Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Economia China. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Economia China. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, febrero 12, 2015

China’s Unmassaged Growth Rate Plummets to 1.7%

By Chriss W. Street

Diana Choyleva of Lombard Street Research, who produces an “unmassaged” calculation of China’s true economic growth, just reported that China’s fourth quarter GDP growth plummeted to 1.7 percent, versus the official 7.4 percent rate.

According Choyleva, “Dire data out of China are competing head-on with the Greek political drama as the most destabilizing factor for the global economy and financial markets.”
Lombard Street calculates that in 2014, real annual GDP growth averaged 4.4 percent, versus the official government rate of 7.3 percent. But what is more foreboding for the Middle Kingdom is that they see economic growth sequentially collapsing. Choyleva estimates that China’s third quarter fell to 4 percent and fourth quarter growth plummeted to 1.7 percent.
Lombard Street was the first to understand that the Chinese government responded to the 2008 to 2009 financial crisis with a monetary stimulus that, adjusted for the size of economy, was twice as big as the U.S. stimulus and was injected twice as fast. The result was an epic economic boom in Chinese exports, real estate prices, and wage rates. For commodity-based economies, China’s demand created a boom that drove the commodity price index—including energy, materials, food, and raw materials—up by 50 percent.
While most analysts were praising China as an “economic miracle,” Choyleva warned 18 months ago that China was already in an economic “hard landing.” She argued China’s artificially driven “success” came at the cost of rising labor and manufacturing costs. With higher China costs being the “new normal,” multi-national corporations began skipping the Middle Kingdom for cheaper pastures such as Malaysia and Vietnam.
Lombard’s contrarian conclusions have been confirmed by UniGroup Relocation, which each year moves over 260,000 expat families worldwide for work. UniGroup found that in 2014, twice as many foreign nationals moved out of China than into the country. Steve Lewis, Managing Director of UniGroup Relocation Asia Pacific told the WSJ, “We have done some mass moves into Malaysia from China as certain people choose to do research and development and manufacturing there.”
With China running out of gas, and commodity prices that peaked in 2011 and 2012, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported the orderly decline became a rout in 2014 as the commodity price index tumbled by 29.2 percent, led by energy prices down 39.0 percent, and iron ore prices down 49 percent.
As commodity prices have fallen on lower demand, China has been making the world suffer its problems by exporting deflation for the last 32 months. With the 28-nation European Union as its biggest export market, cheaper prices allowed China to increase EU exports by 17.0 percent. Surging Chinese imports caused the EU to enter deflation as prices fell by 0.1 percent in 2014. The pace of damage is accelerating as 16 EU members experienced annual declines in consumer prices in December, up from 4 in November.
EU central bankers have tried to claim falling prices don’t “necessarily” constitute deflation risks. But historically consumers and businesses cut spending as prices fall, expecting lower prices later. Lower spending then causes waves of output and employment declines pushing prices lower. This is exactly what is happening in Greece.
After crushing their customer’s economies with deflation, China’s exports fell by 3.3 percent last year. But during the same period, China’s imports tanked by a stunning 19.9 percent.
Lombard Street warns “China is beset by the largest capital outflows on record, which are tightening domestic monetary conditions, while industrial profits have stagnated for an unprecedented third straight year.” From a second highest capital inflow of $94 billion in the first quarter of 2014, the fourth quarter saw an all-time-record outflow of $95 billion as foreigners and locals desperately tried to get their cash out of China.
Lombard Street blames Beijing’s monetary stimulus, causing a 70 percent debt build-up to finance the national investment boom in new factories and housing. But the surge in spending also forced wages up to the point China is no longer noncompetitive.
Diana Choyleva believes that China’s currency is overvalued by 15-25 percent. “An expensive currency in a world of weak demand makes it impossible for China to rebalance its economy without a collapse.” She believes that China’s “only viable option” is to sell a substantial amount of its $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasury Bond holdings to drive U.S. interest rates up. The action would strengthen the dollar and devalue the Chinese yuan.
With a growth rate under 5 percent, China is suffering a big spike in unemployment and corporate borrowing defaults. Although a big Chinese government-sponsored devaluation would resolve the crisis, such an action would destroy jobs in the U.S. and risk the outbreak of retaliatory tariffs. In the 1930s, Britain and the United States got into a trade war and plunged the world into a deflationary depression.

