The Egyptians invested in pyramids, but those were concrete, physical edifices that satisfied then-national needs.
The People’s Republic of China and its builders invested in a different sort of pyramid, and those ephemeralities are fading into the mists at great cost to the suckers investors.
First, it was the PRC’s Evergrande, with its serial defaulting on its debt obligations. Now it’s the PRC’s Fantasia, reneging on $US206 million worth of its own bonds. It seems likely that others of the PRC’s builders will follow, unless the PRC government men decide to interfere and require different outcomes, regardless of economic and fiscal reality.
I mentioned pyramids. These builders finance their future operations in very large part by selling apartments before they’re even built. That puts their borrowings at risk, unless they can come up with more money—which they do in large party by selling yet more unbuilt apartments.
Bernie Madoff, if not exactly a piker in comparison, certainly didn’t accomplish this much.