Category Archive: China

Main Author Michael Pettis
Michael Pettis
Wall Street veteran, merchant banker, equities trader, economist, finance professor, entrepreneur — iconoclast — Michael Pettis is a unique individual living and working in China, at the heart of the world’s most exciting and vibrant economy. Having learned firsthand how markets operate during his years on Wall Street, Michael has taken his knowledge and insight and applied them to the Asian financial markets as an expert analyst, commentator, and participant. His work and research focuses on monetary policy, trade policy, and the development of the banking and financial markets in China.

Trying To Reconcile Accounts; China

Chinese economic data for April 2017 has been uniformly disappointing. External trade numbers resembled too much commodity prices, leaving an emphasis on them rather than actual economic forces. The latest figures for the Big 3, Industrial Production,...

China Inflation Now, Too

We can add China to the list of locations where the near euphoria about inflation rates is rapidly falling apart. This is an important blow, as the Chinese economy has been counted on to lead the world out of this slump if through nothing other than...

Lackluster Trade, China April Edition

China’s trade statistics for April 2017 uniformly disappointed. They only did so, however, because expectations are being calibrated as if the current economy is actually different. It is instead merely swinging between bouts of contraction and...

China: Blatant Similarities

Declines in several of the world’s PMI’s in April have furthered doubts about the global “reflation.” But while many disappointed, some sharply, it isn’t just this one month that has sown them. In China, for example, both the manufacturing and...

PBoC: Mechanical Tightening PBoC is China Central Bank

The mainstream narrative as it relates to Chinese money is “tightening.” Having survived the economic downturn last year, we are to believe that the PBOC is once again on bubble duty. They raised their reverse repo rates, considered to be their policy...

Assessing China’s Economic Risks

First quarter GDP in China rose 6.9%, better than expected and above the government’s target (6.5%) for 2017. It stands to reason, however, that if Communist officials thought they could get 6.9% to last for the whole year they would have made it their...

What Was Chinese Trade in March?

As with all statistics, there are discrepancies that from time to time may obscure the meaning or validity of the particular estimate in question. For the vast majority of the time, any such uncertainties amount to very little. Overall, harmony among...

Non-Randomly Surveying RMB

China’s central bank, unlike other central banks, is constantly active almost never resting. Because it is always in motion, the PBOC can seem to be “adding” liquidity at the very same time it might be “draining” it. Its specific actions should never...

Pressure, Sure, But From Where?

It may just be that in life you have to get used to disappointment. Though not for lack of trying, I have spent a great deal of time over the years intending to piece together exactly what happened on days like October 15, 2014. The official...

China Starts 2017 With Chronic, Not Stable And Surely Not ‘Reflation’

The first major economic data of 2017 from China was highly disappointing to expectations of either stability or hopes for actual acceleration. On all counts for the combined January-February period, the big three statistics missed: Industrial...

Same Country, Different Worlds

To my mind, “reflation” has always proceeded under false pretenses. This goes for more than just the latest version, as we witnessed the same incongruity in each of the prior three. The trend is grounded in mere hope more than rational analysis,...

China And Reserves, A Straightforward Process Unnecessarily Made Into A Riddle

The fact that China reported a small increase in official “reserves” for February 2017 is one of the least surprising results in all of finance. The gamma of those reserves is as predictable as the ticking clock of CNY, in no small part because what is...

No China Trade Interpretations

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of China does not publish any of the big three data series (Industrial Production, Retail Sales, Fixed Asset Investment) for the month of January. It combines January data with February data because of the large...

China Says It Is Ready To Assume “World Leadership”, Slams Western Democracy As “Flawed”

Over the weekend China used the Trump inauguration to warn about the perils of democracy, touting the relative stability of the Communist system as President Xi Jinping heads toward a twice-a-decade reshuffle of senior leadership posts.

Great Graphic: China’s PPI and Commodities

China's PPI rose for the first time in four years. It is related to the rise in commodities. Yet there are good reasons there is not a perfect fit between China's PPI and commodity prices. US and UK CPI to be reported next week, risk is on the upside.

China and Japan Chart Update

A chart-up from China and Japan. Growth of Chinese industrial production, retail sales, fixed asset investment is at lows not seen since the Asian financial crisis. The Yuan is falling. Economic data from Japan is not a lot better.

China’s 3 trillion dollar mistake

When looking at the current state of the Chinese economy it is important to note what happened leading up the ongoing predicament. By managing the USD/CNY exchange rate the Chinese factory worker was essentially funding excess consumption in the Unit...

China, the SDR, and Toward a Less Euro-Centric World

(Here is a draft of a monthly column I write for a Chinese paper) It is official.  The Chinese yuan will be in the SDR.  At a 10.4% share, it is a bit more than I expected, but less than the 14%-16% share that the IMF staff has intimated a few ...

China in Continuous PPI Deflation and No Depression In Sight?

Both Chinese PMI and the producer price index (PPI) are in deflation since 2012. This opens a lot of questions about the sustainability of Chinese economic growth, but also about the certain economic theories that consider deflation as a precursor of...

Democracies Like Bubbles, Totalitarian Regimes Hate Them

Totalitarian regimes, like China, fear bubbles and revolutions. Strangely, these regimes help to prevent asset bubbles, and the resulting unequal distribution of wealth between rich asset owners and the poor without assets. Today’s FT article...
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