Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Are UK Savings Interest Rates Finally Starting to Rise? Best Cash ISA 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Inflation Tsunami - Supermarkets, Retail Sector Crisis 2017, EU Suicide and Burning Stocks - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Big Moves in the World Stock Markets - Big Bases - Rambus_Chartology
4.The Next Financial Implosion Is Not Going To Be About The Banks! - Gordon_T_Long
5.Why EU BrExit Single Market Access Hard line is European Union Committing Suicide - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Trump Ramps Up US Military Debt Spending In Preparations for China War - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Watch What Happens When Silver Price Hits $26...  - MoneyMetals
8.Stock Market Fake Risk, Fake Return? Market Crash? - 2nd Mar 17 - Axel_Merk
9.Global Inflation Surges, Central Banks Losing Control and Triggered the Wage Price Spiral? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Why Gold Will Boom In 2017 - James Burgess
Last 7 days
Stock Market Upward Reversal Or Just Quick Rebound Before Another Leg Down? - 23rd Mar 17
Trends to Look Out For as a Modern-day Landlord - 23rd Mar 17
Here’s Why Interstate Health Insurance Won’t Fix Obamacare / Trumpcare - 23rd Mar 17
China’s Biggest Limitations Determine the Future of East Asia - 23rd Mar 17
This is About So Much More Than Trump and Brexit - 23rd Mar 17
Trump Stock Market Rally Over? 20% Bear Drop By Mid Summer? - 22nd Mar 17
Trump Added $3 Trillion in Wealth to Stock Market Participants - 22nd Mar 17
What's Next for the US Dollar, Gold and Stocks? - 22nd Mar 17
MSM Bond Market Full Nonsense Mode as ‘Trump Trades’ Unwind on Schedule - 22nd Mar 17
Peak Gold – Biggest Gold Story Not Being Reported - 22nd Mar 17
Return of Sovereign France, Europe’s Changing Landscape - 22nd Mar 17
Trump Stocks Bull Market Rolling Over? You Were Warned! - 22nd Mar 17
Stock Market Charts That Scream “This Is It” - Here’s What to Do - 22nd Mar 17
Raising the Minimum Wage Is a Jobs Killing Move - 22nd Mar 17
Potential Bottoming Patterns in Gold and Silver Precious Metals Stocks Complex... - 22nd Mar 17
UK Stagflation, Soaring Inflation CPI 2.3%, RPI 3.2%, Real 4.4% - 21st Mar 17
The Demise of the Gold and Silver Bull Run is Greatly Exaggerated - 21st Mar 17
USD Decline Continues, Pull SPX Down as well? - 21st Mar 17
Trump Watershed Budget - 21st Mar 17
How do Client Acquisition Offers Affect Businesses? - 21st Mar 17
Physical Metals Demand Plus Manipulation Suits Will Break Paper Market - 20th Mar 17
Stock Market Uncertainty Following Interest Rate Increase - Will Uptrend Continue? - 20th Mar 17
Precious Metals : Who’s in Charge ? - 20th Mar 17
Stock Market Correction Continues - 20th Mar 17
Why The Status Quo Is Under Increasing Attack By 'Populist People Power' - 20th Mar 17
Why the SNP WILL Destroy Scotland, Exit UK Single Market for EU - IndyRef2 - 19th Mar 17
Crypto Craziness: Bitcoin Plunges on Fork Concerns, Steem Skyrockets and Dash Surges Above $100 - 19th Mar 17
What ‘Ice-Nine’ Means for Your Money - 19th Mar 17
Stock Market 4 Year Cycle - 18th Mar 17
The Only Article You Need to Read to Understand the Trump Phenomenon - 17th Mar 17
Janet Yellen Just Popped the Stock Market Bubble - 17th Mar 17
Financial Crisis, Steve Eisman: Smart, Lucky, Abrasive & Now One Of Them - 17th Mar 17
Gold Cup – Horse Racing’s Greatest Show, Gambling and ‘Going for Gold’ - 17th Mar 17
Trader Education Week - Free Event to Help You Learn to Spot Trading Opportunities - 17th Mar 17
$1.4 Trillion of SPX Notionals Due to Expire - 17th Mar 17
Preserving Order Amid Change in NAFTA, U.S. Sovereignty v. WTO - 17th Mar 17
3 Maps That Explain Why Syria Raqqa Battle Will Drag On - 17th Mar 17
Crude Oil Price Outlook 2017 - Video - 16th Mar 17
Dutch and French Electons - Winners are Losers and Left is Right - 16th Mar 17
The Straddle Trade Stock Market Brief - 16th Mar 17
Gold Up 1.8%, Silver Up 2.6% After Dovish Fed Signals Slow Interest Rate Rises - 16th Mar 17
Stocks Get Close To Record High Again As Fed Hikes Interest Rates - 16th Mar 17
Scotland Second Independence Referendum War - SNP Determined to Destroy the UK - 16th Mar 17
Here’s How Pharma Is Using AI Deep Learning To Cure Aging - 16th Mar 17
Stock Market Chaos in the Chicken Coop - 15th Mar 17
Gold and Silver Price Manipulation: The Biggest Financial Crime In History - 15th Mar 17
“Ryancare” Dead on Arrival: Can We Please Now Try Single Payer? - 15th Mar 17
Fanaticism, Stock Market Crash 2017 or Continuation of Bull Market - 15th Mar 17
Stock Market Most Overvalued On Record — Worse Than 1929? - 15th Mar 17
Desperate Saudi Arabia Turns to Asia for Investment - 15th Mar 17
Startups Will Define the Future of US Employment - 15th Mar 17
Fed Rate Hikes, Fiscal vs. Monetary Policy and Why Again the Case for Gold? - 15th Mar 17
SNP Declare Scotland to Commit Economic Suicide Early 2019, 2nd Independence Referendum - 14th Mar 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Elliott Wave Trading

