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The Other Side Of China's 8% GDP "Growth": Ghost Cities

Tyler Durden's picture


All those who have spent late hours playing SimCity 3000 and never understood why the damn thing would never get any people to move into it, will derive a deranged pleasure from the following clip. In China, where 8% GDP is guaranteed and has to be "goal seeked" by any and every increasingly more deranged economic project, the authorities have taken the game of SimCity and applied it to real life. Alas, they started out on "difficult" level.

Ordos is a hyper modern city, full of brand new glass walled residential and commercial buildings, yet devoid of inhabitants. In its attempt to present a "growing" economy, and to "invest" its $585 billion stimulus into anything and everything, courtesy of comparable idiocy on the other side of the Pacific, China's communist party is now ruling over ghost towns. One wonders just how many such "efficient" projects sustain China's magical 8% growth.

h/t Tyler


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Thu, 11/12/2009 - 17:48 | 129016 J.B. Books
J.B. Books's picture

Love the shoes.......!! 

I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.


Thu, 11/12/2009 - 23:13 | 129335 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The 6.1% growth of China’s GDP in the first quarter, the lowest in the past ten years, would have been an impossible dream without the support of the 4.58 trillion yuan new lending from China’s banks.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 17:49 | 129018 nightfly
nightfly's picture

I'd rather have a new city that a richer GS! What have we gotten for our bailouts? Just huge bonuses for the banks.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:01 | 129041 Divided States ...
Divided States of America's picture

Its not a good sign to see this but I think at least they are putting good use of the stockpiles of commodities they have and whether this is sustainable or not, the GDP effect is real. Also, in case something bad happens to one of the major cities, voila, there is a back up plan. Maybe the US should start doing the same thing and build some backup cities in case of something bad. At least it takes people and their own hands to buiild those cities, not bankers and their algo hft trading machines.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:45 | 129148 Harbourcity
Harbourcity's picture

I agree.  What happened to doing infrastructure as a means to expand GDP versus throwing money at banks.


Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:59 | 129158 Johnny G.
Johnny G.'s picture


Thu, 11/12/2009 - 21:10 | 129232 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The report mentions also the Chinese buidling a trans-national railroad. Some of the $trillions we've given to the banks might have built a nice high-speed rail project across the country that would have served everyone and been a backup strategy for a day when the jets don't fly anymore.

Ah, the road not taken.


Thu, 12/16/2010 - 17:39 | 812520 zero-g
zero-g's picture

I caught that too, sounded way too rational and far-sighted for the US though. Ever read about the Deep Underground Military Bases? Check it out, they have high speed underground transportation systems, but the military always gets a blank check.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 17:52 | 129020 rtalcott
rtalcott's picture

Ordos City in China signed an agreement to build what will be a 2-gigawatt solar installation in the Inner Mongolia city. First Solar has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chinese government to build a 2-gigawatt (GW) solar power plant in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, China.




Thu, 11/12/2009 - 17:54 | 129023 deadhead
deadhead's picture

what a video.....folks, you've got to see this one to believe it.


why you hat tipping yourself?

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:20 | 129136 deadhead
deadhead's picture

it might be part of the easter egg thing andy.


so, do we have yet another double top? or, maybe just the start of a new left shoulder lol!!


Thu, 11/12/2009 - 21:15 | 129235 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Let me know when you have it figured out DH--I'm thinking a quadruple top. I got swabbed 3 days ago after my temperature roared to 104 and tested positive for H1N1 and to add to the misery I have walking pneumonia--thus my absence for the last week.  Watching important television like Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares and Holmes on Homes until I get better or we just start to crash because a) it is too painful to read and b) it is too painful to be awake. I highly recommend 103 degree fevers so you no longer give a damn about monetary policy.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 17:54 | 129026 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

No doubt the construction quality is as sound as the reasoning behind the construction.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 17:55 | 129028 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Their consumers are helping that 8% though

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 17:58 | 129034 GlassHammer
GlassHammer's picture

I really love it when pundits profess their love for GDP and how its the best way to measure a country's economic strength. This is a perfect example of growth for the soul purpose of showing a nice GDP.

God forbid anyone actually use more than a cooked economic indicator to determine the strength of a country.

