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James Chanos —
James S. Chanos is a Greek-American hedge fund manager, and is president and founder of Kynikos Associates, a New York City registered investment advisor that is focused on short selling... (wikipedia)
And so it can be very much in the interest of bank A to sell-short bank B shares, or buy CDSes on bank B, because they have exposure to bank B. It's the responsible thing to do as a fiduciary, and yet if everyone does it at the same time, it's destabilizing because everyone is selling.
Our concerns about what we saw in Australia: an economy clearly tied to China has hitched its wagon to the tail of the tiger. In terms of the general complacency, what we heard over and over from investors and clients and potential clients is, 'yes, yes, there are some excesses, but the government will figure out a way.'
What people don't realize is that China papered over its last two credit bubbles, those in 1999 and 2004. The banks were never bailed out - they just exchanged their bad loans for questionable bonds from quasi-state organizations.
The Chinese banking system is built on quicksand and that's the one thing a lot of people don't realize. Everybody seems to think it is a free and clear open checkbook. It's not. The banking system in China is extremely fragile.
Increasingly, the real estate developers can't get bank loans for their project financing in China. They're now going into the Hong Kong market to raise money in the bond market at very, very high rates, as high as 15, 20 percent.