A Beijing luxury mall’s new statue of a black swan appears to have unnerved its fiscally superstitious neighbors at the headquarters of the nation’s chief financial watchdog, who promptly had the art piece removed over fears of causing bad luck for the Chinese economy.
The ominous-looking fowl was installed on Monday at the entrance of Seasons Place shopping center across the street from China’s Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), standing for only a few hours before it was taken down by mall staff after a call from local authorities. Netizens noted that the statue appeared to “watch” the people entering and exiting the CSRC building, making passerby feel uneasy.
Popularized by former Wall Street trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a black swan refers to an event that occurs outside of what’s normally expected and is extremely difficult to predict, often resulting in catastrophic consequences. Economic pundits have used this term to describe incidents such as the 2008 financial crisis, which originated from the crash of the US housing market and plunged the world into The Great Recession.
To prevent something like that from ever happening again, the giant swan was quietly whisked away to an undisclosed location.
Given China’s recent slowdown in GDP growth and growing real estate bubble, investors have been jittery about the state of the economy for months. In June, two bear statues near the CSRC building were removed for evoking painful memories from last year’s stock market crash.
Let’s hope Four Seasons doesn’t erect a bull sculpture next.
By Avery Davenport
[Images via Sina]
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