Sunday, November 1, 2009

An incredible lecture in Beijing

Our third CKGSB lecture in Beijing was given by Professor Ming Huang, a double Ph.D. (Physics and Finance), and entitled "Financial Markets in China." It was utterly fascinating, and I consider it to have been one of the best lectures--on any subject--I have ever attended.

The lecture (which included extensive amounts of Q&A) covered the structure of the various financial markets in China, the banking system, private equity financing, foreign investment, mergers & acquisitions, the impact of the Chinese government on the markets and economic growth (and vice-versa), the impact of the recent financial crisis, behavioral finance, and the Chinese version of the government-service/private-industry "revolving door."

The range of topics and their content proved to be quite mind-bending at times to someone like me--a person used to western capitalism and with admittedly preconceived notions about Chinese Communism that were based upon "vintage" Soviet and Eastern European Communism.

Judging by discussions with some classmates at lunch, a number of us of us would have loved to sit and listen to Professor Huang speak and answer questions for the rest of the day--we were almost disappointed at the lecture's "short" 3 1/2 hour duration!

Professor Huang:

Prior to Professor Huang's lecture, a small group of us traveled across Beijing to a Cisco office with one of our classmates, a Cisco employee, for a demonstration of Cisco's Telepresence video-conferencing technology. This was seriously cool!

(The fellow in the picture was sitting in a room in Herndon, Virginia.)

The rain showers that fell on us the evening before (at the Great Wall) had cleared the smog from Beijing's air, and the morning commute back across town to attend class was under blue skies and rainbows of a different sort:

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Charlottesville, Virginia, United States