Sunday, August 8, 2010

Whither China?

Simon Hunt visited and researched on China and in his latest report listed the following worrying features about the huge country.

Beneath the superficial prosperity in their major cities, China has always given us many things to worry about but for the last few decades, the pessimists have always been wrong. The Chinese has a surprising ability to muddle through. How do you analyze this? You really can't because to be honest they also need enough luck on their side. In their long history, there were some very unfortunate moments and they suffered phenomenally for them. Hard to think of another country that has suffered more.

  • Home affordability
  • Leadership instability
  • A potential if not actual housing bubble
  • The rising income and wealth differential between those who have made it and those who have not
  • The country’s continued dependence on exports as its principal driver of growth
  • Cheap credit, which punishes savings and encourages investment/speculation
  • The misallocation of capital that springs from the previous factor
  • Local/provincial government indebtedness
  • A new assertiveness and arrogance at all levels
  • Policy making that focuses on short-termism without addressing structural and longer-term issues, etc.
  • Impact of rising wages
  • Energy intensity
  • Role of foreign companies
  • Resource dependability – water, raw materials, etc.

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