Ban dangerous cryptocurrency and raise interest rates

Dear fellow Singaporeans, I wish to write about 2 issues that are important to our society, banning the dangerous trading of cryptocurrency and raising the poor CPF interest rates.

A few months ago, I heard from an old friend in his 50s that he has been having money troubles, due to losses in trading of cryptocurrency. He told me more than 70% of his savings have been wiped out and wanted to borrow some money from me to recoup his losses. I always knew he was in good in investing and was shocked to hear that he had lost so much in cryptocurrency. After rejecting his request for a loan, I heard he turned to some other friends for help.

Recently, I met up with him again and he said he had lost all his savings and is now considering selling his HDB and downgrading to a 3-room flat. I understand the nature of cryptocurrency is that for someone to make money, someone must lose that money and it is extremely volatile. The only asset he now has is his CPF savings and thankfully he was unable to withdraw it to continue his reckless gambling.

The government should not even allow Singaporeans to gamble their hard-earned savings away in these dangerous markets. If we can ban immoral publications and politically controversial books in our country, why has the government done nothing to protect Singaporeans from these financial products? The only saving grace my friend had was his CPF savings, which would guarantee him enough money for retirement. I told him that if not for his CPF savings, he might have to resort to continue working in his old age just to survive. That is a reality for many poorer Singaporeans with less money in their CPF. Take a walk to any hawker centers and you can see many of our Merdeka Generation seniors working tireless in hot sun, rain or shine. Many of them have toiled their whole lives, but still have inadequate savings and are unable to retire with dignity. Is this the Swiss standard of living we have been promised? Do the seniors citizens of Switzerland work for a peanut pay in their cafes and street stalls?

Overall, I am very disappointed in our government for letting down our older generation. Minister Josephine Teo has revealed than more than 75% of current CPF members draw less than $500 a month, which is not enough for their daily expenses. This does not even include the people who were housewives or hawkers or taxi drivers and did not have CPF accounts. If we include these people, the problem may be even worse. I have observed that many of our countrymen have been not benefited adequately from the subpar interest rates from our CPF account. The government should increase the interest rate on our CPF to better provide sufficient retirement for many elderly Singaporeans. If Malaysia’s EPF can pay out more than 6% dividend easily even with their huge debt, why can’t CPF pay a more competitive rate? We are not asking for a lot, perhaps even increasing both OA and SA by 1% will be good. The purpose of CPF is for retirement, so what’s the point of locking away our savings if it is not enough for many Singaporeans? Really sad to see this happening in our country.

 

Tan

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22 Responses to “Ban dangerous cryptocurrency and raise interest rates”

  • Dumb and Dumber:

    Who did you and your friend vote for ?
    Singapore got the government they voted for.

    Neighboring Malaysia has made their choice of who they want to be the government.
    What do you and your friend think ?

    Vote wisely.

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  • it is fiat money:

    //I understand the nature of cryptocurrency is that for someone to make money, someone must lose that money and it is extremely volatile. The only asset he now has is his CPF savings and thankfully he was unable to withdraw it to continue his reckless gambling.//

    making money & losing money, ,same with all the other asset classes lar constantly interacting with one another and referencing (its value) with one another lar from the supply / demand of market players lar; but it would be nice if the value you happen to hold is backed up by (or liquid enough to be be converted to) a currency (even though it is fiat money) of a sovereign state (unless the state is a basket case lar) ?

    and to begin with, you still need real money (fiat currency) in exchange for (or to buy) crytocurrency (usually from private entities) and that where the trick starts and ends lar ?

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  • Tan Ah Beng:

    Tan Kin Lian, is that you? Don’t be so ‘paiseh’ because you post too many ‘rubbish’ articles here. Don’t insult TRE readers leh. If it is you, the article above will still be ‘trash’ to them.

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  • Tan Ah Beng:

    Oh, by the way, the root problem is the 70% whose mentality are also sama sama as yours. Suffers those 30%!

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  • oxygen:

    MR. TAN, VERY GLAD TO HEAR THAT YOU REFUSED TO LEND MONEY to your friend who finally lost all his cash savings (and borrowings from his friends too) in this cryptocurrency casino.

    IN FACT, ALL INVESTING PLATFORM is nothing more than a CASINO but a truth telling one.

    In every “casino” (read investing market), EVERY PARTICIPANTS THINK HE/SHE IS THE SMART ONE and the others are ALL SUCKERS.

