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For The Record  

FTR #290 The Japanese Economy and the Kido Organization

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1. Just as the post-war German economy is inextricably linked with the remarkable and deadly Bormann organization, the Japanese economy is inextricably linked with the flight capital program set up by Koichi Kido, the principal assistant to Emperor Hirohito. The economic and political component of a Third Reich gone underground, the Bormann organization controls corporate Germany and much of the rest of the world. (It was created and run by Martin Bormann, the organizational genius who was the “the power behind the throne” in Nazi Germany.)

2. The Bormann group is a primary element of the analysis presented in the For the Record programs.

3. This program sets forth the facts concerning the Kido flight capital program, the continuity between the zaibatsu (family trusts) of Imperial Japan and the Keirestsu (the contemporary Japanese corporate powers) and the truth of Hirohito’s central role in the Japanese war of aggression and the economic looting of Asia.

4. Much of the first side of the program consists of discussion and analysis of a very important article about “the M-fund,” a clandestine fund allegedly set up by the postwar Japanese economic interests and the CIA. (“Mischief or Conspiracy?” by Gillian Tett; Financial Times; 4/7-4/8/2001; p. 10.)

5. This alleged fund came to light as the result of the appearance of allegedly counterfeit Japanese government bonds. “It looks innocuous enough: a simply worded warming about “fictitious bonds” sits on Japan’s Ministry of Finance web site. In fact, it is a gateway into a world swirling with explosive accusations of fraud, conspiracy and political interference. . . . But that hasn’t stopped these mysterious ‘quasi-bonds’ from turning up in financial centers around the world. In total, their purported face value comes to trillions of yen. And their origin is the subject of mystery and controversy. Are these quasi-bond certificates part of a complex political conspiracy, or are they simply a ploy to trap foreign investors?” (Idem.)

6. A former Kennedy administration official is convinced the funds are real and has faced severe legal problems as a result. “One man convinced the certificates are real is Norbert Schlei, a senior U.S. lawyer and former adviser to President John F. Kennedy. In 1995, he was apprehended in Florida for handling these certificates and charged with securities fraud.” (Idem.)

7. “Schlei maintained that these certificates were valid, and that they were part of a complex scheme by the Japanese right and the CIA to recycle hidden capital from Japanese World War II loot. In his defense, he told the courts the certificates were legitimate and owned by a dozen of his Japanese clients. Then he dropped his bombshell by claiming Japan’s Ministry of finance had secretly issued the certificates in the 1980’s to conceal a hidden political slush fund. And this slush fund was linked to money that the CIA allegedly had used to fund rightwing political groups in Japan, as part of an anti-communist drive.” (Idem.)

8. Although Schlei’s account has been attacked, there is evidence that his account is correct. “But Schlei’s version of events is the one supported in a book, yet to be published, by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, two U.S. authors who have written extensively on Asia. ‘When the American and Japanese public find out what has been going on all these years, particularly with regard to covert financial mischief, there will be a huge public outcry,’ they say. In fact, finance and politics in Japan are deeply murky and the complete truth may never emerge. But there are two main theories as to where the bonds came from.” (Idem.)

9. The Japanese MoF (Ministry of Finance) maintains that the bonds are fraudulent and are the work of the Japanese underworld. (In fact, the yakuza—Japanese organized crime—is closely linked to the Japanese corporate establishment, as well as the fascist right wing.) The physical evidence is inconsistent with that hypothesis, however. “The official explanation, by the MoF, is that a gang of Japanese crooks printed them in the 1980’s. Some of the gang were convicted in Japan for fraud in the mid-1980s, given a suspended sentence, and have now disappeared. But the certificates were distributed to criminals overseas, who continued the fraud, say Japanese police. . . . It sounds credible—but contains odd details. No financial institution has ever admitted losing money as a result of these bonds. And the MoF did not declare the certificates counterfeit until 1993—a decade after they first appeared. It has also seemed reluctant to permit its bureaucrats to testify that the certificates were fake. At one trial in the U.S., a MoF witness disappeared early, and the tape recorder collecting his evidence broke. The ministry blames this on a ‘misunderstanding.’ Another oddity is the certificates’ design. Criminals usually make fake bonds identical to real bonds and in small denominations, to avoid attracting attention. The ‘quasi-bonds,’ however, do not even pretend to be a Japanese government bond, but an IOU—of a type not seen in Japan. Each certificate is dedicated to a specific Japanese person, and says it can be exchanged for 15-year bonds in the future, via the Bank of Japan ‘and Dai-Ichi Kangyo bank as an agent of the Bank.’ They claim to have been issued in 1982—or Showa 57 in the Japanese calendar (they are sometimes called ‘series-57 bonds’ by Americans. . . .But if that looks suspicious, the other explanation is far stranger and begins in the early 20th century, when Japan invaded its Asian neighbors and looted vast wealth.” (Idem.)

