Economist Robert Lucas, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on the topic, once remarked, “Once you start thinking about growth, it’s hard to think about anything else.” Policymakers in China agree. Since 1979, GDP growth in China has symbolized the nation’s dynamism, determination and confidence, and China’s growth machine has spawned an industry of forecasters who jostle over decimal points. In recent years, the totemic 8 percent has been gradually guided down to 7-7.5 percent as “ the new normal .” However, more advanced economies regularly revise growth data retroactively; China’s GDP is suspiciously accurate and seldom corrected. And it seems no longer to correlate well with other underlying indicators, suggesting officials or statisticians may be smoothing the data. Furthermore, China’s national balance sheet is starting to look ragged. McKinsey reckons China has piled on 83 percent debt/GDP in 2007-14. In this period, total debt has quadrupled, certainly the world’s largest ever credit buildup but also one of the fastest. This latter point is significant. By Goldman’s count, China is coming off a “97th-percentile” episode of credit accumulation. Historically, about half of such events have culminated in a banking bust.