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Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China's Extraordinary Rise
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Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China's Extraordinary Rise

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  174 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Carl Walter and Fraser Howie go deep into the Chinese financial machine to illuminate the social and political consequences of China's unique business model and pose the question whether it has, in fact, lived up to all the hype surrounding it and whether, after all, the 21st century really will be China's century.
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by John Wiley & Sons (first published November 22nd 2010)
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China is a long way from the days where there was only one bank (a minor sub-ministry of Mao's government apparatus) and the foreign currency reserves totaled some $38,000. Their economic rise, which seemed miraculous, is now thought of as inevitable, and one where the West and America have nothing but a diminished role to play.

The continued rise, aruges the authors, is a paper tiger. A correction to the cycle may yet come sooner than we think.

It's terribly difficult to make financial terminolog
Alexander Wj
I think this was a good book with many interesting insights into the real forces behind China's financial veil. I say "think" because following Wiley standard, this book is written in incredibly dry language and filled with statistics and intricate details. I read it for fun and so didn't pay too much attention to specifics. The title is definitely much more eye-catching than the content as it closer qualifies as a historical account of post-Mao Chinese economics and never explicitly says its fr ...more
Erez Davidi
Even though this book is rather short, the authors were able to cover a vast amount of different issues regarding China's financial markets and banking system. However, the two most alarming points that were brought up by the authors are: First, China's largest banks, of which the Communist Party is the main stock holder, therefore serve the government's interest rather than their own.

At the height of the 2008 crisis, the banks went on a lending spree mostly because of political pressure from th
Red Capitalism dispels the commonly held view that China has been on a non-stop period of economic growth since the 1980s, and it's system is insulated from the mistakes, and runaway capitalism that brought about the crash of 2008.
Rather, China seems to retain the worst of both worlds, with local debt spiraling out of control from 2008's stimulus packages, and a banking sector that stands as a potent case against state owned banks.
Lending is increasingly politicized in China, with the government
3 or 4 stars

Does a good job of explaining China's unique blend of capitalist mechanisms and state planning. Ultimately you come away with the understanding that, since the state controls all the major enterprises, the entire structure of assets and liabilities ultimately all cancel each other out.

The book does have several flaws though:
1) it assumes a solid understanding of Chinese politics - it was like reading a book on Federal Reserve policy without understanding what the President or Congres
Peter Strupp
An insightful look into a financial system based on gross misallocation of capital and corruption.
"Red Capitalism" 2nd edition in 2012 covers up to 2011 the various financial institutions and Communist Party reforms and development that have transformed China economically. It is worth reading to get an understanding and insight on the history and legacy of China's path to its red capitalism status as of 2011, prior to catching up what China's capital market is nowadays.

The book first reveals how reforms have happened in the banking, which started out in 1978 after the Cultural Revolution bas
Contains lot of minor errors. Abbreviations are excessively used everywhere. But if you get past the editorial shortcomings, it's a truly fascinating account of some of the most complex financial transactions carried out in the history of the world. I found the book quite comprehensible even though it is pretty technical. If you have a basic understanding of financial markets i.e. can watch CNBC and understand most of what they're saying, understanding most of the transactions described here sho ...more
Frank Stein
An unprecedented and amazing look at the inner workings of the once impenetrable Communist financial system. As might be expected, however, the authors did not get any exclusive access to the Politburo or leaders of the big banks. What they did get was perhaps more impressive. They assembled and analyzed all the publicly available information in state magazines, statistical reports, and accounting releases of publicly listed companies to prove that the whole Chinese system is rigged for the excl ...more
Red Capitalism is excellent for understanding the political and institutional history behind China's financial system. The main thesis, which is emphasized throughout by scoping in on specific parts of the system -- bank reform, A-share markets, bond markets, PBOC vs MOF relations -- is that China's capital markets are no more than shallow trappings designed to look like Western financial systems and that the older political arrangements still dominate the allocation of capital.

The authors do b
Andy Rapt
Very interesting book about the Chinese financial system. The language may be hard for the casual reader but there is lots of crucial information for those who are interested in China. Just skip the boring parts!
Tracey Kreps
I cannot share enough praise for the presentation of this book. Even if an investor is bullish on China and Southeast Asia the framework and history described in this book should be required reading of investors.
Ramie Jacobson
very dense book, felt like I needed a masters, but it was informative. didn't actually finish but I don't plan to either.
Red Capitalism is a complete, objective, and data-driven look at the forces behind China's meteoric rise over the past three decades. Indulging in neither cynical nay-saying nor worship at the altar of China Inc, authors Carl Walter and Fraser Howie first deconstruct the legitimate successes achieved by 'the Party', then weigh the hidden costs and long-term consequences. A highly informative read littered with facts and figures, Red Capitalism suffers only by being so technical that at times it ...more
It's good, it really is. It's an absolute data fest and the authors go to great lengths to ensure that their ideas are backed up by real, hard numbers. But from the get-go there seems to be a pressing desire to find some massive skeleton in China's fiscal closet and I really wish there were some opposing positions mixed in here, if only to help find context for those too ignorant to find and interpret their own international financial data.
Robert C
It was a very good look at the complex banking system in China. It also helps explain the source of a lot of my banking frustration, as an ex-pat in China. However, it is not a good book to read in e-book format. It really needs to be a textbook in a class.
A detailed look at the workings of the Chinese financial and economic policies structure. A great read for technocrats, rich in acronyms and graphics. It's also a really good guide for emerging market policy makers to adapt, avoid and improve on.
This was a very useful look into the financial/banking system in China....with all of its weaknesses. Dry at times and never exciting but a very enlightening read.
Not the best written book but the content is very interesting and worth the read if you want to better understand the Chinese financial system.
Extremely informative. My favorite line, "The emperor is naked, but he's still the emperor."
Probablemente este libro lo disfruten mas los economistas
Worth the slog through all the acronyms.
Fantastic read!
Zhou Xiaozhu
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