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First Chinese Lender Will 'Open the Way': Cohen

Tuesday, 15 Feb 2011 | 4:21 PM ET

After appearing on "The Strategy Session" on Tuesday, Rodgin Cohen, senior chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, continued the discussion off-air with David Faber, about the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China acquiring the Bank of Asia's U.S. Unit, making it the first Chinese lender to buy a U.S. retail bank.

"This one will be the first and I suspect that it will be approved. If it is, I think it will definitely open the way for other China-U.S. deals. They're not going to be mega deals, but there will be deals," Cohen said.

What's Next for Financials, Fannie, & Freddie
H. Rodgin Cohen of Sullivan & Cromwell explains what China's possible entrance into the U.S. banking market could mean for financials. Plus, his take on the future of America's mortgage system.

"For nineteen years, the Chinese banks, and interestingly enough the Indian banks, have been barred from buying U.S. banks by a rather obscure provision in a bill, which was enacted in 1991, which requires there to be a consolidated comprehensive supervision of non-U.S. banks buying U.S. banks," he added.

Check out our entire conversation with Rodgin Cohen in this web exclusive to see why Cohen thinks we need a revolutionary approach in the housing finance system because "so long as it's the GSE's (government-sponsored enterprise) [holding these mortgages], we have a problem."

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