Jan 022019
 
 January 2, 2019  Posted by at 10:48 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Pablo Picasso Portrait of Dora Maar pensive 1937

 

China Warns Cities To Cut Reliance On Property, Developers’ Shares Fall (R.)
Chinese Manufacturing Had An Even Worse December Than Expected (CNBC)
Markets Dive As China Manufacturing Weakens In Bleak Start To 2019 (G.)
The Future Might Not Belong to China (Martin Wolf)
Australian Home Prices Mark Worst Year Since 2008 (R.)
The Anti-Trump Party (Turley)
Red Paul: The Senator from Kentucky is Now Working for Vladimir Putin (M.)
MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven (Zuesse)
Reasons To Be Hopeful About The Environment In 2019 (G.)

 

 

Beijing has both actively and passively encouraged real estate sales. Now they move into “we warned you”, and shift the blame onto local government. Ominous, Xi tries to wash his hands from what he sees coming.

China Warns Cities To Cut Reliance On Property, Developers’ Shares Fall (R.)

China’s regional economies need to reduce their reliance on the property market for growth and instead focus on sustainable longer-term development, the Communist Party’s People’s Daily wrote on Wednesday. Hundreds of cities across China have seen upswings in their local property markets in recent years under a long-term plan by Beijing to further urbanize the country. In the last few years, the process of building new homes and revamping old ones has accelerated, backed by local governments keen to boost land sales and meet red-hot property demand. The total sales of China’s top 100 real estate developers soared 35 percent last year, according to private research firm CIRC.

But Beijing is concerned that some cities, looking for rapid expansion, have grown their property markets too quickly and at the expense of new industry development, adding potential froth to real estate prices. “All areas should focus on their own urbanization processes, develop their own pillar industries according to population mobility and resources, and form new points of growth to avoid the old road of relying on real estate to drive the economy,” the commentary quoted a professor at the Capital University of Economics and Business as saying. [..] The article also comes as a number of Chinese city authorities seek to ease existing curbs on their property markets, despite broader directives from Beijing to keep prices in check. Last week, the city of Hengyang rescinded an order to lift restrictions on property prices, having just introduced the easing measure a day earlier.

Read more …

So housing slumps, and so does industry. One month left till Chinese new year.

Chinese Manufacturing Had An Even Worse December Than Expected (CNBC)

Results of a private survey on China’s manufacturing for the month of December showed factory activity contracted for the first time in 19 months amid a trade dispute with the U.S. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a private survey, fell to 49.7 in December from 50.2 in November. Analysts’ in a Reuters poll predicted the PMI to come in at 50.1 in December. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that level signals contraction. In December, two separate measures for new orders and new export orders showed contraction, the Caixin survey showed.

“That showed external demand remained subdued due to the trade frictions between China and the U.S., while domestic demand weakened more notably,” wrote Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin. “It is looking increasingly likely that the Chinese economy may come under greater downward pressure,” Zhong added in the press release. [..] The slide in China’s PMI is “worrying” as there will be broader fallout on Asian exporters, said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank.

Even though China’s manufacturing PMI typically slows ahead of Chinese New Year holidays — starting on February 5 in 2019 — this particular downturn in the sector “could be even sharper than headlines suggest,” Varathan wrote in a note on Wednesday. He added that the sustained downturn in manufacturing PMI in the second half of 2018 “with emphatic year-end slide” is “potentially symptomatic of far sharper underlying demand pullback. Especially as front-running US tariffs on China fade to reveal much softer demand conditions.”

Read more …

Whoever it is who holds Chinese stocks, some incurred some big losses.

Markets Dive As China Manufacturing Weakens In Bleak Start To 2019 (G.)

China’s huge manufacturing sector has shrunk for the first time in 19 months, sending stock markets into a tailspin in an ominous start to 2019. The weak data released on Wednesday follows a slew of other disappointing figures from the world’s second largest economy and underline concerns that is heading for a tough 12 months. Stock markets in the region suffered. Hong Kong was down 2.7%, Shanghai off 1.2% and the ASX 200 benchmark closed down 1.6% in Sydney. In South Korea, figures showed that its crucial export industries finished the year on a poor note, sending the Kospi stock index down 1.7% at the end of trading.

