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Inside China S Shadow Banking: The Next Subprime Crisis? Paperback – 16 May 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Enrich Professional Publishing (16 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623200172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623200176
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 805,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Joe Zhang is an independent corporate advisor based in Hong Kong. Previously he was Chairman of Wansui Micro Credit Company. He was named "A Microcredit Person of the Year" in 2012 by the Microcredit Association of China. He worked for 11 years at UBS, mainly as Head of China Research and then Deputy Head of its China Investment Banking Division. 1986-89, he served in the Central People's Bank of China. 2006-08, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Shenzhen Investment Limited.

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Format: Paperback
What makes this book different from many others is that it is about the author's personal experience in the industry. It is not an academic or journalistic discussion. It is short and straight to the point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x945df27c) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x945d587c) out of 5 stars It could have been a lot better 29 July 2013
By Max of Claremont - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is obviously a very intelligent and perceptive professional. I also admire his high ethical and professional standards. But the book could have been a lot better. The first half is the most interesting -- it gives a unique and honest view of how business is done in China's financial sector (or rather, how good business is prevented from getting done there). The author's personal experience is most revealing and educational. But the second half of the book is rather average -- it is essentially a collection of short pieces that are the author's observations of the Chinese financial sector and its main problems. While his analysis is fine, it does not really tell those familiar with the Chinese financial system anything new. I wish the author had stuck to his personal stories and observations, which knowledgeable observers outside China would have found far more interesting.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x945d5b04) out of 5 stars A personal view of China micro-credit 13 Oct. 2013
By Richard A. Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a quirky little book whose title may mislead some readers. It is not a macro overview of China subprime credit, nor is it, as the sub-title implies, a warning of a coming crisis in China shadow banking. A better title would have been "My Experiences in China Micro-credit," as it is a personal account of Joe Zhang's experiences in the field. What is micro-credit? In China, anyway, it involves loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) that would not qualify to borrow at prime (about 6% currently) from main-line Chinese banks. Sub-prime is as the name suggests, loans made to such entities at rates much higher than prime. How much higher? The company Joe joins, Wansui Micro Credit, loans at the industry norm, which is up to 4 times prime, or 24% per year! (sometimes they loan at rates as low as 15% if the market is slack, apparently.) Joe spills a lot of ink trying to justify why he should not be called a loan shark. But before we make snap judgments here, we should consider our own check-cashing and payday loan outfits.
We are offered lots of details about Joe's lunches and meeting with various personalities, some of whom are irrelevant to the story. Some readers may see the first half of the book as overly egotistic, as it mainly serves to establish Joe's bona fides. The real 600-pound gorilla in the room, in my opinion, "Wealth Management Products" (WMP), do not even make an appearance until we are half way through the book. These are products offered to depositors that pay much more than the 2-3% the banks offer, and are mainly highly speculative and emblematic of a credit boom and a potential problem if China ever really goes through a credit crunch or recession.
Joe, not surprisingly sees no danger in sub-prime or micro-credit, and in fact the book ends with special pleading for looser regulations by China's financial overseers. I am not at all convinced that he makes out a good case that we don't need to worry. The sheer exponential growth in China's shadow banking, coupled with uncertainty regarding government guarantees for these loans, almost ensures there will be a blowout that will affect global markets.
The ending of the book is bizarre, almost cut off in mid-sentence.
On the plus side, however, I did learn something about credit and banking in the Wild, Wild East. Joe seems like an honest and forthcoming chap, with a propensity to tell it as he sees it, albeit as a cheerleader for micro-credit. Hence, three stars.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x945d5a68) out of 5 stars Better than nothing 31 July 2013
By David MacDougall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There isn't much out there on Chinese microfinance so its a useful book if you are interested. The book is otherwise an exercise in self promotion. He goes on and on about his wealth and successes while ultimately achieving very little in microfinance. This is a very short book and short on hard data.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x945d5e70) out of 5 stars Not the book as the title says 30 Aug. 2013
By Tae Ou Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is just a mix of blog level journals of an veteran investment banker. The author is said to have finished this book in 10 days, which is totally understandable to me.
Most of the pages are assigned to the authors's experience and philosophy as a CEO at a Chinese microcredit company named Wansui, which I guess is not an attractive topic for readers who are not in the microcredit field. But it was interesting for me to see the vivid inside descriptions of Chinese financial industry even though i didn't buy this book for them.
The expected analysis on Shadow Banking and Debt problems shows up in the middle, and is very short. He says shadow banking problem of China is just a symptom, not a disease itself. So if you want a quick answer, the author's answer is "Chinese banks and government can handle them". However, the author is more concerned about the overinflated Chinese economy itself, which he sees very pessimistic about the future.
Interesting read, but not sure worth the price.
HASH(0x945d5e7c) out of 5 stars Very Interesting but too tangent and off base to the book's title 3 Aug. 2013
By Yoda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This reviewer has been looking for a decent sophisticated book written by either an academic or insider on China's shadow banking sector. Considering its size relative to China's GDP, its informality and the impact of the subprime banking sector on the US (one of the contributor's to that nation's recent financial crisis) this reviewer thought it a topic of importance, especially in its implications to both China's economy and the world's. This book, especially considering who its author is, Joe Zhang (a renowned expert on China's informal banking sector with very significant actual experience in the field) was thought, by this reviewer, to fit the bill. This reviewer was hoping that it would answer, or at least be geared, to answering the question (as its title implies) "what are the odds of China's shadow banking system leading to a major financial crisis in China?"

Unfortunately the book only partially covers this topic, contrary to the implications of its title. The book, instead of covering primarily this topic, is more a combination of autobiography and the author's business experience in the field, an overview of the regulatory problems in this segment of China's financial and banking sector, the author's views on China's real estate market (and potential bubble) and China's equity and IPO markets and the author's views on the importance of this segment of banking on Chinese society and the economy (primarily that it serves lower end clients that are not properly served by the "standard" banking sector in China). The reader learns of the author's views, among other things, that the Chinese property market is too inflated (even though the author does not state when he expects it to burst), the author's belief that the subprime sector is over regulated and China's banking sector is too biased towards large lenders and borrower and that interest rate ceilings for depositors need to be lifted. The latter is ironic as, in the book, the author states that he believes the odds of this actually happening are quite low but, in reality, it did happen only one week before this reviewer wrote this very review.

Not that all of this is bad. Actually it is very interesting and very good insights into these tangent topics, especially coming from someone with the author's background and integrity. The coverage of these topics, in this reviewer's opinion, make the book well worth reading for anyone with a serious interest in the Chinese financial, banking and real estate sectors. In this reviewer's opinion this is worth a four star rating. The problem, however, is that much of this discussion is a digression from the main topic. As a result, the reader does not obtain a very in-depth analysis of the possibility of a Chinese subprime crash (albeit he or she obtains Mr. Zhang's opinion that he does not believe that China's subprime banking sector is going to crash). This is especially a problem considering that the book itself is already quite short, consisting of only about 160 short pages (i.e., double spaced and small pages).
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