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Guest Post: Imagine Grand Central Station After A Flesh-Eating Virus Outbreak And You Get Guangzhou South Station

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Tim Staermose of Sovereign Man

Guangzhou South Station: Something Out Of A Zombie Movie

When I left my hotel bound for the new Guangzhou South Station the
other day , I didn’t know much about the station– where it was, how far
from the hotel, etc. After about 25 or 30 minutes in the cab, I still
hadn’t seen any signs for the station and grew concerned that the cabbie
was just taking me for a ride.

As we eventually approached the station, I began to understand why it
was so far out of town.  Clearly, the only way they could find enough
contiguous land to build this monstrosity was to go WAY into to the
outskirts of the city.

In the end, it was a 27.82 kilometer (17.39 miles) cab ride from my
downtown hotel, and took 49 minutes to get there.  I know this because
Chinese taxis are very efficient and give you a highly detailed receipt.

Guangzhou South Station is absolutely COLOSSAL.  By comparison, it is
much bigger than any of the 3 international airport terminals in Manila
where I live… and I’d say it’s over 8 times larger than the Central
Airport Express Station in Hong Kong.

For a start, the Guangzhou South Station is built on THREE levels.  I
was dropped off at level 2.  When I entered there was an “Information”
booth straight ahead.  It was unstaffed.  In fact, the entire second
level was completely deserted.  Very spooky. It was something out of a
low-budget zombie movie.

Untitled3 225x300 Guangzhou South Station: something out of a zombie movie

I went downstairs to the ticketing area where there were a few signs
of life. Of the forty or so ticket windows, well over half were closed,
and there were only a few dozen people mulling about. To give you an
idea of density, imagine the largest football stadium you can think of
with only a few hundred people inside. Ghost town.

ticket in hand, I went up to the departures area… it defies logic that
you have to go upstairs to departures even though the trains are at the
ground level, but my guess is that the Party really wanted to build a
third level just to heighten the grandeur of the train station.

Untitled2 225x300 Guangzhou South Station: something out of a zombie movie

Now, you’d think that if they spent so much money building a station
this large, they would be expecting hundreds of trains steaming in and
out at all hours of the day. Not by long shot. There was only one train
at the platforms. Mine.

It was the same zombie movie theme– areas the size of multiple
football fields with hardly any passengers standing around.  And yet,
throughout the entire station over all three levels was expensive, high
quality marble tiles and artistic finishings, all polished to a mirrored

Guangzhou South Station is truly a monument to excess, exemplifying China’s ruinous “build it and they will come” attitude.

When I arrived to Wuhan about 4-hours later (going 300 km per hour on
the high speed bullet train), it was the same theme: acres of empty
space, hardly a soul in sight, yet all very modern and marbled with
dozens of elevators and abandoned information booths. When my train
pulled in, it was the only one at the platforms.

Frankly, the whole episode reminded me of Bangkok and Hong Kong
airports during the SARS epidemic back in 2003.  I observed this
firsthand– passenger traffic cratered because most people were scared
silly of catching the deadly virus, and major airports were practically

Similarly, it’s what you would expect Grand Central Station to look like after a flesh-eating virus outbreak.

It’s interesting to note that China’s National Audit Office (NAO)
recently published a report which says the country’s outstanding local
government debt is now equivalent to $1.7 TRILLION. That’s a huge figure
— about 27% of China’s GDP in 2010.

Because the NAO’s figure was based only on a sampling of 6,500 local
government-backed financial vehicles (out of more than 10,000 such
vehicles nationwide), the actual magnitude of local government
indebtedness is likely to be much greater.  China’s own Central Bank
estimates the number to be 30% higher than the NAO figure.

All of this certainly begs the question– how many more empty
buildings and unused train stations can they possibly build?  More
importantly, what happens to China’s economy when all this fixed asset
spending starts to subside?  I’ll explore these questions more in the
coming days… but in the meantime, I’d like to hear what you think about


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Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:26 | 1433144 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

Zombies bitchez!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:41 | 1433213 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

The presence of Silver kills Zombies. Considering how much Silver the Chinese are buying leads me to the conclusion they have effectively removed Zombies from all public places. Our public places would also be effected in the same way if Americans purchased physical Silver in vast quantities as well.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:03 | 1433285 BeansBulletsBandaids
BeansBulletsBandaids's picture

I thought silver was supposed to kill werewolves?


