The Chinese stock market crash has hit the world’s largest auto-market hard. For now, China is a dream turned sour for the Michigan-based Ford and General Motors and Germany’s Volkswagen. The risks are enormous and will become greater with time.
On the heels of a veritable bloodbath in Chinese equities overnight which saw the SHCOMP slide a harrowing 8.5%, the entire world is now beginning to take a hard look at the notion that dramatic bouts of selling pressure are aggravated and perhaps triggered by an unwind in the multiple backdoor margin lending channels that allowed investors to skirt official restrictions on leverage and helped to drive the market’s world-beating rally. Here is the complete guide to China's CNY4 trillion shadow margin edifice.
If you are looking for a “canary in a coal mine” type of warning for the entire global economy, you have a whole bunch to pick from right now.
After a modesly positive open, Chinese stocks have pushed back into the red after Chinese business sentiment collapsed in July. The MNI China Business Indicator fell a straggering 8.8pts to 48.8 in July (below 50 signifying pessimism) - the lowest since January 2009. It appears the encouraging bounce after the massive creduit injections into June has been eviscerated and future expectations also dropped 6.4 to 54.1 in July (below the long-run average). While bad news is good news for much of the rest of the world, for China, as it continues to try to project a strong underlying economy to sustain its still extremely rich stock market, bad news is bad news.
Is China (or the US) the next Greece?
Chinese Gold reserves jump 604 tons from 1,054 tons last reported in 2009 to 1,658 tons. Many gold observers ask: "Is that it"? Since 2009 China has mined over 2,000 tons of gold and imported over 3,300 tons of gold through Hong Kong*. Where did it all go?
In short, the era the phony recovery narrative has come unhinged. We have no entered a cycle of actual price discovery in which financial assets fall to more accurate values. This will eventually result in a stock market crash, very likely within the next 12 months.
So having acquired substantial quantities of gold for itself and having also ensured it is widely held by its public, the Chinese government is arguably in a more compelling position to encourage a gold revaluation as a means of stabilising her economy in a credit crisis than America was eighty years ago. It will be China's only option, and if the government doesn't go for it, China's middle classes certainly will. This simple fact could override all the geostrategic considerations upon which China-watchers have tended to focus. A gold revaluation would be presented to the world as bound up with China's domestic economic problems, instead of an act aimed at undermining the dollar's reserve status: a solution that is less confrontational than outright disagreement with Western central banks over gold's role in the international monetary order.
While the markets have improved since the "resolution" of the Greek crisis, in my opinion we would have expected substantially more given the overall "angst" that the situation was generating. Yet, the market remains in a bearish consolidation pattern. Furthermore, relative strength, momentum and volume remain a detraction from the "bullishness" of this week's "crisis resolution rally."
The stock market is just too important to leave to the vagaries of an actual market now. Too much depends on good-looking numbers now. It must be guided and controlled, or else the stilts on which our global financial system balances become shakier and more visible. The market must be rendered increasingly meaningless simply because it's too meaningful to our current economic system.
But... but... they just provide liquidity.
Greece is saved!!! I mean BANKERS are saved!!! The market will celebrate the total capitulation of Greece to the EU bankers. Nothing has been resolved. The debt won’t be repaid. The can has been kicked again. Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland and even France are essentially insolvent. It’s all a ponzi scheme. The bankers win and the people lose. Hope is not a strategy. Hussman’s weekly tome shows how a crisis plays out. Bad shit happens and the powers that be react with bad solutions that keep their wealth and power protected. Their bad solutions lead to a worse crisis. More bad solutions. And so on, until complete collapse.
For students of history, the China stock market crash looks eerily familiar. It’s playing out much like the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929. One of the factors fueling the soaring stock market of the 1920s was an influx of new, financially unsophisticated investors who saw the rising numbers and saw an opportunity for quick and easy profits. And that’s exactly what’s happened in China over the past year or so.
"Where ignorance is bliss, it's folly to be wise..."