Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money

This is a gorgeous piece. Okay I am in love with China – and cry for its faults. But I have to admit I smile every time I hear a bit of muscle flexing – and so very graciously done. Very cat to the American mouse. Come on I say to my Indian counterparts – start lending money to the Americans – and gently push them around. This is a multi-polar world after all.

“Be Nice to the Countries That Lend You Money” – The Atlantic (December 2008)

I grew up during the Cultural Revolution, when people really treated other people like enemies. I grew up in an environment where our friends, our relatives, people I called Uncle or Auntie, could turn around and put a nasty face to me as a small child. One time, Vladimir Lenin told Gorky, after reading Gorky’s autobiography, “Oh my god! You could have become a very nasty person!” Those are exactly the words one of my dear professors told me after hearing what I went through.

But over the years, I believe I learned to be humble. To treat other people nicely. I learned that, from a social point of view, no matter how lowly statured a person you are talking to, as a person, they are the same human being as you are. You have to respect them. You have to apologize if you inadvertently hurt them. And often you have to go out of your way to be nice to them, because they will not like you simply because of the difference in social structure.

Americans are not sensitive in that regard. I mean, as a whole. The simple truth today is that your economy is built on the global economy. And it’s built on the support, the gratuitous support, of a lot of countries. So why don’t you come over and … I won’t say kowtow [with a laugh], but at least, be nice to the countries that lend you money.

This Bank Refuses Fed Bailout

Robert Reed: Surprise! This Bank Refuses Fed Bailout

The way major financial institutions are feasting on taxpayer-backed bailouts, you’d think every bank in this country has on the feed bag.

Not true.

Just north of Chicago, dwelling in the People’s Republic of Evanston, is First Bank & Trust — a 13-year-old community lender that doesn’t want any part of the U.S. government’s $700 billion bank bailout or, for that matter, any subsequent rescue plans.
You see, First Bank & Trust won’t do business that way.
Says Robert R. Yohanan, CEO and one of the bank’s founders: “We don’t need the money. More important, we don’t want the government as a partner.”

That refreshing approach makes First Bank & Trust a rarity in these dismal economic days.
First, it’s a healthy institution that hasn’t forsaken one of the main skills of successful banking: managing risk. For example a few years ago, First Bank & Trust shrewdly determined the home mortgage market was spinning out of control and greatly limited making real estate investments thus avoiding big trouble.Secondly, this bank isn’t looking to game the system by profiting from the government-backed bailout.

Will GM be declaring bankruptcy?

The White House Gifts A Bailout; The Politics Of GMme On the Hill – Marc Ambinder

If GM is forced to declare Chapter 7 bankrupcy and shut down immediately, its assets could be sold off. How quickly? No one knows. How many jobs would be lost temporarily? 100,000? Unclear. Permanently? More than a million? Three million?