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Opinion
Jonathan Weil

China's Rich Know Bailouts Equal Gold No. 1

Wealthy Chinese investors are lucky -- they know that their losses on bad investments will be covered.1

One of the nice things for wealthy people in China is that mysterious, unidentified third parties occasionally swoop in at the last minute to bail them out of investments that are about to default. And they do such generous things for the good of the country and its financial system, of course.

China's rich are fortunate to have this backstop, too. Just last week the chairman of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. was saying the lender wouldn't compensate investors in the 3 billion-yuan ($496 million) Credit Equals Gold No. 1 high-yield trust product that it distributed. "I believe this incident has been a very good opportunity to educate the investors, to educate the trust companies and to educate ICBC," Jiang Jianqing told CNBC while at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In the future, he said, if customers buy "wealth management products or other products they must see clearly the risks."