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Can China Lead The World Economy?

Consumption

Summary

China is routinely presented in media as the world’s next economic leader.

It has delivered impressive GDP growth.

However, it is not as developed as its image in media suggests.

Also, it does not innovate.

Its growth may not continue as expected due to the rise of automated manufacturing.

China is routinely presented in media as the world’s next economic leader.

To consider the idea in-person, I spent time in Shanghai in December, and in Guangzhou last month and again last week. I took trains, stayed in hotels, ate in restaurants, walked the cities, rode a rented bicycle, bought a suit, shot photos, and wrote notes.

China’s historical GDP growth has been impressive, and when projected along its current path puts the country on track to become the largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP by 2033, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The following plot points from China’s historical GDP growth tell the story:

  • 1998 $1.0T
  • 2004 $2.0T
  • 2007 $3.6T
  • 2010 $6.1T
  • 2013 $9.6T
  • 2016 $11.2T

By comparison, the 2016 nominal GDP of the United States was $18.6T, Japan’s was $4.4T, Germany’s was $3.5T, and the United Kingdom’s was $2.8T.

As I see it, there are three problems with the assumption that China will supplant the United States as the leading economy of the world. First, it’s not as developed as its image in media suggests. Second, it does not innovate. Third, its growth may not continue as expected due to the rise of automated manufacturing. We’ll take each in turn.

1. China is Not as Developed as its Image in Media Suggests

Pictures of China invariably show the skylines of Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou as testament to the country’s rapid growth and modernity. Spend time on an Internet search for each city and notice that the photographic focus is as follows:

  • Shanghai: The Pudong skyline east of the Huangpu River, dominated by the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower
  • Beijing: The 3rd Ring Road into the city center past the oddly shaped and iconic CCTV building
  • Guangzhou: The downtown skyline featuring the Canton Tower and Guangzhou International Finance Center

All three are beautiful and deservedly admired, but there’s no depth to the image they present. Upon closer inspection, the advancement falls apart.

Consider the lauded Shanghai Maglev Train, which is the fastest commercial high-speed electric train in the world. It connects the Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the outskirts of Pudong, from which it’s easy to board the Shanghai Metro to the city center. As a lover of Japan’s bullet trains, I was excited to ride this even faster train, and did so last December.

What a letdown.

From the ticket purchase, to the boarding, to the crew attitude, to the interior of the train, everything was second rate. There were no smart ticket vending machines. The person selling the ticket at a counter looked tired and unkempt. The staff on the platform couldn’t tell me which end of the train was the front, nor was it clearly marked anywhere. Inside, the seat covers were rumpled and soiled, the digital clock and speed readout were broken, and it was quiet as a tomb. Not one other passenger entered my car. The train did not accelerate powerfully nor ever feel that it was going fast, and I couldn’t verify speed due to the broken readout.

For the record, its top speed is 268 mph compared with Japan’s top bullet train operating speed of 200 mph, although Japanese test runs have reached 275 mph on conventional rail and 375 mph on maglev. Believe me, despite these numerical differences, Japan’s bullet trains look and feel faster and much more sophisticated than Shanghai’s clunky maglev.

This is emblematic of China’s rush to growth. The country is hell-bent on presenting itself as the biggest and best of everything, taking shortcuts to get there and ending up with a veneer of excellence that’s quickly penetrated to the truth below.

For example, within the impressive city centers, it’s easy to find outdated methods of construction using woodstick scaffolding, and rundown streets with people carrying baskets of slaughtered chickens on bicycles, and urban wastelands of empty dormitories flanking wide concrete lots covered in dust with a lone mangy dog limping along. More than once, I looked up at the towers and wondered who in the world works in them, and where they live. Of course there are fine parts of each city, but they’re never far from third world conditions.

That’s in the city centers. One meter outside the city centers, you find yourself in a dystopian showcase for why centralized planning is a drag. It’s nothing but old-style farming in rice fields or dark-windowed building huddles stretching to infinity. The mass of rectilinear shapes in daytime remain creepily silent and unlit at night, betraying their origin as state construction budget products.

These real-life experiences in China are borne out in the data. According to the CIA World Factbook, GDP per capita in the United States was $57,300 in 2016. It was $48,200 in Germany, $46,200 in Canada, $42,500 in the UK, and $38,900 in Japan. In China, it was $15,400.

You can only get so many people in those towers. The rest are stuck in rice fields and urban wastelands.

2. China Does Not Innovate

The Chinese economy has grown through manufacturing. It makes and sells more manufactured goods than any other country. For instance, nearly 80% of the world’s air conditioners are made in China. Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone is famously designed in California, but its long list of international parts is assembled by Foxconn (OTC:FXCOF) and Pegatron (OTC:PGTRF), both based in Taiwan. Most of the iPhones from Foxconn are assembled at its Shenzen, China, location.

The problem is just what the iPhone story presents. Goods are designed elsewhere, then made or assembled in China. The country is the world’s factory floor, not its research and development division. The only reason it became a popular manufacturing destination was price competitiveness. If it loses that edge, what will it have?

More than nothing, to be sure, but not the growth rate it’s experienced as the assembler and maker of everything designed by smarter economies.

Its agricultural output is astounding, with some 300 million farmers producing rice, wheat, tobacco, potatoes, nuts, pork, fish, soybeans, and so on. But as with other figures, Chinese farmers are not productive on a per-capita basis. In 2012, Deutsche Bank concluded in a study that South Korean farmers are 40 times more productive than Chinese farmers despite sharing similar topographical and climate conditions. It’s the bulk of China’s farmers, a number exceeding the population of all countries except China, India, and America, not their productivity, that drives China’s farming output.

This gets back to a key headwind in China, which is that it’s not an innovator. It doesn’t figure out better ways to farm. Its notable buildings are mostly designed by foreign architects. It didn’t invent the iPhone, it just assembles it. The country borrows and steals its way forward, and has no qualms about doing so.

A March 2014 article in Harvard Business Review, Why China Can’t Innovate, placed blame on the restrictive environment created by state control, a force weighing down on universities and companies. The Communist Party requires placement of a representative in every company with more than 50 employees. Talk about a status-quo magnet.

The article concluded that the reason for China’s lack of innovation “is not the innovative or intellectual capacity of the Chinese people, which is boundless, but the political world in which their schools, universities, and businesses need to operate, which is very much bounded.”

I’m not sure this explains the rip-off culture, though.

An enormous bulk of knock-off products is visible in daily life, from designer bags made by “Rada” instead of “Prada,” to cars sporting BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY) logos that look unlike any other BMW you’ve ever seen, to fake iPhone stores. Apparently, Apple pushed back on the brazen rip-off of its products when China opened fake Apple stores. Now, they’re just called iPhone stores.

There’s also a chain of Opple stores, from the Opple lighting company. This is a curiosity, though. Can it be a coincidence that the way Chinese people pronounce “Apple” and the pronunciation of the word “Opple” are the same? Can it be a further coincidence that Opple stores are colored like Apple stores, and sell a similar line of products, including aluminum laptops with familiar keyboard and touchpad layouts? If it is a coincidence, it’s a mighty convenient one for Opple.

Even in areas where Chinese innovation is slick, it’s derivative. For example, Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) runs a set of web portals and e-commerce services and retail operations descended directly from their original counterparts in the United States, such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) using technology created in the West, such as the Internet, cloud computing, mobile operating systems, and so on. It has succeeded spectacularly, employing nearly 50,000 people and generating revenue of $21B, but hasn’t broken much new ground along the way.

Probably its most ubiquitous product is Alipay, a third-party online payment platform that charges no transaction fee. Chinese people use it constantly on their phones, buying everything from clothing at a street stall to electronics in a department store. They pay taxis with it. They rent bicycles with it. They transfer money to each other with it. Around Shanghai, I saw people pointing their phones at each other regularly, and it was almost always as part of an Alipay transaction. Again, however, this is not new technology.

Unless and until China begins inventing and contributing to humanity’s progress, it is doomed to await new directives from smarter economies overseas. When those economies can make and assemble their creations in new ways that don’t involve China, the Middle Kingdom is likely to see a rapid economic slowdown. I predict the latter will happen before the former, which brings us to the next point.

3. China’s Growth May Not Continue as Expected Due to the Rise of Automated Manufacturing

It’s no longer a secret that robots are coming. I’ve written about it repeatedly in The Kelly Letter, books have been written about it, and last weekend’s cover story in Barron’s was called Rise of the Robots.

Foxconn proudly announced over the past couple of years that it has a three-phase plan to replace workers in its factories with “Foxbots.” It set a benchmark of 30% company-wide automation by 2020. Already, one of its factories has replaced 60,000 workers with robots. It’s bringing 10,000 new robots online per year.

The common complaint about this trend is that it will leave millions of people out of work, but that’s a complaint not unique to China and is not the first one that came to my mind. My first thought upon seeing this trend in China was that it would be China’s economic undoing on a level larger than its unemployment rate. It may find that its factories themselves end up unemployed.

Think about it. Why can’t Apple build its own robot-run factories? Why can’t other companies?

As robot capabilities increase, the trend toward reshoring will accelerate. Labor everywhere in the world will lose its price-competitive edge. All the power will shift back to the economies innovating and designing. Once their designs are complete, they’ll send them over to the bot shop across the street from R&D, and watch finished products roll out the automated doors on self-driven delivery vehicles. This is a ways off yet, but the transition is happening and the rate of progress is accelerating.

China is already behind the times on this front. According to the International Federation of Robotics, it employed just 36 robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers a year ago, compared with 164 in the US, 292 in Germany, 314 in Japan, and 478 in South Korea. This measurement is called robotic density, and is one to watch in the years ahead.

While China is behind at the moment, it’s playing an aggressive game of catch-up. It’s currently the top buyer of industrial robots in the world, and is aiming to have one third of the planet’s industrial robots installed in its factories by sometime next year.

It’s easy to understand China’s panic. It hopes to avert the disaster of manufacturing contracts leaving its country for automated factories in countries that innovate. It wants to convince Apple and other contractors like it that China is still the best low-cost option, even in an automated world because China offers the most automated factory floor available. However, I doubt this will work.

What cost advantage could China maintain? Perhaps its cost of electricity would be lower, but not by enough to offset shipping costs. Quality control will become identical everywhere due to automation, ditto productivity, ditto manufacturing costs.

While it’s possible that many companies will find themselves unable to afford their own automated factories, they will probably have access to contractable ones in their own countries at prices competitive with China, particularly when shipping is factored in. As for the big companies, they can afford to build whatever they want. Apple, for instance, is sitting on nearly $250B in liquid assets. That could buy a lot of robots.

If automation creates a mass exodus of manufacturing from China, and the lack of innovation in the country results in no new native ideas to fill in the gap, how much of an impact would it have on China’s economy? An enormous one.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, manufacturing provided 20% of urban employment in 2014. While China’s services sector is gradually growing in importance, industry comprised 41% of China’s economy in 2015, according to Statista. A significant slowdown in manufacturing would greatly harm China’s economy.

Even if China’s own automation retains much of its manufacturing output, it will do so at an enormous hit to employment (along with everywhere else in the world).

Conclusion

I do not believe China can lead the world economy.

It will be held back by its largely undeveloped status, its lack of innovation, and the rise of automation.

It’s important to note that biggest is not always best. China’s only real claim to economic significance is its huge population. It’s what provided the cheap labor that turned the country into the world’s factory floor, and it’s what provides the great multiplier that allows copycatted ideas to reach large revenue results among one fifth of the world’s population. There’s no mystery here.

