The DailyBrief

Wednesday November 23, 2016

Nomi Prins worked on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, a career that set her in good stead for her next one as a prolific author on matters of money. She has written six books, including It Takes A Pillage and All the Presidents’ Bankers. Asia Times editor Peter Langan caught up with Prins in Tokyo last week to hear her thoughts on President Donald Trump, financial regulation, what she terms the shift in financial power from West to East, and other money matters.

South Korean prosecutors raided the offices of Samsung Group, Yonhap news agency reported, over its alleged link with Choi Soon-sil, President Park Geun-hye’s confidant who has been indicted in an influence-peddling scandal. Prosecutors also raided the country’s largest pension fund, National Pension Service (NPS), an NPS spokeswoman said. Yonhap reported that investigators were probing its decision to approve the US$8 billion merger of Samsung C&T Corp and Cheil Industries last year.

Any doubts on China’s intention to own world football will be quickly dispelled once and for all with a three-day event being staged by LeSports, an arm of the conglomerate LeEco next week. Last year, sport contributed US$62 billion to the Chinese economy. The government wants it to be an US$800 billion industry by 2025. LeSports seems to have got the memo: as the website for LeSports Connects, a symposium that kicks off on Monday at the Mission Hills golf resort, in Guangdong province, states: “2016 is singularly the most important year ever for the sports industry and it’s all because of China.”

China’s big five state-owned banks plan to set up asset management companies (AMCs) to take advantage of the debt-for-equity swap that is part of the central government’s push to reduce corporate debt. The Agricultural Bank of China says it is setting up a wholly owned subsidiary called ABC Asset Management Co Ltd with a registered capital of US$1.45 billion responsible for debt-for-equity swaps. The other four – Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and the Bank of Communications – will soon follow with their own.

After 20 years, Clockenflap this weekend marks the reformation of a truly pioneering act – Huh! are together again and eager to perform. It’s a regrouping of one of the seminal bands of the city’s indie rock scene, a scene that’s undergoing something of a renaissance thanks to the emergence of new venues, new promoters and the waning popularity of the city’s prime musical export, Cantopop.