Monday, January 26, 2009
Organised by SDP
Date: 7 Feb 09, Saturday
Time: 2-5 pm
Venue: Copthorne Orchid Hotel, 214 Dunearn Road
We are honoured to have the following party and civil society leaders as panel speakers:
1. Desmond Lim, Secretary-General, Singapore Democratic Alliance
2. Ng Teck Siong, Chairman, Reform Party
3. Sin Kek Tong, Chariman, Singapore People's Party
4. Sebastian Teo, President, National Solidarity Party
5. Gandhi Ambalam, Chairman, Singapore Democratic Party
Representing civil society are:
1. Chia Ti Lik, blogger and activist
2. Mohd Jufrie, activist and former election candidate
3. Ng E-jay, blogger and activist
4. Tan Kin Lian, blogger and financial activist
5. Seelan Palay, blogger and activist
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
DATE/TIME: Friday, 23 January 2009 @ 6.30-8.30PM
VENUE: The Speakers Corner
REFRESHMENT: Packaged drinks & Sandwiches
SPEAKERS: Most of the CEC members, including the President & the Sec-Gen, and a few non-members
TOPICS: NSP's impression of the 2009 Budget & Suggestions for the improvement of political space in Singapore
Goh Meng Seng
(星島)1月23日 星期五 05:30
(星島日報 報道)迷債風波昨晚突傳喜訊，證監會 完成首宗就迷債銷售手法的調查，結果與新鴻基 金融旗下的新鴻基投資服務達成協議，新鴻基自願按最初投資本金，向該行合資格客戶悉數回購未到期的迷債，涉資八千五百萬元。
財經事務及庫務局 發言人表示，有關證監會的決定是經過嚴謹的過程和全面、有效率及公平的調查，該局有信心證監會及金管局 會繼續就收到投訴，公正、認真和迅速地進行調查。
As I have mentioned in my the other post "Budget for Crisis of Confidence", the focus of this budget should address the fundamental problem of confidence. Tharman's budget has generally seeked to address this fundamental problem.
However, the size of the budget or even the "intended deficits" (well, you will never know how PAP government will turn it into surplus in the end!) is very small, comparing to the huge amount of money GIC and Temasek have thrown into foreign banks and lost. Besides, the kind of PAP accounting of budget does not include land sales as part of budget revenue and such small deficit of $4.6B is could well be covered by the surpluses that Singapore has gained from the past two years (which has been estimated to be $60B including land sales by some local economist).
$20.5B "Resilience Package" may sound big at first glance but it is just about 8.6% of GDP. Whether such package could negate the impact of a global melt down or re-ignite the engine of the economy is pretty doubtful. Whether it could maintain consumers' as well as investors/banks confidence is yet to be seen.
I was expecting a much bigger package. And interesting enough, we now know the full potential of the PAP government's fiscal strength. Even though with a relatively "big" additional budget of $20.5B, it only incurs a deficit of $4.9B which I believe is a very conservative estimate. The ultimate deficit may be much lesser or we may even end up with a balanced budget eventually. The total budget is about $66B (refer to budget estimate). A "normal" typical budget is about $33B which will normally give a surplus without even taking revenue from land sales into account. And yet, they are pretty stingy on Healthcare subsidies while spending the most on Defence ($3.7B in Health Ministry vs $11B in Defence) which is almost 3 times of Healthcare expenditure.
It means that the actual real surpluses from other years are very much higher than what is being reported. The potential fiscal strength of the whole government is more than $60B. This is a simple rough estimate from the fact that even with a total expenditure of $66B with an expected lower revenue, the deficit is still maintained at $4.9B! Thus it seems that the realized budget surpluses for past year could well be more than $30B per year in good time! Thus the estimate by the local economist that PAP government might have accumulated more than $60B for the past 2 years could well be true! And thus, a $4.9B deficit which is to be financed by drawing down from the reserve is really small in such comparison.
The PAP government could do more in times like this one. We are facing most probably the worst financial and economic crisis for the whole of last century up till now. But yet the PAP government refused to see the urgent need of implementing a more comprehensive social welfare system with unemployment benefits despite the fact that we are expecting an unemployment rate of more than 5% in the months ahead!
More could be done to help Singaporeans to face the imminent hardship ahead. While the idea of Job Credit is pretty close to what I have suggested as subsidizing employer's contribution to employee's CPF, but I don't know the reason why they put a cap of 12% of $2500. For those who could earn well above $2500 to $5000, they are most probably middle management level. Does it mean that they do not need help for companies to keep them on the job? This is why I feel that a 5% subsidized CPF contribution would be a fairer system. Furthermore, the proposed system of handling cash to employers will bound to be abused. Administratively, it is easier to manage to credit into CPF.
