Americans have difficulty comprehending how and why China works the way it does, giving rise to increasing friction between the two countries. This lack of understanding extends to China’s banking system, which is a microcosm of China’s political economy. Contrary to much media reporting, China’s banks have been transformed over the past 15 years into modern financial institutions. At the same time, shaped by centuries of Chinese institutions and values, and deeply embedded in the Chinese market socialist political economy, Chinese banks fundamentally differ from Western banks. Chinese banks play a dual role– provide shareholders with return on investment (the market role) and support the party-state’s national development agenda (the socialist role).

Based on his long career as a banker in Thailand and more than a decade of serving on Chinese bank boards, Jim Stent will describe the main features of how the Chinese banking system both resembles and differs from the Wall Street model. He will use the banking system as a prism for gaining insight into how China’s broader political economy works today and will suggest what implications that has for the U. S.

Independent director of China Minsheng Bank and China Everbright Bank
Jim Stent has been an independent director of China Minsheng Bank and China Everbright Bank. He presently serves on the Board of Supervisors of China Everbright Bank, is an independent director of XacBank in Mongolia, and sits on the Board of Advisors of Yoma Bank in Myanmar. Jim received a Master of Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He is writing a book on the transformation of Chinese banks and he assists in civil society work on cultural heritage conservation in Thailand.


St. John’s College, Junior Commons Room. On Thursday, September 3, 2015, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

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The Visitors Parking Lot is on your left as you enter campus. A few handicapped parking spaces are located at the Visitor’s Circle right in front of the fishpond area and below the Peterson Student Center. A few more are located behind the Peterson Center as follows. Just before the Visitor’s Circle, look for the fork in the road where you would normally drive to the left to get to the Visitors’ Parking Circle just below the Peterson Center. Instead, turn right and follow the drive up to the other parking area. There are two or three handicapped parking spaces on the left. Please note that this parking lot is not open to the public, but handicapped folks are allowed to park in the designated spaces.