China's market meltdown is a home-grown calamity

Chinese officials are trying to put a good face on their nation's stock market meltdowns over the past several weeks.

Despite government intervention earlier this month following a major slide, stocks nose-dived again on China's benchmark Shanghai index on Monday, down 8.5 percent. That was the biggest drop in eight years. And another important market, the Shenzhen Component Index, fell 7.6 percent.

Li Pumin, secretary general of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said the market volatility should not have a huge impact on the overall Chinese economy.

"The fundamentals of China's economy are stabilizing and turning better," Reuters reported Li telling a news conference on Tuesday. "So we have the foundation and necessary means to keep the healthy development of capital market including the stock market."

But some outside analysts are deeply concerned by Beijing's attempts to artificially correct its markets.

"I expect they will do all kinds of interventions," William Yu, an economist at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, told CBS MoneyWatch. "But this kind of thing will eventually fail because the stock market trade in the long-run should go with the economic trend."

Yu also disagreed with some current media assertions that China's stock markets are not as directly tied into its national economy as they are in Western nations and that the current volatility won't have as great an overall financial impact in China.

He noted that the dramatic rise in the Chinese stock markets this year, up until last month, came after the government made it easier for everyday people to buy equities by allowing easy lending rates for investment. That created greater-than-anticipated speculation, said Yu, which in turn created a bubble that was destined to burst.

"This is leverage, this is debt leverage," he said. "There will be a ripple effect. It will hurt lending companies as well as regular business investors."

And considering the Chinese economy was already slowing down as part of a planned national shift from a manufacturing to a service-based economy, Yu said he's concerned that China's stock markets lack the fundamentals needed to help them recover.

"The main point is the real, Main Street economy in China is not good already," he added. "The fundamentals are bad. It's wrong from the beginning that the Beijing government tried to boost the stock the market, tried to stimulate consumption. And right now they're seeing the repercussions."

And while those repercussions might affect Wall Street in both the short and long term, Yu believes the largest impact of the current Chinese market meltdown will stay within Asia, particularly the confines of China.