By CCER, etc. was held last Thursday, 1/7/2010 at NYSE (Euronext). The meeting was interesting with strong showing: packed house, big hitters. The moderator opened with mentioning of Paul Krugman ..
“We had nothing to do with that piece.” The one Dr. Krugman wrote about Chinese currency.
There was knowing laugh all around.
I haven’t been to NYSE for a long time. It’s so nice to be back in there .. even we had to go through the check in process in the cold morning.
The moderator introduce Justin Lin this way ..
In 1986 NYSE hired a young PhD fresh out of University of Chicago because they needed a Chinese translator. That boy eventually rose to become the first chief economist from a developing country at the World Bank. Some progress. Dr. Lin (林毅夫教授) also found this think tank CCER China Center for Economic Research, Peking University (Did I get this right?).
The following speaker, Dr. Qin Xiao 秦晓, Chairman of China Merchants Group (招商局集团董事长) didn’t seem to have done his home work, or he’s lousy public speaker ability or uncomfortable with English. According to his bio, he obtained his PhD from Cambridge University. When I mentioned this, one of my friends chuckled: perhaps through online? In any case, he’s at ill. He’s small with a farmer’s complexion who looked utterly lost on the podium and often lapsed. Fumbling with the PowerPoint slides and his speech pages. When the moderator took the floor, he commented that ..
It reminded me of another scene: the Chairman of the CITIC (or some biggies .. don’t remember the name) came to New York and gave an inadequate speech. Afterward, when few people complained. One of his savvy deputies countered:
“.. Ya .. I know he doesn’t look to amount much .. but he gets the billion dollars deals [and you don’t] ..”
ha ha ha..
The speakers emphasized on balance .. the audience was obsessed with housing bubbles (housing market in China;s major cities are driven by over seas Chinese ..) and pegging [or unpegging] of the RMB. Each speaker allotted few minutes of Q&A. One man in the audience did ask about the human rights in China. Although no one booed him, but it was clearly showed his sophistication was sub par. The silent sneer pleased me to no end. One lady from a law firm also paddled around it, asking if there are law govern or guarantee investments. Well, no one could guarantee Bernie Madoff won’t strike in China, if you get my drift.
Huang Yiping seemed to be at ease and well spoken. He has strong presence.
During the intermission, there was a long line for ladies room. A baby sitter – a.k.a. an employee told us that she could escrow us to the floor above where the bathroom’s empty. See the gold accessories? New York is paved with gold after all.
Yao Yang (姚洋) is a professor at the CCER and the National School of Development (NSD), both at Peking University. He said ..
- China has the highest return of capital, in the world
- Youth illiteracy in India is 40%, vs 0% in China
- by 2030, India will overtake China in population
- In China, 1 worker now = 8 workers 30 years ago
- Savings are primarily from biz/corp
- no worry about China’s savings. How to use it
- Financial sector need reform; foreign investment ?? when we can’t use up our own ..
Big on names small on concrete solutions. What else’s new?
Up on leaving, I wanted to take few pictures of the trading floor, the biggest in the world. It used to be my favored place to entertain friends visiting the Big Apple. I know most others would take their guests or family to the Status of Liberty or Empire State Building but NYSE was my first destination. The few good fellas who manned the door told me:
“You can’t not take picture of the trading floor.” Take the this sign instead.
“I used to go on the tours ..” I muttered.
“What tours? Who give you the tour?” A gray haired man asked me, one of the good fellas.
He mustn’t been here long enough or have rather short memory.
“Before you were born, my dear.” I joked.
God, what this world has come to? The technology has sure eliminated many unnecessary steps in our lives. The once vibrant trading floor has become subdued. Of course the terrorists are looming large is also the reason of tight security and canceled tour.
I really wish NYSE would put the tour back.