The Chinese government was in the midst of a major reorganization when the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic exploded upon Beijing. That reorganization will go forward, but the suspension of much government activity because of SARS highlights the fact that this ongoing reorganization is still far from complete. The long gestation reflects the powerful competing interests that are at stake. This article examines the creation of one new agency, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), and discusses the qualifications and personality of its head, Liu Mingkang. It uses the case of Liu to illustrate the emergence of a new kind of economic technocrat in China.