sábado, diciembre 06, 2014

China surpasses U.S. to become largest world economy

For the first time in decades, the U.S. is no longer the largest economy in the world, and China has become number one, the International Monetary Fund says. 
The IMF recently released the latest numbers for the world economy, stating that China will produce $17.6 trillion in terms of goods and services--  compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.
Just 14 years ago, the U.S. produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese, Dow Jones’ MarketWatch reported.
But each country reports its data in its own currency, according to the IMF website. In order to compare data, each country's statistics must be converted into a common currency. But there are several ways to manage that conversion and each can result in very different answers. 
Another measure of an economy’s strength is its “purchasing power parity” or PPP—the rate at which the currency of one country would have to be converted into that of another country to buy the same amount of goods and services in each country.
China now accounts for 16.5% of the global economy when measured in real PPP terms, compared with 16.3% for the U.S.
Prices aren't the same in each country, Business Insider suggests. The same shirt will cost you less in Shanghai than in San Francisco, so comparing countries without taking these factors into account is not always reliable.
Though the average Chinese citizen earns a lot less than the average American, simply converting a Chinese salary into dollars underestimates how much purchasing power that person, and therefore that country, might have. 
So the IMF measures both GDP in market-exchange terms, and PPP terms. On the purchasing-power basis, China is overtaking the U.S. right now and becoming the world's biggest economy.
MarketWatch columnist Brett Arends suggests that if you just look at international exchange rates, the U.S economy is still larger than China’s allegedly by almost 70 percent. But, Arends adds, although these measures are commonly cited, they can also be unreliable.
Experts have predicted China’s economy would surpass America’s for years and recent conventional wisdom anticipated the change this year.
China’s economy may now be the world’s largest, but it’s still not the richest. GDP per head is still less than a quarter of U.S. levels, the Financial Times reported.

miércoles, octubre 22, 2014

China's economy suffers its worst quarter since the financial crisis


China's economy has clocked its worst quarter in more than five years, raising concerns over Beijing's ability to meet its own annual growth target.

Gross domestic product expanded by 7.3% in the third quarter versus the same period last year, according to government data, the weakest performance since the global financial crisis.

While that figure is slightly ahead of the 7.2% median growth forecast by economists in a CNNMoney survey, it still falls short of last quarter's growth.

With only a few months left in the year, China is running out of time to meet its own 7.5% target. The government has said it's willing to accept a slightly slower rate, but it has also adopted incremental measures to boost the economy.

Today's figures "remain consistent with our view that relatively weaker data in the third quarter reflects the government's shift towards tolerating lower growth," Barclays economist Jian Chang wrote in a research note.

Economists surveyed expect full-year GDP to come in at 7.3%, with growth forecast to dip further to 7% in 2015. Chang expects the government to continue rolling out targeted efforts and investment projects to support growth.

China averaged economic expansion of around 10% a year over the past three decades, pushing it up the list of biggest economies and boosting household wealth. But now, the pace of economic expansion is languishing -- China recorded GDP growth of 7.7% in the last two years, versus 9.3% in 2011 and 10.5% in 2010.

China's GDP growth remains the most comprehensive gauge of the country's economic health -- an important number to watch as the government works to reform the world's second-largest economy and shift to consumption-driven growth after years of exponential expansion. 
Six out of 10 economists surveyed before today's GDP data was announced identified the real estate sector as the biggest risk to the Chinese economy. After years of breakneck development, the sector now suffers from excess supply, slack investment and falling home prices. Data points from September have continued to disappoint.