Why Chinese Economy Won't Collapse, Premier Wen Real Story

Economics / China Economy Mar 07, 2012 - 10:32 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Economics

Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleKeith Fitz-Gerald writes: According to Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday, China is only going to grow at 7.5% this year.

But this isn't the bombshell most Western analysts think it is-even though the markets sold off on the day and may continue their temper tantrum later this week.


It's actually what Premier Wen didn't say that really matters. As is so often the case in China, it's what goes on behind the scene that is far more interesting - and actionable.

In that sense, Premier Wen's comments aren't really news at all, but rather recognition of the symbolic priorities attached to Chinese growth.

As I have talked about at length in the past, China needs to do three things this year: 1) keep growth in line, 2) promote monetary stability and 3) be flexible with regard to inflation.

What makes Wen's 7.5% GDP figure significant is that in dropping it by half a percent, Premier Wen is not saying, but, in fact, telegraphing two things:

•China's domestic growth priorities have now trumped growth through exports and manufacturing in terms of relative importance; and,
•The Communist Party expects to shift spending to lower brow projects like ordinary train lines, rural roads, education and technical infrastructure.

Having spent more than 20 years doing business in Asia, I've learned that Chinese leaders almost never say anything in public they haven't already baked into the cake.

This stands in stark contrast to our own politicians who frequently write checks with their mouths that they can't possibly cash.

Understanding the China Story

No. China's leaders are acutely aware of "face" and the risks of losing it. So it's what hasn't been said that's actually far more important here.

The real message is that China expects to maintain growth above 6%, the internal Party Elite's real target, and continue to develop employment opportunities that will keep its 1.3 billion people fed, clothed and housed - so they don't revolt.

Never mind Iran's "Red Line." This is the one that matters.

Understand the importance of 6% and you will understand China in a way that Washington doesn't.

Exports, imports, the yuan, the ghost cities, and hard landings...

None of these things hold a candle to what Beijing considers its most important issue--ensuring China's own survival.

Truth be told, I expect China to easily beat the 7.5% target Premier Wen Jiabao put forth on Monday and grow 8.5% to 9.0% by the time the record books are written.

Admittedly it won't be without some pain, but then again nothing ever is. Lest we forget, our country stood at the edge of the same precipice in 1900.

And despite multiple boom and bust cycles, world wars, assassinations, debt and more, the Dow rose more than 22,000% over the next 100 years.

China will have cycles of its own, but like the U.S. its long-term trend is much higher-not lower.

Why There Won't Be a Chinese Collapse

If there is to be a cost this year to China's GDP, it's actually found in China's $1.7 trillion in local debt.

That's the amount the central government rolled from banks onto local government balance sheets last February as a means of avoiding centralized default.

But don't confuse that with a collapse.

With a staggering $3.2 trillion in reserve, China has put away a tremendous amount of money for a rainy day. China can literally recapitalize its banking system several times over and have change left over.

On the other hand, we owe more than $211 trillion to ourselves according to CBO figures I've examined and which Boston University's Lawrence Kotlikoff has referenced with great fanfare.