Nor is there anything new going on here. Did you know, for instance, that China’s economy was the largest in the world by GDP in 1820? It’s true, yet how much of an impact did it have on world affairs and economic progress over the following 200 years? Almost none. History happened around it and without it, largely, as far as the planet was concerned. Within China much was going on that mattered to Chinese people, but it wasn’t globally significant.

So it may go again. China is unlikely to ever match the United States militarily, which will limit its influence in geopolitical affairs. It looks susceptible to a large decline in the critical manufacturing sector, which will limit its influence in the world economy.

Finally, there’s a point that needs to be made beyond the data.

Chinese culture lacks the temperament for leadership. It’s a swarming, corrupt, selfish society in which stolen ideas are respected more than invented ones for the deplorable reason that the person who steals an idea works less to make money off of it. Less effort for income is considered preferable. This is the opposite of a work ethic, and anathema to innovation and goodwill with trading partners. Until it changes, China will not lead the world.

The poor temperament extends to the public manner of many Chinese people, such that they are the most hated travelers everywhere I go. They shove their way to the fronts of lines even when doing so achieves no faster outcome, yelling at each other the whole way. They engage in the equivalent of rushing to red lights repeatedly, skittering like locusts, oblivious to the unpleasant effect they’re having on people around them. They incessantly seek an edge, a shortcut, a way to game the situation, and couldn’t care less whether it’s fair or unfair. This is not a recipe for global leadership.

In fact, it’s a recipe for global resentment. Whereas Cambodians are grateful to Japan, North America, and Western Europe for building homes and schools, they’re angry at China for bribing its way into government contracts exceeding legal limits. This is par for China’s course. It takes what it can, gives only what it must, and never entertains moral considerations.

These are general observations. Understand that during my time in Shanghai and Guangzhou, I met good Chinese people as well, and remain in touch with them.

I was impressed by the industriousness of taxi drivers, who knew where last trains of the night stopped and gathered there to hawk and scramble for stranded passengers.

I adored my Chinese tailor in Shanghai’s garment district, the lovely Miss Ting Ting, and wear her custom suit proudly. I plan to visit her again someday, and to buy another suit from her.

I marveled at the ease of Alipay, and was touched when a coincidental new friend, Mr. Wong, allowed me to use his account to buy a pair of gloves and rent a bicycle. I reimbursed him, of course, but it was nonetheless kind of him to offer his account for my review.

I felt sorry for many of the people I met. They’re struggling. They’re not in tall towers or on magazine covers with Jack Ma. They’re working hard, most for low pay, and the leaders of their country have been exploiting this fact for GDP growth, with almost all proceeds going to a thin layer of winners in a society that’s still losing. I know this is human nature, evident everywhere including in the United States, but I witnessed it in heartbreakingly stark terms on the outskirts of Shanghai and Guangzhou.

These poor people were friendlier and less prone to elbow-jutting rudeness than the wealthy Chinese travelers I’ve encountered. The contrast reminded me of my days as a sandwich delivery boy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where the best tips came from the poorest parts of town, and the highest odds of being stiffed were in neighborhoods sporting big front doors with brass knockers.

Empathy and wealth are often inversely related, and all of us in the financial markets would be wise to remember it. Our money should not come at the expense of our character.

These societal factors make China look immature to me, perhaps a developing economy in the truest sense of the word. It hasn’t yet learned the demeanor of leadership, much less the importance of sacrifice for the good of others and the good of progress. For quite a while yet, the world will turn elsewhere for guidance, regardless of how big China’s economy becomes.

Seeking Alpha



44 Comments on "Can China Lead The World Economy?"

  1. Cloggie on Fri, 10th Mar 2017 2:36 pm 

    As usual in Anglo articles, the EU simply doesn’t exist. Despite:

    1 currency
    1 central bank
    1 parliament
    1 president
    1 commission
    1 constitution
    elections
    No inner borders
    Free movement of workers
    1 space agency
    common aerospace industry
    common industry policy
    500 million citizens, 470 million white
    self-sufficient food production
    most advanced energy policy
    etc., etc.

    And soon an army, now that the Donald has given the green light:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4287996/Fears-Nato-Brussels-takes-step-EU-army.html

    Dream on, Seeking Alpha. How can you be so blind?

  2. onlooker on Fri, 10th Mar 2017 2:56 pm 

    While this article cites weaknesses in China’s standing economic it leaves out the limits to growth restraints that the business world and articles routinely ignore and soon will be unable to. China is increasingly facing water shortages. Rare Earth minerals are running out. And of course energy restraints are on the horizon. So nobody will be leading anybody. Everybody will be fighting to stay afloat

  3. Antius on Fri, 10th Mar 2017 4:53 pm 

    ‘While this article cites weaknesses in China’s standing economic it leaves out the limits to growth restraints that the business world and articles routinely ignore and soon will be unable to. China is increasingly facing water shortages. Rare Earth minerals are running out. And of course energy restraints are on the horizon. So nobody will be leading anybody. Everybody will be fighting to stay afloat’

    Indeed. But China has substantial foreign exchange reserves, owns huge swathes of resources in other countries and whilst robotics is slowly substituting human labour, at present western companies have sunk huge investments in Chinese factories that they aren’t about to walk away from. I don’t see China going into decline anytime soon.

    ‘As usual in Anglo articles, the EU simply doesn’t exist.’

    This article is all about China. Why does everything have to come back to the EUSSR?

  4. makati1 on Fri, 10th Mar 2017 5:19 pm 

    Antius, you see the real picture. ALL of the “facts” about China (and Russia) that Americans see are bullshit propaganda from their own government sources. Not real facts.

