Yu Hua: Follow the Money

Yu Hua: Follow the Money

At The New York Times, Yu Hua reports a literature professor’s suggestion, “based more on poetic license than empirical evidence,” that corrupt officials have helped rein in inflation:

Corrupt generally do not spend the huge sums they acquire from kickbacks, and are loath to deposit their money in banks for fear it will be discovered. So they hide their money instead. The professor estimates that as much as 50 percent of the surplus money supply may have been taken out of circulation for this reason.

China’s have seized on this phenomenon, hailing dishonest officials’ creative ways of hiding money as .

[…] Xu Qiyao, a former chief of the construction department of Province, accepted some 20 million yuan in bribes. Parts of that sum were wrapped in layers of plastic and hidden in a hollow tree trunk, beneath an ash heap, in a field and inside a latrine.

Li Guowei, the former chief of the bureau in Ganzhou, Province, buried a box stuffed with 2.8 million yuan in a garbage heap next to a brother’s house. “I was an unlucky dog when I got picked out,” he said. [Source]

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