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Opinion
John Authers

The Evergrande Fear Has Receded Too Easily for Comfort

Even without a crisis, the stricken developer will do significant damage to a Chinese economy that already appeared to be slowing.

Still in the background.

Still in the background.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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There’s a grand old journalism school cliche that the real news is happening wherever everyone was looking a year ago. In the markets, with a much shorter attention span even than journalists, we can maybe cut that down to two weeks. The U.S. stock market had an unpleasant Thursday session to end the month, but still brought the S&P 500 no lower than its trough on Monday last week, the day when the difficulties of the stricken property developer China Evergrande Group first prompted a wave of fear in U.S. markets. As the intervening days have brought ample fresh excuses to sell, for those who wanted to sell, that implies that people are far more confident about the Evergrande situation now. It is hard to see why.