I almost laughed when the man they interviewed said "its too expensive to live here but maybe some other time". I remember being told that the Chinese don't bluntly say "no" but instead say "maybe later". So the man they interviewed really said "no we will never move here".




Thu, 11/12/2009 - 17:58 | 129035 rtalcott
rtalcott's picture

The scope of the project is to Develop 100 hundred villas in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, for the Client, Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd. FAKE Design, Ai Wei Wei studio in Beijing, has developed the masterplan for the 100 parcels of land and will curate the project, while Herzog and de Meuron have selected the 100 architects to participate. The collection of 100 Architects hail from 27 countries around the globe. The project has been divided into 2 phases. The first phase is the development of 28 parcels while the second phase will develop the remaining 72. Each architect is responsible for a 1000 square meter Villa.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:56 | 129111 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Let the 100 flowers bloom!

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:01 | 129039 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

Here's a video on the world's largest shopping mall, also in China, virtually empty.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:57 | 129113 Ode to Trading
Ode to Trading's picture

Now that's errie. The idea of "growth" just for the sake of "growth" is so shortsighted. 

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:34 | 129183 bonddude
bonddude's picture

Freaky, makes that blog "Ghostmalls" look upbeat !

Anyway, Guangdong is supposed to be their big growth story. So all that solar stock hubbub is falacious ?

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 21:08 | 129228 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Excellent reference, China is West problems squared. Which means when the dirt hits the fan they should love the west even more than they already do.

Love the military lineup monthly employee meeting.

Good times.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 23:52 | 129358 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

West problems squared ? How many cities and railways and malls could you buy with 2 trillion $$$$ ?

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 00:33 | 129379 Johnny G.
Johnny G.'s picture


They should spend every rectangular green piece of paper they have on tangible goods.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 00:55 | 129399 Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford's picture

Here's a nugget from the wayback machine ... see any similarities?

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 17:43 | 255427 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

One thing I never EVER forgot somewhere in government studies in the US is that there is one thing communism sucks at, BADLY, is accounting for market forces that always frustrate central planning's best efforts at making things happen as it's "supposed to." We're talking overcapacity, overproduction. CLASSIC! They have NEVER understood how markets are supposed to work.

Someone further down this posting area mentioned how employees are handling themselves with military precision or something like that - there's a reason for it. THEY WANT TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD! They build, build, build, they produce, produce, produce, and I fully expect them to eventually kill, kill, kill when they send 200 million of the damned army to take over the entire western hemisphere. Have you noticed their military budget has increased and gotten the attention of the asian partners?

Fire in the hole!

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:06 | 129047 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

Australia should be feeling really good right now about their recovery that is driven by selling raw materials to China.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:11 | 129129 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Deluded springs to mind.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:11 | 129165 Johnny G.
Johnny G.'s picture

The Aussies never had the excesses, or population we did.  They have the population of New York spread throughout a country the size of the U.S.   They have almost no federal income tax.  The have tremendous resources, fertile land, and a very low crime rate.   They didn't need to print $2Tr to "save" their economy, and they didn't give houses away to people who couldn't afford them with 3% down payments then dump off the mortgages as AAA paper to the rest of the world.  Their recovery was inevitable.  China just helped accelerate the inflation in Perth (which is why they had to raise rates).

You're right, they should be feeling good.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:40 | 129188 che
che's picture

australian government is not indebted that much is true. but consumer and corporate sectors are just as much in debt as in the USA or in UK. when China stops building ghost cities and bullet trains to middle of the nowhere, Australia will join the rest of the anglosaxon world.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 00:39 | 129382 Johnny G.
Johnny G.'s picture

They believe corporate debt leverages their economy in a positive manner.  And I believe they're correct.  They only have government bonds so that they'll have a "risk free" benchmark to price corporate debt.  Seriously, if you compare Australia and Canada to the U.S. and Germany (I assume that's the Saxon part), you haven't any idea what's going to happen over the next generation.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:46 | 129196 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Well, the Australian government does collect income tax. But unlike the U.S., there are no state and city income taxes. And the Aussies on average pay a very high mortgage in proportion to income (among the highest in the developed world, I believe). I still think it is one of the best countries on earth though.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 00:42 | 129386 Johnny G.
Johnny G.'s picture

Actually, their property taxes are quite reasonable.  It's their State tax that approaches 35%.  There's also an ungodly VAT/luxury tax that pushes the price of a new Porsche Cab (911, 997, whatever you want to call it) in excess of AU$200K.

