Morning Clicks: October 23
Desperate Housewives of China's Bank Boardrooms
The Securities Times newspaper ran a curious story this week of a trend spreading now throughout the country which has the owners of newly listed companies blackmailing banks to win honourary executive positions for their wives, among other perks. For these entrepreneurs, a bank executive wife is the latest ultimate status symbol.
The scheme was discovered in Shenzhen, but has reportedly been successfully carried out as far away as Hubei province. It starts with a company the man takes public to raise hundreds of millions of yuan which he then deposits in the target bank to serve as leverage. Either appoint her as deputy head of your branch, the bank is told, or I withdraw all my cash.
The wife doesn't need to know anything about banking, said the newspaper's unnamed source, she just has to play the part, hand out business cards and impress government officials and potential investors.
"Taking your company public can bring both fame and wealth," the man said, "I have a good number of friends and clients who have done the same thing as me. Their wives are all deputy heads of bank branches now, even with no knowledge of how banks function."
Related: A Humorous Guide To Faking It ‘Till You Make It In China, Tea Leaf Nation
Africa Research Institute
-- Between extremes: China and Africa These notes argue that African governments should collaborate more keenly in exploiting relationships with China – and other trading partners – to improve economic diversification and competitiveness.
-- Tibetan man self-immolates at famous Labrang monastery, activists say Dhondup's reported death comes two days after another Tibetan set fire to himself outside a nearby monastery in Gansu province.
-- Five Debate-Worthy Facts About China Romney wants to keep China from manipulating its currency, allowing the value of the yuan to rise. But market forces related to the global recession have, for the most part, already accomplished that, says Eswar Prasad, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
-- Ready to be BFFs with China? Canada ready to ink investment pact without any debate in the House
-- Contentious politics, stratified society and the elusive public: myths and reality of Chinese media (guest blog) It is true that commercial media has undermined the control of the Party-state, but the profit-seeking orientation also creates new hierarchies and exclusions based on the differentiation of purchasing power.
-- Europe’s Nobel Wake-Up Call Europe’s first order of business should be to accept reality: the emerging economies are catching up in terms of innovation while the EU is losing traction, with China on the cusp of surpassing Europe as the second-largest hub for venture capital globally, behind only the United States.
-- Quit bashing Beijing — China’s rise is good for America Blaming the rising power for our troubles is dangerous and just plain dumb: The U.S. needs a strong China
The American Prospect
-- The Last Debate Expect Obama to try to focus on Osama bin Laden and the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while Romney tries to steer things toward China.
The Boston Globe
-- Is the foreign policy debate irrelevant? The foreign policy debate is fighting an uphill battle for relevance not only because of the condition of our economy, the fight over our taxes, and the looming fiscal cliff. It is because, for those who remember other recent debates on international affairs, the gap between what was asked and what the winning candidate actually faced as president has been wide.
-- Five facts you need to know about China’s currency manipulation Odds are that Mitt Romney’s promise to brand China a “currency manipulator” will figure heavily in tonight’s foreign policy debate. There’s good reason for that.
-- Obama, Romney differ less on China trade, investment issues than they claim China is one of six topics on the agenda for Monday night’s presidential foreign policy debate. But the subject is likely to get outsize attention because it’s the only one on the list that directly relates to voters’ overwhelming concern: the domestic economy.
-- A lesson in restraint: What China tells us about Iran China’s behavior after becoming a nuclear power bears out the wisdom of Johnson’s restraint.
-- China vs. The World: Trade Spats Mount and Spread (video) If you scan the news about Chinese trade policy, you'll be hard pressed to find anything being said that's positive or complimentary.
-- China's Xiaomi plans Asian expansion In a Sina Tech report Saturday, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said the company is planning to introduce its handsets to markets "similar" to mainland China and hopes to start sales by the end of the year.
-- US officials back Japan alliance
-- Russian drill reminds world of military muscle
-- China should promote private overseas investment
-- Setting sail on a quest for overseas M&As
-- Report hurts long-term trade prospects
-- Capital inflows lift HK dollar vs US dollar
-- China determined to be new kind of great power in 21st century
-- Investment not enough for banks
-- No move to reserve currency yet: expert
-- Local stocks weaken as foreign investment declines
-- Japan logs record trade deficit on tumbled export to China, Europe
-- Interview: Africa-China partnership key to regional growth: IMF official
-- China's economic planner stresses railway investments
-- Communist Party of China to amend Party Constitution
-- U.S. delegation not entitled to China-Japan mediation: FM
-- Chinese FM responds to latest Diaoyu Islands situation
-- Swedish Academy member justifies Nobel Literature Prize decision