Either way, I'm trying to procure a little more as my budget allows.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:41 | 1433725 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Silver does kill werewolves.  On a more serious note, China builds some rather impressive structures, and then they start to rapidly decay.  My parents went on and on about stuff China built that just turned to crap with all the corner cutting the builders do.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:30 | 1434569 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

Silver kills both zombies and werewolves but is, sadly, ineffective against zombie werewolves.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:45 | 1434638 BeansBulletsBandaids
BeansBulletsBandaids's picture

duly noted. thanks.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:10 | 1434800 Thomas
Thomas's picture

That would explain Lindsay Lohan's durabiity.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:43 | 1433222 trav7777
trav7777's picture

imagine GCS filled with people who are infected with ongoing flesh-eating strep and you have the condition of a lot of people in industrial cities LIKE Guangzhou.  I thought this was gonna be a pollution in China article when I read the headline lol

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:56 | 1433517 kujo
kujo's picture

I've heard a theory that these massive people moving operations are not for the general population but for the military. They are very afraid of their own population.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:25 | 1434204 citta vritti
citta vritti's picture

like the U.S. interstate system modeled on WW II Germany autobahns, to ensure free movement of tanks and personnel?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:14 | 1434571 KennyG09
KennyG09's picture

Actually, yes. Good call.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:17 | 1435035 KTV Escort
KTV Escort's picture

I've been to quite a few cities in China, Guangzhou is the absolute worst for air pollution and city-wide grime.

The only place I can recommend for a tourist detour if you happen to have a few hours to kill there...

...a ghost town the afternoon I was there, but maybe that was because of the intense heat.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:11 | 1435133 DormRoom
Mon, 07/11/2011 - 23:22 | 1446575 MGHJFHD
MGHJFHD's picture

Hello could I use some of the content from this post if I link back to you?


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Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:28 | 1433153 schoolsout
schoolsout's picture

God bless excess...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:32 | 1433181 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Who says its excess? Some people need ALOT of elbow room.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:45 | 1433228 flacon
flacon's picture

"Two pyramids, two masses for the dead, are twice as good as one; but not so two railways from London to York."
~John Maynard Keynes

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:58 | 1434306 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Pyramids were monuments to make work projects.....of course Keynes would approve ! Slaves doing make work ! It's a Keynesian ideal to stimulate the economy ! Monedas 2011 I'm very wary of those who try to put a human face on Keynes ? He was so witty, so profound ...... maybe we should take a second look at his work ! Maybe he was just too damned smart for the rest of us ?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:53 | 1433258 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Short term stupidity, long term genius!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:09 | 1433315 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Maybe. It is a gamble at best. The assumption is that they're going to be able to "grow into it." It is highly debateable whether that is reasonable.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:01 | 1433540 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

marble deteriorates slower than $$$

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:07 | 1433568 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Given the general surprising tone of developments world over, I'd say we have NO CLUE why these empty cities and extra large everythign is being built.

None. Us plebs have only 20% operating information, enough to get by every day safely. No more.

These cities could be housing/hosting any number of soon to be displaced diaspora. 


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:15 | 1433601 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Bingo :-)

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:54 | 1433789 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Bet them sneaky Chineses made a deal with the space aliens to provide housing and rail-service when they come to colonize the planet.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:48 | 1434037 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Hah! You mean the Ha'aaaaan from Chibixa? Or is it proxima anehou now?


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:51 | 1434654 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Reticulans.  They're coming for our livers.  They're having galaxy-wide hemoglobin shortages because of a market-collapse engineered by their bankers.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:18 | 1434823 long-shorty
long-shorty's picture

in Toledo, Ohio, several of our major grid streets go on and on, like 10 miles west of town, as if Toledo were going to be Chicago. Some of these grid streets serve as excellent boundaries for cornfields. So I guess we've got long term genius here too.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:29 | 1433160 Popo
Popo's picture

 More importantly, what happens to China’s economy when all this fixed asset spending starts to subside? 


... they'll ... make zombie movies?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:29 | 1433161 AladdinSaneGirl
AladdinSaneGirl's picture

Maybe i should move? The UK is terribly overcrowded. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:29 | 1433162 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Rail systems to nowhere.

And in America, we made a big deal out of one bridge to nowhere. Though that fails to appreciate the level of fail that will ensue when we no longer have fuel to put cars and trucks on our 4 million miles of asphalt.

Talk about nowhere.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:35 | 1433191 trav7777
trav7777's picture

In DC Metro, they are rebuilding the entire Capital Beltway at once!  Huge traffic snarls, planning for a future...that won't come.  It's the busiest roadway in the US, but they could have built a lightrail around the loop for way cheaper.   The insanity of it all is mindboggling...maybe they will all be Nissan Leafs?  There won't be more cars needing more roads because there isn't more oil to power more cars.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:41 | 1433212 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

If only GM had made lightrail cars instead of trucks, the future might have been so very different.

The scope and depth of our collective failure of the imagination will probably be lamented by subsequent generations for a thousand years.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:49 | 1433243 trav7777
trav7777's picture

I'm gonna be at a big family reunion this weekend and I'm sure the topic will come up at some point.  I'll hear the same shit, technology, oh "they" will just think of something.

How the fuck can you get anywhere when the people in "consensus" aren't smart enough to grasp the problem?  I struggle to come up with analogies, even at my level of intelligence, that can get the ordinary intellects to get their minds around the problem.

