縁故資本主義目録 その集団は段階的に縮小する。 世界中で政界にコネのある大物が息詰まってきている。(3)

Encouragingly, India seems to be cleaning up its act. In 2008 crony wealth reached 18% of GDP, putting it on a par with Russia. Today it stands at 3%, a level similar to Australia. A slump in commodity prices has obliterated the balance sheets of its Wild West mining tycoons. The government has got tough on graft, and the central bank has prodded state-owned lenders to stop giving sweetheart deals to moguls. The vast majority of its billionaire wealth is now from open industries such as pharmaceuticals, cars and consumer goods. The pin-ups of Indian capitalism are no longer the pampered scions of its business dynasties, but the hungry founders of Flipkart, an e-commerce firm. 

clean up one's act: 〔人が〕行いを改める[正す]、改めるべき点を改める、改心する、心を入れ替える、まともになる、更正する
put ~ on a par with: 〜を…と同じ水準[レベル]にする
Wild West mining:Meghalaya, a state in India’s northeast, has thick forests above ground and valuable minerals below. Coal occurs in a narrow belt from the lower western end of the state across to the eastern end. Uncontrolled mining in the area has cleared forests, degraded rivers, and led to many accidents and deaths as few health and safety standards exist for mine workers. A ban effected earlier this year halted all mining in the state, but is set to be reconsidered at a hearing scheduled for August. 
pampered scions:甘やかされた末裔

In absolute terms China (including Hong Kong) now has the biggest concentration of crony wealth in the world, at $360 billion. President Xi’s censorious attitude to gambling has hit Macau’s gambling tycoons hard. Li Hejun, an energy mogul, has seen most of his wealth evaporate. But new billionaires in rent-rich industries have risen from obscurity, including Wang Jianlin, of Dalian Wanda, a real-estate firm, who claims he is richer than Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s leading business figure. 

In absolute terms:絶対的には

Still, once its wealth is compared with its GDP, China (including Hong Kong) comes only 11th on our ranking of countries. The Middle Kingdom illustrates the two big flaws in our methodology. We only include people who declare wealth of over a billion dollars. Plenty of poorer cronies exist and in China, the wise crony keeps his head down. And our classification of industries is inevitably crude. Dutch firms that interact with the state are probably clean, whereas in mainland China, billionaires in every industry rely on the party’s blessing. Were all billionaire wealth in China to be classified as rent-seeking, it would take the 5th spot in the ranking. 

party’s blessing:党の恩恵

The last tycoons
A possible explanation for the mild improvement in the index is that cronyism was just a phase that the globalising world economy was going through. In 2000-10 capital sloshed from country to country, pushing up the price of assets, particularly property. China’s construction binge inflated commodity prices. In the midst of a huge boom, political and legal institutions struggled to cope. The result was that well-connected people gained favourable access to telecoms spectrum, cheap loans and land. 

struggle to cope with: 〜を収拾しようと躍起になる

Now the party is over. China’s epic industrialisation was a one-off and global capital flows were partly the result of too-big-to-fail banks that have since been tamed. Optimists can also point out that cronyism has stimulated a counter-reaction from a growing middle class in the emerging world, from Brazilians banging pots and pans in the street to protest against graft to Indians electing Arvind Kejriwal, a maverick anti-corruption campaigner, to run Delhi. These public movements echo America’s backlash a century ago. The Gilded Age of the late 19th century gave way to the Progressive Era at the turn of the 20th century, when antitrust laws were passed. 

one-off :一過性の
Progressive Era:進歩主義時代 a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States, from the 1890s to 1920s. The main objective of the Progressive movement was eliminating corruption in government. The movement primarily targeted political machines and their bosses. By taking down these corrupt representatives in office a further means of direct democracy would be established. They also sought regulation of monopolies (Trust Busting) and corporations through antitrust laws. These antitrust laws were seen as a way to promote equal competition for the advantage of legitimate competitors.

Yet there is still good reason to worry about cronyism. Some countries, such as Russia, are going backwards. If global growth ever picks up commodities will recover, too—along with the rents that can be extracted from them. In countries that are cleaning up their systems, or where popular pressure for a clean-up is strong, such as Brazil, Mexico and India, reform is hard. Political parties rely on illicit funding. Courts have huge backlogs that take years to clear and state-run banks are stuck in time-warps. Across the emerging world one response to lower growth is likely to be more privatisations, whether of Saudi Arabia’s oil firm, Saudi Aramco, or India’s banks. In the 1990s botched privatisations were a key source of crony wealth. 

in time-warps:タイムワープしていて

The final reason for vigilance is technology. In our index we assume that the industry is relatively free of government involvement, and thus less susceptible to rent-seeking. But that assumption is being tested. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has become one of the biggest lobbyists in Washington and is in constant negotiations in Europe over anti-trust rules and tax. Uber has regulatory tussles all over the world. Jack Ma, the boss of Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, is protected by the state from foreign competition, and now owes much of his wealth to his stake in Ant Financial, an affiliated payments firm worth $60 billion, whose biggest outside investors are China’s sovereign wealth and social security funds. 


If technology were to be classified as a crony industry, rent-seeking wealth would be higher and rising steadily in the Western world. Whether technology evolves in this direction remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure. Cronies, like capitalism itself, will adapt. 



昨日の昼は皇漢堂の藤原専務と会食。午後はNatures's DreamのWong社長とインタートレードの内藤さんとのミーティング。今日は半日、本を書いて、あとは来週の研修の準備をする予定だ。ではまた明日。

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