Joe Zhang

Joe Zhang

Joe Zhang is co-chairman of SBI China Capital and author of Inside China’s Shadow Banking: The Next Subprime Crisis?

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Latest from Joe Zhang

Opinion | Despite currency woes, Turkey may be right to cut interest rates

Hit with multiple challenges including double-digit inflation, Turkey’s decision to protect domestic production over its exchange rates may be its most sensible choice. If the adverse impact of a lira slide can be mitigated with government support, so much the better.

Hit with multiple challenges including double-digit inflation, Turkey’s decision to protect domestic production over its exchange rates may be its most sensible choice. If the adverse impact of a lira slide can be mitigated with government support, so much the better.

2 Jan 2022 - 2:30AM
Opinion | Evergrande crisis doesn’t spell the end of Beijing’s support for big business, as microlending crackdown shows

Many officials believe China has dodged a bullet, given other nations’ experience with microfinance, which has failed to reduce poverty or increase incomes. Rather, they see a real solution in big industrial enterprises and big services platforms, and in supporting state-owned banks over microlenders.

Many officials believe China has dodged a bullet, given other nations’ experience with microfinance, which has failed to reduce poverty or increase incomes. Rather, they see a real solution in big industrial enterprises and big services platforms, and in supporting state-owned banks over microlenders.

10 Oct 2021 - 9:45AM
Macroscope | Why China’s cram school crackdown is a welcome and needed reform

Wall Street investors surprised by Beijing’s regulatory changes have only themselves to blame for ignoring the signs. China is no democracy, but its policymaking process is transparent and follows a clear pattern, and its policies largely benefit the people.

Wall Street investors surprised by Beijing’s regulatory changes have only themselves to blame for ignoring the signs. China is no democracy, but its policymaking process is transparent and follows a clear pattern, and its policies largely benefit the people.

4 Aug 2021 - 4:30PM
The View | Why China’s subprime credit crisis would benefit from a debt amnesty

The recently announced lower interest rate ceiling on non-bank credit will force lenders to vet borrowers more carefully. In the longer term, a debt amnesty could provide a clean slate upon which China could construct Western-style credit infrastructure.

The recently announced lower interest rate ceiling on non-bank credit will force lenders to vet borrowers more carefully. In the longer term, a debt amnesty could provide a clean slate upon which China could construct Western-style credit infrastructure.

3 Sep 2020 - 5:45AM
The View | Trade war and the coronavirus will bring China’s quietly raging consumer debt crisis to a head

Online lenders and other more traditional nonbank players are sinking further into trouble as a weakening Chinese economy takes its toll. Given the weak legal infrastructure, expect the fallout to hurt banks and destroy many nonbank financial institutions.

Online lenders and other more traditional nonbank players are sinking further into trouble as a weakening Chinese economy takes its toll. Given the weak legal infrastructure, expect the fallout to hurt banks and destroy many nonbank financial institutions.

25 Mar 2020 - 1:51AM
The View | If China is serious about cracking down on its mountain of debt, it must stop sending mixed signals

While senior officials stress the need to repay debt, the government has made it harder to creditors for recoup loans. Conflicting messages from the government and judiciary have emboldened irresponsible borrowers.

While senior officials stress the need to repay debt, the government has made it harder to creditors for recoup loans. Conflicting messages from the government and judiciary have emboldened irresponsible borrowers.

19 Dec 2019 - 5:54AM
The View | China’s economy is in a fix, but authorities are right to resist more stimulus measures

Despite the country’s many economic challenges, cushions of support exist to prevent a crash. Officials have the tools to act if a more aggressive rescue is needed.

Despite the country’s many economic challenges, cushions of support exist to prevent a crash. Officials have the tools to act if a more aggressive rescue is needed.

15 Aug 2019 - 12:28AM
Macroscope | As the state tightens its grip on the economy, will China reject capitalism again?

Beijing has turned decisively towards more state control of the economy in the last decade, and public support for tighter regulations means capitalism may be in trouble.

Beijing has turned decisively towards more state control of the economy in the last decade, and public support for tighter regulations means capitalism may be in trouble.

2 Jan 2019 - 10:32PM
Macroscope | Why China’s online lending crisis makes liberalisation of bank interest rates more urgent

As many of China’s online lenders fold, a key question is whether they should continue to exist alongside banks subject to interest rate controls.

