Yesterday I bought a copy of Li Delin’s (李德林) latest book-“高盛阴谋” (Goldman Sachs Conspiracy). Li is a well-known financial journalist and author who has written several other books, including the November 2009 “干掉一切对手——看高盛如何算赢世界 (Eliminate All Competitors–How Goldman Sachs Wins Over the World”. You can read Li’s blog (in Chinese) on Caijing here.
According to the promotional sleeve around “高盛阴谋” (Goldman Sachs Conspiracy), the book has sold 100,000 copies since its June 1 publication; that counts as a bestseller in China.
In just a brief skim through the book I can tell it is ugly, driven by not just all the expected conspiracy theories, including an undercurrent of anti-Semitism, but also by a provocative nationalist theme. The first chapter, which declares that Goldman’s “ultimate goal is hunting and killing China”-sets the stage. In a possible, but failed, attempt to outdo Matt Taibbi and his vampire squid, Chapter 1 concludes in part with the author saying the company “has the IQ of an Israeli Shar Pei Dog and the cruel nature of a Manchurian Tiger.” To Taibbi’s credit, the book’s cover does refer to Goldman as “bloodsucking”.
I have written about Goldman in China previously here and here. Goldman may be taking a PR battering in China (the 21st Century Business Herald has a story today on a developer complaining about Goldman “cheating him” with a high interest loan), but it got the mandate for the Agricultural Bank of China IPO, the company made 200x or so on paper in their 2007 investment in Hepalink, and it still generates decent business in the country. Probably the clearest sign that Goldman is in trouble in China would be if it can no longer hire or retain children of some of the more influential people here. So far that does not seem to be an issue. So far.
UPDATE: Gady Epstein of Forbes has posted a longer article about this book. He spoke with the author, who denies writing that the bank has the IQ of an Israeli Shar Pei dog; Li claims “it was inserted by the publisher without his knowledge.”
Please tell me what you think in the comments.
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