Wall Street “Beach”
From a Tropical Island: The Great Recession Explained Through Fiction
Editor’s Note: The Reporters Inc. presents an exclusive excerpt from a great new work by author Tim Munkeby. Back to the Island is a fictional tale woven around the real-life issue of unscrupulous developers and financiers. But first, Tim explains how the book came to be:
I was starting work on a fictional short story that, I hoped, would also describe my real-life opposition to a proposed real estate development on the quaint Elbow Cay in the outer Abacos Islands of the Bahamas. I was certain it would destroy the quiet beauty of island life.
I picked up a Bahamian newspaper reporting how the greed of Wall Street had destroyed much of the economy of the Bahamas. Having been in the investment business, I was acutely aware of the questionable ethics and even legality of the transgressions Wall Street firms were getting away with.
I was appalled, even outraged, at our system in the U.S. that allowed the outlandish greed of a handful of financiers to not only destroy the lives–and dreams (maybe worse)–of citizens of the U. S. by helping cause the Great Recession, but that a small island nation was also so drastically affected. It hit me how far-reaching and global the fallout was.
What’s even more unbelievable is that since writing this short story—which eventually turned into a novel–things have gotten worse, not better. Fewer firms (a misnomer) now control even more assets, portending another potential economic disaster where, once again, a few people will walk away with millions and millions of our money pilfered and tucked away in their foreign bank accounts. (more…)
One Man’s Encounter:
Police Take Hong Kong's Pro-Democracy Crackdown to New Levels
BY KONG TSUNG-GAN
I was walking down the street toward a train station on a recent day this spring when, about a hundred feet from the station, I heard what sounded like the clatter of boots on the pavement approaching from behind. Before I turned, a police officer appeared at my side. She was accompanied by four male colleagues. She asked me for my ID.
“Why?” I replied.
“Under the Hong Kong immigration ordinance,” she said.
“What about it?” I asked.
“We have the right to request your ID under the immigration ordinance.”
“Do you suspect me of a crime, or do you think I have been acting suspiciously?”
“No, we just want to see your ID.”
“Do you suspect me of having broken the immigration ordinance or of being in Hong Kong illegally?” (more…)