Cartoons

Beijing’s Socratic dialogue

“Can we have that as collateral?”

‘Joining the queue at the Beijing ATM’ is how the Financial Times is describing it. The rude health of China’s public finances has come into stark contrast this week, as a European government struggles to raise funds on the capital markets. The British newspaper reported on Wednesday that Athens is negotiating with Beijing to sell up to $35 billion of bonds needed to fund Greece’s soaring public debt. Greek finance minister, George Papaconstinou told the FT that he would visit China next month on a debt roadshow. No doubt he has an eye on China’s $2.4 trillion forex reserves. There is even talk of a sale of equity in the country’s flagship lender National Bank of Greece to a Chinese bank.


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