Year of the Ox Is Looking Inauspicious
— Hong Kong’s gleaming past and current troubles are right there, plain to see, on Vincent Chan’s wall — photographs of more than a hundred Bentleys, Rolls-Royces and Jaguars for sale, luxury cars dumped by their once-flush owners in need of some ready cash.
Mr. Chan sells only one or two cars a week now — a third of the sales his dealership has made in recent years. And under pressure from his bank, he is prepared to sell any of his cars at a loss, just to free up some money. He is ready to haggle.
The Chinese Lunar New Year began Monday, and projections for the Year of the Ox from astrologers, lawyers, bankers and fishmongers are anything but auspicious.
“The mood is confused and desperate,” said Kerby Kuek, a feng shui master and Chinese astrologer. “Two years ago, people would ask me if they should change from a medium house to a big house, or from a Nissan to a BMW.
“Now people ask me directly, ‘When am I going to get laid off?”’
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Well, you see now we have the definitive difference between up times and down times. In up times, brokers are constantly in a state of heat over “when am I going to get laid?” In down times, it’s “when am I going to get laid off?“
Let the games begin.