FirstFT: US bank chiefs warn of China’s exit if Taiwan is attacked

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Good morning Executives at JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup have pledged to heed any US government calls to withdraw from China should Beijing attack Taiwan.

The chief executives of the three largest US banks by wealth made the pledges Wednesday at a House Financial Services Committee hearing.

They were responding to a question from Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican congressman from Missouri, about whether they were prepared to divest their investments from China in the event of a military attack on Taiwan.

“We will follow the direction of the government, which has existed for decades to work with China. If they change their position, we will change them immediately, just like we did in Russia,” said Brian Moynihan, BofA’s chief executive officer.

His comments were echoed by Jane Fraser and Jamie Dimon, chief executives of Citi and JPMorgan, respectively. Dimon conveyed a sense of patriotism in his reply.

“We would absolutely welcome and obey whatever the American government says, and that’s all of you what you want us to do,” he told the committee.

  • More on US-China relations: Top US lawmakers are urging the Biden administration to blacklist Chinese semiconductor company Yangtze Memory Technologies Co for allegedly violating export controls by supplying Huawei.

Thank you for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of today’s news – Emily

1. Putin mobilizes reserves to support invasion of Ukraine Vladimir Putin has ordered the mobilization of army reservists to support Moscow’s ailing campaign in Ukraine and warned he would use Russia’s nuclear arsenal if its “territorial integrity” was “threatened”. Western officials, however, seemed to shrug off Putin’s nuclear “bluff” and vowed to keep supporting Ukraine.

2. Powell refuses to rule out a US recession after third 0.75% rate hike Fed Chair Jay Powell’s dovish comment on the economy came as the Federal Open Market Committee raised its benchmark interest rate to a new target range of 3 percent to 3.25 percent, signaling an intention to keep monetary policy tight during she is battling rising inflation.

3. Seven dead in Iranian protests over hijab At least seven people have been killed in protests across Iran, officials said, as thousands of people took to the streets in recent days in anger over the death of a young woman who had been arrested for allegedly flouting the Islamic dress code.

4. South Korea denies upcoming US swap deal as Won falls The Bank of Korea has denied that it will announce a currency swap agreement with the US Federal Reserve this week as the Korean won continues its slide against the dollar to its lowest level since March 2009. The won is down 15 percent against the dollar since the beginning of the year.

5. The Trump business empire becomes embroiled in a fraud lawsuit in New York New York Attorney General Letitia James yesterday indicted Donald Trump and three of his adult children for what she called an “amazing” fraud in which the assets of their family business, the Trump Organization, were falsely inflated for their own financial gain.

The day ahead

Bank of Japan interest rate decision The Bank of Japan is expected to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy as market participants focus on whether the authorities will intervene directly to stem the yen’s plunge to a new 24-year low.

Bank of England rate setting meeting Financial traders are betting that the monetary policy committee will react even more aggressively to high inflation today than it did in August, when interest rates were raised by 0.5 percentage point to 1.75 percent.

Pakistani court expects charges against ex-PM Imran Khan is expected to be charged with contempt of court. He has also been charged with terrorism-related offences, which Khan’s supporters claim is an attempt by current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to silence him.

What else do we read?

Why Vladimir Putin is upping the ante in the Ukraine war The Russian president’s “partial mobilization” of 300,000 reservists is a gamble that underscores his shrinking room for maneuver on the battlefield in Ukraine and domestically in Russia. A move that is unlikely to pay off, experts say.

Negotiate your way out of a ransomware attack Almost 60 percent of companies that fell victim to ransomware cyberattacks in the past year paid to have their data recovered. Find out if you can protect your business from hackers and avoid a crippling payout in our interactive game.

© An image illustrating ransomware

Tencent chooses health over wealth The company’s first gaming approval in China in more than a year? defense of health, a tame educational affair that hasn’t garnered much attention from investors or gamers. But the approval marked a gradual thawing for the industry after gaming licenses were frozen as part of a campaign to reshape Chinese society around the ideals of the Communist Party.

Where are the women in wealth management? The image for the industry that manages our money is still incredibly masculine. Helen Thomas examines why this sector, which champions the value of diversity for better decision-making, hasn’t made greater strides.

The economic fallout from Liz Truss The government of Liz Truss will set an annual growth target of 2.5 percent in a much-anticipated statement on Friday. Should we take this seriously? No and yes, writes Martin Wolf. No, because the idea that the government of a market economy can achieve a growth goal is ridiculous. Yes, because it will guide politics. The question is whether it will lead him for good or for bad.

Science

The Danish Novo Nordisk Foundation will spend $200 million to develop the first practical quantum computer for life science research. The nonprofit foundation joins a crowded field of universities and tech companies trying to turn the theoretical superpowers of quantum computing into useful devices.

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