Experts are also sounding the alarm over ballooning corporate debt, according to the CNNMoney survey.

A few Chinese companies have defaulted on their debt in recent months-- a previously unheard of phenomenon -- and no government bailouts are in sight.

Worries have also escalated over the use of unconventional financing. Some firms, for example, have been using copper as collateral to secure loans. Experts are concerned that some companies are even using the same copper stockpiles to take out multiple loans, borrowing far more than they can repay.

viernes, octubre 10, 2014

IMF Says China World's Largest Economy, Sort Of

The International Monetary Fund officially announced that China just surpassed the United States as the world’s largest economy, sort of. China’s victory is only on a “Purchasing Power Parity” (PPP) basis. Although Gross Domestic Product is about 50% higher in the U.S., IMF says the total output of goods and services in China are estimated to now be slightly higher than in the U.S.

Many economists complain that relying on currency exchange rates to calculate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the value of all goods and services is misleading in comparing real standards of living in different countries. Goods and services that are not traded across borders, such as medical services, retail, and constructions services, and haircuts—are almost always cheaper in poorer countries because of cheap labor. Using exchange rate driven GDP’s to compare living standards may understate the benefits that citizens in poor nations enjoy from access to cheaper goods and services.
Purchasing Power Parity “conversion factor” is the number of units of a country's currency required to buy the same amount of goods and services in the domestic market as a U.S. dollar would buy in the United States. The IMF’s purchasing power parity estimates--which take into account these differing costs--are considered an alternative by some analysts as a revealing way of computing and comparing standards of living and economic size across boundaries different nations.
According to the World Bank’s “Price level ratio of PPP conversion factor (GDP) to market exchange rate”, China’s PPP factor is weighted at about “0.6”. 
To compare the PPP of China versus the PPP of the United States, the IMF essentially converted the latest annualized GDP estimate in U.S. dollars for China’s third quarter ending September 30. Multiplying the $10.6 trillion estimate by 1.6667 (conversion factor reciprocal) equals Purchasing Power Parity for China of $17.6 trillion.
The United States PPP conversion factor is “1.0," since the U.S. GDP is already calculated in U.S. dollars. The latest annualized GDP estimate in U.S. dollars for United States for the third quarter ending September 30 is $17.4 trillion.
The “conversion factor” for China is an arbitrary number that is set as an estimate of equivalent purchasing power in different nations. China has enjoyed higher GDP growth rates than the United States, but about a third of the difference has been higher inflation. This should tend to narrow the difference in the PPP conversion factor.
If the IMF narrowed the Chinese conversion factor to “0.7”, then the multiplier to convert GDP to PPP would be only 1.4286. Multiplying the latest $10.6 trillion annualized GDP for China by the 1.4286 (conversion factor reciprocal) equals Purchasing Power Parity for China of $15.1 trillion.
For about 2000 years until approximately 1750 AD, China had the largest population and the largest GDP in the world. China kept the banner as the most populous country, but lost in GDP to Britain, who lost it to the United States in 1872. On an individual basis, China is still a poor country with average per capita income of $6,807, versus $53,143 in the U.S. Even the most optimistic analysts do not believe China will pass the U.S. in GDP for almost a decade. 
Many Americans could improve their retirement purchasing power by moving to China. Medical services, retail and constructions services, and haircuts are undoubtedly cheaper. But the numerous quality, safety, and security differences may not be reflected in International Monetary Fund’s estimates Purchasing Power Parity. 

lunes, marzo 17, 2014

Sina Weibo and Alibaba, the Chinese E-Giants Coming to U.S.

