Like many individual investors in China, Yang Mo has no idea what’s in the wealth management products that make up a big chunk of her net worth.
She says there’s really no point in finding out. Sure, WMPs invest in all kinds of risky assets, but the government would never let a big one fail, she says.
“It’s not how the Chinese government does things, and it’s not even Chinese culture,” explains Yang, a 29-year-old public relations professional in Beijing.
Hers is a common refrain in Asia’s largest economy, where savers have poured $9 trillion into WMPs and similar products on the assumption that they’ll get bailed out if the investments sour. Even after news in February that policy makers are drafting rules to make it clear that state guarantees don’t exist, Yang is undaunted. She says she’ll only withdraw money from WMPs in the unlikely event that they start to suffer losses.
“Cracking down on implicit guarantees is just like curbing home prices,” she says. “It’s something that the government needs to say, but it’s not something they will eventually do.”