    Only a very small percentage in the investing world make money, my guess is less than 10%.

    THE TRUTH IS THAT IN THOSE CASINO, THE WINNERS KNOWS WHY THEY ARE SMART AND WHY THE LOSERS ARE ALL STUPID but the converse is UNKIND.

    THE LOSERS ARE STUPID, DON’T KNOW WHY HE/SHE IS STUPID AND LOST MONEY CONSISTENTLY – that is why the losers never learn and can never change. They don’t know why the winners KEEP ON WINNING seemingly effortlessly.

    STUPID PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THEY ARE STUPID – SOME OF THEM ARE EVEN TOO STUPID TO EVEN BEGIN TO DISCOVER THEY ARE STUPID TO IMPOSSIBILITY just like the 70% daft Sinkies.

    The casino really separates the smart ones from the stupid ones in modern civilisation.

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  • oxygen:

    Mr. Tan

    MY OOZZIE SUPER (similar to LEE-jiapore’s CPF) rewarded me an annual return of over 8% per annum.

    Malaysia EPF paid 6%.

    CPF paid mine mostly 2.5% or at least below the 30 yr US Govt. bond yield for decades – this bond yield is a fair approximation of underlying inflation rate over 30 yrs. HOW CAN THIS EXTENT OF CPF SHORTFALL FOR MORE THAN 30 yrs is ever going to provide for my retirement subsistence?

    My hijacked now imprisoned CPF is either poorly managed or it is a dubious ponzi scam whose actual return have been eaten away by hidden hungry ghosts since my enforced participation upon commencement of employment in LEE-jiapore.

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  • oxygen:

    @ Tan

    THIS IS CERTAINLY NOT your most brilliant suggestion.

    Tan :The government should not even allow Singaporeans to gamble their hard-earned savings away in these dangerous markets. If we can ban immoral publications and politically controversial books in our country, why has the government done nothing to protect Singaporeans from these financial products?

    Why?

    There is NO CURE for stupidity. Neither can you ban greed. So how can you stop the confluence and mutual stimulation of BOTH GREED AND STUPIDITY TOGETHER?

    You need the cultivation of investing platform to raise capital to fund business to create jobs and economy like the stock market or the bond market or commodities market to undertake and absorb risks endeavors!!

    Your friend’s circumstances is ENTIRELY due to his own STUBBORN STUPIDITY POOING ON HIS GREED UNLIMITED.

    HE LOST HEAVILY AND REFUSED TO BEND AND REPENT.

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  • opposition dude:

    This article is funny. The author’s friend invested 70% of his money into cryptocurrency hoping to make a fast buck and never bothered to monitor it hoping it will go up and never come down. Come down it did but it’s going up again.

    Isn’t this the same as Hyflux not too long ago? People were also blindly investing their money or life savings into it and all of a sudden it’s announced that Hyflux is gone case.

    Banning cryptocurrency won’t solve the problem, idiots who do not bother to take time to do theor research will just blindly put their hard earned money into something else be it a stock, blue chip or whatever.

    It’s a massive risk to invest so much of your money when you don’t have a backup plan should things go wrong. So please use some common sense and not let your greed of money blind you.

    Remember, it’s YOUR hard earned money over decades of working that you painstakingly saved up!

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  • Writer, please ask Bapak:

    @ Tan

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Too many financial illiterates out there in S’pore & even throughout the global universe. There’s a fool born every minute! In his 50s & playing a dangerous game of cryptocurrency speculation. He is no different from a punter (compulsive gambler) gambling away at Marina Bay Sands Casino or at Resorts World. The house always wins! And that guy who is in his 50s must have lost his marbles because he should have been more cautious & risk-adverse going into retirement age. No one is going to hire you (an old toad) when foreigners are a dime a dozen in S’pore. Better to be humble & live within your means which means taking no risk.
    Good investors are like hen’s teeth. A good investor must be both skeptical & cynical in attitude – if an investment is so good, why do they need to broadcast to people – isn’t it a scam to get you to part with your money? Most scams start with visual displays of prosperity & showing off wealth. But good investors aren’t fooled by such “peacock” displays.
    Good investors do a lot of research – financial calculations & ratio analyses, reading up reports as well as doing intensive field research on the investment topic. No one owes you a living! – so on the same token, you need to work smart for a living. A smart investor will be financially independent at a earlier age than many of his peers who rely on income derived sources for their living. He will be often looked down by many of his peers because he refused to “follow the crowd” – buying a fancy new car; booking a “hot” condo during a launch full of crowds, spending & eating at fancy restaurant swiping credit cards, etc.
    - Cont’d -

    Tan:
    A few months ago, I heard from an old friend in his 50s that he has been having money troubles, due to losses in trading of cryptocurrency. He told me more than 70% of his savings have been wiped out and wanted to borrow some money from me to recoup his losses. I always knew he was in good in investing and was shocked to hear that he had lost so much in cryptocurrency. After rejecting his request for a loan, I heard he turned to some other friends for help.

