Why Ant Financial's IPO was pulled
It's Lehman all over again
Disclaimer: I did this back-of-the-envelope research in a couple of hours purely for fun, and it’s not meant to replace an actual deep-dive. Please feel free to point out any unforced errors.
I came across this interesting article about the possible reasons behind Ant Financial’s recent debacle, which had its celebrity IPO metaphorically defenestrated: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/11/china-takes-step-against-securitization-consumer-borrowing-with-suspension-of-ant-ipo.html
So word-on-the-street is that China’s regulators scuppered the American Idol equivalent of 2020’s IPO because their relatively flamboyant founder Jack Ma made some comments in the public sphere about existing banking regulations being the equivalent of “pawnshops” - as they encouraged maintaining high levels of collateral. This was seen as a direct retort to Chinese regulators, who have been struggling to reign in the hangover effects of China’s 300% debt-to-GDP ratio (govt + corporate).
But why did China’s re…