30 August 2015

China Syndrome, Part the Fourth

Once again, reporting on the ground belies some/much of what quants think, or at least say, about the China situation. Many wear rose-colored glasses. A large part of the problem is that Beijing is well known to make up macro-economic data. While a fine practice from a political point of view, it leaves decision makers (Chinese citizens, foreigners, and Chinese bureaucrats) in the dark.

More reporting today: zombie factories. Even "60 Minutes" has found the effort to report on ghost towns. But... since so much of Chinese GDP is funneled into "investment", much of it non-producing by the bye, it matters materially what's going on with those investments.

Basically, nothing. What's even more amusing is this:
Like many industrial cities across China, Changzhi, which expanded aggressively during the country's long investment boom, has too many factories and too little demand. That excess capacity, many economists indicate, will have to be eliminated for the Chinese economy to return to healthy growth.
[my emphasis]

One might wonder how that logic is supposed to work? Must be some Austrian economists. The point, of course, is that Beijing has used its fiat over labor to flummox the West out of being productive. This whole, "Beijing is finally steering the economy to domestic consumption" is baloney. Just as the Austrians have provided the Republicans with the excuse for income concentration, so to in Beijing. As it ever was, "It's the distribution, stupid". Neither Beijing nor the RNC want to hear it.

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