What until now was mostly effete jawboning over US complaints surrounding China’s territorial expansion ambitions in the South China Sea, including the occasional sailing of a US ship deep inside the disputed territorial waters (with zero impact especially now that China may soon start building maritime nuclear power plants in the area), changed dramatically earlier today when China officially denied a U.S. carrier strike group’s request for a port visit to Hong Kong next week.
The Stennis strike group
As Stripes writes, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs notified the United States Thursday of its decision to deny the USS John C. Stennis and its escort ships access to the former British colony, Darragh Paradiso, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, said by phone. The ministry provided no explanation for the move. Continue reading »
Today, we find the latest, and perhaps most innovative attempt to circumvent capital controls yet when a group of Chinese investors has offered to buy AC Milan football club, one of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s most cherished assets. The offer values the club at around 700 million euros including debt, one of the sources said.
Is Everyone Wrong On The “Causation” Of The Commodity Bubble? While it appeared ‘retail’ was responsible for the panic-buying chaotic volume surge in Chinese commodities, Axiom Capital Management’s Gordon L Johnson points out that in fact… China Bank Special Interest Vehicles’ “Bold” Commodity Speculation Is The Real Budding Black Swan
WMP Speculation Likely Cause for the ’16 Commodity Rally, Not Retail Investors (“Cab-Drivers”). Continue reading »
As China’s credit fueled craziness rages on, individual “investors” have been tripping over themselves trying to get in on a piece of the action, opening up enough brokerage accounts for every man, woman, and child in LA and pouring hard earned money into “investment” opportunities such as P2P funds.
This has of course lead people to game the system, recall Ezubao’s $7.6 billion P2P ponzi scheme that led to the arrest of 21 people earlier this year, and more recently the shuttering of Zhongjin Capital Management, which also led to 21 arrests on charges of suspicion of illegal fundraising. Continue reading »
China successfully carried out a flight test of its state-of-the-art high-speed maneuvering warhead last week, sources in the Pentagon said. The trial took place just days after a hypersonic glider was reportedly tested by Russia.
The DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle was launch on Friday by a ballistic missile fired from the Wuzhai site in central China, unnamed US military officials told the Washington Free Beacon website. Continue reading »
During the last week we have highlighted the frightening similarity between the speculative spike in China commodity trading (which has sent industrial metals prices soaring in yet another ‘error’ signal for real supply and demand) and the pump-n-dump in Chinese stocks. Specifically, as Goldman warns the factor that “concerns us the most is the increased speculation in the Chinese iron ore futures market,” and now, as Bloomberg reports, it appears that bubble is bursting as Steel and Iron Ore prices tumble most in 21 months after Chinese exchanges raise margins in an attempt to curb speculation.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
The Third World War is currently being fought. How long before it moves into its hot stage?
Washington is currently conducting economic and propaganda warfare against four members of the five bloc group of countries known as BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Brazil and South Africa are being destabilized with fabricated political scandals. Both countries are rife with Washington-financed politicians and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Washington concocts a scandal, sends its political agents into action demanding action against the government and its NGOs into the streets in protests. Continue reading »
Fascism doesn’t often sweep in overnight and take over some hapless nation’s government; rather, it gradually seeps into the cultural fabric — as is quietly taking place all around the globe, evidenced by an upsurge in sales of riot equipment that has gone largely unnoticed.
A new report from analysts with industry research group, Sandler Research, forecasts the Global Riot Control System Market for the next four years — but beyond a burgeoning market to parallel the expanding global police state, it appears world governments are also keenly aware of civilian discontent. Sandler predicts the market will have an annual growth of 3.5 percent, and makes a telling juxtaposition, emphases added, involving the United States:
“Law enforcement agencies around the world are the biggest market for riot control systems. This market is expected to generate revenues of over USD 3.5 billion by the end of 2020. Countries such as the U.S., Iran, Egypt, Russia, China, and Thailand have started procuring riot control equipment and are investing heavily in [non-lethal weapons]. Moreover, special vehicles that are equipped with water cannon and reservoirs have been designed for security personnel, for use in areas of conflict to handle large crowds and demonstration. Demand for such equipment is expected to rise during the next few years.”Continue reading »
The credit-fueled speculative bubble in China’s commodity market, as we detailed previously, exploded this week as the mainstream slowly comes to realize that the gains in industrial metals are not a “sign of strength in China’s and the world’s economic recovery” but merely the next rotation of fast-money slooshing from Chinese equities to Chinese corporate bonds to Chinese real estate and now to Chinese commodity futures…
Trading in futures on everything from steel reinforcement bars and hot-rolled coils to cotton and polyvinyl chloride has soared this week, prompting exchanges in Shanghai, Dalian and Zhengzhou to boost fees or issue warnings to investors.
