Phillip Capital’s co-CEO Lynette Lim makes a scathing and damning personal attack on President Donald Trump, lambasts America’s decision and plays the race card. In my 25 year career, I have never seen such diatribe from a senior executive, and analyze it accordingly
Donald Trump was elected democratically yesterday by millions of American citizens to become the great nation’s 45th President.
As Mr. Trump enters the White House, his pro-business, patriotic and conservative ethos, as well as the free enterprise, personal liberty, preservation of Western values and legacy of the all-American ideology of building upon personal strengths to achieve success are absolute tenets of the Grand Old Party which has also won the House leadership as well as the Presidential seat.
America, rather like Britain, is on the road to restoration of business-savvy conservatism which is likely to continue to foster the country’s highly advanced financial markets sector, its manufacturing sector which is among the very best in the world, and its high technology and science business as well as international trade, which will be unhindered by attempts at leftism by the now ousted Democrat party.
Bearing this in mind, it is not proper for leaders of large companies to make damning personal statements which either show extreme political opinion, nor is it proper to slam the incumbent President on election day, however this is exactly what the CEO of Singaporean futures and electronic trading giant Phillip Capital has done.
This particular executive is Lynette Lim, who is a senior Director and co-CEO of Phillip Capital alongside Teyu Che Chern, who is a very affable and quite charming gentleman of high caliber.
Whilst Mr. Che Chern is highly respectful of the people and industry of the United States, a country in which Phillip Capital conducts a large amount of futures business, Ms. Lim has demonstrated herself to be quite the opposite, as revealed in a correspondence that she personally sent to FinanceFeeds and likely to other entities and database subscribers and is addressed “Dear Friends”.
In her correspondence, Ms. Lim penned eight paragraphs lambasting President Trump, labeling him a racist, making references to how she was personally offended by Mr. Trump’s election by millions of Americans.
Her letter also spoke for others, and made the presumptuous statement that there was a feeling of sadness and despair. All this from the CEO of a large exchange listed futures company.
“This morning it was very hard to think of anything else except that Trump has been elected to be the president of the United States. My own circle of American friends are shocked and devastated by this news and deeply saddened” began Ms. Lim’s letter.
“They cannot believe how someone who does not speak the truth nor care much for it, who openly mistreats women, belittles minorities and wants to keep Mexicans out, and who admires Putin could become President” continued the diatribe.
In 25 years in this industry, I cannot remember ever hearing the Chief Executive of any Chicago-based exchange listed derivatives or electronic marketplace ever resorting to this kind of speech, and can be quite sure that in the next 25 years, I will never hear such a thing either.
During my formative years, a socialist government presided over a near-bankrupt Britain. Refuse was piled up in the streets, and the three-day working week was imposed. Tokens and limits were placed on goods and services and the trade unions wreaked havoc from the production lines to the banks. Many senior financial sector executives in those days worked a 6 or 7 day week for no extra salary whilst their subordinates staged strikes, milked the long term sick leave for sometimes over a year at a time, with the unions protecting them. Did any such executive ever make this kind of statement against the nation that raised them and brought them to success?
No. Not one. Quite the contrary. Every single one knuckled down, did their work in a detail-perfect fashion that led to today’s prosperous environment. But then they were conservatives whose work ethic was far more important to them than any sense of entitlement.
Positioning herself as part of the liberal intelligentsia, Ms. Lim stated “On an intellectual level and what seemed to be a social norm of expectations of how a president should be and behave, it didn’t make sense.”
Ms. Lim ranted ” And hence last night when it was evident that Trump would win, there was an increasing sense of sadness and despair. Then this morning the despair turned to anger and personal offense. I overheard on the street a women talking on the phone saying “The whole world is racist! Do you know that more than 60% of white women voted for Trump? That means that white women voted for a white man, and they are racist just like him!”
Dissecting this, I am not quite sure what creed has to do with who votes for who, and how their credentials as a businessman or leader are relevent to where their grandparents came from. Isn’t that part of America’s unique credibility as a successful society and business environment, in that everyone has a common American cause, yet are diverse in origin?
In perhaps the most unbelievable statement from a senior executive of a large firm, Ms. Lim then stated “I wanted to point out a minor error on her part that Hillary is white too, but I think she would have bitten my head off. She was on a roll to point out how the voters who voted for Trump were racist/sexist/you name it.”
What on earth has this to do with economic policy or business environment?
Ms Lim continued “The outcome of the election was a huge shock for many because just like them, I also naively assumed that Hillary would win (just like I assumed that Brexit would not happen). That the “noise” and embarrassment would go away after last night.”
“But the silent majority has spoken, and they are not to be ignored. The exit polls indicated that the people who voted for Trump were not merely the “white working class” who had lost their jobs and homes and wanted the old America back. It’s not that simple. The Exit polls also indicated that 45% of the voters made more than $100,000 a year, so they were definitely not in the category of the working class. Why then Trump win?”
“As a second generation Chinese person from Singapore living in the United States since 2008, it is hard for me to fully understand how Americans think and behave.”
Is it? America is a country in which Phillip Capital, the company over which Ms Lim presides, does a tremendous amount of futures business. The Americans whose behavior Ms Lim struggles to comprehend are her corporate and retail customers, many of whom are highly astute portfolio owners who have the highest level of understanding of the futures marketplace in the entire world.