10. The “unofficial explanation” is rooted in the clandestine history of the Japanese economy during World War II and its aftermath. “After the Second World War, U.S. intelligence forces secretly seized this wealth and later used it to finance covert anti-Communist operations—paying bribes, for example, to rightwing members of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party. Schlei told the Florida court that in the postwar U.S. ‘we came to feel that [such payments] were OK because the Russians were subsidizing the communists and socialists.’ In the 1960’s, the U.S. returned control of this fund—called the ‘M-fund’—to Japan. Japanese politicians, such as Kakuei Tanaka, a former finance minister and later prime minister, grabbed it, stole large sums and used it for their personal use and to buy political support with bribes. ‘For 25 years Tanaka was known as the money man of Japanese politics. My clients say the reason he had so much money was he got control of this M-fund,’ Schlei said. In the 1960’s, Tanaka tried to hide some of the fund by buying JGB’s and registering them in the name of his crones and supporters. But in 1976, he was sucked into a corruption scandal and convicted of receiving bribes from the U.S. Lockheed company. In the following years, his cronies wanted extra money and, in the late 1970s, the Tanaka clique decided secretly to print what have become the disputed certificates as part of a complex financial scheme.” (Idem.)

11. In addition to Tanaka, Yoshio Kodama was deeply involved with the Lockheed bribery scandal. Kodama had been interned by the Americans as a war criminal at the end of World War II. Like another Japanese fascist, Ryoichi Sasakawa, Kodama had been deeply involved with the Japanese patriotic and ultra-nationalist societies that brought fascism to Japan. Both Kodama and Sasakawa were deeply involved with Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.

12. In an attempt to redeem some of the capital invested in these bonds, the government of Paraguay approached some Wall Street bankers who, in turn, attempted to enlist the aid of former White House chief-of-staff (under Nixon) and Secretary of State (under Reagan) Alexander Haig. “Some former Wall Street bankers, who insist on remaining anonymous, say that in the early 1990’s they were hired by government officials in Paraguay, who had acquired some ‘bonds’ and wanted to offset them against Paraguay’s debt to Japan. They hired Alexander Haig, a former U.S. secretary of state, to find out whether Japan’s finance ministry would accept a deal. The Seagraves claim a deal was struck.” (Idem.)

13. Interestingly, and perhaps significantly, Haig is close to the Moon organization. The Nixon White House and the government of Paraguay were also close to the Bormann organization. “The German-South American group also had direct access to the Nixon White House through their representatives in Washington, and were proud of the fact that Bebe Rebozo was President Nixon’s closest friend. For, knowingly or unknowingly, Rebozo processed millions of their dollars through his Florida bank as part of normal commercial operations.” (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; P. 275.)

14. The second half of the program deals directly with the Kido flight capital program. With Japan’s military defeat clearly on the horizon, Hirohito aid Koichi Kido undertook to secret the emperor’s fortune out of the grasp of the Allies. Speaking to the aforementioned Martin Bormann, I.G. Farben head Hermann Schmitz outlined the Japanese flight capital program. “Hermann Schmitz, had eleven I.G. Farben companies in Japan, as well as the intelligence organization of Max Ilgner’s N.W. 7. The I.G. Verbindungsmanner, who were the liaison officers between Farben in Japan and the home office in Germany, let him in on some of the fiscal secrets of Emperor Hirohito, who had used Swiss banks to place his enormous liquid fortunes beyond the reach of the Allies. So did the industrial and financial leaders of Japan, who also knew how to move their wealth around the world.” (Ibid.; pp. 120-121.)

