On China's Overhyped Export Boom And The Upcoming Deflation

Tyler Durden's picture

Today's early market exuberance (which did nothing but provide various FX arb opportunities during the day), was largely attributed to the news that China's export economy is surging. Alas, even a brief read between the lines indicates that this should have been fully priced in. The reason is very simple, as our friend Thermidor explains:

There's no surprise that Chinese exports are reported to be up 50% as they just follow US imports (see attached)....


But unfortunately US import data lags the ISM import question and that's rolling (attached). Therefore, these are almost certainly the highs for Chinese export growth and its worth noting that's even before we see the true effect of the Eurozone crisis.

The headline experts (as in people who know how to read headlines and nothing else good), starting with CNBC, willing to spin any data point that comes "better than the Apocalypse case scenario" managed to sucker the few last remaining idiot money holders. Unfortunately for them, the markets' close at the day's lows confirmed that saying about what happens to a fool and their money.

Yet another more relevant observation from our friend, is that the macro environment is about to turn a whole lot nastier, courtesy of an imminent full blown deflationary episode.

I'm definitely in a charting mood today. So I thought I'd send you this, it's the pricing question from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) survey, which was out a couple of days ago vs. US YoY CPI.

Unfortunately, it suggests that we are clearly heading for full blown deflation with CPI likely to fall to -0.75% YoY. Now it's possible that the NFIB number bounces but they'd have to go a hell of a long way and over the last 25 years of data CPI appears to follow the survey. I think its worth pointing out that in the recession of 89-91 CPI initially diverged from the NFIB only to collapse.

As readers know well, Zero Hedge is always amused by various dataset divergences: these tend to eventually collapse (although, unlike LTCM we are unwilling to bet $10 billion levered ten times, in other people's money, on this happening). Of course, if deflation is unavoidable, there are two outcomes: a market collapse, or the Bob Janjuah proposed Ben-Bernanke-German-built-nuclear-armed-submarine (bazooka is so 2008) scenario of printing up another $5 trillion. Since Bernanke will never let the former happen as long as he is in charge (thank you Senators), the second is merely a question of time. Also, should this be announced tomorrow, we expect the 96 thousand speculative net EUR short contracts currently outstanding to line up in orderly fashion as they proceed to calmly cover their long USD exposure. Or not.

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centerline's picture

BB locking-in the launch codes already.

peripatetic86's picture

Bernanke is in charge?  Are we sure about that?  More likely he is the staff commander left to deliver the policy directives to the victims.

Howard_Beale's picture

You obviously missed his testimony this morning. Things are looking great! Double dip highly unlikely.

Reminds me of Spring 2007--BB didn't see any problems in subprime.

New name: Ben B'ostrich Bernanke, when 2 B's simply aren't enough.

faustian bargain's picture

The situation is fully contained.

mikla's picture

Gunpowder burns very politely also ... until it is fully contained.  ;-))

Once you compress it, even a little (like inside a simple paper sheath), its burning becomes quite explosive.  ;-))

JohnG's picture

To the planet formerly known as Earth, which is currently being torched.

thisandthat's picture

The containment, however, isn't fully situated.



  1. Located in a specific place.
  2. Supplied with money or means.
DeweyLeon's picture

"...there are two outcomes: a market collapse, or the Bob Janjuah proposed Ben-Bernanke-German-built-nuclear-armed-submarine (bazooka is so 2008) scenario of printing up another $5 trillion."

It will be the latter and then the former.

Howard_Beale's picture

Try both at the same time. It's entirely possible. One word: Argentina

centerline's picture

Yep. Just need to make sure there is enough explosive to do the job. $5 trillion is probably enough. Really sucks to blow the place and have wounded survivors laying around. Gets really messy. They tend to grip onto thier remaining assets pretty hard. More difficult to pry them away.

masterinchancery's picture

Reminiscent of Churchill's comment about Chamberlain,"given a choice between dishonor and war, he chose dishonor, he'll get war."

Fred Hayek's picture

Awesome quote. 

Churchill had so many good ones.  I love the one that apparently took place at some high society party at which Winston had freely imbibed adult beverages and some prudish matron gasped disgustedly, "Sir Winston!  You're drunk."

To which he supposedly replied, "Yes, madame.  And you are ugly.  But tomorrow I'll be sober."

gerriek's picture

On good quotes: I have to share this one!

Australian General Cosgrove was interviewed on the radio recently.
Read his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children.
Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you have to love this! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time.

In a portion of an ABC radio interview between a female broadcaster and General Cosgrove who was about
to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military Headquarters.

So, General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and shooting.

Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?

I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

But you're equipping them to become violent killers.

Well, Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?

The radio cast went silent for 46 seconds and  when it returned, this interview was over. 


Sudden Debt's picture

Tyler, Earnst & Young made A VERY GOOD POINT against this.

