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It's A Boat, It's A Plane, It's The Great Wall Of China: Part Of Symbolic Chinese Landmark Collapses

Tyler Durden's picture


It's one thing for China to have a rather embarrassing episode during a boat launch, or even when demonstrating the pride of its airforce. But when a part of the Great Wall Of China itself collapses, literally, you know the proponents of the Chinese Soft-Landing scenario (leaving aside that copper is now down 10% for the week) may want to reassess their thesis. From China Daily, "The damaged portion of the Great Wall is located in a remote area near the county of Laiyuan in Hebei Province, about 200 kilometers southwest of Beijing. The area is home to a dozen small mines, with some operating as close as 100 meters to the centuries-old wall. Villagers and local cultural heritage protection officials told Xinhua that about 700 meters of the wall, which was built during the reign of Emperor Wanli during the Ming Dynasty (1573-1620), had already collapsed, and more walls and even towers are likely to collapse if the mining continues unchecked." And while this is admittedly a symbolic development, we follow up this news with a piece from SocGen's Albert Edwards who has some quite factual observations on why China is now in stall speed and has little hope of a Hollywood ending.

But first, more on this highly ironic development, which confirms just how little control over its economy the central government really has:

Zhou Jinjun, a deputy head of Laiyuan's land resources bureau, said the area where the ancient walls stand in Laiyuan has rich reserves of copper, iron, and nickel. Driven by profits, small mines proliferated despite the government ban.


A part of the Great Wall in Hebei's Chongli County was even demolished by a mining company to make way for road construction.


Zhou said law enforcement officials have found it difficult to completely stamp out small mines as mine bosses are armed with advanced communication equipment, helping them dodge law enforcement.


The State Council enacted a regulation to protect the Great Wall in 2006, banning people from taking soil or bricks from the wall, planting trees, carving on the wall or building anything that does not protect it. But experts and cultural heritage officials said the bans are poorly enforced in remote regions.


Guo said miners in Laiyuan did not knock down the walls, but mining at such a close range to the walls poses more serious threats.

And in more serious news, here is SocGen's Albert Edwards with a recap of his recurring opinion that China is due for a crunch of epic proportions:

Regular readers will know that I have a reasonable track record with the big calls over the years. All these calls had one thing in common. The markets got intoxicated with a good "growth" story that, with the benefit of rampant credit growth, became a full blown bubble.


And so it is with China. We listed recently the financial market historian, Edward Chancellor's 10 key facets of a financial bubble (see GSW, 24 June). After the US credit debacle, I find it perplexing that Chancellor's Rule 2 is so relevant for China - namely “A blind faith in the competence of the authorities”, in this case in their ability to soft-land the economy. For myself I cannot understand this confidence. A soft landing may indeed be the outcome, but it's unlikely. China is undoubtedly a severely imbalanced economy, suffering from creditfuelled investment and housing excesses that could easily spin out of control and crash, just like all the other "highly regarded" economic bubbles before it.




Our China economist Wei Yao believes the authorities are targeting a decline in property prices of 5-10% to appease this discontent. And she notes that, in September, the implied deflator for national residential housing sales rose a meagre 0.5% yoy. Wei also notes that the City of Wenzhou seems to be acting as a leading indicator as property prices have  already started to decline by 0.5% yoy (see right-hand chart above, incidentally I have been impressed with quality and clarity of Wei's analysis on China and comments on data. If you want me to put you on her list, just drop me an e-mail).


And therein lies the rub. If the authorities are trying to deflate property prices, why won't this cause the overall economy to crash, just as it did in the US? The answer is that it can and probably will. But I am sitting in my kitchen writing this with every single work surface covered in persuasive articles about why the economy will soft-land. Some economists are so reassuring. Even in 2006/7 when I was convinced disaster was around the corner I often found
their calm siren stories disturbingly reassuring.

The ironic thing, which virtually invalidates any economic data out of China, is a statistical representation which mocks the lack of volatility of an economy which is booming at an unprecedented pace:

China is a "freak" economy. To my knowledge no other economy in history has experienced such high investment/GDP ratios and seen so many sequential years of strong investment growth (see chart below). If you came down from Mars and saw an economy with an investment/GDP ratio of 50% you would conclude it would be among the most volatile in the world, not the most stable!

Albert proceeds to discuss last night's news of a major drop off in FX reserves:

There is one additional phase to the China credit crunch which recently arrived at the party (or wake). Foreign exchange reserves have stopped rising. They grew by a paltry $4bn in Q3 compared to an average monthly rise of $58bn in the first half (see chart below).

Why did China FX reserves growth stall in Q3? Many suggest capital flight may have occurred recently, but also the recent buoyancy of the dollar would have played a role, as less FX intervention by the PBoC will be needed to peg the exchange rate. We have been strong in our belief that growth in global foreign exchange reserves has been closely associated with buoyant EM equity and commodity markets. We have shown previously that the dollar's rally in mid-2008 and the collapse in the growth of China's FX reserves preceeded the collapse in commodity prices and EM equities in 2008 H2.