Consensus is the enemy of the truth.  Normal minds can only get linear growth.  That's how their lawn does it, how trees do it, how hills are shaped.  They have nothing they can compare compounding growth to and therefore it just doesn't exist and is beyond their comprehension.

They think technology will save the oil problem...look, mfers, technology is what permitted us to RAISE our extraction rate to meet the next doubling epoch.  It didn't create more oil, it pulled supply forward faster.  The technology did the opposite of what it was supposed to have done.  It just enabled faster consumption (Jevon's Paradox).

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:02 | 1433283 Hapte
Hapte's picture

"How the fuck can you get anywhere when the people in "consensus" aren't smart enough to grasp the problem?" Well said. You're still a piece of shit though.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:46 | 1433484 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

How the fuck can you get anywhere when the people in "consensus" aren't smart enough to grasp the problem?

You can't.  That's why I own 3 assault rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition to protect my family and procurements.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:13 | 1433586 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

since no one will attack when you are asleep or just wait you out...  they will just charge like a '90s FPS in set waves of attack that you can take breaks from

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:06 | 1434115 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

Well.. Aren't you the genius.. Grasp this.. Me and 2 family members with 5 full clips each shooting at mobs.. With more family refilling clips.. Now, if you were part of a mob, would you redirect yourself to someone/somewhere maybe not as well prepared or continue like a WW1 style suicide charge?

I'm not doing all of this preparing so it can be taken without a fight.. Regardless of what idiots like you think..

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 19:11 | 1434448 Infnordz
Infnordz's picture

The mob just need some grenades, improvised explosives, some Molotovs or tough vehicles, then it won't matter how many shells you have; you get blown up, burnt out or crushed, unless you have a tough and defendable position!


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:09 | 1433575 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I think you just need to fucking relax about the peak oil meme, okay? 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:17 | 1433885 Anglo in Abitibi
Anglo in Abitibi's picture

Well I think you need to get your head out of your fucking ass because you don`t realize that everything you eat, drink and do is completely and wholly dependant upon oil. He can`t relax because of simpleton shits like you ignore and downplay the predicament. If everyone could at least read the exec. summary of the Hirsch report or even anything by Dmitry Orlov then I think individuals like Trav wouldn`t be so adament on how fucked we are.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:11 | 1433581 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

um, compounding growth = mold or say  rabbits

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:17 | 1434170 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

It's funny. My 13 year-old son gets things that my wife refuses to contemplate. Yesterday in the car he mentioned (for some reason) that medicare was going broke. She got into an argument with him insisting that medicare would always be there because otherwise old people wouldn't have any medical care. Same with peak oil. Many people assume that because there is a desire that there will be a supply.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:10 | 1434560 CH1
CH1's picture

The problem is not imagination, it is the institution, which thrusts imagination out.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:13 | 1433327 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Tysons corner is out of control, but that is nothing new. Bumper to bumper traffic at 12 am.

Now they're redoing nearly all of 66.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:12 | 1434566 CH1
CH1's picture

That may be the worst road I've ever driven on... sorry it has gotten no better.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:20 | 1433622 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

The Beltway is the mother of all cluster f---s.  I once spent 3 1/2 hours driving from the American Legion Bridge to I-95 North.  I smoked a whole pack of cigarettes.  D.C. is the East's answer to L.A., hot, overcrowded, with insane traffic.  No surfing, though.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:30 | 1433165 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Icanhaz zombie apocalypse, bitchez?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:35 | 1433194 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


I joompinit, I hasit.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:43 | 1433227 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:06 | 1433296 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

The bankers have already took alot of flesh off our collective asses.

Wish the eaters would invade some special places in the fraudstreet area.

Zombies are dead meat, but still tasty. Just like aged beef.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:31 | 1433168 RagnarDanneskjold
RagnarDanneskjold's picture


Go Keynes! It's ya birthday! Go Keynes! It's ya birthday!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:33 | 1433170 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

Gotta love that Communist-Keynesian economic philosophy!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:21 | 1433357 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

Perhaps someone who junked this post can explain why. If the Chinese are doing anthing its performing a massive keynsian experiement on a scale unimaginable .

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:31 | 1433176 surfersd
surfersd's picture

Who owns the debt on this station? Payments much be a bitch.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:31 | 1433178 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


And I always thought that China is overcrowded.

Good to see there are also empty spaces left.


Freddie Mercury had this to say:


"Empty spaces - what are we living for ?
Abandoned places - I guess we know the score.
On and on !
Does anybody know what we are looking for ?"


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:37 | 1433196 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

And I always thought that China is overcrowded.

Chinatown is overcrowded.  repatriation, bitchez..

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:34 | 1433185 Robslob
Robslob's picture

Rule #1: Cardio

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:20 | 1433354 Fukushima Sam
Fukushima Sam's picture

Rule #2: The Double Tap

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:38 | 1433200 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

All of this certainly begs the question– how many more empty buildings and unused train stations can they possibly build?