Asia biggest market, Japan, was closed for a holiday. But the selling looks set to spread to Europe and the US with FTSE futures pointing to a 0.25% fall at the open and the E-Mini futures for Wall Street’s S&P 500 down 0.8%. The Australian dollar, which is seen as a proxy for the Chinese economy, lost 0.6% as it plunged as low as US70.05 cents. It was the currency’s lowest level since January 2016 and perilously close to dipping below the key trading benchmark of US70c that, once breached, could spur further falls. The Australian outlook was not helped by figures showing that house prices are now falling at their fastest rate for 10 years.

Read more …

Snippets posted by Brad De Long. I could just as easily says: the future MIGHT not belong to India, either.

The Future Might Not Belong to China (Martin Wolf)

…The view widely held in the 1980s that Japan would be “number one” turned out to be badly mistaken. In 1956, Nikita Khrushchev, then first secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, told the west that “We will bury you!” He proved utterly wrong…. Mistakes: extrapolating… assuming… rapid economic growth will be indefinitely sustained; and exaggerating the benefits of centralised direction… [which] in the long run… is likely to become rigid and so brittle….

China’s investment rate, at 44 per cent of GDP in 2017, is unsustainably high…. Not surprisingly, returns on investment have collapsed…. China has also hit the buffers on export-driven growth, at a lower level of income per head than other high-growth east Asian economies…. Future demand will depend on the emergence of a mass-consumer market, while growth of supply will require an upsurge in growth of “total factor productivity”…

For one and a half decades, China has benefited from the reforms introduced by Zhu Rongji, premier from 1998 to 2003. No comparable reforms have happened since his time. Today, credit is still being preferentially allocated to state businesses, while state influence over large private businesses is growing. All this is likely to distort the allocation of resources and slow the rate of innovation and economic progress…. China may well fail to replicate the success of other east Asian high-growth economies… because the distortions in its economy are so large and the global environment is going to be so much more hostile….

The most interesting other economy is not Europe, which seems destined for a slow relative decline, but India… far poorer than China … has great potential for fast catch-up growth…. The triumph of despotism is still far from inevitable. Autocracies can fail, just as democracies can thrive. China confronts huge economic challenges. Meanwhile, democracies must learn from their mistakes and focus on renewing their politics and policies…

Read more …

Everything is worst in a decade, it seems.

Australian Home Prices Mark Worst Year Since 2008 (R.)

Australian home prices skidded nearly 5% in 2018, marking their worst year since 2008, led by tighter credit conditions and waning investor interest, and analysts expect the weakness to persist this year. Property values across the country fell for the 15th consecutive month in December, with the rate of decline in Sydney and Melbourne – the two largest markets – worsening over the year, according to property consultant CoreLogic. Its index of home prices nationally dropped 1.8% in December from November, and tumbled 2.3% for the quarter – the worst quarterly decline in eight years. Values in the combined capital cities fell 1.3% in the month and 6.1% for the year.

Sydney was the worst performing capital city with prices down 1.8% in December. Regional centers fared better with prices outside the cities staying almost flat. “Access to credit has been the most significant factor weighing down housing market conditions over the year,” said Tim Lawless, head of research at CoreLogic. Since 2015, regulators have clamped down on risky lending by banks, particularly for interest-only loans, while a raft of scandals amid a high-level government-mandated inquiry has added to an air of caution. Earlier this year, Australia’s prudential regulator did ease some of its lending restrictions, but Lawless said access to finance was likely to remain “the most significant barrier” to an improvement in housing market conditions in 2019.

“Lenders are understandably risk-averse against a backdrop of falling dwelling values, high household debt, rising supply and heightened regulatory focus following the banking royal commission inquiry,” he said. The slowdown has been greatest in Sydney where home prices stumbled nearly 9% on the year, though Melbourne was catching up with an annual drop of 7%. Sydney and Melbourne comprise about 60% of Australia’s housing market by value and 40% by number.

Read more …

2019 promises to be even uglier than 2018. US politics becomes an oxymoron, the entire system, and all the blame is shifted to just one man.

Me, I’m getting tired of trying to provide some balance in the face of these things. The Democrats refuse to understand that not being Trump is not an identity, because it’s the only claim they have left at an identity.

