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S&P Downgrades China To A+ From AA- Due To Soaring Debt Growth

S&P Downgrades China To A+ From AA- Due To Soaring Debt Growth

Four months after Moody’s downgraded China to A1 from Aa3, unwittingly launching a startling surge in the Yuan as Beijing set forth to “prove” just how stable China truly is, moments ago S&P followed suit when the rating agency also downgraded China from AA- to A+ for the first time since 1999 citing risks from soaring debt growth, less than a month before the most congress for Chiina’s communist leadership in the past five years is set to take place. In addition to cutting the sovereign rating by one notch, S&P analysts also lowered their rating on three foreign banks that primarily operate in China, saying HSBC China, Hang Seng China and DBS Bank China Ltd. are unlikely to avoid default should the nation default on its sovereign debt. Following the downgrade, S&P revised its outlook to stable from negative.

“China’s prolonged period of strong credit growth has increased its economic and financial risks,” S&P said. “Since 2009, claims by depository institutions on the resident nongovernment sector have increased  rapidly. The increases have often been above the rate of income growth.  Although this credit growth had contributed to strong real GDP growth and higher asset prices, we believe it has also diminished financial stability to  some extent.”

According to commentators, the second downgrade of China this year represents ebbing international confidence China can strike a balance between maintaining economic growth and cleaning up its financial sector, Bloomberg reported. The move may also be uncomfortable for Communist Party officials, who are just weeks away from their twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle.

The cut will “have a relatively big impact on Chinese enterprises since corporate ratings can’t be higher than the sovereign rating,” said Xia Le, an economist at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA in Hong Kong. “It will affect corporate financing.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump’s China-Sanctions Madness Imperils the Dollar

Trump’s China-Sanctions Madness Imperils the Dollar

uschina.PNG

Last week US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned the US will impose new sanctions on China if it doesn’t conform to UN sanctions on North Korea:

“If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the U.S. and international dollar system, and that’s quite meaningful.”

In other words, the administration wants to sanction one of the US’s biggest trading partners, and the world’s second-largest economy.

China is the world’s third-largest recipient of Americans exports, behind only Canada and Mexico. China is the world’s largest source of imports for Americans, slightly ahead of both Mexico and Canada.

In 2016, Americans exported $169 billion in goods and services to China while importing $478 billion of goods and services. Every year, both consumers and producers benefit from the importation of Chinese electronics, machinery, food, footwear, and more.

Ratcheting up economic warfare with China could serve to cut off these avenues of trade and thus will only cost consumers and small business owners who currently benefit from lower-cost machinery, clothing, and more.

For the mercantilists in the Trump administration, of course, American consumers import “too much” from China anyway, and Americans and ought to be prohibited by the US government from purchasing what they want. The North Korea situation could serve as a convenient excuse for slapping prohibitions on American consumers in the name of “fair trade” while also serving as a foreign policy tool.

The last thing the US consumer needs is a trade war with China.

At this point, however, the US isn’t talking about cutting off trade in such a blunt manner.

As Mnuchin notes, the strategy here is to “prevent [the Chinese] from accessing the U.S. and international dollar system.” In practice, this would likely mean restricting access to the so-called SWIFT system which facilitates international transactions in dollars.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Chinese Growth About to Falter?

  • The IMF revised Chinese growth forecasts higher in July – were they premature?
  • Retail sales, industrial output and fixed investment have slowed
  • The Real Estate sector is still buoyant but home price increases are moderating
  • Narrow money supply growth has slowed, other parts of the economy will follow

China has long been the marginal driver of demand for a wide array of commodities. In an attempt to understand the recent rise in the price of industrial metals, the strength of Chinese demand is a key factor. The picture is mixed.

The chart and commentary below is taken from Sean Corrigan’s August newsletter – Cantillon Consulting – China: Is the tide turning?:-

China_Money_Supply_-_Cantillon_August_2017

Source: Cantillon Consulting

As Corrigan goes on to say:-

As the deceleration has progressed, the PMI has shown its expected downward response. In due course, company revenues – and ultimately profits – will follow if this is long maintained.

Greater recourse to receivables financing (funded partly by recourse to shadow finance) can delay full recognition of this awhile, but it cannot fail to impair either the magnitude or the quality of earnings as it works through the economy.

