The rich history of mistrust behind China and western financial advisers..

Tom Plate has a nice piece on the topic.

Beijing’s warnings are directed generically rather than individually – at the global class of fast-buck investment jackals that care for no one’s welfare but their own.

He says this mistrust took shape post South East Asian crisis:

There are more than a few financial figures in China circles who no longer trust Western financial advice (or most advisers) any more than they have to. There is a rich, as it were, history behind the mistrust. And in this, George Soros, no less, has a role. Here is the story.

We start our narrative with the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. For years, China had been relentlessly advised by US Treasury experts in the Bill Clinton administration, and by other prominent experts in the West, to stop babying its coddled currency and let it go outdoors onto the international markets to play fair and square with other big-time currencies.

For decades, this has been the constant whining pitch of the geek chorus in the West. In fact, the argument has merit if China is to secure its place in the competitive world marketplace, of which central cosmopolitan idea Zhu Rongji (朱鎔基), the great former premier, was China’s world champion.

In fact, years later, Beijing itself moved in exactly that direction, in part to satisfy the International Monetary Fund that its currency would be cleanly convertible and so globally market-worthy. But two decades ago, China was not ready for the big bad sandbox, felt both crowded and rushed by the West, and so held back.

Surprise: Suddenly a vile regional currency crisis swept across Asia, from Bangkok to Seoul to Hong Kong. Western speculators, allegedly including Soros (in 1992, he hit his billionaire jackpot with a nervy mega plunge against the sodden British pound), dumped bundles of cash on the bet that weak Asian currencies would lose value, and pocketed fortunes via massive “shorting” campaigns that in effect ground down Asian currencies even more.

China, whose reminbi-exposure caution was then working to great benefit, escaped all that pain – and to that I say thank goodness. So did our more globally sensitive Western souls who were unnerved by the global turbulence, by the frailty of the fraying “international economic architecture” – and by the heartless display of sheer amoral speculative greed at the expense of the Asian people.

The story has repeated in 2008 crisis as well.  The western intellectuals have again escaped and are mostly unnerved. Most remain in ivy league towers and some have become key policymakers as well. We often ask why did bankers escape of all blame? Same question can be asked of the academic intellectuals who trained them to this path of fame and greed.

Actually Chinese mistrust runs much deeper and much before Asian crisis. Perhaps, it all started with Western world trying to disturb and take control over China during Opium wars in early 19th century.  And then obviously the way Western world has dominated the political and economic discourse for many years has not gone well with China.

This mistrust is not just of Chinese alone. Even the developed world people are weary of these relations between western intellectuals,politics and wall street. Based on the advice of the intellectuals, the politicians push all these countries to open up, Then cometh the crisis and wall street locusts make a killing.

A much bigger problem has been how economics education now only means learning whatever is taught in the west. Most of the country and local contexts have been just ignored and removed from books and teaching. So we have little choice but to accept whatever is dished from the west whether it applies to other countries or not..

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