Saturday, January 10, 2009



Hi and a happy new year to all Lex Borneo readers. Now that most of the new year parties have ended and the fireworks have fizzled out we are faced with tough economic questions for 2009. The global financial crisis in 2008 has no parallels since the year 1929 in the last century. But is it all doom and gloom for 2009. Is there any ray of hope amidst the massive chorus of hopeless voices? To find the way out and forward Borneobest Bookstore is organizing a seminar in Kota Kinabalu on 18th January 2009 with the main speaker being Dr. Tan Khian Seng .

Dr Tan Khian Seng [PhD Business Administration, PhD Theology & PhD Psychology] is a noted author and a renowned speaker both in Singapore and internationally with more than two and a half decade of public speaking experience. He was a frequent and well-received speaker on radio and television. He was invited to speak on talk shows such as “Positive Business Minutes” and “Power of Dreams”.

He has widely travelled far and has spoken at conferences and seminars in the USA, Philippines, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. He consults regularly with many multi-national companies and government departments both in Singapore, Malaysia and internationally with clients like Apple Computer, Banque Nationale De Paris, Coopers & Lybrand, Deloitte,Matsushita Asia Pte Ltd, National Panasonic amongst others.

Dr Tan is the author of several books, ‘Healing the Wounded Helper’, ‘The Wings of God’, ‘Keys to Financial Breakthroughs Vol 1, Vol 2 & Vol 3’ and ‘The Power of Dreams’.

In the seminar he will deal with areas of interest such as the Coming Financial Wipeout and what you can do about it/ Understanding the money system/ Strategies for asset protection / Managing financial risk / Healing wealth wounds – stop bleeding money / Tapping into God’s unlimited abundance / Prosper in difficult times. Due to the content of the seminar it is open only for Non-Muslims. For further details call 088-470778 or go to the website To register just sms your name and handphone numbers to 0148639736 or 0178206778.


According to author Robin Matthews, absolute capitalism is a criminal system and New York today seems to offer solid proof the claim may be true. Last year ordinary New Yorkers have been in the street demanding no bailout for the collapsing giants: Bear Stearns, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Leyman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

The fraud involved in corporate behaviour began collapsing the U.S. housing market, hammering ordinary citizens, and spreading quickly, globally – partly because U.S. ideas of deregulation, privatization, and real U.S. toxic non-assets had been spread with missionary zeal around the world. Leaders of the gigantic criminal corporations have stashed billions in mattresses and now want huge “separation” payments as they are ushered out the door.

All this is happening with a dramatic difference from the-crash-and-after of 1929. It is a difference no one mentions. If what we are facing looks like a criminal system, is it one? All at first looks “straight”. The U.S. Federal Reserve Board and the Bush government made possible the huge, elaborate, world-fooling practice of stuffing valueless debt into bright packages, selling them as if as-sound-as-bond-investments, and shipping them – literally – around the globe. And around the globe, bankers were permitted to “print money” by backing loans with loans until their asset base and reserves were in ridiculous proportion. And then calls came on debt – and the house of cards has tumbled.

When the whole rotten cargo began to burst and stink, Federal Reserve Board and the Bush government moved in “to protect the financial system” - that is, to endorse Capitalism as crime by protecting the fraudsters, buying the cargo, and [as in most crime] making the innocent pay for the depredations of the guilty.

Over years, Alan Greenspan, enigmatic head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board practiced “stimulation” and employed highly intrusive policies to influence the U.S. economy.

The first years of the twenty-first century were marked by his bold slashing of U.S. interest rates. People could borrow. People without collateral could borrow. Anybody could borrow. People could spend. House prices rose … and rose. Home owners increased the size of their mortgages as prices rose. Paradise had arrived.

The shady operators moved in, made their fake, bright packages of the valueless mortgage debt and hawked them everywhere. Alan Greenspan had gigantically interfered in the U.S. “Free Market Economy”. The Market “ruled”, except it was set up to do so by Alan Greenspan and the Bush government. And, moreover, “The Market” was a mafia engaged in crime where no law existed.

So massive was the Greenspan interference that concerned people asked Greenspan if, perhaps, the Federal Reserve Board (having the power) should make some regulations about lending and provide some oversight? Shouldn’t there be some laws, some regulations? Greenspan cluck-clucked and said that would be interfering in the “free market economy” and he didn’t believe in that.

Robin Mathews says that the present world of economic finance is almost a monolith; an aggressive religion; a single-minded, brainless, tunnel-visioned group of ideologues hell-bent on turning all public wealth into chips in a poker game in which the slickest, sleaziest, and most dishonest grab the most and prove, incidentally, the ascendancy of the individual such as Donald Trump, the legitimacy of greed, and the natural depravity of human kind. .

