By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

“It’s just a Pop-Up store to show he’s still around to help him get some funding. It’s also why he’s staying in the Presidential Suite at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong with five young girls he’s brought over from Poland. It’s just all for show and to rebuild and relaunch his brand and image.”

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As I listened to this person who does work for those with the Dodgy Brigade tell me about this former big-noting founder of a certain fashion “empire” that suddenly went tits up, also mentioned were all those wafer thin “ongoing projects” in Macau that have actually stalled because the financial backers from Mainland China have gone bankrupt. Still, it’s all about putting on a brave front and praying like hell.

Apparently even these setbacks don’t stop those without money trying to get something out of these OTHER people without money in the hopes that they see how a hastily cobbled together new “business model”- also known as a con- might just be a good enough idea for them to act as middlemen- and women- and bring in financial backers- hopefully with real cash.

Confused? Don’t be. Nothing and no one is really who and what they appear. There is today an explosion of “paper money” while those flim flam men- and quite a few women- who made billions peddling a dream that they knew could never come true before the truth caught up with them, are trying to make a comeback.

From being seen to be successful entrepreneurs who lived a five star lifestyle before everything crashed and burned, many are back, all at the same time, with new “businesses” and the now very cost effective Macau being base for The Art Of The Deal. But there’s no art, because there’s no deal.

What’s there are fat, ageing, perspiring purveyors of greed trying desperately to be what they can never be surrounded by Oliver Twisted enablers hoping to have some crumbs thrown their way.

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While Hollywood crashes and burns and one-time demi gods are brought down quicker than a house of cards, many from Mainland China, India, Europe and Eastern Europe continue to meet in Macau to see what new Trojan horses can be wheeled in.

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These are not honourable men. Far from it. Simply put, they’re crooks, but we’ve now reached a point where it’s almost okay to be one because every business can no longer be taken at face value. Try to do business in an ethical manner and you’re either doomed to fail or need to settle for working only to break even, something that makes no sense. It’s like being on social media and pretending to be what you’re not.

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We’re living in confused and trying times where it seems everything has been done before and there’s nothing new left. Supply has also overtaken demand. If you don’t have your retirement plan ready by now, you never will. It’s like saying, there are only a certain amount of musical notes and the good songs have all been written, so let’s try and make beats and gimmicks sound important.

Again, it’s about making something out of nothing and finding a sucker to buy into it. The problem is when the sucker who buys into it turns out to have sucker punched the seller. In other words, trust no one and always realise that self-serving agendas are at work.

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While former Hollywood untouchables like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey have seen their careers destroyed in a nanu second and are forced to either repent or make a loud song and dance about heading to rehab, out here in Asia, even being revealed to be a slug and parasite and drummed out of a city isn’t enough to keep them away. Like a bad smell, they refuse to leave.

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Instead, they play a waiting game in somewhere cheap like Phuket or Kazakhstan to give them breathing space before returning with another new “business” and a change in selling strategies by somehow finding another group who can be sold on a shaky dream by dazzling them with bullshit.

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At least with Miramax, Harvey Weinstein made some great movies. Unfortunately, he was a sleaze bag who used his power as a tool to probably make up for shortages in other areas.

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Here in Hong Kong is also a mosh pit of make believe- a meeting place for those with everything type of scam to peddle. There’s been, for example, the twitchy supposed young Chinese billionaire who talked incessantly about his family connections in Mainland China and the land he had purchased in the New Territories to create a city built from containers. Somewhere in the middle of this, he was going to bring Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber for concerts.

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This story was kept alive for around six months with the goalposts being constantly moved and all mention of Bruno Mars and the Bieb dropped. Then, after a chance meeting at a restaurant one night and being updated on his project, something weird happened: he broke down and cried and owned up. His wife had left him as she had done the math, and no, he didn’t have any land nor any financial backing.

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Frankly, I found new respect for the guy. Living a lie is draining as often it means keeping one step ahead of the law.

Sadly, these are very worrying times around the world for many as there’s so much of everything and so very little of something. Panic has set in along with a quiet desperation.

It doesn’t make for pleasant viewing and it’s already created a generation who believe they’re entitled and that life can be a bowl of cherries by doing the least as possible. Why? They’ve had bad teachers and mentors whereas constantly being on social media has given them a warped view of a world where to succeed in business there’s nothing wrong in flying too close to the sun.

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