The Chinese government’s watchdog for equities, the CSRC (China Securities Regulatory Commission) has issued an edict to local fund managers that they are not to issue any pessimistic reports about equities during the Olympics in Beijing.
My question is “Why bother?”
In the meantime, Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent has joined in the chorus with Alibaba’s Jack Ma to talk about hard times ahead. The Chinese government has signaled that the rise of the yuan against the dollar will slow down, with a very public discussion in the People’s Daily. The signs of economic deceleration are everywhere.
When there is so much public discussion about upcoming economic challenges in the Chinese and western media, what good could possibly come from telling local fund managers not to say anything bad which might upset the Chinese equities markets? While many western observers of China see this as a sign of an authoritarian regime, for many Chinese, it looks more like desperation. Instead of allaying fears, it makes those who are still in the market fear the worst, and think that the government is trying to suppress even worse news, which in turn will fuel the rumor mill and make the market even more volatile.
In short, this looks more like a desperation move than a well-thought policy move. Instead of helping the market, it’s likely to make things worse.
This is what happens when politics interfere in the markets.