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Gordon Chang: The Reasons For China's Imminent Bust
Zero Hedge ^ | 11/18/0211 | Chris Martenson/ Tyler Durden

Posted on 11/19/2011 12:03:02 PM PST by Qbert

The global dominant narrative about China is wrong, claims Gordon Chang. Don't expect it to be the 'pocketbook of last resort' that will rescue world markets from their current malaise.

And don't expect its remarkable economic growth to continue. In fact, expect a "hard landing" for China - and soon.

Forbes.com columnist and international lawyer Gordon Chang has spent much of his time since the early 1980s working and living in China. His primary knowledge of the country and his relationships there give him a superior understanding to how its economy is actually faring than many analysts based in the West. And what he sees today doesn't inspire confidence.

We are seeing the first real signs of slowdown in China's economic growth looking at the year-over-year numbers for the past several months. Car sales have decreased nearly 5% since last year, and property values are beginning to plummet in key markets (30% in October alone in Shanghai).

Gordon sees these as the inevitable harbingers of a coming collapse in China due to excessive stimulus policies the government undertook starting in 2009. The bubbles and malinvestment created by this stimulus have not been addressed, and increasing weakness and transitions inside the political system are making it less likely they will be before market forces intervene.

On The Repercussions of Excessive Stimulus

Inefficiency eventually catches up with every economy. They have a semi-closed system so that they are not necessarily subject to the principles of economics in the same way that we are, but they can only delay the inevitable. They cannot prevent it entirely, and that is really going to be their problem. Because they have done a lot which just does not make economic sense. I mean it might make sense in terms of rapid buildup of an economy, but they have to pay a price. And they have not paid their price yet.

The one thing that people say is "These Chinese leaders are so great at economic management because they got through 2008-2009 and they had enormous double-digit growth while the rest of us were suffering." Well yes, they did that but they did that at great cost.

And so for instance in 2009, the first full year of their stimulus plan, they dumped something like $1.1 trillion into a then $4.3 trillion economy. And so did they create growth? Yes, they did, but they also created a stock market bubble, a property market bubble, and inflation. And they have yet to deal with the property market and the inflation problems. Those are dislocations that they do not have the answers to. I would rather have our economic problems than theirs any day of the week.    

 On Growing Political & Social Instability

Starting at the end of next year, the Communist party is going to change the officers of their Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of political power in China. We are going to have a new General Party Secretary. And then in the early part of 2013, the government officers change. And sometime after that, the all-important Central Military Commission has a revamp of membership. And so at this time of political transition, the important economic decisions are not being made. But it is even worse than that, because corruption indeed is engulfing the political system. It is causing so much friction in society. The Communist Party is not able to mediate conflict and its only answer is to increase coercion.

And that is why you have survey after survey of the rich and the super-rich, they talk about leaving China. It is not the poor who are going, which we have seen in many waves throughout the last couple hundred years, now the rich are thinking of getting out. They are getting passports, they are putting their families offshore, and this is of concern because this is a leading indicator.

If you go about 25 miles south of where I live, and go to Princeton, New Jersey, you will see a lot of beautiful homes. I mean, they are all paid for, they have got a wife there, they have kids, and they have one or two Mercedes in the driveway. It is the perfect American family, except one thing is missing, and that is Dad. Dad is a senior official in Beijing and he is stealing as much money as he can. And at maybe not the first sign of trouble, but perhaps the second sign of trouble, he is on the United flight to New York, because he is not going to stay to defend a regime that is shaking. And that is one of the reasons why I think we have to be concerned about the way the Chinese economy is going, because the Chinese rich are starting to see the signs and are beginning to bail out.

We are talking about the people who have benefited the most from this system. And they can see the problems at the top of society. We have now a weak General Party Secretary, Hu Jintao, and he is going to be followed by probably by someone who is just as weak, especially in his beginning years, Xi Jinping. This is a political system that will not be able to make the decisions and to implement them that everyone knows have to be made. And that is why, for instance, we have not seen much in the way of reform over the last five years. In fact, we have seen a reversal of reform. And most of the conditions that have given rise to China's extraordinary growth either no longer exist or are disappearing fast. And so this is an economy in trouble.