The Anti-Trump Party (Turley)

Democrats are now defined by Trump the way that antimatter is defined by matter, with each particle of matter corresponding to an antiparticle. Take the secrecy. Democrats once were the party that fought against the misuse of secret classification laws by the FBI and other agencies. They demanded greater transparency from the executive branch, which is a position that I have readily supported. Yet, when oversight committees sought documents related to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation of Trump associates, Democrats denounced the very thought that Republicans would question the judgment of the FBI that any such disclosures would be tantamount to jeopardizing national security.

Democratic Party leaders including Pelosi declared that the oversight committees had moved beyond “dangerous irresponsibility and disregard for our national security” and “disregarded the warnings of the Justice Department and the FBI.” Likewise, House Intelligence Committee ranking minority member Adam Schiff expressed shock that the FBI was not given deference in withholding the information in the surveillance investigation.

Yet, when the information was finally forced out of the FBI, including the disclosure of previously redacted material, it was clear that the FBI had engaged in overclassification to shield not national security but to shield the bureau itself from criticism. It included discussion of the roles of high ranking FBI officials and their reliance on such sources as the Christopher Steele dossier, which were already publicly known. Democratic House members like Schiff presumably knew what was in the redactions and, nevertheless, wanted deference to the classification decisions of the FBI.

Read more …

The writer is Greg Olear. Whoever that is. But it’s published at Medium, who until now I thought had some standards. I no longer think so.

Red Paul: The Senator from Kentucky is Now Working for Vladimir Putin (M.)

[..] John McCain accused him on the Senate floor of “working for Vladimir Putin.” This quote got a lot of play in the political press, who love that sort of thing, but the consensus seemed to be that McCain was using hyperbolic language to make his point. But what if this was a bad take? Few members of Congress were more antagonistic toward Putin than John McCain. Perhaps when he called Rand Paul a Russian asset, on the floor of the US Senate, he actually meant it. Since the day John McCain called him out, Rand Paul has been a veritable lobbyist for the Kremlin.

On matters large and small, Paul has supported Moscow’s positions. He’s pushed for open and active dialogue with the nation that engaged in cyberwarfare against us. He’s argued for the lifting of sanctions on Russian individuals close to Putin. He was one of few politicians who defended Trump after his disastrous showing in Helsinki, when Trump more or less kissed the ring of the Russian dictator. He joined Trump in seeking the revocation of a security clearance on John O. Brennan, after the former CIA director denounced the Helsinki summit as “nothing short of treasonous.” In recent weeks, Paul has held with the Kremlin’s position on Syria.

Read more …

A long piece by Eric Zuesse, I haven’t read the whole thing yet.

MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven (Zuesse)

Russia’s response documented beyond any question, at all, that this airliner was shot down by the Ukrainian Government, and that Western (i.e., US-allied) ‘news’media have been and are covering-up this crucial historical fact and The West’s still-ongoing lies about the downing of MH17. Those lies are the basis of US and EU anti-Russia sanctions, which remain in effect despite the basis for those sanctions having been exposed unequivocally, on September 17th, to be based on lies. Thus, continuing to hide those lies is crucial to the liars. This is the reason why Russia’s blazingly detailed presentation on September 17th has been virtually ignored — to protect the actually guilty.

The evidence here proves that those sanctions, themselves, are nothing but frauds against the public, and crimes against Russia — ongoing additional crimes, which have been, and remain, effectively hidden till now. The reader can see and consider here all of the conclusive evidence in the MH17 case — it can be reached via the present article’s links. Unlike the ‘news’-reports in The West’s ‘news’-media, the presentation here is not presuming readers’ trust, but is instead providing to all readers access to the actual evidence — evidence that is accepted by both sides. That’s what the links here are for: examination by any skeptics.

Read more …

if you need to look at Macron and the UN for such reasons, forget it.

Reasons To Be Hopeful About The Environment In 2019 (G.)

[..] 2019 may indeed be a breakthrough year. Public opinion is mobilising around the world and politicians and businesses are paying attention. There will be a series of high-profile events that will engage the public and governments and may provide a better way forward than was managed last year. Chief among them is the promise of António Guterres, the UN secretary general, to hold a summit for world leaders that will require them to face up to the dangers of climate change head on. Guterres is uncompromising, warning in Poland that it would be “immoral and suicidal” not to take firm and urgent action commensurate with the scale of the problem.

