It is the non-Covid, non-inflation risk that has been lurking in the global backdrop for months: A looming default by Chinese property developer Evergrande Group.

On 20 September, this somewhat obscure, overseas risk suddenly shook up financial markets from Asia to Europe and the US, where all three major benchmark stock indexes, the S&P 500, Dow industrials and Nasdaq Composite appeared to be headed for the worst one-day drop in more than two months. Though it is certainly not the only reason US stocks slid, Evergrande was a factor behind investors’ risk-off mood.

On one level, Evergrande, which reportedly faces at least $83.5m in interest payments due on 23 September, with a 30-day grace period, is raising concerns about a liquidity crisis among all Chinese and Hong Kong property companies, as markets quickly turn off access to dollar funding. In a more macro way, the firm’s woes are bringing to the fore China’s…

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