Nov 09, 2018 08:34 PM

Movers and Shakers: ‘The Most Stupid Thing In This World’

Lai Xiaomin
Lai Xiaomin

It has been quiet on the personnel front in China this week — probably just as well, as the U.S midterm elections supplied us with enough moving and shaking.

As part of a series on the key people shaping China’s economy, Caixin has identified up-and-coming personnel to watch at the People’s Bank of China. Read all about them here.

The series is a compelling read for anyone with an interest in China. Here’s Part 1, about a pivotal boat trip in 1985 that marked the turning point in China’s economic management.


| World of Finance

“Bad bank” boss formally arrested: An order was issued Wednesday for the formal arrest of Lai Xiaomin (赖小民), the former boss of China Huarong Asset Management Co. Ltd., one of China’s four “bad banks.” Lai has been under investigation since April, and was thrown out of the Communist Party in October, so this move was long expected and basically a formality. He’ll be tried in Tianjin, the same venue used for the prosecutions of Sun Zhengcai (孙政才), the former party boss of Chongqing, and Zhou Yongkang (周永康), the country’s former security czar and a retired member of the Politburo Standing Committee.

Lai reportedly had 3 metric tons (3.3 U.S. tons) of cash stashed at home and a bank account under his mother’s name that held a whopping 300 million yuan ($43.3 million).


| Companies Roundup

Wendy Liu (刘鸣镝), formerly head of China equity research at Japanese investment bank Nomura in Hong Kong, has moved to UBS Research as head of China strategy.

Alex Wolf has been appointed head of client investment strategy in Asia at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, the wealth management division of U.S. investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. Wolf was previously senior emerging markets economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments and was a former U.S. diplomat stationed in Beijing.


| What they said last week

“Trade war is the most stupid thing in this world”: Jack Ma (马云), the billionaire founder of Asia’s most valuable public company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., speaking at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

“I now see the prospect of an economic iron curtain; one that throws up new walls on each side and unmakes the global economy, as we have known it”: former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

“If the world order becomes defined by continuous conflict between the United States and China, sooner or later it runs the risk of getting out of control, which was the history of how World War I broke out in Europe”: former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum.

“Core technology can’t be bought. The more you use others’ technology, the more reliant you become. We have to innovate on our own. The journey will be tough but the prospects are promising”: Li Shufu (李书福) billionaire chairman of carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, owner of Volvo Car Group, speaking at the Zhuhai Airshow.

“We used to have some discussions (about it) over the past few years, but what we are doing now does not have much to do with the 2025 agenda”: Ken Hu Houkun (胡厚坤), Huawei’s rotating chairman, distancing the company from the “Made in China 2025” industrial upgrading initiative, a key driver of U.S.-China tensions. He made the comments in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review.

“GDP (growth) is slowing, investment (growth) is slowing, exports (growth) are slowing and consumption (growth) is slowing. … We need to pay extremely close attention because it might mean that the economy is in a kind of downward spiral”: Li Yang (李扬), head of the National Institution for Finance & Development (NIFD), an influential state-backed think tank, in a speech at the Chinese Institutional Investors Summit in Beijing.

Contact reporter Ke Baili (

Read more about Caixin’s Movers and Shakers.

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