Lessons from Chinese Capitalism, Oregon and Marcus Rashford

Gloria Indica

Hi! Welcome to the 24th edition of Gloria Indica. If you’re reading this for the first time, then welcome. This is our newsletter when we tend to focus a bit more on the cannabis, business and technology narratives blazing across the world of ours today. We’re tripping as usual and counting down the days for 2021 so that we can generate hope that the future is going to be better and full of progress. 

Let’s start blazing. 

The Chinese Government Is Not Tripping On Jack Ma

Make no mistake, the headline for this snippet of written content means that the ‘The Chinese Government is not impressed’, lest an irate reader find it ‘not cool’ or ‘not right to say’ or make any other comment of a critical nature. That said, we like to listen to critiques as long as they’re communicated in a civilized manner, and hope the person who makes the criticism is patient enough to listen to opposing views, so as to understand his or her world through another perspective that he or she may not have thought of before. 

Just days before we had heard that Ant Financial – one third of which is owned by Alibaba, helmed by China’s richest person, Jack Ma – was slated to trade in the stock exchanges of Shanghai and Hong Kong, set on raising a historical high of $37 billion in the process. And having received bids topping $3 trillion. So enthusiastic were individual investors and financial institutions about the company that the Chinese Government seemingly called a meeting with Jack Ma with Ant Financial executives in attendance.

Quoting from Bloomberg: 

“The Hangzhou-based company, a 2010 offshoot of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., dominates China’s payments market via the Alipay app. It also runs the giant Yu’ebao money market fund and two of the country’s largest consumer lending platforms. Other businesses include a credit scoring unit and an insurance marketplace. Ant has faced censure in Chinese state media in recent days after Ma criticized local and global regulators for stifling innovation and not paying sufficient heed to development and opportunities for the young. At a Shanghai conference late last month, he compared the Basel Accords, which set out capital requirements for banks, to a club for the elderly.

We have pointed before about how governments all over the world, especially of an authoritarian bent, like to control things. Even though some decisions do make sense and indeed help people from all sections of society, many times governments make some decisions to be in control of the individual destinies of people from an economic point of view, rather than creating an environment that lets people free to make their own decisions. This is an outdated approach from a time when governments had to control the factors of production, but not anymore. Because in a world swimming with information, and accessible at people’s fingertips, people want to bypass governments completely and liaise with private companies who can serve them better and faster.

China warned Jack Ma and senior Ant Group Co. executives that the fintech giant will face new curbs on its expansion, highlighting growing regulatory risk for the world’s largest initial public offering just days before its trading debut. Ma, Ant’s billionaire co-founder and one of China’s most powerful businessmen, was summoned to a rare joint meeting on Monday with the country’s central bank and three other top financial regulators. While neither side disclosed details of what was discussed, people familiar with the matter said Ant’s leadership team was told the company will face increased scrutiny and be subject to restrictions on capital and leverage similar to banks.”

And the record public market listing has been suspended. 

“China suspended Ant Group’s $37 billion stock market listing on Tuesday, thwarting the world’s largest IPO with just days to go in a dramatic blow to the financial technology company founded by billionaire Jack Ma. The Shanghai stock exchange announced that it had suspended the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on its STAR Market, prompting Ant to also freeze the Hong Kong leg of the dual listing, which was due on Thursday.”

The Chinese Government is not tripping.

Let’s keep blazing. 

The Oregonians are Tripping

Oregon made history when it became a state to decriminalize all drugs and treat substance users as a public health issue rather than a criminal issue. Cocaine, crack, heroin, cannabis, MDMA and all other street drug users in Oregon will be treated as patients rather than criminals. Why did the Oregonians decide to vote for a measure that treats all natural and synthetic drug users as patients when arrested with small amounts of it on them? We hear from Oregon Live:

Supporters believe U.S. drug policy has filled the country’s jails with nonviolent offenders who need treatment instead of incarceration and has disproportionately affected generations of Black people. The Drug Policy Alliance poured more than $4 million into the decriminalization campaign, far outspending the $95,000 raised by opponents. The organization receives support from billionaire philanthropist and investor George Soros, who is on the alliance board. Other major funders of the effort included Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who along with his wife Priscilla Chan gave $500,000, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which gave $150,000, and national ACLU, which gave another $150,000, per state campaign finance reports.

This is a huge, very progressive step taken by the Oregonians and our respects to them. The United States’ War on Drugs, the movement that dragged other nations like India along with it into a drug prohibition and criminalization policy has failed. How?

Because the policy has not succeeded in either reducing the number of people who use recreational drugs or even reducing the amount of drugs being produced and sold. A total failure so to speak. Science and economics have finally caught up.

Let’s keep blazing ahead.

Tripping on Marcus Rashford’s Letter

Manchester United’s striker, Marcus Rashford as part of a social partnership with over 150 year old British textile brand, Burberry has penned a beautiful letter to his 10 year old self. We have interpreted the letter as not just for 10 year old kids, but of course for everyone. Here’s the letter, which we highly encourage the reader as well to go through and reflect about their own lives.

Let’s keep blazing. Have a great day 🙂

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