15. It should be noted that the actions of Koichi Kido were influenced by those of Bormann. “With his immense land holdings and the profits from his many investments, Emperor Hirohito was by far the wealthiest individual in Japan. Within the structure was the lord keeper of the privy seal, the emperor’s most important advisor, the only one who could offer unsolicited comments. From 1940 to the end of the war the lord keeper of the privy seal was Marquis Koichi Kido, who performed just as ably for Hirohito as Martin Bormann did for Hitler. . . . And when Emperor Hirohito received his two requested reports on the future of the war in the Pacific from his army and navy chiefs of staff, he, too, concurred that their war cold not be won. He asked Kido to prepare a peace plan for the Japanese nation; and Kido began work on it in January 1944. The lord privy seal envisioned the first step in any peace plan as one that would preserve the imperial throne and its imperial wealth. Kido held meetings with key bankers and the transfers of imperial money to Swiss accounts was effected smoothly via bank telegraph credit, inasmuch as major Japanese banks had their own correspondent banking relationships with the important fiscal institutions of Switzerland. Emperor Hirohito and his imperial household zaibatsu had stock ownership and deposits in fourteen of the major Japanese banks, all of which cherished the honor of acting as an imperial depository. The fourteen banks gave all assistance necessary, of course, to the Kido transfer.” (Ibid.; pp. 121-122.)

16. The flight capital plan was more than successful, and the capital on hand for both the emperor and the Japanese corporations (zaibatsus) served as the foundation for postwar Japanese recovery and success. “By the end of the war, the deposits on hand were astronomical, and during the postwar rehabilitation of Japan, the imperial fortune kept increasing from the interest charges for loans to various zaibatsu companies who were struggling—as were German firms—for a comeback in world markets. As a result of these transfers American SCAP [Supreme Commander, Allied Powers] fiscal investigators found the imperial vaults pretty nearly bare when they went poking through the recorded assets in the imperial palace following Japanese surrender aboard the U.S.S. Missouri on September 2, 1945.” (Ibid.; p. 123.)

17. As was the case with Germany, the wealth that Kido funneled out of the country included the fortunes of the nations conquered and occupied by Japan. Those countries’ assets were looted and absorbed into the Japanese economy. “Like the Third Reich, the Japanese pattern of conquest and pillage prevailed. As armies marched, fought, and conquered, they were followed by the ubiquitous bankers and business specialists who assumed economic control of the lands and people and assets they coveted. They seized gold and formed companies to mine for minerals, oil, coal, and all other substances necessary to a resource-poor country like Japan. . . . But behind the slogans was a hard-headed commercialism dedicated to profits for the zaibatsus, which included the imperial household zaibatsu, funneled through stock ownership in the scores of corporations established in banking and industry of each conquered country.” (Ibid.; pp. 123-124.)

18. Both Kido and Hirohito exhibited considerable cynicism during the closing phase of the war. Recognizing that it was essential to deceive the Japanese people into prolonging the conflict, as well as deflecting blame for the defeat away from the emperor and the zaibatsus, both men engaged in a program of propaganda aimed at buying time for the flight capital program to be consummated. “In 1944, while the lord privy seal was making his peace plans, Emperor Hirohito waited for the ultimate excuse for withdrawal from the war. Kido had recommended the removal of Prime Minister Tojo from office in 1944. Tojo had originally been placed in office on the recommendation of Kido, but now he was to take the blame for the defeat and for the atrocities that Japanese forces had committed when it was foreseen that the war was lost. Actually, the war had been planned in the War Room of the Imperial Palace, from the attack and rape of Nanking to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, with the emperor an interested participant in all major strategic decisions. . . . Kido knew the people would have to be prepared for surrender. The fighting men had staked their honor on victory or suicide, and vast numbers had died in the emperor’s name. If peace were premature, many would say that Hirohito lacked the courage to fight the war through to the end. Widows and orphans would blame the emperor for causing their fathers and husbands to die in vain. The emperor and Kido knew that the people had reached the point where they were eager to see an end to war. When the time arrived that they thought it was they who had fought poorly and let the emperor down, then and only then, if Hirohito declared for peace, would the people feel obligated to him.” (Ibid.; pp. 124-125.)