Hundreds of school children in East China’s Jiangsu Province have fallen mysteriously ill, suffering from nose bleeds, itching, rashes, coughing, and other complicated symptoms, whose cause has not been determined. CRI reports that some of the parents alleged that they noticed irritant smells at the school. They suspect that the smell comes from chemical factories near the school.
There is a new drama on the oil front: those who have it in excess can’t get it to those who want it—at least not quickly enough for everyone to be happy.
A recent Reuters story reveals that tankers carrying around 200 million barrels of crude are waiting to leave or dock at ports around the world, creating “the world’s biggest traffic jam.”
One would think that producers and consumers of the world’s most abundant commodity would have had time enough to adjust their port capacities, but apparently this is not the case. Middle East ports are choking on the oil waiting to be loaded onto tankers and shipped to Asia, and Asian ports are forcing tankers to wait for weeks before unloading because their infrastructure can’t cope with these amounts of oil.
Overnight a historic event took place when China, the world’s top gold consumer, launched a yuan-denominated gold benchmark as had been previewed here previously, in what Reuters dubbed “an ambitious step to exert more control over the pricing of the metal and boost its influence in the global bullion market.” Considering the now officially-confirmed rigging of the gold and silver fix courtesy of last week’s Deutsche Bank settlement, this is hardly bad news and may finally lead to some rigging cartel and central bank-free price discovery. Or it may not, because China would enjoy nothing more than continuing to accumulate gold at lower prices. Continue reading »
The amount it costs to ship containers from China to ports around the world, a function of the quantity of goods to be shipped and the supply of vessels to ship them, just dropped to a new historic low.
The China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) tracks contractual and spot-market rates for shipping containers from major ports in China to 14 regions around the world. It reflects the unpolished and ugly reality of the shipping industry in an environment of deteriorating global trade.
For the latest reporting week, the index dropped 0.6% to 636.14, its lowest level ever. It has plunged 41% from the already low levels in February last year, and 36% since its inception in 1998 when it was set at 1,000. This chart shows the continuing collapse of containerized freight rates from China to the rest of the world:
The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which tracks spot-market rates (not contractual rates) of shipping containers from Shanghai to 15 destinations around the world, dropped 3.6% for the latest reporting week to 472, after another failed price recovery. It’s down 58% from February last year. Continue reading »
When China reported its economic data dump last night which was modestly better than expected (one has to marvel at China’s phenomenal ability to calculate its GDP just two weeks after the quarter ended – not even the Bureau of Economic Analysis is that fast), the investing community could finally exhale: after all, the biggest source of “global” instability for the Fed appears to have been neutralized.
But what was the reason for this seeming halt to China’s incipient hard landing? The answer was in the secondary data that was reported alongside the primary economic numbers: the March new loan and Total Social Financing report. Continue reading »
A bridge needs to be built, so time to bust out the cranes, right? Not so fast, a Chinese company has built a machine that has a creative way of setting girders into place.
The SLJ900/32, made by the Beijing Wowjoint Machinery Company, is a 580 ton, 300 foot long and 24 foot wide mega machine that looks more like a train than a crane and acts a lot like a Stretch Armstrong action figure. Instead of using a stationary or crawler crane to lift the girder of a bridge from the ground and drop it into its place, the SLJ900/32 drives the girder onto the previously placed girder, slowly extends its arms to the next support platform, pushes the girder towards the front of the machine and then lowers it into place.
Two days ago we introduced you to “the rich kids of Vancouver” for whom the most important decision in any given day is whether to spend half a million dollars on a new Lamborghini or on an investment such as “two expensive watches or some diamonds.”
From left, Loretta Lai, Chelsea Jiang and Diana Wang attended a reception at a Lamborghini dealership last month in Vancouver, British Columbia
We now introduce you to someone who may be one of these rich kids’ dad. Or rather was, because Gang Yuan, a 42-year-old mining tycoon is no longer alive. His corpse was found chopped into 100 pieces in his Vancouver home.
Gang Yuan’s dismembered body was found at a West Vancouver home.
According to a civil lawsuit, Yuan came to Canada in 2007 with permanent resident status and made his money by investing in real estate and Saskatchewan farmland, in the process becoming the owner of a at least one abandoned multimillion-dollar Vancouver home… and much more. Continue reading »
A large group of Chinese experts and citizens have joined together to sign a protest letter against ChemChina’s acquisition of the Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta.