Obviously this goes back to a favorite theme of Albert's: the fact that China has to devalue the Yuan eventually. Sure enough, in the footsteps of Brazil's 2nd rate cut in 2 months, even China appears to be sending a loosening signal: last night the PBoC lowered the yield on 3 year bills for the first time in 15 months. Baby steps, yes, and next come RRR reductions, and so on, ultimately culminating with Edwards' prediction.

Yet it is his conclusion from today's piece that bears most attention:

Amid the growing risk of a trade war, one thing is clear: Chinese authorities are trying to softland a credit-fueled property/investment bubble. They may succeed at their own bit of cankicking,but history is not on their side. The sudden cessation of FX reserve growth (China's very own form of QE - see chart below) may well be the last straw to break the panda's back. And if China is hard landing, I agree with the bulls on one thing: expect the authorities to become aggressively stimulative. And if as is highly likely, aggressive conventional monetary and fiscal stimului fail to prevent a hard landing (as indeed was the case in the US in 2008) - "other" measures will surely include yuan devaluation.

This chart should be familiar to regular readers - it was a few short days ago that we presented the comparison of China's M2 and the SHCOMP, which led us to the same conclusion:

China M2 Change...

And M2 vs SHCOMP YoY change.

It remains to be seen how long until the SocGen strategist is proven right. In the meantime, expect far more pain for the symbol that once separated China from the evil outside world. Alas, if the decoupling thesis is about to break (once again) then the continued deterioration of the Great Wall will have that much more of a inherent symbolism.


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Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:03 | 1794315 Mongo
Mongo's picture

How do you say "collapse" in chinese?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:05 | 1794325 oceanview76
oceanview76's picture


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:13 | 1794359 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Hory shit dat is funny.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:19 | 1794378 Mongo
Mongo's picture

lol in chinese...

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:42 | 1794401 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

move along nothing to see here, i'm sure the chinese mining authorities will move that stretch of the great wall to another hill nearby

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:15 | 1794611 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture



Coming soon.....The great collapse of China


Nothing new though. I've seen the collapsed sections myself when I there many years ago. That wall is too damn long.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:32 | 1794671 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

Couldn't happen to a nicer country.  Please everyone: Tell your wives and girlfriends to go buy a cheap designer knockoff to help out China.  Or any cheap piece of shit would do.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:44 | 1794720 UnpatrioticHoarder
UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

It will be "collapse with Chinese characteristics".

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:02 | 1794784 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

its those damn "mongrollrians"

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:52 | 1794926 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Around 300 feet of the wall in a remote part of Inner Mongolia has been irreparably damaged by Mongolian gold prospectors.


anyways mongolians still managed to invade china.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 18:25 | 1795044 fourchan
fourchan's picture


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 21:21 | 1795566 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

in this thread:

angry americans throw insults at china — the most productive country in the history of human civilization — to cover up the fact that those nasty chicoms have totally outmanoeuvred america's inept leadership in the last 20 years. 

the chinese equivalent of zero hedge probably does the same thing with pictures of crumbling detroit, america's super obese 33%, america's young earth creationist 40%, and desolate former american factories. 

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 22:19 | 1795739 Shock and Awe
Shock and Awe's picture

Funny thing is; these American comedians, in the future, will have to pay for their old 'folks' retirement directly out of their own pockets. [read: extra taxes], also more welfare bennies, Obumma care(hehe), etc, etc, etc....


Your discresionary income looks like a dismal prospect so China will not be able to count on US Tourists?


Better get a 4th job so you can pay us for your iPhads and plan vacation to mysterious Orient. Or is it Oweant?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 22:19 | 1795740 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

come on, spiral eyes, it is china. it's not like we're making fun of good guys.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 22:37 | 1795767 Shock and Awe
Shock and Awe's picture

Like the beloved Israel? lolz.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:25 | 1794863 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

I would clarify that by stating that it (the Wall) is too long for modern engineering and safety standards.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 23:22 | 1795866 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

At least the repair is a "shovel ready" project.  Just remember when workers died while building it, they were buried in the wall itself.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:28 | 1794405 Smithovsky
Smithovsky's picture

Why everyone make fun?  No raffing matter.  

And mining company - you break, you pay!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:48 | 1794493 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

for the last time 'Corrapse', 'raffing' that's all japanese engrish sounds nothing like chinese ding dong wangs

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:52 | 1794752 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

What a smart monkey, I'm so impressed.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:57 | 1794944 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 18:47 | 1795156 Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture

I know but it is funny! Much harder to make fun of tonal languages :)

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 00:42 | 1795827 akak
akak's picture

Not hard face-to-face, only in print.


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:25 | 1794646 cowdiddly
cowdiddly's picture

Probably digging for precious metals. Since the wall represents the border, I would nt be suprised if the next related news item is about tunnels dug deep into Mongolia or whatever country this collapse borders. LOL

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:01 | 1794783 Seer
Seer's picture

Kind of like what Kuwait was doing to Iraq (which Iraq was complaining about, and which was likely the justification that it ultimately used to invade Kuwait)?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:59 | 1794950 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Both sides of the great wall of China is China

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:55 | 1794523 donde1
donde1's picture


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:06 | 1794562 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Damnit...someone beat me to it.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 20:57 | 1795592 JohnnyCrash
JohnnyCrash's picture

"ROR" is more like it

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:24 | 1794386 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

 You can say "collapse"In Chinese either Dumb Honkie or albino monkey.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:21 | 1794389 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture



Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:27 | 1794409 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

A lot of Dumb Honkies here.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:30 | 1794426 homersimpson
homersimpson's picture

What's a Honkie?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:31 | 1794431 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

one for sure.


