China Invades Liverpool

Ashby Monk

OK. OK. China hasn’t invaded anybody, but (!) you’d be forgiven for thinking differently this morning after reading the British papers. It’s unbelievable how quickly rumors about a “Far East SWF” being behind a bid for Liverpool FC can be transformed into front page news about the CIC (thanks to some unnamed sources in The Times and some creative inferences by The Guardian).

But, despite the tantalizing nature of story, I remain skeptical that the Chinese SWF is anywhere near this. It just doesn’t make sense that the CIC would be involved.

And, it seems, calmer heads are starting to prevail among the UK press corps. For example, Paul Kelso and Peter Foster (both of the Telegraph) note that Kenny Huang is denying any involvement of the Chinese government. In fact, Kenny Huang’s PR people have released this statement:

“Mr Huang would also like to deny that there is any involvement of Mainland China state-owned enterprises in his business dealings.”

Rather than rehashing everything here, I encourage you to just read this article by Gady Epstein of Forbes. His views on this purported bid seem to jive with my own.

I have to say though, I get why the entire country is abuzz with this; it would be quite story. And I’ve been wrong before…but this dog just doesn’t bark.

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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