Is Mr Stutchbury Waking Up?

16 Mar

On February 28th I firmly criticised The Australian’s economics editor Michael Stutchbury’s column, “Chinese Can Fund Our Boom” (see my article here).

Well, it seems Mr Stutchbury may be (reluctantly) waking up to reality, if his column today is anything to go by. Though he cannot yet bring himself to let go of the fantasy entirely:

China Won’t Boom Forever

The big risk now is that, having escaped the global crisis, the Lucky Country thinks it’s bulletproof and the rebound in our iron ore and coal export prices means there is no penalty for bad policy.

The airbag of a US50c-US60c dollar cushioned the economy from the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2000 Wall Street tech-wreck. Our new China fortune pulled us out of last year’s global recession.

As a result, Australia is about to enter its 19th straight year of economic expansion, possibly the longest unbroken growth in our history. We appear to be heading into a bountiful decade or two of high commodity export prices driven by the rise of China and India.

But now, no doubt in reaction to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s warning yesterday of a global double-dip recession, Stutchbury hedges just a little on his previous blind confidence:

But this new growth phase is bound to be volatile. And there is a smaller probability but higher impact risk that the mega China boom – like the 1980s Japanese bubble, the 90s Asian boom, the technology boom or the US housing bubble – could burst. We can’t count on being able to avoid a fair dinkum recession during the next decade.

Indeed. The fact is, many authorities around the world are predicting the China bubble may burst by 2012. Including some, like former chief economist for the IMF Ken Rogoff, who did predict the GFC in the first place.

I wonder how long it will take for Mr Stutchbury – and many others in the Australian mainstream economic media – to stop publishing reactions to the latest proclamation by an “authority”, and start researching widely in order to  think for themselves?

Perhaps he might take a lead from the Sydney Morning Herald’s Paul Sheehan, and his excellent and insightful article yesterday.

One Response to “Is Mr Stutchbury Waking Up?”

  1. Barry March 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    If you want to know when the next crash will occur just watch
    the price of oil. When it reaches 4% of US GDP then stand clear
    for a repeat of 2008. It is around US$90 to US$105 a barrel.

    I wish someone knew what the GDP percentage for Australia was
    for oil usage.

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