The hot-money hot air 張化橋
to pour cold water on talk of 'hot money',
South China Morning Post, 2 July 2013,
Joe Zhang says effect of speculators' cash on China's economy is negligible.
Few commentators bother to ask about the practicalities of hot money creeping into China for profits.
One evening in December 2011, as chairman of Wansui Micro Credit Company in Guangzhou, I received a call from the Guangzhou city government's finance office. On the line was a Mr Liao who sternly reminded me that, as of that day, we had exceeded our credit ceiling by about 15 million yuan (HK$18.23 million at exchange rates then) and I had three days to bring our loan portfolio back beneath it.
Even I did not know we had exceeded the regulatory ceiling. I started to sweat. How had our information been leaked to the regulator? Our panicky finance manager told me that all licensed lenders in China had their operating data linked to the supercomputers at the regulatory agency. Even our travel expense reimbursements were automatically being reported to it, in real time.
Barely two months later, as chief executive of a Hong Kong-based company, I found myself in Chongqing, explaining to several central bank officials at the local branch why we had remitted 200 million yuan from Hong Kong to a certain account at the ICBC Bank in Chongqing. I have to say that, much as I dreaded that experience, I was impressed with the IT infrastructure and by the close scrutiny of yet another regulatory agency.
Eventually, we were