Surrender?

Recall that the New York Stock Exchange, pursuant to an Executive Order regarding US investors and People’s Republic of China’s PLA-owned or -controlled companies, had begun the process of delisting China Telecom Corp Ltd, China Mobile Ltd, and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd.

Now the NYSE has walked that back and decided not to proceed with the delisting. Exchange management have chosen to not provide any details or rationale for their, other than that their decision follows “further consultation” with federal regulators. The Exchange’s full statement can be read here; it’s carefully uninformative.

Miami as Financial Center

Financial firms are starting to figure it out: in addition to a better climate and (much) friendlier tax regime, Miami is the place to be for them. I have a thought on one bit of that maybe-migration, the opening statement:

This city has long pitched itself as an attractive location for finance and tech firms, with its tax advantages, flight connections to New York and cosmopolitan flair. Its efforts appear to be paying off.

Investing in the PRC

For good or ill, the People’s Republic of China has decided change the regulatory rules regarding Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s banking activities. The company has lost

almost all its stock-market gains this year, just days after [PRC] regulators signaled a major change in their posture toward the e-commerce behemoth and its finance affiliate, Ant Group Co.

Notice that: the regulatory change does not cover the PRC’s banking or finance industries—it’s explicitly targeted at Alibaba’s subordinate, Ant. The PRC’s

central bank released a harshly worded statement Sunday criticizing Ant’s business practices and instructing the financial-technology giant to shift its focus back to its mainstay—and less lucrative—digital-payments business.

The Willy Sutton Objection

Facebook has joined with Epic Games in the latter’s lawsuit against Apple over how to charge—and who gets to make the charge—for apps installed on Apple’s iPhones. Facebook is doing so to further its feud with Apple over Apple’s decision to give iPhone users tools with which to protect their private information.

Facebook isn’t alone in the beef.

Apple has said starting early next year its iOS 14 operating system will give iPhone and iPad users the option to no longer share personal information that many developers rely on to tailor ads. When users open an app, they will see a message asking permission to track what other apps and websites they visit, their location, and other behaviors.
Apple’s plan has drawn criticism from a range of businesses and trade groups…saying that Apple’s plan was anticompetitive.

Wrong Resolution

Recall that Huawei Technologies Co’s Deputy Chair and CFO Meng Wanzhou is facing US criminal wire and bank fraud charges related to her alleged violations of US sanctions on Iran, which she did on Huawei’s behalf. She’s in the middle of extradition proceedings in Canada en route to getting her here.

Now there’s a resolution in the works: DoJ officials are talking about a “deferred prosecution agreement,” in which Meng would admit her wrongdoing in those cases and then be allowed to return to the People’s Republic of China directly from Canada.

More EU Bad Faith

Finance operations, a key industry for Great Britain but not so much for the European Union, is being excluded from existing Brexit transition negotiations. That much is on the Brits as well as the EU, but the EU is abusing the mutual error.

In anticipation,

European regulators have demanded banks base certain operations currently conducted in London in the EU post-Brexit. … The EU last week committed to rules governing derivatives that will prevent London-based traders at EU banks from continuing business seamlessly after Brexit is completed on New Year’s Eve.

Time to Buy

Ex-President Barack Obama (D), he of the open contempt for ordinary Americans, us bitter Bible- and gun-clinging denizens of flyover country (i.e., the vasty expanse of America that lies between the western coast and the northeastern coast), is at it again.

Former President Barack Obama, in his latest memoir, criticized Americans for liking “cheap gas and big cars” more than they care about “the environment”—even during a catastrophic event like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

And

…many American voters for decades had “bought into the idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better….”

The Business of Business and the Wuhan Virus

Another precinct is passing in its results.

After scrambling to hoard cash in the spring, some large US companies that halted their dividend payments are reversing their decision, a sign that their leaders believe the worst of the crisis is behind them.

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics:

The resumption of corporate dividend payments is an encouraging sign that executives believe that the pandemic will soon be behind us.

And

[Kohl’s r]evenue fell 14%, compared with a 23% drop in the previous quarter. Kohl’s said it would resume its dividend in the first half of 2021.

Tyranny and the First Amendment

On the matter of Target’s initial attempt to ban a book (Irreversible Damage: the Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters for those following along) because some folks objected to it, followed by Target’s reversal and decision to sell the book after all, a letter-writer published in The Wall Street Journal‘s Thursday Letters had this remark:

Lobbying the government to make a book illegal is pro-book banning. Lobbying Target to take a book off the shelves is pro-capitalism.

This is not even close to correct. Lobbying Target to take a book off the shelves is suppression of speech, even when done by private citizens.

Foreign Takeovers of Domestic Companies

Great Britain is concerned with

strik[ing] a middle ground between welcoming foreign investment and protecting strategic industries from takeover, particularly amid concerns around acquisitions by Chinese state-backed companies.

Thus,

Under…proposed rules, investors would have to notify the government about transactions involving 17 sectors including nuclear, artificial intelligence, transport, energy, and defense.

That would seem to make a foreign investment law unnecessarily byzantine, and require revisiting at some aperiodic intervals.  After all, what’s not strategic today might turn out strategic tomorrow. This is illustrated by the timing of this proposal.