From International Herald Tribune :
A year ago, investors like Guan Ling were ebullient. The mainland Chinese stock markets had climbed about 500 percent in two years, setting off a stock buying frenzy.
When experts periodically warned about the possibility of a bubble, prices dipped temporarily, then soared even higher, breaking records and inciting another mad dash to snap up equities.
“The market was going wild,” said Guan, 49, who a few years ago closed his real estate company to invest in stocks full time. “Everybody was talking about how much they had earned, how much more they would invest and which stocks had jumped 20 times, or even 30 times.”
That was last year. The Shanghai composite index has plunged 45 percent from its high, reached last October. The first quarter of this year, which ended Monday with a huge sell-off, was the worst ever for the market.