Failed attempts to inject calm into agitated markets have not only hurt Beijing's credibility, they could result in a drastic overhaul of the way China governs financial and economic affairs.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the country's securities watchdog, has particularly come under fire for its handling of the crisis. At the weekend, CSRC head Xiao Gang listed a range of factors behind the ructions in stocks, including China's pool of inexperienced investors and inappropriate supervision mechanisms.
The former Bank of China chairman has faced heavy criticism over the past year for failing to stop the market's steep run-up ahead of the trillion-dollar rout that began in mid-June. Xiao was also admonished for the agency's heavy-handed stabilization measures, such as a six-month ban on stock sales and a freeze on initial public offerings.
It's unclear whether such orders were Xiao's brainchildren but it's looking increasingly likely that they will cost him his job.
In fact, it was rumored that the 57-year-old tendered his resignation last week, but the CSRC has flatly denied it. Shortly after Reuters reported the news on Monday, its Weibo profile—considered one of China's most popular foreign media accounts—was censored out.