19. Ultimately the plans of the emperor and Kido were successful. “While the emperor waited for an excuse for withdrawal from the war, he approved the many defensive measures being undertaken to repel the invaders. . . . His propaganda minister, like Dr. Goebbels in Berlin, fostered the notion of battle to the last, but it was smoke of sorts, contrived to make more steadfast the flagging will of the people. . . . On August 7, 1945, the emperor was presented with his reason to initiate peace. He received the Japanese army report of the atomic destruction of Hiroshima. Two days later, on August 9, a second A-bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Although the emperor and Lord Privy Seal Kido had been thinking about surrender for nineteen months before the two atomic bombs fell, it took only days for Emperor Hirohito to agree to surrender terms on the Potsdam Declaration. At this point in time, as in Berlin, the preparations for post-war commercial survival for two defeated nations had been completed, and now only the final scenario had to be played out.” (Ibid.; pp. 126-127.)

20. As had been envisioned by the emperor, Kido and the corporate leadership of the zaibatsus, the flight capital program achieved its aim. “. . . once the occupation ended and Japan again became master of her own destiny, the family-controlled holding companies were to make their comeback bigger and stronger than ever before, under the name ‘Kerestsu,’ which also means ‘group.’ Today, the six big Kerestsus contol the economy; in fact they are the economy. The six largest groups control 40 percent of the nation’s corporate capital, and 30 percent of its corporate assets. The trading companies of these six Kerestsu hold stock in more than 5,400 companies in Japan, and the Keirestsu banks own even more. The Mitsubishi and Mitsui families were zaibatsu before their holding companies were broken up by MacArthur, but today they are comfortable Keirestsu. . . . As was proven in time, the wealth and the corporations controlled by the Bormann organization, on the one hand (in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1 percent of the corporate leadership controls 40 percent of the industry and finance), and by the zaibatsu/Keirestsu, along with the holdings of the imperial family, were the basic instruments that guided both defeated nations back to economic power.” (Ibid.; pp. 127-128.)

Discussion

15 comments for “FTR #290 The Japanese Economy and the Kido Organization”

  1. Posted by GK | June 16, 2013, 9:38 pm
  2. Softbank the Japanese wireless provider run by it’s Zainichi Korean-Japanese Billionaire Founder is projected to close on Sprint-Nextel Wireless very soon. Before it became pretty apparent the company was going to win its bid for the third largest wireless provider, they were in preliminary talks with Deutche Telekom, about another possible purchase, T-Mobile. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/softbank-talks-deutsche-telekom-deal-203241823.html According some info I linked to in my previous comment on this topic the founder had a 300 year business plan and had a desire to combine science with religion. This might qualify as… “food for thought and grounds for further research”.

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/06/25/sprint-shareholders-approve-sale-to-softbank/?partner=yahoofinance&_r=0

    Posted by GK | June 27, 2013, 10:03 pm
  3. Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank was the major stakeholder of a consortium that purchased Nippon Credit Bank in 2000 which included Tokio Marine & Fire (Japans oldest insurance company)and Ceberus (which boast J. Danforth Quayle as a senior executive).

    http://www.softbank.co.jp/en/news/press/2000/20000901_01/

    Nippon Credit Bank was previously known as The Bank of Chosen (Korea)and was the colonial bank for the Japanese colony between 1910 and 1945. The bank had a major role in post World War II Japanese re-construction.

    http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/nippon-credit-bank-history/

    Posted by GK | July 2, 2013, 6:37 am
  4. Posted by GK | July 16, 2013, 9:31 pm
  5. Recently while acquiring Sprint for over a 20 Billion Dollar Deal, which is now finalized, Softbank made an 8.5 Billion Dollar bid for “the worlds biggest record company” Universal Music Group. This was 2 billion over some common valuations for UMG.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-18/vivendi-said-to-have-rejected-softbank-bid-for-universal-music

    The ambition and financial power of the company seems to be noteworthy as is it’s background and history.