    ‘Seeking Alpha’ is always a bullshit article selling some unicorn hugging, make Americans feel good, idea. Not news or rational thought. We have no idea what the author really thinks. Only the words used and paid for. The trip to China may be pure bullshit also. No way to prove it. Isn’t the internet wonderful for propaganda purposes?

    Come and visit China for yourself and THEN judge. Been there. Done that a number of times in the last few years.

    BTW: The worst country for air, water and soil pollution is India, not China. But India is a “friend” of the empire so you do not hear about the conditions there in Western news. lol

  5. Cloggie on Fri, 10th Mar 2017 5:34 pm 

    When you discuss the potential leaders of the world economy you must first list the candidates. And those are the US, EU and China, all three with comparable GDP. Not Japan, Germany, let alone the UK.

    The US just implicitly admitted that it lost the competition on world markets and that it feels compelled to protect its economy behind a “pay wall”, aka protectionism. No leadership here.

    China hardly can produce a car of its own, let alone a plane, so it can’t be a serious leader.

    So that leaves only one party to be the successor of the US.

    Minimum wage in euro:

    France…..9.76
    Holland….9.52
    Belgium….9.28
    Germany….8.84
    UK………8.79

    Canada…..7.64
    USA……..6.84

    China……1.78
    Russia…..0.62

    Airbus, German cars most popular on US market, micro-processor machines all from Holland, high quality food from Europe (France, Italy), most advanced energy program, Galileo and the list goes on.

    Give it up guys. You are fighting against a force majeur.

    http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/BwnCM9OCYAAJfu9-1-e1449202145292.png

  6. Antius on Fri, 10th Mar 2017 6:15 pm 

    Cloggie, this is wishful thinking. Your emotional prejudices cloud your judgement. The EU economic growth rate is virtually zero. It has shrinking population, expensive energy, burdensome regulation and few native natural resources. It is politically fractured.

    The only way it can become the superpower you envisage is if everything about it changes. That includes abandoning an energy policy that champions low EROI energy sources for silly ideological reasons.

  7. Boat on Fri, 10th Mar 2017 7:13 pm 

    Antics,

    Texas has been adding renewables for some time and has some of the cheapest electricity in the world. What does that do for your emotional prejudices. Should we add more expensive coal for silly ideological reasons?

  8. GregT on Fri, 10th Mar 2017 10:33 pm 

    Boatyard,

    “Texas is the nation’s largest producer of lignite coal. About 40% of the coal burned for electricity generation in Texas is lignite.”

    “The average annual electricity cost per Texas household is $1,801, among the highest in the nation; the cost is similar to other warm weather states like Florida, according to EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey.”

    https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=TX

    Keep spewing your nonsense. You’re making yourself look even more stupid, every single day that you do.

  9. Midnight Oil on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 12:03 am 

    China needs to build more Ghost cities!
    Along with the highways, power plants and infrastructure that goes along with them.
    Maybe a few more high rise office towers that can later be torn down to make way for even higher buildings.
    Come on, Guys, it’s all about GROWTH…economic GROWTH…
    Don’t make it too complicated

  10. Cloggie on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 2:14 am 

    The EU economic growth rate is virtually zero.

    Not true:

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/european-union/gdp-annual-growth-rate

    It has shrinking population

    I wish that were true, it is still growing albeit with the wrong people. The (white) birth rates are indeed below replacement levels, thanks to the feminism cancer.

    expensive energy

    You keep on pushing your nuclear energy, fact is that your branche has a terminal PR-problem after Fukushima, a problem alt-energy doesn’t have. And look who is dominating in alt-energy:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/ten-largest-wind-turbines-to-date/

    As you should know like no other, exploiting a new source of energy gives one a head start in the geopolitical arena. Britain dominated the 19th century because it was the first to exploit coal in combination with the steam engine. In the 20th century the US was dominant thanks to its oil technology. Europe has a good chance to dominate the 21st century by spearheading alt-energy that the rest of the world wants to adopt as well.

    burdensome regulation

    Regulation is indeed “burdensome”, but you can’t have an advanced society without intensive regulation. Running an advanced society is indeed burdensome but Europeans are up to it.

    It is politically fractured.

    Just because the British elite was wrong-footed by its own population and maneuvered into Brexit via a narrow margin 48-52? There is no country in Europe that will follow the example of Britain, which Heseltine correctly described as an “unmitigated disaster”. You now are going to lose your City and possibly Scotland as well.

    The only way it can become the superpower you envisage is if everything about it changes. That includes abandoning an energy policy that champions low EROI energy sources for silly ideological reasons.

    Avoiding a global plutonium nightmare is not “silly ideological”, it is plain common sense. You really go at great lengths to advance your personal career at the cost of everybody else, but it is a read-guard fight. More than 50% of new installed power capacity is renewable and this will only expand.

  11. Cloggie on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 2:43 am 

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/export-deutsche-wirtschaft-faehrt-100-milliarden-euro-an-waren-aus-a-1138187.html

    In January 2017 Germany exported 11% more than in January 2016. So much for “virtual growth rate of 0%”.

    Merkel is visiting Trump coming Wednesday and mysteriously will bring managers of Siemens and BMW with her.

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/angela-merkel-nimmt-chefs-von-siemens-und-bmw-mit-zu-donald-trump-a-1138168.html

    The stupid cow wants to lecture Trump about free trade and globalization. I hope he finishes here off and humiliates her.

    Germany has a massive trade surplus with the US and all she can think of is to bring managers of Siemens and BMW with her with no other intent than to sell even more German products to a country that can’t afford these imports.

    Germans are excellent engineers and industrialists, but hopeless diplomats.

