The PRC’s Markets

Beijing thought they could “rescue” the PRC’s stock market. Recall that those markets had tanked collapsed last month, with no bottom in sight. Then the government stepped in:

There is the buying program financed by the central bank. A state pension fund has gone into equities for the first time. Beijing mandated that anyone holding 5% of a company can’t sell for six months. And brokerage firms, directed by regulators, are sitting on a boatload of shares as inventory, notes Erwin Sanft of Macquarie.

There’s also the government rule that stocks aren’t allowed to fall more than 10% in a day—at that threshold, trading in the stock must halt. This, of course, only adds sell-off pressure to the next day…. There are additional overt government interferences, but you get the idea. Associated with this, the markets stopped falling and rose quite a bit. And there’s the PRC buying for its government accounts shares of Chinese blue chip companies, ostensibly to prop up those share prices.

Monday, all that propping up came to a screeching halt. Those markets fell, in that single day, 8.5%, and the representative indices stand at just 5% above the pre-intervention low of three weeks ago.

All of that fall represents investors—at least the ordinary citizenry and those investors not directly under government control—leaving the PRC’s markets. At this pace, the only players left will be the government and its agencies and government run “private” institutions. And the government’s blue chip stock holdings.

That’s a centrally planned economy by another name.

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