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jerryking : predatory_practices   26

China is changing the geopolitical climate. Canada has to mitigate, and adapt
MAY 16, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | EDITORIAL.

So what’s Canada to do? In the long run, Canadian governments dealing with Beijing need to keep four things in mind.

China is more threat than opportunity. Unlike our other major trading partners, China is not a democratic, rule-of-law country. There was once hope China could behave as a rule-of-law country internationally, even as it remained a dictatorship at home. There was also a belief that China’s economic advances would lead to an opening up of its political system. That hasn’t happened. If anything, the Xi Jinping regime is turning back the clock on individual freedoms.

That lack of Chinese political liberalization is at the root of what is fast turning into a new Cold War. Among the problems: In a world of liberalized trade, the rules end up benefiting the totalitarian state, since its companies can access the protections of our legal system, while our companies are subject to perfectly legal shakedowns in China.

China is not our enemy. But it is not our friend. There was once a fantasy that friendship would be as easy as establishing personal connections with Beijing’s ruling circle. They would surely melt at the mention of the sainted memory of Norman Bethune, the Canadian physician who followed Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic and murderer of millions.

Mao wasn’t a sentimental man and neither are his heirs.

To counterbalance China, we need allies. Canada has long worked to build multilateral alliances to give us a bit of leverage when dealing with our giant neighbour, the United States. The giant across the ocean presents a similar, but more troubling, challenge. The good news is we have natural allies. That list includes the U.S., at least in the post-Trump world. It includes the European Union. And it includes China’s worried democratic neighbours: Japan and South Korea.

We need to avoid becoming trade-dependent on China. We have natural allies who want to do likewise. That’s what the Trans-Pacific Partnership was supposed to be about. That’s what pursuing greater and freer trade with Japan and South Korea is about.

Canada should never aim to shut down trade with China. But we have to make sure the future doesn’t leave us without room to manoeuvre, or to push back.
adaptability  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  China_rising  delusions  disillusioned  editorials  geopolitics  hostages  Huawei  kidnappings  Meng_Wanzhou  multilateralism  predatory_practices  reprisals  rogue_actors  threats  totalitarian  TPP  Xi_Jinping 
may 2019 by jerryking
Lina Khan: ‘This isn’t just about antitrust. It’s about values’
March 29, 2019 | Financial Times | by Rana Foroohar.

Lina Khan is the legal wunderkind reshaping the global debate over competition and corporate power......While still a student at Yale Law School, she wrote a paper, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”, which was published in the school’s influential journal..... hit a nerve at a time when the overweening power of the Big Tech companies, from Facebook to Google to Amazon, is rising up the agenda......For roughly four decades, antitrust scholars — taking their lead from Robert Bork’s 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox — have pegged their definitions of monopoly power to short-term price effects; so if Amazon is making prices lower for consumers, the market must be working effectively.....Khan made the case that this interpretation of US antitrust law, meant to regulate competition and curb monopolistic practices, is utterly unsuited to the architecture of the modern economy.....Khan's counterargument: that it doesn’t matter if companies such as Amazon are making things cheaper in dollars if they are using predatory pricing strategies to dominate multiple industries and choke off competition and choice.....Speaking to hedge funds and banks during her research, Khan found that they were valuing Amazon and its growth potential in a way that signified monopoly power..." I’m interested in imbalances in market power and how they manifest. That’s something you can see not just in tech but across many industries,” says Khan, who has written sharp pieces on monopoly power in areas as diverse as airlines and agriculture. " Khan, like many in her cohort, believes otherwise. “If markets are leading us in directions that we, as a democratic society, decide are not compatible with our vision of liberty or democracy, it is incumbent upon government to do something.” Lina Khan has had a stint as a legal fellow at the Federal Trade Commission, consulted with EU officials, influenced competition policy in India, brainstormed ideas with presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren and — recently joined the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The 2008 financial crisis she thinks “about markets, and the government’s response to them, and certain forms of intervention that they do take, and that they don’t take”.....Khan, Lynn and others including the Columbia academic Tim Wu have developed and popularised the “new Brandeis” school of antitrust regulation, hearkening back to the era in which Louis Brandeis, the “people’s lawyer”, took on oligarchs such as John D Rockefeller and JP Morgan.....Lina sees Amazon as not just a discount retailer but as a marketing platform, delivery and logistics network, a payment service, a credit lender, auction house, publisher and so on, and to understand just how ill-equipped current antitrust law was to deal with such a multi-faceted entity......a Columbia Law Review paper out in May 2019 will explores the case for separating the ownership of technology platforms from the commercial activity they host, so that Big Tech firms cannot both run a dominant marketplace and compete on it. via a host of old cases — from railroad antitrust suits to the separation of merchant banking and the ownership of commodities — to argue that “if you are a form of infrastructure, then you shouldn’t be able to compete with all the businesses dependent on your infrastructure”....“The new Brandeis movement isn’t just about antitrust,” .... Rather, it is about values. “Laws reflect values,” she says. “Antitrust laws used to reflect one set of values, and then there was a change in values that led us to a very different place.”

