Guest post by Joe Hoft
Jerome Powell of the Fed is like a mad-man trying to destroy the US economy.
His actions are devastating, irresponsible and insane!
He doesn’t realize that in doing this he may actually destroy China’s economy instead.
As we reported a month ago, over the past few decades, China opened its borders and corporations around the world fled to China due to its cheap labor costs. As a result, China’s economy exploded. From Falling Eagle, Rising Tigers —
While the US is moving more and more towards a welfare state, China is moving more and more towards prosperity. “Since the launch of economic reform in 1978 more people (in China) have been made materially better off in a shorter span of time than ever before in human history.”
China’s rise out of poverty has been dramatic. For example, considering a consumption threshold of $1 a day using the 1993 Power Purchasing Parities (PPP), the World Bank tracked a reduction of poverty from 652 million Chinese people in 1981 to 135 million in 2004. China’s anti-poverty performance is even remarkable with a standard of $1.25 a day at 2005 PPP. “The numbers in poverty by this measure dropped from 848 million in 1981 to 351 million in 2004. This denotes that there were 517 ($1 standard) or 497 million ($1.25 standard) people who had escaped from absolute poverty during 1981-2004.” A half a billion Chinese citizens have risen out of poverty due to China’s changing policies!
The Chinese were relentless in their efforts to obtain Western technology and grow their economy. They set up trade barriers and manipulated their currency in ways that helped China. The US was at a disadvantage in trade resulting in massive deficits into the billions.
Along comes the Trump Administration, the first administration to address China’s unfair trade advantage. President Trump is a shrewd negotiator and he obviously believes now is the time to encourage China to make changes to their trade barriers with the US. China may have no choice but to go with what the US offers to keep its economy afloat.
The more pressing issues for China surround real estate, in a manner similar to the US in 2008. As China grew, it invested in its infrastructure and in addition it invested in large housing projects throughout the country. These efforts helped bolster China’s already fast growing economy.
The problem is that China over invested in these random properties all over China and these properties today remain empty.
(See below pictures of real estate projects the middle of China (Hubei Province) – massive but mostly empty.)
There simply are not enough people in the area where these massive complexes were built that make enough money to afford living in these communities. It appears that the Chinese communists and their misunderstanding of supply and demand economics may be their downfall.
These many properties throughout China sit unoccupied, and there is a cost to this. Bloomberg reported in September –
Cash-to-short-term debt levels at more than 80 publicly traded real estate companies tracked by Bloomberg were 133 percent on average in the first half, the worst since the first six months of 2015 and down from 297 percent a year earlier. Almost a quarter of developers sport a ratio below 50 percent.
In addition, Bloomberg noted:
But while business has been booming, developers have also been piling on the debt. Firms have been selling more bonds in the domestic market — and at the cheapest rates as investors shrug off default concerns. Those with dollar-denominated obligations, meanwhile, face higher borrowing costs as the U.S. Federal Reserves continues on its tightening path.
The amount of debt related to China’s over development is massive. The total amount is unknown with S&P estimating the amount not reported by local communities and banks being over $6 trillion:
China may be sitting on a hidden debt pile of as much as 40 trillion yuan ($6 trillion), concealed off-balance-sheet by the country’s local governments, according to research from S&P Global Ratings.
Many local governments in China raise debt and hold it off their balance sheet, in order to avoid lending limits imposed by central authorities. S&P says that this is a growing problem within the country, and that the amount of debt held this way has likely ballooned in recent years.
The China government may have to take over these debts as they become insolvent –
Not only is the level of hidden debt held by local governments in the world’s second largest economy rising, but so too is the risk of those debts being defaulted on. Much of the debt is held by so-called local government financing vehicles (LGFVs), and S&P reports that central government may be willing to let these vehicles file for bankruptcy in the future.
“Default risk of LGFVs is on the rise. China has opened up the possibility of insolvent LGFVs filing for bankruptcy, but managing the default aftermath is a formidable task for top leadership,” the report noted….
The country’s total non-financial sector debt, which includes household, corporate and government debt, will surge to almost 300% of GDP by 2022, up from 242% in 2016. Fears abound that if this debt pile continues to grow, a spectacular blow up could be imminent.
Now to add to China’s misery, the Fed is doing all it can to kill the US economy. China is dependent on the US economy to stay afloat.
The Dow Jones dropped 653 points on Monday. The Dow is down 5,036 since its all-time high on October 3, 2018. The market collapse is due to the Fed’s Jerome Powell’s comments right after the last all time high stating that he was going to raise rates regularly into the future.
Since Jerome Powell’s comments on October 3rd and continuing promises of rate hikes the Dow Jones is down now 18.7%.
The Fed lowered interest rates to 0% for the Obama Administration and kept these rates at 0% for the first 7 years of Obama’s time in office. Finally, the Fed increased the interest rates 0.25% in late 2015 for the only increase during Obama’s Presidency up to the 2016 election.
After President Trump won the November 2016 election, the Fed began a steady program of increasing interest rates. This program continues to this day and in total the Fed has increased rates 8 times since Trump won the Presidency. The rates now stand at 2.25% and as a result of these horrible and political actions, the Trump economy and Americans’ 401(k)’s are being devastated by the Fed.
Jerome Powell at the Fed is killing the markets single handedly –
Top US economist Stephen Moore stated –
Unfortunately, if you cut engine power too far on a jetliner, it will stall and drop out of the sky.
On Wednesday, December 19, despite the numerous market-based alarms that were sounding in the cockpit, Chairman Powell and his co-pilots on the FOMC voted to raise the Fed Funds rate to 2.50%. This sucks more dollars out of the economy at a time when the world demanding more dollars – thanks to Trump’s Tax cutting and deregulation policies.
Chairman Powell has been entirely tone deaf to the financial markets he seeks to protect. The Dow Jones Industrial average, which had risen by 382 points on hopes that the Fed would listen to President Trump and stop cutting power, plunged by 895 points after the 2:00 PM announcement, and closed the day down 352 points (1.49%). Poof, trillions of dollars of wealth vanished.
Since its peak on October 3, which, not coincidentally, was right after Chairman Powell gave a speech suggesting that the Fed might be through tightening money, the Dow has fallen by more than 3,500 points [now 4,500]. Market fears about his bad judgment have cut the value of all U.S. stocks by about $4.5 trillion, which is enough to buy 16,000 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
The Fed economists use twisted logic that the economy is “strong enough” to absorb the rate hikes – which is simply an admission that their policy will slow growth.
Also, what’s not in the mainstream yet is how the Fed is adding billions to the annual US debt with their corrupt and crooked policy of raising rates on the Trump Administration.