Vancouver: Where Chinese money goes to party, be invested, “cleaned?”

Vancouver is a stunning city. It’s Canada’s California, kind of. With much more rain.

It’s a West Coast city through and through. It has that vibe. Snow capped peaks above with cruchy-ish Vancouverites scurrying in the generally well kept urban jungle below. (Generally speaking.) Whistler and it’s world famous slopes are just a short drive to the north. Seattle is a little longer drive to the south.

But it’s not all bonged out snowboarders, aging hippies, and granola. Vancouver is deeply tied to Asia. I was last there 20 years ago and that was obvious even then. The number of banks with Chinese characters on signs was remarkable.

San Francisco has a deep connection to Asia also, and long has. One can sense it in the city. But Vancouver felt almost like an Asian city in pockets. This is no doubt even more true these days. 20 years ago the Chinese boom was just getting started. Now as Bloomberg reports, money from China, from the world’s Ultimate Crony Capitalist State, is looking for a safe home and that home for many rich Chinese is Rain City.

(From Bloomberg)

Until September, it was also possible to buy a property using an anonymous corporation with a lawyer as its lone director, or to appoint a “nominee shareholder” who controlled this anonymous company—without disclosing the true ownership in either case. Meanwhile, lawyers in British Columbia, as in the rest of Canada, are exempt from key provisions of anti-money-laundering law, a standard that national lawyers’ associations went to the Supreme Court to protect, on grounds of attorney-client privilege.

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