There are many companies "selling" goods and "exporting" these and after 1 or 2 months, these products are booked back in as "retours".

The EU is actually starting to investigate this practise and has already put some companies under investigation.

I heard this of the controler because I organised a right of full retour for products in my shops with my suppliers, and when this is seen in your books you risk a investigation.

Ragnarok's picture

Retours? Is that like trying to return once-used swimwear?

StychoKiller's picture

This sounds like something a MiniScribe CEO would think up:


"I notice you have building 2 and building 4, what happened to building 3?"

"We shipped it, brick by brick!"

Muir's picture

"Also, should this be announced tomorrow, we expect the 96 thousand speculative net EUR short contracts currently outstanding to line up in orderly fashion as they proceed to calmly cover their long USD exposure. Or not. "


Rick64's picture

Hugh Hendry in China last year. Empty buildings, unfinished projects, and bankrupt developers.


Rick64's picture

I think its part of the plan to make China float their currency.

StarvingLion's picture

July 2010 copy of Hustler has an article entitled: 'The Federal Reserve for Dummies: Its a Pyramid Scheme that could destroy America' by that chick Ellen Brown who wrote the mediocre book 'Web of Debt'.

What is this world coming to when hardcore smut mags are demanding an audit of The Fed?

Celsius's picture

"What is this world coming to when hardcore smut mags are demanding an audit of The Fed?"


Chupacabra's picture

No surprise, really, Larry is quite the libertarian and just loves to thumb his nose at the establishment (my kinda guy).  Remember awhile back when he defended the First Amendment in his own special way?  He's not afraid to step up, G*d bless his smutty little heart.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Two huge things working against Chinese exports:

1) The Euro.

2) Their slaves are starting to wake up and demanding a living wage.

China is going to have to find a new solution, because their merchantilist ways aren't going to carry them for very much longer.

delacroix's picture

the reduction, wasn't half, but it was substantial

Iam_Silverman's picture

Maybe they just turned off all of the lights at the Olympic venues when everyone left?

Amsterdammer's picture

These Chinese figures are completely BS, I

hope we get some news from M.Pettis.

Maybe they include the exporting of Chinese

workers ´outsourced´ to Africa to continue

their stealing efforts over there...



ozziindaus's picture

Inventories are also up. 


Can't exactly book the sale until the money is in your hand.

Double down's picture

Where have you been?:) Revenue recognition is sophistry at its best.  

StarvingLion's picture

Who needs nations (aka relationship banking) when these fucking banking vermin want risk free profits via securitization. This is supposedly the solution Mervyn King is considering:

"There is a better way to restore trust in our financial system and get our economy rolling than by having Uncle Sam pledge always to clean up the mess, which he can’t actually do. The better way is not to let the mess happen to begin with. As indicated above, this alternative reform is called  limited purpose banking (LPB). It’s a simple and very low-cost change to our financial system, which limits banks to their legitimate purpose, namely connecting (intermediating between) borrowers and lenders and savers and investors. The costs of limited purpose banking are negligible for a good reason. The reform builds off the existing mutual fund industry, which has been functioning very smore than half a century. It also dramatically rationalizes nd simplifies financial regulation.

Under limited purpose banking, all

banks—all financial and insurancecompanies with limited liability (e.g., C-corps, S-corps, LLPs) that re engaged in financial intermediation—would operate as  pass-through mutual fund companies, which sell mutual funds—safe as well as risky collections of securities. That is, the banks would simply function as middlemen. They would never themselves own financial assets or borrow to invest in anything except those specific assets, such as computers, office furniture, and buildings, needed to run their mutual funds’ operations. Hence, banks would never be in a position to fail because of ill-advised financial bets. No-risk banking? Yes, no-risk banking. Intermediation requires no risk taking whatsoever. And we’ve just had an object lesson in what happens when you let intermediaries gamble—they can go broke, andin the process drive the country broke. With limited purpose banking, financial intermediation never breaks down. Moreover, we the people are never leveraged, and consequently never subjected to “economicblackmail,” as FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair puts it."

"Jimmy Steward is Dead: Ending the Worlds Financial Plague with Limited Purpose Banking"

Laurence J. Kotlikoff (Wiley @ 2010)

boeing747's picture

Their CPI even doesn't including House Cost while their housing prices tripled in last few years. Maybe we shall sell US and Sino accounting books in Comic section. Tales of G2.

Iam_Silverman's picture

"Unfortunately, it suggests that we are clearly heading for full blown deflation"

I have been hearing a lot about deflation, yet I really haven't seen it in my everyday purchases.  Food has actually gone up (with the exception of milk), and the cost of everything else my wife and I purchased at all of our stops has increased in price too.

Not trying to be contrarian, but where is the deflation?  Other than housing - are there segments where you can measurably show lowering asking prices for a commodity or service?

Clancy's picture

Deflation would be a godsend to everyone who earns RMB.