Their homes are expensive because they pay no tax on gain on their residence.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 02:38 | 129439 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Hang on a sec; in Aust, you pay a one off 'stamp duty' - a state tax - on the purchase of a property and then an ongoing local council charge for services (water, garbage collection etc). For most, these are the only taxes/charges on a property and yes, we do not pay any capital gains taxes on the sale of your place of residence. Investment properties are different. There are other state taxes such as a payroll tax. The Federal government Investment properties are different collects your PAYE (personal) taxes – the 35% you spoke off and the GST. The reason why home are so expensive in Australia has no single reason, there are many and include incompetent state and local government planning restricting land supply, overly generous government housing grants, people willing to over leverage and yes, no capital gains taxes. Australia is doing well considering but there is a high element of smoke and mirrors at play. Mortgage stress is increasing to there highest levels even with low interest rates caused by the shift in full time to part time work. When interest rates went up .25%, to 3.25% the consumer confidence index shat itself. When you consider that this rise was minimal coming of a very low base, hate to see the effect when the cash rates get 5% and banks rates upward of 7-7.5%. It’s going to be interesting.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 23:14 | 129337 reading
reading's picture

Hey now, 

WE gave our houses away for 0% down to people who couldn't afford them...that has to make it better.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 04:30 | 129479 blueskyscottsdale
blueskyscottsdale's picture

the next big wave out of China is China tourism. Eventually 1.3billion people are going touristing around the world. Australia will be a major destination for China's tourists. As for the empty mall purportedly in Guangdong, this clip was on Reuters and a person from China commented the mall is 100km from the city. So, no wonder the mall is empty.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 08:49 | 129545 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

I didn't mean to suggest that Australia is as screwed as the U.S., just that the recent resurgence tied to Chinese demand for raw materials may not be sustainable if China is using the raw materials to build cities, shopping malls, roads and trains well ahead of demand for them.


Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:14 | 129058 darkpool2
darkpool2's picture

Brilliant concept ! Definitely deals with China's other concerns about controlling "social unrest" 

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:22 | 129066 Ragnarok
Ragnarok's picture

I was living in Dubai in late 2007  and this very similar to what was happening there.  I remember entire quadrants of the city with multiple sky scapers empty.  We had people come buy our work and try to get us to invest in apartments and villas that no one was living in on pure speculation that if youy build it they will come. We all remember how that worked out.... I believe Abu Dahbi has them by the balls now. 

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:51 | 129153 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I remember that too -- Dubai Marina, at night, with maybe one or two of the towers occupied and the rest pitch black.
I also remember my friends telling me how easy it was to get credit, the bankers would even show up to your place of business, no need for passports or anything!

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 09:45 | 159966 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Only Dubai was debt-fuelled speculation. China on the other hand has more money than it knows what to do with, so some of it is going towards building. No matter how over-inflated the valuations of those assets may be, the eventual correction won't put them underwater since they don't have debt. Big difference.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:25 | 129071 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

That's the Tax revenue from all our missing jobs. C4C on steroids.
Thank's Clinton, BUSH. WTFU!! Obama!

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:27 | 129073 Charley
Charley's picture


Hey, we have one of those empty cities right here in the USA -



Tue, 08/10/2010 - 02:54 | 512098 Circumspice
Circumspice's picture

Except Detroit grew and was used heavily since the early 1800s. Building Neo-Ordos pulled money away from productive activities to create a city that almost no one uses or has ever used.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:27 | 129074 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

if you are wealthy in China you cannot spend the money outside of China ?

So what else can you do with all the millions you have made? buy property and hope? buy gold !

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:29 | 129077 Racer
Racer's picture


Where the elite built difficult to access areas so the peasants were kept at bay

Nothing changes, just the centuries

The book Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti describes it far better that any words I can say

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:43 | 129098 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Yeah, build more pyramids, that's the ticket, yeah, yeah...