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21st._century  Amazon  antitrust  Big_Tech  digital_economy  financial_crises  FTC  lawyers  Lina_Khan  monopolies  multifaceted  paradoxes  platforms  policymakers  predatory_practices  Rana_Foroohar  regulators  Robert_Bork  Tim_Wu  wunderkind  Yale  values  value_judgements 
march 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The American Dream Isn’t for Black Millennials
Jan. 5, 2019 | The New York Times | By Reniqua Allen. Ms. Allen is the author of “It Was All a Dream.”

....I marched up to my new, small, one-bedroom apartment on the Hill, satisfied. It felt as if I’d broken barriers.

But when I got a notice in the mail about five years after I closed, I felt dizzy. It was not long after the financial crisis. The letter said that my mortgage company had been charged with giving subprime loans to black and Hispanic people around the country and asked if I wanted to join a class-action suit. I had most likely been the target of predatory lending. I had known from the start that my income could make me a target. I’d heard the words of the broker. But because of my race? It hadn’t crossed my mind. I was devastated......How much room is there in anyone’s life for a mistake or the perception of a mistake if you’re young and black in America? How much of the American dream hangs in the balance? For the dozens of people I talked to, the reality is that if we want our dreams to come true, all too often we have to be almost perfect, making the right decisions all the time. Not getting that ticket. Not listening to that mortgage broker. Not speaking up.....I know the history of this country, know the history of redlining, know how my grandparents were locked out of neighborhoods because of their skin color. But for some reason I was still surprised. I would say I was mad, but more than that, I was hurt that I had been lulled into some kind of false bourgeois comfort that had made me think that my life was different from my predecessors’ lives. Sure, I had made it up that Hill, but at what cost?
African-Americans  downward_mobility  economic_downturn  millennials  the_American_dream  subprime  predatory_practices  racial_disparities  redlining  home_ownership 
january 2019 by jerryking
Canada blunders and dithers its way to a failing grade on China relations - The Globe and Mail
GORDON RITCHIE
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 1 DAY AGO

The stage was set when the World Trade Organization admitted China as a member in 2001. In the intervening years, China has taken extraordinary advantage of the resulting opportunities to flood richer markets with low-cost consumer goods, while importing, borrowing or stealing technologies from more developed countries. Concern is mounting in the Asia-Pacific region that this one-way bargain is unsustainable.
Canada  China  Canada-China_relations  Huawei  missteps  mistakes  predatory_practices  WTO 
january 2019 by jerryking
Globalised business is a US security issue | Financial Times
Rana Foroohar YESTERDAY

there is a much broader group of people in both the public and the private sector who would like to reverse the economic integration of China and the US for strategic reasons..... a two-day event sponsored late last month by the National Defense University, which brings together military and civilian leaders to discuss the big challenges of the day. Dozens of experts, government officials, and business leaders gathered to talk about the decline in the post-second world war order, the rise of China, and how the US could strengthen its manufacturing and defence industries. The goal would be to create resilient supply chains that could withstand not just a trade war, but an actual war......“If you accept as your starting point that we are in a great power struggle [with China and Russia], then you have to think about securing the innovation base, making viable the industrial base, and scaling it all,”....Included on the event’s reading list was Freedom’s Forge, which outlines the role that US business — notably carmakers — played in gearing up the US for war in the early 1940s. At that time, because of the depth and breadth of the auto industry’s manufacturing and logistical might, the sector was viewed as being just as important to national security as steel and aluminium.