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:37 | 1794452 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

Ya, that's you, LOL!!!!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 21:03 | 1795607 nmewn
nmewn's picture


I'm late to this...I was pre-occupied ;-)

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:41 | 1794465 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Not Dumb Honkie,

Dumb 'Round Eye'...


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:52 | 1794502 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

How about   Dumb 'Caved-In'  Eye?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:23 | 1794643 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

As a fan of Asian ladies, I find their eyes to be quite beautiful.  But I would never date a Chinese chick.  Don't want the affiliation in any way.  It's all Korean and Japanese ladies for me.  

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:41 | 1794472 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

Just spit water all over my screen at work and made a large snorting sound, while choking.  Thanks oceanview... Looks like you pulled the Costanza, going out on a high note.....

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 21:51 | 1795696 eaglefalcon
eaglefalcon's picture

"we have an open election" = "we have an open erection"

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:26 | 1794406 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

+1 for you Mongo. Straight-men rarely get the credit they are due.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:54 | 1794762 anonnn
anonnn's picture


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:05 | 1794326 outamyeffinway
outamyeffinway's picture

Fuk me China is literally falling apart!!! LOL!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:14 | 1794364 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

What will keep he Mongols out??!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:16 | 1794369 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

Too late...Goldman's already in.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:42 | 1794462 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

He said Mongols, not Mongo-LlOYDS!

Oh baby, a 2fer, duh duh duh's and a Blackfein reference all wrapped up in one!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:02 | 1794508 akak
akak's picture

Yes, I hear that a recent genetic test has shown that Blankfein has a number of extra croney-somes in his genetic makeup --- which is, coincidentally, 99.6% identical to that of a serpent (the remaining 0.4% is presumed to be a mixture of cockroach, rat, leech, and tapeworm DNA).

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:04 | 1794556 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

let's see here, the mongols built nothing of value, they sustained themselves by looting other cultures, pillaging and killing to expand the mongol empire. i guess blankfein is a mongol after all.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 18:13 | 1795008 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Well Mongols did invent the fiat currency.


The Mongol administration issued paper currencies from 1227 on. In August 1260, Kublai created the first unified paper currency with bills that circulated throughout the Yuan with no expiration date. To guard against devaluation, the currency was convertible with silver and gold, and the government accepted tax payments in paper currency. In 1273, He issued a new series of state sponsored bills to finance his conquest of the Song, although eventually a lack of fiscal discipline and inflation turned this move into an economic disaster in the later course of the dynasty. To ensure its use in circles, Kublai's government confiscated gold and silver from private citizens as well as foreign merchants. But traders received government-issued notes in exchange.  The paper bills made collecting taxes and administering the huge empire much easier.


Sounds like modern day America.



Fri, 10/21/2011 - 00:06 | 1795932 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

I was in Mongolia this summer.  Fascinating place.  Perhaps the most progressive and worldly-minded of the Asian countries I've visited.  I guess when you have two nieghbors salivating over themselves about annexing you (and your uranium and mineral filled mountains), and the only reason they don't is because of each other, it pays to be wary of the outside world.  That aside, the women are among the hottest you'll ever see, and they're more like europeans than asians in their social liberation.  Take one on a dinner date, ask what she would like, and--cautious of our western diets--she is careful to specify, "something with meat".

You may also find yourself participating in strange conversations with locals...

Local man: What do you eat in your country?

My friend: Oh, we have the same meats, and we also have many fruits and vegetables.

Local man: So you don't have enough animals in your country?

My friend: No, we have plenty of animals, but we also like to eat fruits and vegetables.

Local man: No, no: we eat plants when we don't have enough animals: animals eat plants, and people eat animals.

Classic.  :-)

As for things of value produced in Mongolia, the pervasiveness of that free-range mutton was enjoyable.  And try living on that highland steppe without a yurt. 

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 04:05 | 1796172 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Mongolia is where you can find Asians with blue eyes


they make their own skis on the run and hunt reindeers


professional road warriors.


I'm looking for Mongolian ETF.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:05 | 1794327 rajc
rajc's picture

Fook Mi

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:28 | 1794414 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

Let"s "fook" you first. LMAO!!!!!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:09 | 1794334 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

This must be is green. 

Just call the EFSF...they'll backstop the Great Wall too.  They can backstop anything!!!! (just as the FT or Guardian)

f'ing horsecrap!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:16 | 1794344 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Zhou Jinjun, a deputy head of Laiyuan's land resources bureau, said the area where the ancient walls stand in Laiyuan has rich reserves of copper, iron, and nickel. Driven by profits, small mines proliferated despite the government ban.

Free enterprise literally undermining a monument to slave labor - that symbolism is positive.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:20 | 1794381 Motley Fool
Motley Fool's picture

I preferred your initial comment, before the edit.

"Free enterprise literally undermining a monument to slave labor - what's not to like."

I think it was. :P

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 21:06 | 1795611 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I guess the bones of the slaves used to build it doesn't make durable mortar afterall.

