David Stockman foresees some grim deflationary bubble-popping out of China:
The truth is, the 25 year growth boom in China is just a giant, credit-driven Ponzi. Any fool can run a central bank printing press until it glows white hot.
At the end of the day, that’s all the Beijing suzerains of red capitalism have actually done. They have not created any of the rudiments of viable capitalism. There are no honest financial markets, no genuinely solvent banks, no market driven allocation of capital and no financial discipline which comes from the right to fail as well as succeed.
There are, for instance, 287 million equity trading accounts in China, most of them opened within the last year and overwhelmingly held by retail punters with sub-high school educations. In less than 12 months they took down upwards of $1 trillion of margin debt through official brokerage channels and a massive network of shadow banking sources including dodgy peer-to-peer lending arrangements.
So fortified, they clambered after a stock market bubble that expanded by $3 trillion in just 60 trading days ending on June 14, and then broke into a panicked selling stampede that liquidated that very same $3 trillion of bottled air in hardly 20 trading days thereafter.
The problem is that the impact of the Chinese deflationary collapse is not likely to be limited to China, and will likely render all of the Western central banks’ efforts to keep the Western economies afloat through zero interest rate policy moot. The central bankers are counting on the Chinese to respond to a popped bubble like they do, with a flood of liquidity propping up the financial gangsters. But the Chinese government is much more likely to jail and shoot the lot of them.
The latter is the Achilles Heel of the whole Ponzi. To arrest capital flight they will have to do the opposite of what they have done for the last 20 years. That is, they will have to shrink the domestic money supply and banking system in order to sell dollars and euros rather expand domestic credit in order to sequester dollar liabilities (i.e. treasury bonds) in the PBOC.
In due course, China will be aflame with campaigns against corruption and enemies of the state as it seeks to cope with its collapsing financial bubbles and endless herds of economic white elephants. Chairman Mao’s axiom as to where state power really comes from——that is, the barrel of a gun—-will become the increasingly evident modus operandi of the communist party rulers.
The resulting deflationary spiral will suck the global economy into its vortex. And Wall Street will go down for the count because this time the Fed will be utterly powerless to reverse the tide.
Just remember, even when the paper money and the digital wealth evaporates, you’re not actually any worse off materially than you were the day before.