 

On The Popping of China's Real-Esate Bubble

There was just too much money in the economy and so people then poured money into apartments. And China has gone on a tear building ghost cities and all the rest of it. And now the progression that you talked about -- skyrocketing prices and then stable prices, selling volume, and then property price declines -- is what we are seeing in China.

In October, last month, prices in places like Shanghai declined 30%, as we saw developers start to offer these enormous discounts. And by the way, these discounts were so big that people who bought at earlier stages in these same developments, where these discounts were being offered have now taken to the streets complaining if you are giving 30% discounts to these other guys, then give it to me as well. And so we have not got a little bit of social unrest because of falling property prices.

In Wenzhou, which is in prosperous Zhejiang Province, which was perhaps the most prosperous province up to about a year ago, developers are, one developer is now offering BMWs to the first 150 buyers of apartments. And this is just a sign that property prices have not only softened, but they are starting to fall quickly.

You know, every market has to go to equilibrium. There are too many apartments in China and not enough buyers and occupiers. And it was going to go to equilibrium in some fashion. What is really surprising observers is that the rapidity at which we see this move to equilibrium. Last year there were, in about I guess it was April or May, the state grid in China reported there were 64.5 million apartments that showed no electricity usage for six consecutive months. That is enough housing for 200 million people, but yet Beijing was decreeing the building of 30 to 50 million more apartment units....

But at the end of the day, there has got to be a correction. And what goes up fast comes down fast. And what we are seeing is the down phase. The only issue is whether Beijing can stop the down phase by administrative measures. But so far the Chinese leaders, Premier Wen Jiabao, last Sunday said "nope, we are going to stay with these tightening measures." And that has really created great pessimism in the Chinese property market...

And so really what we have is a government now that is really trying to bring the property market down. And of course it wants to do so gradually, you know, orderly. But as you say, it is a bubble, there is a pin and the problem is that Chinese leaders cannot manage the process of bringing the property market down to equilibrium....

When China's elite analysts start talking about prices being 50% of where they are this year that means that they are probably privately thinking that no, prices will not halve: they might go down even further than that. And that is really a problem because that mentality, once it gets embedded in people's minds in China really means that, Chinese leaders then have very few tools in which to prop up the property market.    



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bubbles; china; communism; criminals; debt; globalists; traitors; tyrants

1 posted on 11/19/2011 12:03:05 PM PST by Qbert
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To: Qbert

Zero Hedge full title: “Guest Post: The Reasons For China’s Imminent Bust”

Chris Martenson.com full title: “Gordon Chang: The Reasons For China’s Imminent Bust”


2 posted on 11/19/2011 12:05:42 PM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Qbert

-——inevitable harbingers of a coming collapse -——

The facts mentioned are harbingers, they are harbingers but not necessarily of collapse. A more likely course is a recession followed by muddling through.

I suppose there are some who are very fearful but that is because they are in new and different territory with no map. The muddling through will be manifest in positive political change urged by the young people.


3 posted on 11/19/2011 12:13:55 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: bert

“The facts mentioned are harbingers, they are harbingers but not necessarily of collapse. A more likely course is a recession followed by muddling through.”

It’s certainly possible, and I think government officials could push for that outcome if it’s the only viable option- but muddling through will be tougher with 1.3 Billion people (especially if wealth really is escaping the country as the article notes).


4 posted on 11/19/2011 12:29:43 PM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: bert
China cannot "muddle through". With a large majority of their population living dirt poor, any down turn will lead to riots and bloodshed. The collapse of China's European markets will spell the demise of China.

China is like a shark where they must keep moving forward to keep oxygenated water flowing over their gills. Any interruption of the Chinese export machine will spell doom for China
5 posted on 11/19/2011 12:29:53 PM PST by Rooivalk
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To: Rooivalk

"China is like a shark where they must keep moving forward to keep oxygenated water flowing over their gills. Any interruption of the Chinese export machine will spell doom for China"

--There's already talk in China of that possibility:

"China likely to see trade deficit in 2 yrs"

China's trade surplus may drop to zero, or even negative digits in next two years, said Li Daokui, an advisor and member of the monetary policy committee of the People's Bank of China, the nation's central bank...

http://en.ce.cn/Business/Macro-economic/201111/19/t20111119_22851221.shtml

6 posted on 11/19/2011 12:38:54 PM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Qbert; blam; TigerLikesRooster

Great article, thanks for posting!


