China – Inscrutable, or Screwed?

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FX Trading – China – Inscrutable, or Screwed?

Editor’s Note: Today we are running a guest editorial from our good friend Tom Jefferies at HoweStreet.com. Tom is seasoned veteran of the financial markets with tours of duty at various top-flight media organizations. He has a unique focus on the global macro environment garnered over years of study, real world experience across many borders, and access to top-flight investment talent across the globe. Enjoy!

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I am constantly stunned and surprised at the pronouncements that the worst is over and the World Recession is at an end.

A few months ago, in my neck of the woods, the Canadian Federal Government was saying we would skirt a recession – then it was a ‘technical’ recession…NOW?

The fundamentals stink and yet, in parts of "The Great White North", the casual display of Real Estate Investing on a wing and a prayer, and credit card binging continues apace.

Take a look at the Global picture. Take a look at the Export numbers and you can see a trend. It’s down.

I am going to bet that we see the Indian and the Shanghai Composite roll over like a dead egg roll, before the end of the Fourth quarter. Looking at a chart of the SCI, even my 13 year old cat can figure out that it’s Bear City.

The SCI has been around a whole TWENTY years and in that smidgen of space and time – the SCI absorbed four huge Bear Markets and four equally loony manic highs.

Looking at the growing unrest in China over jobs, Religion and mixing in the history of banking misadventures in the Middle Kingdom, they all seem to portend a fiscal train wreck of Brobdingnagian proportions.

Even Jim Rogers has moved on to Sri Lanka looking for bargains.

From TheStarOnline.com:

  • CHINA’S new yuan-denominated loans in July amounted to 356 billion yuan. The monthly increase was the lowest this year.
  • Urban fixed asset investment grew 32.9%, lower than expected.
  • Industrial production rose 10.8%, also lower than expected. Exports in July were down 23% year-on-year, compared with a 21.4% decline in June.

Internal demand?

I wonder.

If thousands, nay, millions have lost their job, because they aren’t selling anywhere near as many crappy jeans to the cash deprived Western Consumer – where is the demand going to come from?

India?

Yes – it is ‘booming’ – but there are many questions about the rate of absorption of high velocity monies into visible infrastructure projects that actually get built, without being withered by huge endemic corruption.

India will also have to make huge and painful changes in housing, roads, sanitary facilities, Rail and Air transit routes, Hospitals and Schools.

India works on it’s own timetable and will try to maintain the profile of the last five years, but I have a feeling it will be an erratic voyage.

Economists seem to discount the deep Hindu belief structure as well as the terrifying and very real Geo Political games being played out in Kashmir.

India and Pakistan are armed with Nuclear weapons and both are upgrading their Air Defense and first strike capabilities.

Not all the hot money pouring into India is going into building roads. *(India tried a Moon Shot last month – it was not a success).

Meanwhile back in China – I am getting more and more skeptical as to the real strength of any of the so called ‘green shoots’.

I am even more skeptical of the ability of the Central Planning Committee in Beijing to keep them alive, no matter how much manure and Yuan they throw on the problems.

Look for more bumpy flight time ahead.

Tom Jefferies

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Thanks Tom!