Two of the biggest Internet companies in the world are going public in the United States, but most Americans have never heard of Chinese powerhouses Weibo Corp. and Alibaba.
Despite both companies' lack of recognition in the U.S., they are poised to make massive stock-market debuts in New York — and make a play to become household names in America, too.
Sina Weibo
Weibo kicked off the buzz on Friday, when the company filed paperwork to raise $500 million in an initial public offering.
The company owns Sina Weibo, China's largest microblogging site. Sina Weibo is similar to Twitter, with short posts from brands, celebrities and regular folks.
The site has managed to grow rapidly — the service had more than 129 million active users as of December, up 77 percent in just two years — despite a tightly controlled media environment in China. Hundreds of Weibo users have reportedly been arrested in China over posts that angered the government.
Sina Weibo does have a small English-language section featuring celebrity users like David Beckham, Tom Cruise and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Sina Weibo is still big and buzzy, but it has also struggled to retain its cachet amid the rise of apps like Tencent's WeChat: a rival to the WhatsApp service that Facebook is planning to buy for $16 billion. 
Alibaba: China's Amazon, eBay, PayPal and more
E-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group is more difficult to describe. It has been described as China's Amazon, eBay and PayPal wrapped into one. But Alibaba isn't a perfect mirror of any of those U.S. counterparts, and its scope is much broader.
Alibaba followed Sina Weibo's news by revealing its own plans on Sunday: a New York debut that could reportedly raise $15 billion for the company. While Alibaba hasn't filed its official paperwork yet, its stock-market debut is slated to be the buzziest since that of Facebook.
The company said in its announcement on Sunday that the U.S. IPO "will make us a more global company and enhance the company’s transparency, as well as allow the company to continue to pursue our long-term vision and ideals."
Alibaba employs about 20,000 people in more than 70 offices in China, Singapore, India and the United States. The company's nine major businesses span all parts of the e-commerce process, and they're split between consumer- and business-focused missions.
On the consumer side, Alibaba's crown jewel is Taobao Marketplace: an eBay-like online shopping site with a whopping 760 million product listings as of March 2013, the most recent data available. According to Internet site ranking company Alexa, it's the 8th most popular site in the world and the No. 3 site in China.
The more upscale Tmall sells brand-name goods from from 70,000 global companies including Apple, Nike, Gap and Adidas. ETao is a search engine exclusively for shopping, which lets users hunt for products, coupons, hotels and more. Alibaba also runs a Groupon competitor called Juhuasuan.But Alibaba was founded for businesses, and that legacy continues. The namesake Alibaba.com is a trading site that connects small businesses with two million suppliers. Both 1688.com and AliExpress focus on the wholesale marketplace. The PayPal-like Alipay is the biggest third-party online payment platform in China, and Aliyun.com sells cloud computing and data services to other companies.
Alibaba's CEO is the charismatic Jack Ma, who created the company in 1999 with 17 co-founders working out of an apartment in Hangzhou, China. Unlike many of the dot-coms that went bust during that time, Alibaba became profitable just three years later. That attracted big investors like Yahoo, which currently owns about a quarter of Alibaba, and Japan's Softbank, which owns about 37 percent.
Like Sina Weibo, however, Alibaba also faces competition. The large Chinese investment firm Tencent announced this month that it will buy a 15 percent in JD.com, the country's No. 2 e-commerce company.

viernes, enero 31, 2014

Political Calculations: China's Rebalancing Economy

Last week, news that China's economy is slowing down contributed to investor fears in world stock markets, sending equity prices lower. Not trusting Chinese GDP statistics, which have long been considered to be off target, we turned to the data that the U.S. Census Bureau reports on the value of trade between the U.S. and China to get a clearer picture of what's going on within China's economy.
Our chart below shows the exchange rate adjusted value of the year-over-year growth rate of trade between the two nations from January 1986 through November 2013, the most recent month for which that data is available at this writing: 