7 posted on 11/19/2011 12:40:39 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Qbert
"Dad is a senior official in Beijing and he is stealing as much money as he can. And at maybe not the first sign of trouble, but perhaps the second sign of trouble, he is on the United flight to New York, because he is not going to stay to defend a regime that is shaking."

If they're coming here, where are Frank, Pelosi, Obama, (and yes) Boehner going to go?

8 posted on 11/19/2011 12:46:21 PM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: Rooivalk

Water and energy are in short supply in China. If food becomes more expensive, and the economy slows down, all heck might break loose.


9 posted on 11/19/2011 12:48:16 PM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Obamanomics-We don't need your stinking tar sands oil, or the jobs that go with it.)
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Did You Know?

The Current FReepathon Pays For The Current Quarters Expenses?

Now That You Do, Donate And Keep FR Running


10 posted on 11/19/2011 12:50:36 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: Tench_Coxe

If they’re coming here, where are Frank, Pelosi, Obama, (and yes) Boehner going to go?


Pelosi will go to France, Obama to Dubai or Indonesia, and Frank will go to Thailand to be with his boys (literally).


11 posted on 11/19/2011 12:59:26 PM PST by rbg81
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To: Qbert
Another Tiananmen Square coming, coast-to-coast, border-to-border this time. (Inflation was a major reason for the wide-spread support for the first one.)

Deng's version of Lenin's New Economic Plan (NEP) succeeded though not as Lenin's Soviet version. NEP helped greatly to save the Bolsheviks but was ended before the nepmen could become billionaires.

Instead, near Princeton, New Jersey, you will see a lot of [paid for] beautiful homes. . . they have got a wife there, they have kids, and they have one or two Mercedes in the driveway. . . . except one thing is missing, and that is Dad. Dad is a senior official in Beijing and he is stealing as much money as he can. [When TSHTF] he is not going to stay to defend a regime that is shaking. [He is like many] Chinese rich [who] are starting to see the signs and are beginning to bail out.

Lenin coined useful idiots to describe Western corporate executives.. what wonderful NEP with Chinese characteristics!

The Chi-Coms not only steal the useful idiots' FDI, technology, intellectulal property, markets.. and finally: all property in Red China -- no, the Chi-com version of NEP finishes with the Communist thieves coming to America to live next door to the super rich from whom the Commies stole multi-billions! A Monty Python Flying Circus movie if there ever was one.

Don't even think of asking Congress for your TARP to recover your losses, useful idiots. There'll be a revolution here.

12 posted on 11/19/2011 1:11:36 PM PST by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: Qbert

People around the world, and HERE, have to learn about leftism (as they have not done in the past 100 years), and exactly what it means to live under such a system. It is leftism that has caused the disturbing turn of events in the global financial system, not “greed”.


13 posted on 11/19/2011 1:16:20 PM PST by 13Sisters76 ("It is amazing how many people mistake a certain hip snideness for sophistication. " Thos. Sowell)
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To: Former Proud Canadian

With China’s one child policy and their love of aborting baby girls what will be the impact on Chinese society with many millions of young men having no hope of every finding a woman to marry?


14 posted on 11/19/2011 1:19:11 PM PST by JPG (The loons at OWS will soon be at each others throats.)
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To: Qbert
" And most of the conditions that have given rise to China's extraordinary growth either no longer exist or are disappearing fast. And so this is an economy in trouble. "

Another sign is that business that once were in the US and went over China are coming back and setting up business once again in the USA because, believe it or not, it's getting cheaper and less risky to do business here in the USA.
The floor of China's economy and society is getting ready to fall out.

US Government ? no more loans from China because the bank of China is getting ready to close for good, So Feds ? US Government ? Congress ? get your financial house in order.
15 posted on 11/19/2011 1:46:14 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: 13Sisters76
People around the world, and HERE, have to learn about leftism

Exactly why our media push the China economic myth. Our media desperately want an example, even a poor example, of socialism that "works". It's a lie and always has been.

16 posted on 11/19/2011 1:51:22 PM PST by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
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To: Qbert

China also has a demographic problem similar to ours that will become evident in the next 10 years. China is getting old, and there aren’t enough young people to support the old folks. Luckily for the oldsters, the Chinese culture attaches great respect to the elderly and the young will likely do their best to care for them. It will be onerous to do so.

