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Greedy Wall Street giants won’t fare well in Xi Jinping’s China

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Greedy Wall Street giants won’t fare well in Xi Jinping’s China

Congrats to America’s finance bros for finally getting their reward from the Chinese Communist Party. But surely, after obediently lobbying in favor of opening up to Beijing for decades, Wall Street deserved more than it received.

Two finance giants, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, can now operate wealth-management businesses on the mainland, partnering with China Construction Bank Corp. and Commercial Bank of China — state-run entities at the center of power in the Communist state.

The result: Goldman and BlackRock will likely relinquish much in independence, data and intellectual property, while scrounging only scraps of the domestic finance market in China.

Wall Street is Beijing’s most valuable US ally, capable of influencing both Democrats and Republicans. Under former President Bill Clinton, Wall Street helped China win entrée to the World Trade Organization, and Goldman Sachs lobbied against human-rights pressure on Beijing, according to then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Goldman and others likewise fought tougher US stances against China on protectionism, currency manipulation and IP theft under the Bush, Obama and even Trump administrations.

Now those efforts will pay off. Goldman and BlackRock believe they can help Chinese entities invest abroad. The only problem: There is no free flow of capital from China, and even if there were, Chinese financial institutions would capture it.

Wall Street missed being on the ground floor for China’s meteoric economic rise. The country’s housing boom has already happened, and appreciation has plateaued. Chinese customers are well-accustomed to using local banks, and they won’t easily change their habits for Western name brands.

There might have been a big opportunity for Wall Street around 2006, when China should have opened its service industries under the never-completed WTO agreement. But that unequal treaty didn’t work out for America the way it did for China, owing not least to naïve lobbying, and stupid negotiating, by Wall Street. Goldman and BlackRock are about to experience further unequal treatment.

Maiguozei is a particularly poignant word in Mandarin for those who sell out their own countries. Party officials use it openly to describe Wall Street CEOs. Xi is a nationalist and lover of history who doesn’t rate businesspeople highly and despises those who put money before country.

If bosses at a company like BlackRock imagine they will be No. 1 or even No. 10 in China, they are dreaming, drunk on the fairy tales spun by overpaid consultants or partners like Commercial Bank of China.

One Beijing-based tech-investment expert described to me a likely China scenario for BlackRock: After setting up offices and hiring staff nominated by a party apparatchik, Commercial Bank of China requests use of Aladdin, BlackRock’s proprietary global risk-monitoring and portfolio-management system handling about $11 trillion, or 7 percent of the world’s financial assets.

Next, the government regulator updates its data-privacy law to require financial data be onshored, and BlackRock dutifully brings Aladdin to China. Then, engineers at BlackRock China leave and set up their own startup, maybe even funded by a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Pretty soon, a big company with support and funding from Communist banks is offering a viable Aladdin competitor that dominates the China market and maybe beyond. Commercial Bank of China, of course, will act like the leak was all the fault of private entrepreneurs and chide BlackRock for failing to capture market share.

This scenario isn’t far-fetched. Variations of it happen again and again, as Western companies lured by the dream of 1 billion customers relinquish competitive advantages.

Are the CEOs of BlackRock and Goldman maiguozei? Perhaps. But they could also be hedging their bets, since they might see the writing on the wall, as the United States faces mounting regulation and becomes less hospitable for capital — more socialist. They may be overly optimistic about China out of desperation. Perhaps for those at Goldman and BlackRock, the lure of exorbitant bonuses in the short-term is worth everything.

But Americans, reeling from a pandemic that increasingly looks to have leaked from a Chinese lab, are done with Wall Street attitudes toward Beijing. It isn’t implausible that Goldman Sachs and BlackRock are already lobbying to hinder any legislation that might come from a probe into the origins of COVID.

The ChiComs have used corporate America’s laughable combination of naïveté, venality and sanctimony to great advantage. But even party members now voice fears that with silly, decadent elites like these as rivals, China might grow complacent.

In any case, Wall Street must stop groveling before the Chinese Communist Party and accepting peanuts as payment for selling out not only the American worker and industry — but core US interests. 

Nels Frye was a China market entry and government-relations consultant based in Beijing and Shanghai for 12 years.

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Opinion

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu showed the opposite of grace as he exited from power on Sunday.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

The Issue: The discussion of law and order at last week’s Democratic debate for mayor.

If any one of these five candidates becomes mayor, it will be the continuation of the de Blasio era (“Crime focus of Dem debate,” June 11).

Many of them are in favor of defunding the Police Department, which is why there is so much crime, and shootings are rising every day.

The people of this city had better wake up when they go to vote. Haven’t we had enough of this? When will it stop? These candidates will not put an end to all this.

Rob Johann

Queens

Thinking that a Republican candidate could not win the mayoral race in New York, I switched my party to Democrat so I could vote.

After listening to all the Democratic candidates during the debate last week, I want to immediately switch my party back to Republican and vote for Curtis Sliwa.

He is our only hope to live in a city that values law and order. He won’t cave to these left-wing zealots who will further destroy our city and our quality of life.

We need a mayor who can bring back the tourists, help our economy and ensure a better life for all of us.

We cannot let the city go into further decline with any of these Democratic candidates. Please, wake up and vote for someone who will lift all of us up.

Susan Green

Manhattan

The fact that Andrew Yang is slipping in the polls is the only good news in the mayoral race.

