Minutes after opening, the Shanghai Composite Index fell by just over 8%. while the Shenzhen Component was down almost 5%.This lends itself to some impressive visuals:
Within ten minutes of trading, more than 1,000 shares across China’s two stock markets had dropped by the daily limited of 10% and had their shares automatically suspended. About 1,400 companies, or more than half of those listed – filed for a trading halt in an attempt to prevent further losses.
China’s securities regulator said there was “panic” in the stock market with irrational selling off increasing and “leading the stock market to a situation of intense liquidity”.
And some Doom Filled Graphs With Big Arrows and dramatic text in case you miss the significance of the Big Arrows
Whether this does develop into a proper crisis, as opposed to a bit of a wobble in an overall upward trend remains to be seen; though there is a whiff of genuine panic, and even some moderate concern expressed on National Radio. If this is the real thing, then it puts all the excitement around Greece into perspective: Greece, profoundly, doesn't matter. It's a small country, a long way away. Even for the Eurozone countries, its only a minor nuisance. To the rest of the world, it's a soap opera. China going to the dogs, on the other hand, is the complete works of Shakespeare and Wagner getting played simultaneously on the same stage: a bit too much to take in, even for those who can claim expertise. Suffice to say, Chinese demand keeps our economy ticking over. Chinese supply keeps our lifestyles comfortable (our meaning New Zealand, and the rest of world).
If either part of that equation is jeopardised, and we'll feel it, massively. If both are affected, we'll be staring into an abyss that makes the situation in Europe seem like a light farce.
But on a lighter note, many may not know (and few care) that China Crisis were / are a somewhat obscure New Wave British band. While I don't think I've had cause to think of them in about 30 years, that has not detered them - Wikipedia informs me they are still going.
Here's one of their songs, to while away a few minutes while we wait to see just how doomed we are.