A year ago, every financier in Hong Kong was discussing freedom from Beijing’s stern control.  Now they are biting their tongues and saying nothing after Beijing passed new measures preventing free speech. They are trying to get on and adapt to the new law.  Activists can no longer count on them for support.  As one senior executive in the city said, Hong Kong business is non-ideological.  It will work under constraints that keep the public down.  That is true in the rest of the world as well.  Economic transactions occur under the best and worst of circumstances.  There is no loyalty among business persons to countries or ideologies, so they take cover when they must.  It is craven in the eyes of activists and patriots but it is the way business survives.  Governments regulate them to inject a moral base where there is none and enforce loyalty as a condition of exchange, but it is not natural.  Hong Kong proves again that repression doesn’t prevent business from thriving.

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