There are many redundant taxes like TV License should be removed as well. To maintain economic activities within the system, an additional $5B expenditure in infrastructure is really inadequate in times like this.
Although the increase of the expenditure of Ministry of Health looks impressive, with 34% increase, but from the details, we could still expect the cost of healthcare is going to stay at a very high level. Most of this increase in expenditure goes to direct development. Operating grants has in fact, dropped in this budget! Healthcare cost is always a big concern for Singaporeans and it will be especially so in such time of extraordinary difficulties.
Last but not least, the question of restoration of investors'confidence in the fund investment has not been tackled. The mis-selling of credit-linked financial products are not addressed at all in this budget. If this issue is not solved politically, it will really take decades for retail investors to regain their confidence in investing their hard earned money in any financial products.
In conclusion, although the specific steps taken by Minister Tharman have generally gone into the right direction (except for the tax cut and rebates) but I think the extend of the budgeted amount is not going to be big enough to withstand the onslaught of the crisis of confidence as well as the expected huge unemployment we are going to face in the short future.
Goh Meng Seng
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Goh Meng Seng:
(明報)1月22日 星期四 22:25
證監會 完成首宗雷曼迷你債券的調查，指新鴻基 投資的銷售手法有缺失，新鴻基已同意原價回購迷債。
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The PAP government will announce its annual budget for this "extraordinary" year tomorrow. I have read quite a few reports on how people wanted the budget to be. However, I feel that some of them are not very well thought of.
We are facing an EXTRAORDINARY crisis at the moment. It is not merely an economic crisis, not merely a financial crisis, not merely a currency crisis but as Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman has put it, the mother of all crisis. It is a crisis of confidence and economic irrationality prevails.
In a textbook assumption of "free market principles", Rationality of human beings is a paramount assumption. Paul Krugman himself has written about "Expected Rationality" in an economic system. But for this present crisis, it defies all economic theories of rationality basically because it involves an IRRATIONAL Crisis of Confidence.
Irrational behavior exists in stock markets during two extremes:
1) Boom Time where even money losing companies could have their stocks flying higher and higher. This is a sign of bubble forming.
2) Doom Time where even money making and fundamentally sound companies suffered drastic drop in their stock prices. This is due to a crisis of confidence brewing.
But as I have said, this mother of all economic, financial and currency crisis is more than merely stock digits moving up and down. It affects both savings/investment and consumption when all confidence of the world economic system collapse. While we need effort in building a NEW WORLD ECONOMIC-FINANCIAL-CURRENCY ORDER, for a small open economy like Singapore, we must maintain investment/savings (from Economics 101, Savings=Investment) and consumption confidence. This is the main paramount priority that this budget should be all about. It is not about "cost cutting", nor merely "giving money" out. The results of this crisis are credit crunch (which affect investment funding) and consumption confidence (which affect trades).
The most common policies that PAP government would melt out are the predictable few, though it may vary in the size of the budget. The following are the few perspectives that we have witnessed so far:
1) Cut Wages
2) Cut CPF
3) Cut Tax (along with GST increase?)
4) Rebates of all sorts
5) Simply give out money
In an extraordinary crisis like this one, an expansionary budget is unavoidable. But how far the budget is into REAL (well, we know that for many years, PAP may claim deficits but it turns out to be surplus in the end!) deficits is not the only consideration. The money pumped into the economy must be able to jumpstart the economy engine again.
If you take economic boom and bust as a motorcycle, you will understand the logic better. For a motorcycle, you could only keep it balance if and only if the engine keeps running. For economy, it is the same. To keep the engine running, the money (fuel) within the economy must keep moving around, from savings to investment to consumption to income and back again. What we are facing right now is a choked engine of the economy whereby credit crunch prevents the savings to become investment and the irrational fear hinder the consumption. This will ultimately cause loss of jobs and thus, no more money for savings and consumption.
It is a vicious cycle, in reverse of proper economic function. The worst thing is that with the credit crunch, a serious problem of "De-leveraging" will arise. In a proper economic functioning system, with every dollar of investment, it may create 5 dollars of economic worth of income. When the credit crunch comes, due to some irrational fear of banks and financial institutions over bad debts, the reverse of value creation will happen. For every dollar that the banks or financial institutions refused to lend, there will be a potential loss of 5 dollars of economic worth. This is what we call, "De-leveraging".