The Bush/Greenspan regime hatchetted regulation to make the immoral legal. And their agents travelled the world urging other regimes to privatize, deregulate, exploit. This kind of depraved thinking can be seen in writer such as the Canadian Margaret Wente,in a column she wrote just about eight months before the corruption in the capital markets of North America split wide open in the criminal disasters we are witnessing. Look what she had to say.

“Contrary to a lot of wishful thinking, white collar criminals do not, in fact, pose huge problems for the capital markets of North America. This particular cycle of corporate greed, excess and lousy oversight ended years ago, and the really big-time bad guys are all locked up or dead.”.

The trouble with the kind of theory put forward by Margaret Wente is that it isabsolutely ridiculous. And for a very simple reason: every society has a shape, has laws, has values. Every society “contains” its population and, however “free” it strives to be, it sets boundaries on the kinds and degrees of harm one person or a number of people may do to others.

No society “frees” the individual or group completely. Absolute Capitalism claims to free all, but we know it doesn’t. It frees the Capitalist to pursue greed. It exalts greed. It demands no impediment to greed. It makes laws to protect greed.

According to renowned economist Keynes he said that to pretend to free Capitalists is, in fact, to make laws, to shape society, to “contain” the population in a way that powerfully interferes with the economy in order to permit Crime Without Law. . Since that is the case, Keynes said, keep a close eye on the economy, interfere (for there must be interference), and do it so the most people (all over the globe) get the fairest treatment from the economy.

As the British Empire gave way to the U.S. Empire, Keynes even tangled with an opponent over the matter of interference in the economy.

Friedrich Hayek of the Austrian School of Economics – worked at The London School of Economics at the time (1940s). Hayek was like Milton Friedman, a free marketer and a leader in the movement that has just brought U.S. financial corporations to their knees in disgrace for the shameless dealings we can dub as Crimes Without Laws.

Hayek was exalted by people and regimes supporting unimpeded Capitalism. Connected to a Chilean “think-tank” during the Pinochet regime, he won the Nobel Prize in 1974. Margaret Thatcher got him the British Order of the Companion of Honour, and in 1991 he won the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.

As surely as Keynes was made a central figure during a time when the world was genuinely seeking greater democratic freedom and equality, Hayek was heaped with honours and medals for preaching class dominance, corporate fascism, and ruthless economic exploitation.

In June 1945, Keynes read Hayek’s reactionary, free market book, Road to Serfdom. Hayek argued, in effect, that the kind of intervention Keynes advocated would lead to totalitarianism. Don’t work for general employment, fairness, and balanced productivity. Instead, free Capitalists who, somehow, will make the best of all possible worlds – free them by making laws that prevent any interference with their activity. Interfere.

Keynes liked Hayek’s book, to the surprise of many. But he put his finger squarely on Hayek’s failing. Hayek pretended that the erasure of interference in the economy to seek fairness would, in fact, erase all interference. Of course it wouldn’t. Keynes said that the changes Hayek wanted “would only lead in practice to disillusion with the results of your philosophy….” We are seeing that disillusion, now.

The view Keynes set out was the exact opposite. He left no doubt he believed economics a moral science. He was sure it could not be governed by eternal rules and “models”. He remarked that one “had to be constantly on one’s guard against treating material as constant and homogeneous…” Indeed, economists who have destroyed his vision believe economics is the proper playing out of greed in competition. Not a moral science, it is a process of manipulation by which fixed rules are written to prevent government interference with the full workings of greed. At best, governing powers act as facilitators for those engaged in the extension of personal wealth.


With the beginning of 2009 how will the state of Sabah face the challenges of this turbulent year? Will our YBs and MPs work towards laws that produce the best possible results for the economy. Law and Economics, or economic analysis of law is an approach to legal theory that applies methods of economics to law. It includes the use of economic concepts to explain the effects of laws, to assess which legal rules are economically efficient, and to predict which legal rules will be promulgated.

”Law and economics,” also known as the economic analysis of law, differs from other forms of legal analysis in two main ways. First, the theoretical analysis focuses on efficiency In simple terms, a legal situation is said to be efficient if a right is given to the party who would be willing to pay the most for it.

Law and economics stresses that markets are more efficient than courts. When possible, the legal system, according to the positive theory, will force a transaction into the market. When this is impossible, the legal system attempts to “mimic a market” and guess at what the parties would have desired if markets had been feasible.

The second characteristic of law and economics is its emphasis on incentives and people’s responses to these incentives. For example, the purpose of damage payments in accident (tort) law is not to compensate injured parties, but rather to provide an incentive for potential injurers to take efficient (cost-justified) precautions to avoid causing the accident. Law and economics shares with other branches of economics the assumption that individuals are rational and respond to incentives. When penalties for an action increase, people will undertake less of that action. Law and economics is more likely than other branches of legal analysis to use empirical or statistical methods to measure these responses to incentives.