In January this year in New York, I attended a private function in which the relationship between Phillip Capital and Chicago’s venues became much deeper.
Speaking to Mr. Teyu Che Chern, Phillip Capital’s co-CEO and Ms Lim’s colleague, I was given a comprehensive insight into the rationale behind the correlation between ICE’s acquisition of SMX and its importance to Phillip Capital.
Biting off the hand that feeds
Phillip Capital’s recent foray into the US market last year, where it has an office in Chicago with 25 staff, echos the firm’s corporate drive to bring Asian exchanges to within easy reach of American traders.
In Asia, and particularly the company’s native Singapore, Phillip Capital is a vast company with a 40 year history, and has, among other aspects, a commercial relationship with ICE. Phillip Capital’s Singapore headquarters is a clearing member of ICE Singapore, whereas Phillip Capital’s Chicago division is a clearing member of ICE in Chicago.
“We have been bringing Asian business to the US for a long time. In the US, our value proposition is that we offer customers a lot of depth in Asia. Phillip Capital has been around for 40 years. We know Asia very well and therefore we can offer customers to know Asia from our US office” Mr Che Chern explained to me.
“At Philip Capital in Asia, we have been doing alot of US business for a long time” explained Mr. Teyu Che Chern. “We thought that maybe we should set up our own clearing firm. We started here about 5 years ago by becoming a clearing member on CME, then on ICE and then on CBOE and NASDAQ Asian futures.”
“We used this structure to clear for Singapore, then after a while we began clearing for customers in the US. The advantage is that you can use Philip Capital in the US to clear into all the Asian exchanges” he said.
“Here at the Trading Asia Symposium, the idea is to get the Asian exchanges to come here to reach out to American customers. Effectively, we bring Asia to you” enthused Mr. Teyu Che Chern.
In terms of ergonomics, it is important to note that by establishing presence in the US, Phillip Capital can offer US traders access to all Asian exchanges via a local single point.
Forex at the time was certainly on the agenda on an off-exchange basis here in the US too. Philip Capital became an FDM and broker dealer. “In other parts of the world we have OTC FX business, with presence in UK, Australia, Turkey, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, whereas our futures business is largely centered around our operations in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, India, Dubai and Indonesia. ” stated Mr. Teyu Che Chern. Since then, Phillip Capital has pulled out of the OTC FX market.
Ms. Lim seems to not appreciate this opportunity, as her letter continued “In Singapore we lived under what is known kindly as “benevolent dictatorship,” where keeping the status quo and minding your own business is what is expected from you as a citizen.”
“Also as former British subjects and even before that when my ancestors were from China under the rule of the emperors, there was also never this real thought that occurred that “all men were created equal.” It was more like a quiet resignation that there was a kind of hierarchy in society, and everyone had their role and place. Of course, Singapore is also a merit based society, and you can go far if you work hard, but there never is this strong identity that I see which resonates in every American I meet” she said.
“It doesn’t make sense”
“As a non-American, married to an American, and working in America, I notice that there is a sort of idealism in every American that is endearing and inspiring to folks around the world” continued Ms Lim.
“If I look at merely the facts of what Trump is saying and what he can offer, it doesn’t make any sense. And that is because I am looking at it at an angle as a non-American which is pragmatism. I am asking questions like if this works and if it doesn’t. I am looking at it from the angle of pros and cons, and this election isn’t about that” she said.
So Americans are not pragmatic, Ms Lim? I would say that considering that the entire electronic trading business in the United States is far larger and has a more institutional focus than anywhere globally, with many retail customers having large equities, futures and share portfolios which they trade via huge businesses such as Charles Schwab, eTRADE or Scottrade on an OTC basis, or via highly advanced exchange connected platforms such as Trading Technologies, Americans are a bastion of pragmatism, and are totally aligned with the service which Phillip Capital provides, including accessibility to the Asian Futures market as well as Asian access to the American Futures market.
Ms. Lim states that America was great when it fought the British to build its own nation. America was great when it brought a man to the moon. America was great when it abolished slavery. And that is what disturbs people.”
“America has lost its way. She no longer stands for anything. And this thought resonates in all Americans whoever they vote for. What is amazing to observe is that this is disturbing to both the Trump voters and the Hillary voters. The Hillary voters are dismayed because they believe in the ideals of America which include the minorities that Trump preaches against. The Trump voters also believe that America should be inclusive, but what they want is for America to include them too because they are the ones being left out. They do not want to be forgotten. It is the same truth, except it is looked at on different sides of the coin” said Ms. Lim.
Concluding, Ms. Lim said “So what makes America great? America still has the world’s biggest economy, so it is not money alone that makes America great. What makes America great is hope. A certain hope for a world where everyone had the right to pursue happiness in whatever form it may be. There is a fundamental belief that life is not the status quo, that life can be better and great. A life that is better for future generations. America, please don’t lose that hope because the rest of the world is inspired by you.”
Quite a remarkable stance, without doubt, and even more so considering Ms Lim’s standing as a senior executive. I have of course nailed my colors to the mast, and have fully understood the reasons, economically and otherwise, why the British left the European Union and why Donald Trump is now in the White House, and can conclude that this is a good thing on both counts, especially for the leading corporations which do business in those regions.#Donald Trump, #Lynette Lim, #phillip capital