Kroeber on Soros’ hard landing

In effect, the world has already experienced a China hard landing. This helps explain why markets react in such terror at every hint the renminbi might fall in value: a weaker renminbi reduces the dollar value of the goods China can buy on international markets, at a time when demand from its traditional industrial and construction sectors is already declining.

Source: Is George Soros Right that China’s Headed for a Hard Landing? | ChinaFile

Arthur Kroeber’s eloquent take on George Soros’ prediction: China is not likely to land hard this year. But the sum total of policy changes underway are going to make it a lot rougher for the rest of the world as China’s role as global growth engine diminishes. 


Year-End Miscellany: Is Guo Meimei Real?

In thinking about the case of the notorious Guo Meimei, one cannot help but wonder about her provenance. I don’t literally mean where she came from, of course. Rather, I mean how the sequential scandals that have surrounded her seemed almost perfectly timed to incite the public outrage necessary to start cleaning up official corruption, and then the mess that is Macau.

The rapid prominence she received in the media, her un-preternatural naïveté, and the suspect coincidence of having her involved in two major criminal enterprises in a row seem all too good to be true. Given the effects of her behavior, one cannot be blamed for thinking that if Guo Meimei had never existed, the Party would have had to invent her.

Which then leads to the question: did they?

Okay, setting my tinfoil hat aside for the day.

Behind Tianjin Tragedy, a Company That Flouted Regulations and Reaped Profits – The New York Times

Now, more than two weeks after explosions at its warehouses leveled a swath of that district, killing 145 people, injuring more than 700 and leaving millions here fearful of toxic fallout, Rui Hai has become a symbol of something else for many Chinese: the high cost of rapid industrialization in a closed political system rife with corruption.

Source: Behind Tianjin Tragedy, a Company That Flouted Regulations and Reaped Profits – The New York Times

Cato Institute on the SH-HK Stock Connect

Hong Kong, as the freest economy in the world, is an ideal place for global capital to enter the mainland. With the further opening of China’s capital account, Shanghai could one day outshine Hong Kong, but only if property rights are protected under the rule of law understood as a meta-legal principle whereby all individuals are guided by what F. A Hayek called “rules of just conduct.”

In all of our excitement about what this might mean for the finance industry, let us keep in mind that there are as many good reasons for staying out of Chinese investments right now than there are for getting in.