Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Credit Card Conundrum

It's been a really hectic period for me but I managed to squeeze out a few minutes to give some thoughts on Jimmy's posts about credit card debt here and here.

Jimmy said that:
If they dont have a CC then how can they over-spend? The problem is easy credit cards being made available to everyone, even those that might not be able to repay. Banks are at fault plus our Bank Negara and Finance Ministry (for not regulating the banks more carefully).
There are many other ways to get in debt. Even more severe than credit card debt is the personal loan. We can just refer to our resident banker, Ilhamuddin. There are tonnes of people who actually take out personal loans to pay off their credit card debt due to the lower interest rate (usually around 10%). However, this tends to be misused as well.

On top of that, there is this thing called the Civil Servants Salary Deduction Scheme. This is the ultimate killer. The salary deduction scheme is handled by MBSB, which is neither a bank nor a financial institution, and is thus not under the "purview" of Bank Negara. These loans are not for housing or car loans. They are personal loans and are given out freely like there is no tomorrow without any form of collateral. This is because the installments are deducted out of the salary of the borrower. Because of this, the loans are not recorded under the CCRIS, which means that it cannot be traced by the banks. So the banks will continue to lend money to these jokers despite the fact that they have already borrowed up to their necks. In some cases, MBSB allows borrowing up to 70% of their monthly income. This is extremely scary. How can anyone live on only 30% of their monthly income? On top of this, they need to pay for their housing and car loans, which leaves them with nothing.

So, eventually, since they cannot stop MBSB from deducting their salary, they default on their car loans, housing loans, and credit card bills. Much of these personal loans are used to buy silly luxury items like big-ass flat screen TVs, new refrigerators, new washing machines, new sofas, LV handbags, you name it.

This is a giant loophole in our banking system as Bank Negara is unable to monitor this. If you think the civil service is only a small part of the workforce, think again. Government servants account for more than 10% of Malaysia's labour force. That is by no means small. This is indeed very scary for Malaysia, not just for borrowers only. I'd hate to know what can happen if the banks fail.

If you think that banks won't fail, just ask yourself this: Did you think that the Lehman Brothers would go bust in September 2008? If suddenly, house prices plunge through the ground, believe me, no one is going to pay their housing loans and the banks will be left with no liquidity to operate. That's how banks fail.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Real Lesson On Reasoning

Aiyoyo... For someone who has so many reasoning flaws to teach us about reasoning. First, non-chess player trying to teach us chess. Now, non-logician trying to teach us logic. Here are SOME examples of poor logic to help you build up your reasoning power.

Refer to here (false analogies), here (more false analogies) here (beginning of the end), here (distortion of facts), here (false assumptions lead to false conclusions), here (the biggest idiot), here (strawman), here (nothing else better to do - deja vu) and here (nothing else better to do).

Wow, I am tired from all the linking. Aiya... go and learn some real logic, then we talk.

I blame this on the brain drain. Is there NO ONE ELSE in Malaysia smart enough to teach us anything useful these days?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Technical Display

Really neat play by Weiming. I don't mean neat in the conventional sense, but I like the way he forms subtle ideas and hunts down weaknesses as well as builds his advantage patiently. I must say, I found 17. ... Rc7 pretty cool too.