Gary Shilling On The Chinese Excess Capacity "House Of Cards", Sees Yuan Dropping If China Relaxes Controls
Gary Shilling is now firmly in the anti-China contrarian bandwagon. In this interview with Bloomberg's Erik Schtazker the legendary investor, who called Japan's lost decade when everyone was just as bullish on Japan as Goldman is now on China, Shilling shares the same view on Chinese record excess capacity as Hugh Hendry did some months ago: "You can't trust the [Chinese] numbers... They have kickstarted their economy in the last year - it's a stop go economy, they can do it fast, they don't have to worry about EPA audits, they just let the bulldozers roll when they want to build a new road or whatever. The point is they build an awful lot of excess capacity and the question is how are they going to use it because American consumers aren't buying their exports the way they used to and their domestic economy isn't that strong... Chinese consumer spending is 36% of GDP and is a declining share over the last two decades. They don't have a a big enough middle class. In China there were 110 million people with over $5k per capita income, enough to give them discretionary spending but that was only 8% of the population. In this country it is 80% of the population." And on the yuan: "If they took off all the controls and Chinese could invest abroad, the yuan would probably go down because people would want to diversify... I think the political leaders are aware of that possibility they sure don't want to be pushed around, and Obama made a huge in trying to push them again. Remember China was dominated by European in the last century and they want to run their own country." While we completely agree with Schilling, we believe that the current transformation in US society, which is in the last throws of contract abrogation, in not paying mortgage and credit card bills, we may well see a last push in Chinese imports, after which any disposable income in the US middle class will plunge and will take the US economy down with it as well. The problem, as we have repeatedly pointed out, the cash return on such "assets" as iPads and Kindles is zero, not nearly enough to pay down 39.95% APR credit cards.
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