Summary of The Fall of China’s Hedge-Fund King

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Picture a teenage boy from a humble neighborhood in China. His father is a factory worker, and his mother is a homemaker. The stock market is about as familiar to them as clouds are to fish. But this high school student starts reading books, attending lectures and, while still in school, investing in Shanghai’s nascent stock market. For decades, Xu Xiang was incredibly successful, managing vast funds for Chinese elites. Then it all came crashing down when the authorities arrested him for financial crimes. Alex W. Palmer reports from Beijing about the fall of “Xu the Legend.” getAbstract recommends this thoughtful profile on China’s erstwhile stock market tsar to readers with an interest in China’s financial markets.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Xu Xiang, a poor kid from Ningbo, became China’s stock market king,
  • Which practices lead to Xu’s success and downfall, and
  • How Chinese authorities have dealt with Xu.

About the Author

Alex W. Palmer is a journalist based in Beijing, China.



Xu Xiang’s mother may have given birth to him in 1977, but he had said he was really born in 1993 – the year he started investing and just three years after Shanghai’s first stock market opened. Xu was just 17. After graduating from high school, he went straight to work at Galaxy Securities. By 23, he was the head of the “Ningbo Death Squad.” Its tactics were simple: Buy a massive number of shares of a cheap stock, and watch traders rush in. Let the stock build for a few days, and then sell. The team’s success inspired books, traveling seminars and imitators. It also attracted attention from the authorities, but investigators found “no evidence of wrongdoing.” China’s economy was flourishing; why fix something that isn’t broken?

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