Whaaad he say?!?!?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:10 | 1794345 sabra1
sabra1's picture

the great wall was the first make work project leading up to all those empty cities!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 22:49 | 1795782 Shock and Awe
Shock and Awe's picture

Yes, those great empty cities will not be empty for long. There is an expectation of a population explosion in China in the next 10 years. The national party wants a multiplier effect of 2.25.


If you are not invested in China you will not be a part of the real bull market of the "Roaring 20's". Ask any US multinational they will tell you. The 1 child policy is about to be lifted and China size and economic strength will dwarf the great United States of Israel.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 00:14 | 1795944 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

I hadn't heard that before; it would certainly be a game-changer.  There is already an unofficial exemption to this: Chinese are being encouraged to emigrate to places that are seen of as strategically important in the long-term, and the gov is subsidizing these people to start businesses and new chinese communities abroad.  This can be seen in Micronesia, like the Chinese restaurant in Pohnpei or the scholarships given to Micronesian students to study in China.  There's a lot of waterways and fishing rights that China's gov has set its greedy eyes on.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 02:25 | 1796091 akak
akak's picture

Yep, because there aren't ENOUGH people in China already!

My God, just how overpopulated do those maniacs want that country to become?  Their bloated population is already grossly unsustainable as it is.  Humans really are insane.

PS: How can China's population have continued to steadily grow over the last 30 or more years with this so-called "one child" policy in effect?  It would seem that the policy is being honored more in the breach than in reality, or their population would have significantly shrunk since the 1970s.  And not to defend such a statist policy, but wasn't there some reason that that policy was put in place to begin with?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:11 | 1794346 john39
john39's picture

zai nan!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:11 | 1794351 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

CHARGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:11 | 1794352 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Deja Wu

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:13 | 1794356 Payable on Death
Payable on Death's picture

Centrally planned economies always fail. Sinophiles, plan accordingly...

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 20:17 | 1795482 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

So do all other types eventually. China been around at least 4,000 years.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:13 | 1794358 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture


M2 and M2-SHCOMP charts aren't loading.


China was doomed the minute the govt started paying folks to buy cars back in 2008. Now they have to pay folks to put the gas in the cars. Next will be to pay folks to not sell their empty apartments for whatever they can get for them. (hint: fifty cents.)


A gigantic mess ... but the 'world depends on Chinese growth'.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:29 | 1794385 Mercury
Mercury's picture

China was doomed the minute the govt started paying folks to buy cars back in 2008...

No, that was Obama.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:13 | 1794361 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Tunnel collapse trying to escape.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:57 | 1794522 akak
akak's picture

No problem --- I hear they have more than enough moldy drywall with which to shore it up, buttressed by substandard steel I-beams.  And the voids can always be filled with the corpses of surplus infant girls --- a win-win all around.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:16 | 1794367 defn8Dog
defn8Dog's picture

Sorry to interupt this China Wall Fall post, but back to the EU,  This just f'ing takes it:


Sweeping changes to regulation of credit ratings are to be proposed by Brussels that would deal a blow to the business models of the big three agencies that issue them

Under one of the most contentious proposals European regulators would be given powers to suspend credit ratings of countries undergoing bailouts

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:23 | 1794396 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Awe come on.  You know full well that the kleptocracy can change their own rules at will, especially when they start losing.  Best part about controlling the game.  If you think the game is rigged, don't play.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:39 | 1794461 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Suspend ratings?

How do you do that?
None of the rating agencies get paid to rate most sovereign bonds anyway.

What are they going to do? Will they tell the ratings agencies that they are not allowed to publish an opinion? Buwahahhaha!

This is like passing legislation to stop the rain, or command the tides. This is the funniest thing I have heard all day!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:10 | 1794583 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

or suspend free speech...

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 00:16 | 1795948 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

Doh!  And now we circle back to China.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:34 | 1794443 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

Basically what they did to short selling, just with credit rating agencies?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:40 | 1794897 myne
myne's picture

Tomorrows news:

S&P, Moodys, re-rate ahead of EU move.

In a move expected to anger European officials, S&P and Moodys today announced a new rating for sovereign bonds. In an unusual move, a joint spokesman defended the QQ rating as being in the best interests of their clients. The rating applies to nations that are expected to either default or recieve bailouts. All of the so called PIIGS nations were downgraded to the new QQ rating. Also downgraded, the other 12 members of the European Union. They have collectively been downgraded to BB-.

Twitter reacted to the change, with one commenting, "QQ means they are crying."

No comment from EU officials yet.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 00:52 | 1796000 chump666
chump666's picture

Europe is f*cking done. 

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:16 | 1794368 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

Extended Warranty, no problem.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:16 | 1794371 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

Give it a rest; this doesn't signify jackshit.  Have any of you hillbillies been up on that wall?  The restored part with ramparts, watchtowers and solid sides are very few and far between.  Most of it is a very steep and dangerously  narrow mound of deteriorating bricks with trees growing out of the top and sides.


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:41 | 1794467 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

"a very steep and dangerously narrow mound of deteriorating bricks with trees growing out of the top and sides"


Sounds like the Jersey Turnpike.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:28 | 1794655 akak
akak's picture

Or any one of the many long-abandoned auto factories in Detroit.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:38 | 1794695 malikai
malikai's picture

It probably gets about the same amount of traffic at peak times, in some places. I've hiked it. It's crazy steep, narrow, and twisted. It's awesome.

