Spot The Superpower

Tyler Durden's picture

We came across this rather telling chart showing the net petroleum imports of the US and China. We present it on a standalone basis, as  the price of oil, and certainly gas, will once again become a key sticking point in the days and weeks ahead, as always happens whenever there is either global coordinated monetary intervention, or relentless jawboning thereof. To present some context to the chart, which forecasts China overtaking the US and becoming the world's largest net oil importer in the world, the official US GDP number presented for public consumption is just under $16 trillion (or 98% of US debt), while China's is, publicly, less than half this number.

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GetZeeGold's picture



The real superpower.....or the ghost superpower?


economics9698's picture

China repeated our housing boom.  Things will change.

Comay Mierda's picture

true, but their economy has a strong foundation of production and savings. they will recover much faster than the usa, whose economic foundation is debt and consumption

trebuchet's picture

Big overnight News : CHina puts in place MASSIVE public spending program  = 1.7% GDP p.a. 


Not picked up by main news as yet


Even China-bear HSBC seemed to be talking about it being significant

EscapeKey's picture

Something-something 1250 miles of road to nowhere (aka ghost cities), and mass transits for... the very same ghost cities.

What an "awesome" idea that is - putting scarce resources into unproductive ventures.

I think we should start preparing for an alien invasion, as Krugman would have us do.

Hobbleknee's picture

The ghost cities are waiting for the elite to move in just before the planned, mega false flag/crash/collapse disaster.

Sofa King Confused's picture

To me it looks like China is stockpiling resources in preparation for a coming war.

Popo's picture

To me it looks like 2015 will mark the official end of American supremacy.   At least if this graph continues on current vectors.

Although -- to be fair -- gross imports are only part of the story.  The problem with this comparison is that it's not per-capita.   On a per-capita basis, the US is importing 500% more oil than China.   AND the US has better domestic production.


zaphod's picture

It's a good thing the US can print money to buy all that oil.

The chinese have to actually work for the rest of the world for that money.

hawks5999's picture

...better domestic production.


This is  what I wondered. Did we significantly boost our domestic production in 2006 and I just missed the news?

Flakmeister's picture

Yep, those shales have enable the US to increase oil production to a level last seen in 1942.....

Fukushima Sam's picture

Or at least hedging for the risk of one...

Stuck on Zero's picture

Better ghost cities that will eventually be filled than drones, carriers, welfare, bank subsidies, $350 million fighter planes, agricultural subsidies, prisons, etc.


steve from virginia's picture


All the above are fetishes, 'fashion accessories' ... none of them are necessary.


Don't worry ... the high real price of petroleum is bankrupting China even as it is doing the same everywhere else in the world.


Evidence: the Chinese fat-cats grabbing their loot and heading for the exits. Ironically, few of them are going to Europe.


They can cross paths with American fat-cats heading in the opposite direction.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Under the circumstances, I would rather see a few new Hoover, Grand Coulee and TVA projects than wars and nation building.  These projects continue to have a net positive on our production capacity.

i_fly_me's picture

All of it is centrally-planned deficit spending that can have *no* net positive impact.  It is all pandering to one political faction or another at the expense of efficiency.  At best it kicks the can down the road, but makes the inevitable crash-landing way worse than it would be if the government/banking cabal just got the hell out of the way and let necessary market adjustments happen.  That being said, at this point, it matters not. We are pointed straight at the ground and accelerating ... might as well firewall the throttles and see what the other side looks like.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Being a creditor, means you can do such things.  It takes energy to build or do anything and for that my energy portfolio hopes this is true.

LeisureSmith's picture

Pm's picked it up. BOOM.

Never mind, my speedreading eyes got confused. The Dole-ar is down.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

If Mitt Romney gets into power, Oil imports will fall to zero, as he carries out his pledge to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. 

EscapeKey's picture

Well, after America's collapse, they will need no oil, so I guess in a way you're right.

Coldsun's picture

I'm pretty sure the collapse is inevitable with the two choices offered. No fiscal restraint whatsoever. Why let the party end for them, right?

JimBowie1958's picture

LENR will make oil imports EVERYWHERE crash over the next ten years.

