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Hong Kong Has Gone Backwards While China Has Raced Ahead

     China is not going to collapse any time soon, this place is humming along. The people are making money and spending it just as fast but they are banking some of it. Banks are competing for the almighty Reminbi just like supermarkets and restaurants and you can get some good deals at banks now. On the weekends and in the evenings the supermarkets and restaurants are crowded, usually customers are waiting outside to get in some of the popular restaurants. 

    The golden rule for shopping in the supermarkets is: If you canít get out donít go in. I always check the lines at the checkouts and if there are more than seven or eight people waiting at the checkouts I go to the local market and shop there. Itís more fun than standing in a line at the checkouts. 

     With all this money flying around it will be pretty hard to bring it to a halt, or even just slow it down. And it is not slowing down, if anything it is getting worse. The momentum will carry it forward for a few more years. Real estate has a few problems. They love building buildings but they also love building bridges, railways and roads and lots of other things so they will keep the builders happy for a few more years. The government has already said they want the price of apartments to come down so itíll come down. 

     Hong Kong is a different story, it is a dinosaur waiting to go extinct. China has already said it wants Shanghai to be a world class finance center by 2020 and that is not too far away. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US$ and as the US$ goes down so does the HK$. So it is no use keeping money in HK, it is better to put it in a China bank in China somewhere. The interest rates are better. As soon as China floats the Reminbi then HK will bite the dust. 

     Before you had to be careful about getting ripped off in China, now you have more chance of getting Ďmisledí as they say in Hong Kong, in Hong Kong. China is not into ripping you off now, they changed. Hong Kong for a world-class city seems to have a culture of ripping people off. It is so bad they have ads on TV warning you about it. I think that is because Hong Kong is in decline. I remember the first Chief Executive after the handover go on TV and apologize to the Japanese because they were getting ripped off right, left and center as soon as they put a foot in HK. Taxi drivers were ripping them off driving them form the airport.

     Before the Handover Hong Kong was the place to be. It really hummed. It was the city to live in. It was like living life to the max. Then we used to go to Guangzhou China to get some peace and quiet. Now it is the other way round. We go to Hong Kong just to get away from the intensity of China. Mind you the border was a mess in those days, now it is really efficient.

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