We have heard the countless glowing stories in the media that China is booming - the new America on steroids - and those who land briefly on its shores - in cities such as Shanghai or Beijing - are often likely to reaffirm the positive shine. But is it really true?
Are we being misled on China by the media, the investment banks, and even by the accounting firms (auditors) and credit agencies? In the past several years, you couldn’t pick up a newspaper without reading about the growth story in China. But is it becoming all too good to be true? Is it (now) turning into just a propaganda story to help sell newspapers, improve the banks’ bottom line, and as a means to-an-end for agencies and firms that have conflicts of interest?
I will argue in a multi-part series that the China growth is not only going to rapidly slowdown in this decade, but the Chinese economy is in risk of a very hard landing. I will also argue that this is becoming far too obvious for those that should be in the know, and they should have informed the public a long time ago.
More specifically I have several questions that should be addressed once the evidence is presented. Why is it only now that the media are actually discussing the issue of over-investment in China? Why is it that the investment banks even today continue to deny it? Why is it that credit agencies and accounting firms down played accounting irregularities until this year? Why did it have to be investment blogs and one person crusades (by short sellers such as Muddy Waters) that raised concerns about wrongdoings in China - when the media, investment banks, accounting firms (auditors), and credit agencies have far more resources at their disposal? And why did allegations of fraud have to surface in North America (via reverse merged listings) to finally get over due coverage, and some action to be taken?
I can only accept that these agents – media, investment banks, accounting firms, and credit agencies - are responsible for having said nothing; denying the obvious; downplaying the problem; or at their worst for purposely misleading the general public (and their own clients or customers) for their organizations’ personal gain.
I am going to convincingly argue in this multi-part series that there is an underlying peril in China that is not being told nearly enough. The economy is becoming more and more unbalanced, and the current growth levels are not sustainable. The government directed top-down approach for propping the economy up doesn't work and it hasn't worked. It is irresponsible of the stakeholders - media, investment banks, accounting firms (auditors), and credit agencies - to continue to disregard the gapping flaws that will have serious repercussions for their specific clients and customers.
The series begins by breaking down the misconceptions that many in the public have about the China growth story, before outlining the evidence about the unbalanced economy, and giving a more intimate discussion about why the Chinese growth levels are unsustainable. This is followed up by looking at broader concerns, before addressing the how and why stakeholders have been an intricate part of spinning this web of misinformed hype. And finally, as a conclusion to this series, it is important to look at what are the implications of how China's slow down (or hard landing) could play out on the world economic stage in the foreseeable future (i.e., commodities).