Keep reading Here >>

domingo, diciembre 08, 2013

China derrumba al Bitcoin

Imagen de Bitcoincharts.com
China prohibió hace unos días el uso de Bitcoins por instituciones financieras, algo que afectó bastante a la moneda, ya que ahora Baidu (el “Google chino”) y China Telecom han dejado de aceptar bitcoins, derrumbando su valor y dejándolo a poco más de 700 dólares la unidad.
Baidu anunció esta semana que ya no aceptaría la moneda digital como forma de pago, lo hizo como respuesta al Banco de China, informando que las últimas grandes fluctuaciones en el valor de Bitcoin hace difícil salvaguardar los intereses de los usuarios.
Después de haber alcanzado los 1000 dólares por bitcoin a finales de noviembre (llegó a 1200 dólares en algunos momentos), parecía que no había freno para esta fiebre. Ni las noticias sobre los robos de bitcoins en ciertos sitios especializados en compra y venta de la moneda, ni la falta de garantía de muchos de ellos parecía afectar a los que siguen invirtiendo en la moneda de 2013, año en el que ha obtenido más atención en la web (el bitcoin fue creado en 2009).
Está claro que China es un mercado suficientemente potente como para afectar a todas las monedas del mundo, incluidas las “virtuales”; es allí donde se encuentran algunas de las mayores infraestructuras que minan Bitcoins, gigantescos ordenadores conectados entre ellos con el único objetivo de crear “monedas”. El Bitcoin es algo más que una moda, y es necesario que se entienda de esa forma para que pueda seguir sobreviviendo de forma independiente.

sábado, noviembre 30, 2013

The Disappearance of China's Re-Education Camps | Foreign Affairs

By John Delury
Inmates listen to a speech, Shanxi province, September 1, 2010. (Courtesy Reuters)
Advocates for the rule of law in China won a victory two weeks ago when the most Kafkaesque aspect of the country’s penal system was officially slated for abolition. The system of laodong jiaoyang, or laojiao for short, translates, innocuously enough, to “re-education through labor.” In practice, laojiao is a system of punishment for misfits -- from drug addicts to political critics -- whose rehabilitation is deemed to require years of forced labor without the benefit of a trial or even a chance to hear formal charges. It is a remnant of Maoist Communism that is entirely at odds with the country’s contemporary capitalist sheen.
When the Chinese Communist Party plenum, an annual conclave of top leaders, announced its intention to do away with the system, it was rightly considered a major test of new president Xi Jinping’s determination to reform the country’s political system. But it is far too soon to conclude whether he has passed the test. Xi’s decisions at the recent plenum -- which included creating high-level commissions to coordinate foreign policy, domestic security, and economic reform, strengthening the market and shrinking the state’s role in the economy, and easing the one-child policy -- have mostly served to clarify the battle lines in the Chinese political establishment over issues of reform. In the case of laojiao, those battle lines are especially entrenched, given that they were drawn in the beginnings of China’s Communist era.
Keep reading on Foreign Affairs >>

martes, febrero 12, 2013

China Surpasses U.S. in International Trade

In 2012, China became the world's biggest trading nation, with the total value of that nation's exports and imports surpassing those of the United States. Bloomberg reports:
U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion.
Since we have the data, we thought it might be interesting to see just what portion of China's volume of trade is with the United States. Our charts below show the component data for what the U.S. has imported from China, and also what the U.S. has exported to China in each month since January 1985, in terms of each nation's currency (click the images for larger versions):
Value of U.S. Exports to China, January 1985 - December 2012Value of U.S. Imports from China, January 1985 - December 2012
Taking the data just for 2012, we find that the total value of goods and services China either imported from or exported to the U.S. adds up to $536.2 billion U.S. dollars. With a total trade volume of $3.87 trillion U.S. dollars in 2012, China's trade with just the United States accounts for 13.9% of all its international trade activity. Applying similar math for the United States reveals that the U.S.' trade with China accounts for 14.0%, or just under 1/7th, of all its international trade activity.
More at politicalcalculations >>