Eric Adams is talking about crime, while Yang thinks the biggest issues for the city are AI and climate change.

If Yang wins, people will be dreaming of “the good old days” under Mayor de Blasio, formerly thought to be the bottom of the barrel.

Andrew Delaney

Miami, Fla.

I am not impressed by any of the Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City.

What each of them is proposing will cause further crime, divisiveness and decay, raise taxes, make life more miserable for residents and visitors and drive more families out of the city.

What does it take to get through to the New York voter? How bad does it have to get before they abandon a party that is becoming more idiotic with every election cycle?

Take a look at cities and states that have been doing well under Republican leadership and consider voting Republican.

D.M. Diana

Greeley, Pa.

Even Adams is falling for it. He said the “solution” to city violent crime is to reach out to youth and improve mental-health services.

These chic answers are a guarantee that innocent New Yorkers will continue to be murdered, raped, thrown onto subway tracks and maimed.

Get the violent off the streets first. Whether they are criminal or mentally ill, sort that out afterward. Get them away from the rest of us first.

Paul O’Keefe

Union City, NJ

I generally agree with The Post’s endorsements, but I am baffled by its support of Adams for mayor.

His stance on the NYPD changes at his convenience. One day he’s anti-cop and a fierce critic of the NYPD (even though he was employed by the NYPD), and then he switches and comes across as pro-police.

Can New Yorkers elect a mayor who lacks common sense and leadership skills? His suggestion last summer to New Yorkers to settle disputes about illegal fireworks on their own and not call the police was deadly. Shatavia Walls, 33, died as a result.

Adams lacks the moral compass and common sense required to be a winning mayor. The people of New York deserve better.

Susan Berger

Brooklyn

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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‘Nash Bridges’ movie reboot to star Don Johnson and original cast

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'Nash Bridges' movie reboot to star Don Johnson and original cast

Don’s ‘Nash’ gets rehash

From 1996 to 2001, Don Johnson played San Fran’s Special Investigations cop who nailed bad dudes on CBS-TV’s “Nash Bridges.” It’s now back as a two-hour movie.

“It’s set again in San Francisco which is now in a slump since the pandemic,” he told me, “but we’ll get it going again. First episode’s a two-hour movie in the fall. USA Network. I deliver it end of August and more episodes are contemplated. I’m executive producer. I own half the show’s copyright.

“Great is I got them all — Jeff Perry, Cheech Marin — the whole old crew back together again. I started them. I trained them. Even my writers wanted in on this. I kept all the phone numbers. So I sent word out and everybody got back wanting in on it. The story — I myself worked on the script — is contemporary. It’s 10 years later in the lives of the characters. And it’s a diverse cast. We’ve got a trans woman in it.

“A star of our original show was that yellow Barracuda — a 1971 Dodge — that I always drove. The thing was old when I found it. I was actually now able to locate it, and I bought it back in an auction. The thing had been in a museum in Ohio. Soon as the locals in San Francisco saw me riding around in it again, they yelled, ‘hey, it’s effing Don Johnson . . . effing Cheech.’

“Aug. 9, I start my second season of ‘Kenan’ on NBC. But right now, soon as I finish this, I’m off to Europe — Greece, Italy . . . and what am I going to do? Just bop around.”

A P.S. Don once hung up on me — just to watch “Once Upon a Time . . . In Hollywood.”

It’s another film about Jackie

Even Jackie Kennedy’s coming back. Again. In yet another screen incarnation. This time, Brit actress Gemma Arterton plays her. Why an English actress, I don’t know. I’m lucky I know this. This new film, “37 Heavens,” is about Jackie’s relationship with highly born Brit nobleman Baron David Ormsby-Gore Harlech. Proper gent. A diplomat. Britannia’s ambassador to Washington. Also a little ambassadoring to Jackie. He’s gone now, but it’s based on private letters unearthed when his lockbox got unlocked — or handed down — or brought out. Harlech will be played by Guy Pearce. In leaky Washington, following the death of JFK, the thought was this baron might have been her next. He was for sure her confidante. Or whatever.

Listen up . . .

Another retread is “The Nanny.” Onetime superhit TV series, created by and starring Fran Drescher, it’s wheezing back. On Broadway. As a musical. Drescher won’t star though. Me, myself, I was on “The Nanny” 100 years ago. And I just got a residual check — $12 . . . Fresco by Scotto reopened with party planner Larry Scott’s new streetside annex. At the opening, every diner was comped. No check for anyone. Courtesy of the Scottos welcoming them back.

Speak up!

DJT at a rally called Cy Vance a political hack who’s persecuting him and his family. When you’re at someone else’s mercy — or mouth — risky to poke him in the eye. Tali, front-runner for Manhattan DA, with the backing of Dem representatives Torres, Velazquez and Espaillat, even fielded a question about Donald with: “We are constrained as prosecutors not to go in and prejudge anything, and not to casually talk about legal arguments.” Chicken. Talk of laying an egg.

Good guess

“Big Sky’s” Brooke Smith called Vanity Fair, Variety and me to bitch Emmys maybe omitted her. “They say they only nominate series regulars.” So? “So in my last scene I killed my husband and went to jail. So I guess I’m not coming back.” OK.


Visitors sometimes say our city isn’t friendly. Not true. Where else can a mugger knock you down, heist your wallet then tell you, “Have a nice day.”

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

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