Gady Epstein: Chinese Credit

This is the cover story of Forbes Magazine on March 16, 2009:

Anyone who thinks China has avoided the kind of creative financing that got the Western financial world in trouble surely hasn’t met Zhang Kaiyong, chairman of Orienwise Group. Then again, few people are getting that opportunity these days; he certainly wasn’t answering telephone calls from FORBES ASIA.

Zhang, a member of our China rich list, with an estimated net worth of $200 million, has had good reason to lie low recently. Until the financial crisis hit, his company was the star of a little-watched but fast-growing sector that emerged from the cracks in China’s state banking system: loan guarantee companies that would pledge capital and third-party assets to secure bank loans for their clients.

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