lunes, enero 14, 2013

Pollution highlights the price China is paying for rapid development

Skyscrapers are obscure by heavy haze in Beijing Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Beijing has developed into an impressive modern city over the past two decades. But a tourist visiting the Chinese capital over the past four days would have difficulty seeing many of its ancient and modern landmarks because of the horrendous pollution hanging over the city.
China's capital has been notorious for its smog over the past few years, as have most northern Chinese cities.
In Beijing, the smog unexpectedly appears and is likely to be when there is no wind to blow away the pollution, as is the case at the moment.
At first you believe, charitably, it’s just morning mist.  But it doesn't disappear and just lingers all day.
More than 20 years ago, when I first visited, Beijing, like many Chinese cities, was a very different place.
There was only the odd skyscraper and factory. Most people used bicycles to get around rather than the car.
The smog seems to have just enveloped the city, making it dangerous for people to even go outdoors.
With the current levels of pollution, it might be healthier to sit in your car for hours in a traffic jam and let the air filters do their work rather than breathe in the polluted air as you cycle around Beijing. 
The smog seems to have just enveloped the city, making it dangerous for people to even go outdoors.
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center is recommending that children and the elderly stay indoors.

lunes, diciembre 24, 2012

Inside China's Secret Arsenal

In a single generation, China has transformed itself from a largely agrarian country into a global manufacturing and trading powerhouse. China’s economy is 20 times bigger than it was two decades ago and is on track to surpass the United States’ as the world’s largest. But perhaps most startling has been the growth of China’s ambitious and increasingly powerful military.
Just 10 years ago, the budget for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was roughly $20 billion. Today, that number is more like $100 billion. (Some analysts think it’s closer to $160 billion.) The PLA’s budget is only a sixth of what the U.S. devotes to defense annually, but defense dollars go much further in China, and in the years ahead, Chinese military spending will grow at the same rate as its economy. Meanwhile, Chinese president Hu Jintao has called for the PLA to carry out “new historic missions” in the 21st century—to move beyond the traditional goal of defending the nation’s sovereignty and develop the global military reach of a true world superpower. In some cases, China’s increasing international presence could lead to greater cooperation with the U.S., as it did in 2008 when China joined antipiracy patrols off Somalia. But if American and Chinese forces end up in the same place with different goals, the result could be a standoff between two of the best-equipped militaries in the world.

viernes, noviembre 30, 2012

China’s $3.8 Trillion Hemorrhage

Follow The Money

As we covered yesterday, China is starting to hemorrhage money.
How much?
Over the past decade, about $3.8 trillion has left China illicitly. The trend, if you’ll recall yesterday’s discussion, is accelerating. Somewhere around $50 billion per month is flooding out of China.
Today I want to cover the final ramifications of this monetary hemorrhage, and why it matters to your investments and your wealth…
At the individual level, what’s a Chinese saver to do? Over the past decade, the Chinese have sought wealth preservation, if not investment returns, in China’s stock market, as well as in Chinese property markets. These ideas worked out well for some Chinese investors, but not for others. Plus, as I mentioned yesterday, the Chinese buy gold — lots of it.
In addition to investing in Chinese assets — stocks, property, gold, etc. — there’s long been anecdotal evidence of Chinese moving funds offshore in shady ways, as illustrated by the Vancouver story about suitcases full of cash. In other times and other places, I’ve heard similar stories of Chinese suitcase money: in Russia, across the Middle East, in Africa and South America.
There’s an old saying in the field of statistics that “The plural form of the word anecdote is data.” And recently, a number of investigators have gained access to much more hard data about how much Chinese money has moved overseas. The amount of money is huge, to the point of shocking.
When it comes to funds that have moved away from China — and the fate of the individual owners is something else entirely — we’re dealing with what The Economist magazine recently called a form of “voluntary exile.”
The bottom line is that large numbers of Chinese are moving money offshore, by hook or by crook. According to Hurun Report — a Shanghai-based service that caters to a very upscale clientele — the average wealthy Chinese (defined as having a net worth over 10 million yuan, or about $1.6 million) holds 19% of his assets overseas.
Meanwhile, per Hurun, 85% of wealthy Chinese plan to send their children to school outside China, while 44% have plans to emigrate at some point in their life. In and of itself, that’s hardly a ringing endorsement for the future livability of China.
Also, according to a report issued Oct. 25, 2012, by the Washington, D.C.-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) group, almost $3.8 trillion (yes, trillion!) illegally exited the Chinese economy between 2000 and the end of 2011. About $602 billion left China in just 2011, so the trend is accelerating.
Indeed, if about $50 billion per month ($602 billion divided by 12 months) left China in 2011, it’s no wonder that, for the past year, we’ve seen market-moving reports that China’s economy is slowing down. Perhaps China’s economy isn’t so much “slowing down,” in many respects, as it’s decapitalizing due to illicit outflows.
In the GFI report, the authors state that there are “serious questions about the stability of the Chinese economy.” Furthermore, per the report, “If outflows continue to ratchet upward, adverse repercussions on social and political stability cannot be ruled out.”
In other words, the massive, illicit capital outflows from China contribute to a growing sense of economic inequality, as well as pervasive corruption. The principal author of the GFI report, Dev Kar, formerly of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), opined that “The Chinese economy is a ticking time bomb. The social, political and economic order is not sustainable in the long run given such massive illicit outflows.”
The Chinese system is “not sustainable”? Now, that’s a problem.

