NEWS: From China

Bankers’ heaven: A lesson in regressive taxation

AS AMERICA and Europe plan new ways to claw back money from high earners in finance, China is going the other way. When the Communist Party decided to transform Shanghai into a financial centre, it gave a great deal of thought to personal-tax incentives. A ruling put out at the end of 2008 by the city’s Pudong district is the most regressive form of taxation imaginable.

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China in Britain

COURTESY here of Access Asia, a market-research consultancy, two interesting side views of China’s impact, as felt in London. First, the Chinese consumer is riding to the rescue of embattled West End retailers. Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street report more than double the number of Chinese shoppers over a year ago, snapping up cheap-pound bargains. A particular favourite: John Lewis, which happens to treat its workers (“partners”) in fairer fashion than any big enterprise in the socialist worker’s paradise.

More intriguing still, James Treadwell, a criminologist at the University of Leicester, has been doing some market research of his own. Asking criminals why burglary across Britain has fallen by three-fifths since 1995, he finds that Chinese televisions, DVD players and the like have got so cheap they’re not worth the bother of nicking. The “China price”: keeping Britain safe.

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Capitalism’s State of Play

Eurasia Group’s president, Ian Bremmer, warns of the challenges to multinationals posed by rising state capitalism in China.

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