That is not to say the US security community is pro-tariffs or trade war .... But there is a growing group of thoughtful people who believe that American national security interests will require a forcible untangling of the investment and supply chain links between the US and China. They point to high-tech areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, financial technology and biotech as important not only to the military but also for private sector growth.....While America’s military is still figuring out how make sure its supply chains are not controlled by strategic adversaries, the Chinese have played a much more sophisticated long game. The difference can be summed up in two words: industrial policy. China has one. The US doesn’t. The US has always steered away from a formal policy because critics see it as the government “picking winners”. But the Chinese don’t so much pick winners as use a co-ordinated approach to harnessing the technologies they need. They do it not only through investments and acquisitions but also through forced joint ventures, industrial espionage, and cybertheft [jk: predatory practices].....many multinationals were shortening their supply chains even before the current trade conflicts.

It is a trend that will probably speed up. Multinational companies, much more than domestically focused ones, will suffer collateral damage from tariffs. They will also be a major target of Chinese backlash. Anecdotally, this is already leading some groups to shift production from China to other countries, like Vietnam. If the military-industrial complex in the US has its way, those supply chains might move even closer to home.
adversaries  anecdotal  automotive_industry  books  China  China_rising  collateral_damage  co-ordinated_approaches  cybertheft  economic_integration  industrial_espionage  industrial_policies  military-industrial_complex  multinationals  predatory_practices  Rana_Foroohar  WWII  security_&_intelligence  supply_chains  trade_wars  U.S.  U.S.-China_relations 
july 2018 by jerryking
China Started the Trade War, Not Trump
March 23, 2018 | WSJ | By Greg Ip.

Even free traders and internationalists agree China’s predatory trade practices—which include forcing U.S. business to transfer valuable technology to Chinese firms and restricting access to Chinese markets—are undermining both its partners and the trading system....starting in the 1980s, economists recognized that comparative advantage couldn’t explain success in many industries such as commercial jetliners, microprocessors and software. These industries are difficult for competitors to enter because of steep costs for research and development, previously established technical standards, increasing returns to scale (costs drop the more you sell), and network effects (the more customers use the product, the more valuable it becomes).......In such industries, a handful of firms may reap the lion’s share of the wages and profits (what economists call rents), at the expense of others. China’s efforts are aimed at achieving such dominance in many of these industries by 2025.
China  China_rising  comparative_advantage  Donald_Trump  Greg_Ip  increasing_returns_to_scale  myths  network_effects  predatory_practices  protectionism  tariffs  technical_standards  trade_wars  U.S.-China_relations  winner-take-all  WTO 
march 2018 by jerryking
The case for ending Amazon’s dominance
January 18, 2018 FT | Tim Harford.

Amazon offers:
* consumers, choice and convenience and a shopping search engine that is Google’s only serious rival,
* start-ups cheap, flexible cloud computing services to start and scale up.
competitors, e.g. Walmart tough competition,
* television networks, a tough competitor,
* Apple loyalists, a competing tablet computers at a price to make stop and think.

economists argue that corporate America is underinvesting.....rather than take a long-term view.......Amazon should be the shining counterexample....The online retailer’s strategy is driven not by short-term profit but by investment, innovation and growth. If only there were a few more companies like Amazon, capitalism would be in a happier spot. But there’s the rub: there aren’t more companies like it. It’s unique, and an increasingly terrifying force in online commerce. Should regulators act? If so, how?....

Begin by disposing of a poor argument: that Amazon must be challenged because it makes life miserable for its competitors, some of which are plucky mom-and-pop operations. However emotionally appealing this might seem, it should not be the business of regulators to prop up such businesses......Antitrust authorities should not be in the business of making life easy for incumbents. What, then, should they do? There are two schools of thought. One is to focus on consumers’ interest in quality, variety and price. This has been the standard approach in US antitrust policy for several decades. Since Amazon makes slim profits and charges low prices, it raises few antitrust questions.

The alternative view — which harks back to an earlier era of antitrust during which Standard Oil and later AT&T were broken up — argues that competition is inherently good even if it is hard to quantify a benefit to consumers and that society should be wary of large or dominant companies even if their behaviour seems benign. ....The narrowing in antitrust thinking is described by Lina Khan in a much-read article, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”. Ms Khan berates modern antitrust thinking for its “hostility to false positives”.....Tim Harford disagrees, he shares modern antitrust’s hostility to false positives; there is a real cost to cumbersome and unnecessary meddling in a dynamic and rapidly evolving marketplace. US president Donald Trump’s history of publicly attacking Mr Bezos is worth pondering too: Harford asks, "do we really want the US government to have more discretion as to who is targeted, and why?"....Yet for all this,Tim Harford remains deeply uneasy about Amazon’s apparently unassailable position in online retail. Yes, customers are being well served at the moment. Yet the company has acquired formidable entrenched advantages, from the information about customers and the suppliers who sell through it, to the bargaining power it has over delivery companies, to the vast network of warehouses. Those advantages were earned, but they can also be abused.

Antitrust authorities face a difficult balancing act. Regulate Amazon and you may snuff out the innovation that we all say we want more of. Punish it for success and you send a strange message to entrepreneurs and investors. Ignore it and you risk leaving vital services in the hands of an invincible monopolist.

There are no easy options, but it is time to look for a way to split Amazon into two independent companies, each with the strength to grow and invest. If Amazon is such a wonderful company, wouldn’t two Amazons be even better?
Amazon  antitrust  AWS  contra-Amazon  competition  regulators  informational_advantages  Lina_Khan  mom-and-pop  platforms  predatory_practices  Tim_Harford 
january 2018 by jerryking
Conglomerates Didn’t Die. They Look Like Amazon. - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK JUNE 19, 2017

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods re-opens the debate about conglomerates which supposed to be dead, a relic of a bygone era of corporate America as investors supposedly want smaller, nimbler, more focused companies......Amazon is just one of several digital-economy conglomerates. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is another. Facebook is quickly becoming a conglomerate, too...... today’s tech-enabled conglomerates, are spending, and often losing, tens of billions of dollars annually on all sorts of projects and acquisitions that may or may not turn out to be successful. But investors are seemingly willing to give these new behemoths a free pass in the name of growth and innovation — until they aren’t.

If there is any lesson from the last breed of industrial conglomerates, it is that there is a natural life cycle to most of them....When it comes to Amazon (or Alphabet, or any of the new conglomerates), the question is whether there is something fundamentally different about these businesses given their grounding in digital information — especially as they expand into complex brick-and-mortar operations like upscale supermarkets.

In an age of big data and artificial intelligence, are businesses that look disparate really similar? And can one company’s leadership really oversee so many different businesses? When does it become too big to manage?...a recent article in the Yale Law Journal made a compelling case that Amazon has built perhaps the ultimate economic mousetrap — one impervious to the natural life cycle of a conglomerate, but one that might ultimately prove to be anticompetitive.

The author, Lina M. Khan, a Yale Law student who has written about antitrust law and competition policy, argued that Amazon had created a “platform market” and can use its size and scale to subsidize its entrance into new businesses through predatory pricing.....The economics of platform markets create incentives for a company to pursue growth over profits,.....Amazon’s role as both a distributor and cloud provider for many of its competitors gives it an unfair advantage. “This dual role also enables a platform to exploit information collected on companies using its services to undermine them as competitors,”.....Jeff Bezos, is clear. The man who is assembling the 21st century’s most fearsome new conglomerate once explained his view of competition this way: “Your margin is my opportunity.”
conglomerates  Andrew_Sorkin  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon  GE  Jeff_Immelt  unfair_advantages  Whole_Foods  Silicon_Valley  digital_economy  Alphabet  Facebook  lessons_learned  Yale  Charles_Munger  antitrust  competition  Berkshire_Hathaway  platforms  predatory_practices  diversification  FTC  margins  staying_hungry  life_cycle  Lina_Khan  competition_policy 
june 2017 by jerryking
Canada's big banks are no angels, but have any laws been broken? - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE MCKENNA
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 17, 2017

