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Ever y now and then, something happens to shine a light on one of the big, subterranean forces in world affairs. When “sovereign wealth funds” from China and other parts of the developing world start to buy big stakes in the most prestigious—if temporarily troubled—western banks, like Citigroup, you can see the balance of global power shifting a notch or two from west to east. But this, of course, is merely the illumination of a conventional wisdom. With the US economy weakened by financial turmoil, and perhaps even recession, it is also a good time to be reminded by Michael…

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