At the heart of the credit equation lies the Real Estate market:-

China_Real-Estate_and_M1_-_Cantillon_-_August_2017

Source: Cantillon Consulting

During 2016 property prices in China increased by 19%, new homes by 12.4%, the fastest since 2011, but the market has cooled of late due to government intervention to subdue its speculative excess. New-home prices, excluding government-subsidized housing, gained from the previous month in 56 of 70 cities in July, compared with 60 in June. New Home Sales for August were the weakest in three years at +3.8%, however, investment in Real Estate development increased 7.8% last month – this is hardly a collapse. House prices are still forecast to rise by 6.8% in 2017 with growth driven by continued increases in second and third tier cities:-

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Most Draconian Measures Ever”: China Expands Bitcoin Crackdown Beyond Exchange Trading

“Most Draconian Measures Ever”: China Expands Bitcoin Crackdown Beyond Exchange Trading 

Last week bitcoin plunged over 40% from all time highs hit as recently as three weeks ago on news that China had ordered local exchanges to halt trading in the cryptocurrency. Since then, defying naysayers yet again, bitcoin staged a remarkable comeback, rising from under $3000 to $4000 in the last few days of trading, but China appears to be nowhere near done, and as the WSJ reports this morning, Beijing is moving toward a “broad clampdown on bitcoin trading, testing the resilience of the virtual currency as well as the idea its decentralized nature protects it from government interference” in what the paper dubs the “most draconian measures any government has taken to control bitcoin.

According to the WSJ, regulators have decided on a “comprehensive ban on channels for the buying or selling of the virtual currency in China” that goes beyond plans to shut commercial bitcoin exchanges. The still unofficial policy was communicated to several industry executives at a closed-door meeting in Beijing on Friday, “according to people who were at the meeting.”

The move is notable because until last week, many China bitcoin entrepreneurs thought authorities might shut down only commercial trading activity while tolerating peer-to-peer, or over-the-counter, bitcoin platforms, which enable buyers and sellers to find each other and trade directly. However, it now appears that this was only the beginning as two years after we first warned that bitcoin will be used largely to circumvent Chinese capital controls (and said it would soar as a result when its price was just $230), the government has decided to put a complete end to the use cryptocurrencies as a means of offshoring “hot money.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China Orders No Market Turbulence Ahead Of Party Congress

China Orders No Market Turbulence Ahead Of Party Congress

The most important event in China in five years is about to take place, and Beijing isn’t taking any chances.

Ahead of the Communist Party’s twice-a-decade congress – an event so massive that according to Bloomberg “nothing escapes its pull” – which is slated to start on October 18 in Beijing, regulators have made it clear to the nation’s top brokers, bankers and financiers that they don’t want to see any major turbulence in markets.

In a repeat of the fiasco that followed the bursting of China’s equity bubble in the summer of 2015 when Beijing effectively nationalized the stock market, and went so far as to throw prominent hedge fund managers and assorted “speculators” in prison, the China Securities Regulatory Commission has ordered local brokerages to “mitigate risks” and ensure stable markets before and during the Communist Party’s leadership congress next month, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, to leave virtually nothing to chance – and to have ready scapegoats in case someone does in fact sell – the CSRC also banned brokerage bosses from taking holidays or leaving the country from Oct. 11 until the congress ends.

Brokerage bosses were told to avoid travel of any kind from Oct. 11 until the congress ends, including business trips.

Luckily for them, China’s national day holidays are coming up in the first week of October. Local markets will be shut for an entire week, providing plenty of time to recharge for the congress.

Since the congress, which is expected to replace about half of China’s top leadership, is of paramount importance to President Xi Jinping who will use it as a foundation to cement his influence into the next decade, nothing is allowed to spoil the optics of supreme control at this critical moment.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Kyle Bass: China’s $40 Trillion Banking System Has “Largest Imbalances I’ve Ever Seen”

Kyle Bass: China’s $40 Trillion Banking System Has “Largest Imbalances I’ve Ever Seen”

Kyle Bass’s Hayman Capital has been having a rough year thanks to its widely publicized bet against China’s currency, which has more than reversed its 2016 decline – its largest annual drop since 1994 – as the People’s Bank of China has cracked down on potentially destabilizing capital outflows.

However, Bass – unlike a handful of other former China bears who’ve been forced to scale back, or even reverse, their positions – has said that he is standing by his belief that China’s corporate sector is massively overleveraged, and overdue for a collapse that could destabilize the global economy. Chinese banks, according to Bass, have more than $40 trillion in assets held against $2 trillion in equity.

The dollar’s bull run against the yuan last year helped spark capital outflows as wealthy Chinese worried about the depreciation of their currency. In response, the PBOC tightened restrictions on foreign-exchange transactions for individuals, local companies – quashing a roaring international M&A boom – and even foreign companies, which in some cases have struggled to pull their money out of the world’s second-largest economy.

