China Faces Financial Armageddon With 85% Of Businesses Set To Run Out Of Cash In 3 Months
Alas, it is not that simple: as we explained two weeks ago in “China’s Banks Face $6 Trillion Coronavirus Cataclysm If Epidemic Is Not Contained Soon“, China’s banks are rapidly retrenching well-aware that they face an explosion in bad debt as the bulk of Chinese companies face collapse. As such, it makes little sense for them to throw good money after bad, and instead most are hunkering down in anticipation of the coming shock.
The bottom line is that for both companies and their bank lenders (and sources of potential rescue financing), there is one commodity in very short supply: trust. Trust that the counterparty will do the right thing; trust that the government will treat everyone fairly instead of just bailing out a handful of connected politicians. Trust, which in China in general has been lacking for years, as the formerly communist country succumbed to crony hypercapitalism with Chinese characteristics, one in which knowing who to bribe and who to lie to meant the difference between success and failure. Trust was never cultivated. And now that lack of trust is about to cost China dearly.
In any case, the lack of far more funding means that China’s smaller businesses whose revenue have suddenly collapsed, have just weeks if not days of liquidity left. Brigita, whose firm owes money to dozens of banks, said she has so far only reached an agreement with a handful to extend payment deadlines by two months. For now, the company is still paying salaries. But those will stop too.