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Opinion
Matt Levine

Levine on Wall Street: The Whining Herd

Really you would expect there to be more financial-industry news about business cards than there actually is.

Where's all the Chinese aluminum?

Citic seems to have lost half of its alumina in Qingdao, and again I am struck by just how little of global finance is pure fraud. Like, you don't want to lend money to a company that you've never met in a foreign country, but you're willing to do so if you can take collateral, but "collateral" is just some words saying you have a claim to some metal in a warehouse that you've never visited. And that mostly works? And the world would be immeasurably poorer if it didn't, if the only way to get financing was for the bank to take physical delivery of stuff and lock it in a vault and hand you a check. The general move of finance toward abstraction is both economically vital and aesthetically pleasing. But it also means that sometimes you lose half your alumina.