The China Hustle

Synopsis: An unsettling and eye-opening Wall Street horror story about Chinese companies, the American stock market, and the opportunistic greed behind the biggest heist you've never heard of.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Jed Rothstein
Production: Magnolia Pictures
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
82 min

And so let us start

a long march... together.

Not in lockstep

but on different roads

leading to the same goal.

The goal of building

a world structure

of peace and justice,

in which all may stand together

with equal dignity.

First of all,

our markets are already open

to China.

This agreement

will open China's market to us.

I would call our relationship with China

very positive... and complex.

The free market is the greatest force

for economic progress

in human history.

I will make a great deal

and lots of great deals

for the American people.

Believe me!

What is capitalism?

Is it an economic system?

Or is it an apparatus

that we can use

to make more money

for ourselves

and take more money

from others?

I think, at its heart,

it rewards those who work hard,

but it also rewards

those who...

are willing to...

take advantage of others.

There are no good guys

in this story...

including me.

- Yeah, yeah, that's good.

- Okay...

What's your earliest memory

from childhood?

- That's a trick question.

- Is it?

I... was not expecting it.

I don't know what my earliest

memory from childhood was.

I imagine I was two years old

and I was busting

a fraud somewhere.

This is Dan David.

The first time I met him,

we had a couple of drinks

at a TGI Fridays

in Penn Station,

and he told me

an almost unbelievable story.

Before the dust had settled

on the economic collapse

of 2008,

Wall Street had already

figured out a new way

to package garbage as gold.

They were engineering

an enormous fraud

that spanned the globe.

But this time,

the lies at the center

of the scam were

100 percent legal.

This time,

the crime was based in China.

Dan's part

of the story begins here,

far from Wall Street.

The small investment shop

he ran with his partner Maj

had just been crushed

by the stock market crash.

Three o'clock. What's goin' on?

People who had hedge funds

in 2008

closed their funds

and started a new fund.

- Chris, you got anything?

- Finishing working on

what I'm working on now.

I'm just gonna...

We decided right away

we weren't gonna do that.

We were gonna make everybody

their money back.

They needed big gains,


But with the whole

Western world

on the brink

of another depression,

prospects seemed bleak.

It wasn't hopeless

everywhere, though.

The people in the know

steered Dan to China.

It was this exploding market.

It was the only market

that people actually

were confident

would go up, was China.

This is gonna be

the largest economy in the world.

Let's invest in it now.

It blew my mind 'cause

it was so completely different

from what I thought

it would be it was booming.

There were certain

cities, you'd go one time,

and you'd go a year later

again, and suddenly there'd be

a whole new shopping district

that didn't exist last time.

Very dynamic.

Gold rush.

There was almost no company

that you could invest in

in 2009 that was China-based

that you would lose money on.

For an American

set of eyes looking at this,

you were just like,

"Well, my gosh,

"China really is

this golden land

of rapid economic growth."

I really thought,

"Well, jeez, you know,

"the American century

is over now.

This is it."

Everyone wanted

a piece of China.

There was just one problem,

foreigners like Dan

couldn't invest directly

in Chinese markets.

That's where the small

California bank

Roth Capital came in.

Roth found a niche

that the big banks

had overlooked,

taking small Chinese companies

and listing them directly

on U.S. stock exchanges.

Now Dan and others like him

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    "The China Hustle" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 Oct. 2020. <>.

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