michael's blog

A Social Business Investment Bank that also opens markets

 
The purpose of this writing is to open a larger discussion about our relationship to corporations and the
larger and more open world we now find ourselves hurtling towards...
 
I wanted to share my thoughts about a social business investment bank, so am reaching out to seek

Just back from swimming with turtles in Indonesia

turtle.jpegIf you have not made the trek to the Gili Islands between Lombok and Bali to see the corals and green sea turtles, you might put it on your 'to do' list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes knowing which way the wind is blowing is half the battle... Michael Sylvester

disoriented.jpgA couple of news items caught my attention this week.  Not so much for the underlying stories themselves, but more because of what they seemed to say about the world views of the socieites in which these events were unfolding.

Meaning, how much attention were the courts or legislators paying attention to the larger outside world, what did they think they could get away with and how far and how fast was it smart to change their society -- and in what direction?

One story was about The Church of Kopimism that was recognized in Sweden this week.  The other was about the gas price doubling in Nigeria overnight.

Secured Sourcing; China Compliant Contracting -- Michael Sylvester

Secured Sourcing is our response to a recurring ‘Humpty Dumpty’ syndrome and the growing number of direct client requests for earlier assistance in their supply chain management than ever before.  Of course, Humpty Dumpty is a children’s nursery rhyme where ‘all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again…’   
 
For, while China is a great place to do business, it can be a very unforgiving environment when things go wrong.   So, rather than having to look across the conference table and explain to yet another client that there is no cost effective solution to put the pieces together again, we thought we would simply turn that situation around and help people get what they really needed the first time.
 

Practicing Law in China; Closing out 2011 Michael Sylvester

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This photo is at the top of a mountain pass heading south out of the Yabuli Ski Area in north China.  To get there, just head for the North Pole and take a left just before you see Santa.   It was - 30 C or so that day and was quite lovely when the wind stopped blowing...  There is even a ClubMed up there if you want to come and are too afraid of Chinese hotel service, which can be a bit scary if you are not used to it.

 

China continues to be, once and again, a strikingly beautiful place...when you get away from the sort of crowds that those living in the West can only imagine.  And what can we say about 2011 coming to a close other than, phew!!

 

US Green Card Holders Working in China Michael Sylvester

We are often questioned about green card holders working here in Mainland China for US firms and while there is a lot of misinformation floating about it, the rules are rather simple.  If you have a green card, then you are the same as a US citizen for purposes of US taxation.
 
From: IRS Publication 4588 on green card holders living abroad
 
"If you have a US green card, you are a lawful permanent resident of the US even if you live abroad.  This means you are treated as a US residnet for US income tax purposes and you are subject to US tax on your world income from whatever source derived.   Accordingly, you must file a US return unless (a)  there has been a final administrative or judicial determination that your lawful permanent resident status has been revoked or abandoned, (b) your gross income from world wide sources is less than the amounts that require a tax return to be filed or (c) your US residence status is affected by an income tax treaty."
 

Wallpapering over a bumpy wall or restructuring an existing company in China? Michael Sylvester

About twenty years ago, while living in Amsterdam as a graduate student, I was lucky enough to find an apartment in the Jordaan neighborhood right next to the Westerkerk.  It is the place Rembrandt is buried and is right next to the Anne Frank house.  I often watched the tourists line up for a tour of the Anne Frank house out my kitchen window when having a morning coffee.
 
Studying international law, great apartment, Europe was turning inside out as the EU was forming and the Russians were just about to shell their own Parliment building.  Occassionally, I would have to pinch myself to be sure it was all real -- for the world was changing so fast -- and my fellow students and I were right in the middle of it and -- well, it could not be cooler if we dreamed it up as a stage play.
 
And then I called a contractor to paint and fix up the apartment.
 

Intellectual Property Protection in China

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We recognize that foreign enterprises doing business here in Mainland China often have intellectual property protection and trademark enforcement issues.  However, there is a safe way to do business here – by recognizing that the Chinese legal system operates differently from any other developed economy.

China: That which does not kill us makes us stronger...

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.  Well, I'm not sure if being here long enough to be opening year ten has made us any stronger, but it certainly not killed us yet.
Now, I have often been quoted as saying to clients, keep your arms and hands inside of the moving vehicle at all times because living and working here is often a bit like a roller coaster.   But there has been nothing like a near death experience.  Except for that whole pesky situation where we were deported for a week.   The upside there was a family vacation in Hong Kong, so, no harm no foul.
And on the up side, we have been able to see the WTO come into being here, followed by each sequential ramp up on the ten year commitments China gave as a developing economy. Manned space flight, the Olympics, the World's Fair, the Asian Games.  Umm.  I guess they got over that 3rd world country label.  Developing economy, my ass.

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