Why China Had To Crash Part 2

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One thing my 28 years as a card-car­ry­ing econ­o­mist have taught me is that con­ven­tional eco­nomic the­ory is the best guide to what is likely to hap­pen in the econ­omy.

Read what­ever it advises or pre­dicts, and then advise or expect the oppo­site. You (almost) can’t go wrong.

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Why I Sup­port Cor­byn For UK Labour Leader

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There was a time when most edu­cated peo­ple knew that the Earth was the cen­ter of the uni­verse. There was a sophis­ti­cated “Geo­cen­tric” model, known as the “Ptole­maic sys­tem”, that pre­dicted to very high accu­racy the observed move­ment of all the objects in the Heav­ens, as they pur­port­edly orbited the Earth on per­fect crys­talline spheres. 500 years ago, any­one who pro­posed an alter­na­tive model—in which the Sun was the cen­ter and the Earth was just another planet orbit­ing it—was derided as a heretic and a mad­man.

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Why China Had To Crash Part 1

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In this post I con­sider the econ­omy in gen­eral: I’ll cover asset mar­kets in par­tic­u­lar in the next col­umn, but you’ll need to under­stand today’s post to com­pre­hend the stock and prop­erty mar­ket dynam­ics at play. Hav­ing said that, the Shang­hai Index fell another 7.5% on Tues­day, after los­ing 8.5% on Mon­day, and is now down over 45% from its peak—so I’ll try to write the stock-mar­ket-spe­cific post by tomor­row. In this post I’ll show, very sim­ply, why a slow­down in the rate of growth of pri­vate debt will cause a cri­sis, if both the level and the rate of change of debt are high at the time of the slow­down.

Debate about China crash on France 24

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I’ve just taken part in a live stu­dio debate about China’s crash on France 24. Much to my amaze­ment, the seg­ment is already up on their website–I’ve barely had time to walk home from their Lon­don stu­dio. Please click on the links to watch (it’s in Flash for­mat so I can’t embed it here):

Part 1
Part 2

PS French 24 pro­duc­ers & staff: I’m impressed!

China Crash: You Can’t Keep Accel­er­at­ing For­ever

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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.

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Is This The Great Crash Of China?

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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.

Good Uni­ver­si­ties and Bad Eco­nom­ics

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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.

Help make Min­sky eas­ier to use

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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):

Death of a Great Aus­tralian: Hugh Stret­ton 1924–2015

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The great poly­math and human­i­tar­ian Hugh Stret­ton died this week­end. I can do no bet­ter than to repro­duce another great Australian’s trib­ute to him.

The fol­low­ing is from Geoff Har­court.

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.