Does this mean the miners will now march on Beijing?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:13 | 1794817 Seer
Seer's picture

No, the big business people will start screaming that environmentalists are (will be) impeding their right to extract minerals!

Looks like the wall is going to fall out from underneath Humpty Dumpty...

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 02:51 | 1796123 Shock and Awe
Shock and Awe's picture

Yes, China would rather mine to increase GDP. USA would rather have a pretty national park to increase debt-to-GDP.


It's obvious which country is more pro-business and longer term sustainable. Good bye USa.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:19 | 1794376 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:22 | 1794390 Barnaby
Barnaby's picture


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:28 | 1794410 KandiRaverHipster
KandiRaverHipster's picture

i was going to NYC this weekend to open a yuan denominated savings account.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:49 | 1794740 DaBernank
DaBernank's picture

Go to Hong Kong and just withdraw Yuan from Cash Machines.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:29 | 1794420 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

And you think they have an "inflation problem" in China now?

Just wait 'til the PBOC panics and starts easing to prevent the dreaded "hard landing". 

The recent capital flight could very easily be "smart money" seeing this handwriting on the wall.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:12 | 1794598 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I agree, doesn't China have to maintain a 8% GDP nomial growth growth number to simply break even now?  So they sell treasuries and yuan to buy what?  I am guessing gold and silver, but many may be buying dollars.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:34 | 1794440 Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris's picture

This is Krugman's version of Chinese stimulus. 

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:34 | 1794441 bsdetector
bsdetector's picture

I can't help but think about the China wall when I hear the GOP candidates talking about the proposed wall along the border with Mexico. 

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:19 | 1794838 Seer
Seer's picture

Funny the parallels (to "make-work").  But, the populist wannabe rulers (like Bachman) will make it a "double wall" (the Bachman Barricade)!  No fucking way are we to be outdone!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:40 | 1794455 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture



The collapse of the Great Wall of China

Was blamed on a pros-pecting miner,

He was digging for pleasure

But then found some treasure,

And with that he opened a diner.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:39 | 1794456 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

They must be trying to find gold, F the wall

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 20:24 | 1795499 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

I wonder how that is going over with the ancestors.

Why you build wall on my gold ancestor. Why???

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:42 | 1794468 Magnix
Magnix's picture


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:42 | 1794474 brandy night rocks
brandy night rocks's picture

Let me beat wanklord and the rest of the nuthugging China Growth Story soon-to-be-bagholders to the punch and just say:  "Typical racist article from a know-nothing ethnocentric American who is just resentful that China will soon be his benevolent overlord!  If you knew anything at all about that noble, ancient culture, you'd know that the Chinese think in terms of millenia, not instant gratification like you nasty filthy westerners.  This doesn't represent a government monument in disrepair, it's a SIGNIFICANT STRATEGIC EVENT the genius of which you will only come to understand in a couple hundred years when its brilliance comes to fruition!"

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 03:01 | 1796132 Shock and Awe
Shock and Awe's picture

Simple. Fewer safety nets in China. More skin in the game in China. Different outcome that western minds cannot comprehend.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:45 | 1794480 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

The 7th, er, 6 1/2th Wonder of the World!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:46 | 1794487 pods
pods's picture

How funny is that.  They are using advanced communication equipment so they are tough to catch.  Ummm, how do they use that to move a MINE?


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:10 | 1794587 laomei
laomei's picture

Kinda hard to arrest a hole in the ground or fine an unregistered company, especially when workers flee on word of a raid.  Normal cops who come out to this sort of thing dont carry guns or weapons either.  Ore isn't processed in these mines, it's just dug out and sent away.  So yes, lets try and stop people from digging holes in the ground.  Especially in a region where there are legal mines as well and the industry is what brings in local funds and no one's home is being impacted.  Yep, best to go and stir up trouble I guess.  


Illegal mines are typically eliminated via negotiation, consolidation and fines.


Ming? ffff, we shit on ming.  I've lived in villages where the newest building is over 1500 years old and if it needs to be renovated or updated it will be without a second thought.  

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:36 | 1794693 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

ming dynasty doesn't go back 1500 years does it? when you shit on ming you shit on your ming-tian (tomorrow/future)

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 19:18 | 1795297 laomei
laomei's picture

where the hell did i say anything about ming going back 1500 years?


This is actually a fairly important part of the cultural revolution, china was burdened with history and unable to move forward.  Much reverence was lost for "old=important" thinking.  You see the same type of mentality anywhere with actual history... if you allow the past to overburden you, it becomes impossible to move forward.


In this case, some official decided a few hundred years ago to slap a wall down in a place.  Is this section of wall important? Can it reveal any secrets? Is it significant in any way at all?  Does this section bring in any revenue or provide any benefit at all?  No on all accounts?  Well, then it's a pile of rocks that no one cares about.  


To the west however, which is ignorant as all hell regarding anything and everything china, this can be turned into a story.


Same goes with economics.  The very notion that an issue cannot be framed the same as is familiar to western problems is impossible.  Nope, gotta sell those stories, generate some "news" give the talking heads something to scream about and calm the sheep by showing that they are not alone in their problems.

