Global rebalancing: Part II. First China lent Americans the money to buy its toys, gadgets and other assorted junk. Now it is set to stump up to repay beleaguered US taxpayers in return for the non-junk parts of a troubled insurer.
Asian sovereign wealth funds have been lined up to help bankroll the Prudential’s acquisition of AIA, the Asian arm of AIG. The asset is being touted as the group’s crown jewels (note: last time this phrase was bandied around, about Cable & Wireless’ sale of Hong Kong Telecom, the so-call jewels turned out to be paste and the deal one of the biggest exercises in value destruction). Assuming wily financiers succeed in their undertaking, which is on a par with selling duff snow to the Inuit, this would be the biggest vindication yet for paying bankers’ bonuses.