    Recently, I met up with him again and he said he had lost all his savings and is now considering selling his HDB and downgrading to a 3-room flat. I understand the nature of cryptocurrency is that for someone to make money, someone must lose that money and it is extremely volatile. The only asset he now has is his CPF savings and thankfully he was unable to withdraw it to continue his reckless gambling.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    - Cont’d -
    It can be a lonely life because the herd instinct is very strong in S’pore – Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). Also, You Only Live Once (YOLO) marketing lifestyle incentives causes people to maintain unaffordable way of life.
    A smart investor knows: Investments requires accumulated capital; accumulated capital requires hard earned savings as well as generating capital growth/capital returns.
    And unwise spending diminishes savings & stops capital accumulation; eg. buying a new car (w/COE) in S’pore not only eats into your savings but you pledged your future income into a diminishing piece of equipment. In short, buying a car in S’pore is the most stupid thing to do.
    Buying an expensive piece of property traps your capital resource. Using debt for the purchase of property is only logical if your property can appreciate greater than cost of borrowing + CPF rate (if using CPF to service loan). Otherwise, you’ll be in trouble.
    But S’pore property capital growth has been stagnant since 2013. Most resale transactions for property bought after 2006/7, & after 2010 had lost significant money for their sellers. Go read The Edge’s P&L property section at the Public Library.
    SGX capitalisation of stocks listed in their universe had halved within a decade. The proliferation of REITs shares in SGX aren’t equities but an asset play. It will be a greater fool game much like HDB flat lease drop off issue because many investors failed to read the small print on the Prospectus. Remembered those fools who willingly paid $1 million & over for their resale HDB flat. They were indeed the greater fools.
    No one can teach you to be smart, only you yourself must learn from your mistakes & avoid repeating them.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Tan should have all his money and assets put into trust and only given food and clothing and a place to sleep. This is to stop him misusing his money.

    He must work hard to repay the government for keeping him safe from himself. He cannot be trusted – who knows – he could go for a holiday or movies or such unnecessary spending sprees.

    The only way to make Mr Tan safe is to keep him locked up, make sure he works and keep his money for him.

    Then his money can be used to help the needy.

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  • never vote pap:

    if all Singaporean males at aged 55 and above cannot be trusted with managing their own CPF money because they shall spend them all in batam women,

    then, what about all Singaporean females at age 55 and above?

    cannot trust them spend them all in what?

    ffff the ffffing pap lie.

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  • stale 151th standard of report:

    //You need the cultivation of investing platform to raise capital to fund business to create jobs and economy like the stock market or the bond market or commodities market to undertake and absorb risks endeavors!!//

    while sinkie land tries to be a great financial centre, it is felt that the platform for educating the public (especially aunties and uncles) is not really there.

    i mean the “absence” of mainstream media (regular channel) with real debates (not softball wayang shows) to discuss from both / all sides about the financial happening of the financial world or sinkie world – not just the usual boring stale 151th standard of reporting.

    and also the noisy protest environment from the investing public on “scamming” or “cheating” businesses and robust media coverage is almost non existent for MANY MANY people to take notice (wholesale symmetric information).

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    A bona fide marketplace must have the following elements:
    * a regulatory body to ensure fair market practice;
    * a clearing body & title registrar to ensure a fair settlement & delivery;
    * market transparency, market liquidity & a clear number of buyers & sellers that make the market; &
    * an exchange regulator to ensure no fake market making nor artificial price setting – the Price Discovery mechanism must be honest & fair.