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:53 | 129106 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

No, no, you're all missing the point.  They're preparing habitations for the current residents of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand, who will need them after the impending supervolcanic eruption of Krakatoa.

Watch this link for the upcoming earthquake swarms in the Sunda Strait region between the islands west of Jakarta.  There were two 5.0+ quakes already this week south of Bengkulu.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:40 | 129189 bonddude
bonddude's picture

Yes of course. And China's military is seeding the volcanos right now with help from Blowfeld and his pussycat...or is it ...


Fri, 11/13/2009 - 00:04 | 129365 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

No, that's in Phase III, which won't be implemented until 2027.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:54 | 129107 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Reminds me of Dubai, anyone ever move to those ghost cities or are they still just opulent empty address in 130 degree heat to look cool back in London?,9171,1929221,00.html

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:56 | 129110 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

lol...the traffic cop is like "...ah, screw this, I'm going home."

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 18:56 | 129112 sawyer
sawyer's picture

Here's another video of empty buildings in China:



Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:16 | 129133 geopol
geopol's picture

WOW Empty buildings in China........ Try Detroit...


China no longer NEEDS US,,,,,GOT IT.

The gorilla has us by the balls...On Obama's visit, OK, I'm sorry for the tire tax..... hehe Can we talk?

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:51 | 129204 bonddude
bonddude's picture

That is why I love Hugh Hendry. He gets out there with the people...and the bogus GDP drivers.

I would say rather than be in the inflation trade everyone is in with both feet, one should be prepared for a deflation Black Swan. The scam can't last forever.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:37 | 129144 Bubby BankenStein
Bubby BankenStein's picture

Invest in China for the long term??

Just wait for the miracle to bust.  It will.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:14 | 129166 Johnny G.
Johnny G.'s picture

I don't know Bubby.  I spent some time in Shanghai.  It makes NYC look piss ant.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 03:06 | 129450 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

The biggest bubble is not China but the US Dollar.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 19:56 | 129155 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Nice broadcast Al-Jazeera.

Cox cable will you please put them on here in San Diego?
BBC World News is OK but it'd be nice to have real unbiased news!

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:00 | 129159 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Nice broadcast Al-Jazeera!

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:17 | 129169 Johnny G.
Johnny G.'s picture

LOL!!  I nearly choked.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 02:07 | 129431 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture


Fri, 11/13/2009 - 03:16 | 129456 theoilyboy
theoilyboy's picture

It didn't fall over, it is just resting.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 08:58 | 129554 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

You have to give them credit for spacing the high rises far enough apart so they could fall without taking out another building. 


Fri, 11/13/2009 - 09:09 | 129561 whydtinogo
whydtinogo's picture

A return to horizontal living - I like it

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:26 | 129174 waterdog
waterdog's picture

It amazes me how people in the land of me, me, and me can forget what communism does to its citizens. In China there is no such thing as a lie because only the government can speak. Do you really think that the reporter went to that city without permission? Do you believe the reason why no one lives there is because it is too expensive? Are you convinced that the person was a cop? Do you honestly believe that the GDP of China is 8%? If you do then there was no lead paint in those toys. The reason why the drywall will kill you is because of the humidity, not the temperature.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:51 | 129205 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

China is as communist as America is capitalist.


But both countries' GDP figures are full of fluff.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 21:09 | 129231 waterdog
waterdog's picture

Yes, you are correct.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:27 | 129175 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The video stated some people have bought apartments as investments but nobody lives there. It was explained that nobody ever lost money investing in real estate in China before, sound familiar? This recession will break all the old rules (again).

I had an amusing thought while watching the video. The Chinese government is trying to stimulate, and breath life into its export economy, hoping to ship goods to the West as the recession eases. The funny thing is the West is putting all their hopes on the Chinese pulling them out of the recession! Kind of sounds like circular reasoning doesn't it? Can anyone explain to me how the Chinese worker can help the economies of the West when his job relies on exports to the West? Insert maniacal laugh here (commie bastards). Wait until this bubble bursts and the West learns that the calvary isn't coming. There will be panic.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 00:54 | 129397 Johnny G.
Johnny G.'s picture

After a few more years, 1.6 billion consumers won't need to export (they're going to be net importers in 20 years) - never forget they are five times our size.  They're only using us for the time being.

