Given the wave of foreign suitors who’ve been filing for divorce from their investments in Chinese banks, we can understand if there are some hurt feelings. The latest: Bank of America sold a 5.7% stake in China Construction Bank for US$7.3 billion. BoA justified the sale with the time-honored breakup line: “It’s not you, it’s me.” It happens to be true. BoA is scrambling to raise US$34 billion to meet the requirements of the US government’s “stress test” on banks. CCB is like, "whatever," and is looking forward to concurrent rebound relationships with Temasek, China Life, and PE firm Hopu Investment. Expect to see the bank around town in various nightclubs proclaiming it’s never been happier. Although BoA and CCB remain friends, they say, and may even continue to hook up in the future.
In any co-dependent relationship, there are some fights that never get settled, and in the US-China common law marriage, currency is contested as bitterly and fruitlessly as toilet seat position. A bipartisan group of US lawmakers plans to revive a bill that would levy tariffs on Chinese imports. You may have heard this before? They accuse China’s currency regime of giving the country an unfair trade advantage: “It’s not me, it’s YOU!” And in the latest bit of high-tech tension between the G2 members, a US security analyst has told Congress that China is on a “wartime footing” in both offensive and defensive cyber warfare. Love is war, my friends, love is war.