Background Briefing: September 20, 2021


Could the Collapse of Evergrande Become China’s Lehman Brothers Moment?

We begin with the possibility that a huge Chinese property conglomerate Evergrande could default on its $300 billion in debt and trigger China’s Lehman Brothers moment in the way the panic from the collapse of a Wall Street giant led to the 2008 crash. Joining us is Victor Shih, a Professor of Political Science in the 21st Century China Program in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego who has published widely on the politics of Chinese banking policies, fiscal policies and exchange rates, and is currently constructing a large database on biographical information of elites in China. The author of Economic Shocks and Authoritarian Stability: Duration, Financial Control, and Institutions, we discuss the fact that China’s Central Bank has plenty of liquidity but Xi Jinping’s crackdown on entrepreneurs and billionaires, along with movie stars is unsettling China’s business community and could lead to an exodus of capital and international businesses from China as Xi moves to curtail the power of any possible rivals to the primacy of the Chinese Communist Party.


Border Patrol Officers on Horseback With Whips Round Up Haitian Refugees

Then we speak with Martha Pskowski, an environmental watchdog reporter at the El Paso Times who was previously a freelance journalist in Mexico, reporting on the environment and immigration. She joins us to discuss her article at The El Paso Times, “Haitian migrants face tough choices in Del Rio amid crackdown on the Texas-Mexico border” and the distressing optics of Border Patrol Officers on horseback with whips rounding up Haitian refugees.


Today’s Elections in Canada

Then finally we get an update on the election today in Canada, the second in two years that Prime Minister Trudeau called in the hope of increasing his majority in Parliament which polls indicate may turn out to be a bad bet for Trudeau’s Liberal Party. Joining us is Richard Johnston, a professor emeritus of political science who, until recently, held the Canada Research Chair in Public Opinion, Elections, and Representation at the University of British Columbia. The author of a number of books including Public opinion and public policy in Canada: Questions of confidence and The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History, we discuss how the Covid pandemic which the Canadians have handled better than most countries, has become the main election issue.