  12. Davy on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 5:29 am 

    China is leading the global economy in its area of competitive advantage. It is clear what China does and does it well. Globalism has damaged all nations and China profoundly so. China grew at a blistering rate and that created many disruptive effects. The worst to suffer is China’s environment. Its people have grown from a once relatively sustainable people to one of today’s least sustainable. A billion plus people many of whom are in mega cities will not survive a downturn well. As globalism declines China’s export driven economics will suffer and that is already apparent in steel, cement, and cheap consumer products. It is too late for it to make a transition to a service economy. This is similar to all the talk of the US bringing manufacturing jobs back. These conditions are part of the global fabric now and the global fabric is now made and will not change until it begins to tear with painful results for all of us.

    China is going to remain at the top of the global economy in its area of comparative advantage as the other leaders will also in theirs. The global economy is at a peak and the ability of this global economy to adapt and grow is now brittle to change because of it approach to limits and diminishing returns of more growth. All major nations and regions are mired in debt. China is the worst in its debt to GDP. It does not matter if much of that is to itself. If you understand what “global” means then you understand if China has unsustainable debt to itself it is to all of us because China represent one of the too big to fail global entities. China’s banking system is huge and dangerously dependent on debt. The global economy is huge and dangerously exposed to China. China is a land of bubble economics which means the global economy is a bubble. China’s future is our future.

    “China Central Bank Admits It Has A Debt Problem, Warns No Easy Solution”
    http://tinyurl.com/gr3jjj8

    “It’s a well-known risk, perhaps the biggest to the global financial system: China’s debt is too high, with estimates ranging from 250% to 300% of GDP per the IIF”

    “Quoted by Reuters, he said that efforts will be made to contain debt levels, including restructuring of firms with heavy debt burdens, alongside a push to reduce excess industrial capacity. Furthermore, banks will withdraw support for financially unviable firms, he added, repeating pledges by other officials last year to drive such “zombie” firms out of the market.”

  13. Davy on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 5:45 am 

    Clog, you are starting to remind me of makati and his intellectually lazy and sloppy praise of Asia. You are now engage in routine excessive praise of Europe. What I have found on this board over the past 4 years is when a participant begins to praise his own side he is stooping to agenda and propaganda. Makati once gave the Brics constant praise until it was more than apparent they were a failure as an alternative to the west.

    Your Europe is sick. German is highly exposed to the debt problems of Europe and the budding of nationalism to its trade relations. The German economy is built on industries that are facing a difficult future, one of which is cars. You are going to makatiland lately and it is affecting the quality of your comments. You are not the boards brightest with economics. I read all your alternative energy comments that I find very informative. We all have expertise. It is when we go places we don’t belong we look foolish. Like makati you like to use extreme numbers and generalizations that indicate “big good, small bad”. Agendas work like this because agendas are extremes to make a point. Like makati you are about competition instead of recognizing interconnectedness and dependence. I hope you sober up because you contribute some good material. Don’t become a makati.

  14. Davy on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 6:01 am 

    “China is ruled by a brutal corrupt dictatorship”. Jan, I agree, but aah where is this not the case? We basically have a global system of oligarchs running the world. It is just the flavor that changes per nation and region.

  15. Cloggie on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 6:06 am 

    Clog, you are starting to remind me of makati and his intellectually lazy and sloppy praise of Asia. You are now engage in routine excessive praise of Europe.

    I admit that I love to provoke a little, especially notorious Europe-hating British. But in reality I defend my civilization, just like you defend your country, which is fine. But I would love to see my statements about the European economy shown wrong. The cards of continental Europe aren’t really that bad. We have an alliance with North-America that hopefully will survive the coming geopolitical convolutions, we have Russia that would like to be Europe’s ally and we have China that doesn’t want to become Europe’s enemy either. Europe still has 470 million European wealth creators, where the US has merely 220 million. I know too “racist” for your taste, but that doesn’t make it less true. Show me why Europe hasn’t the best cards in comparison with China and the US.

    Don’t become a makati.

    There is not the slightest chance of me becoming a makati. He is an old-school closet commie, where I am a (global) Euro-nationalist of the Samuel Huntington school. I believe in European civilization, makati believes in the third world and hopes to see European civilization destroyed. He believes in collapse, I believe that collapse can be avoided. Not much room for agreement here.LOL

    Nevertheless, I don’t have hard feelings against him. He is civilized, he is a tragic figure without a country he can call his own and he hates Washington. I wish him well.

  16. Davy on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 6:23 am 

    Clog, Europe is sick like the rest of the planet economically and it is called globalism. I am not saying Europe cannot make the transition to a less global world. It may be well located to make this transition. An alternative energy transformation is a good start but there is more to it. The US, other Anglosphere countries, and Russia also can likely make a similar nationalistic transition. Asia is the worst positioned because of its large populations and their need for imports of everything. They will suffer the most and it is call overpopulation. There is no remedy for overpopulation except a die off. Europe is not going to survive globalism’s end as-is and the alternative to as-is is painful. Europe, US, and the other Anglosphere countries face a dramatic drop in living standards and possibly failure. It is still unclear if we can leave globalism and survive. These are uncharted waters for all of us.

  17. makati1 on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 6:47 am 

    Jan who has the most prisoners? Who has 2,300,000+ people incarcerated, most for minor crimes? Who runs ‘for profit’ prisons? Answer to all three questions: America.

    Who has secret prisons around the world where they torture prisoners or keep them imprisoned for years with no legal council or outside contacts, all against U$ laws? America.

    And, if you do not think you live in a dictatorship run police state, you are deaf, dumb and blind. The dictators are not the ones you elect. They are the elite that have the real power in America. You cannot even shit without someone watching and receding every sound. Your own TV can be used to listen to your family and record everything they say.

    Yep terrible China is all the dumbed down, brainwashed American sheeple can obsess about, with the exception of when they are obsessing about and regurgitating more propaganda bullshit about Russia.

