China Shuns Paulson's Free Market Push as Meltdown Burns U.S.

Eighteen months ago, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told an audience at the Shanghai Futures Exchange that China risked trillions of dollars in lost economic potential unless it freed up its capital markets.

``An open, competitive, and liberalized financial market can effectively allocate scarce resources in a manner that promotes stability and prosperity far better than governmental intervention,'' Paulson said.

That advice rings hollow in China as Paulson plans a $700 billion rescue for U.S. financial institutions and the Securities and Exchange Commission bans short sales of insurers, banks and securities firms. Regulators in the fastest-growing major economy say they may ditch plans to introduce derivatives, and some company bosses are rethinking U.S. business models.

``The U.S. financial system was regarded as a model, and we tried our best to copy whatever we could,'' said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to China's central bank. ``Suddenly we find our teacher is not that excellent, so the next time when we're designing our financial system we will use our own mind more.''

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