I believe their biggest challenge will be the corruption and quality control issues which appear to be cultural (drywall, lead paint, 20 story apartment buildings that tip over, etc.)

Bottom line, they are, where the U.S. was in 1910.  Read Upton Sinclair and envelope yourself in the parallelism.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 09:14 | 129563 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

Everybody has more capacity than demand and is biding their time until an economic recovery will enable them to export.  The weak dollar is supposed to help the U.S. export more.  China's yuan is pegged to the dollar so they're going to export more too.  The FT had a long story this week on how German industry is not laying off people, still hiring more engineers, still maintaining R&D spending, expecting a rebound in exports.  Virtually every major country in the EU has a cash for clunkers program ("scrappage schemes" they call them) to keep demand for autos going and helping them to avoid layoffs.  The EU's scrappage schemes have been running for much longer than the U.S. program did, so auto sales in the EU are down less than 10% year over year versus roughly 30% in the U.S. The EU has enough auto capacity to make 4 million units more than the peak demand in 2007, or about 20 plants at 200K units each, but they haven't closed a single auto plant. A number of European governments have programs to provide compensation to workers whose hours are cut as a way of encouraging employers to reduce work weeks rather than lay people off.  Japan's population is aging and it remains an export driven economy.

Now that the U.S. is choking on debt, which countries are going to pick up the slack as net importers for all these countries around the world that plan to be net exporters?

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:35 | 129184 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Bubble in your face! lol
Do these govs know how to do any other than bubbles now?
Brazil is doing its homework in creating a housing bubble too, maybe it will take a couple of years longer to pop, but it surely will.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:47 | 129199 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The US is very much guilty of the same delusional notion of central planning to bring about growth in GDP, however, ours is premised on lending on the cheap to the oligarchic banks to buy up equities and commodities and cover for losses on derivatives. At least they are building physical infrastructure that, given China's consistent population growth, may actually find some use in the near future (assuming a bounceback in exports and appreciation of the Yuan/domestic demand)

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:49 | 129202 Kayman
Kayman's picture

   So... China does not lie, does not manipulate its currency, does not inflate its GDP.  Just ask Timothy Geithner, it must be so.

   Clinton and Bush got the U.S. into this one-way trade mess- pushed along by Corporate America.  With all the productive manufacturing jobs "outsourced" to China's junk factories, how in the hell can this country earn its way out ?


Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:52 | 129206 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

minimize regulations and taxes, for one.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 01:30 | 129414 Clancy
Clancy's picture

China also protects its industry from excessive foreign competition.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 20:53 | 129207 waterdog
waterdog's picture

By not buying anything made in China. But, how can a me, me, and me society deal with that solution?

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 21:00 | 129211 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"Screwups, like entropy, always increase over time."-Cynics book of Wisdom.

I remember spending a summer traveling around rural central China. I had just started reading Mises and looking was at the abondaned projects and empty half buildings.All built by the God called Fiat Currency.

I always get a good laugh when people talk of Yuan backed by gold; they fail to understand the political implications of what that would mean. Just like those stupid bankers who bought stakes in Chinese banks. Banks lend according to the Party's wishes. To do otherwise is to start a revolution and that ain't gonna happen soon.

Short GS. Long CCP

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 21:15 | 129236 MakeItRain (not verified)
MakeItRain's picture



Have you seen the Market Oracle story on Tungsten salted gold coming from China?

This could be a huge story a lot of us would like you to get to the bottom of.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 01:11 | 129404 Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford's picture

This would explain the real reason behind why GS is "short gold" as revealed on Marla's radio show The 100 Trillion Dollar Pyramid.

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 21:22 | 129242 tomdub_1024
tomdub_1024's picture

Guess they better keep buiding these cities, maybe a couple in Africa and South America as well, if they expect export demand to "bounce back" in 2010...but then again my 401k sales guy expects the consumer to be peeled off the wall and spending on shiny, new things next year, and now is the time to invest in growth/high-yield what do I know, I'm just an old (at 44) curmudgeon...*sigh*...

