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BirdGuano
12-14-2008, 03:22 PM
http://www1.polb.com/economics/stats/latest_teus.asp
http://www.portoflosangeles.org/maritime/stats.asp
http://www.portseattle.org/downloads/seaport/mcps.pdf

Port of Los Angeles:
November outbound traffic was down 12.83% and inbound traffic was down 9.69% worse than October, and down 10.4% for a single month.

Port of Long Beach:
November traffic inbound was down 13.6% compared with year-ago, outbound traffic down 23.6%, down 16.8% for just November.

Port of Seattle:
November traffic was down 14% over October, which was down 19% over September, and down 11.5% YTD.

OUCH.

penguinzee
12-14-2008, 07:49 PM
BG,
do you have access to the year-over-year numbers? Methinks that would be more telling (same thing as same-store sales)

Franc (penguinzee)

BirdGuano
12-14-2008, 08:47 PM
BG,
do you have access to the year-over-year numbers? Methinks that would be more telling (same thing as same-store sales)

Franc (penguinzee)

Seattle has numbers on the website going back 10 years.

I haven't had time to research any of the others.

Ought Six
12-14-2008, 11:52 PM
This is unsurprising, as we knew imports from China are way down. When the people in China that have been lifted from a peasant existence to a middle class lifestyle are going to have that taken from them, and that they are going back to being peasants, things are really going to get ugly there.

Fiddlerdave
12-15-2008, 02:01 AM
This is unsurprising, as we knew imports from China are way down. When the people in China that have been lifted from a peasant existence to a middle class lifestyle are going to have that taken from them, and that they are going back to being peasants, things are really going to get ugly there.:lol: That is not going to happen.

The Chinese are almost debt free personally and governmentally. Peope have an enormous savings rate. If 1/4 of the people spend $500 of personal savings or debt, and the government spends the cash on hand laying around on stimulus, they have 3 or 4 trillion of consumer spending and instrastructure to glide right throught the next couple of years with only temporary transitional issues, while not even getting tot he debt levlsw had 30 years ago..

Nationally debt free, with enormous personal savings and an enormous manufacturing capability built and ready to turn out products for any market, foreign or deomestic. In what way does this harbinger doom?

To even compare their problems to the USA is absurd.

Susie
12-15-2008, 02:10 AM
When the people in China that have been lifted from a peasant existence to a middle class lifestyle are going to have that taken from them, and that they are going back to being peasants, things are really going to get ugly there.

This is nothing compared to what the rest of will have to learn to live with. At least the Chinese remember how to live that way.

Ought Six
12-15-2008, 03:02 AM
Fd:" :lol: That is not going to happen."You have been signing this same song for a while now, while conditions in China steadily deteriorate. Their economy has worsened there far more quickly than anyone predicted. The growth estimates keep getting revised downward a couple more points every month. Exports have declined for the first time in seven years, and that trend is accellerating. Literally thousands of factories have closed, and millions of migrant low-end workers have been forced to return to the countryside. Where the middle class used to be able to hop from job to job, getting raises every time, they are now silent and scared. Nobody asks for a raise. They are just waiting for the inevitable white collar layoffs to begin, and hoping that they will be one of those that keep their jobs. This is the new reality in the Chinese middle class.
----------"The Chinese are almost debt free personally and governmentally. Peope have an enormous savings rate. If 1/4 of the people spend $500 of personal savings or debt, and the government spends the cash on hand laying around on stimulus, they have 3 or 4 trillion of consumer spending and instrastructure to glide right throught the next couple of years with only temporary transitional issues, while not even getting tot he debt levlsw had 30 years ago.