Wrong question. What should be asked is, how many more malinvestments can society afford before it breaks everything?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:45 | 1433231 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

A: 42

Douglas Adams would have had a field day with this stuff. Our looming situation reeks so much of Vogon poetry that I think my brain might explode.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:02 | 1433280 TN Jed
TN Jed's picture

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:20 | 1433623 macholatte
macholatte's picture


A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
Douglas Adams

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:27 | 1433635 macholatte
macholatte's picture


Duplicate, sorry.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:40 | 1433207 snakehead
snakehead's picture

No problem. Sell it to a shell company at 3 times replacement value, pay back the loan, then do an IPO at, say, 6 times actual replacement cost before shutting the doors. Then the reversion clause kicks in.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:44 | 1433232 dracos_ghost
dracos_ghost's picture

Or do a reverse merger stock placement in the US and sucker in Paulson.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:46 | 1433749 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Actually, sell it to an american shell corporation in which they will lease it back to you.  The shell corp gets to use it as a tax shelter (ala KPMG) but shoulders the risk of you not paying the montly lease payment.  Yes, this is (or was?) a real tax shelter strategy in the days before risk and depreciating property values.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:40 | 1433209 oogs66
oogs66's picture

i think the strategy is, build it, and i can reverse ipo it to some dumb americans, and who knows, it might even work out anyways

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:42 | 1433215 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

Awesome! I love me some China Ghost City stories - more, more, more!

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:50 | 1433248 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

It is very interesting but I will tell you I have given up on laughing at grandiose Chinese methods.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:17 | 1433608 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

how come the skaters haven't taken over the place?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:43 | 1433226 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

All of that space is to run circles around the zombies and line them up for more efficient use of ammo.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:44 | 1433229 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I have a simple question. Have you bothered to study the rail network that is being built and how the HK Shenzen corridor relates to it?

If you want to post something intelligent spare us this kind of sensationalist low hanging fruit and deliver a thoughtful product.

And yes I remember SARs very well, but it has nothing to do with empty infrastructure waiting for the rail links to be commissioned.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:02 | 1433284 Strom
Strom's picture

Banzai - are you saying that once the rail network is completed, this station will get better use and more travelers? I am just trying to understand the "overbuilding" situation in China. It seems to be common knowledge that China has overbuilt its infrastructure, which makes me suspicious it may not be true. It takes a lot to move/feed/house 1.33 billion people.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:32 | 1433398 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I hear this all the time, that China has overbuilt. Maybe for today theyhave. But what about in 20 or 30 years. Maybe they understand that the world's economic system is collapsing so they are getting while the getting is good. Meaning they are building using resources that are available today paid with dollars that won't have the same 'value' tomorrow.

Just a thought. Not everyone thinks quarter to quarter.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:53 | 1433506 jiggerjuice
jiggerjuice's picture

Their marbled floors are all shiny now, yes.

The provincial governor who had this thing approved wasn't thinking quarter to quarter. He was thinking NOW. He was thinking... How much dough can I line into my pockets, using steel that is lighter than iron, using construction standards that guarantee this whole structure falls apart in 2 years, never mind 20-30... Using migrant workers that will still be working at 3 am, upside down, hanging from a rope held by a guy at the roof of the building, with a blowtorch...

I've seen that shit in Beijing. Seriously. Dudes outside my apartment hanging upside down on ropes with blowtorches, being held by another dude at the top, at 3 am. I doubt this was any different.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:11 | 1433862 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

You see as bad and worse in India. All the time Everywhere.

The sounds of construction are a given in and around any major and half major city now. Clang clang.....

Sad. Industrialization has been such a waste of human potential.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 18:48 | 1434398 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

There are many things I admire about India, but its modern construction techniques are not one of them.  Was near Ahmedabad after the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, and I remember how so many of the new high rise buildings were literally pancaked, whereas the historic quarter was hardly touched.  There was one building that collapsed where the guy on the top floor had installed a swimming pool on the roof, which ended up crushing every floor beneath.

One of the key errors made in these developments is the reason they are empty before is because they are on flood plains, and building miles and miles of concrete really screws that up.  I think there's an area outside Delhi (The Colonies?) where the flooding was so bad, the residents were stuck in their buildings with no water or electricity and 10 feet of water on the ground level.  

I can see the same thing happening in China...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:23 | 1434831 long-shorty
long-shorty's picture

Are these upside down dudes with blowtorches a bad thing, or a sign of progress? I'm honestly not sure. A lot of guys died building Hoover Dam, and it wasn't a sign that America was about to go downhill.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:09 | 1433576 amanfromMars
amanfromMars's picture

Now that was a a very perceptive observation, Cognitive Dissonance. China is long in the  Great Game Play and easily able to decimate the naked short sell marketeers and wannabe ponzi pioneers who have destroyed the western financial and phantom stock markets with their now out of control algorithms which are front running their computerised scams. The machine has taken over. :-) and hasn't been programmed to stop whenever it is outed. And pulling the plug will collapse the System like a set of cascading dominoes. 

