Given the discussion of Suntech Power's troubles over the last couple of days, I thought some might find the following to be of interest:
Starting on 31 July 2012, several articles concerning the intervention of Chinese local governments into the business dealings of distressed Chinese firms were published in the English-language service of Caixin online. Among them:
"Shining a Light on the Solar Crisis"
By Liu Shengjun 07.31.2012 19:44
"Dealing with a Spoiled Child-Financial markets are overprotected by governments at all levels, preventing them from mature development"
By Shi Lei 08.10.2012 19:02
"Shining a Light on Too Big to Fail in China-Broad government involvement in business has resulted in local officials going to great lengths to save a troubled company in Jiangxi"
By staff reporters Pu Jun, Huo Kan, Zhang Yuzhe and Wen Xiu 08.13.2012 16:26
While these pieces obviously are focused on the Chinese solar industry, and on LDK Solar in particular, many of the questionable practices cited by the authors here can be found in other industries. I definitely recommend this "light reading", which should be fairly easy to find via a decent search engine.
We've survived the winter, but it's staying cold here (more so than usual). Beer's still out on the back porch.
Hope y'all didn't get snowed in too badly this winter.
I noted that someone posted a Chinese-language article on the Suntech message board this morning that, amongst other things, suggests that Suntech may have attempted a bankruptcy filing as much as two weeks ago. I wasn't able to find it on any of my usual English-language sources, to for now it's unconfirmed, but does serve to illustrate a point.
The articles I mentioned in my original post never found their way into U.S. publications concerning LDK Solar. It wasn't until October of last year that Leslie Hook wrote a piece in the Financial Times that included some of the material found in Caixin and other Chinese outlets.
With apologies to the good folks who write advertising copy for Las Vegas, it seems there's a certain tendency here for "what happens in China to stay in China", notwithstanding that U.S. investors would clearly benefit from having some of this information as it becomes known there.