Thursday, October 05, 2006

Singapore Swing

Former outspoken Morgan Stanley economist Andy Xie has hit the headlines for the wrong reason, again. His disparaging email on Singapore has surfaced following his unexplained resignation. Please see Finance Asia story for the context of the email, if it indeed came from him.

Everybody was struck by one particular para in his email:

"Actually, Singapore’s success came mainly from being the money laundering centre for corrupt Indonesian businessmen and government officials. Indonesia has no money. So Singapore isn’t doing well. To sustain its economy, Singapore is building casinos to attract corrupt money from China.”

This is a very careless statement, especially the term 'money laundering'. Singapore is known for its tough stance against money laundering from illicit activities such as drug trafficking or terrorist money.

He may not be in hot soup today if he had said something like Singapore’s success came partly from being a safe haven for the wealth of Indonesian and Chinese businessmen and government officials.

But that would not be Andy!

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