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Matthew Brooker

The Rich Irony of Hong Kong’s Leader Carrie Lam

The chief executive’s “piles of cash” suggest U.S. sanctions may be working and that she continues to lack the common touch.

Poor Carrie Lam.

Poor Carrie Lam.

Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images AsiaPac

After a robotic performance in her long but largely hollow policy address, Hong Kong’s most unpopular chief executive emerged to put a human face on her struggles. The kindest thing to say might be that the message didn’t land as intended.

“I have piles of cash at home because the government is paying me cash for my salary because I don’t have a bank account,” Carrie Lam told Hong Kong International Business Channel in an interview, explaining how she was denied banking services as a result of U.S. sanctions.