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China's credit bubble has finally popped. The property market is swinging wildly from boom to bust, the cautionary exhibit of a BRIC's dream that is at last coming down to earth with a thud.
It is hard to obtain good data in China,but something is wrong when the country's Homelink property website can report that new home prices in Beijing fell 35pc in November from the month before. If this is remotely true, the calibrated soft-landing intended by Chinese authorities has gone badly wrong and risks spinning out of control.
The growth of the M2 money supply slumped to 12.7pc in November, the lowest in 10 years. New lending fell 5pc on a month-to-month basis. The central bank has begun to reverse its tightening policy as inflation subsides, cutting the reserve requirement for lenders for the first time since 2008 to ease liquidity strains.
The question is whether the People's Bank can do any better than the US Federal Reserve or Bank of Japan at deflating a credit bubble.
Chinese stocks are flashing warning signs. The Shanghai index has fallen 30pc since May. It is off 60pc from its peak in 2008, almost as much in real terms as Wall Street from 1929 to 1933.
"Investors are massively underestimating the risk of a hard-landing in China, and indeed other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China)... a 'Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concept' in my view," said Albert Edwards at Societe Generale.
"The BRICs are falling like bricks and the crises are home-blown, caused by their own boom-bust credit cycles. Industrial production is already falling in India, and Brazil will soon follow."
"There is so much spare capacity that they will start dumping goods, risking a deflation shock for the rest of the world. It no surpise that China has just imposed tariffs on imports of GM cars. I think it is highly likely that China will devalue the yuan next year, risking a trade war," he said.
China's $3.2 trillion foreign reserves have been falling for three months despite the trade surplus. Hot money is flowing out of the country. "One-way capital inflow or one-way bets on a yuan rise have become history. Our foreign reserves are basically falling every day," said Li Yang, a former central bank rate-setter.
In truth, China faces an epic deleveraging hangover, like the rest of us.
China’s economy has a reputation for being strong and prosperous, but according to a well-known Chinese television personality the country’s Gross Domestic Product is going in reverse.
Larry Lang, chair professor of Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said in a lecture that he didn’t think was being recorded that the Chinese regime is in a serious economic crisis—on the brink of bankruptcy. He coined the phrase: “In China, every province is a Greece.”
The restrictions Lang placed on the Oct. 22 speech in Shenyang City, in northern China’s Liaoning Province, included no audio or video recording, and no media. He can be heard saying that people should not post his speech online, or “everyone will look bad,” in the audio that is now on Youtube.
According to a new study, almost 60% of China’s “high net worth individuals,” defined as those possessing more than 10 million yuan in investable assets, are either considering emigration through investment programs or are completing the emigration process.The survey, conducted by China Merchants Bank and Bain & Co., also reports that 27% of those with more than 100 million yuan in investable assets have already emigrated and 47% of them are thinking about leaving the Motherland.
Take a gander at home prices in China. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Chinese housing market has skyrocketed 60%. There are now 65 million vacant housing units. The question is no longer whether there is a Chinese housing bubble, but when will it pop. There is one thing that bubbles ALWAYS do. An that is POP!!!
In the southeastern Chinese province of Guangdong, a village is under revolt. Residents of Wukan, population 20,000, have been protesting the sale of their lands by local officials for months. The dispute escalated after the local government announced that Xue Jinbo, a villager who had been detained last week on suspicion of participating in a September protest, died in police custody. The authorities said the 43-year-old had died of a heart ailment, but his family and Wukan residents suspect that Xue, who was chosen by villagers a representative in talks with the government, was beaten to death. The public anger has turned the Wukan protests into a full-scale revolt, and created a serious problem for Communist Party officials at a time when other forms of unrest, including labor disputes, are rising and economic growth is slowing. Wukan now appears to be under siege.