Lee Hsien Loong is right to choose Parliament to respond to critics

Don't click "Like" if you're sick of the airing of political disputes and celebrity family troubles on social media. The latest – incessant tweets by US President Donald Trump aside – is the Facebook attack last week on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by his siblings. Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post , June 24, 2017

How US fears over the Russian threat led to the rise of China

It was an accident of history that the two men most influential in advising the presidents who would make the decision to, as Nixon and Kissinger put it, 'sell Taiwan down the river' and throw in with Beijing... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post , June 2, 2017

Trump's best option in the Asia Pacific

Eleven American allies and friends met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Hanoi last weekend in an effort to keep alive the Trans Pacific Partnership... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters , May 26, 2017

Why Trump's trade deal with China is unworthy of America

America's "early harvest" trade deal with China, ­announced by the Trump administration, is underwhelming. One could be forgiven for thinking cynically that the announcement last week, coming the day after President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post , May 18, 2017

The campaign pledge that could sink Trump's China summit

This week's meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping probably won't bring a major breakthrough in U.S.-China relations, which have been strained in recent years by Chinese military aggression, cyber crime and rising trade tensions, among other issues. Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters , April 7, 2017

Will Trump's hard line on US trade with China mean the end of business as usual?

One advantage to having some hardened old capitalists coming into the Trump administration is that they understand, first-hand and in great detail, what the problems of doing business with Beijing are. ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post , January 29, 2017

What Trump didn't say about the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Here's what Trump should have said or, better, read from the written statement that wasn't on his desk, because his audience isn't hostile reporters, it's the rest of the world. ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters , January 27, 2017

The US is making a mockery of democracy...

Some folks say the Democrats are going to be the winners in next month's US election, some say the Republicans. From my view in Asia, where I've lived and worked for over 20 years, I say the Communists ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post , October 26, 2016

What investors can learn from Uber's bumpy ride in China

A warning from a travel guide has stayed with me since I started working in Asia 25 years ago. Don't ever get in a fight in Thailand, where kickboxing is the national sport, the author advised, because ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters , August 24, 2016

China's challenges are not the same as Japan's -- they're worse

Open a newspaper nowadays and you're bound to find comparisons of China with early-1990s Japan: growth slowing, monetary stimulus leading to bad debts and financial bubbles, demographics heading inexorably towards a population that won't match the required long-term repairs ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post , July 17, 2016

By making too many concessions to China, the West has given 'wings to a tiger'

In his 2011 book, On China, Henry Kissinger recounted a discussion between US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Deng Xiaoping ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post , April 5, 2016

Regulators must get to grips with China's stock market manipulators, but are they up to the job?

Two cheers for the recently departed China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman, Xiao Gang, who left after not succeeding at the impossible task of propping up China's overvalued stock markets ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post, March 1, 2016

Beijing's futile quest to turn string-savers into spendthrifts

My very Chinese Malaysian wife saves string. She saves practically everything that comes into the house that can be used again, but the string is notable ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Financial Times, August 13, 2015

Uber's rabble-rousing tactics mean its days in Hong Kong and mainland China are numbered

Uber is Twitter on wheels, and the petition seems more like Occupy Central than a smart business move ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post, August 25, 2015

Uber on a collision course with China's taxi drivers and cartels

News of Uber racing into China brings to mind images of young, rich guys with naked girls in Ferraris, racing late at night on a Beijing ring road. You know it's going to end badly - but it really doesn't bother you that much ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post, July 9, 2015

Dual-class share structures would be ill-advised in Hong Kong

When historians look back 100 years from now to explain how capitalism went off the rails, Exhibit A will be a list of events from the past 20 years: the pump and dump of inflated dotcom shares in the 1990s before the bubble burst;... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post, April 6, 2015

Safer food is an invention that should be freely copied

Stroll through a local market in China and there is little sign of quality control, hygiene or refrigeration. Chickens, ducks, piglets and animals that westerners might take for a walk hang from hooks all day at ambient temperature ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Financial Times, July 27, 2014

to police wall street, go after the little guys

Conventional wisdom holds that landing the big fish in high-profile white collar cases is the best deterrent against other people breaking the same laws. Yet for would-be criminals, the arrest of a colleague or a peer at another fund has a more personal, harrowing effect ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters, May 16, 2014

what beijing can learn from wal-mart

So, how? The question, short for "So, how do you want to handle this?" is a common, subtle way to invite someone to offer you a bribe in Asia. A traffic cop pulls you over for running a yellow light. He's at your passenger window, a leather strap covering his name tag... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters, April 17, 2014