Thus for any country to counter this big economic-financial-currency (the currency system will ultimately fall into chaos due to the loss in confidence of world financial economy) tsunami crisis, it will have to address or at least PREVENT the further erosion in the confidence of investment and consumption.
Could the predictable PAP policies solve this crisis of confidence? I shall examine some of them here.
1) Cut Wages
The most common call from employers is to cut wages of workers. This is understandable because to them, cutting wages will help them lower business operation cost. However, cutting wages will only solve one part of the problem while creating or enhancing the other part of the problem.
Cutting wages will further erode consumers' confidence. Even when it is simply a mention of wage cut, workers will start to tighten their belt in expectation of a wage cut. This is simply a further erosion of consumption confidence and bringing down the economy as a whole. When there are less consumption, local business revenues will continue to suffer.
In Singapore's context, while we cannot control the global economy which we depended so much for our export-orientated industrial economy, further erosion of local consumption confidence will add salt to injury.
Of course, I will only support the cutting the bloated million dollar salary of ministers, permanent secretaries and high ranking civil servants. This is simply because their salaries are just too high.
(2) Cut CPF
Cutting CPF has the same effect of cutting wages, both in terms of lowering business cost as well as eroding consumption. Most Singaporeans finance their mortgage through CPF and when CPF is being cut, they may have to fork out extra money to pay their mortgages. This will force them to cut down on consumption in the economy.
Furthermore, cutting CPF will only push the problems to retirement financing. As we are now already at a point where we are already short of funds to sustain our people's retirement, further reduction of CPF contribution will only worsen this situation.
3) Cut Tax and Rebates
Most wealthy individuals and profit making companies will favor tax cut. However, such move has proven to be very ineffective in managing economic crisis, least a crisis of this scale. Tax cut may improve our nation's attractiveness in attracting foreign investment but we are now facing a big crisis of confidence, not fundamental problem of economic competitiveness.
Furthermore, tax cut could only benefit those who are paying tax. Those people who are poor don't pay tax. It is very unlikely for tax cut to transform into massive consumption if only a small percentage few benefits from it. Unless the PAP is going to cut GST PERMANENTLY, then that's worth the effort. Changing GST will incur huge administrative cost to businesses. An exercise of making adjustment to business system to cope with any adjustment of GST (be it lower or higher) will cost small and big business a huge sum of money. Unless the change is going to stay for a long while to come, else, the cost of such changes will erode the benefits.
For companies that are facing reds in their books, any tax cut will be meaningless simply because they are making a loss. Tax cut will not help them to stay afloat at all. If they go bust, more jobs will be lost.
Tax cut will not help to withhold confidence in business as well as consumption. It does not address the fundamental problem of confidence at all.
But there is one thing I think the PAP government should do away with. The Annual TV License fee of $110 and property taxes for HDB flats! HDB flats are basically overpriced public housing with 99 years lease which is packaged into a guise of "house ownership". In doing so, those who stay in HDB will have to pay property taxes.
4. Giving money
The most favorite vote-buying technique by the PAP government is giving money to everyone. This is populist move but it comes with a cost.
I would prefer the PAP government to direct such handouts to those who really need them. It should set up a formal system of social welfare for the unemployed. In Taiwan, they have such system whereby those who are jobless could seek unemployment social welfare for 6 months (now they are considering to increase to 9 months). This is to help those who cannot find any jobs to tie over this difficult period.
An all money giving exercise may make PAP looks good but it has little impact in saving those who are truly needy, those who are unemployed, regardless of what types of HDB flats they are staying in.
What are the more effective ways?
After looking at the flaws of the predictable PAP's policies, I will deal with what I think should be the more effective policies to address the present crisis of confidence.
1) Restoration of Confidence in Investment Funding
Hong Kong government has put up a policy of guarantee to loans to local small and medium enterprises (SME), up to a certain amount. Singapore government has some similar instruments but strange enough, it only targets at certain aspects like investment in technology, computerization and such. It does not provide guarantee to loans that cater to company cash flows in this difficult times for them to tie over the period.
PAP government must also come up with a solution to the mis-selling of Minibonds, DBS HIGH Notes are any structured-linked financial products. This is because if this problem is not solved, everybody including those who are unaffected by these investments, will hold back their investment decisions on other instruments.
The decline in investment in other unit trusts, funds and insurance-related instrument is an obvious effect of this Minibonds crisis.
