Hedge-fund billionaire tries to clean up comments about China, doesn’t do too well

It’s Ray Dalio, mega-billionaire and founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, last seen a few days ago comparing China to a “strict parent” in how it handles dissent within its borders.

He was booked today on Fox Business, showed up, and reportedly walked out once he realized that Fox’s host intended to ask him about those comments. According to Mediaite, he was ultimately persuaded to turn around and sit for the interview. I wonder if the producers told him they’d have no choice but to explain to viewers why he decided to leave if he opted not to return.

He probably should have left. This isn’t great.

Is that going to be the new go-to spin for America’s wealthy China apologists, that they simply must invest with Beijing in order to preserve good relations between east and west and avert war between our countries?

All this time I thought Dalio, the NBA, and 50,000 other western businesses getting rich off of China were looking the other way at genocide in order to line their pockets. When, really, they were just trying to give peace a chance.

In hindsight, I suppose the Americans who did business with Germany between 1933 and late 1941 should be applauded for their diplomatic efforts.

Mediaite says he went on to say this in the interview:

“This is a situation which is faced by something like 40,000 investors and hundreds of thousands of banks, businesses and so on that are American businesses that are operating there,” he said. “They face the same question that we’re dealing with. And that’s a difficult question of how to approach that. And one, we’re trying to balance those things. We also realize that if there’s disengagement [what] that would be like for the society and so on.”

I don’t know what else we can conclude except that Dalio believes Americans should continue to invest in China no matter what the CCP does domestically or abroad so long as doing so forestalls the ultimate catastrophe, war.

I’d be keen to know how he and his firm are attempting to “balance” their professional duties to earn a handsome return for their investors with their moral duties not to legitimize a genocidal regime. What is Bridgewater Associates doing to pressure China to liberalize?

Here’s an interesting tweet:

Two days ago Dalio estimated that there’s a 30 percent chance of civil war in the United States within the next 10 years. Pair that comment with his tweet and it sounds to me like he’s long on China not because he’s worried about war but because he believes they’re a better investment than we are.

Maybe he’s right. I’m not an optimist about the long-term health of this country either. But I’m not going to let that lead me to cash checks from Xi Jinping.

In fairness to Dalio, the Biden administration isn’t spoiling to punish China for its massive human rights abuses either:

Meanwhile, Biden administration officials have been quietly telling lawmakers to slow down [on passing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act]. Administration sources confirmed that in an October call between Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the other co-sponsor, Sherman made it clear that the administration prefers a more targeted and deliberative approach to determining which goods are the products of forced labor. She also told Merkley that getting allied buy-in was critical and more effective than unilateral action.

“To be clear, the Department of State is not opposing this amendment,” a State Department spokesman told me. “We share the Congress’ concerns about forced labor in Xinjiang.”

In other words, while the administration supports the legislation in public, they are asking Democrats to essentially water it down in private. Sherman’s specific criticism relates to a part of the bill that would require a presumption that all products coming from Xinjiang are tainted by forced labor unless the importer can prove otherwise. This happens to be the exact provision corporations are also objecting to. Maybe it’s a coincidence.

Many American corporations and their wealthy shareholders will be pleased to hear that.

Spend a few minutes with this quietly righteous interview with Bob Costas from earlier this week in which he speaks candidly about the International Olympic Committee’s complicity in Chinese abuses. A researcher for Human Rights Watch hit the nail on the head in describing the IOC’s role in the Peng Shuai saga, explaining that the group is “not just keeping mum about human rights abuses — they are playing an active role in the narrative that the Chinese government is orchestrating.” That’s correct. Twice now, IOC officials have held video calls with Peng and came away insisting that she seems fine, apparently without pressing her on her rape allegations against the country’s former premier. They’re “participating in a blatant CCP propaganda damage-control effort,” as one U.S. expert put it to NBC, essentially making them uncredited producers in a series of hostage videos. That’s another reason for the U.S. to boycott the Games. It’s not just that the regime in Beijing kidnapped Peng. It’s that the regime running the Games is cooperating in the kidnapping.

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