Saturday, December 22, 2007

China controlling more of U.S. economy

There's a good reason schools across the country are scrambling to find people who can teach Chinese: It's quickly becoming business' second language as Wall Street seeks to tap China's $1.3 trillion in foreign reserves.

China has been making increasingly aggressive investments in some of the world's most prestigious financial companies in recent months — most of them American. Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, Blackstone Group, and Britain's Barclays have all negotiated major stakes by Chinese government-controlled investment funds.

Investment banks ailing from the subprime mortgage mess are looking for money to shore up their balance sheets. And China is leading a surge of strategic investments from Asia and the Middle East that so far have sunk about $25 billion into Wall Street banks.

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