Begging Nurses for Money
The New York Times asks How Bad Is China's Debt?
Ruzhou, a city of one million people in central China, urgently needed a new hospital, their bosses said. To pay for it, the administrators were asking health care workers for loans. If employees didn't have the money, they were pointed to banks where they could borrow it and then turn it over to the hospital.
Ruzhou is a city with a borrowing problem — and an emblem of the trillions of dollars in debt threatening the Chinese economy.
Local governments borrowed for years to create jobs and keep factories humming. Now China's economy is slowing to its weakest pace in nearly three decades, but Beijing has kept the lending spigots tight to quell its debt problems. Increasingly these deals are going sour, as they did in Ruzhou, and the loans are going unpaid. Lenders have accused three of Ruzhou's hospitals and three investment funds tied to the city of not paying back their debts.