The biggest surprise to investors of late may not be the success of Brexit or the Trump campaign, but the Chinese government's saving of an economy that looked headed towards a hard landing just one year ago.

Since that time, markets have set aside worries over the China's stability, as we watched the economy find its feet by doubling down on a strategy of higher debt, mostly in the corporate, state-owned sector.

Source: Bank of International Settlements

The Wall Street Journal checks in on the health of these SOEs, pointing out that over the past year, they have binged on debt, with borrowing growth hitting 25% in 2016, compared with private debt growth of just 3%.

Why it matters: The amount of debt the Chinese economy needs to add to create to hit its growth targets rate has risen steadily in recent years, suggesting the strategy of funneling loans for state-owned enterprises to invest is unsustainable. Furthermore, the practice is likely crowding out more efficient investments by China's increasingly innovative private sector.

Go deeper

SurveyMonkey poll: Trump improves, but not enough

Trump and Biden during the final debate. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

President Trump's final debate performance exceeded Americans' expectations, but it wasn't enough to shift the dynamics that left him trailing Joe Biden across most measures, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

What they're saying: "Liar" was the word used most by debate watchers to describe Trump's performance, followed by "lies," "strong," "presidential" and "childish." "Presidential" was the word used most to describe Biden's performance, followed by "liar," "weak," "expected" and "honest."

Hunter Biden saga dominates online debate

Data: NewsWhip; Table: Axios Visuals

The mainstream media turned away. But online, President Trump's charges about Hunter Biden were by far the dominant storyline about the final presidential debate, according to exclusive NewsWhip data provided to Axios.

  • Coverage of business dealings by Joe Biden's son — and pre-debate allegations by one of his former business associates, Tony Bobulinski — garnered more than twice as much online activity (likes, comments, shares) as the runner-up.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!