Do it for the motherland
In case you haven’t heard, everything in China has been just dandy lately. No complaints really: the economy is booming and markets are doing stellar. What’s that you say? Oh, sorry, we’ve been too wrapped up in the Olympics to pay attention to the economy. And while we’ve been hoping for the days when full-contact stock trading will become a sport and preferential trade deals will be decided by canoe slalom, the Olympic Committee has yet to come around on the idea. For now, we’ll just have to settle for some water events, particularly the never-ending race for the South China Sea. The Philippines was trying to get in that international spirit by looking for some foreign relay race partners for oil and gas development, but in the end had to settle for some of its own. They’ll face a tough race as unsportsmanlike China continues to swim over into its lane. Rest assured, if things get out of hand, the US, although not quite the powerhouse it used to be, probably could still blow the competition out of the water if it needs to. But, if everybody’s just gunning for the best spot in the competition, you can’t exactly fault China for trying to do the same. So, we’re settling back into our easy chairs and upgrading our cable packages – it looks like this might be a long one. It will be worth sticking around for though, as word is that these games might close with a bang.
Can you take our picture?
Sometimes when you’re in unfamiliar territory, you get fleeced. If you’ve ever been subjected to the “tea ceremony” bit or momentarily wondered whether you really know this daughter of a famous African chieftain who has just emailed you, you’ll know the shame we refer to. Fortunately when you or I followed those nice art students to the tea house, we weren’t under the gaze of shareholders or the international media. This week, Suntech Power Holdings, only the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, said it failed to verify the US$687 million in German bonds that were used as collateral when it guaranteed a loan to a Spanish-managed investment company for power projects in 2010. The bonds “may not have existed,” said Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s chairman and CEO. Oops! But those Germans seemed so nice… Apparently guanxi does have limits! Now Suntech is attempting to cover its tail by asking Chinese lenders for more money – hope that guanxi thing works out for you now.