The Chinese authorities’ attempts to stabilize the country’s stock markets have been frantic—and futile. Interest ratesblog have been cut; short-selling capped; IPOs halted; share-buying schemes hatched (backed by central-bank cash).

But the rout continues: the CSI 300 big-company index has fallen by one-third since early June; ChiNext, a would-be NASDAQ, by two-fifths. Trading in over half of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed shares has been suspended. Yet the stock market is still small by rich-world standards. Bull or bear, it makes limited difference to the real economy. Its political importance is rather greater. Continue reading

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