  18. Midnight Oil on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 7:29 am 

    I still read the Chairman’s “Little Red Book”,
    My favorite line is ” Many hands do light work”. That is what our job is in the Consumerist Marketplace…to keep those 2 billion little hands busy….
    Got it?…

  19. Sermsak Songsiridej on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 7:39 am 

    With a large population, China’s main concern is to lift its people’s living standard or facing collapse of its political system. Leading the world economically is secondary but becomes a favorite topic for western media. To become prosperous with contentment for majority of its vast population far outweighs significance of world no. 1 nation.

  20. onlooker on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 8:07 am 

    In the Grand Scheme of things , the only thing that the rapid modernization of super populated China and India, has done is speed up worldwide collapse

  21. Antius on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 10:02 am 

    ‘I admit that I love to provoke a little, especially notorious Europe-hating British. But in reality I defend my civilization, just like you defend your country, which is fine.’

    As do we all, Cloggie. The British left the EU because we were tired of being locked into a Socialist, anti-white Deep State that was in the process of replacing its own people with whatever semi human filth it could import from the third world. Leaving was the only means we had of regaining control of our own borders and at least some hope of preserving a European ethnicity. Unfortunately, we are still stuck with the British branch of the European Deep State which can happily continue the destruction whether we are in Europe or not. One thing at a time, I suppose.

    Europe will never succeed until it learns to value and protect its own people. That may mean a number of countries leaving the old Socialist EU and building a new one. If the French and Dutch nationalist are successful at the next elections, there may end up being two supra-national blocs in Europe, a western one based around nationalism and mutual defence and a German/Belgian/Italian one, still wed to the old socialist sickness.

  22. Boat on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 10:20 am 

    Greggiet,

    The point the Rock and I were debating was the idea of coal collaspe in Texas. I was just pointing out that coals share of electricity in Texas went from 40 percent to 25. I call that a collapsing trend. Texas also pays around 11 cents per kW which compared to most of the world is very low. So yea you can use stats in many ways but coal is on downward collapsing path and renewables will be the main reason in the future. I don’t hope to compete with the doomer, mak like reason that is so popular on this site. I just offer another view.

  23. Boat on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 10:35 am 

    Clog,

    Am i mistaken about your goals for Europe. Were you not wanting Merkle to lose? France and Italy to separate from the EU?

  24. Apneaman on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 11:28 am 

    The fall of the Han Dynasty/slaughter by the angry peasants 2,000 years ago, due to the catastrophic Yellow River flooding

    “Kidder is an archaeologist, geologist, and environmental scientist in the department of anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis; his research explores how climate change has affected humans through time. Increasingly, though, his work investigates how humans have changed climates and environments and how, in turn, this shapes human history. Focusing on the last ten thousand years, T.R.’s work studies how, and when, humans began to be a force capable of changing nature. By looking at different societies and types of social groups, such as hunter-gatherers in coastal Louisiana, pastoral nomads in Uzbekistan, or dynastic civilizations in the Yellow River region of China,”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9eder0BoG8

    7:30 into the talk.

    The Yellow River is water poor, and sediment rich .

    The Mississippi carries around 4 to 6 lbs. per cubic meter .

    The Amazon carries around 20 to 40 lbs. per cubic meter.

    The Yellow River at flood carries around 800 lbs.

    The number of examples throughout history where the elite and rulers completly ignore environmental and social problems and end up slaughtered warms my heart. In merica Trump and his cancer crew could end up being history’s biggest bag men due to their greed and absurd level of denial.

    If you pay attention you can observe the peasants getting angrier by the day at them.

    Scott Pruitt’s office deluged with angry callers after he questions the science of global warming

    “The calls to Pruitt’s main line, 202-564-4700, reached such a high volume by Friday that agency officials created an impromptu call center, according to three agency employees. The officials asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/10/epa-administrator-scott-pruitt-call-your-office/?utm_term=.6bd1ffa0e75f

    “officials asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation.”

    You betcha. For now it’s angry phone calls and name calling, but after more and bigger climate disasters with dead spouses and grand babies the burning revenge emotions will kick in. If they can’t get to DC then the loud mouth denier down the street will do for starters. My guess is it will get so bad that being a denier is going to put one in the same danger as being a Jew in Nazi Germany – they’ll scapegoat you and yours for everything. That is assuming you and yours are not on the AGW victim list yourselves.

  25. Boat on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 11:52 am 

    Ape,

    We can agree tha someday being a denier will at some point be a minority view. When the day comes politicians have to run on ways to cut trade with overpopulated countries the globe will get on the fast track to real change. Policies will include very little immigration and taxes for having children, not subsidizing them.

  26. Davy on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 12:08 pm 

    Well, I would ask what is worse a climate denier or a climate believer that is a denier. If we are climate screwed anyway as I believe we are who cares. The believer will tell you Climate change will kill you “IF”. The “IF” is their denial. They want to tell you we can make a green carbon free world for 7BIL plus people and, get this, save the environment in the process. Quit pulling your penis and grow some gonads dumbasses. Until real changes are made that are in the category of horrible then don’t be talking the big “IF” word.
    Me, I dislike both groups because they are both status quo denialist. I am a doomer and I am telling you your days are numbered. I don’t care if you are a Trump denialist or a fake green libitard (non-denialist) denialist. Then there are those who just point the finger of blame and complain with no solutions to offer. What are you doing? These people just want people to feel the existential guilt. This is needed so people pay for their sins in damnation for their remaining days of life on this miserable earth. Wow, what a great time to be a human.

  27. penury on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 12:32 pm 

    I may be a believer, with no solutions to offer, but that is because I am convinced that any mitigation of AGW will take eons to implement and/or take any effect. Predicaments have that property, no solutions. Goodbye humanity.

