China |


It’s nice to see that, while leaders come and go, some things remain the same, namely, the growing number of spinning plates the Chinese government attempts to keep from crashing to the floor (a.k.a. the credit and infrastructure binge that future historians will marvel at).

Bloomberg provides the details in this story that includes the graphic below.

SOE: State Owned Enterprise, FAI: Fixed Asset Investment

Of course, to the enlightened modern-day Western (and, apparently, Chinese) economist, there is no such thing as “malinvestment”, so, there’s that…

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Global Growth in the 21st Century

Global growth is a-changin’, at least according to this WSJ article and the chart below where readers are urged to ignore the right-most area of the dataset since the future is notoriously hard to predict (almost always too positive and too benign), though that doesn’t discourage economists from doing so.

The other notations relate to Europe’s big post-1990s stumble that, perhaps not coincidentally, began at the same time as the common currency. China really has been remarkably consistent, this trait likely being inversely correlated with the accuracy of the economic data that is produced in the Middle Kingdom.

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China’s Latest Lending Orgy

Well, you can’t fault China for not trying to resuscitate their ailing economy and flagging stock market via yet another reckless expansion of credit and debt as detailed in this Bloomberg report that includes the video below with some startling long-term data.

As I recall from my brief foray into management more than 20 years ago (one that, it turned out, I was particularly ill-suited for but was fortunate enough to learn this early in my career so I could move on), you never want to be accused of doing nothing when things are going badly and the Chinese are certainly not doing that.

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Why China Matters

After the worst start to a new year on record for stocks, news this morning that China’s exports were not nearly as bad as many feared sent stock markets surging higher for reasons that should be clear in the Voronoi diagram below from

The Rise (and Fall?) of the Chinese Economy

Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution fame (a blog that has been around a very long time by one of the few TMTGM-approved economists in the world) takes a look at how the current China came to be and what recent troubles in the Middle Kingdom portend for the future.

The period ahead will surely test China’s “command and control” economy and financial system. So far, they seem to have mucked things up a bit by stoking the 2014-2015 stock market bubble and then ham-handedly propping it up, but, they’re learning.

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