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HSBC’s hypocrisy over China and “woke” culture

This is savage and just from the Spectator:

There’s a rich irony in HSBC now refusing to collect data on its customers, given its involvement in abetting the Chinese government’s crackdown on Hong Kong. HSBC not only publicly backed the draconian National Security Law but also froze the bank accounts of prominent pro-democracy activists in exile at the behest of Beijing, something that obviously involved keeping tabs on the troublemakers. Its chief executive, Noel Quinn bleated that ‘I can’t cherry-pick which laws to follow’; given the law claimed universal jurisdiction, it doesn’t exactly suggest pro Hong Kong democrats in London are safe with the bank, non-binary or not.

Read the whole thing, as they say at Instapundit. I noticed, for example, that every time I fly into or out of a major airport such as Heathrow, Geneva or Gatwick, the jetway bridge has a big fat HSBC logo on it. And on the inside, there are lots of HSBC messages about “sustainability”, about how we are all in “one world”, and all the other bland cant of modern corporate messaging.(None of that vulgar stuff about creating wealth and making a profit. Goodness me, no.) It is rather like the kind of “lounge” or “Muzak” music one gets in elevators and hotel lounges. After a while one tunes it out.

I wonder how long this situation can persist. HSBC now has Chinese Communist Party folk sitting on its China subsidiary. (HSBC denies these folk have any influence. If so, what are they doing? Drinking tea?)

Given the various frictions and problems between the West and China, I don’t see this as sustainable in a sense rather different from how the Greens use that word. Anyone doing business with HSBC must start to wonder if it really is an autonomous commercial enterprise. Rather, a large part of it would appear to be little more than a Beijing front organisation. HSBC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and its HQ is in London. At some point, if there was, for example, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, and sanctions and all the rest had to be imposed, that would put HSBC in an invidious position. The UK may even insist that HSBC spins off its mainland China business if it wanted to retain its UK banking licence.

5 comments to HSBC’s hypocrisy over China and “woke” culture

  • Paul Marks

    Part of it is greed – but many Corporate types (not just HSBC) sincerely see the People’s Republic of China as a model for the world.

    They are not happy about the torture and murder – but they see these things as an unfortunate (very unfortunate) price that must be paid in order to create a better world. A world in which governments, corporations and other Stake Holders, work together for the good of the people.

    I do not agree with their philosophy (the sort of WEF, U.N. and so on, belief system they are taught at school and university), but I accept they are sincere. Indeed it is their sincerity that makes them so dangerous.

    If it was just a bunch of greedy Corporate pigs selling people out in return for money, the threat would be far less grave. But, sadly, they believe in what they are doing.

    You see it is not Cant – if only it were. The “One World” they seek is a world like the PRC – that is their vision of the future of humanity. Firmly supported by the United Nations and other international bodies – public and private.

    I doubt that they have ever heard of Saint-Simon but they are following his ideas – Collectivism that does not shoot Big Business types, but is actually run by Big Business types (especially bankers) and all in the name of SCIENCE.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – warning.

    Some of the people who claim to oppose the People’s Republic of China also support these “Stakeholder Capitalism” (Corporate State) ideas.

    For example, the book last year (2021) “Greater Britain After the Storm” which had Penny Mordaunt’s name on the front cover (I am not suggesting that the lady was responsible for the book – I do not know).

    In this book such ideas as the “harmonisation” of Western tax rates were suggested – supposedly to create a power that would be a rival to the People’s Republic of China. And, of course, there would be cultural censorship (one can not have dreadful things like “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum”). Very Agenda 2030. Very WEF and U.N.

    Oddly this “rival” of the PRC would follow its basic principles – public-private partnership, life-of-service, and so on.

    So “heads you get the PRC – and tails you get something that is not called the PRC, but it is much the same”.

    Shades of 1984 – with three great totalitarian powers pushing censorship and control over the population, but also fighting wars against each other.

    “You get to choose” – unless you do NOT want totalitarian control, because that choice is not on offer.

  • Snorri Godhi

    WRT the last paragraph: I feel confident that that line of reasoning is why many Western enterprises are decoupling from China.
    Putin has given them a warning of what might happen.

  • Does anyone have knowledge of an unwoke bank – or, if that is too much to ask, one that is less woke than others?

  • Paul Marks

    Niall – the banks are dependent on the Central Banks (the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and so on) there can not be an “unwoke bank” – the oldest private bank in Switzerland was destroyed because its head condemned American monetary policy. Yes the Credit Bubble system is INTERNATIONAL – if you dissent (on monetary policy – or on such things as Critical Race Theory) you invite PUNISHMENT – and the SEG (Social and Environmental Governance) system has not been fully established yet – things are going to get much worse.

    Peter Schiff tried to set up a “non Woke bank” in Puerto Rico – the the American influenced government shut it down (as many people TOLD HIM would happen – he did not listen to us).

    There is the “bank like” institution that the Prince of Liechtenstein controls – but that is rather for wealthy people (not for the likes of thee and me Niall).

    In the United States the leading bank in South Carolina has Republicans on the board – but it has to follow the same “Woke” (Credit Bubble and Critical Theory) rules as everyone else, at least to some extent.

    In Zimbabwe the government is minting gold coins – as no one trusts the paper currency (let alone “money” that is just lights on banker computer screens – only a mentally ill person would trust such “money” any more). Unlike the America “gold reserves” (supposedly thousands of tonnes of gold – which may, or may not, exist) people can actually examine the Zimbabwe gold coins – a good development, but far away.

    But the United Kingdom? No there are no non Woke banks in Britain – how could there be?

    I am told that the “Woke” head of Barclays is on his way our the door – but he will, most likely, be replaced by someone else who will “go with the flow”.

    If a bank is lending out “money” that does not exist, of course it has to be “Woke” – because that is the ideology of the people who will bail out the bank when it gets into trouble.

    WHEN it gets into trouble NOT “if it gets into trouble” – of course a bank that lends out “money” that does not exist will get into trouble and will need support.

    That is what the “free banking” types do not grasp.

    “Free Banking” can only work if the bankers act as “Shylocks” – lending out money that actually exists. If the bankers play Credit Bubble games (“expand the broad money supply”) then they will need, at some point, support (“suspension of cash payments” by the institutionally corrupt courts, and so on). And to get that support they must go along with the ideology of the people who will provide that support.

    A Credit Bubble bank that is not “Woke” will not work – because it will not get the Central Bank support that a Credit Bubble banks need.