Are you in the Chinese stock market? We’re guessing the answer is no for most of you — by law, only Chinese nationals are allowed to purchase A Shares traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges. Well, sucks to be you (and us). We’re missing out on a get-rich-quick opportunity of a lifetime, as millions of Chinese are swept up in stock trading mania. The International Herald Tribune reports:
There is no exact Chinese translation for “irrational exuberance,” but no explanation seemed necessary in the bustling lobby of GF Securities: Grungy-looking college students, office workers, retirees and even a pregnant woman in suede boots all jostled into the brokerage, eager to buy stocks and buy them now.
Everyone, from retired grannies to street vendors, is lining up outside brokerage houses to open up an account. And why shouldn’t they? China’s stock index has nearly tripled from its level a year and a half ago, and doubled from just five months ago. A dizzying run, after a five year dry spell during which the index was cut in half. Cha-Ching indeed!
In the restaurant, on the subway, around the company water coolers, the stock market is all people are talking about these days. Sound familiar? It should. The same exact phenomenon preceded the bursting of the last stock market bubble in the West in March 2000 — the difference being the Chinese market is even less regulated and more corrupt, and at the moment really, really expensive. So, those of you who feel like you’ve missed out, stop stressing. Vegas is still open (and Macau, too).
Those of you trying to finagle your way into the local market, please put down the crack pipe and go buy yourself a beer. You’ll thank us later.