Flakmeister's picture

Wishful thinking.... in spades, with a cherry on top....

JimBowie1958's picture

So NASA's Langley research center, the Navy's SPAWAR, MIT, Univ Missouri, the Swedish Royal Physics Society, and more are all a bunch of simpletons fooled by about a dozen physicists and chemists working in competition with each other?

Are you fucking serious?

Nah, you are engaged in mindless pessimism, luddism, and morbid obsession, lol.

Flakmeister's picture


LENR have been researched for years... what has changed?

JimBowie1958's picture

The repeatability of it has changed for one. Through trial and error (no one has a working proven theory yet) various scientists all over the world have learned how to get COPs as high as 20 using LENR. That means for every Watt of energy put in, you get 20 back.

And it has been happening for years now. The hold up is getting the patents to protect the inventions from theft, and since it is commonly held that 'cold fusion' cant work, some patent offices routinely reject any kind of Cold Fusion out of hand.

That is about to change very quickly.

Parrotile's picture

Oil is used for more than combustion.

Seeing as even finished paper has an oil component there will ALWAYS be a significant demand, so don't give up on your BP/Caltex investments yet.

Just consider that oil is as yet an economically irreplaceable component of lubricants (even the synthetic ones!) obviously, but also pharmaceuticals, plastics, all organic chemicals (precursor products, to, well everything!), pesticides, herbicides, and many, many subdivisions of these.

We'll need a LOT of "Free Energy" to allow cost-effective de novo manufacture of even the simplest hydrocarbons via traditional syntheses, so I'm betting the "price" of oil is going to steadily rise long term.

AnAnonymous's picture

but their economy has a strong foundation of production and savings. they will recover much faster than the usa, whose economic foundation is debt and consumption


That could be sound if production was not consumption and that in 'American' economics savings were not consumption...

The Chinese are more and more attracted to 'American' economics, they can no longer bypass the requirements imposed by 'american' economics.

So they will get more and more into behaviours whose sole purpose is to consume more and more.

Like roads to nowhere...

If they do not do that, then someone else will consume the resources anyway.

This is an 'American' world. No place to run, no place to hide.

Clever Name's picture

Ah yes, 'America' is so all powerful that even the average Chinese Citizen is utterly powerless under its almighty influence.

Does the Chinese government website have a link to report subversive speech? I'll find it in a minute...

SoNH80's picture

Mr. Anonymous, don't be so glum, head west to Lugu Lake, where according to a teevee special, the Mosuo tribal women like to have "lots of sex."  No Americans there.

AnAnonymouses's picture

Chinamen oily like greased pig in neckbeard rodeo!

MarsInScorpio's picture



Why do we keep hearing this lie, and why would anyone who knows the reality of China give it a green arrow?


The Chinese economy is one big lie. The numbers are faked to keep the Politburo happy. All you have to do is look at the precipitous fall in electricity, and you know these people are sinking fast. You can only warehouse so much oil and metals; those will be the next to dive to the depths of the ocean.


If the US had the ghost cities and other false GDP boosters that China has, all hell would be breaking loose; but with China, the Chinaholics just ignore that reality and continue their drunken binge.


Can we get a little honesty going here? What if our banks had the massive non-producing "assets" that the Chinese banks have as valid balance sheet entries with these ghost cities? It's not even imaginable that you would ever see that kind of lie (well, maybe not entirely unimaginable, considering what they get away with, but you get the drift.).


And you talk about running up the GDP - sure, just build them and claim they represent some legitimate production utilized by society. How stoned out do you have to be to believe that lie?


And what a worker's paradise we find in China. Samsung just got hit for unconscionable labor practices; which one of you Chinaholics wants to pull down the $206/month minimum wage they have over there? And so these people are working seven days a week, 10 - 12 per day to get overtime. So exactly how many dollars are these people putting away with their "high" savings rate? They aren't putting away didley when you look at actual amounts going into savings.


So keep the drinking the hard stuff; I'm not buying your drunken "China is a powerhouse" mantra.


And just as an aside, I own a computer manufacturing company. The quality of electronic goods made in China is dropping faster than their economy. Motherboards in particular are coming up with 25% - 40% fail rates. All the Chinese want to do is push it out the door to keep the ChiCom leaders happy.


