中国法律博客
ChinaLegalBlog.com
Morgan Stanley Parties On Without Garth, and His Guanxi, in Shanghai
媒体来源: 中国法律博客

Really entertaining story from Reuters on the whole Garth Peterson corruption scandal. It's an in-depth look at one man's attempt to make as many high-level government contacts as is humanly possible in order to do as many real estate deals as possible. Gordon Gecko would be proud of this dude.

In the end, Garth Peterson, a rising star at Morgan Stanley in China, was undone by his pursuit of "guanxi."

A central concept in Chinese society, guanxi loosely translates as "connections" and relationships." But to Chinese people, it means much more than that: Guanxi equals power.

"Sometimes, money cannot buy you guanxi. But if you have guanxi, you will definitely have money," according to a Chinese saying.

When Peterson, an American then in his early 30s, joined Morgan Stanley's real estate investment operation in China about eight years ago, he had not yet accumulated much guanxi. But he would soon possess a surplus, fueling his rapid ascent at the bank.

Pretty nice writing. Sets up the the whole sordid tale well, and then goes on to detail Peterson's China career, including the arrogant dickishness of the guy, and his downfall.

Should be made into a movie, or perhaps taught to incipient douchebags as a cautionary tale of what not to do as an expat in China if you develop a guanxi fetish.

Unfortunately the article did not have any real information on the alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act infraction, or the Chinese law analog. Somebody was paying some officials off in connection with real estate deals – what a shocker, eh?

On that subject, I thought this was somewhat of a copout:

Cultural differences make China an especially tough place when it comes to corruption.

What might be seen as a bribe in other countries too often is seen as "just business" in China, said Philip Urofsky, a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney[.]

(. . .)

"It's a gift-giving culture," said Michael Pace, a senior managing director for FTI Consulting in Chicago and a former federal prosecutor. "When the government or a government-owned entity is your customer, there can become serious FCPA question by even giving modest gifs."

Come on, gimme a break. Peterson was sent to a FCPA workshop early in 2008. I've done those FCPA seminars before for clients, and I can guess what he was told. He made a conscious decision to bribe, methinks, it was not an accident. I don't think Morgan Stanley fired their top real estate guy for giving Moon Cakes to a local official or a box of oranges to the Vice Mayor during Spring Festival.

OK, I do have somewhat of a grudge against guys like Peterson, not to mention anyone named "Garth" (with one exception). He reminds me of your typical investment banking turd who knows very little of substance about anything, but has a lot of rich friends and is very skilled at having lunch. And they get paid an obscene amount of money for their luncheon and golfing skills. If he wasn't an arrogant, corrupt bitch (allegedly) and was instead a mild-mannered real estate guru who was paid an obscene amount of money, I could respect that.

By the way, I do try to be consistent; I also think professional athletes and actors get paid too much. I'm old fashioned that way. The good news is that the latest research proves that cynicism and grumpiness is actually healthy.

So I've got that going for me, which is nice. Party On, Garth!

Tags: ,


© Stan for China Hearsay, 2009. |
Permalink |
4 comments |
Add to
del.icio.us

Post tags: