Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Update: China's Defaulted Debt: Remedies for U.S. Citizens

Update on China’s Defaulted Debt and Remedies for U.S. Bondholders

A complaint was filed last week with the DOJ on behalf of the U.S. Bondholders. Excerpts from the complaint are below, and you may view the full complaint here, (

Excerpt from the Introduction and Prayer for Relief:

I. Introduction

1. This is a Complaint referencing an antitrust injury resulting from third party tortfeasance, including interference with the enforcement of commercial debt contracts and which interference, including the intentional aiding and abetting of the debt obligor’s efforts to evade repayment of the debt, has the effect of the taking of the Complainant’s rights in property, and which have caused the Complainant to be injured in its property.

2. This is also a Complaint alleging a pattern of civil racketeering under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 1961 et seq., (“RICO”), and further alleges that the named parties obtained unjust enrichment from their wrongful actions in assisting China in the shedding of its foreign debt obligation owed to the Complainant, and which actions were intentionally designed, constructed, and operated as a continuing enterprise which was specifically and intentionally designed to enrich the named parties at the expense of the Complainant and all other persons similarly situated.

5. The People’s Republic of China (“The People’s Republic of China” or the “Chinese Communist Government” or “Communist China” or “China”), is the internationally recognized Government of China and as such, is the successor government to the predecessor Chinese governments, including the Imperial Chinese Government and the Republic of China.

VI. Prayer for Relief

A. WHEREFORE, Complainant prays for the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice to commence an investigation into the practices of the Three Primary Credit Rating Agencies as described in this Complaint and to bring an antitrust enforcement action against the named parties, including the specific relief stated below.

1. Antitrust Injury

360. Complainant realleges and incorporates herein, as though fully set forth, the allegations of all preceding paragraphs of the Complaint.

361. The Three Primary Credit Rating Agencies collectively control approximately, or in excess of, 95% of the international credit rating industry and so in effect are constituted as the industry.

362. By their actions, the Three Primary Credit Rating Agencies have caused Complainant to suffer economic injury and such injury is of the nature of an antitrust injury.

2. Civil Racketeering

363. Complainant realleges and incorporates herein, as though fully set forth, the allegations of all preceding paragraphs of the Complaint.

364. The Three Primary Credit Rating Agencies, the Debt Underwriters, the Clearing Agents, the Paying Agents, and the Law Firms, collectively constituted as participants in the Capitalist China enterprise, conspired to construct and operate an enterprise, whose operation is dependent upon an artifice, in order to reap windfall profits at the expense of the defaulted creditors.

365. By their actions, the Three Primary Credit Rating Agencies, the Debt Underwriters, the Clearing Agents, the Paying Agents, and the Law Firms, have caused Complainant to suffer economic injury and such injury is of the nature of a civil racketeering injury.

366. On the basis of the factual evidence as stated herein, Complainant prays for a summary administrative adjudication and order of injunction restraining the continuation and furtherance of the injurious actions of the Three Primary Credit Rating Agencies and suspending the publication and distribution of the falsehood, namely the international sovereign credit rating assigned to China, until such time as the Debt is repaid in full, including the loan principal and all interest due thereon; default interest; and penalties.

Following this complaint, the U.S. dollar continues to slide and gold reaches an all time trading high.  And so the battle continues.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Multi-cultural Awareness: Lessons Still Learned in the Classroom

Today classrooms are becoming more diverse and present a unique challenge to teachers. Students are coming to class with a greater variance in values, cultural norms, and verbal and non-verbal communication behaviors that may be unfamiliar to some teachers.

According to Nancy Longatan (2009), “[b]y raising awareness of the non-verbal communication strategies familiar to students from other cultures, such as reflectivity, proxemics, volume and eye contact, teachers and students can significantly improve communication in the multicultural classroom”.

Longatan (2009) highlights key elements under each non-verbal communication strategy.