China is totally dependent on the West. Their slave-wages are killing any hope of developing a vibrant, and legitimate internal consumer economy. (That, by the way, is why they steal everything they can with their knock-offs - if you only make $206 a month, what is the likelihood you can shell out $99 for a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium?)


So as the West craters, the Chinese will be brought low as well. They want to bluff that they are independent of the West, which is pure BS. They can keep their dollar and Euro reserves to themselves - and watch their economy fall apart all around them.


If you want to talk about delusional leadership, look no further than the ChiComs - and their rah-rahs, the drunken Chinaholics.



Comay Mierda's picture

you're right that all their stats are fudged, all the banks have bullshit assets and roads to nowhere + cities uninhabited.    their govt is as corrupt as they come.  a major correction is coming for them.  my point is, compared to the phony debt-based consumption economy the usa has, the chinese will fare better.  they have more savings and much more production/exports, quality aside.

LudwigVon's picture

Poor can save. Free Windows 7 helps huh Mr. computer builder? They are requesting higher wages presently. Meanwhile you seem to think they add more than their wage to society as you apply your own personal, yet modest spending assumptions to the situation. Yes, let's have a minimum wage, where unemployment rules and statists delude themselves daily. How about you go set the wage level Mr. Politburo wanna-be?

You may be right about a lot, but not declining power usage - it is increasing. Saving in gold and silver what they can, and lovin up the knock-off tee's, purses, et al. Yes, imitation produces advancement and innovation for the consumer, yet Mr. Not-so-"I"P Law Computer Builder man says IP advances human society fastest. Sure.

Now I am not saying China won't have their sick years, there will be massive losses in exporters, developers, banking and the unemployment associated with those sectors will be brutal. Combine this with high food costs (even if the PBOC doesn't ease) from the legacy economies for any imported ag needs and their is a tenuous situation. That and all the misallocated labor, and resources in this excessive centrally planned  infrastructure such as the many rail projects (subterranean or otherwise). Private business can do it better.

Yes much of the economy is centrally planned, yet capitalism flourishes there alongside, bolstered by their dual-medium monetary system in preparation for further advancement. Soft landings are not noble, they are more malinvestment... However, The economy is more than export manufacture and construction, and only one of the two is government sponsored, unlike the west with their massive takeovers ongoing in both healthcare and education.

They will continue to import gold en masse to further internationalization of the renminbi per wiki. They will fare relatively better than the wholly insolvent, who has to "revalue" their currency to even begin. 


Cole Younger's picture

It is amazing that our GDP continues to climb eventhough we are producing less and have a higher unemployment number than 5 years ago,,,

Comay Mierda's picture

the real irony is communist china has a more free economy than the USSA

GetZeeGold's picture



Of course they do.....they have like zero carbon taxes over there.


 I've never owned any carbon.....but I guess I still owe some tax on someone.


dwayne elizando's picture

All life on earth is made of carbon. It's a living tax. Or some shit like that.

GetZeeGold's picture



The doctor pulled me out of the womb and me.


I looked up and said......with what? I'm a freakin baby! I haven't even gone through college yet. He grinned at me and said.......oh that's gonna cost you bigtime sport!


dwayne elizando's picture

Debt babies! Because crack babies are so 90's!

EscapeKey's picture

Filling out paperwork in a massive bureaucracy is the American dream!

NoClueSneaker's picture

.... me thinks the irony more obvious in american jails .... USA three times stronger in punishing the ppl . than the commie China. (  Planting the joints for profit obviously an viable business- model )... :-P

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, yes, get them addicted to oil too, all according to plan.  My energy portfolio thanks you China.

Arthor Bearing's picture

Measure strength by consumption! 

Arthor Bearing's picture

Nevermind that one country has more than four times the number of consumers as the other. Look at this chart!

LongSoupLine's picture



the only reason we are declining is because of alllll those Chevy Volts sales.  Look at the numbers man!!...GM's sales are through the roof! /sarc/

GetZeeGold's picture



That crap is on fire!


JackT's picture

Kinda reminds me of missile command