"Stop in the name of the law."
That was the message that one Chinese stock investor wanted police in the central province of Hubei to deliver -- to someone. The man in Huangshi, who became despondent over share market losses after having a bit too much to drink, repeatedly called thelocal police and asked them to do something about the slumping equity market.
A local newspaper, the Dongchu Evening Post, reported on Saturday that the man started calling the police on Jan. 26, "apparently worried and fretful", according to an officer at the local police station. According to the officer, the man said that he had lost money on margin trades and the police should "rush to the scene and stop it immediately."
"I didn't know whether to laugh or get angry," the officer told the newspaper. He said that he tried to persuade the man to stop calling to leave the line free for actual crimes.
But the distraught caller didn't take the hint. Police finally traced the line and contacted his family. The man's elder brother, who was summoned to the police station, said that the beleaguered 40-something investor had started to act abnormally after a three-day drinking binge.
His brother had lost almost everything in the stock market -- more than 30,000 yuan (4,166.7 U.S. dollars), he said.
Nobody knows where he got the money for the booze.
The man, who doesn't have a regular job, began to invest in the stock market during last year's bull run. But the market began to turn down in the latter part of the year, and it hasn't done too well in 2008, either.
Since Jan. 1, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has lost nearly 1,000 points. It fell 9.26 percent last week, the largest weekly loss in a decade, amid worry over the impact of severe weather, and closed on Friday at a six-month low.
The elder brother, meanwhile, promised police they wouldn't get any further calls.
It could be the case, as the man would more or less feel soothed by Saturday's news of long-awaited government action to brake the fall of domestic equity market.
China Securities Regulatory Commission said it had approved on Friday two new closed-end stock funds to end a five-month freeze on new funds.
The commission suspended the launch of new funds last year in efforts to cool the country's surging stock market.
The two funds would together be able to raise about 14 billion yuan, bringing new injection of funds into the sagging market.