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China's Central Bank Wants Oversight Of This $8 Trillion Debt Market


China’s central bank is doing its best to oversee and mitigate risks in its loosely regulated shadow lending market.

The People’s Bank of China has begun gathering data about online financing, part of the country’s $8 trillion shadow banking market—equal to four-fifths the size of the economy.

Some oversight couldn't come too soon—just last month BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said "we all have to be worried" about China's burgeoning debt, and J. Kyle Bass, the hedge fund manager who predicted the subprime mortgage crisis, said China's debt bubble could create damage up to four times that of the 2008 crisis.

The move is part of the central bank’s shift from stimulating growth to clamping down on financial and debt risks as the world’s second-largest economy tries to cope with its slowdown, Bloomberg reports.

"The central bank feels the urgency to improve oversight,” Shanghai-based Industrial Bank chief economist Lu Zhengwei tells Bloomberg. "Online financing remains in the shadows, but an increasing number of the public who are more vulnerable to defaults than institutional investors are joining for the sake of high returns.” [Bloomberg]