This story is just a little too 1929ish for my tastes. Then, as apparently now, investors borrowed money to purchase stocks on high flying but fragile stock markets. In the roaring 20s, some investors borrowed on margin, with the help of commercial banks, helping to fuel a bubble that would presage the Great Depression. Now, institutions are getting funding to invest in China’s stock markets through high yield debt issuances.
The phenomenon introduces questions of just how widespread the lending is, what potential risks the positions pose to insurance firms—and how interconnected insurance is to China’s larger and far more systemically important banking sector.