“So what’s going on right now? Let’s get the elephant out of the room. Let’s talk about China.

Kyle Bass: OK, how much time do we have?

RP: As long as you need. Where are we? What the hell’s going on?

KB: We’re in the such late stages of a game that is the largest global imbalance I’ve ever seen in my life.When you look at on balance sheet and off balance sheets, you look at on balance sheet in the banks, you look in the shadow banks. The number of total credit in the system, China is right at $40 trillion. Think about the number I just said. $40 trillion. And that’s using an exchange rate of call it 6.7 to the dollar, right? So it’s grown 1,000% in a decade. And we’re on a $40 trillion credit system on $2 trillion of equity on maybe $1 trillion of liquid reserves.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Jim Rogers Warns “If Trump Starts A Trade War With China, It Will End US Hegemony”

Jim Rogers Warns “If Trump Starts A Trade War With China, It Will End US Hegemony”

Following Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s threat that the US could impose economic sanctions on China if it does not implement the new sanctions regime against North Korea:

“If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system, and that’s quite meaningful.”

Billionaire investor and commodity guru Jim Rogers has a warning for the Trump administration this would hurt America more because it just forces China and Russia and other countries to cooperate.

RT: What is the likelihood that the US will go through with and actually impose economic sanctions on China if it does not implement the new sanctions regime against North Korea?

Jim Rogers: Sanctions are sanctions. They could do sanctions which are not very important or don’t do much damage. And then they will have good public relations which says they have sanctions, but it is meaningless. I would suspect if anything, that is what they will start with. If they put sanctions on China in a big way, it brings the whole world economy down. And in the end, it hurts America more than it hurts China because it just forces China and Russia and other countries closer together. Russia and China and other countries are already trying to come up with a new financial system. If America puts sanctions on them, they would have to do it that much faster and in the end America will lose its monopoly on the financial system, which will hurt America more than anybody.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China Dollar Dump Means Hyperinflation – Chris Martenson

China Dollar Dump Means Hyperinflation – Chris Martenson

Resource analyst and futurist Chris Martenson says everyone should be taking notice of our “dangerous markets.” At the center of the danger zone is the declining U.S. dollar.  Martenson explains, “We are talking about a steady erosion of the dollar as a reserve currency.  I think that is most likely.  The only thing that could make that really go fast is some kind of war.  The United States and China, we got to keep our eye on this because Trump has been threatening a trade war with China.  China responded and said if you do that, we may dump the dollar. . . . So, there is all this trade and financial back and forth and maybe even actual war at some point. . . . China has the ability to really impact the dollar in a big way on the world stage.  We better hope it does not come to that because a slow erosion we can adjust to; a quick erosion is going to really roil the markets and maybe blow a few of them up.”

Martenson contends the U.S. could see hyperinflation in a short time if China “dumps the dollar.” Martenson explains, “The way that works is let’s say they want to unload $500 billion on some Tuesday morning.  Who is going to buy that $500 billion?  Who is on the other side of that trade?  Well, if there are not enough people bidding for those dollars, the price has to fall until you find enough people to absorb those, and the dollar would fall in value against all other sorts of other things such as other currencies, oil, gold, silver and all those things. . . .

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China To Dictate Energy Growth In Coming Years

China To Dictate Energy Growth In Coming Years

Oil

Natural gas, renewables expected to grow significantly

The EIA released this year’s International Energy Outlook today, outlining expected trends in energy through 2040.

The International Energy Outlook predicts that total world energy consumption will grow by 28 percent between 2015 and 2040, primarily driven by non-OECD countries. Non-OECD Asia will account for 60 percent of all energy consumption growth in the period. Significant growth is expected in natural gas and renewables consumption, with increases also seen in oil and nuclear power.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: EIA

OPEC will continue to fuel most demand growth

The IEO projects that oil and other liquids will remain the primary world energy source, with consumption growing by 18 percent in upcoming years. Like most other sectors, the growth in oil consumption will be driven by non-OECD countries, as OECD demand is projected to be roughly constant in upcoming years. The EIA expects OPEC to provide most of the increase in oil supply, with only small increases coming from non-OPEC nations.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: EIA

(Click to enlarge)

Source: EIA

Natural gas consumption will increase 43 percent thanks to China

Natural gas consumption is expected to increase by 43 percent through 2040, driven by increases in China. Increasing demand for low carbon intensity, reliable power will drive significant expansion natural gas in electricity generation.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: EIA

Near the end of the projection, natural gas is also expected to see significant growth as a transportation fuel. According to the EIA, new rules on marine fuels and the growing spread between oil and natural gas prices are projected to lead to a greater use of LNG as a maritime fuel towards the end of the projection.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Suddenly, “De-Dollarization” Is A Thing

Suddenly, “De-Dollarization” Is A Thing

For what seems like decades, other countries have been tiptoeing away from their dependence on the US dollar. China, Russia, and India have cut deals in which they agree to accept each others’ currencies for bi-lateral trade while Europe, obviously, designed the euro to be a reserve asset and international medium of exchange.

