China has announced that it’s opening up its financial sector to foreign ownership:The relaxation in the securities industry potentially paves the way for Wall Street investment banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase to increase their presence in China’s hard-to-crack domestic market….China will allow foreign companies to hold 51% of domestic-securities firms….The country will also remove caps for foreign stakes in Chinese banks….Canada Goose embleem The government also will allow 51% foreign ownership in Chinese life-insurance companies in three years and lift that restriction entirely in five years.
Canada Goose embleem That’s all well and good, but here’s the part that puzzles me:China took a major step in opening up its financial sector, announcing a relaxation of restrictions on foreign ownership in the securities and banking sectors just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump concluded his visit to Beijing.I’m no China tea-leaf reader, but was this calculated? Did China deliberately wait until Trump was gone so that he couldn’t hold a joint appearance with Xi Jinping crowing about it? Did the American team even know this was coming? So far, Trump has tweeted nothing about it.Or was the timing related to domestic politics, with Xi not wanting it to look like this happened due to American pressure? But if that was the case, why not wait a few weeks so there’s not even a question about the timing?Are there any thoughtful China watchers out there who care to chime in on this? It sure looks like a calculated slight to me, but what do I know?
David Dinkins was mayor of New York City from 1990 to the end of 1993. His successor, Rudy Giuliani, was credited for turning around New York’s crime problem, but current mayor Bill DeBlasio thinks that’s unfair:“Dinkins got a raw deal largely because of race,” Mr. de Blasio said in a telephone interview before his re-election. “And he got a raw deal because he was not a loud, showy personality and he wasn’t always trying to claim credit. But any normal assessment of history would say, wait a minute, he added cops, that’s why this turned around.”“The thing I learned from that is an audacity of how to deal with what appeared to be an intractable problem,” Mr. de Blasio added. “The fact that we’re the safest big city in America today directly links to his actions with getting resources from Albany to get us the size of the police force we needed. None of his predecessors figured out how to do it. I’m not sure his successor, who took a lot of the credit for work done with resources Dinkins got — I’m not sure his successor could have pulled it off in Albany as a political reality.”Canada Goose embleem.