A superb summary of why China remains an authoritarian capitalist society. I have predicted that China is likely to face a major crisis in the next five years, most likely after the 2008 Olympics, either because of social unrest led by disgruntled workers and peasants, or because of a financial collapse due to its mismanagement of the process of economic restructuring.
I noted here recently that US labor unions seemed slow to take on private equity’s push to restructure corporate America. But as soon as I had uttered those words came this story indicating a toe in the waters by SEIU. The NY Times reports on a new website they have set up tracking the activities of US private equity giant Blackstone Group which is gearing up for an IPO. Frankly, the SEIU site looks pretty tame. Far more interesting is the site set up by Peter Rossman of the International Union of Foodworkers in Europe. Its URL is: IUF Website on Private Equity
It has not gotten much attention here, but a battle royal is brewing across the pond over private equity. A major effort to rein in buyouts is being led by the European labor movement. A series of private conferences over the last year or so laid the groundwork, with the International Union of Foodworkers leading the way. This article from the London Guardian describes the core issues.
Meanwhile back in the USA, it was recently reported that a very sizeable portion of the funds raised by private equity funds come from public sector pension funds that, ironically, are often jointly managed by union representatives, as in the case of the giant CalPERS where a union official has been president for several years running now.
The London Financial Times published my letter today that takes issue with their attack on a lawsuit against Wall Street investment banks. The plaintiffs are suing those banks for their manipulation of the IPO process during the technolgoy bubble of the late 90s.