How did the company, Sino-Forest, that was once the biggest forestry company on the Toronto Stock Exchange get that way? One illiterate Chinese farmer at a time.

Part Two of The Current

Sino-Forest - Mark MacKinnon

Last spring, there were a lot of smiling investors in a Chinese company called Sino-Forest. It had blossomed into the biggest forestry company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. While other companies were smacked around by the biggest economic downturn in half-a-century, Sino-Forest was raking in Billions.

The good times didn't last. Today, Sino-Forest is under investigation for alleged fraud. The company's share price has cratered. And a lot of Canadian investors lost a lot of money. But according to Mark MacKinnon, that's nothing compared to the price many impoverished Chinese farmers paid.

MacKinnon is the Globe and Mail's East Asia Correspondent. He searched for the place where the Sino-Forest story begins and found a trail of destitution and dashed hopes. Mark MacKinnon was in Beijing.

Sino-Forest - Li Ping

Li Ping is a lawyer who works with Landesa, an organization that promotes rural development. He says the farmers Mark MacKinnon met aren't the only ones in this situation. Li Ping was also in Beijing.

The Current left messages requesting to speak with a representative of Sino-Forest. Our calls were not returned.

Related Links:

Music Bridge

Artist: Thievery Corporation
Cd: It Takes a Thief - Best of Thievery Corporation
Cut: # 1, Amerimacka
Label: ESL 164

Other segments from today's show:

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