"Can you save us? We're here to be rescued!"
That, in a nutshell, was the collective cry of a swarm of American (and European) bankers, auditors, consultants and industrialists that thronged the cavernous halls of the colossal convention centre in Tianjin at the weekend.
While the western delegates at the World Economic Forum's summer conference in the coastal port city that serves as the maritime entry to Beijing were confused, bemused and hyperanxious about the financial crisis and its impact on the global economy, the Chinese were magisterially assured. Certain that they are the new masters of the universe – now or very soon.