· Reflectivity – Recognize that in most Western culture a “quick response” is often the norm; however this is not the case for all. In some cultures, “reflectivity” or a time to carefully evaluate all of the elements of a question before providing a “detailed answer,” is the norm.

· Proxemics - is the study of how near or far people stand or set to each other when communicating. A student from a culture that values close proximity may be left with a feeling of rejection in a classroom setting where distant proximity is the norm.

· Volume – volume of voice varies greatly among cultures when communicating. This is the case even in “subcultures”. A child who speaks too soft or too loud in comparison to the classroom norm, may be at a disadvantage.

· Eye Contact – in come cultures eye contact is valued as a sign of respect; in others it is disrespectful.

Teachers must be conscious of these differences to be effective multi-cultural communicators. Children will quickly adapt to a new cultural setting, but a teacher can ease the transition by being aware and sensitive to the issues surrounding multi-cultural communication.

A classroom is no different than a multi-cultural workplace. Leaders, managers, and corporations, much like teachers, must be sensitive to cultural differences; including non-verbal differences. According to Moran, Harris, & Moran (2007), the collective image of ones self is projected “through body, bearing, appearance, tone of voice, and choice of words” (p. 44).

Each individual has their own unique perception of reality, influenced by the collective experiences in throughout their life. Therefore, each person, in this case the student, receives the same message and interprets it differently within their own sphere of reality. According to Moran et al. (2007), “[t]he individual working and communicating in a multicultural environment must ‘remember that the message that ultimately counts is the one that the other person gets or creates in their mind, not the one we send’” (p. 46). According to Longatan (2009), the message that is being received by the student includes not only verbal but non-verbal communications that the teacher must be sensitive to.

As good govies we all stand to learn a lesson or two from Longatan's advice. We're constantly working in a world that demands good multi-cultural leadership and communication skills. Being self-aware and conscious of our verbal and non-verbal communication will ultimately increase efficiency within our agency/ organization and the quality of service to those we serve.

Longatan, N. (2009). Issues for the multicultural classroom: Non-verbal communication can be a cross-cultural challenge. Retrieved on September 15, 2010 from

Moran, R., Harris, P., and Moran, S. (2007). Managing cultural differences: Global leadership strategies for the 21st century. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Skills in Cross-Cultural Communications: Success Overseas?

A manager skilled in cross-cultural communications is more likely to succeed in an overseas assignment than a manager with stronger functional skills; true or false?

A manager who is skilled in cross-cultural communications, while he may have the proper training, may not have the willingness nor capacity to use the skills. Having cross-cultural communication skills would make this manager no more likely to succeed or fail than the manager with stronger functional skills.

While the manager with stronger functional skills may not have formal cross-cultural communication skills, he/she may have the natural ability to interpret cultural differences in a way that allows him/her to consider many perspectives and respect the culture in which the behaviour was learned. According to Connerley & Pedersen (2005), "[i]t is our contention that the majority of leaders want to treat employees, clients, coworkers, suppliers, and everyone else with respect, but may not have the tools to do so".

Certainly an awareness of multicultural differneces, and the ability to communicate accross those differences will be beneficial for a manager. However, "[d]eveloping multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills is not an end in itself, but rather a means toward increasing a person's power, energy, and freedom of intentional choice in a multicultural and diverse world" (Connerley, et. al, 2005, p. 7).

Moran, Harris, & Moran (2007) stated,

[e]very individual communicats a unique perspective of the world and reality. Every culture reflects the group view of teh world. From time to time, one must check whether one's view of the world, or that of an organization, synchronizes with the collective reality. (p. 44)

Essentially, the manager's success will rest in his/her ability and willingness to check his/her own personal views or that of their organization, against the collective reality or norm; and to adjust to a changing reality or norm.


Connerley, M. & Pedersen, P. (2005). Leadership in a diverse and multicultural environment: Developing awareness, knowledge and skills. London: Sage Publications.

Moran, R., Harris, P., & Moran, S. (2007). Managing cultural differences: Global leadership strategies for the 21st Centrury. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann