Bankruptcy in China

| Mon Nov. 3, 2008 12:26 PM EST

BANKRUPTCY IN CHINA....China's manufacturing decline has accelerated recently due to the global financial meltdown, but apparently China's provisions for corporate bankruptcy aren't quite as smooth as one might hope:

First, Tao Shoulong burned his company's financial books. He then sold his private golf club memberships and disposed of his Mercedes S-600 sedan.

And then he was gone. And just like that, China's biggest textile dye operation — with four factories, a campus the size of 31 football fields, 4,000 workers and debts of at least $200 million — was history.

....In recent weeks, there have been many fires, increasingly large-scale. In Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, Ye [Hang] counted at least six major bankruptcies, including Jianglong; Feiyue Group, China's biggest sewing machine maker; and Zhejiang Yixin Pharmaceutical Co., among the largest in that industry.

"Of these six, one [owner] committed suicide, one was detained by police, and the remaining four all escaped," he said. "I can imagine that in the future, there would be more such cases as a result of the chain reaction."

I don't especially want anyone committing suicide, but I confess that the thought of Wall Street executives in failed banks either being detained by the police or going to ground and hiding in terror holds a certain appeal. Is there any chance that the U.S. could import the Chinese method temporarily just for the financial industry?

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