Insider traders are still trying to get it right

Sylvester Stallone once told an interviewer about advice he got from Carl Icahn when they were discussing investments. "The dumbest guy on Wall Street is smarter than you," Icahn warned him. "Keep your money in the bank." ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters, March 20, 2014

Hong Kong must not go soft on insider trading

Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission's annual report opens with a piece about the benefits of "quality" regulation and "sustainable" markets, which is generally consistent with news stories about the new, tougher SFC. But the tables at the end of the report tell a story that financial crooks won't miss ... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, South China Morning Post, July 22, 2013

Why I was invited to the White House: Investing in Africa

It was an experience that I hadn't dared imagine for my personal bucket list: an invitation to be the keynote speaker at the White House. Why did the White House invite me to talk about doing business in Africa? Why is the White House focused on an idea that seems incongruous to most Americans: investing in Africa? ... Read more... By Teresa Clarke, Huffington Post, March 1, 2013

The familial consequences of insider trading

Anyone who thinks insider trading is victimless need look no further than the painful story of John Kinnucan. Approached at his Oregon home late one afternoon in October 2010 by two FBI agents looking to... Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters, August 17, 2012

The price you pay for an Olympic-caliber career

Today's business world is so competitive that those who reach the very top must focus "all-in" or lose out to their rivals, much in the same way as Olympic hopefuls. Read more... Fortune, July 26, 2012

Ex-Barclays Leader Shows How to Come Clean

Last week's testimony of Barclays Plc Chairman Marcus Agius to a U.K. parliamentary committee received less press than the earlier testimony of his former chief executive officer, Robert Diamond, but Agius's performance was more remarkable. Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Bloomberg, July 20, 2012

Japan's Insider-Trading Carousel

Financial scandals in Japan have a rinse-and-repeat quality. Investigators raid companies. Disgraced executives bow apologetically before the cameras and head off into early retirement. Then... Read more... Bloomberg/Businessweek, July 20, 2012

Vacation time: Use it if you've got it

Good news, everyone. I'm ordering you to go on vacation. I know, I know, you're not sure if this is the right time. Things are busy at work. You might not take any time off this year because of the economy. You want to impress the bosses... Read more... Chicago Tribune, July 9, 2012

Insider Trading Thrives as Japan Drags Its Feet

Last month, lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan announced they will convene a panel to figure out how to stop an insider-trading problem they have been working on since 2006. Traders, operating on inside information, have been short selling shares of companies just before new equity sales are announced, which often causes the company's share price to fall, then covering their short position by buying shares back at the new, lower price. Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Bloomberg, July 1, 2012

America’s insider-trading trials have a heavy purpose

Since Raj Rajaratnam was arrested in late 2009, federal agents have swept up more than 60 hedge fund employees, consultants, and corporate managers in the largest insider-trading crackdown in history. Most of those arrested are now in or on their way to prison for sentences generally measured in years. Read more... By Robert Boxwell and Maeen Shaban, Reuters, June 19, 2012

Hong Kong must stand firm on IPO fraud

Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission chief executive Ashley Alder's recent defence of proposed new regulations criminalising false statements in initial public offerings wasn't necessary. In fact, a defensive stance was counterproductive. His message should have been that he was surprised by the bankers' reactions and he looks forward to not having to use the new rules because he couldn't imagine any banker breaking them. Read more... By Robert Boxwell and Maeen Shaban, South China Morning Post, May 21, 2012

Wal-Mart's bribery is sadly unsurprising

The recent New York Times revelation that Wal-Mart paid bribes to grease the skids of rapid expansion in Mexico is not shocking to anyone who has built a retail business in a developing country. It would be shocking if they hadn't. Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Reuters, April 24, 2012

How to stop the Whac-a-Mole of insider trading

Preet Bharara's work rooting out insider trading is good news for U.S. investors, as long as you're not one of the 240 people being investigated. But until governments tackle insider trading on a global basis, it's like playing Whac-A-Mole. If your business model includes insider trading, you can pop up in Hong Kong or London almost as easily as Tokyo and Shanghai without much fear of prosecution. Read more... By Robert Boxwell and Maeen Shaban, Reuters, March 20, 2012

Good Luck Changing Japanese Business

There's a way of doing business in Japan and, if you make it to the rank of chief executive as a foreigner, you follow it – unless, like Carlos Ghosn at Nissan or Michael Woodford at Olympus, you were brought in because you don't. Either way, it's not easy. It's also risky. You're legally responsible for the business, you have to trust what your colleagues tell you, and you sign things you literally can't read.. Read more... By Robert Boxwell, Financial Times, October 27, 2011