David Ignatius har en interessant artikkel i Washington Post om den kinesiske økonomien. Boblen ser ut til å sprekke, og det virker som om den øverste ledelsen er innstilt på en hestekur.
Grådigheten har vokst eksplosivt i Kina. Ettpartistaten gjør at korrupsjonen er garantert. Men en dag er det slutt, og for første gang er det flere tegn på at markedet har snudd, og at panikken er ved å bre seg. Myndighetene ønsker samtidig å rydde opp i den verste korrupsjon. Korrupsjon har tidligere felt dynastier. Det vet Kinas ledere.
Despite the risks of contraction, the government has pressed ahead — squeezing not just the banks but the corrupt deals fueled by their loans. The most spectacular dragnet yet was reported March 30 by Reuters, which said authorities had seized assets worth $14.5 billion from family members and cronies of Zhou Yongkang, the former chief of domestic security. According to the news agency, more than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, allies and staff have been arrested or questioned.
This crackdown is a laudable attempt to deal with the culture of greed that has accompanied the Chinese boom. But it appears to be triggering panicky behavior by some of China’s new rich, who are rushing to sell assets in a market where cash is suddenly scarce, continuing a process of capital flight that Chovanec estimates has totaled $250 billion annually in recent years.
The Chinese government has an amazingly good record of managing macroeconomic policy. But as economist Herbert Stein said many years ago, in connection with U.S. trade deficits, «if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.» The China question is how sudden and hard the stop will be.