"Nationally debt free, with enormous personal savings and an enormous manufacturing capability built and ready to turn out products for any market, foreign or deomestic. In what way does this harbinger doom?"Really? The Chinese workers do not see it that way at all, and obviously they know their own situation, while you merely speculate. They are scared and angry. See below.
----------"To even compare their problems to the USA is absurd."You are right. We have bad problems, but the Chinese have a fragile, young economy and a really poor, limited and incomplete infrastructure. They have had frequent days where the factories must shut down becauase the power it out. In most areas, roads are poor and power is only available in the wealthier towns and cities. The southeastern manufacturing area is pretty small compared to the nation as a whole, but the nation's economy depends almost entirely on that small region. China's plan counts on ongoing rapid expansion. They keep revising down their goals, but have drawn the line at 8% growth in GDP next year as the absolute minimum acceptable. Less than that, and massive layoffs are a certaintly. Many prominent economists who specialize in China have already revised their forecasts down to 5.5% and below for 2009, and those estimates just keep dropping.

You seem to think that they can live off of their own fat, and keep going by sitting back and selling stuff to each other. But if their young economy stagnates while the world is in recession for a few years, the already strained infrastructe will not get the maintenance it is already lacking, much less get expanded. Things will start to crumble.

America is much more diverse, and has a much more established and mature economy. We have bounced back many, many times in the past from bad recessions, and will do so again. We do not suffer from the hidebound central planning, the rampant corruption, and the horrifying lack of quality control and oversight that Chinese industry does. China can produce a lot of things, but who is going to buy it? To you want poisonous medicines, toxic toys, or tainted foodstuffs? As the recovery starts in the rest of the world, China will remain isolated because few will want to buy their goods. The 'Made In China' label is now radioactive so far as consumers worldwide are concerned. They have destroyed their own economic miracle, and they will continue to slide downward as the rest of the world once again gets back to business.

================================================== ==========

Chinese Economy Faces Darker Days (http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/China-Unemployment-Fears-Financial-Crisis-Could-Lead-To-Unrest-Government-Worries/Article/200812215176948)


Holly Williams, Asia reporter
Sky News
Thursday December 11, 2008


The Chinese government is warning that massive unemployment could spark unrest, as the financial crisis hits the country harder than expected.

pay, and told to leave company premises. But things didn't go as the factory's management had planned.

Instead, the day turned violent. Disgruntled former employees smashed windows and computers, the police were called to remove them, and as darkness fell, a police car was overturned and three laid-off workers ended up in hospital.

The next day, they were back at the factory's gates in an uneasy stand off with the two dozen extra security guards brought in by the factory boss. Visibly angry, the laid-off employees displayed bruises from the previous day's encounter.

But their bigger concern was an uncertain future. The Chinese toy industry has been badly hit by the financial crisis. Since the beginning of this year 3,000 factories have gone out of business.

When a factory manager finally emerged, he told Sky News that all of the former employees had been laid off "in accordance with the Chinese law". That was cold comfort for the men and women gathered at his gates, many of whom had worked at the factory for over a decade.

Until very recently, such scenes were unthinkable in China's miracle economy.

The country's enviable growth rates - nearly 10% over the last 25 years - have been fuelled by its export-driven manufacturing sector.

In the country's wealthy coastal provinces villages have transformed themselves into factory boomtowns; rice paddies have been drained and converted into 'high-tech export zones'; communist apparatchiks have become CEOs.

The boom has precipitated massive social change as hundreds of millions of peasant farmers from China's poor interior have left their land and moved to the city. Re-invented as factory workers, their labour has made China the workshop of the world.

But in the last few months factory closures have become common.

Dongguan City - two decades ago a village, now home to a population of 7m factory workers - is dotted with deserted factories. Signs bearing the Chinese characters zhaofang - 'for rent' - flutter in the wind on empty streets.

Christopher Devereux is a British middleman whose company, China Savvy, helps European firms source Chinese goods.

"We had a factory working for us, and they called us at nine o'clock at night one evening. They said: 'clear everything that you've got out of our factory because we're closing first thing tomorrow.' And by the next day they were gone. There was a padlock on the door and that was it."

At Guangzhou City railway station, southern China's main hub, an extraordinary migration is taking place. Having flooded into the city for two decades, China's peasant farmers are now heading back to their villages, back to a life on the land. With no jobs, city life has quickly lost its allure.

Since peasant farmers aren't counted in official Chinese unemployment statistics, it's impossible to quantify the size of the exodus. But anecdotal reports in Chinese newspapers suggest it is enormous.

One city in central China reported 100,000 men and women arriving back from the south. Another town in Sichuan province, said that 40,000 migrant workers had arrived home in the course of a few months.

The phenomenon has worried China's government.

The country's premier, Wen Jiabao, recently said that the impact of the financial crisis in China was "worse than expected".

His government has launched a £375bn stimulus package, much of which will be spent on infrastructure projects like ports and roads - aimed at boosting domestic consumption as export demand falls off.

"Any government fears large numbers of people moving around," said China analyst Peter Batey.

"And if you have many tens of millions that have come off the land in west and central China and moved to the coast, and they're forced to go back, that inevitably means dislocation. Dislocation breeds instability."

Most China watchers agree that the country's economy will likely prove to be resilient in the global financial crisis. Its Third Quarter growth rate fell to 9% - low for China, yet still the envy of the rest of the world.

But in train stations and villages, and outside factory gates, the financial crisis has arrived, and its pain is being felt acutely - by the country's workers, as well as its leaders.

[center]================================================== ==========

[center]‘Factory of the world' hammered on all sides (http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081204.wchina1206/BNStory/Business/home)


JAMES POMFRET

Reuters

December 7, 2008 at 9:00 AM EST

DONGGUAN, China — Strolling the production lines of his toy factory in southern China, Peter Lin barks orders as hundreds of workers in green overalls snap wheels onto toy cars and put tiny batteries into die-cast replica jets.

Twelve months ago, Mr. Lin could rest easy. Despite the shadow of U.S. toy giant Mattel's massive recall of China-made toys, business was good.

Most of his orders were locked in, and containers full of his toys were steaming for ports in the United States and Europe to fill store shelves in time for Christmas.

This year, with more than half of China's toy makers having gone bust, he's racked with doubt.

“We're carrying a big boulder across a river right now,” said Mr. Lin, who opened his Dongguan factory 12 years ago.

“In January, things may get even more serious. My conservative estimate is that orders will fall 30 [per cent] to 40 per cent more,” said Mr. Lin, whose orders were down 15 per cent this year.

Over the past year or so, China's southern manufacturing hub of Guangdong province has taken a flurry of different blows, devastating its “factory of the world” business model.

The voracious demand of Western consumers for cheaply made Chinese goods has shrivelled with the global financial crisis; the appreciating yuan has made goods more expensive; quality concerns hit orders after the lead-tainted toy scandal; and a new labour law has raised production costs.

In many of the dusty boom towns dotted about the industrial hinterlands of the Pearl River Delta, the effects of a sharp slowdown are increasingly evident.

Main streets that once bustled with factory workers on their evenings off are now much quieter, fewer container trucks rumble to the nearby port in Hong Kong and hordes of disenchanted migrant workers have headed home.

Social tensions have also risen, with blue-collar crowds more and more willing to protest against layoffs at stricken firms.

“Even without the financial crisis, many of the firms have been in a difficult situation … and the scale of difficulty for those affected regions may be unprecedented since 1978,” said Xiang Bing, dean of the Cheung Kong Graduate School in Beijing, referring to the year when China embarked on market reforms.

Outside the shuttered Winbest Electronics and Plastics factory in Dongguan's Fenggang township, a few people walked the sidewalks, scouting for work.

“I want to find a stable, good job. But … jobs are few and competition for work is great,” said Wang Jinse, who recently lost his job in a nearby factory making MP3 players.

The credit crunch has also seen a tightening of bank loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises already struggling with late client payments and stunted cash flows.