China has another problem. It has a huge appetite for natural resources but does not have large enough deposits of same within its borders. Our energy supply issues are self-made and can be solved through proper policy, China’s not so much.


17 posted on 11/19/2011 1:53:52 PM PST by SaxxonWoods (.....The days are long but the years are short.....)
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To: bert
" I suppose there are some who are very fearful but that is because they are in new and different territory with no map. The muddling through will be manifest in positive political change urged by the young people. "

A huge natural disaster like a major earthquake in China will make this pale in comparison and will cause the Chinese Communist government run in fear.... it's coming folks, it's only a matter of time.
18 posted on 11/19/2011 2:05:55 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: Rooivalk
" Any interruption of the Chinese export machine will spell doom for China "

If this and other news from China is any sign, according to this article, money and business are becoming one of China's major exports.... and it will take a major natural disaster, let's say ? like a major earthquake to bring it all ( China's economic boom and flow of money ) to a screeching halt.
19 posted on 11/19/2011 2:11:27 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: JPG

“...what will be the impact on Chinese society with many millions of young men having no hope of every finding a woman to marry?”

The war will bring that ratio down. And if things are that bad in China, there will be a war.


20 posted on 11/19/2011 2:13:35 PM PST by 21twelve ("We can go from boom to bust, from dreams to a bowl of dust....and another lost generation.")
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To: Da Bilge Troll

“Exactly why our media push the China economic myth. Our media desperately want an example, even a poor example, of socialism that “works”. It’s a lie and always has been.”

I think it is a myth in part (especially the suspicious growth numbers), but to the extent that our government has purposely crippled many of our efforts to expand business and growth- compared to what the Chinese allow- it has been successful.


21 posted on 11/19/2011 2:13:48 PM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: 21twelve

In one of his books, Gordon Chang states that the possibility of going to war with Taiwan might be used by the Chicom government as a means of distracting the people from their economic screwups.


22 posted on 11/19/2011 2:16:54 PM PST by JayVee (Joseph)
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To: 13Sisters76
" People around the world, and HERE, have to learn about leftism (as they have not done in the past 100 years), and exactly what it means to live under such a system. It is leftism that has caused the disturbing turn of events in the global financial system, not “greed”. "

It's called : political, economic, financial non-voluntary coercion of other people's money to fill their own bellies and desires.
23 posted on 11/19/2011 2:18:49 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: 13Sisters76

” People around the world, and HERE, have to learn about leftism “ : It’s highway robbery no matter how and many times you spell : Leftism, Communism, socialism.


24 posted on 11/19/2011 2:20:51 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: Rooivalk

bump.


25 posted on 11/19/2011 2:23:29 PM PST by ken21
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To: Qbert
I read Chang's book, "The Coming Collapse of China," and hoped it would have a little more substance. It was long on logic, but short on actual evidence. Of course a communist society will eventually collapse---but a number of things can extend the length of the period where it continues to function. (World War II probably saved the Russian commies for another 30 years before the wheels came off again).

The real issue is whether or not China gravitates toward a Taiwan-type authoritarian government with a (generally) free market economic system.

26 posted on 11/19/2011 2:29:15 PM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: Travis McGee

Good to know we aren’t the only ones up shyyte creek wo a paddle


27 posted on 11/19/2011 2:36:11 PM PST by dennisw (I heard the old man laughing What good is a used up world and how could it be worth having-Sting)
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To: JayVee
" In one of his books, Gordon Chang states that the possibility of going to war with Taiwan might be used by the Chicom government as a means of distracting the people from their economic screwups. "

That might work on the onset of any war over Taiwan with China,
but ?
How long are the Chinese willing to continue to fight while their resources and economy take's ( ANOTHER ) major hit buy keeping that war going ?
While at the same time fighting an civil war domestically ?
How much can the Chinese government and economy take from all of this and hold out ?
Got to remember ?
If they go to a fight with the USA ?
They are basically biting the hand that feeds them( forget the money they have loaned us, that is a hammer that we can use to hold over their heads ) , and in some cases that is liberally, we supply them with food.
How long are the Chinese people going to hold out without food ?
What happens if there is another disastrous food harvest ?
We go to war with China over Taiwan ?
Hit them with huge tariffs to punish them for the war.