We could no more recapitalize our banking system than the man in the moon without cratering it or driving ourselves so far into debt we will never be able to pay it off--which ought to sound uncomfortably familiar.

Despite the dire warnings from noted China apocalypse theoreticians like avowed short seller Jim Chanos, China's property debt remains very conservative compared to the mess in our own system. There's very little if any of the securitization there that we have here.
This means Beijing can lower deposit costs and guarantee a comparatively wider spread between borrowing and lending rates.

It is an option our government doesn't really have in practical terms, though that's what Team Bernanke's Zero Interest Rate Policy is intended to do.

Some suggest this is going to be like an imputed tax that kills growth because Chinese wage earners are going to have to subsidize the results of insolvency by making up the difference via the kind of wealth transfer we've seen here.

I'm not so sure that's the case in China - at least not immediately.

According to CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, China's non-performing loans ratios remain near all-time historic lows.

So don't let the $1.7 trillion figure scare you. Chances are it's not the boogey man everybody makes it out to be. China's Non-Performing Loan to loan ratio is under 1%.

What this means, in very practical terms, is that China actually has room for further fiscal and monetary easing.

In fact, according to The Economist, which analyzed 27 emerging markets and ranked the countries in terms of inflation, excess credit, real interest rates, currency movements and current-account balances, China has a lot of room to ease if necessary.

As my long time good friend Frank Holmes, CEO of U.S. Global Investors, put it recently, "the heart of a China bull beats strong."

An Important Shift in China's Plans

And that's what brings me to the second part of Premier Wen's comments.

While the world's tallest buildings and world's fastest bullet trains get all the news, his commentary suggests Beijing will shift its next Five Year Plan to focus on items that provide higher social returns for ordinary citizens rather than the uber-wealthy minority.

That makes sense given that China's historical growth rate targets have averaged 7-8%, but real growth has been nearly 10%. In 2011, for example, China posted 9.2% GDP growth versus the 8% officially projected.

Also, if you recall that one of China's key objectives is to get its booming property markets under control, a lower official growth figure makes sense because it accommodates the reverse - a drop in property values and deliberate decreases in property sector investments.

Put another way, what Wen Jiabao didn't say but what he implied with his forecast is that Beijing is going to continue to stomp on the brakes this year.

That is something our government wishes were an option instead of throwing $14 trillion into the hole we've dug for ourselves with only a few measly percent in GDP growth to show for it.

And finally, while most analysts want to doom China to failure, the other thing to read into Wen's statement is that China's next government will come to power at the end of this year and enjoy a banner first year in office.

By dropping projected GDP to 7.5%, Prime Minister Wen is essentially giving Beijing's next Party Elite a Sunday pitch he knows they can hit out of the park.

In closing, there are all kinds of reasons you can find not to invest in China, ranging from the same old tired arguments about democracy, capitalism, state spending and more.

But be aware that you risk making the most expensive mistake of them all - falling prey to your own bias.

Top Chinese Plays If You're Just Getting Started

However, if you're able to put your bias aside and consider Premier Wen's unspoken message, here are three ways to invest in China's future.

They include:

•The iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE: FXI) - FXI is an ETF that tracks 25 of the largest and most liquid Chinese companies as represented by the FTSE China 25 Index. It's heavily skewed to Chinese financials and is non-diversified. So expect some volatility and begin nibbling in on days like Monday or Tuesday when traders run the other way under the mistaken assumption that China's glory days are over.
•The Morgan Stanley China A Share Fund (NYSE: CAF) - There are two ways "into" China - H Shares traded in Hong Kong and A shares traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen. The former are relatively easy to purchase while the latter can be tremendously difficult. Fortunately, the Morgan Stanley China A Shares closed end fund is available. Down off its 52-week high of $29.95, CAF is trading at a 10.83% discount to NAV according to Morningstar. Traders are running the other way which means it's beaten down, unloved and has potentially more upside.
•Yanzhou Coal Mining Co (NYSE: YZC) - Natural gas prices, fears of reduced global demand and generally weaker coal markets are depressing YZC along with much of the sector. Do your best to ignore this and instead focus on this company's 3.68% yield while trading at a comparatively low 6.4x trailing earnings versus the average S&P 500 company, which is at 14.1x earnings.

And, finally, remember that the genie is out of the bottle on this one. China couldn't put it back--- even if it tried.

Fears of China's bubble bursting remain greatly misunderstood and overblown.

Source http://moneymorning.com/2012/03/07/the-real-china-story-its-what-premier-wen-didnt-say-that-matters//

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife