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and for the umpteenth time...
 
Tuesday, August 27, 2002  
worked at crossroads.org for 6 hrs today.

i was walking down from the shatin KCR station to catch the bus when an insurance promotion officer stopped me.
"excuse me sir, do u have a few min?"
"aha"
"u see, i'm doing a survey rite now...."
and he asked about
1. do u smoke?
2. age
3. family
4. income
5. personal finiancial situation
then he brought me up to their company's comfy bus and had a detailed introduction of their insurance plan (intensive persuation).
"our company is conglomerated with the biggest bank in the nederlands, that's why we have the highest value of assets out of all insurance companies..."
*reading the pamflets* "comglomerated? u mean yer company was bought by a bank? or u mean yer company was merged cuz it had managerial and hence finiancial disabilities?... it's a bank, rite?"
silence
"assets? u mean the assets of the whole group including the bank? duh, of course the bank has money. biggest bank in the nederlands? one of the biggest banks or the biggest bank, wrong translation? cuz the smallest bank can be one of the biggest banks, too, counting backwards from the list, u know what i mean? and even for the biggest bank in the nederlands, i wonder how big that can be, nederlands' not such a financially significant country... yer company is part of the bank's asset but the bank's asset does NOT belong to yer company. we have to get this simple relationship figured out."
*cut off* "anyway, we have a really rewardable plan to introduce to u. u see, the interest rate (saving account) out there is less than 1%, but now we offer 6.25%..."
"so u are performing the function of the bank or an insurance company or both? u know that the law does not allow unregistered organization to take in deposits from public since they're not governed by the monetary authority and there's no legitimate liability to protect people who give u money... i see u give that a different name, it's insurance, not deposit, it's insurance-investment but not funds? and ok, i believe that the "plan" is temporary, and the interest rate is floating"
"that's right, but this promotion is only till 31th aug"
"ok, so after 31th aug, the interest rate will not be 6.25% anymore, can it be minus 10% for the next 50 years??"
silence
"we are offering a life-long plan (up to100 yo), u are planning for the future. u have to be long-sighted"
"let's say, the economy recovers within 5 years. inflation rate is 7%pa higher than yer so-called high interest rate 6.25%. i'll be lossing money. so instead of keeping the money in a trustable fixed-redemption-date bank account with mroe than 6.25% pa normally, yer asking me to invest in yer company which was actually taken over within 8 years after it's founded?"
"but what if the economy does not recover? this plan gurantees u money"
"then do u think yer company can survive if the economy does not recover?? or don't u think the big big holland bank can close down yer company cuz it's only one of it's subsidaries so as to cut loss? and since yer company has seperate legal entity, i wll not be able to claim back my money cuz it has nothing to do with the big big bank in terms of compensation. further, if the eonomy does not recover, there're only 2 reasons. 1. there's a war, in that case, inflation can run as high as 1000%pa comparing to yer 6.26%pa interest? 2. hongkong sucked so bad and hongkong dollar does not exist anymore, cuz we are suppoed to use china renminbi, terms change with currency. with china imerging into free market ecnomy, inflation is not controlled anymore, a 6.25% floating interest rate does not worth anything"
"but u can always get back your money"
*pointing at the plan data sheet. "oh, i can take back 6000 every 5 years starting from the 15th year, for paying 422 per month continously"
"yes, that's all it counts, excluding the interests rates, yer still benefiting"
"hello? 6000 can't even buy u a mcdonald's meal 20 years later... and won't u say it's a better idea for me to use japanese yen for my mortage and save 100000 per year? rite now? or should i go buy british pounds cuz it runs in cycles and it's the highest every x'mas for the past 20+ years?"
"we're talkig about insurance"
"i figure my porbability of getting killed is about the same of that yer company closes down. if not, why are we here, and why are u so deperate?"
silence
"all the data on this sheet is printed with an assumption that the interest rate stays up at 6.25%pa, when every 12 year old kid who uses hongkong dollar is well aware of the fact that interest rates actually float!! *sacarstic* and if yer company is losing money, it might go down to 0% overnight which is lower than investing on MTR corp in the stock market minusing 5% tax?? and if yer using this 6.25% to attract people, meaing that the economy isn't good and can u say that u are optimistic about yer company? when the ecomony isn't good, it's harder to keep yer one-side interest at 6.25%pa so it won't last. whether the economy is good or bad or stays ther same, it won't work"
silence
to reduce embarrassment, i asked for his card, gave him a fake number that i'm 100% sure that it isn't working anymore (the mobile phone i loss, the number+account i cancelled) and got off their bus.

i'm sorry, but i'm good at economics.

trapped in the maze of time..6:19 AM


 
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