These were challenges to the dollar’s dominance, but they weren’t mortal threats.

What’s happening lately, however, is a lot more serious. It even has an ominous-sounding name: de-dollarization. Here’s an excerpt from a much longer article by “strategic risk consultant” F. William Engdahl:

Gold, Oil and De-Dollarization? Russia and China’s Extensive Gold Reserves, China Yuan Oil Market

(Global Research) – China, increasingly backed by Russia—the two great Eurasian nations—are taking decisive steps to create a very viable alternative to the tyranny of the US dollar over world trade and finance. Wall Street and Washington are not amused, but they are powerless to stop it.So long as Washington dirty tricks and Wall Street machinations were able to create a crisis such as they did in the Eurozone in 2010 through Greece, world trading surplus countries like China, Japan and then Russia, had no practical alternative but to buy more US Government debt—Treasury securities—with the bulk of their surplus trade dollars. Washington and Wall Street could print endless volumes of dollars backed by nothing more valuable than F-16s and Abrams tanks. China, Russia and other dollar bond holders in truth financed the US wars that were aimed at them, by buying US debt. Then they had few viable alternative options.

Viable Alternative Emerges
Now, ironically, two of the foreign economies that allowed the dollar an artificial life extension beyond 1989—Russia and China—are carefully unveiling that most feared alternative, a viable, gold-backed international currency and potentially, several similar currencies that can displace the unjust hegemonic role of the dollar today.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Cardinal Sin Of Investing: Permanent Impairment Of Capital

Victor Moussa/Shutterstock

The Cardinal Sin Of Investing: Permanent Impairment Of Capital

How to avoid making it
Last week we presented a parade of indicators published by Grant Williams and Lance Roberts that warned of an approaching market correction as well as a coming economic recession.

The key message was: When smart analysts independently find the same patterns in the data, it’s time to take notice.

Well, many of you did, by participating in this week’s Dangerous Markets webinar, which featured Grant and Lance.

In it, both went much deeper into the structural fragility of today’s financial markets and the many reasons why economic growth will remain constrained for years to come.

The excessive build-up of debt in the system — and the absolute dependence on its continued expansion to keep the economy from imploding — is, of course, seen as the prime risk to future growth.

As Lance demonstrates here with several of his excellent charts, so much leverage has been taken on that its servicing is increasingly stealing capital that would otherwise go to savings, consumption and productive investment. Going forward, the demands of the debt service will simply result in less and less capital available left over to grow the economy:

As financial assets are (supposed to be) valued on future growth prospects, lower forecasted growth demands lower valuations. Grant calculates that, should the US see another decade of 2% average annual GDP growth (and it has averaged less than that over the past decade), stock prices should be roughly half of what they are today to be considered fairly valued:

And Lance builds further on this, explaining how this moribund growth, coupled with America’s aging demographic trend, will simply savage the nation’s (already troublesomely underfunded) pension and entitlement systems:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

An Economic Lesson for China and Russia

An Economic Lesson for China and Russia

After years of endless military threats against Russia—remember CIA deputy director Mike Morell saying on TV (Charlie Rose show) that the US should start killing Russians to give them a message, and Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley threatening “We’ll beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before”—now the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatens China. If China doesn’t abide by Washington’s new sanctions on North Korea, Mnuchin said the US “will put additional sanctions on them [China] and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system.”
https://www.rt.com/usa/403118-usa-china-sanctions-north-korea/

Here is the broke US government $20 trillion in public debt, having to print money with which to buy its own bonds, threatening the second largest economy in the world, an economy on purchasing power parity terms that is larger than the US economy.

Take a moment to think about Mnuchin’s threat to China. How many US firms are located in China? It is not only Apple and Nike. Would sanctions on China mean that the US firms could not sell their Chinese made products in the US or anywhere outside China? Do you think the global US corporations would stand for this?

What if China responded by nationalizing all US factories and all Western owned banks in China and Hong Kong?

Mnuchin is like the imbecile Nikki Haley. He doesn’t know who he is threatening.

