FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — China’s massive bank financed stimulus was intended to keep the economy moving. It may instead lead to economic disaster.
Financial collapses may have different immediate triggers, but they all originate from the same cause: an explosion of credit. This iron law of financial calamityshould make us very worried about the consequences of easy credit in China in recent years. From the beginning of 2009 to the end of June this year, Chinese banks have issued roughly 35 trillion yuan ($5.4 trillion) in new loans, equal to 73 percent of China’s GDP in 2011. About two-thirds of these loans were made in 2009 and 2010, as part of Beijing’s stimulus package. Unlike deficit-financed stimulus packages in the West, China’s colossal stimulus package of 2009 was funded mainly by bank credit (at least 60 percent, to be exact), not government borrowing.