ghost_town.doc

For two years they paid out but last year the

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For two years they paid out, but last year the interest payments began to dry up. Then one of the financiers disappeared. This has become a very familiar story in China now, one that is making big headlines as some famously rich private finance people come up for trial on charge of huge financial irregularity. China's 68th richest woman, Wu Ying, is facing the death penalty for schemes she ran in her 20s. At least half of Mr Li's money now seems to have disappeared. As a Mongolian, he told me he was very angry when it happened last year. But now his mood has changed to a curious, fatalistic resignation , quite unlike Genghis Khan. "Once we were rich, and now we're poor again," said Mr Li, with something like a wry grin. QUESTIONS 1. What is a `housing bubble’? 2. How do the attitudes of many western analysts to this problem differ from that of most Chinese people. What do you think explains this difference? 3. Why do many private businesses in China seek loans from individuals rather than from banks? 4. How would Genghis Khan probably have reacted if the same thing had happened to him as to Mr. Li? VOCABULARY preside
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