  28. Davy on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 1:14 pm 

    Righty Pen, nothin left but the cryin. Well, we still have a few years. That is, the already living comfortably have a few years because much of humanity is already seeing their own little private armageddon. So, if there is solutions then it would be a sharing of pain with those already in pain. Well, shit, how many times has that solution been discussed. Pretty much since modernism began we have been talking a fake social justice. Why fake, well becuase it is social justice as long as it is not “my skin” paying for it. In such a world nothing will get done until nature forces the issues. Nature could give a shit about fairness.

  29. GregT on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 2:33 pm 

    Boat,

    “The point the Rock and I were debating was the idea of coal collaspe in Texas.”

    If you were to actually read your own post above, you were addressing Antius, and your reply to him had nothing to do with what he was talking about.

    More nonsense.

  30. Cloggie on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 5:15 pm 

    Am i mistaken about your goals for Europe. Were you not wanting Merkle to lose? France and Italy to separate from the EU?

    I hope Merkel will be toppled.
    Do not want to see Italy & France leave the EU, rather promote a transformation of the EU:

    EGKS – 1952
    EEC – 1958
    EC – 1973
    EU – 1993
    Continental Confederation – 202x (“Paris-Berlin-Moscow”)

  31. Cloggie on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 5:33 pm 

    The British left the EU because we were tired of being locked into a Socialist, anti-white Deep State that was in the process of replacing its own people with whatever semi human filth it could import from the third world. Leaving was the only means we had of regaining control of our own borders and at least some hope of preserving a European ethnicity.

    The EU is in reality a very shallow organisation with very limited powers. The largest net payer (Holland) pays merely 150 euro per capita to the EU:

    https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/nieuws/2016/50/nederland-deze-eeuw-grootste-nettobetaler-van-de-eu

    What countries like Holland and Germany get in return is the freedom to ejaculate endless amounts of products into other EU countries without customs barriers. It’s a bargain really.

    Socialist?

    Anti-white? Brussels had no hand in the multicult policies of the member states over the past decades. If you want to blame some one for giving London away to Islam, blame first and foremost Tony Blair, who btw acted as a front man for more sinister powers in the background.

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2016/03/the-legacy-of-tony-blair/

    It is only now that the EU *** tries*** to distribute Merkel’s guests over all EU member states, but with limited success. Even France refuses politely by saying “you invited them, you keep them”. All Eastern-European countries have given Brussels the finger, so it is absolutely not true that Brussels is responsible for the Islam tsunami.

    Meanwhile in Rotterdam a large riot is developing because of a prestige standoff between PM Rutte and Erdogan. Rutte has to face Wilders Tuesday in a direct one-on-one debate, so Rutte now has to play the tough guy. Rutte blocked that Turkish government officials entered the Netherlands to campaign for their -in essence- anti-democracy campaign, turning Turke in de facto in a dictatorship.

    https://www.rt.com/news/380330-turkish-minister-blocked-police/

    Here a few minutes ago a female Turkish minister Betül Sayan Kaya is literally told to leave the country:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl0BPLYH59U

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2UjFAFvU20

    Wow, what a fantastic propaganda this is for Wilders. The timing couldn’t be better.

    As we speak all television broadcaster in Turkey are agitating against Holland.

    We are called Nazis and fascists! I haven’t felt so good about my country in years.lol!

    This is going to escalate, excellent!!!

  32. RICHARD CLUTE on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 5:47 pm 

    Another tourist looks at China

  33. Cloggie on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 6:04 pm 

    You can’t make this stuff up! Turkish minister in Rotterdam refuses to leave the car. She is now going to be towed away with car and all from the Turkish consulate and put over the German border.

    These pictures will go around the world. Countdown to the first Dutch-Turkish war.lol

    Meanwhile the Turks in Turkey take revenge by arresting Dutch diplomats in Turkey.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/11/europe/netherlands-stops-turkish-rally/index.html

    Erdogan: Dutch leaders are fascists

  34. Apneaman on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 6:29 pm 

    Hair clog, yes you can. You make shit up all day everyday.

    I do sometimes too. Like doing this to you, but using a dull rusty butter knife instead.

    Inglourious Basterds: Swastika carved into Landa’s forehead GOOD QUALITY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF5NW94K51A

    Take longer – More pain.

  35. billyjean on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 9:56 pm 

    this article is written by American, for American, it would sell in America because this is a making American feel good article.
    Summation, this a subjective bias propaganda.

  36. Boat on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 10:20 pm 

    Billyjean,

    Why don’t you apply for a job to be the worlds only filter for unbiased information. Am sure you would do a fine job.

  37. bb on Sat, 11th Mar 2017 10:36 pm 

    The “race” for leadership is irrelevant. Leadership of what – I retort?

    The real question/dilemma the world must address is finance. In next 30 years, the developed nations, heavily burdened with debt, as result of senior heavy populations and extreme legacy benefits/costs for the next 30 years, will likely declare some form of unified debt default… the year of worldwide jubilee. And, the other nations of the world will shrug their shoulders at their newly “accepted” peers and say, “we worked like hell to grow into your status to have you simply default on your debt obligations???”

    That is the crisis the world faces. Japan is 250+% debt to GDP. If the present value of the US legacy costs were included, the US would be about the same, versus the stated 100%. The unified debt to gdp of EU is at or above 100% as well.

    China, India and the rest of developing or undeveloped world has no legacy burden. Yet, China has accumulated a pile of debt too.

    The lack of compassion in the developing world and HUGE income disparity will become a big problem for their countries IF the media and internet expands and enables their populations to freely communicate.

