Short-seller Jim Chanos: China presents 'a 1930s kind of problem'
Oct. 18, 2021 10:06 AM ETEGRNFBy: Brian Stewart, SA News Editor19 Comments
- High-profile short-seller Jim Chanos said Monday that the rising militancy in China combined with the country's "precarious" financial situation creates "a 1930s kind of problem."
- In an interview with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Chanos added that a meltdown of the real estate industry in China could knock a percentage point off of global GDP growth if it creates a recession in the Asian country.
- "I do think that it will affect global growth," Chanos, managing partner of Kynikos Associates, said of the looming crisis at Chinese real estate giant Evergrande (OTCPK:EGRNF).
- "China was a full point of the 3% global real growth we’ve had since the [great financial crisis]," the billionaire said. "Without China, it’s 2%."
- While Chanos thinks the Evergrande crisis could have a ripple impact on global growth, the Kynikos managing partner doesn't foresee it becoming a widespread contagion to the global financial system.
- He said that banks in the U.S. and other Western countries have few dealings in the Chinese real estate sector, so they aren't at risk of suffering a 2008-style financial crisis.
- "I think it’s not a financial-transmission issue reverberating through the financial systems and markets," Chanos said.
- As to the rising militancy of the Chinese leadership, Chanos sees parallels to the period in the 1930s, when a global economic crisis ultimately led countries to undertake aggressive foreign policy actions. This eventually led to the outbreak of World War II.
- For China, Chanos sees signs of this dynamic in the country's more-belligerent stance towards Taiwan.
- "This situation in China is a little bit frightening to the student of history," he said.
- Chanos isn't the only high-profile investor who sees danger in the rising tensions with China. See what Kyle Bass has to say on U.S-China relations.