As I noted in last week’s post “Is This The Great Crash Of China?”, the previous crash of China’s stock market in 2007 lacked the two essential pre-requisites for a genuine crisis: private debt was only about 100% of GDP, and it had been relatively constant for the previous decade. This bust however is the real deal, because unlike the 2007-08 crash, the essential ingredients of excessive private debt and excessive growth in that debt are well and truly in place.
China’s second stock market crash will be its first fully fledged economic crisis
China has achieved a remarkable transformation in the last 30 years—something that you can only fully appreciate if, like me, you visited China before that transformation began. In 1981/82, I took a group of Australian journalists on a tour of China on behalf of the Australia-China Council. The key purpose was to take part in a seminar with Chinese journalists under the auspices of the “All-China Journalists Association”. Given the unfortunate acronym by our Chinese hosts of SAPS—for the “Sino-Australian Press Seminar”—it was the first seminar between Chinese journalists and those of any other nation.
For the next two days, I’m taking part in a peculiarly British institution (and I’m starting to realize just how many peculiar British institutions there are) called “Clearing”. This is where Universities towards the bottom of the status pecking order here in the UK offer places to students who didn’t get good enough marks to get into Universities towards the top of the pecking order.
I’ve just put A$10,000 of my own money towards improving Minsky, the Open Source program I have designed to enable economists to create dynamic and monetary models of the economy. If you support the work I’m doing to help economics escape its 19th century equilibrium fetish, please consider also making a donation to Minsky’s development via Dr Russell Standish’s PayPal account (or via direct debit, using the account details you’ll find below):
Hugh died last Saturday at the age of 91 after a long illness. I had known him since 1958 when I first came to Adelaide where he was the much-admired Professor of History. In later years we became firm friends, though I continued to regard him with awe and admiration. He was a giant intellect, easily Australia’s most deep and progressive thinker, and a remarkably kind and humane man who lived up to his ideals in many practical ways.
The Four Horsemen documentary has been an independent media success, with over three million views on YouTube. It has also shown at more than three hundred Q and A sessions in seventeen countries. Ross and Megan Ashcroft, the principals of Renegade Inc., want to produce a documentary for the post-crisis–or rather permanent crisis–world in which we now live. They also plan to follow this up with an independent media platform, to give the public something other than the superficial pap that dominates the media coverage of economics, politics and culture today.
This is the talk I gave at the FT/Alphaville conference in London last week. A number of people asked me to send the PPT to them, and I got buried in other work and the emails are long lost in my Gmail queue. So if you’d like to download the presentation file, please click here. My apologies to those correspondents to whom I haven’t replied directly.
The Greek referendum has delivered a stunning victory for Syriza and its anti-austerity message. Despite the banks being closed as a result of the ECB limiting its provision of banknotes, and despite a united chorus of European leaders warning of dire consequences if the No vote succeeded, the Greeks have voted No in overwhelming numbers. The final result looks likely to be a 62% No to 38% Yes rejection of the Troika’s terms. Syriza now has overwhelming support from the Greek people to oppose the Troika (a result that opinion polls got completely wrong).
I was interviewed on the BBC News Channel on Tuesday about the Greek crisis (see below) and I will be part of a CNBC panel “Squawk Box Special – Greece Decides” discussing the referendum results live as they roll in, from 8.30-9pm London time on Sunday.
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