is a top-ranked news on China
in Google News today. A "coal boss" in Shanxi
recently bought a Red Tibetan Mastiff for RMB10mn (US$1.5mn). Keeping one of
the Tibetan Mastiffs has become a highly-prized status symbol for China's new
rich like coal bosses. The coal boss has named his pet "Big Splash" and hired
several breeders looking after it.
ostentatious consumption is more about how China's new riches squander their
windfalls. Bill Gates or Warren Buffet surely has much more money, but they
might believe that spending on charity could bring more happiness than raising
expensive dogs. The windfalls from natural resources (and some IPOs) could
explain why properties in Beijing, Shanghai, Hainan and even Hong Kong
are so expensive. It can also explain some "ghost cities" like Ordos of Inner
Mongolia. But one fact might alleviate some of your concerns. This coal boss
use his own money, instead of credit from banks, to buy the US$1.5mn puppy, so
this ostentatious consumption may not lead to banking crisis.