Monday, March 05, 2012

Woah, China!

Forget The Vest ... fear THIS:
On Monday, China's premier Wen Jiabao lowered the economy's growth target to 7.5 percent from 8 percent, where it has stood for years.  - AP
Early, of course, to sing a dirge but China's "golden era" of ridiculous growth at all costs seems to be getting a bit more expensive these days. Expect to SLOWLY see:
  • Reduction in expenditures for extravagant infrastructure projects
  • Asset management shift from their current stance (overweight US Treasuries) to something more akin to Singapore's Temasek
  • A review of the commercial tax and licensing structure (hopefully not a Chinese Raj)
  • A harder line on international trade, both in terms of limitations and in terms of tariffs
  • An attempt to diversify labor-intensive businesses across labor pools (inner-China manufacturing zones, African investment zones) 
  • Industrialization deeper into inner-China
  • All of which will help pay for increased, but highly-targeted social support funding including medical care and pensions, as well as their continued military build-up
  • Targeted efforts to increase enforcement, probably with a focus on IP law, financial regulation, governance (as the Economist said a few weeks back, the Chinese government is the only group that has actually read the entire Dodd-Frank act)
  • Maybe even some efforts to address environmental sustainability issues

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