Now is the perfect time to offer China anything that they need so that they can purchase it with as many of those toxic paper dollars as are mutually agreed upon from the pile that that they have been loaded with, and that effectively means that they are supplied with their needs .... for virtually nothing? 

And if they are buying cutting edge technology and/or highly disruptive virtual methodology which renders to them a leading global position in the field, does it also then strengthen their own currency, even as they spend depreciating dollar$.

That is win win, big time, ...... but not for Uncle Sam.  



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:23 | 1434200 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

The problem with the "build now for the future" meme is that infrastructure, like everything else in the world degrades over time and needs more and more maintanance over time until you get to the point where the maintenance costs exceed the marginal value of the train station/airport/shopping mall/etc. I suspect that the vast majority of those empty cities and railroad stations were built so local political leaders could meet near-term GDP targets and skim off a certain percentage to buy that luxury condo in Vancouver, B.C.

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 01:56 | 1435178 Pirate of the P...
Pirate of the Perineum's picture


someone sees the truth instead of buying into the garbage about the Chinese planning for decades ahead and not just planning quarter to quarter

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:28 | 1433661 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

A train ticket, for the average Chinese, is pretty big outlay.  When I travelled from Shanghai to Nanjing once in 2004, in hard-seat class or whatever they call it today (plain old train ticket), I was impressed by how few people were travelling between these two huge cities (roughly, like travelling between New York and Philadelphia).  There were some passengers in the waiting rooms for sure, but nothing resembling the insane overcrowding that I've seen in the New York Subway.  The officials may be planning for the day when Chinese can travel as often as, say, Koreans.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:44 | 1433739 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

CD, an interesting thing that everyone misses is that how ill-suited that skyscraper style architecture is for the places it's being built.

In India, glass covered building everywhere, dust splattered. millions of gallons of saop and water and man hours wasted every day, keeping those square miles of ill-suited glass shiney.

That is what stands out for me. Ill suited, non localized, sub-optimal, wasteful, in-efficient waste of all kinds of resources.

india is replete with scenes of the harsh mix of the indian mentality, still largely of th ebullock cart speed in their genes, scraping with technology's ill-regulated, bleeding, often polluted edge. It's quite a sight to behold. 7 years in the hills of marin county had me ill prepared for the cacophony of hauled by it's nose and "civilized" India.

Therein lies a story and a tragedy. 

I spent 8 hours in smokey, loud and downright dangerous Bangalore traffic today. At th emercy of a driver who believed that an inch was all the clearence he needed from a pedestrian's toes. 

IT will crumble, as it should, it's a monsterosity.....Greek Villas in Bangalore if you please.



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:06 | 1434119 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

I am looking at the fog-enshrouded Marin Headlands beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, as I type this.  Sorry to hear about the rush to build in India.  I have never been there and hope to before they lose their collective Mind a-la the PRC.

The people on the street do not want to live this way.  Everywhere in China (that has not been chosen by the mandarins to be a human wildlife preserve and tourist trap, like 'quaint' Tibet) they tear down the old neighborhoods and force people to live vertically, in defiance of natural community evolution.

It is not sane and my Chinese wife, who remembers the old country, hates it 10 x more than I do.

the U.S., however, has passed its peak in verticality and is returning to sanity imvho.  We have bicycles appearing everywhere and the real green shoots of community synch showing up.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:59 | 1434307 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

I hear you Saxxon and I do miss Marin. It was a rather formative energy for me, personally. I'm sure you've been to Fairfax.

And seeing the momentum here in India, I'd say the already overbuilt cities are just going to keep on sprouting. Already out of space, air and clean water. just a mass of tankers emptying surrounding lakes and rivers to feed/bathe the city. All pulled by extermely fuel in-efficient tractors.

it's just crumble time. And I can see the bicycle/sommunity aspect taking off in the bay area. It's got that energy. Good luck though. I think we're all going to need it.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:44 | 1433230 msnrochny
msnrochny's picture

We complain about the wastefulness of our government (legitimately), with stimulus dollars repaiving roads that don't need it, but at least we haven't built cities for no one (ok, maybe some neighborhoods in Las Vegas).

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:48 | 1433238 snakehead
snakehead's picture

Another China miracle, Mao Zedong beach ball turns desert into water.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:50 | 1433245 Durchbruch
Durchbruch's picture

well, you could throw away money waging wars here and there in the world. At least by now China is using its printing presses to build cathedrals in the desert. One result is the same. Their fiat currency debasement.



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:56 | 1433246 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Somewhat off topic, but these are Paul Krugman endorsed projects. He highly recommends that at least 100 more facilities like these, or larger, be built in the next 12 months within China. He also recommends thousands of these be built immediately around the world, especially in Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Grenada, Aruba, Jamaica, Haiti and Mongolia.

