Who Let The Rats Out?

On Saturday, according to the Chinese zodiac, it will be the Year of the Rat (although some people are now translating it as ‘mouse’) – I guess it depends on the lobby, LOL According to tradition, the zodiac rat (and all born under this sign) is smart, shrewd, and lucky – there are a lot of comments that I could make about a lot of the rats I know, but I am feeling mellifluous (look it up) today.

The Battle Continues

The Battle of Hong Kong continues – Singapore is in the process of approving licenses for virtual banking, stripping yet another competitive piece out of HK’s flesh. Luo Huining, Beijing’s new envoy-in-residence, has recently opined that this ‘situation’ in Hong Kong is obviously due to foreign sabotage (must be foreign rats) which “has been enabled by the lack of national security law” (SCMP, Jan. 20/20).

An ‘interesting’ take on the situation, seeing as Ronny Tong, a member of Carrie Lam’s Executive Council was quoted in an interview with Reuters on December 20/19 as saying that he was, “shocked to discover a very large proportion of…people in Hong Kong do not really feel at all comfortable….(have) lack of confidence if not downright hatred for Beijing”. The same in-depth SCMP article that quoted Mr. Tong’s comment to Reuters also attributed a large amount of the unrest to Carrie Lam’s “failure to grasp the public’s suspicion of the Mainland’s legal system”. As the CCP does not believe in any other G_d except itself, maybe there are ‘rats ex machina’.

On the US front, there was a report in DRUM on December 31st/19 that the SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists in Florida) trademarked the comment, “Fake News”, and immediately sent Mr. Trump a cease and desist letter. No comment yet as to what answer The President had or whether he will extend any more consideration to that legal concern than he has to, say, embedded those legal tenets mandated in the Constitution…..talk about a rate – big. Did I say big? I meant huge – I mean yuge!

Oh, Rats!

Apparently rats are proliferating everywhere – to wit:

  • Lai Xiaomin, who, as head of the Huarong Asset Company, was one of the biggest rats (oops, I mean bankers) in China has been accused of taking bribes of US$240 million – in one apartment alone, investigators found RMB in the value of US$29 million in cash. No word from Mr. Lai whether he will be filing an insurance claim for anything missing (the rats ate it).
  • Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport has been found to be the airport with the best on-time performance world-wide….no word as to whether the judges were on steroids when they made their deliberation. Rats can be trained.
  • India has managed to pull their own version of the vanishing success story and in record time. Two years ago, their GDP growth topped 8% – 2019 is expected to come in at 4.5% ie. down 40%! There are lots of rats in India, on 2 legs and 4 but, while Mr. Modi isn’t sure of the causes of the precipitous decline, he is adamant that it has nothing to do with prejudicial laws fomented against Muslims, or a justice system (sic) that is moribund, or a banking system that is foundering and floundering. Maybe he could get some pointers on rats from Luo Huining.
  • And Hong Kong’s travails have translated into a decline in tourist visits of 14%, decline in retail business of 23% – must be those foreign rats.
  • Hilary Clinton has (surprise!) come out blazing in her denial of support for Bernie Sanders. Personally, I think that this is a great endorsement for him, but that’s another issue. She didn’t exactly cover herself in glory by refusing to thank her supporters the night of the election (maybe she only had a victory speech prepared and couldn’t ad-lib) but talk about being a poor loser long after she stole the nomination from Bernie in the first place. Doesn’t deserve the appellation of rat – let’s call her, “rat scat”.
  • And, of the 15 missiles aimed at Iraqi military bases by Iran, 27% self-destructed long before they got there. This was due to either a lack of a National Security Law (please refer to Luo Huining for advice) or insidious Zionist rats.
  • John Authers reported for Bloomberg that there is an estimated 60 billion Euros in the EU balance sheets – it appears that it is running a trade surplus with itself, which by design is impossible. Could it be value-added tax fraud perpetrated by clever greedy rats?
  • On January 15th, 2020, Deutsche Bank (one might call it, King Rat) reported that it now sees, “a distressed debt cycle beginning in China”. Earlier, Bloomberg reported concerns with the ability of firms to get accurate information and to be able to repatriate the funds. Duh!
  • Also on January 15th/20, SCMP reported that Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital is shorting the HK$ – could be a lot of rats leaving the ship.
  • But here’s a rat-kicker – you know how bad the African swine flu has been up to now, right? Anywhere from 40-65% of China’s entire swine herds have been wiped out. Well it seems that some unethical (gee, is that a thing?) chao zhu tuan (literally, pig speculators) spread the disease ‘accidentally on purpose’ by moving infected pigs and/or feed to uninfected locations – others who were more technologically inspired used drones to drop infected feed…and we thought that the worst rats were on 4 legs from sewers…..but ask them all and they will tell you that they are patriotic Chinese who absolutely love China!

Happy New Year!

Finally, as we usher in the New Year, a word about the latest virus emanating from Wuhan…it is now officially in 6 countries, as well as 20 cities in China (as of this writing). Not only is there no known cure yet – even worse, there is no known cause. It can be spread person to person (something that was originally thought to be impossible). And it for sure is going to get worse. Even more sobering is that we are not prepared for a pandemic any more than we were prepared (anywhere) for SARS. For now, your best bet is to avoid wet markets, wear face masks where you can, wash your hands, and pray.

Remember, please, that with life there is hope and with hope there is effort and with effort there is progress and that without hope and effort the rats will always win by default. GONG HEY FAT CHOI – KUNG XI FA CAI….I wish you all a New Year of Happiness and Peace and Success!

Thanks for reading.



Global Gab #34

About the Author


Bennett Little is one of our experts in the Global From Asia VIP network. Get to know more about him here.



Bennett Little is one of our experts in the Global From Asia VIP network. Get to know more about him here.

Tags:Asian Economy, china, Coronavirus, Global economy, Hong Kong, US

Leave a Reply