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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: August 2020

Chapter 11 - Casino Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics

Summary

Chapter 11 examines the stock market bubbles which occurred in China in 2007 and 2015. Between the end of 2005 and October 2007, the stock market soared by over 400 per cent. One year later, the market had fallen by 70 per cent. Similarly, in the year before June 2015, the stock market had increased by more than 150 per cent. It then collapsed by more than 50 per cent in under three months. The chapter discusses how, in the space of 20 years, China went from having almost no marketability to having heavily controlled marketability, and then near-free marketability. China also went from having virtually no middle class to having the world’s largest middle class, which then became the new speculating class. Thanks to margin lending, they were able to borrow heavily to finance their investments. Both bubbles are very clear examples of how and why governments engineer bubbles in the first instance. In 2007 the Chinese authorities needed to stimulate privatisation and in 2015 they needed to unwind the largest economic stimulus in history.