In my view, the solution will include the allocation of responsibilities to each players, which include the Financial Institutions, Government (via MAS role) and investors.
The Financial Institutions that earned commissions by selling these products should bear the most responsibility. The government's lapses in its regulatory role via MAS must be held responsible as well. The Taiwanese government, via an independent Control Yuan, has found the administration guilty of lapses in its regulatory role. I cannot see how MAS can wash off its hands from its regulatory responsibility. Finally, I think investors have to bear their part of responsibility as well.
My allocation of responsibility is as follows:
1) 50% for Financial institutions as they are the immediate gainers from the sales of these products. And it seems that there is a systematic problem with their sales and marketing process which leads to wide mis-selling practices.
2) 20% for Government as they have failed in their role as regulators, to allow such complex products to be sold to retail investors or even retirees and fixed depositors.
3) 30% investors. No matter how, investors will have to bear some responsibility on their part for their imprudence.
Some other people may have other view of "fair solution" to this problem but that doesn't matter. I can live with different views but the fact is, whatever solutions there might be, it must solve this Minibond-related saga once and for all.
I cannot imagine what would become to the whole system when layman no longer trust the banks any more because there are instances of such Minibond mis-selling. This is the implicit crisis of confidence we are having right now. If even the banks cannot be trusted to safe keep your savings, help you to invest prudently, then who else could you trust with your money?
2) Subsidies to Employers' contribution to Employee's CPF account.
I feel that if we are to help ALL businesses, not just those who are making money and paying taxes, to cut cost without affecting consumers' confidence in consumption and affecting mortgage payment and future retirement financing, one way is for the Government to pay on behalf of Employers 3% or even 5% of CPF contributions they have made to their employees. But this should be done on one important condition that wage will not be cut, neither should there be massive retrenchment (maybe not more than 5% cut in total number of SINGAPORE employees).
This will enhance workers' confidence and expectation of no substantial wage cut and thus, not affecting their consumption behavior. This will also help companies, especially those who are facing bigger losses to effective cut cost without further eroding their employees' morale.
This is a FAIR scheme whereby rich and wealthy people who are already making great money will not benefit further from any tax cut, while those workers' anxiety of job loss would be addressed effectively.
This scheme should be set for one year and reviewed later. According to my rough estimate, such scheme will cost the PAP government about $4 to $5 billion dollars for a year.
3) Social Welfare scheme of Temporary Unemployment Benefits
As I have mentioned earlier, I favor a more specifically targeted means of distributing money to those who are really needy. For those (Singapore citizens only) who lost their jobs, we should help them to maintain their livelihood for this temporary hardship. A scheme like what Taiwan has, to provide a maximum 9 months of unemployment benefits would help to cushion hardship and maintain consumption level in local economy.
During this 9 months, any expenses on skills upgrading for these workers should heavily subsidized up to 90%. After 9 months, the government will have the right to review each individual case. If the unemployed regained employment, the data should be captured by the CPF contributions and the unemployment benefits would be automatically terminate.
4) Business seeding funds
Singapore under PAP, has long skewed towards dependency on foreign investment as well as their own Government Linked Companies (GLCs) which "monopolized" almost all aspect of industries in Singapore.
This model of economic development and growth is not sustainable for Singapore if a balance is not struck with grooming of local privately own companies. The crowding effect of GLCs are crippling local enterprises.
Due to the monopolistic nature of industrial and commercial land use by GLCs, rentals of all kinds have grown far beyond economic growth. If the economy grow by 5%, rental for commercial use (like retail shopping malls and such) have grown to a horrifying 30% or more.
This bubble is taking a great toll on local enterprises. It is amazing that while PAP government sees it fit to control wage increases during boom time, it does not see the need to control excessive rental increase due to its GLCs' monopoly power in this area. REITS have in fact, aggravated the excessive increase in rental many times.
It is about time to cut down on such excess and practice more prudence in rental increase, taking the same view that rents increase will affect business cost and consumer prices as well.
Beside controlling the rent as a means of business seeding for local enterprises, the government should setup a Local Small Enterprise Seeding Funds. This is to solve the problems of credit crunch during this period where new entrepreneurs could not find funding from any financial institutions at all.
5) Moderation of Credit control by Financial Institutions
Our financial institutions have stepped into another extreme of mortgage loans. During the boom time, all sorts of mortgage loans are being approved and refinancing done on mortgages to further lend the "excess value" of the properties to property owners. Such loose credits will naturally result in heavy losses when credit crunch and De-leveraging take place.