All this has had a domino effect among the region's vast web of suppliers, which churn out a mind-boggling array of products, ranging from cars, toasters and watches to bras, leather sofas and iPods.

Jessey Chen, general manager of Keystone Electric Wire and Cable Co., said the new labour contract law, aimed at protecting employees' pay and rights, has aggravated workplace disputes and reduced flexibility for companies to hire and fire at a time of great business uncertainty.

“There's been a big conflict between employees and employers. Workers have been grabbing as much money as they can and their expectations can't be met, so a lot of arguments ensue,” he said.

In November, hundreds of workers at a toy factory in Dongguan rioted and clashed with police, smashing offices and overturning police cars in a violent dispute over severance payouts for laid-off workers.

More than half of China's 3,631 toy exporters went bust in the first seven months of 2008, according to the Xinhua news agency, citing statistics released by the General Administration of Customs.

Guangdong, which produces more than 30 per cent of the world's toys, according to media reports, has suffered 1,391 toy factory closings in 2008 so far.

The Federation of Hong Kong Industries has warned that up to a quarter of about 70,000 Hong Kong-based factories could close in a worst-case scenario. While official projections are not so dire, many are bracing for serious damage in vulnerable low-value sectors such as textiles, toys and furniture.

An October survey of 200 Dongguan manufacturers of toys, electronics and plastics said production costs had increased 29 to 43 per cent this year, while profits were down 20 to 27 per cent.

Little was done when factory owners first began asking the central government to grant assistance to ease their woes.

In November, however, Premier Wen Jiabao paid a high-profile visit to Dongguan that was swiftly followed by support measures, including more generous export tax rebates for industries such as garment makers and assistance in seeking bank loans.

Several cities in the Pearl River Delta, including Dongguan, Shenzhen and Foshan, have teamed up to staunch the pain by guaranteeing bank loans, pruning various fees and charges and reversing tax rebate cuts. Huizhou even suspended its minimum wage law.

“I've been making very daring proposals to local officials that I wouldn't normally even voice,” said Eddie Leung, a Hong Kong industrialist who has lobbied hard for support measures.

“They can see the situation now is critical,” said Mr. Leung, who heads the Dongguan City Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment, the group that conducted the profit survey.

On a national level, the central bank has slashed interest rates and the government has trumpeted a four-trillion-yuan ($740-billion) economic stimulus package.

Guangdong was one of several provinces that rushed to capitalize on the government's intention to boost investment, announcing plans to launch 222 projects over five years worth 2.3 trillion yuan.

At a recent banquet in Dongguan's Qishi township to honour overseas industrialists, the mood was convivial. But as the wine flowed, officials struck a realistic note.

“Dongguan enterprises are still facing many problems. Financing is a big factor, and the new labour laws have sparked differences in interpretation,” Liu Shuji, a senior local politician, said in a speech.

Looking ahead, experts say the Pearl River Delta must innovate and upgrade its manufacturing sector to regain its edge.

The Bauhinia Foundation, a Hong Kong think tank, sees a bright future for the region, and believes the value of its output could match that of the New York metropolitan area by 2038.

To do so, however, the delta must integrate its infrastructure more closely with that of services-oriented Hong Kong, the Bauhinia Foundation said in an October report.

The region also needs to upgrade industries now dominated by the export processing trade, which it said was “relatively low in the industry chain and value chain, with a high degree of homogeneity, low technology content and little added value.”

For Bernard Ho, investment manager with Hong Kong-listed Luen Thai Holdings Ltd., which manufactures products for global brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. and adidas AG in factories across the Delta, the stakes couldn't be higher at this testing time.

“Guangdong is China's southern gateway and economic engine,” he said.

“If it fails, then China fails. It's as simple as that.”

