60,000 pounds (30 tons) of ammonium nitrate.
1. Bloomberg’s Big Take:
In 2021, a remote coal town in northeastern China was forced to undergo an unprecedented financial restructuring. Its struggles since are an ominous sign for President Xi Jinping as other heavily indebted municipalities look set to follow suit.
Hegang, a city with nearly a million people near the Russian border, had debt of more than double its fiscal income when it hit the headlines almost 18 months ago. It was the first time a city administration had taken official emergency steps since the State Council unveiled rules in 2016 on how local governments, from counties to provinces, should deal with debt risks……
Hegang represents just the tip of the iceberg of a local government debt problem that’s making investors increasingly nervous and that threatens to be a drag on the world’s second-largest economy for years to come. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates China’s total government debt is about $23 trillion, a figure that includes the hidden borrowing of thousands of financing companies set up by provinces and cities.
“Many cities will become like Hegang in a few years’ time,” said Houze Song, an economist at US think tank MacroPolo, noting that China’s aging and shrinking population means many cities don’t have the workforce to sustain faster economic growth and tax revenue.