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  • Why Nokia Falls in China but Apple Soars [View article]
    I have the impression that in terms of market share Apple is still way way behind Nokia. Apple has had explosive growth in the last year. In a year or two we will tell if it is just quickly filling a relatively small market niche. Also, when you start to see more and more iPhone knock offs and see "If you don't have an iPhone, you really don't have an iPhone" ad repeated again and again on Chinese TV you know that stauts symbol will not last long.
    Jul 27 11:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China and the Precious Metal War [View article]
    The author didn't say China has employed 10million in the recycling business. It is very easy to spot the many who live on recycling stuff on streets in China -- they carry or have on their rickshaws huge piles of "junks" of all kinds and shuttle between the city and the suburbs where the stuff gets sorted and sold in exchange markets. These people are for sure selfemployed.
    Jul 27 01:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Current Account Dilemma [View article]
    "what can we do to stop China theft of IP"

    Help China to have a stake in protecting IP.

    Notice that China started to clamp down movie and music pirate downloading after Chinese movies started to make serious money, and Apple has demonstrated that selling copyrighted music online cheaply can mean real business.
    Jul 24 11:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Current Account Dilemma [View article]

    Where do we draw the line between acceptable delinquencies and unacceptable ones? Who is there to decide? I see a huge slippery slope here.


    It's an excellent point that US' having been China's sophisticated customer and production mentor.
    Jul 22 05:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Real Estate Prices in China: For Many, Higher Means Happier [View article]
    That was my initial reaction but then I realized that most people who started working before the 80s would have gotten cheap housing from their work units for practically free. The apartments are small but they are now owned by those workers and can be sold on the market nonetheless. Comes to think about it, for people who has been working in Beijing all their life since the 80s, few do not own property.
    Those one who are priced out of the market are migrant workers or young people. The migrant works actually do own property in their village but those property cannot be sold and cannot be priced as commercial properties. If we leave out these people, considering today's Chinese demographic young people who are mostly priced out are not the majority because of the one-child policy. I think for every urban resident priced out of the property market there are more than one property owner.
    Jul 22 02:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Current Account Dilemma [View article]

    All you are saying is that the drunk is not morally bond to pay the bill to the bar tender who sold him beer on credit last night, simply because the bar tender was also involved in creating this "imbalance" which the drunk now is sober enough to see.

    "only that the reasons for [the US'] concern should be wholly domestic."

    Well that pretty much sums your point up, doesn't it. Apply it to China and Germany you don't need to feel surreal.
    Jul 21 06:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Real Estate Prices in China: For Many, Higher Means Happier [View article]
    “all evidence is that these steps aren’t having a major impact”

    I don't think you should count property tax as one of the ineffective tools because it has not been implemented to target anyone but a few super riches in Shanghai and Chongqing. It could be a nuclear weapon against speculation and hoarding.

    I am not sure if those who don't own properties are the minority in China as you said. But they are relatively young, have a loud voice, and are prime source of instability.
    Jul 21 05:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Italy Is Falling Behind [View article]
    Less than 10 years ago Italy's GDP was greater than that of China. When I found that most people in Italy were not spending time working I thought someone must be, or must have been, working very hard to feed all the parasites. Now it is obvious that Italy's trick was a combination of borrowing and letting the Turin and Milan area do the heavy lifting. Without the north the south would be a third world country.
    Jul 20 01:32 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Judge China on Phantom Facts [View article]
    Mr. Rein lives and works in China. Although not unbiased but his information has more truth than a lot of China bears.
    Can you give examples which trains and highways are empty?
    If someone is paying houses with cash (no leverage) why do we care in economic terms? (rather than about social fairness concern which is totally different thing)
    Do those who really think about buying houses worry about rice and pork price?
    China has many problems and some of them are severe. Social secuity, aging population, a standard-answer oriented education system that encourage copying, lack of accountability and corruption... These don't translate into an imminent hard landing, though.
    Jul 17 09:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Euro: 1999 - 2012 R.I.P. [View article]
    "# Weak countries will exit the euro-zone and devalue their currencies as often as needed."

    It doesn't mean the Euro will end as the title says, does it.
    Jul 14 10:10 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Southern Europe: Beyond a Demographic Point of No Return [View article]
    ARe you asking the Europeans to have a voluntary Black Plague ? If people are so rational, why do they end up where they are now? The Italians for one will take the least resistance path. They have been giving immigration amnesty once a few years, when illegal immigrants easily obtain legal status. With immigration to Europe allowed the less developed countries near Europe will see greater prosperity. That is a good thing for Europe. As the welfare system becomes less attractive immigration will slow down automatically.
    Anyway I don't think "Chaos will ensue" if Europe is open to immigration. Did this happen in the US ?
    Jul 14 09:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Judge China on Phantom Facts [View article]
    It would be useful to see solid data on YoY real wage increase, which I gather is 5%-10%. Minimum wage increases you quote do not quite affect those whose wage are already above the minimum.
    For those who do benefit from the increase of minimum wage, the increase should really help to offset the CPI because these people spend the most on food and the official CPI is food oriented and pratically made for them.

    The CPI has too much pork in it, so to speak, for the middle class who care about cars, housing, and various kind of services more than about food. Transportation (buying cars) cost is one of the items actually goes down YoY in Chinese CPI break down. A car is a big ticket item so it weighs a lot for hte middle class. I think a composite CPI made for the middle class would still be less than 4%.
    Jul 13 02:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Chinese Black Swan [View article]
    Another factor that China is moving away from revolution is its median age: 35 years old. For the US it is 37. Bulk of the population are thinking about fitting in the system to support family.
    In comparison, the median age of those that had a revolution: Egypt 24, Libya 24, Tunisia 30, and a few restless ones: Iraq 21, Afghanistan 18.
    Jul 12 10:02 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Consumers Benefit From China's 'Unfair' Currency Policy [View article]
    True. A lot of exporting Chinese companies only make money on tax incentives the government provides. The Chinese people will one day find out what a bad deal they have been given. It has been a grant party of free drinks for US consumers in the last few decades. Now the bill comes and the partiers think they have been given opium.
    Jul 12 09:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Coming Chinese Black Swan [View article]
    How much do you know Good Ole Days of Mao? Being able to buy 50% less pork than a year ago with the same amount of money does not equal 30 million people starving to death.
    Chinese average wage is increasing faster than CPI does. Think about it.
    Jul 11 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment