so nostalgic for me—the good old days! Glen Goei, writer and director of the Miramax film That’s the Way I Like It and who played the title role opposite Anthony Hopkins in the London production of M. Butterfly. Mr. Goei’s latest film is The Blue Mansion – Click for the trailer!

It is a remarkable story and so full of intrigue that it reads at times like fiction.Jonathan Burnham, Editor in Chief & President, Talk Miramax Books.

“It’s quite a story The legendary Alice Mayhew, Vice-President & Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster.

This book out-Dallas, Dallas. No one has written so well of the other side of paradise,Francis T. Seow, former Solicitor General of Singapore

ThunderBall Films is successfully putting together the movie production of Escape from Paradise and has received a new LOI (Letter of Intent) from actress Bai Ling who starred with Richard Gere in the film Red Cross.

This includes a commitment from a CPA firm who does tax credit financing in Ireland, a possible location to film, as part of the package needed for investors – along with the CPA firm’s commitment to apply for and finance the tax credits if ThunderBall does shoot in Ireland and what portion of the budget they would provide.
For inquiries, please contact John Harding at jbharding@gmail.com.

Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer

The Rape of Singapore

Uncle Sam - "Pay up!"

Uncle Sam - "Pay up or else!"

As we correctly predicted, the U.S. is beginning to call in its markers.

If you read the fine print on the U.S. conversion of its Citigroup debt to ordinary shares in the company, you could have predicted it too.

Here’s the fine print:

The U.S. said it  will convert its stake in Citigroup to the extent that Citigroup can persuade private investors, including several big foreign government investment funds, to do so.

The U.S. Treasury Department will match the private investors’ conversions dollar-for-dollar.

The arms have been twisted successfully, and the U.S. will convert 25 billion dollars of capital into Citigroup ordinary shares.

So whose arm got twisted?

We don’t know all of the victims, but Singapore’s GIC was, most likely, the largest.

Singapore will convert its preferred notes, which yielded 7%, to ordinary shares. Singapore will do this at a price of $3.25 a share below the conversion price of $26.35 as agreed when it invested in the preference notes.

This means Singapore is paying $3.25 a share for Citigroup, and giving up their 7% yield of $482 million a year for no yield at all!

Friday, on the NYSE, Citigroup plunged to $1.50 a share.

Let’s do the math. Singapore is paying $3.25 a share for shares worth $1.50. Singapore is paying doubles (2.17 times to be exact) the going price for Citigroup shares.

That dilutes Singapore’s initial investment in Citigroup for the original $6.88 billion to $3.17 billion – a loss for Singapore of $3.71 billion.

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s de facto ruler, has said that Citibank has an excellent franchise, and that Singapore has invested for the long term – 20 or 30 years – far beyond his life expectancy.

6 comments to The Rape of Singapore

  • SIMPLE

    If Citi shares stay at $1.50, GIC’s original investment of US$6.88billion will be TOTALLY wiped off in about 6 years time, if you add about US$1B per every 2 years of opportunity costs in foregoing the 7% interest on preferred shares. If the share price drops further, or Citi goes into liquidation or get nationalised, the time will be even shorter. Indeed a RAPE alright.

  • googler

    Are you sure they paid so high? Please see Reuters:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/marketsNewsUS/idUKSP43765920090227

    paid S$3.25 per share.

  • admin

    You are right. GIC paid $3.25 a share. When we first published the article, the higher price was the best info we had. Later we changed the post to the correct amount – take a look. Unlike Singapore, we admit (and correct) our mistakes. Thanks!

  • A Pissed Native

    Hi there, I’m new to this site, seems to me there’s gonna be loads of articles to my liking here.

    I’m a native Singaporean but I pretty much agree with you here that Singapore do not really admit their mistakes and rectify them unless pressured to do so. If only, more Singaporeans can stand up for their own opinions and apply the right pressure to our ruling party to really make them work for us.

    I think Singaporeans are too oppressed by the fear of losing what we have established today to make the right choice, an effective strategy adopted by the government to counter opposing thoughts. To me, no risk means no chance of having improvements, thus PAP will probably get my vote if they really change for the better. As far as I can remember, they haven’t been getting mine.

    While Singapore generally performs well on the global stage, our domestic policies are pretty weak. Being one of the best paid governments in the world, I seriously think they are over paid. We are very dependant on external resources to stay competitive and survive, however these external resources are also the very main source of problem to our daily lives.

    Every country has their own problems I’m sure, just like I can’t understand why Obama has to spend loads of money on US automakers and the banks who seriously have problems in managing their own funds, cause if the root problem isn’t addressed, all these monies paid just not gonna do any good.

    Just because they are huge organization with millions of livelihood under their wings don’t give them the rights to ask for funds and even issue “threats” that tens of thousands will be jobless without fundings. Such statement compels me to think that they are like “terrorist in suits”

    However, I think it’s still too early to slam Obama’s effort, no effort done right now is gonna take effect so soon. He has a huge responsibility on his shoulder, not only domestically, but the world has their attention on him, I guess it’s not exactly the kind of start any newly elected president would look forward to. U.S. only have Bush to “thank” for its situation today. If only he’s not so into war and his own personal agenda.

  • admin

    Thanks for the informative comment. Obama did inherit the problem from Bush. Unfortunately, Obama is using Bush’s solution to the problem, which is spend more to get out of debt. I’ll be going into this very soon on the blog.