Friday, January 23, 2004

Double Bubbles - China - U.S.?

China-US: Double bubbles in danger of colliding
By Ian Williams

What happens when two bubbles collide? Do they both burst, or do they coalesce and become an even bigger bubble - which will eventually burst even more spectacularly? That is the question posed by the growth figures from both the US and China, whose growth rates are tied in ways that neither seems to want to admit too loudly.

Even before this week's figures on China's explosive 9.1 percent growth in 2003, which many commentators thought actually understated the reality, the United Nations' annual economic report had identified the People's Republic of China as the locomotive for growth in Asia (with a nod to India), and added that the US with its 4 percent growth rate will do the same job for the industrialized world. But once again, the question must be asked - will these two Chinese and US engines run in the same direction indefinitely, or will they begin to diverge? Indeed, even more scarily, will they have a head-on collision and involve the world economy in the mother of all train-wrecks? "....

....The China Bubble is expanding dangerously
At one time, China's autarkic economy protected it from outside influence. But along with this week's figures on economic growth came another ominous big number. From once being nearly self-sufficient in oil, China is now the second biggest oil importer in the world - and is on the verge of needing massive coal imports as well. The China Bubble has expanded to a point where it will soon reach the sharp edges of infrastructural capacity and reckless over-investment to the point of over-production. That is when bubbles burst. ....

.....China recycles trade surplus into US Treasury bonds
American companies may have forgotten what Henry Ford propounded when he first built his Model T: If you do not pay high enough wages to your workers, they can't afford to buy your product. One simple basis for that Bush boom is that China is recycling its US$100 billion-plus trade surplus with the US back into dollars, and especially into US Treasury bonds. Almost half of the US Treasury bonds are now owned in Asia. So China is financing Bush's bold economic experiment: running two or more wars simultaneously with a huge budget and trade deficit, and equally huge tax handouts for the richest Americans. ....Link

No comments: