Tag Archives: cyclical angel

China Warns of Double-Dip Recession

15 Mar

From The Australian today:

China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao, has warned that the world risks sliding back into recession and says his country faces a difficult year trying to maintain economic growth and spur development.

“The unemployment rate of the world’s main economy is still high, some countries’ debt crises are still deepening, and the world’s commodity prices and exchange rates are not stable, which are most likely to become the cause of any setback in the economic recovery,” Mr Wen said yesterday in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

China’s and Australia’s economies have become more intertwined in recent years: the country is now our largest trading partner with two-way trade surging to $83 billion in the year ending last June 30, and in December it passed Japan as our largest export market.

Any trouble in China’s economy would quickly resonate in Australia.

Perhaps Treasury Secretary Ken Henry might care to revise his recent declaration that the GFC is ‘over’?

Perhaps Henry, along with RBA Governor Glenn Stevens, and all their many mindless cheerleaders in the media, might pause to reconsider their claims that ‘the risk of serious contraction‘ has passed, and that Australia is now set to enjoy a multi-decade China-fueled mining boom?  One that will fix the massive Rudd hole in the Budget, and provide a “period of unprecedented prosperity” for Australia?

Please… inform yourself.  Understand what is really going on in the financial world. Unlike the lazy, short-sighted economic illiterates who are running this country.

Please browse through the posts on this blog, and follow the links that catch your eye.

You will find references and links to literally dozens of articles from around the world.  You will see that international economists, investors, financiers, world leaders, and many others, have been increasingly warning of the many threats to the global economy. And thus, to Australia’s economy too.

Our Australian economic “authorities” are living in La la land.

Only Barnaby is on the ball.

Rudd Labor, Ken Henry, RBA and friends

Stevens’ Nonchalance ‘Stunning’

2 Mar

This excellent article by David Uren at The Australian suggests that he may be the only mainstream journalist in Australia who is awake to international developments, and not in awe of every utterance from RBA Governor Glenn Stevens:

If the Reserve Bank raises rates again tomorrow, it will risk repeating the mistake it made in early 2008, when it failed to see the global financial crisis coming.

Now, as then, it is beguiled by soaring commodity prices and believes Australia can shrug off what it sees as essentially local woes in the industrialised world.

In 2008, it was the subprime crisis, and today it is the sovereign debt crisis, focused for the moment in Europe.

Glenn Stevens’s nonchalance about the Greek debt crisis at the recent parliamentary hearings was stunning.

It had been no more than a marginal influence on the RBA’s decision to hold rates steady in February, he said.

“There is a bit of uncertainty about how all of that is going to be resolved. I do not think, myself, at this point, that those issues will directly present a serious problem for Australia. After all, it is a sovereign debt issue for Europe.”

Europe still represents about a quarter of world GDP and its unity and sound finances matter a lot for global financial stability.

US academics Kenneth Rogoff (a former IMF chief economist) and Carmen Reinhart have been among the most influential analysts of the developments of the past two years because of their analysis of crashes in 66 countries stretching back two centuries. “Serial default remains the norm,” they say.

There is often a lag of some years, leading policymakers to believe “this time it is different”.

Rogoff, who did predict the GFC, is currently warning that China is in a bubble, one that he believes will burst within ten years. If so, then so much for the belief that Australia is on the verge of a new China-fuelled mining boom.

Glenn Stevens appears to be in a bubble of his own, oblivious to the ever-growing warnings from leading international economists about the Eurozone crisis, and/or a new Asia Crisis triggered by the inevitable bust of China’s real estate bubble.

A man who apparently does not learn from his epic failures of the past, should no longer be permitted to retain such enormous power over the economy, and the lives of 22 million Australian citizens.

Stutchbury Sees The Angel Too

28 Feb

Brandishing the headline “Chinese Can Fund Our Boom”, The Australian economics editor Michael Stutchbury sees that Chinese cyclical angel descending from heaven too… and joins in the smearing of Barnaby Joyce:

The method and madness of Barnaby Joyce won’t lie down because it strikes at the heart of Australia’s economic risks and opportunities amid the mother of all mining booms…

The opposition finance spokesman has tweaked his reckless claim that Australia could default on its sovereign debt…

His incoherence invites ridicule. “He does not have a clue what he is talking about,” Wayne Swan responded, mocking Joyce’s reference to “net debt gross, public and private”. The Nationals senator was saying “ridiculous, stupid and damaging” things about Australia’s debt position. Swan’s Treasury head Ken Henry has accused Joyce to his face of “a gross oversimplification of economic understanding”.

Doesn’t have a clue, ‘eh Wayne?  Remind us again how your Bachelor of Arts (thence career political hack) compares with Barnaby’s qualifications?

As for Ken Henry’s arrogant comments, perhaps Mr Stutchbury might care to do a little research. He might learn just how many international economists directly refute Henry’s confident visions of a multi-decade China Miracle.

Mr Stutchbury goes on to imply that Barnaby poses a threat to that Chinese angel descending, thanks to his warnings about Australia’s levels of debt:

So Joyce now begins with private debt, particularly Australia’s gross foreign debt of $1.2 trillion, or about 100 per cent of gross domestic product.

At $638bn or 47 per cent of GDP, Australia’s net foreign debt is one of the highest in the developed world and much higher than in 1986 when Paul Keating warned that Australia could become a banana republic.

You’d think that fact might concern Mr Stutchbury. Not at all. Immediately comes the justification:

Continue reading ‘Stutchbury Sees The Angel Too’

Henry Sees Cyclical Angel Descending

26 Feb

As recently as October 2009, Treasury Secretary Ken Henry predicted a Golden Age for the Australian economy, that will “stretch to 2050”:

“While the global financial crisis has taken some of the heat out of our export prices, we should get used to the idea that we could have structurally higher terms of trade for some time, possibly for several decades,” he said.

In a speech at the Brisbane University of Technology, Henry said Australia’s population will grow as the mining boom, fuelled by demand from China and India, will continue to bring in immigrant workers. Handled correctly, he said, this could provide a “period of unprecedented prosperity”.

Henry pointed to growth in several Asian countries, which he said will give a boost to the mining boom that will see it last for several more decades into 2050.

Just one week ago, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens‘ colleague, Assistant Governor Philip Lowe, also had a vision of the cyclical angel returning from the heavens:

I am quite optimistic that story has some decades to run and that underlies much of the positives for the Australian economy,” Lowe told an economic development forum in Sydney.

“It is going to be a good 20 years for China and us,” he said.

And only 3 days ago, RBA Deputy Governor Rick Battelino too, joined in the angel chorus:

Mr Battellino was uncertain about how long the current boom would last, but said past booms had lasted around 15 years.

“On this occasion, the growth potential of countries such as China and India suggests that the expansion in resource demand could continue for an extended period, though this will depend at least to some extent on the economic management skills of the authorities in these countries, not to mention our own,” he said.

Illustration - nicholsoncartoons.com.au

Reassuring stuff. Or is it?

Three days ago, former Morgan Stanley chief Asia economist Andy Xie and hedge fund manager James Chanos saw something rather different:

“There’s a monumental property bubble and fixed-asset investment bubble that China has underway right now,” Chanos said. “And deflating that gently will be difficult at best.”

A glut of factories in China is “wreaking far-reaching damage on the global economy,” stoking trade tensions and raising the risk of bad loans, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in November.

The risks are so great that a decade of little or no growth, as Japan experienced in the 1990s, can’t be dismissed, said Patrick Chovanec, an associate professor in the School of Economics and Management at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

And two days ago, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Professor Ken Rogoff, also failed to see a Chinese cyclical angel descending. He saw the angel of doom:

China’s economic growth will plunge to as low as 2 percent following the collapse of a “debt- fueled bubble” within 10 years, sparking a regional recession, according to Harvard University Professor Ken Rogoff.

“We would learn just how important China is when that happens. It would cause a recession everywhere surrounding” the country, including Japan and South Korea, and be “horrible” for Latin American commodity exporters, he said.

Rogoff was one of very few economists who predicted the GFC.

Ken Henry, and all the boffins at the RBA… did not.

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