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  • On this episode of China Uncensored,

  • 5 signs China's economy is weaker than you think.

  • Hello and welcome to China Uncensored.

  • I'm your host, Chris Chappell.

  • China's economy.

  • Growth so fast it makes Jack's beanstalk jealous.

  • And like Jack's beanstalk,

  • China's economic growth is sort of magical

  • in that it's kind of hard to believe.

  • I mean, sure China has beans,

  • and stocks,

  • and people named Jack.

  • But could China's economy really be growing so much, so fast?

  • So here are 5 signs China's economy is weaker than you think.

  • Number 5:

  • China's stock market is unstable.

  • Very unstable, in fact.

  • In just the past year,

  • it more than doubled,

  • then crashed almost as far as it rose.

  • And since then it's been up, and down, and up again.

  • Hedge fund investor Jim Chanos put it more eloquently when he said China's stock market

  • is "like a pig on LSD.

  • You don't know which way it's going to run."

  • I don't think having a pig on LSD is a good sign.

  • Not for your country's stock market, at least.

  • If you own a ranch, though,

  • it might be kind of entertaining.

  • Number 4:

  • China's GDP growth is much lower than reported

  • The Chinese government loves to brag that its GDP is so much bigger than everybody else's.

  • The problem is,

  • it's full of hot air.

  • Kind of like the Hindenberg.

  • In recent years,

  • the officially reported figure has been around 7 percent.

  • But Li Keqiang,

  • China's current premier and the person more or less in charge of China's economic policy,

  • once said that even he doesn't trust the official GDP figures.

  • He didn't say that publicly, of course.

  • We learned that from a Wikileaked cable.

  • Back in 2007,

  • Li was head of the Communist Party in Liaoning province.

  • He told the US ambassador that China's GDP figures are "man-made".

  • Li said he looked at electricity production, rail-freight cargo, and bank lending to get

  • a more accurate picture of GDP in Liaoning.

  • And going by that measurement,

  • China's overall GDP growth isn't 7 percent.

  • It's closer to 3 percent.

  • China bear Gordon Chang estimates growth could even be as low as 1 or 2 percent.

  • But whether it's 1 percent or 7 percent,

  • there's still another problem.

  • A lot of it is empty growth.

  • A simple way to look at GDP is how much money is spent each year.

  • GDP is supposed to tell you how healthy the economy is.

  • But in China, the government spends a lot of money on worthless things.

  • Like building ghost cities that no one lives in.

  • Or bridges that collapse.

  • It's like the quote from that movie.

  • "If you build itthey won't comebut it's still GDP."

  • Number 3:

  • China is cutting interest rates...again

  • So what does a government do when it sees its economy slowing down,

  • and wants to jump start it?

  • It cuts interest rates.

  • Low interest rates mean businesses can more easily borrow money to invest.

  • In theory, this helps the economy grow.

  • What's weird is that China is supposed to have one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

  • So why would they need to cut interest rates?

  • But in fact their central bank has lowered interest rates six times this year.

  • It's almost as if the guy in charge of China's economic policy doesn't believe China's GDP

  • data.

  • Oh, and here's the problem with low interest rates.

  • Although it helps in some ways, it also encourages companies to invest in things that aren't

  • necessarily good investments.

  • Like building cities that no one's going to live in.

  • Number 2

  • China has an unemployment problem

  • You know how I said electricity production is supposed to help measure GDP growth?

  • Well one of China's biggest coal companies just fired 100,000 employees.

  • Because China's electricity growth is the weakest it's been in 30 years.

  • You know who else can't find jobs?

  • Millions of people.

  • But don't worry,

  • because if you look at the Chinese government's officially reported urban unemployment data,

  • it's quite stable.

  • Freakishly stable, actually.

  • It's so stable that even Japan

  • Japan, where it's almost impossibly to lay off employees

  • has more fluctuation in unemployment.

  • I mean, it's as if Japan, like every other country,

  • is affected by the global economy...

  • ...and China magically is not.

  • But it's not so magical for the millions of Chinese college graduates who can't find jobs.

  • That's why so many live in squalid conditions, sometimes literally underground, in what are

  • called yi-zu

  • or "ant tribes."

  • Speaking of young people...

  • Number 1

  • China doesn't have enough of them

  • Yes, even though many educated young people can't find jobs,

  • China has an overall problem of too many old people and not enough young people.

  • In the 70s,

  • the government created the One-Child Policy to slow down population growth.

  • But that policy was kind of a disaster.

  • It's like no one actually did the math.

  • Because people get old,

  • and need to be taken care of.

  • After two generations,

  • an only child today whose parents are also only children will have to take care of two

  • parents and four elderly grandparents.

  • And how can you do that if you can barely afford to live in an underground ant tribe?

  • The imbalance is so bad that even China's new Two-Child Policy won't able to fix it

  • anytime soon.

  • Without a young healthy workforce,

  • good luck keeping up that economic growth.

  • So perhaps China's economy is not all unicorns and ponies.

  • Though it might have some pigs on LSD.

  • So what do you think?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • And if you're wondering what life is like after a serious economic crisis,

  • check out this video from our friends at Seeker Daily.

  • "Greece is grappling with one of the worst economic crises in history.

  • At the center of this crisis is Athens,

  • where people are starting to panic."

  • Once again I'm Chris Chappell.

  • See

  • you next time.

On this episode of China Uncensored,

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5つの兆候 中国経済はあなたが思っているよりも弱い|無修正チャイナ (5 Signs China's Economy Is Weaker Than You Think | China Uncensored)

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    噹噹 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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