Webb-Site by David M. Webb
The blogger, David M. Webb, writes with a sense of authority and self-confidence. This finance blog, WEBB-SITE, offers a wealth of information and data on Hong Kong's finance industry. Hong Kong, a British colony for 156 years, was reverted back to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
Through his blog, among various topics, Mr. Webb provides analysis and opinions from his personal perspective on the news, politics, and inner workings of Hong Kong's finance and investment industry. The industry was in absolute control by the British establishment during our colonial years. That control extended to politics; democracy was nonexistent under British rule.
From reading his blog, Mr. Webb, a British expat, obviously considers himself an insider in our finance and investment sector. In reality, since the change of sovereignty and the continuing decline of British privileges and influence, he is by no means anywhere close to the top players of Hong Kong's financial markets in today's post-colonial era. Living in an insular expat community and unable to speak Cantonese nor Mandarin, Mr. Webb is virtually unknown to Hong Kong's general public. Culturally and socially, the Cantonese-speaking natives in general — 95% of HK's population — would have a great deal of difficulties relating to him and vice versa.
As preposterous as it might sound, Mr. Webb also considers himself a "democracy activist/advocate". How enthusiastic or at home would you feel with an activist if he can't even discuss politics with you in your mother-tongue? And where were the British democracy advocates when Hong Kong was a British possession?
The movers-and-shakers of Hong Kong's finance world were exclusively Scottish and English in colonial Hong Kong. For better or worse, with the shifting of fortunes nowadays, they are invariably Chinese, native and otherwise. The bona fide insiders, pulling the levers behind the scene, so to speak, are now all native speakers of Chinese. The change also took place at HK legislature and governmental departments and agencies. Contrary to the past, all major branches of Hong Kong government are now headed by HK Chinese. On a lighter note, now all these top officials look more or less like the reviewer's bothersome uncle or his nosey aunt. And most of them speak almost incomprehensible English.
Being narrow in scope as it is, like his writing style, Mr. Webb's perspective is very much British in a now increasingly Chinese city, albeit, Hong Kong outwardly still retains much of its past British colonial characteristics. If you were a long-time British expat and familiar with the colonial Hong Kong, seeing the steady decline of British influence on all levels of Hong Kong society these days is heartbreaking.
By any measure, WEBB-SITE is dry and tedious, a far cry from a professionally published finance journal or publication. Nonetheless, with Mr. Webb's extensive experience and knowledge of this city's stock and bond markets, this blog is worth a read, particularly to those who are interested in the current events happening in this major world financial hub.
What makes a HK Chinese preferring to be identified by a Western name instead of his given Chinese one? It took a once mighty empire to impose its language, culture, and will on a colonized people. To this day, British accent still opens doors.
Because of their background, social association, and access to top-level business managements, Mr. David M. Webb and the fellow members of his close-knit community have a unique perspective. Why not take a look at WEBB-SITE and read the views of the ones who, once upon a time, were indubitable insiders when they were on the top of their game, in charge, and calling all the shots?
In the style of 紅 樓 夢, the
reviewer offers this verse:
" We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves
Or lose our ventures. "
- JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare