November 28, 2021

Broken China

Lance Sjogren

Remember in the 1980s when Japan was looking like it was going to dominate the global economy? And then it had a crash. Same thing's happening with China, according to Kathie Wood. I believe she is right.

I remember when the Japanese stock market was like PE ratios of 100 and I just couldn't understand how stock prices could be so high. It seemed like Japan was such an economic wizard that it defied any traditional analysis. Well, turns out that was completely wrong.

In the case of China, the bubble is real estate. Apartments in major cities sell at 50 times average annual income. Remember how they always used to say you can afford a home about 2 times your annual income. Well in China they cost 50 times. Where'd the money come from to get them that high? Everyone in a family gathers up their savings and pools it all to buy an apartment as an investment. Because it's the only investment they trust. They have put all their savings in real estate. A lot of the apartments are empty. An estimated 65 million. There are "ghost cities" with high rise housing for tens of thousands of people that are completely empty. A lot of the apartments are shoddily built, sitting idle, and deteriorating. Many were bought before they were even built. With the real estate companies going bankrupt, those might never get completed.

We have had some nasty financial bubbles in our country: The tech wreck of 2000. The real estate wreck of 2008. We may have another bubble right now. I don't believe any of ours have been of the magnitude of the Japanese bubble or the Chinese bubble, however. We've never had our stock market as high as the Japanese had, and we've never had our real estate market anywhere close as high as the Chinese market is today. Even in the 2008 bubble.

Because China's economy is so large today and involves so much international trade, How their economy does will spill over somewhat to the rest of the world. Plus, there's somewhat of a bubble in other parts of the world, for example the US. However, I think our recession will be far less severe than what China is headed for.

Hang onto your hat it is going to be a wild ride.

Tim adds:

I've been saying China is a paper tiger for years. I stick by that.

Their economy has only been successful because we voluntarily handicapped our own and they could provide things we chose to stop making or doing for less. It was artificial and inevitably someone was going to knock the stool out from under them. Once that happened the whole house of cards would fall.

It is worrisome though, because China sees this as their time and they will be horribly unpleaasant in their death throes - and with their nukes and biologicial weapons...

I don't think they are going down for the same reason that the Japanese economy tanked. Japan tanked because they adopted American-style Keynsian economic policies. They did so when they were far too dependent on exports. If you want to see why the globalist notion of "free trade" which is not really free trade but rather sucker trade fails one need but look at the demise of Japan as an economic power. Japan depended entirely on what foreigners would give them. When push came to shove they found out others could do the same.

China has the same problem to a degree, but less so than Japan. However, China is still a communist country. They are engaging in the same strategy employed by Lenin in the Soviet Union, a New Economic Program that allows some companies not officially owned by the government - just by members of the government. It is fascism, but it is in the service of marxism. Lenin did the same thing after nationalizing industry failed.

This means Chinese companies have all the faults of the standard communist model. They have, until now, been able to do things cheaper (thanks to low wages and compulsory employment and bad working conditions) but as soon as that shifts Humpty Dumpty will crack and all the king's horses and all the king's men won't be able to put China back together again.

Serious competition will ruin them. That was why Trump presented such a threat; he wanted to compete. Of course now with China Joe in office they have a breather, but only for a while. Their economy is fundamentally flawed.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:57 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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