I refer to “Dr Tony Tan appointed director and special advisor of GIC“. CNA
There seems to be such an acute lack of talents that the PAP has to employ the former president and GIC executive director to a newly-created position in GIC next year.
GIC CEO and former Malaysian Lim Chow Kiat Tony’s “special advisor” role:
But why why would GIC – which already has the most powerful political figures on its board – still require further assistance from a 77 year-old former president? I hope the board of directors are not jiak liow bee. 🙂
GIC board includes the following directors:
– PM Lee
– 2 DPMs
– 2 ministers with extensive experience
– 1 former minister (clue: reportedly slapped by someone)
Tony’s competence is also highly questionable: GIC made the biggest investment boo boo in its history when he was dy chairman and executive director.
Investment losses are par for the course but to bet $25 billion in reserves and CPF monies on UBS and Citigroup – at the height of the global financial crisis – was clearly reckless.
(It is widely believed that GIC was trying to recoup earlier massive losses but had instead dug a deeper grave. Subsequently, a series of unplanned CPF tweaks were implemented to entice members to top up CPF accounts. On the government’s end, legislations with a similar objective – channel funds to GIC – were enacted, eg GIC received $8 billion from the Pioneer Generation Package, etc.)
With regard to UBS and Citigroup investments, Tony gave these reasons for betting $25 billion during this interview in 2008:
– “We have been following the banks for many years. We know the banks manage money very well”.
– “So we are confident that these two banks will overcome their difficulties”.
From the chart below, it appears that Tony was only talking cock and really knew nothing about UBS after “following the banks for many years”.
Tony: “We always look at risk first, how much money can we lose, what is the downside“.
Did Tony even know the Citigroup investment could have gone bust? According to a 2008 report by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program: “We were on the verge of having to close this institution because it can’t meet its liquidity Monday morning.”
Was GIC prepared to lose US$6.88 billion in reserves and CPF monies?
Citigroup was a lousy investment and this is reflected in its current share price.
GIC did not expect Citigroup’s problems to be so severe as to require the US government to prevent its bankruptcy with US$476 billion in cash and guarantees.
That GIC was fortunate to profit from Citi has nothing to do with good judgement but pure luck.
Seriously, a person like Tony who condoned recklessness and depended on luck in managing our reserves and CPF monies will have nothing to contribute to GIC.
Is PAP preparing to take higher investment risk – again – with Tony’s GIC appointment? Will there be a repeat of UBS/Citigroup?