Chinese stocks plummeted today, after the finance ministry tripled a tax on trades in an effort to deflate a worrisome stock market bubble. A week ago, the ministry publicly pledged not to raise the tax. The reversal opens the government to heavy criticism if it triggers a serious rout.
In China, millions have invested their savings in the surging market, which has quadrupled since the start of last year, the Times reports. Yesterday's 6.5% decline was the worst since a February plunge of 8.8% that unsettled investors around the world. The Journal said the move may not be enough to curb the runaway market; the Shanghai index is still 46% above the February plunge.