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Chinese doodle

india Updated: Aug 20, 2009 00:19 IST

Hindustan Times
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What’s with these Chinese stocks? Just about the time the world is shrugging off a recession, why does the Shanghai stock exchange have to walk into a bear grip?

That’s the problem with these inscrutable Chinese. When the rest of the world was marching resolutely into a slowdown, they sauntered off in the opposite direction. Now, by force of habit, they have to give a fragile recovery a couple of hard knocks. Just to be sure, you know.

You mean we needn’t take the Shanghai Composite Index all that seriously.

That’s right. Just because China is the factory to the world there's no reason why the rest of us should be importing its jitters as well. Look at the bright side. The money investors pulling out of China will have to land up somewhere. Think Mumbai.

So what’s spooking investors will safely stay inside the Great Wall...My guess is the Shanghai Composite became the world’s best performing stock index because its banks kept lending furiously through the financial meltdown. Now that the flow of cheap money is drying up, stocks are tumbling both in Shanghai and in Hong Kong.

And I thought India invented the loan mela.

We did, but the Chinese have taken it to art form. Its banks are perched on a mountain of dodgy loans that would make even the venerable American International Group blush. The best part about China is nobody knows what the numbers are. Except the Politburo, of course, and it’s not talking.

Do say: I’ve been Shanghaied.
Don’t say: Enter the dragon.