The protest letter is based on the serious health concerns many Chinese citizens have over GMO crops and pesticides. The letter can be found in full below and was even signed by China’s former Chemical Industry Minister Qin Zhongda:
Protest Inquiry Letter to
State Council State-Owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission Regarding ChinaChem Massive Funds Acquisition of GM/ Toxin Company Syngenta
（Submitted Date: 2016-03-31)
Respectful leading officials of State Council State-Owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission,
By now, the only people in the world who are not aware that Vancouver has been overrun by Chinese “hot money-parking” oligarchs, who rush to buy any and every available real estate leading to such grotesque charts as the following showing the ridiculous surge in Vancouver real estate prices…
… are officials from the prvincial government conveniently turning a blind eye to what is a very clear real estate bubble. Which perhaps is understandable – for now prices are only going up, giving the impression that all is well even if it means locking out local buyers from being able to purchase any local housing. It will be a different story on the way down.
But instead of focusing on the culprit of this regional housing bubble, this time we’d like to present the “rich kids” of the Vancouver’s new invading billionaire class, who according to the NYT are also filthy rich. Continue reading »
In a story that itself seemed like it may be an April fool’s joke, the WSJ writes that China’s official Xinhua News Agency has issued a warning on its viewpoint commentary microblog that antics over April Fool’s Day – a tradition it was first exposed to only in the late 1970s when it gradually opened up to foreign cultural influence – are “inconsistent with core socialist values” and at odds with Chinese cultural tradition.
While real estate is all about “location, location, location,” it appears there are sometimes more prescient factors that any prospective buyer should pay attention to. Amid yet another government-fueled housing bubble, it seems in their haste to fulfil a rapacious demand for property in which to gamble their hard-grafted assets, Chinese construction companies have cut a few corners. As the following stunning video shows, a “newly constructed apartment” crumbles before the owners’ eyes as the ‘concrete’ walls turn to sand…
LiveLeak exposes, in the following video, just how poor the standards can be of so-called “new” properties. LiveLeak footage shows two men in a supposedly “new apartment building” in China where the concrete walls crumble like sand.
China is currently in the midst of a huge property bubble…
Back in December, New York-based China Beige Book International released what they called a “disturbing” set of data that pointed to pronounced weakness in the Chinese economy.
“National sales revenue, volumes, output, prices, profits, hiring, borrowing, and capital expenditure were all weaker than the prior three months,” the firm – whose CBB is modeled on the Fed’s survey of US economic conditions and is supposed to provide a more objective assessment of China’s economic health than the goalseeked figures that emanate from the NBS – remarked.
In the three months since the CBB’s last report, we haven’t seen a whole lot in the way of positive data that would have caused us to believe that things are looking up. Exports, for instance, cratered more than 20% in RMB terms last month and 25% in USD terms – the third worst performance in history.
Sure enough, the CBB’s latest quarterly read on the Chinese economy betrays more pervasive problems including a persistent lack of hiring and a disheartening dearth of capex. “Only 33% of firms reported capital expenditure growth in the first quarter, the lowest in the survey’s five-year history,” Reuters reports, adding that “the share of firms reporting capex growth has fallen by over 40 percent since the second quarter of 2014.” Continue reading »
Once upon a time Hugh Hendry was one of the world’s most prominent financial skeptics, arguing with anyone who would listen that the status quo is doomed and that central planning will never work.
Most famously, back in 2010 during a BBC round table discussion with Jeffrey Sachs and Gillian Tett when discussing Europe’s crashing experiment with the single currency, he said that we should “purge this system of its rottenness. Let’s take on a recession. It’s going to be tough, people are gonna lose their jobs. They are going to lose their jobs anyway. We can spread this over 20 years, or we can get rid of it over 3 years” before concluding “I recommend you panic.” Continue reading »
While Beijing dithers, and does its best to kick the can as far as it can without doing anything, it was too late for one person: on Friday morning, Dongbei Special Steel Group reported that the company’s Chairman Yang Hua, 53, was found dead after hanging himself in his residence. Why? Because tomorrow the company has an 800 million yuan debt payment which it will not be able to make.
What do you do when you need to lay off a few million people but you don’t want to hurt your goalseeked unemployment rate? You tell miners to hand in their picks and you promptly give them mops and a 66% pay cut. If they protest, you throw them in jail. If they storm the castle, you start shooting.
The Baltic Dry Index has risen for the last few weeks, buoyed by hopes (a la Iron Ore) of a National People’s Congress stimulus surge from China. While the scale of the ‘bounce’ is negligible in real terms compared to the total collapse, it has caused such momentum-muppets as Jim Cramer to proclaim China ‘fixed’ and investible. So we have one quick question – if everything is awesome, why did the China Containerized Freight Index just crash to new record lows?
It appears BDIY gets over-excited relative to CCFI…
Only to rapidly crash back to CCFI reality shortly afterwards. Given the complete collapse back of Iron Ore, the hopes placated on the dead-cat-bounce in BDIY appear a little misplaced.