    Posted by GK | July 21, 2013, 9:58 pm
  6. Intereting networking may be found where the descendent bank of The Bank of Korea meets the Bush Sphere of influence, in a way that may well be related to the Seagraves vital Gold Warriors and Russ Baker’s stellar Family of Secrets, both highlihted so well on the Spitfirelist Website
    Nippon Credit Bank had a name change to Aozora Bank. Cerberus purchased Softbank’s stake in the bank in 2003.
    As was covered in FTR #670 former Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow under George W. joined Dan Quayle
    at Cerberus in 2006. They then took the bank Public. A update/recap of Cerberus and Aozora Bank from eary this year: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/07/cerberus-aozora-idUSL4N0AC1ZW20130107

    Posted by GK | July 27, 2013, 12:31 pm
  7. Nice piece of propaganda today on PCMag.com by Tim Bajarin

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422913,00.asp

    Speaking about the “brilliant thinker”
    Masayoshi Son:
    Excerpt: “So he approached the minister and urged him to present a plan that would open up telecom laws for more competition. He visited this person at least three times and each time he was either rebuffed or told it would be “looked into.” So, on his fourth visit, he barged into the minister’s office with a full can of gasoline in tow. He told the minister that if he did not agree to take his proposal to their ruling body, he would pour the gasoline over himself and light himself on fire. The telecom minister got the message and agreed to start a discussion to open up their telecom industry to competition.”

    Posted by GK | August 12, 2013, 8:10 pm
  8. A few things to note about Softbank, a Japanese Company with a very colorful history;the Japanese Government is apparently anxious to pump billions of dollars into Softbank for foreign expansion; and there seems to be considerable speculation that it’s newly acquired company Sprint may merge with or acquire T-Mobile, owned by Deutche Bank. Softbank is also in the news as it is getting set to make a fortune on the IPO in development for Alibaba, the huge Asian Online Retailer (bigger than Amazon) in which it owns roughly 36 percent and was an early investor.

    http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/why-is-t-mobile-looking-to-merge-with-sprint.html/?ref=YF

    http://japandailypress.com/softbank-to-receive-3b-in-loans-for-international-expansion-2036292/

    http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/09/26/softbank-ready-to-reap-alibaba-ipo-riches/

    Deutche Bank and Softbank just might have a lot in common politically and philosophically, so they may make succesful partners.

    Posted by GK | September 27, 2013, 9:53 pm
  9. @GK–

    A controlling interest in T-Mobile is owned by Deutsche Telekom, a branch of the German government.

    I’m not aware of any Deutsche Bank participation, although that wouldn’t be surprising.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | September 28, 2013, 3:35 pm
  10. @Dave,

    Fused a synapse. Thanks for the correction. Deutche Bank did serve as Softbank’s Advisor on the 20 Billion Dollar Plus Sprint Deal.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-15/softbank-sprint-advisers-stand-to-earn-up-to-200-million.html

    Highest regards,
    GK

    Posted by GK | September 28, 2013, 7:18 pm
  11. Posted by GK | October 30, 2013, 9:49 pm
  12. There are a lot of stories in the news currently about Sprint looking at launching a bid for T-Mobile early next year. I think if the Japanese elements behind Sprint and the German elements of T-Mobile want it to happen, they have more than enough political and economic muscle to impose their will on U.S. Regulators; American Sovereignty not withstanding.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/12/13/get-ready-for-the-cellular-big-three/?mod=yahoo_hs

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/12/13/sprint-working-on-possible-bid-for-rival-t-mobile-us/4015567/

    Posted by GK | December 17, 2013, 1:40 am
  13. http://news.investors.com/061114-704299-dish-network-mobile-video-partnership-possible.htm?ven=yahoocp&src=aurlled&ven=yahoo

    “Dish Decision: Disrupt Or Join Sprint-TMUS Wedding?

    By REINHARDT KRAUSE, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

    Posted 06/11/2014 04:26 PM ET

    “Dish Network might yet cut in on the merger dance between Sprint and T-Mobile US, though analysts say it’s more likely the satellite TV broadcaster could play bridesmaid in the wireless marriage.

