The China Hustle
From the producers of ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM comes a Wall Street heist story about a still-unfolding financial crime so big, it has the power to affect all of our wallets.
THE CHINA HUSTLE begins in the depths of the 2008 financial crisis when we meet Dan David and a band of Wall Street outsiders. Detective-like investors working on the fringes of the financial world, they scour global markets for new opportunities. With the West in a tailspin, they turn to China, to what seems like a new gold rush. Chinese stock market indexes are doubling every year and the potential seems boundless.
There’s one problem, though: US investors can’t participate because they are barred from investing directly in Chinese markets. But this is America, and we always find a way. A few Wall Street operators create a novel solution by bringing hundreds of promising Chinese companies directly to U.S. stock markets. All of the sudden, Middle America can get in on the Chinese miracle, without leaving the comforting confines of the NYSE and the NASDAQ.
It all seems to be going well, until they discover that most of the companies they’re investing in are frauds, producing phony balance sheets, claiming phony inventories, and celebrating non-existent profits. The investors flip their strategy on its head and begin to master the dark art of short selling—essentially, betting that a company will fail. With the help of a team of Chinese researchers who risk their freedom to uncover the truth behind these Potemkin factories, our investors discover the frauds and bet against them in the market.
There are no good guys in this story. But there are a few people—our short-selling band of outsiders —who are sick of a financial system built on lies. THE CHINA HUSTLE follows their story through Wall Street, China and your retirement savings to uncover the biggest heist you’ve never heard of, and to challenge all of us to wake up and demand accountability and transparency in our markets before it’s too late.
"...blows the lid off another multibillion-dollar heist built on complex financial instruments and a whole lot of smoke and mirrors."
"An infuriating tale of stocks and fraud, but one that's easy for non-traders to understand."
Directed by Jed Rothstein
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