At this moment, I have gathered that banks and financial institutions have gone into another extreme of tightening credits. A small forgetfulness of paying your credit bill on time in the past may just deprive you of a mortgage loan eventually! Such over conservativeness in assessing credit loans at this moment will only aggravate the crisis as a whole.
The government must find a way to address this problem. Either the government provides certain percentage of guarantee to genuine, non-investment related loans (such as HDB loans to first time buyers) or it comes up with a plan or guidelines of moderation for the financial sector.
The above are some of my personal thoughts about what should be included in the coming budget. Unless we get the main theme and priorities right for tackling this mother of all crisis, we may just end up worsening the situation with some ineffective or even detrimental policies.
Goh Meng Seng
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This is a good sign as this is the FIRST government in the whole who dares to point out its administration's responsibility in the Lehman Brothers' Minibonds issue.
Goh Meng Seng
Monday, January 19, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
I have not made any comments of recent happenings all around the world in my blog lately due to all these commitments. Even though I have just stepped down from NSP CEC recently, it seems that time is never enough for me nowadays.
Two issues caught my eyes recently, apart from the rapid development of the Minibond issue in Hong Kong. The war in Gaza strip and the attack on PAP Yio Chu Kang MP Seng Han Tong. I am a Peace lover and I am against violence of any kind.
As a practicing Buddhist, I believe that violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred and violence creates hatred which in turn creates further violence. The vicious cycle will have no end. This is the basis of Karmic cycle.
For the present Israelis' attack on Gaza strip, it is not just a reaction to the sparse rocket attacks by Hamas. It is the jump start of past Karmic cycle of violence that existed between the two people. Of course, there will be many others who would want to see such violence to be restarted. The arms dealers will be the first to be smiling all the way to he banks. Politicians who send the sons and daughters of others to risk their lives would be the one who want to use such violence to use Nationalistic rhetoric to increase their own political capital.
Whatever sufferings bear by others are just digits of death figures. Apart of using the death of others to strengthen their own political position and safeguard their political career, these figures are just mere cold statistics. It is bloody cold murder in essence. Both the Israelis and Hamas politicians survive on the sacrifices of lives and blood of others. Else, they will no longer maintain their political importance among their people.
I believe many Israelis and Palestinians are beginning to get sick of mindless killings for all these years. Half a century of bloodshed will definitely take a serious toll on the psychological health of the people on both sides. But yet, politicians survive on such bloody conflicts. I would urge the people of both lands to assert their political wisdom in rejecting these politicians that feed on other people's bloodshed. A permanent solution to the Middle East problems could only happen if and only if the voters and people of this land reject violence in totality. Politicians that shout rhetoric about violence and hatred should be shunned or even ostracized in public shame.
Back to Singapore, we have a seventy year old man setting fire on a public elected representative. MP Seng Han Tong was quite badly burnt by the attack and my sympathy to him. I hope he will have a speedy recovery.
The attacker is said to have a known mental problem in the past. Why would he attack MR Seng is still a mystery up till now but whatever reason it may be, such violent act is totally unnecessary.
This is not the first time MP Seng has been attacked. Coincidentally, the last attacker is also a man of over 70 year old who gave MP Seng a punch when he was having his usual meet-the-people session. It is a tradition for Singapore politicians to hold Meet-the-People session where they would see voters who have come to seek their assistance for all sorts of things. Apparently the old man did not get what he asked for and thus, he punched MP Seng at that moment.
The case has been settled after MP Seng has withdrawn his charges against that old man with certain undisclosed conditions.
It would give people the impression that old people who are 70 years old or more are a violent lot in Singapore. But this is far from the truth. Singaporeans are generally a law-abiding lot. It would take a lot of agitation and frustration to ignite that fire in old people of 70 years old to make such violent act. After this incident, a special law has been added by the PAP dominated parliament to set the maximum punishment for hitting an elected MP to be 20 years of imprisonment. I do not really know why there is a need for such a "special law" to protect elected MPs from violence but apparently, now we know, it would not stop people from hurting an elected MP (in fact, the very same MP)if they are mad enough to do so.
This may have something to do with the stress and pressure suffered by our people who are supposed to be enjoying their retirement. But due to the fact that there is no social welfare in Singapore and that the supposedly retirement funds, CPF, has been depleted by various policies like housing and health care, living a happy and care-free retirement for Singaporeans is hardly possible nowadays.