    Sprint (NYSE:S), controlled by Japan-based SoftBank, is widely expected to bid for T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) this summer. Shares of T-Mobile, which is 67% owned by Deutsche Telekom (OTCPK:DTEGY), slipped after reports surfaced that Sprint will offer $40 per share, half in cash and half in stock. Some T-Mobile shareholders expected a higher price, analysts say. A merger with Sprint faces a tough regulator review and litigation looms if the deal is blocked. A court battle could drag on well into 2016

    Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/technology/061114-704299-dish-network-mobile-video-partnership-possible.htm#ixzz35OxOmI7b
    Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

    Posted by GK | June 22, 2014, 12:26 pm
  14. Good reporting from Bloomberg

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-17/softbank-s-son-overtakes-yanai-as-japan-s-richest-person.html

    “Softbank’s Masayoshi Son Now Japan’s Richest Person With $16.6 Billion

    By Jonathan Burgos and Fukumi Yasuda Sep 16, 2014 6:00 PM MT”

    “Masayoshi Son surpassed Fast Retailing Co. Chairman Tadashi Yanai as Japan’s richest person yesterday after SoftBank Corp. surged 16 percent since the start of last week.

    Son, 57, has a net worth of $16.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Yanai, the country’s second-richest person, controls a $16.2 billion fortune.

    Softbank owns about 34 percent of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd…..”

    Also Softbank is looking towards buying American Movie Companies…Eastern Serpents Walk?

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/japans-softbank-eyes-stake-legendary-736612

    “Japan’s SoftBank Eyes Stake in Legendary as DreamWorks Animation Talks Break Down”

    Japanese giant SoftBank has backpedaled from active negotiations to acquire DreamWorks Animation, but it is not done shopping in Hollywood. Sources say the aggressive conglomerate is closing in on a deal to make a significant investment in Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures studio.”

    Posted by GK | October 5, 2014, 5:18 am
  15. https://www.economist.com/news/business/21722674-vision-fund-will-invest-93bn-within-five-years-masayoshi-son-and-saudi-arabia-launch

    May 25, 2017 The economist
    ————————————–
    Here comes the Son
    Masayoshi Son and Saudi Arabia launch a monster technology fund

    The Vision Fund will invest $93bn within five years

    “I HAVEN’T accomplished anything I can be proud of in my 60 years on Earth,” Masayoshi Son, the boss of SoftBank, a Japanese telecoms group, recently confided. Now he has enough money to make a dent in the universe: on May 20th SoftBank and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), along with smaller investors including Apple and Sharp, launched the world’s largest technology-investment fund, worth nearly $100bn. How will Mr Son and his team deploy these riches?

    He has a vision to match his vehicle. Within 30 years, he predicts, the world will be populated by billions of robots, many of them more intelligent than humans. Several of SoftBank’s recent acquisitions, most of which are expected to be part of the fund’s portfolio, should be seen in this light. ARM, a British chip firm acquired for a whopping $32bn last year, will design the brains for the robots. OneWeb, a satellite startup in which SoftBank acquired a 40% stake for $1bn in December, will connect them. Nvidia, another chip-design firm, in which SoftBank has bought a big stake, reportedly of $4bn, is meant to provide processors for artificial-intelligence services.

    The fund’s investment team, which will eventually number 100, has another dozen deals in the pipeline. These will be followed by a further 40 or so, although not all of them will fit neatly into Mr Son’s vision (biotech investments will be considered, for instance). Deal sizes will range between $500m and $3bn, although another ARM-sized acquisition is a possibility, too. The fund has five years to invest its money and will run for a maximum of 14 years.

    Making so many investments in the fast-moving tech world would be challenging in any circumstances. Another complexity is the influence likely to be exerted by the PIF, which has promised up to $45bn for the fund; Saudi Arabia seems to see it as a means to further its plans to diversify the economy (though insiders deny reports that the PIF has a veto right). Then there is Mr Son’s promise to Donald Trump to invest $50bn in America and create 50,000 jobs. Potential conflicts of interest have to be managed, too: SoftBank itself will invest $28bn in the fund, $8.2bn of that in the form of a stake in ARM, with the rest of ARM remaining in SoftBank’s hands.

    Other tech investors look at the fund with a mix of scepticism and greed. Many think SoftBank lacks a successful record in tech investing, excluding an early stake in Alibaba, a Chinese internet giant. “You don’t get into investing with no real experience and want to deploy $100bn,” scoffs an executive at one of Silicon Valley’s most illustrious venture-capital firms. But Mr Son’s fund, which is bigger than all investments of American venture-capital firms in 2016 combined, could help solve their “unicorn” problem: how to unload profitably the many private tech startups worth more than $1bn.

    This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline “A vision of $93bn”

    Posted by GK | August 20, 2017, 6:30 am

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