How long will China survive when we are no longer buying their products as a result of going to war with China over Taiwan ?
28 posted on 11/19/2011 2:37:36 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: dennisw
" Good to know we aren’t the only ones up shyyte creek wo a paddle "

Chinese translation : " Wrere Scwrude " .. " wree are up shyyte cweek wo a waddle " .. BTW ? the boat and paddle are made in China...
29 posted on 11/19/2011 2:44:38 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: Qbert
"China likely to see trade deficit in 2 yrs"

Monetary inflation always results in a trade deficit and the United States is the poster child. This is why the Germans are fighting so hard to stop the ECB from inflating Europe's way out of their current mess.

The Germans know full well that rising domestic prices and wages will make them uncompetitive in world markets and will cause the domestic consumption of imports to rise.

Too many people on this board still think tariffs are the way to cure our trade deficit. They're wrong. Stabilizing the dollar is the only answer.

30 posted on 11/19/2011 2:53:17 PM PST by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: American Constitutionalist

The only waddle I like from China is Peking Duck. (ate many times in restaurants) What really stumps me is why this has not been changed to Beijing Duck on the menus


31 posted on 11/19/2011 2:55:02 PM PST by dennisw (I heard the old man laughing What good is a used up world and how could it be worth having-Sting)
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To: dennisw
" The only waddle I like from China is Peking Duck. (ate many times in restaurants) What really stumps me is why this has not been changed to Beijing Duck on the menus "

Was that here in the US or over seas ?

It could be a subtle political message : Communism Sucks.
32 posted on 11/19/2011 2:57:34 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: BfloGuy

“Too many people on this board still think tariffs are the way to cure our trade deficit. They’re wrong.”

Yep- they still haven’t learned from the failures of Smoot-Hawley.


33 posted on 11/19/2011 3:03:36 PM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: JayVee
In one of his books, Gordon Chang states that the possibility of going to war with Taiwan might be used by the Chicom government as a means of distracting the people from their economic screwups.

They will go to war with Vietnam and the Phillipines over the South China Sea before Taiwan.

34 posted on 11/19/2011 3:04:41 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: JPG

I do not have an answer. However, nature has a way of evening out such things, sometimes the results are difficult to deal with.


35 posted on 11/19/2011 3:28:35 PM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Obamanomics-We don't need your stinking tar sands oil, or the jobs that go with it.)
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All contributions are for the
Current Quarter Expenses.


Donate Today!

36 posted on 11/19/2011 4:00:39 PM PST by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
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To: Qbert

and when they are out of food, and the muzzie diaper-heads try to take over China, they will unleash the wave-after-wave of millions of man army- to go get some food, oil, and women, and stop the muzzie threat to their country


37 posted on 11/19/2011 4:04:29 PM PST by Mr. K (Physically unable to proofreed <--- oops, see?)
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To: Qbert
"The global dominant narrative about China is wrong, claims Gordon Chang."

Globalist, anti-American liars. "The global dominant narrative about China" is that China's been collapsing for over four years. The propagandists want us to keep our US dollar unnaturally high against the tendencies of the global market that they call "free." It's not free, and they don't want it to be free. If it were free, the dollar would have fallen much more by now. They want to squeeze every last chance for any manufacturing to continue to operate in the USA. They want to depopulate our country and violate our Constitution into oblivion with false environmentalism against property rights (all about their property values, lost for decades to come, and their perceived entitlement to take whatever they want from the rest of us with no domestic business competition).


38 posted on 11/19/2011 4:54:16 PM PST by familyop ("Don't worry, they'll row for a month before they figure out I'm fakin' it." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: Qbert
to the extent that our government has purposely crippled many of our efforts to expand business and growth- it has been successful.

One would think that the myth of a Chinese economic powerhouse would spur our government to encourage growth instead of the opposite. I must be missing something!

39 posted on 11/20/2011 1:31:42 PM PST by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
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To: Da Bilge Troll

I hear him on John Batchelot at night. Jb is the best talk radio.


40 posted on 11/20/2011 1:33:35 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote
I hear him on John Batchelot at night. Jb is the best talk radio.

Interesting. John Batchelor is no longer on in St. Louis. I'd thought he'd retired.

41 posted on 11/20/2011 1:37:01 PM PST by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
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To: Da Bilge Troll

I am on NYC. JB has the best show x 200 IMHO. I love the JB show.


42 posted on 11/20/2011 1:38:44 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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