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Andy Mukherjee and Nisha Gopalan

Xi Risks China's Lehman Moment

The insurer may be no less systemically important than the U.S. bank whose collapse triggered the global financial crisis.
Photographer: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Wall Street's nickname for Richard Fuld, the erstwhile chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., was "The Gorilla." Nine years after the U.S. investment bank's collapse, the fate of another big beast of finance should be regarded with foreboding.

Beijing has told banks to cut some ties with Anbang Insurance Group Co., whose Chairman Wu Xiaohui is already in police custody, Bloomberg News reported Thursday. Given that almost 90 percent of Anbang's products are sold through banks, and around 44 percent are high-risk, this is no small thing.