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Potential buyers look at a model depicting a new housing estate at the Beijing Property Trade Fair.
Potential buyers look at a model depicting a new housing estate at the Beijing Property Trade Fair.
(DAVID GRAY/REUTERS)

China poised for its 1999 moment

On April 12, 1996, I stood behind one of the head institutional traders at Merrill Lynch Canada and watched Yahoo Inc. stock triple in value in its first hour as a publicly traded company. It was pure speculative mania ungrounded in anything resembling fundamental value. We knew it couldn’t last, but for three years it did; indeed the Nasdaq stock index itself would rise another 600 per cent.