Consider Mnuchin’s threat to exclude China from the international dollar system. Nothing could do more harm to the US and more good to China. A huge amount of economic transactions would simply exit the dollar system, reducing its scope and importance.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Threatens To Cut Off China From SWIFT If It Violates North Korea Sanctions

US Threatens To Cut Off China From SWIFT If It Violates North Korea Sanctions

In an unexpectedly strong diplomatic escalation, one day after China agreed to vote alongside the US (and Russia) during Monday’s United National Security Council vote in passing the watered down North Korea sanctions, the US warned that if China were to violate or fail to comply with the newly imposed sanctions against Kim’s regime, it could cut off Beijing’s access to both the US financial system as well as the “international dollar system.”

Speaking at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference on Tuesday, Steven Mnuchin said that China had agreed to “historic” North Korean sanctions during Monday’s United Nations vote. “We worked very closely with the U.N.  I’m very pleased with the resolution that was just passed.  This is some of the strongest items.  We now have more tools in our toolbox, and we will continue to use them and put additional sanctions on North Korea until they stop this behavior.”

In response, Andrew Ross Sorkin countered that “we haven’t been able to move the needle on China, which seems to be the real mover on this, in terms of being able to apply the real pressure. What do you think the issue is?  What is the problem?”

The stunner was revealed in Mnuchin’s answer: “I think we have absolutely moved the needle on China.  I think what they agreed to yesterday was historic.  I’d also say I put sanctions on a major Chinese bank.  That’s the first time that’s ever been done.  And if China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the U.S. and international dollar system.  And that’s quite meaningful.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Behold a Pale Horse, and its Rider is Death

Behold a Pale Horse, and its Rider is Death

The US national debt is now over $20 trillion, and Washington is fomenting more wars.

The entire world is helping Washington foment wars—including two targeted countries themselves—Russia and China—both of which are helping Washington foment more wars. Believe it or not, both Russia and China voted with Washington on the UN Security Council to impose more and harsher sanctions on North Korea, a country guilty of nothing but a desire to have the means to protect itself from the US and not become yet another Washington victim like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Serbia, and Ukraine overthrown in a US coup and now poverty-stricken.

I once thought that Russia and China were checks on Washington’s unilateralism, but apparently not. Both governments have been knuckled under by Washington and both voted to punish North Korea for striving to be sufficiently armed to protect its sovereignty from Washington.

Why are Russia and China repeating their same mistake that they made when they supported Washington’s no-fly UN resolution for Libya, a resolution that Washington and NATO stood on its head when they launched air attacks that helped the CIA organized “jihadists” overthrow Libya’s progressive government and murder Gaddafi?

Russia knows that it is surrounded by US nuclear and military bases. So does China. The question is: have Russia and China capitulated out of fear? Or is their cooperation with Washington a ruse while they prepare their own strike on Washington, or are the two misguided governments trying to cooperate with Washington a la sanctions so as to avoid having to confront a US military attack on North Korea?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Matter Of “Trust”: A Look Inside China’s Crackdown Of Its $3 Trillion Shadow Banking Industry

A Matter Of “Trust”: A Look Inside China’s Crackdown Of Its $3 Trillion Shadow Banking Industry 

As discussed here in mid-August, when China reported its latest credit data, for the first time in 9 months China’s trillion Shadow Banking Industry – defined as the sum of Trust Loans, Entrusted Loans and Undiscounted Bank Loans – contracted.

These three key components combined resulted in a 64BN yuan drain in credit from China’s economy, the first negative print since October, seen by analysts as more evidence that Beijing’s campaign to contain shadow banking and quash risks to the financial system, is starting to bear fruit.

And, as a follow up report from Reuters overnight details, the crackdown against unregulated shadow financing is accelerating, noting that as the flood of unregulated cash swirls through the Chinese economy, Beijing has been taking aim at the trust companies whose unrestrained lending practices are worrying regulators. The trusts, which as we have discussed previously are at the heart of a vast shadow banking industry, are being pressured to step up compliance and background checks, and are being pushed towards greater transparency.

Something strange is going on in the financial system. And according to The Wall Street Journal, it’s causing some investors to move massive amounts of money out of the banking system.

But the fast-growing 20 trillion yuan ($3 trillion) industry, whose lending operations are cloaked behind opaque structures, will be tough to rein in, according to employees at some trusts.

As Reuters details, a regulatory sanction against one trust, Shanghai International Trust, and a legal case against another, National Trust, offer rare insights into the industry, and reveals just how hard it will be to police it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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