Leaders will be put on the spot, and will come under very public pressure as coalitions of civil society groups seek to put their case around the summit and in the lead-up to it. The role of women, who are among the most vulnerable to climate change, will be highlighted, and the role of young people, who will have to live with the consequences of their elders’ mistakes in a warming world. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is also holding a One World Summit, planned for the summer, at which the focus will be on persuading businesses to take a leading role, investing in projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and changing the way they use energy.

There are clear signs of hope on climate change also in the rapidly falling cost of renewable energy technology, which is now competitive with fossil fuels. And the keep it in the ground campaign has succeeded in encouraging many investors to move their money out of fossil fuel stocks.

Read more …

Home Forums Debt Rattle January 2 2019

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Polder Dweller 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #44642

    Pablo Picasso Portrait of Dora Maar pensive 1937   • China Warns Cities To Cut Reliance On Property, Developers’ Shares Fall (R.) • Chinese Manuf
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle January 2 2019]

    #44643

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Pablo Picasso Portrait of Dora Maar pensive 1937

    The gods be good; what an exquisite portrait.
    Stunning to say the least…

    Glad to see you pickrd up on Zuesse’s article re: MH-17.
    Quite well done and thorough to boot.
    In the end, it will have zero effect; the west being the west; corrupt to the core…
    It’s why I have so little hope for…

    #44644

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Shouldn’t they be happy? Prices have to fall about 75% now to be affordable to young Australians. Sounds like the right direction.

    Shows how far away from reality, and how far from journalism we’ve come NOT because someone was accused or suspected a Congressman for being bought off (it would be a miracle if they weren’t), but that a) McCain can accuse them, offer NO proof, and no paper makes any attempt at follow up. When accusations of this caliber are posted, one or the other man has to die on the field, losing all credibility and career. b) Despite being espianage and treason, no FBI case was opened, and no one cares. c) This journalist, years after that accusation, neither makes any attempt to run down the original material OR prove his own allegations. Him, and Medium, should be on the line, being discredited, sued for libel, and bankrupted if false. But no one, anywhere, least of all the media, care at all about the truth. Neither do advertisers or readers. Why are we still quoting CNN or the Guardian to argue with them? They haven’t printed the truth in years. Will someone please get up to speed?

    Hope is going to come from the U.N. doing the exact same thing that has failed since 1996? Or 1976? Do tell how the U.N. is going to fix all this when the U.S., China, and India are all going to ignore CO2 exchanges and AGW taxes?

    The “Green New Deal” brought up how environmental policy is sold. It starts like this, “Since we have 60 minutes before CO2 reaches a threshold of runaway warming…” No. That’s selling the policy to YOUR people, YOUR party. The other party is not only not going to sign on, they’re going to tune out with the first mention of “CO2” because they don’t believe it. Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant for this discussion, it’s not going to convince them to join you. However, they COULD say “How would you like a billion dollar infrastructure, modernization, and infrastructure project that will both create jobs and make us more competitive worldwide?” and sell it in seconds. –BUT THEY WON’T– I have no explanation for this except that they like to fail more than they actually believe the world is ending. Surely, SURELY, if the world were ending they would do whatever they could, even if they only won ½ or ¾ of their target, and had to patronize a bunch of ignorant rednecks with science-denying 6th grade education (their view), because that’s what good, upstanding green adults would do: help the poor and needy get through. Except for now. Now when the world is on the line, we DON’T work with them, don’t compromise or talk, and make sure in the most stringent terms NO laws or projects occur. Because Trump or something, I dunno. What it tells me it either they don’t believe what they say at all, or they hate the people they’re trying to convince so much that they’re using persuasive language like, “what is wrong with you ignorant retards? Pay up!” …Not convincing. Especially not compared to “How would you like a 6-figure income in new high-tech?” So who’s the dummy and who’s the holdout here?

    The world’s top jailer of journalists is still really concerned with the Kashoggi case. ‘Cause, #Freedom, amitrite? Anyway, they offered a video claimed to be the removal of the body from the embassy, finally giving them something like jurisdiction. But if this is the body, where is it? Surely they know since they have the faces of all the people leaving, and ostensibly the body is on Turkish soil. So far the only evidence found has been further confirmation he worked for the Muslim Brotherhood, getting orders from Egypt on what to write for WaPo. Anyone? Bueller?

    #44645

    Polder Dweller
    Participant

    I can’t get on with the Zuesse piece even though I want to; it’s just way too badly written.
    The official story stinks, so I am in no doubt that the truth has been buried, but to find out if Zuesse has really discovered the truth I suppose I’ll just have to plough through all his links rather than rely on the text.