I have yet to see even one article that so much as mentions any details as to what efforts the government is making, desired outcomes, reasoning for outcomes and progress being made to reach those set goals.  Nope, gotta generalize and simplify everything while mixing in buzzwords so readers know how they should feel about things without having to actually do any real thinking.

Gotta maintain that illusion that USA = #1, so lets not mention that these "poor chinese" buy their cars and homes outright.  Tell me now, who's richer? You who financed a porsche boxster over on a 5 year plan with $0 down that you can park in your suburban mcmansion on an ARM with 2% down?  Or me, who paid in cash over double the US sticker price after taxes for a miata which i park at my propertytaxfree, rentfree, insurancepremiumfree, highrise condo which i also purchased in cash?  What are your monthly expenses while meeting all obligations and maintaining a decent standard of living? I can get by on about $80 a month with my wife.  Our nestegg is locked away in investments with some security in gold which more than generates all the cash we need each month to live well, while 100% of both our actual incomes are dumped into savings along with another 70% of investment income (which is tax free).


I gladly pay my taxes here and am thankful for the state assistances which allowed me to build this living standard when I had approximately $20 to my name.  My education was paid for by state scholarships here made available to foreigners, my first semi-professional job was an internship that I was introduced to by a party member friend.  As a student teaching english part-time I was guaranteed real insurance via my employer, our house was paid for at a deep discount due to the level of savings in my wife's housing fund account.  I enjoy absurdly cheap public transportation which is subsidized by the state and world class and our food prices, while rising, are being moderated by funds to avoid price shock.  Ditto on gas prices, which were allowed to rise gradually using government subsidy to ensure there was no massive disruption or economic shock caused by the markets.  My banks are highly regulated with only minimal fees allowed with no fine print or gotcha clauses.  My government is led by highly competent members of society, not by any means perfect, but highly skilled and working with the general interest of the people in mind.  It is entirely possible to utilize the court systems without lawyers and excessive fees.  Yes, there is corruption and no, not everything is perfect, but 1.6 billion people stay warm and fed with non-excessive living expenses and lots of opportunity to get ahead if they are able.


I take no issue in paying my fair share so the less fortunate have the same opportunities and hopefully don't have to work as hard.  If they waste that assistance or abuse it, it's none of my concern because if only 1 in a 100 take full advantage of what is provided, it helps raise the living standard for all those around him or her.  This is what you idiots have lost sight of, refuse to acknowledge and is why your time in the sun is over... winter is coming, hope ya stocked up.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 20:10 | 1795447 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

hum..a gaijin in a commie reeducation center? anyways, here i thought the cultural revolution was the worst thing that happened to china since the end of wwii. i guess you can argue that the great wall is nothing but an old version of the maginot line, but it was the chinese who beautified it and canonized the great wall, telling the world it's part of their cultural heritage and whatnot. the great wall was built with the aim of keeping out the turk tribes/mongols who were looting and pillaging china; it's now the chinese who are looting and pillaging their own natural resources, how bitter sweet is irony? ps. as far as economics goes, their fiat renminbi is just as toxic as greenbacks you just watch; when it implodes gaijins will flock back to the US crying i'm expat let me in

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 00:38 | 1795978 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

You two have said a lot!  Minor details: expats in China are "lao ai" or "wai guo ren"; the 'gaijin' are on the northern islands..  Major details: agree about the irony and toxicity, but this particular expat will go be a 'farang' or some other kind of foreigner until there are no more countries above water before I would return to USuckAss to make a living.

That said, Taiwan is not China, and not even especially similar, despite popular delusion and lack of education among the billions of sheeple.  If China or America collapse, then start war with the other, you can visit me in Phnom Penh or Koh Tao.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 08:29 | 1796400 TGR
TGR's picture

That would be lao wai, but what the heck.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 20:27 | 1795504 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Thanks for the perspective. Very interesting. Lot of Americans don't mind being ruled by idiots and having collapsing standards with systems set up to bankrupt almost everyone so long as the ruling party doesn't have Marx/Socialist/Communist in name.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 05:45 | 1796207 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

What's the medical like? I hear conflicting stories - everything from better than US for much cheaper to extort all your money and then do nothing.

also, is there any internet porn or they block it all?


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:53 | 1794518 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture


Chinese wall falls.  Completely forseeable, built by Chinese citizens.  Failure to protect cultural heritages is a clear manifestation of Chinese citizenism.  Chinese citizens try to deflect blame for crumbling of ancient landmark seen from space, but why do Chinese citizens protest?  They fail to see the Chinese citizenism witin themselves.  Chinese fire drill.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 21:47 | 1795691 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

Jeez, I think my account was invaded by the same computer algorithm that produces AnAnonymous' gibberish, but in complete mirror-image.  I think I should be in the clear going forward.....

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 02:29 | 1796109 akak
akak's picture

Invasion of the Bizarro World trolls!  Egads!