Media reports high-pressure sales tactics at Toronto-Dominion Bank and other Canadian financial institutions. Stories of tellers signing up customers to high-fee accounts and credit cards without their knowledge. Loan officers pushing clients to take on lines of credit they don’t want or need. And financial advisers selling unsuitable mutual funds to vulnerable investors. Sleazy behaviour, if true. Perhaps even illegal. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada this week warned banks to behave and launched a review of their consent and disclosure practices. .......The big banks are no angels. But what’s happening here looks a lot more like a labour-relations feud than a financial scandal. Employees are rebelling against a cutthroat sales culture that has permeated the once-staid retail operations of the big banks.

The workplace environment at TD and other major banks may well be toxic for many employees, who feel unduly stressed about meeting aggressive sales goals.
Canada  banks  Bay_Street  financial_services  toxic_behaviors  predatory_practices  regulators  organizational_culture  workplaces  disclosure  complaints  consent  consumer_protection  sleaze  Barrie_McKenna 
march 2017 by jerryking
‘Beneficial opportunities’ are all in China’s favour
25 February 2017 | FT | Sir Christopher Ruane

This is disingenuous. Africa provides dozens of examples of lopsided investment that bolsters China politically and provides little or negative local economic benefit, from its dangerous copper mines in Zambia to the decimation of Nigerian textile manufacturing by Chinese imports. A similar pattern emerges globally.
China’s outward investment has been politically charged, socially disruptive and environmentally damaging in many ways.
disingenuous  China  Africa  textiles  letters_to_the_editor  FT  exploitation  deindustrialization  asymmetrical  dangers  predatory_practices  Zambia  Nigeria  neocolonialism  imperialism  FDI  environment  lopsided 
march 2017 by jerryking
How Dr. King Shaped My Work in Economics - NYTimes.com
August 27, 2013| NYT | By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ.

The battle against outright discrimination is, regrettably far from over: 50 years after the march, and 45 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, major United States banks, like Wells Fargo, still discriminate on the basis of race, targeting the most vulnerable of our citizens for their predatory lending activities. Discrimination in the job market is pervasive and deep. Research suggests that applicants with African-American sounding names get fewer calls for interviews. Discrimination takes new forms; racial profiling remains rampant in many American cities, including through the stop-and-frisk policies that became standard practice in New York. Our incarceration rate is the world’s highest, although there are signs, finally, that fiscally strapped states are starting to see the folly, if not the inhumanity, of wasting so much human capital through mass incarceration. Almost 40 percent of prisoners are black. This tragedy has been documented powerfully by Michelle Alexander and other legal scholars.
African-Americans  books  economics  economists  fallacies_follies  Fair_Housing_Act  human_capital  incarceration  Joseph_Stiglitz  mass_incarceration  MLK  predatory_practices  racial_discrimination  racial_disparities  social_justice 
august 2013 by jerryking
Africa must get real about its romance with China
Mar. 12, 2013| The Financial Times| Lamido Sanusi.

[Africans must] "see China for what it is: a competitor."
====================================
It is time for Africans to wake up to the realit...
Africa  Nigeria  China  China_rising  colonialism  exploitation  infrastructure  productivity  underdevelopment  neocolonialism  deindustrialization  imperialism  delusions  predatory_practices  Carpe_diem  tough-mindedness  disingenuous 
march 2013 by jerryking
Good leadership is Africa’s missing ingredient
Mar. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Robert Rotberg.