While I would say such violence from these two elderly men are totally unnecessary, but such incidents actually reflects certain tensions existing in the failure of Singapore's system of retirement financing. Unlike the violence happening between the Israelis and Palestinians, these two elderly men have resorted to violence without any politicians instigating them to do so. To solve this unnecessary violence, we will need to go in depth of the social root cause of these violence against a public elected representative.
Just like the unnecessary violence happening in Middle East, we would need to look deeper down to the causes of such acts of violence. In Singapore's case, the answer may just lie in the "work till you die" mindset which the PAP government tries to cultivate in Singaporeans. This is the desperate move by PAP government because they simply know that due to the many ill-considered irrevocable policies made by them, Singaporeans no longer have sufficient funds to finance their retirement. This is really a cruel irony to a people that used to pride themselves as a nation with highest saving rate.
What we have seen is only a more serious case of violence done on others. The suicide rate in Singapore is very high and many of those who kill themselves are elderly people. This is in actual fact, unnecessary violence against themselves. It just happens that these two elderly men chose not to apply violence against themselves but rather putting their frustration and anger on their MP whom they assume would have the responsibility to help them out. This is really unfortunate but a reflection of an underlying social time bomb.
Singapore may need to do a total revamp on its policies on retirement financing as well as social welfare system in order to curb such unnecessary violence displayed by the harming of MP Seng as well as violence in suicide cases.
Goh Meng Seng
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
(明報)1月8日 星期四 19:45
Sunday, January 04, 2009
I have been too busy with many other things that I feel that I no longer could contribute effectively to the party any more. I do not believe in holding to positions within any organization that I could no longer contribute effectively.
It has been an exciting year of engagement in NSP CEC and we did make quite a number of changes to the party's framework together as a team. There are still challenges ahead for the party to move on to a higher level of transformation but unfortunately, I will not be able to continue to contribute to the next phase of development for the party.
My departure from the NSP CEC will also allow me to focus more effectively on my other social-political activism without having to put due consideration to the party's positions at many times, in fear of compromising the party's official stand.
It has been a fruitful participation in NSP CEC and I want to wish them all the best in the coming months and years ahead.
Goh Meng Seng
Thursday, January 01, 2009
South China Morning Post
Finance chief given report on minibonds saga
The banking and securities regulators handed a report on the minibonds saga to the financial secretary yesterday, three months after investors started complaining.
The Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission filed the report, on the lessons learned and issues they identified during an investigation into complaints about the Lehman Brothers-issued minibonds, to acting Financial Secretary Chan Ka-keung.
Although there has been speculation that the report would pinpoint a few banks, sources at the regulatory bodies said the securities commission's investigation had highlighted more than 20 distributors that sold minibonds, including banks and brokers.
The report focused on the mis-selling of the investment product.
Minibonds are not corporate bonds, but consist of high-risk credit-linked derivatives. They are marketed as proxy investments in well-known companies.
Although the Monetary Authority regulates banks, it has referred all the cases to the commission for further investigation, the sources said.
The government would keep an open mind on any review of the regulatory system and on whether the city needed a single regulator for all investment products, a spokesman for the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau said.
He said the government would probably publish the report but that the regulators who submitted it had expressed concern that doing so would affect the ongoing investigation and any improvements to the system.
The Monetary Authority and the commission declined to comment on the report.
Meanwhile, two leaders of Singapore's Lehman investors flew to meet their Hong Kong counterparts yesterday in the hope of finding common ground for a class action in the US.
Both the Singaporeans and Hongkongers said they were considering inviting leaders for similar investors from Taiwan to form a Southeast Asian group to mount the suit on US turf. They would probably meet again soon in Hong Kong, which had greater political freedom than Singapore, they said.
Lung Tze Kuen, a Minibond Victims Group committee member, and Goh Meng Seng, a National Solidarity Party executive council member, met Hong Kong's Kam Nai-wai - a Democratic Party member - and Peter Chan Kwong-yue, chairman of the Allied Victims of Lehman Products.
The four investors' leaders hope to go to the US because the legal system there provides for class action, which Hong Kong's does not.
Mr Lung added that the jury system and contingent fee - where clients do not pay lawyers if they lose their cases - would work in the favour of investors who decided to join the suit.
They attempted to identify commonalities in the products sold in the two cities that would allow them to unite for a class action in the United States.
Mr Chan said: "The Lehman products are very similar in their basic structures, in issuer, trustee, and even the law firms that drew up their documents."
In Singapore, about 10,000 people invested S$500 million (HK$2.69 billion) in Lehman-related investment products, of whom 8,000 purchased minibonds, Mr Lung said.