I had to laugh earlier upon reading that post myself.  Truly, it reads exactly like one of AnonymousAsshole's little anti-American diatribes, but with its ire focused on a different nationality this time.  Creepy.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:55 | 1794525 bigfire
bigfire's picture

Seriously, the Wall have been collapsing for the past 2 thousand years.  It will continue to collapse and rebuild, multiple times.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:56 | 1794526 laomei
laomei's picture

call me blind, but im just not seeing it here.  ok, so they cut of the easy flow of credit to help with inflation and have put in a monumental effort of building affordable low-income housing in the cities while at the same time instituting property controls to cool speculation... which is dropping property values in a controlled fashion and allowing more people to buy affordable housing.  If you went crazy at the top of the bubble and bought a shitload of property for whatever retarded reason... then 1) you are rich and 2) no one gives a shit.  No one's losing their homes over this and there are protections in place to keep people in their primary residences during hardships if for whatever reason they are unable to meet the mortgage payments.


If for whatever reason there are suddenly people in dire stress, guess what? Banks are owned and controlled by the state and the state is interested in quelling discontent.  Furthermore, the downpayments are massive and those who had to stretch for their homes did so with ultra-low fixed rates (also controlled by the state)

Those who will be affected by this are construction companies who have been making a killing on housing sales and worst case, some of them go under and migrant labor goes back home to the countryside (where agriculture prices are now up and it's probably more profitable to them anyways than building).  For those who fall outside this safety net, there are massive infrastructure projects ongoing which can always use more skilled labor.


There are also massive ongoing efforts to offshore totally unprofitable non-vital production and "inshore" moderately-profitable production to further justify infrastructure development further west.  For the east, it's transitionary with a focus on moving up the value-chain and sparking more domestic consumption.  Guess what? It's working, not there yet, but it's making progress and in this economic climate it's even easier as foreign companies... desperate for profit are making firesale deals that transfer technology to have positive balance sheets in the short term.  


As for the great wall? It's huge, there are many branches of it, some are maintained some are left to nature, that's all there is to it.  There are some sections which are little more than a ridge of sand and pebbles.  Some illegal mines caused some damage to remote ming-era portions... no one really gives much of a shit about ming-era anything.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:16 | 1794613 jm
jm's picture

I find your Ming-hating totally offensive and crass.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:35 | 1794690 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

But I heard Ming is Merciless...

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:45 | 1794722 jm
jm's picture

Zhu Rongji ate pork, but he was kosher to me, baby.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:34 | 1794682 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

The best post. Unlike a lot of morons here, You know what you are talking about. There are many Great Walls built in many different time periods, For the most part, the Ming Wall which was built in the 15th-16th centuries, is in good shape. The ones are crumbling are the Qin and Han Walls that were built more than 2000 years ago.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:49 | 1794737 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

No DH, the best post by far was Mercury's:

Free enterprise literally undermining a monument to slave labor - that symbolism is positive.

A country run on slave labor and lies being distressed by damage done to a monument to slave labor.  Absolutely priceless.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:03 | 1794790 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

Hey DOUCHE BAG, what do you know about slave labor? How about the slave labor during the Roman Empire? How about the black slave labor until the late 19th century in America?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:42 | 1794904 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

does that mean china is going backward to serfdom when everyone elses going forward? your illogical remark is getting too witty for your disparaging labels

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 18:30 | 1795068 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

Hey asshole, What's illogical about my remark?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 19:44 | 1795389 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

you mean besides the fact every time someone make a point, you start calling them 'honkies monkey assholes and douchebags'? or your feeble and irrelevant attempts at refuting facts going on and on about the history of the great wall? you sound like either an uncultured hater or a commie ultranationalist, your comments are largely reflective of the kind of person you are; thusly your crap is not appreciated so won't you take it elsewhere eh.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 20:15 | 1795475 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

Hey mother fucker,  I didn't see you express indignation, when a lot of assholes made many deroatory and racist remarks at Chinese. You sound like an unemployed social science major with a big dildo stucked up your ass. Come on shitbag, enlighten me on the history of the Great Wall and Chinese economy. For your information, I'm not even Chinese.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 20:30 | 1795515 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

"I didn't see you express indignation, when a lot of assholes made many deroatory and racist remarks at Chinese."

so you dignify their remarks with your screen name being 'Dumb Honkie'?

say what you will but i don't have the time to educate dumb dumbs i'm flying out of town in 5 hours

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 20:44 | 1795556 Dumb Honkie
Dumb Honkie's picture

I think the Dumb Honkie is a very proper screen name for this site. So you've finally got a minimum wage job in some strange town. Congratulations big boy, how do you feel about that  you  are finally moving out of your parents' garage? LMAO!!!!

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 01:13 | 1796016 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

why are you taking shots at me? don't explain your screen name i don't want to know. go away and stop the names, false assumptions, put downs and everything else that plays out in your mind involving me. it's infantile i don't want any part of it so get off my ass, go hate on somebody you know in real life.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 02:46 | 1796119 akak
akak's picture

He's baaaaaaacckk!

Can anyone say "Libertarians for Prosperity"?

Or "Texas Gunslinger"?

Or "WilliamtheBastard"?

Or "RedneckRepugnicant"?

Or "LongJuanSilver"?