    When one looks at the cryptocurrency trading market, you would get warning signals because cryptocurrency trading are unregulated & under anonymous operators. You don’t even know who are the entities behind the scenes operating the cryptocurrency trading platform.
    By the same token, a lot of unregulated & unlicensed investment schemes can be dodgy because once your money is handed over, there is no likelihood of getting a piece of the action. Everything is kept in the hands of the investment promoter. By the time the s**t hit the ceiling fan, you’ll be sure that the promoters are long gone and there’s nothing left for investors to pick up.
    But we’re living in dangerous times nowadays! Even Govt regulatory bodies these days are sitting on their hands afraid to act despite evidence to the contrary. Case in point was Iceberg Research on Noble.
    Link:https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/695098/how-a-tiny-secretive-research-shop-exposed-one-of-the-worlds-biggest-commodity-traders/amp/
    Noble was a SGX stock & a component of the STI Index. It’s sudden price fall & subsequent financial failure (breaching loan covenants) in the midst of accusations of financial tampering & fictitious accounting practices was nothing but an eye-opener.
    Even the US Economy were sitting on the precipice of the largest time bomb ever created through financial machinations & interest rate manipulation which had been pushed out over the cliff’s edge by US Central Bankers, The Federal Reserve. Trump’s ascension to the Presidency have revealed his basic agenda, to protect the wealth effects of the 1% wealth holders. The problem is that the currency accounting is wtecked beyond repair. Due to Central Banks indiscriminate pumping of monetary easing (easy money policy) & negative to zero interest rates causing a hunt for money yield, the world sits on a heighten systemic risk backlash & a unsustainable “everything is a bubble” economy.

    - Cont’d -

    Tan: A few months ago, I heard from an old friend in his 50s that he has been having money troubles, due to losses in trading of cryptocurrency.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    - Cont’d -
    Trump’s Temper Tantrums (“Triple T”) is like a poker game of bluff played with a set of bad cards with no way of winning if “show hand” is called. The key Central Banking system (US, EU & Japan) are running out of room for monetary intervention. Trump is manipulating the Dow Jones & NASDAQ to climb higher with his tax cuts & now, rate cuts. But he literally engineered a trade war with China & threatened virtually every country in the globe with sudden economic threats (S’pore, M’sia for currency manipulation), economic sanctions (North Korea, Iran- nuclear aspirations) or imposing sudden trade tariffs (China, Mexico, India & Vietnam).
    Ask yourself how can the US Stockmarket even maintain it’s P/E valuation in the midst of Triple T – an unpredictable economic situation, sudden actions & immediate reactions clouding the future.
    In this type of environment, cash & near-liquidity is king as who is confident enough to invests in this unpredictable global situation egged on by Trump’s unpredictable actions.

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  • Haigen-Diaz:

    @ Rabble-rouser:

    Cryptocurrency can said to be a relatively new means of payment based on electronic systems that maintain a public transaction ledger in a distributed manner. Everyone can have his or her own copy of the public ledger, and there is no central authority placing control or restrictions on the right to manage, store, or distribute the ledger. Anyone can freely create an account and participate in the system, and payers update the public ledger by sending transaction messages to other participants through peer-to-peer networks.

    These features impart many properties into cryptocurrency that do not exist in traditional payment methods. For example, the value of cryptocurrency is exempted from the risk and control of a central authority. Moreover, traders and record makers are anonymous, which, together with the feature of electronic transfers, positions cryptocurrency as a favorable payment method in the black market and a way to circumnavigate international sanctions.

    This imperfection provides traders with opportunities for double spending fraud: an attacker can send an initial message making a payment to a merchant, receive the purchased good or service, and then send another message the double spending message that transfers
    the currency to another account, either one owned by the attacker herself or one owned by another merchant. The double spending message and the original message conflict with each other, and there is a chance that the double spending message, instead of the original one, is confirmed by the consensus algorithm. If this occurs, the original merchant will not receive the payment for its products.

    Traders are anonymous, and there is no commitment, so unsecured credit is not feasible. In conclusion, there is no money or physical assets that can be used as a means of payment.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    @ Haigen-Diaz:
    I admit I don’t have a strong understanding of cryptocurrency workings & their trading mechanism. Cryptocurrency theory, that I understand:
    * anonymity, outside of formal banking system;
    * controlled circulation unlike fiat currency issued by govts & Central Banks;
    * transaction secured under cryptography mechanism;&
    * a medium of exchange, etc.

    And the public (decentralized) ledger (I believe it’s called blockchain – a transactional technology which is supposed to be incorruptible to hacking).