    Likely, the debt default to gdp mitigation will be addressed through a combination of inflation caps on legacy benefits and inflation promotion in the western economies – the only way to “right size” the debt. Else, when that fails, and the first domino drops, the first defaulter, then all will default soon to collectivize the fallout and solution. Perhaps, the economic market just attempted this in 2008 and the leaders of the world (central bankers) feared the outcome… test run 1.0

    China – leadership is not a result of iron fist. You can beat a dog into submission (or lock them in a factory and make them endlessly work). Except, when you become complacent, the dog either mauls you or runs away. How China’s communist party gets away with billionaire party members proclaiming they know best while peasants struggle to grow rice in bare feet and no school or health care… well, just keep beating that dog.

    A fool and their money soon part. Wealthy Chinese are in US buying up very expensive real estate. ECHO – 1980’s when Japanese did the same thing.

    E Pluribus Unum – out of many one.

    When the debt shoe drops, the world becomes one. In the meantime, the locusts will scarify everything unprotected.

  38. makati1 on Sun, 12th Mar 2017 12:02 am 

    billyjean, totally correct! More feel good koolaid for the lazy American sheeple and snowflakes.

  39. makati1 on Sun, 12th Mar 2017 12:06 am 

    bb, you might keep in mind that China also lifted 300 million out of poverty into the middle class in the last 10 years while the U$ has put as many into poverty. How? By printing money and running up all of the nations credit cards to the tune of trillions of dollars. When the SHTF, it will blow America away. Mean while, those bare footed Chinese will still be planting and eating rice when Americas are looking for food and eating rats. LMAO

  40. Davy on Sun, 12th Mar 2017 4:59 am 

    “Mean while, those bare footed Chinese will still be planting and eating rice when Americas are looking for food and eating rats. LMAO”.
    All 1.3BIL makati? LOL. In 1900 there were 400MIL Chinese. That was with an environment not destroyed by industrialization and overpopulation. That was with stable subsistence farming and small urban areas so halve that number to 200MIL. That means a potential Chinese die off is 1.1BIL. I would agree with you makati some barefoot Chinese will be running around scavenging for rice. We can do this for most countries but the topic is China.

  41. Cloggie on Sun, 12th Mar 2017 5:40 am 

    clog, yes you can. You make shit up all day everyday.
    I do sometimes too. Like doing this to you, but using a dull rusty butter knife instead.
    Inglourious Basterds: Swastika carved into Landa’s forehead GOOD QUALITY

    And GregT denied yesterday that Friedman-Friday was “way above the level of hijacking accounts”. Let Friedman-Friday’s words sink in, GregT.

    All you did yesterday was an attempt to score brownie points with your collapse guru. For you Greg (and makati), Friedman-Friday represents the last hope that the drastic fundamental choices you both made in your private lives, were correct after all. And that you are going to witness the environmental-energetic collapse of the world from your safe doom-steads.

    The last stage of Anglo-Zionism, collapsing together.

    [snicker]

    Regarding Friedman-Friday…

    Dream on pall, you are already with the back against the wall with Trump-Bannon in the White House and Putin in the Kremlin and the leader of the Sunny Muslim world about to leave the West, creating exactly the desired rift between the European world and the world of Islam. Exit multiculturalism.

    You live in fantasy world of “Inglourious Basterds”, the ultimate expression of Jewish hatred for Aryans, not just the Germans, but also for, let’s call them “Republicans”. They need to be shot, right Friedman-Friday?

    But here is a reality check:

    https://www.biblebelievers.org.au/expelled.htm

    You folks never had a f* chance in Europe, but instead you found easy naive American and illiterate Russian meat to subdue by 1917 and line them up against and conquer us in Europe between 1933-1945.

    And after your Americans dutifully delivered you the world at your feet in 1945, twenty years later you began to target your European-Americans themselves as a little Danke Schoen for their services to you in WW2, by opening America’s borders for massive third world immigration, after you wasted JFK first, so he could automatically be replaced by LBJ, one of yours:

    http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/immigration.pdf

    Meanwhile America is at a breaking point as a consequence of half a century of mass third world immigration, as the whole world could observe in the run-up to the elections. These immigrants were always intended as a weapon in your hands against the Euro’s, who slowly begin to understand what is happening to them and begin to panic:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCtmxru6l6Y

    You always thought that you could organize a repetition of the Russian revolution, exactly hundred years ago, on North-American soil. In your designs, the revolution should this time be of a racial nature. But as the saying goes… first time a tragedy, second time a farce.

    The point is, in 1945 there was only the European, the American and the Russian world. The rest didn’t matter. The picture in 2017 is completely different. The Chinese and Russian elite know precisely who runs the US (until last November). And Europe is resisting the US imposed multicult agenda with ever more vigor. It won’t be long before we get rid of Merkel and connect to Russia, hopefully before Trump leaves the White House, vertically or horizontally.

    When Trump will leave, the real chaos in the US will begin when the old guard will attempt a come-back. But by that time, Paris-Berlin-Moscow will have enough strength to intervene in the chaos. And boy, do we continental Europeans, especially the Germans, the Russians and Eastern Europeans have a long list of scores to settle.

    You know what Einsatzgruppen are, don’t you Friedman-Friday? They won’t even bother to carve a hammer and sickle on your forehead.

  42. peakyeast on Sun, 12th Mar 2017 6:12 am 

    @Cloggie: Todays surveillance systems and law enforcement makes Nazi-Germany and 1984 look like Rosy happy stories about how good things could be.

  43. Cloggie on Sun, 12th Mar 2017 6:23 am 

    Washington Post:

    Exit liberal Holland:

    http://tinyurl.com/z5fcheu

    The events of last night, when PM Mark Rutte, who is afraid of the potential electoral success of Wilders coming Wednesday and therefor literally threw out a female Turkish cabinet minister out of the country to play the tough guy, will do nothing for the cause of multiculturalism.

    Oklahoma born Eva proud to be an Oki Jinek introduces parody video, illustrating the fear of PM Mark Rutte for Geert Wilders:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piaCikSjKNM

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