Congratulations on donning your latest handle here, oh troll of many names!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 18:47 | 1795158 CitizenPete
CitizenPete's picture

OK...  there are so many projects (new business, factories, construction) in the works right now here.   I wonder, as I look in one direction and count 20 hugh cranes, how much skilled construction labor can be "absorbed" back into the farms and other locations.  Hong Kong too has high building constuction underway. How many more new factories and buildings can be built until Steins Law proves itself once again? Everntually the wheel rolling down the hill reaches bottom.


The one thing that China has that most other societies and countries in the West do not.  Savings.  Most cars and property are purchased with cash.  Houses require 30% to 100% downpayment. Second properties require 50%-100% downpayment.


I don't see the stereotypical Western Fiat crash happening here.


From Shenzhen.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 03:27 | 1796147 Shock and Awe
Shock and Awe's picture

Yes Pete. Too much skin in the game. Bankruptcy is a badge of dishonor, shame, and most often involves suicide.

Peripatetic wanderer mostly from Shanghai west to Chengdu and south to Hong Kong.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 03:45 | 1796160 vato poco
vato poco's picture

Poor Shocky. It's gotta be just *killing* you, am I right? I mean, there you are, typing away deep in the bowels of the People's Ministry for Defending National Pride nd Face, doing your best to hit today's talking points and sneer at America, just like you were taught in Internet School #446. But try as you might, those goddamn roundeyes just won't take the bait! In fact, they're ignoring you!! The resultant confusion and embarrassment eats at you like a cancer!

What to do? Call the supervisor and risk losing face, or.....oh, I dunno....switch over to a different handle and/or font?

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 15:59 | 1794539 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

China = Venzuela in the 1960s.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:11 | 1794581 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

White people just do things better.

If you would like to it below.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:14 | 1794604 The-Dirty-Scurd
The-Dirty-Scurd's picture

Nothing  man has made or will make lasts forever. Have to do it,"Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart". Just as flesh rots and dries up so will the devices and creations of men/women. Whether failing economies or not this was going to happen at some point anyway. Rebuilding is recreating something that did not last. There is something that is eternal if you ask for it.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:26 | 1794650 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

"There is something that is eternal if you ask for it."



Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:26 | 1794867 Seer
Seer's picture

Fucking GREAT!  The Creator appears to us to grant us one wish and you go and fucking blow it with "Herpes?"!  Shit!

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 00:49 | 1795992 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

I was thinking 'Death', but do we have to ask for it?  Even the universe is scheduled to burn out..  Eternity turns out to be pretty relative. 

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:22 | 1794635 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

Lee Krugman of the Beijing School of Economics and contributor to the Beijing Times begs to disagree with Zero Hedge's conclusion.

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:27 | 1794654 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

Like our housing market.


Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:37 | 1794694 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Well it lasted over 400 years, which is more than you can say for American roads, bridges, building 7...

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:32 | 1794882 Seer
Seer's picture

Plenty of "American" roads that'll survive a LONG time.  They are, however, old wheel ruts out in the midwest.

Eventually EVERYTHING will crumble underneath the glaciers when the BIG RESET happens next (getting due).

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 01:29 | 1796041 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

Someday it will be "true" that Building 7 never fell at all.  "Fer chrissakes, it's standin' right there where it's always been!"

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:43 | 1794716 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

China is a big place, so anectdotal information is misleading, especially because of China's misinformation campaign.  Access to information about China is extremely restricted, especially if you live in China.  That's why they gave Google the boot.

And everybody can lay off that 3000 years of culture jive along with how patient the Chinese are by nature.  Does shooting down spy planes in international airspace sound patient?  They experienced 600 years of failure trying to make paper money work so they are no different and no more disciplined with their money than anyone else. 

 Now, flushed with the hot money of the world trying to get in front of "The Century of China" they have buildings toppling over, fake reverse merger companies, poison food, a poisoned environment, empty cities, crashing bullet trains, and widespread slave labor that speaks 292 different languages.  Does this Tower of Babel sound like a good place to entrust with your money?

Does this sound like a race of supermen? What I see is the same bullshit we have seen everywhere else, even in China's own past.  Indonesia and Japan are great templates for how quickly the promising future can change.  Don't be fooled by anything coming out of China.  It's all manipulation. 

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:25 | 1794860 Raskolnikoff
Raskolnikoff's picture

I do believe the Chinese leaders shot the concept of patience dead when they started aborting people to preserve room for the status quo. Kill your brother and sister out of convenience and wonder why later how everyone has become so impatient with everyone else. You have to love the Chinese Government, they are good role models for whoever they have spared in their lifetime of rule. Course, the little prince's and princess' left will eat their parents and whoever happens to mistakenly get in their way, which I believe was Planned Parenthoods ultimate objective anyway.

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 00:52 | 1795997 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

+1 for your name before I get to the comment.  Makes me want to change my screen name to Yossarian!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:36 | 1794893 Seer
Seer's picture

"Does this Tower of Babel sound like a good place to entrust with your money?"

Seems to me to be a PERFECT place/match for US fiat.

Public service reminder: BIG = FAIL!

Thu, 10/20/2011 - 18:41 | 1795124 ricocyb13
ricocyb13's picture

especially because of China's misinformation campaign

you mean it's the same like in the US ?



Thu, 10/20/2011 - 17:20 | 1794841 Raskolnikoff
Raskolnikoff's picture

  ?   (dao3)

to collapse

almost like Homer shouting in frustration, 'Dao!'

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