Fiddlerdave
12-15-2008, 04:37 AM
America is much more diverse, and has a much more established and mature economy. We have bounced back many, many times in the past from bad recessions, and will do so again. We do not suffer from the hidebound central planning, the rampant corruption, and the horrifying lack of quality control and oversight that Chinese industry does. China can produce a lot of things, but who is going to buy it? To you want poisonous medicines, toxic toys, or tainted foodstuffs? As the recovery starts in the rest of the world, China will remain isolated because few will want to buy their goods. The 'Made In China' label is now radioactive so far as consumers worldwide are concerned. They have destroyed their own economic miracle, and they will continue to slide downward as the rest of the world once again gets back to business.How do we not suffer from the "horrifying lack of quality control and oversight"? We have NONE, that's how poisonous products were sold here in the USA.

What "business" is the USA going to go back to? I think derivative instruments from Wall Street are far more unpopular than any Chinese product, and our economy is not more diverse, it has been stripped of all the manufacturing and many technical operations. We have to rebuild those from scratch - where is the money going to come from? Small business owners are even losing the credit cards that are their financing now.

The "Made in China" label is not a problem at all, just remove the label. Our captains of industry continue to block meaningful labeling, and everyone consumes products from China every day, no matter how hard they try. The Dollar salvage stores are full of Chinese products, and more people every day will ask no questions as inflation and joblessness rises, Chinese products will be ever more in demand. Unseen poisons are a remote threat to the needy.

China will get the remains of any consumer demand at all, because in many cases there will be no competition.

All you described is simply a boom economy slowing down, we will see if their GDP ever even goes negative. The end of quicky job hopping for raises? They are still waiting for white collar jobs to slow down? Growth rate down to 9% (actually probably 8% by now)? Such woe! We have doubled our national debt in 12 months! And FAR, FAR more will need to be spent before we hit bottom. My point that China needs to merely scratch the surface of debt to have years of comfortable "getting by". We are already in desperate straits.

But you do fail to understand why I bring this up. Every scenario I see concerning USA's survival involves players like China supporting our economic options. I doubt this will happen as we wish. They are NOT our friend, and the whole rest of the world is willing and ready to do business with them (they have cash and goods both!) Our situation will be heavily affected by their desires, and they desire to be a major player with lots of control. We will either play their game, or suffer many consequences, and we should prepare for much worse.

Pretending China is going to collapse and fade away is serious denial.

frodo
12-15-2008, 02:54 PM
O-6, I wouldn't write off the Chinese just yet, and I wouldn't slag off about their quality control either. Once the Chinese know exactly what quality is required they are very very good at producing to that standard, in fact better than the Japanese, speaking from experience in the textile industry.

The reason we get low quality crap product from China is because that's what Wal Mart and others ask for. The Chinese have a tendency to "cheese pare" on product quality if they think it's unimportant to us, or if they think they won't get caught, but if you are serious about quality, they will comply.

rb.
12-15-2008, 03:18 PM
I'd rather pay 2 or even 3 times more for products made in industrialized countries that don't have to be told not to sub poisons for other ingredients in toothpaste, baby pacifiers, milk, pet food, etc. How many "scares" are needed for them to learn about our expectations of quality?

Ought Six
12-15-2008, 05:55 PM
Fd:"How do we not suffer from the "horrifying lack of quality control and oversight"? We have NONE, that's how poisonous products were sold here in the USA."This, as most of us already know, is patently false. We have good controls on things produced here. What we lack is adequate screening of imports. With the recent instances of toxic Chinese imports, that is finally being addressed.
----------"What "business" is the USA going to go back to? I think derivative instruments from Wall Street are far more unpopular than any Chinese product, and our economy is not more diverse, it has been stripped of all the manufacturing and many technical operations. We have to rebuild those from scratch - where is the money going to come from? Small business owners are even losing the credit cards that are their financing now."Funny, we have the biggest economy in the world, yet we have "no business to go back to". :lol:
----------"The "Made in China" label is not a problem at all, just remove the label. Our captains of industry continue to block meaningful labeling, and everyone consumes products from China every day, no matter how hard they try. The Dollar salvage stores are full of Chinese products, and more people every day will ask no questions as inflation and joblessness rises, Chinese products will be ever more in demand. Unseen poisons are a remote threat to the needy."Says Dave, looking deep into his crystal ball.... :D

