Sometimes, on a drizzling spring afternoon, we recline in our plush leather chair, stare out the window and wonder, what if we weren’t a quarter century-old publication of impeccable repute? What would life be like if we were some other business? Say, an investment firm? Or a retail conglomerate? Or a music studio? No, no, it’s all just too far fetched.
But… maybe a bank?
Perhaps we could swing it as a central bank. Ah, yes, we can picture it now–in the headlines every week, making the news, not taking it down for print. Just imagine how we might deal with issues like the yuan’s flagging allure among European investors. The euro’s depreciating, you say? Well fire up the presses! We’d churn out more RMB100 pinkbacks than the French and Germans would know what to do with. We’d line our walls with the suckers!
Or maybe a state-owned bank? Less sexy, to be sure, but just this week China Construction Bank was projecting power abroad with the first RMB-denominated global money-market fund. And those double-digit growth rates out of China’s banking sector during the past decade are nothing to sneeze at! Well, at least until this week, we suppose. There was that little matter with Agricultural Bank of China only growing 8%. Then Bank of China’s returns didn’t seem too hot, either. And just today wasn’t someone in the office saying something about ICBC and BofCom profits looking somewhat sluggish?
Bah, it’s all so unambitious. A global reach is more our style, maybe in the vein of a regional infrastructure bank. Yes, that’s the ticket–funding projects from Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane, projecting soft power through cold hard cash! Why, soon enough countries from around the globe would be lining up at our doorstep to apply for membership. Then global superpowers coming to us none too far behind them, asking to collaborate with hat in hand, we reckon.
And really, why not? If the last two weeks are any indication, it’s not like the US could do anything to stop us.