Thursday, October 07, 2010

Obfuscation in English, candor in Chinese: EB-5 transcript quotes NYCRC rep: "business is business, and we are in pursuit of profit maximization"

Remember, as I reported October 4, how the New York City Regional Center's (NYCRC) Gregg Hayden, when faced with a question about why exactly green card-seeking Chinese investors were needed for a project that included deep-pocketed Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, simply evaded the question?

Chinese investors reading the transcript were given an additional dose of candor, words not in Hayden's mouth but which elaborate on the logic and spirit of his statement:
The costs of using investment funds are relatively lower than the costs of bank loans. Although the NBA project funds are sufficient, business is business, and we are in pursuit of profit maximization.
(Emphasis added)

This blatant admission of the developer's true goals gives a lie to the official claim that the investment would create or save jobs, and provides more evidence that the plan violates the spirit, and perhaps the letter, of the EB-5 visa program.

Question recap in English

The moderator passed on a sensible question about the need for new money. Below is the question, as translated into English by the translator:
They see that the Russian oligarch is the owner of the team. And that he spent a lot of money and has a lot of money. And so, if he has so much money, why do we need Chinese investment on this project?


Hayden's response evaded the question, dropping the name of some irrelevant celebrities:
Very important. The Barclays Center is a significant project. It creates a redevelopment of the railyards, which is the third largest transportation hub in New York, as well as this arena. And in the arena, the New Jersey Nets, the NBA franchise team, which is owned by the Russian oligarch, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Forest City Enterprises, is the primary tenant. This is their home arena, at which they'll play in excess of 40 games per year.
Question recap in Chinese

Here's the Q&A as it appears on the blog (Google Translate version) of Hu Weihang, an immigration expert who heads the Kunpeng International consultancy working with the NYCRC.

The screenshot above left provides the Q&A, with the answer reproduced below.

GREGG D HAYDEN:你問得非常好,巴克利中心體育館的建造及相關附屬工程是紐約市的一個非常重要的項目,這個項目也包括另外一個組成部分,靠近紐約市第三大交通中心,是要翻修一個交通中心。建好的體育館將成為網隊的主場,音樂人Jay-Z也是這個網隊的股東。這個體育館竣工後將舉辦球賽。使用投資移民的資金,使用成本比較低,比去銀行貸款成本低很多,雖然,NBA項目資金很充足,但在商言商還是要追求商業利潤的最大化。

Here's that answer, according to my translator. Note that the answer is apparently based on the Chinese text of the translation into Chinese by Hayden's translator, and does not fully convey his words.

GREGG D HAYDEN:
You asked a very good question. The construction of the Barclays Sports Center and other associated projects in New York City are very important. The project also includes another component near the third largest transportation center in New York City. This will renovate a transportation center. It will also build the stadium which will be home to the Nets, and Jay-Z the musician is also a shareholder of the team. Completion of the stadium will see the hosting of matches. The costs of using investment funds are relatively lower than the costs of bank loans. Although the NBA project funds are sufficient, business is business, and we are in pursuit of profit maximization.
(Emphases added)

Addition of unspoken words

However, neither Hayden nor his translator spoke those last two sentences. They were added on by the transcriber, and included in the Chinese transcript.

It's not clear, according to the translator I consulted, whether this answer appeared elsewhere in the session.

(At right, a screenshot of the Google Translate version of the question and answer.)

However, a statement like "business is business," while it may sound like a violation of the spirit of American immigration law, to a Chinese audience conveys that it's a serious project.

The question in Chinese and English

2 comments:

  1. Maybe Hayden made the statement at the conference, but someone chose to edit it out of the video?

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  2. You can watch the video and draw your own conclusion. It doesn't look to me like his statements were edited.

    ReplyDelete