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China’s real estate bubble man meets Blue Oyster Cult

China’s real estate bubble man meets Blue Oyster Cult

It’s a Thursday and the rain is pelting down on my office roof like bongo mad geckos run amok. Off in the distance I can make out the chorus of the classic rock tune “Don’t Fear the Reaper”’.  Reading the headline news today that Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin is predicting China’s real estate market is the biggest property bubble in history. The story is now viral and circling the globe.

Clearly Wang fears the reaper. Is this the end? I’m not sure but trolling around in property news, up comes the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index, which places Sydney fourth on the worldwide list of riskiest real estate markets. UBS it seems also fear the reaper.

This is still Thursday morning. Still one more day in this grim week to go, but at least it’s not Friday the 13th. I clearly need to look more closely into the bubble business. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary (the free online one) the first full definition “a small globule typically hollow and light” I’m not sure this fits into reaperdom , so I read on.

Next up is “something that lacks firmness, solidity, or reality”. This sounds more like it. While it doesn’t strike fear in my heart it does create uncertainty. So I read on.  Option three is a bonanza. Up pops “a sound like that of bubbling”. My mind turns to visions of hell molting, steaming and bubbling.  I start humming the opening lines of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and turn my quest to the elusive billionaire Wang Jianlin. Who is he? What does he know that I don’t?

Turning to LinkedIn, the top 8 Wang Jianlin’s turns up a series of teachers, an accountants and even a scientist. Perhaps I’ll look elsewhere so I turn to Facebook. Bingo, Wang is listed as a businessman and philanthropist. I quickly snap out a friend request. I need to talk to him as soon as possible about this bubble and my concerns about the impending visit of the reaper.

That done, I turn to move important morning activities. The Reaper will have to wait, as I’m off for a café latte.Wang hasn’t responded yet to my Facebook request, but we still have Friday left in the week.

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Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements at key events and spends substantial time with his feet on the ground on research projects and gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

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