    #44646

    Zuesse is not my fave writer, but in this case I do feel compelled to say that he doesn’t appear to have tried to gather all information in one article, leaving much instead behind links. Given the sheer amount of info that may be the only way of presenting facts, short of writing a book.

    I’ve always said it’s stunning that the Dutch got to lead the investigation given that they were the main victims (I asked Kunstler if he knew of any crime stories where the main victim gets to do that), and it’s equally stunning that Ukraine was an active part of the investigation while it was obvious they were one of the main suspects. Not something you usually see in CSI either.

    #44647

    But then that whole MH17 story is how Frans Timmermans, then Dutch FM, landed his plush job as Juncker’s protege, and is now in the running to replace Jean-Claude. Timmermans needed barely half a day to accuse Russia, just like Joe Biden did, at a moment in time when nothing at all was clear, let alone had been proven, about the case. Donald Tusk also owes his comfy Brussels job to Putin-bashing.

    #44648

    Polder Dweller
    Participant

    Well, we can only hope that spitzenkandidat Timmermans and his ilk get the comeuppance they so richly deserve at the European elections in May.

    #44649

    zerosum
    Participant

    • MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven (Zuesse)

    Why have there not been hundreds of lawyers trying to make their fortunes and/or their reputations by going to court?

    #44650

    Patricia
    Participant

    I can’t understand the worry about China. If the rest of the world fell off this planet there are enough Chinese to be able to service their own needs and live very well indeed. I don’t think there is only one economic system to apply to everybody and everything but somehow, in the West, we do think that.

    #44651

    PlanetaryCitizen
    Participant

    I did my best to try and wade through some of the “links” that Zuesse claims prove Ukraine’s GUILT on the MH17 downing. Once I signed to on to TAE I tried to go back and get some specifics from the article. It appears it has been pulled from strategic-culture. If I were the publisher of the website I would have pulled it as well.

    It’s the worst piece of journalism I can recall coming across in a long time. Most of his links were back to his previous articles on MH17. In totality they amount to so much torturous blather (and yes I mean torturous not tortuous). Hard to believe the man is a native English speaker. I couldn’t find any proof beyond assertion in any of the so called links to proof he presents, and I’ll stipulate it’s a godawful mess to wade through. If I recall correctly (why I wanted to go back to the article), in summation he put the ultimate responsibility for the event on the U.S. I don’t find the official version all that convincing either but he is clearly a person with an ax to grind. I have my suspicions about the downing but they’re likely to remain just that.

    I found Greg Olear’s article to have merit and will buy his book Dirty Rubles. I used to have some respect for Rand Paul but in my observations he has become as duplicitous as Lindsay Graham. Thanks for the article by Olear.

    #44652

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Re: Zuesse’s article:
    I have followed this story from day #1, yes, it’s a bit muddled, but when all is said and done, I’m firmly in the Ukraine did it camp. And Zuesse did get it mostly correct.
    Russia has/had radar data that is irrefutable evidence of the Buk’s origin.
    Anyhoo, not to rehash the whole thing, but, after years of following this, Zuesse’s article wasn’t all that bad, IMO.
    The west did a bang up job making white look black and black white; fuck the west and its lying, imperialist, murdering, propaganda…

    #44653

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    I would amend my comment to say, that if one hasn’t followed the MH-17 story from day #1, then yes, Zuesse’s article would be daunting.
    For me, he didn’t add anything I hadn’t already read at some point. Just confirmed a number of sources in trying to put the whole thing into a cogent read.
    Which for the new reader was a fail.

    And the article hasn’t been pulled; https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/12/31/mh17-turnabout-ukraine-guilt-now-proven.html
    I just got that link…

    #44667

    Polder Dweller
    Participant

    Later in the day I went back to the Zuesse article and read it all the way through. I was a bit hasty in my negative judgement of it, the second half is much clearer.

    I saw a BBC documentary on MH17 from a couple of months after it happened and in it there were several locals (20?) who clearly remembered there being multiple aircraft in the sky at the time. The presenter suggested that these people were delusional or had an agenda before finding just one old woman who said there had been a big explosion going up rather than coming down. That is the right description of a Buk launch the presenter said and so is therefore conclusive evidence that the rebels did it.

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