    Beyond that, it gets too hard to comprehend things like data mining, their exchange or transactional value, their potential widespread use replacing fiat currency, etc.
    It gets too complicated unless that person is heavily into the Darknet, into contraband or black market trading or into the “t” word which would have relevance. Doesn’t affect my living as far as I’m concerned! To me, Cryptocurrency are just reinventing new wheels just as the wheels of fiat currency had fallen off the rails. Truth be told, it is not currency but spendthrift govts (hunt for money & taxes) & Central Banks which are the cause & effect problem.

    Bro, sometimes it’s better to step away from hubris of technology/govts & see life’s basic format:
    * conservation, not exploitation;
    * minimalism, not materialism;
    * declutter; not consumerism nor impulse purchases (wants & clutter);
    * organic & pesticide-free foods, not processed, GMO or junk foods; &
    * back to nature, not urbanisation & city living.

    Pity that man in his 50s who had lost everything speculating on Cryptocurrency trading to get rich. A fundamental change in life’s philosophy & outlook would have save him from the aggro. Why chase after something that you can’t have?

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  • Haigen-Diaz:

    Rabble-rouser: Bro, sometimes it’s better to step away from hubris of technology/govts & see life’s basic format:
    * conservation, not exploitation;
    * minimalism, not materialism;
    * declutter; not consumerism nor impulse purchases (wants & clutter);
    * organic & pesticide-free foods, not processed, GMO or junk foods; &
    * back to nature, not urbanisation & city living.

    Pity that man in his 50s who had lost everything speculating on Cryptocurrency trading to get rich. A fundamental change in life’s philosophy & outlook would have save him from the aggro. Why chase after something that you can’t have?

    @ Rabble-rouser:
    Bro, wise exhortations to one and all.

    I’m a cryptosceptic myself. It should really be called klepto-currency since it is most useful in avoiding detection by the law. Crypto currency allows dark money to stay dark. Personally, though I’ve read quite a bit about bitcoin at this point, I always end up feeling like I don’t really, really understand it.

    What I see is something, which seems to consist mainly of algorithms, being “invested in” at enormous costs likely by many folks who don’t understand any better than I do. There are now apparently some 1,600 cyber currencies in existence which is a tribute to continuing gullibility of mankind. Naturally some hedge funds have jumped into speculating in them seeing a ready supply of suckers.

    The bizarre run-up in the value of Bitcoin was fueled by, as you note, tax evaders and drug lords shoveling bushels of cash into the crypto because it was a way to hide their ill-gotten gains. The price collapsed when governments said they were going to investigate and regulate coin offerings and the dark money was pulled out ‘lest the “owners” be discovered.

    I am reminded of the Popeye character Wimpy, who kept saying “I’ll glad give you a dollar tomorrow for a hamburger today.”
    Or maybe P.T, Barnum pegged it better when he said, “There’s a sucker born every minute in this world.”

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  • Jman:

    There is no trust in Crypto. And because there is no trust, it will never work.

    In the same way, those real currencies issued by countries that are not trusted mostly are not valued in the market place.

    This Crypto idea is opaque, subject to manipulation, etc. All the things that would allow a few to gain at everyone elses’ expense. If you choose to put serious money in this, be prepared for the worst. Only the real insiders are ever going to make any real money from this. And these real insiders, you can be sure they are manipulative and will never be truthful about what is really going on.

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  • false sense of its value:

    //But we’re living in dangerous times nowadays! Even Govt regulatory bodies these days are sitting on their hands afraid to act despite evidence to the contrary.//

    most people do not really understand the intricacies of cryto excepting perhaps alluding their understanding (and acceptability) to those financial or software professionals who are promoting and swearing by it (that cryto is the thing of the future).

    And intricacies sometimes lead to people having a false sense of its value (high value) when enough “professionals” keep on talking (advertising) about it ??

    if some “sexy” professionals say that it is good and the thing to go, it must be good and the thing to go right ?

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  • Singaporean Kong Com:

    raising the poor CPF interest rates. Can ! here raise interest rate, the other hand rise ceiling n dreg your age till 93 (same like the Ashman) they will give U stupid answer, you can live longer. My Ashman father live live till age 93 Y can’t U. (Bird language) by the time U get back your instalment $$$$$. U R too old to enjoy yourself. (cannot eat nice food. cannot go for tour, your remaining $$$$$ standby to pay your medical bill. Enjoy your old age.

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