As many of China’s online lenders fold, a key question is whether they should continue to exist alongside banks subject to interest rate controls.

14 Nov 2018 - 10:49PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:54PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:54PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:54PM
20 Jul 2018 - 2:54PM
28 Apr 2015 - 11:15AM
Beijing needs to turn off the credit tap

China's shadow banking is opaque, huge and fast-growing. In the past year, it has managed to cause two interbank crises, a few small-scale bank runs and several high-profile defaults and near-defaults of bonds.

China's shadow banking is opaque, huge and fast-growing. In the past year, it has managed to cause two interbank crises, a few small-scale bank runs and several high-profile defaults and near-defaults of bonds.

3 Jun 2014 - 1:04AM
State sector is China's secret sauce

It is too early to say if China has achieved economic success, even after 36 years of consistently high growth.

It is too early to say if China has achieved economic success, even after 36 years of consistently high growth.

30 May 2016 - 5:01PM
Letting the air out of the bubbles

Despite the familiar refrain from analysts these last few years, China's real estate and credit bubbles have not burst. While I, too, am worried, I have not been brave enough to venture a prediction until now: I think the bubble will gradually deflate over a decade or two, rather than burst dramatically.

Despite the familiar refrain from analysts these last few years, China's real estate and credit bubbles have not burst. While I, too, am worried, I have not been brave enough to venture a prediction until now: I think the bubble will gradually deflate over a decade or two, rather than burst dramatically.

3 Apr 2014 - 1:00AM
11 Mar 2014 - 5:09AM
Chinese lenders ready to fight back if profitability is threatened

Within just six months, Yu E Bao, the partnership between the mainland's Alibaba and fund house Tianhong Asset Management, raised 250 billion yuan (HK$318 billion) from millions of little guys to invest in money market funds and treasury bonds.

Within just six months, Yu E Bao, the partnership between the mainland's Alibaba and fund house Tianhong Asset Management, raised 250 billion yuan (HK$318 billion) from millions of little guys to invest in money market funds and treasury bonds.

11 Feb 2014 - 1:57AM
Reform is a tall order

In an essay published in the Financial Times eight years ago, I said China's private sector was in the shadow of the state.

In an essay published in the Financial Times eight years ago, I said China's private sector was in the shadow of the state.

20 Dec 2013 - 1:36AM
Bank on the banks

Every investor likes to think that he or she is a contrarian. The truth is that they are anything but.

Every investor likes to think that he or she is a contrarian. The truth is that they are anything but.

9 Nov 2013 - 3:44AM
Lending in the shadows

Twice a year I travel to Jingmen in central China to visit my parents and siblings. Last week, I was there on a new mission: to review the work of my sisters as shadow bankers.

Twice a year I travel to Jingmen in central China to visit my parents and siblings. Last week, I was there on a new mission: to review the work of my sisters as shadow bankers.

24 Oct 2013 - 3:46AM
Why Chinese stocks perform poorly

China's equity market has been around for 20 years, and its performance has been very disappointing. Since its birth in 1994, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the so-called H-share index, has gone up only 44 per cent, though the Chinese gross domestic product has grown almost tenfold in nominal terms. So why the huge discrepancy?

China's equity market has been around for 20 years, and its performance has been very disappointing. Since its birth in 1994, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the so-called H-share index, has gone up only 44 per cent, though the Chinese gross domestic product has grown almost tenfold in nominal terms. So why the huge discrepancy?

27 Jul 2013 - 4:18AM
31 May 2013 - 5:35AM
Time to pour cold water on talk of 'hot money'

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.

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.

2 Jul 2013 - 5:28AM
The quick buck economy

Thirty years ago this month, I was a graduate student at the People's Bank of China in Beijing. The average monthly wage on the mainland was about 40 yuan at that time. I was lucky to be paid 52 yuan. But my money would always run out before the next pay cheque arrived.

Thirty years ago this month, I was a graduate student at the People's Bank of China in Beijing. The average monthly wage on the mainland was about 40 yuan at that time. I was lucky to be paid 52 yuan. But my money would always run out before the next pay cheque arrived.

24 Sep 2013 - 3:54AM
10 Feb 2014 - 11:46AM