If these fail on an epic scale from a financial perspective, Krugman says they will live on as a testament to Keynes' brilliance, and that in any event, Bernanke & Trichet can buy them up and stuff them in Maiden Lanes and Madam Soleil Levants all the Central Banksters' sludge funds over.

On topic - I am in talks with the top brass at AMC's China subsidiary to write and direct the Chinese version of 'The Walking Dead.'

These stations will make perfect settings for many of my most visceral scenes now germinating in my brain.

I am also in talks with a client I am not able to disclose to write and direct an even more cataclysmic Feature Series for many world markets titled 'The Walking Debt.'

These stations will also make perfect backdrops for many of my visceral scenese now germinating in my brain.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:04 | 1433291 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Sorry, those are not scenes in your brain that are germinating, but rather the spores of brain eating space fungi! You will direct the filming of a zombie thriller ... as a zombie!

I know a great screenwriter, too.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:26 | 1434209 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

I really don't know how you could do better than "Shaun of the Dead", the greatest zombie movie of all time.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:50 | 1433249 Lmo Mutton
Lmo Mutton's picture

"No problem. Sell it to a shell company at 3 times replacement value, pay back the loan, then do an IPO at, say, 6 times actual replacement cost before shutting the doors. Then the reversion clause kicks in."


Sorry I don't have a criminal mind but, if you don't have money how do you sell it to your own shell company and expect them to pay 3 times for it?


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:57 | 1433262 snakehead
snakehead's picture

A private loan, of course. With a 100 year term.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:53 | 1433255 kito
kito's picture

better to be early with infrastructure than late. if you believe in exponential growth, that station will be filled sooner than you think. trying to catch up to growth is difficult. there are cities, such as atlanta, that have not been been able to keep pace. it creates gridlock, stifles economic growth and causes inefficeiency. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:04 | 1433289 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

by kito
on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:53

if you believe in exponential growth, that station will be filled sooner than you think.

Yeah, that will be great for China; exponential growth. Going from 1.3  billion to 13 billion Chinese will be awesome, and there will be enough of everything in terms of resources to ensure these stations run smoothly.



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:22 | 1433358 kito
kito's picture

didnt say it was great, but it is what it is.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:52 | 1433256 Sutton
Sutton's picture

Anytime I enter a Chinese resturant I imagine a flesh eating virus.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:49 | 1433491 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

Which is why you couldn't drag me into one.  I spent a week in China, lost 5 lbs.. next time, i'm taking (2) protein bars for every day there.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:16 | 1433609 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I'm guessing you don't like the taste of cat?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:55 | 1433260 drivenZ
drivenZ's picture

if you build it they will come. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:56 | 1433263 snakehead
snakehead's picture

They will come when the advancing desert in the north pushes them there.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:09 | 1434139 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

Bingo, Snakehead.  A lot of Japanese may look to re-settle as well.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:57 | 1433267 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Great movie sets.  Keep in mind though that all great projects go through their "it'll never fly" stage.  People love to poo poo big infrastructure and then switch their poo poo to the next project when the previous one starts to pay off.  Take Grand Central Station, the Panama Canal, Apollo, trans-continental railroad, Suez Canal, etc.  As they got rolling the doubters came out everywhere.  Give the Guangzhou South Station a few years and everyone will love it. As for the hissers and poo-pooers go back to your log-cabins and let others build the monuments to the future.  

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 13:58 | 1433269 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

Build it and they will succumb...

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:43 | 1433397 akak
akak's picture

Build it with no regard to expense, pay for it with debt, and the Keynesians will cum.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:15 | 1433276 reader2010
Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:03 | 1433287 JohnFrodo
JohnFrodo's picture

My experience with construction inside China, is that it ages very quickly, like before its finished. If it was built to last, like the great train stations of North America and Europe, its a good investment in the future. The Chunnl was always a wink and nod to financally sanity, but its there forever now.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:08 | 1433308 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Three Gorges Dam would support your impressions.

China's admission spotlights Three Gorges woes

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:55 | 1433516 trav7777
trav7777's picture

and they were the cheapest contractor for shit like the Bay Bridge...awsumz!

Can't wait to drive on that thing LOL

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:54 | 1433781 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Unsafe span - GlobalPost
  • Serious question emerge over world's longest sea bridge

The world’s longest bridge may not be its safest

Chinese central television and Internet users have raised serious safety concerns about the world’s longest sea bridge, a 26.5-mile span near the port city of Qingdao that cost $2.3 billion and opened on June 30. CCTV has broadcast multiple photos and footage showing loose bolts, missing sections and other potentially serious safety problems with the bridge

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 21:29 | 1434723 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Grapes are sour.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:07 | 1433845 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

A China-based constuction company just abandoned a project in Poland - couldn't finish it as they bid too low and the government didn't approve additional funding. One can only imagine how corners are cut in Chin where things are more "flexible".

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:36 | 1433288 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


Currently and unnoticed of many, in Germany there is a fierce fight in the Bundestag about a tank delivery deal with Saudi-Arabia.

