It hasn’t GONE global. Its long been global and on a massive scale. But China is freaking people out.
Play this game if you want. But understand that it is a game which is run by cronies, for cronies, and that cronies are very fallible. Can you handle the kind of downdraft which may come when reality catches up with the hubris of central bankers?
It’s an important question, and one which should be asked when things (in the USA) are still relatively calm.
A few posts ago we made the point that we should all count our lucky stars that we were not some newly middle class guy in China who leveraged his home to play the stock market.
If however you are that guy and you are reading this know that at the very least you have our sincerest sympathies. Though that doesn’t pay the margin call we understand.
It should be noted that when aspirational countries hit economic brick walls they often do not react well. Suddenly power shifts, as do markets and political perspective – in policy circles and in the general population. This creates instability, which threatens the powers that be. The powers that be then react.
You want to know why Chinese stocks bounced today? The Chinese government outlawed the selling of stocks for many people and just stopped trading for over half of listings.
That my friends is crony craziness on a massive scale. A Chinese scale.
This would be fun to watch if it wasn’t for the fact that an unstable China creates a number of problems for us, the USA, economically and perhaps in other ways. But here’s a good bit of advice from the author of the attached article.
When Shanghai was peaking at 5,000 in June, I gave you five words of advice: Get. The. Hell. Out. Now.
To which I’ll add five more: And. Stay. The. Hell. Out.
Click here for the article.
Well China stocks are cascading. Now the NYSE has suspended trading and may for the rest of the day? Yeah, things are fine. Totally cool.
We are told that the NYSE is “rebooting” now. But it’s been 2 hours and that’s a long bit.
The Chinese stock market is crashing hard. Over half of all the companies on the Shanghai Exchange have been suspended from trading. The government is directly intervening in the market and has failed to even slow the selloff.
We are beginning to see the Great Experiment, the post 2008 Crash experiment, disintegrate. A crack here. A crack there. A hairline fracture. A fissure. The underpinnings of printed money have always been unsound, but now the edifice appears to be unstable. Will a hard Greek gale bring the thing down, or will winds from somewhere else finally do this fiat superstructure in?
Guess we’ll find out soon enough.
The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State is feeling a bit unstable right now. Instability is the great enemy of the Chinese Communist Party. The market mechanism continues to bleed through all across the Chinese economy and Beijing is getting (more) nervous. The state “capitalism” miracle is looking a lot less miraculous these days.
The Chinese stock market is off over 20% since mid June. (Though still up more than that for the year.) A property bubble continues to pop. Exports have slowed. Change is in the air. Of course it’s been in the air before.
Now it looks like China may have deployed its own version of the “Plunge Protection Team” to hold back reality. Thing is reality is reality.
Sometimes 2 trends will look eerily similar for a good long while and then the 2 trends will diverge. We’ll see in this case.
However there is a very good case to be made for a Chinese stock bubble, hell, a Chinese country bubble in many respects. China is the ultimate crony capitalist state.
That China is rattling its saber with such vigor lately may be a symptom of a Communist Party which is seeking to focus attention away from domestic economic issues.
What’s the old adage? Never engage in a land war in Asia? Well we tossed that one out a while ago and now it looks like we might be heading for one on the high seas. No kidding. China is building island bases in the South China Sea, right over massive deposits of oil and smack dab in the middle of Asian trade routes, and we are not happy about it. In fact we’ve ordered China to essentially stop immediately. They are not complying, and are using diplomatic talk of the kind which isn’t very diplomatic.
We have gotten to the point where sober minded people (well probably most of the time) with serious skin in the game are getting concerned.
They say “don’t fight the Fed.”
This has been especially true from an equities investment perspective since the Crash.
The question now though is how much fight is left in the Fed.
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Being unconquerable lies with yourself; being conquerable lies with your enemy. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
As we’ve said before, the SHTF moment to watch for is the day the dollar loses reserve currency status. As we’ve also said, this day is still probably pretty far off. But one gets the sense that things are very fluid and increasingly so in the global money game these days. It’s almost like a financial “cold war.” Nothing happening which is too hot. Which forces any drastic moves. But a war is being waged none-the-less. The US and dollar dominance are under sustained attack and unfortunately we have exposed ourselves thanks to our profligate ways.
Can we get our act together? Can we act like adults in coming years? I don’t know. We take too much for granted. We’ve been fat and happy for a very long time. Perhaps we aren’t hungry enough.
I do think America can be hungry (in the good sense) again however. But there needs to be fresh blood in leadership – political, financial, and elsewhere.