Yichun is a poor city in a poor province. Income of Yichun residents was little more than half the national average last year. That hasn’t stopped the government from going on a spending spree. The new local police headquarters has a miniature dome reminiscent of that on the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica…

“I miss Chairman Mao,” says Wang, sitting on a red plastic chair in front of a billboard for newly built Pinaster Town, featuring a picture of a woman in high heels stepping out of a Rolls Royce. “The common people cannot afford these houses.”

This is all very good press coverage of a potential crisis. Keep an eye on this story.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.