Merkel obviously got an order from the Bilderberg meeting, that if Germany abstained from the Libya war, than the least thing it would have to provide is some tanks to George H. Bush's old buddy King Abd Allah al-Sa Ud.


To be precise: 200 Leopard II A7


Since Saudi-Arabia is a beacon of democracy and human rights and equality for all. Lol !

Of course, that couldn't possibly pass the Bundestag.


Gregor Gysi is already up in arms about this.


Interesting, when it is about China (hint: has no oil), then human rights violations are criticized in the sharpest manner, but with Saudi Arabia, home to the 9/11 hijackers and terrorists, oh that of course is something totally different, right ?

SA is even invading neighboring Bahrain !

Not that China is any better at caring about free speech, don't get me wrong.


But the double standard displayed here is so brazen,

they don't even pretend to hide it anymore, let alone hide it anymore.


What a farce.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 15:24 | 1433643 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

"Blitzkrieg" in Arabic. Anyone? Bueller?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:19 | 1434184 akak
akak's picture

I have no idea, but I am willing to bet that the word "suicide" is part of it.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:06 | 1433293 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

So I guess I need to re-think my plan to open a little shoe shine booth there.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:06 | 1433298 saladinw
saladinw's picture

Its called planning for the future.  Should they have built it for the demand in the next 3 years or next 10.  I remember all that extra capacity for broadband and too much international capacity during the dotcom era.  Hmm seems it the capacity was taken up pretty quickly in the coming decade.  Usual western thinking and planning for the now and the next quarter or year.  willing to bet within 3-5 years that station hits reasonable capacity I have taken it especially when the line gets extended to SZ later this year.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:14 | 1433333 oldmanagain
oldmanagain's picture

China recently announced the completion of the line.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:44 | 1433446 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

How do you think they are going to fill a functioning city? Cities  grow around areas of commerce. You can't builda city and then move people in. There has to be a need for a service. And what happens to all the empty infrastructure as they hope farmers and peasants will move in from the country side and start a successful business? How do they maintain all that?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:13 | 1433329 There is No Spoon
There is No Spoon's picture

It's too soon to declare that these projects are boondoggles. The part about the impact on GDP once the building slows down is more relevant. Why shouldn't China invest in infrastructure? Building railroads and stations at least makes sense versus the "ghost cities" which are probably pure corruption plays.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:17 | 1433345 oldmanagain
oldmanagain's picture

The basic problem in China is modernization of agriculture to increase yields.  This leaves less jobs in the country. They try to build destinations for these workers. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:23 | 1433363 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

For an architect, China must be the closest thing to Nirvana this side of UAE.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:23 | 1433366 VyseLegendaire
VyseLegendaire's picture

This reminds me of that article I recently read about the huge abandoned international airport they recently built in Spain, which is now essentially abandoned and unneeded.  


Boondoggles galore in this time of phantasmagoria. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:29 | 1433389 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

"how many more empty buildings and unused train stations can they possibly build?"


Or unused cities for that matter. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out over the next 5-10 years. Each of these massive investments means new fixed costs whether they are used or not. makes me wonder if we will see massive decaying unused infra-structure in China within a decade.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:31 | 1433395 Franken_Stein
Franken_Stein's picture


Squatters China style.

JPM led the way.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:30 | 1433390 Manzilla
Manzilla's picture

"More importantly, what happens to China’s economy when all this fixed asset spending starts to subside?"


They wont be struttin' that ass no more. This guy knows what's up.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:32 | 1433400 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I really like the idea of a deadly, flesh eating virus with a 100% fatality, raging its way through NYC.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 18:09 | 1434331 malek
malek's picture

And then you trip over the shiny bones lying around everywhere?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:35 | 1433407 perelmanfan
perelmanfan's picture

The world reminds me of a toddler.

When my son was two years old, at night his eyes would grow heavy and he could barely keep his head up. But when told he needed to go to bed and sleep, he would insist, "I'm not tired!" Shortly thereafter, he would collapse in a heap, and I would pick him up and tuck him into bed.

Economies have cycles - they expand and contract, breathe in and breathe out, wake and sleep. It's time for the world's economy to go to sleep, but rather than prepare like adults, by recognizing the need for - and inevitability of - sleep, its decisionmakers and strategists say "I'm not tired!" before the whole thing chaotically shuts down.

The world will soon need all the adults it can muster to deal with the aftermath of chaotic collapse. I wonder when, if ever, such adults will comprise the majority of the world's population.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:18 | 1434178 ToddGak
ToddGak's picture

The adults seem to have left the building.  Since the 1960's, it's all about staying "forever young," physically, mentally and emotionally.  Nobody wants to have their toys taken away.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:35 | 1433410 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

China is making the same mistakes Dubai made.


