"Despite CDB’s central role in developing China’s economy and bankrolling the international expansion of Chinese companies, China’s biggest policy lender rarely makes an appearance in most English-language chronicles of the country’s economic rise. All the more reason then to praise a superbly researched new book, written by two Beijing-based reporters for Bloomberg, in which CDB finally makes a star turn."
"Lifting the veil on one of global finance’s least understood institutions, the book is essential reading for anyone seeking insight into the workings of Chinese state capitalism." -- China Economic Quarterly, March 2013
Reviewer: Erica Downs of the Brookings Institution
"China's economy sometimes seems the work of miracles: three decades of economic growth, with GDP compounding at an annual rate of around 10%; the world's highest levels of savings and investment; vast trade surpluses, which feed the largest foreign-exchange reserves in history. The financial system has played a key role in delivering these economic feats, and no single institution within it has been more important than China Development Bank. "Understand CDB," Henry Sanderson and Michael Forsythe write in "China's Superbank," "and you understand the core of China's state capitalism." -- Wall Street Journal review, Feb 27, 2013
"The book is another useful insight into the workings of the Chinese state apparatus to come out of the Bloomberg bureau in Beijing – in July it printed an exposé about the family finances of Xi Jinping, and its website has been blocked since. One of the most striking aspects of the CDB story is how the bank managed to balance being a state-owned company with maintaining sufficient independence to function as a commercial business." -- Irish Times
"Calls for reform in China tend to come in two kinds – one, the most common in Chinese social media and popular discussion, calls for a crackdown on endemic forms of local tyranny, such as land seizures, black prisons, and bribery. The other, found among liberals within the Party and expatriate businessmen, talks about rolling back the growing dominance of the state and state-owned companies over the Chinese economy, opening more markets to competition and ending the practices that allow state-owned (or state-blessed) companies to command cheap access to capital, natural resources, and land. So far, Xi Jinping's term looks promising for advocates of the first but the book [China's Superbank: Debt, Oil and Influence – How China Development Bank is Rewriting the Rules of Finance] makes a case that land seizures are at the very foundations of China's model of state capitalism." -- The Diplomat
From the Inside Flap
China's rise as a global economic superpower, the success of its top companies, and its continuing domestic boom is intricately tied to China Development Bank (CDB). This less-than-transparent institution, which is wholly owned by the Chinese government, has become the financial enabler of this nation's growth and is arguably the most powerful bank in the world.
While development banks have long existed to finance political projects, infrastructure, and other initiatives, nothing comes close to CDB in scope.
In China's Superbank, authors Henry Sanderson and Michael Forsytheboth Bloomberg journalists working in Beijingcombine on-the-scene reporting and interviews from across the world with numbers crunched from Chinese bond prospectuses to put CDB in perspective, and help you understand the economic phenomenon that is China.
Along the way, you'll not only become familiar with the growing accomplishments and influence of CDB, but you'll also gain valuable insights into the darker side of this political-financial institutionone that has never had to answer to anyone apart from its state shareholders. You'll also discover how China's seemingly unstoppable banking system could potentially be saddled with bad debt from trillions of yuan invested in projects with questionable economic value both at home and abroad.
Throughout the book, the authors:
- Explore CDB's hallmark innovationthe system of local government financewhich has transformed China's landscape in just over a decade by pumping trillions of yuan into various domestic projects
- Profile Chen Yuan, the Chairman of CDB since 1998, and discuss how he's been instrumental in reasserting the Communist Party in China's economy, while managing to preserve enough independence from the government to make decent investment decisions and function as a commercially driven institution
- Analyze CDB's China-Africa Development FundChina's largest private equity fund investing in Africaand its attempts to stimulate manufacturing in Ethiopia, and CDB's lending to Ghana
- Address CDB's work to secure a steady flow of oil and gas to China through loans-for-energy deals around the world, particularly to Venezuela
- Examine CDB's lines of credit that have helped new Chinese firms in telecom and alternative energy win significant global projects, as well as how the bank is developing a new form of private equity financing through CDB Capital.
As China's influence continues to grow around the world, many people are asking how far it will extend. China's Superbank addresses this vital question, looking at the institution at the heart of its growth.