The China Hustle Part One

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By Jill on Money with Jill Schlesinger. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Next up on the list of films to stream this holiday weekend is The China Hustle.

The documentary begins amid the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, when we meet protagonist Dan David and a band of Wall Street outsiders. These detective-like investors operate on the fringes of the financial world, scouring global markets for money making opportunities. With the U.S. economy and markets in a tailspin, they turn to China, where there is what seems like a modern day gold rush. Chinese stock market indexes are doubling every year and the potential seems endless.

There’s one problem, though: U.S. investors can’t participate because they are barred from investing directly in Chinese markets. But this is America, and people always find a way. A few Wall Street operators create a novel solution by bringing hundreds of promising Chinese companies directly to U.S. stock markets. All of the sudden, US investors can get in on the Chinese miracle, without leaving the comforting confines of the NYSE and the NASDAQ.

It all seems to be going well, until detectives discover that most of the companies they’re investing in are frauds, producing phony balance sheets, claiming sham inventory levels and celebrating non-existent profits. The investors flip their strategy on its head and begin to master the art of short selling, essentially, betting that a company will fail.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

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