Because so many of sub-Saharan Africa’s 49 countries are preinstitutional, and not yet fully nations, leaders matter immensely, more than they do in the developed world. Leaders call the shots, as they have in most sub-Saharan African countries since independence in the 1960s. They set the ethical tone. If leaders are greedy, as many are, their citizens become more cynical and the quality of governmental discourse suffers enormously.

In Africa and elsewhere, governments are expected by their subjects to provide security and safety, rule of law, open political participation, sustainable economic prospects and a large measure of human development (educational and health opportunities and services).

In states where political institutions are weak, legislatures are subordinate to executives, the media are barely free and the judiciary is subordinate rather than independent, the manner in which leaders behave as presidents and prime ministers is much more decisive than it might be in a fully-formed nation where political institutions work and constrain overweening political executives.

A majority of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are still controlled by men who are motivated not by what they can do for their people but by what their people can do for them. Such leaders exist to prey on their own citizens, to extract from the body politic corrupt rents and other privileges that benefit the ruler and ruling class, their families, and their cliques or lineages.
leadership  leaders  leadership_development  Africa  CIDA  capacity-building  weak_states  judiciary  institutions  greed  rent-seeking  institutional_integrity  failed_states  ruling_classes  sub-Saharan_Africa  Non-Integrating_Gap  autocrats  misgovernance  predatory_practices  developing_countries  independent_judiciary 
march 2013 by jerryking
Analysis: U.S. Tech Companies, China Tangle Over Contracts - WSJ.com
APRIL 18, 2011 John Bussey. Despite an agreement between
President Obama and President Hu in January, U.S. technology companies
are again complaining about how China awards contracts...The bigger
issue, Mr. Murck adds, is that this is just one piece of China's broader
industrial policy, a large array of mostly new rules designed to speed
the growth of national champions and foster home-grown innovation.

The list is long: new patent laws that could make it easier to seize
foreign innovation; the setting of standards that require products to be
re-engineered to meet Chinese specifications; national-security
initiatives that give preferential treatment to Chinese companies in
several industries; limitations on market access for U.S. services
companies; continued weak enforcement of intellectual-property rights.
China  contracts  global_champions  home_grown  Hu_Jintao  indigenous  industrial_policies  innovation  intellectual_property  non-tariff_barriers  patents  patent_law  predatory_practices  property_rights  technical_standards  technology_transfers 
april 2011 by jerryking
China Could Game the U.S. in Intellectual Property -
January 10, 2011 | BusinessWeek | By Vivek Wadhwa
The dubious Chinese patent process poses growing risks for U.S.
companies, which could be forced to pay license fees or withdraw from a
market left free to exploit their technologies
patents  China  intellectual_property  Vivek_Wadhwa  predatory_practices 
january 2011 by jerryking
China Squeezes Foreigners for Share of Global Riches - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 29, 2010 | WSJ | By SHAI OSTER, NORIHIKO SHIROUZU
And PAUL GLADER. China's big government-backed companies now have
enormous financial resources and growing political clout, making them
attractive partners outside China. In addition, the Chinese market has
become so important to the success of multinational companies that
Beijing has the ability to drive harder bargains.

But such deals also carry risk. Several earlier joint ventures inside
China have soured over concerns that Chinese partners, after gaining
access to Western technology and know-how, have gone on to become potent
new rivals to their partners.
Beijing  China  deception  economic_clout  GE  joint_ventures  multinationals  political_clout  predatory_practices  rivalries  SOEs 
december 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Taking On China - NYTimes.com
September 30, 2010 | New York Times | By PAUL KRUGMAN.
Serious people, appalled by the specter of Congress legislating for
sanctions against China over its currency policy, might believe that the
U.S. would be better off pursuing quiet diplomacy. Diplomacy on
China’s currency has gone nowhere, and will continue going nowhere
unless backed by the threat of retaliation. The hype about trade war is
unjustified — and, anyway, there are worse things than trade conflict.
In a time of mass unemployment, made worse by China’s predatory currency
policy, the possibility of a few new tariffs should be way down on our
list of worries.
China  currencies  Paul_Krugman  predatory_practices  diplomacy  trade_wars  protectionism 
october 2010 by jerryking

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