Paul Lachine

Crony Central Banking in Hong Kong

Joseph Yam, the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and a career civil servant, is retiring. Choosing his successor provides an important opportunity to send the right signal that Hong Kong stands for good public governance rather than cronyism.

HONG KONG – Joseph Yam, the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and a career civil servant, is retiring. Ordinarily, that should not be a newsworthy event, yet it is, and for good reasons.

Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong’s government, has the opportunity to restore integrity and proper governance in one of the most important statutory bodies in the territory by choosing a person solely on the basis of unimpeachable honesty and competence.

Yam remains a hero to many in Hong Kong, including journalists unschooled in international finance. To them, he is the guardian of the Hong Kong dollar, which has been fixed at 7.8 to the US dollar for 26 years.

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