Tags: MSNBC China May Be Facing a Homegrown Debt Crisis

MSNBC: China May Be Facing a Homegrown Debt Crisis

Tuesday, 05 Jul 2011 09:08 AM

The United States went through a debt crisis that began in 2008, and Europe is battling one now. Now it may be China's turn, experts say, thanks to massive debts run up developing the country's infrastructure.

China's state-owned banks are in need of some fresh cash and will likely recapitalize their books with profits guaranteed by state-mandated interest rates that pay savers less than banks charge borrowers, MSNBC reports.

Chinese bankers are also allowed to roll over their bad debts indefinitely, writing them off a little bit at a time while they raise fresh cash by selling stock to investors.

Such a policy worked in the 1990s, when China ran into some debt issues.

Now, however, there may be too much bad debt on the books.

"China is already rapidly becoming significantly leveraged," says Carl Waters, a former investment banker and author.

"If you look at what happened in Greece or Ireland or Portugal when a country is leveraged, it has to borrow more and more to meet its interest obligations. That makes it less and less possible to invest in projects that will grow your GDP."

Chinese economic growth is slowing after years of hot expansion, as authorities have tapped the brakes to make sure inflation does not get out of hand.

Don't expect a hard landing, experts say.

"People always over-worry about a China hard landing. Clearly there are a lot of problems with the economy but people may underestimate the government's ability to muddle through," says Stephen Green, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, according to Reuters.

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The United States went through a debt crisis that began in 2008, and Europe is battling one now. Now it may be China's turn, experts say, thanks to massive debts run up developing the country's infrastructure. China's state-owned banks are in need of some fresh cash and...
MSNBC China May Be Facing a Homegrown Debt Crisis
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2011-08-05
Tuesday, 05 Jul 2011 09:08 AM
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