Thu, 11/12/2009 - 23:16 | 129341 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The 6.1% growth of China’s GDP in the first quarter, the lowest in the past ten years, would have been an impossible dream without the support of the 4.58 trillion yuan new lending from China’s banks.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 00:55 | 129400 Sigma O
Sigma O's picture

Ordos is located in Chinese Mongolia and gets its name from a Mongol word which is variously translated as "camp" or "horde". So this is "Horde City": homebase for the next Kublai Khan.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 01:29 | 129412 Clancy
Clancy's picture

There's one of these just north of me.  The "development zone" just outside Dalian.

It's really creepy to go there, the sidewalks and roads are literally empty.

Oh well, at least all this development was paid for with cash and not loans.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 01:58 | 129426 badgerman67
badgerman67's picture

Its not just China its pretty much all of developing Asia.  As for the Yuan appreciating enough for anyone to care highly unlikely.  By the way this is not just limited to China, Vietnam is building entire satellite cities outside of HCM.  Check out Keppel Land and they are just one developer.  There are limitations on ex pat buyers in Vietnam and with most of the population living on about $1/day type wages.  Where will the actual physical demand come from, who knows they worry about that tomorrow?  Figure most of this money is coming from China or China via Singapore.  Real Estate buyers in this part of the world are undeterred by vacancy since they view RE estate as basically a commodity.  This will eventually be a drag on GDP as the dead equity sits with no yield and no velocity.

As for AUS, 6% arable land does not really suggest an abundance of fertile soil and they look to have some current/future water issues.  They had a pretty substantial run in property prices too. IF you believe the IMF prices are really not inline with income.

Brazil still seems like the best bet as they took the pain.  Something the US seems unwilling to do.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 02:09 | 129430 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

Quaint. Later they can boost GDP by hiring a wrecking crew.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 03:00 | 129446 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Why is ZH biased against China? Let me just say first of all that I don't think China is perfect. There's a lot they are not doing right and can do better. That said, there's a lot they ARE doing right. Just because the US going down the shithole doesn't necessarily mean everything else is too. First - at least they got something to show for their money as opposed to the US where all the money went into bankers' numbered Swiss accounts (which, BTW, WON'T be touched by the IRS). Second - the report doesn't say it's "abandoned", but more like people will move into it at some point in the future. It also says that the Chinese government is planning for the residents from the old city to move into the new one, and I'm pretty sure if the residents can't do it on their own (due to high prices), some kind of subsidy will be provided by the Chinese government to accomplish it. Although I am normally against subsidies, in this case what's the harm? Everybody gets to live in a new city with brand new infrastructure - much better than the US where you can be 10000% sure that ZERO money will be spent on actually benefiting anything human (only squids).

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 03:32 | 129465 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Subsidy. Fine...
But who pays for that subsidy ? Employers, the banks that eat the loss after the crash, the government ?
This can be solved only by massive default in the banking system, bailed-out by the state, creating huge liabilities , or, more likely, massive inflation in yuan, so that these houses become affordable for the average Chinese.
Don't underestimate the Chinese, one more game at which they could beat the americans at is the "race my currency to the bottom" game.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 09:01 | 129557 whydtinogo
whydtinogo's picture

agree - tick tock times running out


Fri, 11/13/2009 - 08:59 | 129556 whydtinogo
whydtinogo's picture

Sure it matters - destroying perfectly fine economic goods with new ones simply does not add any economc value to the system. Its identical to cash for clunkers - destroying a vehicle this is perfectly ok destroys economc value therefore the new one does not add new value simply replaces the old. I assume as a US tax payer you dont mind subsidising the auto industry and new auto buyers? If you do object at least you can complain, the Chinese cant and they are subsidising the fckn shebang - whats the collective for squid again ... ah yes a national peoples congress of squid.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 03:11 | 129453 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

America went from having more living space per capita than anybody else to having lots more living space per capita than anybody else.
China still hasn't caught up with us on living space per capita.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 03:26 | 129460 mr brincq
mr brincq's picture

and now to the accounting of Chinese economy....China's 8% output growth will be met because China's economic statistics are based on recorded production activity, rather than being a measure of expenditure growth- defined as the sum of consumption, investment, government spending, and net exports- as the U.S. dataare. (see the clip!) For example shipments to retailers are counted as retail sales on the apparent assumption that ultimately all goods shipped will be sold some point in the future.....dream on on the Chinese growth miracle....just try a small test for yourself....everytime you hear the word China....replace it with the word internet....