Per Bloomberg - Satyajit Das, a derivatives consultant

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 21:22 | 1434707 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Dubai was a ponzi scheme just like USA. China is large scale of JAPAN but without Japanese mistakes.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:39 | 1433420 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture


I hate those flesh eating things...they are so hard to warsh out of the clothes....Yuk...Yuk!

Seriously, I expect China to have a major slowdown after this Huge RE Bubble. It will spread to Australia which is another Bubble looking for a Pin...the median house price in OzLand is over $635,000 USD.....unsustainable and we see more and more defaults there....i don't know if it will get as bad as the States but it will be bad.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:18 | 1434177 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

Major slowdown = revolution in the PRC.  The Party will do everything in its power to avoid that.

These megabuilds are in part to keep people employed; to move troops; to keep the kickbacks coming in.

The PRC is a seamless fascist corporate dictatorship.  It has its weak points though - too many males, not enough arible land, terribly polluted water.  I wish them a lot of luck.  I think this fever will get played to the hilt and hyperinflation is where it will break. Hedged accordingly/

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:51 | 1433497 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

The hardest part of the zombie apocalypse is waiting for it to happen..

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 14:54 | 1433512 Crispy
Crispy's picture

Think about the greatest economies, the raging good times and all the countries we associate with these thoughts and the subsequent hangover.

Now think China here and now.


Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:04 | 1433834 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

du, dum dum, dum.....

School of Rack and Shell ready to travel.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:18 | 1433887 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

they all bought new cars and are zooming around, smoking. 

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:19 | 1433888 Maxter
Maxter's picture

Something tells me China is making preparation for WW3.  Empty city ready for the towns that will be evacuated, etc etc.


just a though

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:22 | 1433902 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Agreed. Nothing better than a socially engineered event to force migration into a newly built city.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 22:20 | 1434828 laosuwan
laosuwan's picture


there are two colors on the chinese flag, red for war and gold for wealth accumulation.

Nothing happens in chinese without a purpose. The question is always what is the timeline?

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:31 | 1433960 bakken
bakken's picture

Well at least the Chinese build some infrastructure.

In the USA we'd just shovel the borrowed excess to c**ts like Lloyd Blankfein or JD.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:42 | 1434004 jomama
jomama's picture

viruses don't eat flesh.  bacteria do.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:15 | 1434572 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Bingo ! A bacteria that eats the flesh of viruses ? Monedas 2011 Comedy Jihad World Tour

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 16:55 | 1434072 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

von Mises stated that the expansion of  credit by any means (fiat money printing, GSE lending like with Fannie/Freddie, ever-smaller fractional reserve banking), causes the "appearance of prosperity".   These are photographs of "mal-investment", another effect von Mises warned about.  The next phase is the value of these assets will become rational in light of how much the contribute to the economy.    Of course, governments (and especially socialist ones) will do all they can to effect denial of any rational value.   But in the end, economic value cannot be hidden.  And neither can the effects.



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 20:06 | 1434554 Monedas
Monedas's picture

I'm still looking for a government that is not socialist ! I'll settle for one that has been right of center in legislative body and administration for 10 years running ! Can't find it ! Monedas 2011 It's worse than even Monedas imagined !

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:02 | 1434099 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

I think you'll find America's answer to China's Ghost Cities, Guangzhou South Station, Three Gorges Dam and Bullet Trains to Nowhere in one simple five-sided building on the Potomac. We've spent more money on generations of weapons that do nothing to make us more secure than the Chinese ever have or ever will build on civilian projects like these beautiful, useless boondoggles. Talk about insane spending - I give you the US "Defense" budget. As Dwight Eisenhower warned us, the Military/Industrial complex will be the ruin of America, and it has been. Although Ike didn't mention the international Jewish banking cartel, no doubt because the atrocities of the nazis were too fresh in everyone's mind to float that phrase, we now know that they along with Corporations and "Defense" have wrecked the future for all people on the planet, not just the USA. So leave the Chinese alone and let them build their enormous "Pleasure Domes" if it makes them feel better temporarily. It's all over anyway.

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 17:07 | 1434121 bks
bks's picture

Absolute balderdash.  You might just as well ask why Tyler Durden's laptop sits all night *doing nothing*.  At one time, withing living memory, that much computer power would service the IT department 24x7 for a major corporation.   The Chinese are doing exactly the right thing: building infrastructure.   Plus a train station has to be built for nearly worst-case scenarios (rush hour plus major sporting event).  That's exactly what Obama should be doing.



Thu, 07/07/2011 - 18:11 | 1434333 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Monedas' new book: "John Maynard Keynes - A collection of his best mediocre, puzzling and rather lame observations !" They only served to distract us from what an insidious economic idiot he was ! Monedas 2011 Economic theory for novice counterfeiters and bed wetting Utopians !

Thu, 07/07/2011 - 18:20 | 1434352 OrestesPenthilu...
OrestesPenthilusQuintard's picture

I still prefer the empty train station to the crowded "New World Airport Commission's" Denver Int'l Airport and its murals of death.

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