Welcome to the Capital Note, a newsletter about business, finance and economics. On the menu today: a stalled IPO bodes poorly for China’s tech industry, Ackman’s Big Short 2.0, a bleak economic outlook for Germany, and a look at the history of innovation in China.
Just a few weeks ago, Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, was set to score another victory with the $35 billion initial public offering (IPO) of Ant Group, the fintech firm spun off from Alibaba in 2010.
Then he ran afoul of the Party after publicly criticizing regulators for stifling innovation in China’s financial system. Ma likened Chinese lenders, which require sizable collateral and guarantees from their borrowers, to “pawn shops.” He argued that domestic and global regulators overemphasize systemic risk at the …