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 04:37 | 129482 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

This is the danger of lazy group think. The writing has been on the wall for months that China are cooking the books and spending their reserves yet we still get the same old China next super power nonsense.

Meanwhile, Australia tips its hat on a recession avoided and raises interest rates. Both are in for a smackdown in 2010.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 07:18 | 129506 Chopshop
Chopshop's picture

Nice piece Tyler ... ahhhh, "reticulating splines."  Thanks Sid Meier.

SimCity 2000 was the first Sim game to feature the semi-nonsensical phrase "Reticulating Splines", which means to make a network of splines. Will Wright has stated in an interview that the game does not actually reticulate splines when generating terrain, and he just inserted the phrase because it "sounded cool."

Reticulating splines was a process from Sim city by which points in space can be randomly generated using a fractal algorithm to generate game play randomization tables by which we can insert chaos into the game.

Reticulating splines and fractal algo's, each ubiquitous in nature.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 07:34 | 129508 nevket240
nevket240's picture

I think I commented on this site about this very issue not long ago. Simply, you have to see these condo cities to understand the scale of the freakin things. When you fly along the coast from Shanhai to Zhuhai you can see them clearly from 35000ft. No roads, nothing. From Huangzhou to Shanghai by very good train these condocities are, again, everywhere in the background. No lights on. No residents.

The Pearl River delta, from HK around to Macau, has a very heavy industrialised skyline. Soon it too will be condocitied. 100,000,000 people will inhabit this delta. The polution is unbearable now.??????

8% growth, pigs arse!! If that were true then all of the closed industies in Guandong etc would be operating as they were in 07.


if you go to China beware of their poor social graces. they have none. the young,<30, are lovely. the older they get the more obnoxious they get. be warned.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 09:24 | 129567 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

With regard to that 8% Chinese GDP growth fantasy, if exports were 30% of GDP and dropped 20% (Japan's exports dropped more like 35%), that's a minus 6% impact on GDP. So the remaining 70% of the economy had to grow 20% for a plus 14% impact to get overall GDP to 8%.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 07:43 | 129511 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Hell. Why can't WE waste our money on crap like this, rather than bullshit pork projects. It'd at least give me more stuff to pillage in our post-apocalyptic future.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 08:53 | 129551 whydtinogo
whydtinogo's picture

ChinCity indeed - my boys play the SimCity and get people to come in and live and that when things start to go wrong apparently. Rvenues never match the expenses and when they bump up the taxes discontent ensues all the while demand for cleaner air etc rises. Still China can and does tax the hell out of the populace, stuffs them with heavily polluted air, and if they get to bolshi execute them. This can only be the future model for the USA - BHO will see the light, he plans to appoint a relocation Czar when he gets back. After all he needs to narrow the gap in central palnning with China.


As an aside how many more poor bastards have got to die in Afganistan before BHO decides to either man the forces appropriately or get them the hell out there.

Sat, 11/14/2009 - 08:45 | 130555 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Why can't they get their own 'lil house bubble?

Wed, 12/16/2009 - 17:53 | 166545 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

Shades of Dubai. I was just in China (near Shanghai). The construction mania has moderated, but it still feels bubbly.

Mon, 08/09/2010 - 20:37 | 511730 Citizen of an I...
Citizen of an IKEA World's picture

That's just fucking amazing...for a moment.

Then it seems all too familiar.

Good luck with that, Beijing.

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Karston1234's picture

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Wed, 02/23/2011 - 03:17 | 987821 shawnlee
shawnlee's picture

The report mentions also the Chinese building a trans-national railroad. Some of the $trillions we've given to the banks might have built a nice high-speed rail project across the country that would have served everyone and been a backup strategy for a day when the jets don't fly anymore.

useful to know.

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Wed, 04/06/2011 - 06:20 | 1140034 shawnlee
shawnlee's picture

The report mentions also the Chinese building a trans-national railroad. Some of the $trillions we've given to the banks might have built a nice high-speed rail project across the country that would have served everyone and been a backup strategy for a day when the jets don't fly anymore.

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