China Readings for March 14th

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  • J.P. Morgan Chase’s Ugly Family Secrets Revealed | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone – In a story that should be getting lots of attention, American Banker has released an excellent and disturbing exposé of J.P. Morgan Chase's credit card services division, relying on multiple current and former Chase employees. One of them, Linda Almonte, is a whistleblower whom I've known since last September; I'm working on a recount of her story for my next book.

    One of the things we were promised by the lawmakers who passed the Dodd-Frank reform bill a few years back is that this would be a new era for whistleblowers who come forward to tell the world about problems in our financial infrastructure. This story now looms as a test case for that proposition. American Banker reporter Jeff Horwitz did an outstanding job in this story detailing the sweeping irregularities in-house at Chase, but his very thoroughness means the news may have ramifications for Linda, which is why I'm urging people to pay attention to this story in the upcoming weeks.

  • What if George W. Bush had done that? – Josh Gerstein – POLITICO.com – President Barack Obama has forged a surprising consensus on opposite ends of the political spectrum: They wonder how on earth he gets away with it.

    A series of recent moves — from aggressively filling his reelection war chest to green-lighting shoot-to-kill orders against an American terror suspect overseas — would have triggered a massive backlash if George W. Bush had tried them, say former Bush administration officials and a few on the political left. Even Obama’s love for the links draws only gentle ribbing rather than the denunciations that helped drive Bush to give up the game for the balance of his presidency.

  • 外交部证实缅甸军人进入云南枪杀中国公民-《财经网》 – 1月12日,缅甸政府军进入中国云南境内枪杀一名中国公民,中方立即向缅方提出严正交涉,要求缅方尽快查清案情真相,严惩凶手,对死者家属进行赔。
  • Watch Your Language! (And in China, They Do) – NYTimes.com
  • 北京推出中国菜官方英译名 童子鸡译为“春鸡”_网易新闻中心 – 核心提示:北京市外办和市民讲外语办公室近日联合出版的《美食译苑中文菜单英文译法》,为2158道中餐饭菜给出官方译名。其中曾被译成Chicken without sex(还没有性生活的鸡)的童子鸡此次被正名为Spring chicken(直译为春鸡)。
    四喜丸子被译成Four glad meat balls(四个高兴的肉团),木须肉被翻成Wood mustache meat(木头胡子肉),醉蟹成了Drunk crab(喝高了的螃蟹)……这些让人忍俊不禁的中餐英语菜名可能从本市餐馆的菜单上消失。市外办和市民讲外语办公室近日联合出版的《美食译苑中文菜单英文译法》,为2158道中餐饭菜“正名”。
  • Seeking answers inside China’s ‘black jails’ | Al Jazeera Blogs – The phone call came on Friday afternoon.  My colleague took the call.  I could hear his end of the conversation.

    "Your daughter has been what?!  Taken… by whom?"

  • On the Chinese Internet, Anything Can Be Deleted If You’ve Got the Cash | Tech in Asia
  • JP Morgan Under OCC Investigation for Serious Debt Collection Abuses; Warnings Ignored for Over Two Years « naked capitalism – American Banker has released the first in what will be a series of stories on debt collection abuses by the New York bank. It confirms critics’ worst accusations against the financial services and belies Jamie Dimon’s tiresome assertions that JP Morgan is better than its peers. Dimon may still be right if you think excelling in abusing and extorting customers is commendable.
  • Youku-Tudou Discussions: “The Most Intense I’ve Ever Seen” | PandoDaily – When I heard about the Youku-Tudou merger last night I immediately thought it could represent one of two things. Either it was another sign that China’s cultural preference against mergers and acquisitions was starting to shift, or it was the Chinese equivalent of Excite@Home. In other words, two much-hyped, money-losing Web giants shoving themselves together in hopes that size will somehow solve their pressing balance sheet challenges.

    The reality may be somewhere in the middle.

    This much is for sure: Merging was never plan A for either company. Both Tudou and Youku are very different companies, built from very different management teams with very different cultures. While they’ve played mostly nice with one another, I’ve heard the founders of both make plenty of catty comments about the other one.

  • Chengdu’s charm offensive: fondue and foie gras for hacks | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com – Last weekend while Beijing’s rubber-stamp congress was in full swing, one event stood out among the press conferences and endless speeches that characterise the annual confab. The Chengdu government hosted a champagne brunch – for foreign journalists.

    China’s city governments don’t always roll out the red carpet for overseas media. Sometimes they are asked to leave, or beaten up, or just followed at an obvious distance to keep tabs on their reporting.

  • Tom Freston on Burma’s Emergence from Autocracy and Isolation | Politics | Vanity Fair – As Burma emerges from autocracy and isolation, our correspondent takes the oars to explore one of Rangoon’s most desirable neighborhoods, where moral monsters and secular saints live side by side.
  • Jonathan Fenby’s ‘Tiger Head, Snake Tails’: China in 400 Pages – China Real Time Report – WSJ – Author Jonathan Fenby doesn’t think China is on the verge of ruling the world. He also doesn’t think it’s heading for collapse.

    But while he isn’t ready to predict the future with any confidence, Mr. Fenby, a British journalist turned author who wrote “The Penguin History of Modern China,” has taken on an ambitious job: summing up today’s China in a new book of about 400 pages.

    He spoke Saturday about that book, “Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China Today, How It Got There and Where It Is Heading,” at the Bookworm International Literary Festival in Beijing.

  • Guy Who Rented All 94 Rooms of Aspen Hotel for Party Scores Awesome New Goldman Job | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone – Jeffrey L. Verschleiser will become global head of mortgage trading, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News
  • Dick Cheney cancels Toronto trip, says Canada is too dangerous | News | National Post
  • 中国空军最新歼11BS战斗机遭遇极限过载险情_新闻_腾讯网 – 沈阳军区空军两名飞行员,不久前驾驶某新型战机,进行实弹训练时,遭遇了一场特大空中险情,经历了惊心动魄的26秒钟。
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