jueves, septiembre 20, 2012

The Economist China Hangout

On Thursday 20th September The Economist hosted a live Google+ Hangout on the subject of the rise of China. The conversation was led by our Community Editor, Mark Johnson, and our China Editor, Rob Gifford.

Can China's rise be a peaceful one? Will the country's new leaders transform its politics? How is Chinese society changing?

miércoles, mayo 30, 2012

China slowdown threatens US factory revival

An emerging renaissance in American manufacturing is staring at the oncoming threat of a global economic slowdown.
After investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in high tech equipment last year, Drew Greenblatt’s manufacturing business is beginning to see a return on that investment. Business was up 20 percent in 2011 at Marlin Steel, which makes wire baskets for industrial customers.
Exports are helping a lot. Greenblatt’s company just shipped to China a $20,000 order made at his Baltimore, Md., factory with steel supplied by a mill in Illinois.
Low wages and low-cost manufacturing used to make Chinese markets tough for U.S. manufacturers to break into. Today, rising wages in China are giving American companies second thoughts about moving their manufacturing jobs to China, Greenblatt said. More >>

viernes, mayo 25, 2012

China's economy suffers 'sharp slowdown'

Image: A construction worker near Xi'an, China

Ryan Pyle  /  The New York Times
A construction worker near Xi'an, China. Many have lost their jobs because developers have been caught in a squeeze for money.

A nationwide real estate downturn, stalling exports and declining consumer confidence have produced what a Chinese cabinet adviser, quoted on the official government Web site on Thursday, characterized as a “sharp slowdown in the economy.”
Though the Chinese economy continues to expand, construction workers are losing jobs in droves and retail sales grew last month at the slowest pace in more than three years. Investments in fixed assets have increased more slowly this year than in any year since 2001.
The most striking feature of the slowdown is that it extends beyond the coastal provinces, which depend on exports and are closely linked to the global economy, to the country’s far more insular interior, including cities like Xi’an here in northwestern China.
China’s unexpected economic difficulties are starting to unnerve investors in world markets, especially commodity markets, as China is the world’s largest consumer of most raw materials and the second-largest consumer of oil.
A deepening slowdown would ripple across the world economy. Until now, China’s economy barreled ahead mostly unhindered as the main engine of global growth, even as Europe struggled with its government debt crisis and the United States limped along with a crippled housing market.
Cash squeeze Government indexes show real estate prices are falling in more than half of the country’s top 70 urban markets, Xi’an among them. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Moody’s each issued reports on Thursday warning that many of China’s real estate developers face a severe cash squeeze as apartment sales slow to a crawl. The developers still owe heavy interest payments on bank loans.
“Weak property developers in China are likely to face a test of their survival this year,” S.& P. said.  More >>
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"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño


le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.


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NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva


Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]


A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan


Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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