I guess everyone will forget about all the problems and buy toxic toys for their kids, and buy toxic food imports from China. The flaw in your premise, even if we accepted such a silly claim, is that as I said, the toxic imports have forced changes. How many American companies putting their brand names on Chinese-made products want to face the kind of massive recall that Mattel did, involving millions of toys and costing them tens of millions of dollars? And how many companies want to face potentially up to billions of dollars of liability because they sold toxic products that poisoned people, or exposed children to lead? And then there is the terrible damage that such recalls do to brand names companies have spent decades and millions of dollars building, advertising, and getting consumers to trust.
----------"China will get the remains of any consumer demand at all, because in many cases there will be no competition."American companies who want their products produced overseas are now looking outside China, big-time. India, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and others stand to gain, while China stands to lose. I think we are going to see this trend increasing steadily.
----------"All you described is simply a boom economy slowing down, we will see if their GDP ever even goes negative. The end of quicky job hopping for raises? They are still waiting for white collar jobs to slow down? Growth rate down to 9% (actually probably 8% by now)? Such woe! We have doubled our national debt in 12 months! And FAR, FAR more will need to be spent before we hit bottom. My point that China needs to merely scratch the surface of debt to have years of comfortable "getting by". We are already in desperate straits."Their young economy is build entirely on the premise of rapid expansion. If expansion slows, the economy starts dying. All the economists are saying the same thing; that for now, the layoffs are mainly low-end migrant workers, but if China fails to meet their 8% increase in GDP, the layoffs in white collar jobs begin in earnest. With ongoing price increases, an 8% increase means producing about the same amount of goods or even less, and just selling them at this year's higher price. If their economy goes from growth into stagnation or decline, they do not have the complexity or depth of a long-established economy, and cannot hold it all together. It will begin to crumble.
----------"But you do fail to understand why I bring this up. Every scenario I see concerning USA's survival involves players like China supporting our economic options. I doubt this will happen as we wish. They are NOT our friend, and the whole rest of the world is willing and ready to do business with them (they have cash and goods both!) Our situation will be heavily affected by their desires, and they desire to be a major player with lots of control. We will either play their game, or suffer many consequences, and we should prepare for much worse. Pretending China is going to collapse and fade away is serious denial."I never said they will "fade away". Nearly a billion and a half people will obviously not disappear. I said that the way things are going, they have some extremely serious challenges to face, and no good solutions to the problems they have in large part created for themselves.

================================================== =========================================

f:"O-6, I wouldn't write off the Chinese just yet...."I am not. See the last paragraph of my response to Dave above.
----------".... and I wouldn't slag off about their quality control either. Once the Chinese know exactly what quality is required they are very very good at producing to that standard, in fact better than the Japanese, speaking from experience in the textile industry."Their infrastructure is not well suited to turning out high-quality goods. I think they are going to have a lot of trouble even rising to the quality level of the Koreans, much less the Japanese.
----------"The reason we get low quality crap product from China is because that's what Wal Mart and others ask for."They could import high-quality items and compete in the markets that demand them, but they do not. As a business strategy, they have focused on the low end. Their machines are set up to make cheap goods. If we suddenly demanded better quality, they would have to retool *everything* at tremendous cost. But I think the more likely scenario, as I said to Dave, is that the trend of looking outside China to have goods made for American companies will continue to grow, to the detriment of the Chinese economy.
----------"The Chinese have a tendency to "cheese pare" on product quality if they think it's unimportant to us, or if they think they won't get caught, but if you are serious about quality, they will comply."I do not think anyone believed that shipping us millions of tons of pet foods that killed our pets, or toxic seafood, or children's toys with lead paint was in any way, shape or form acceptable. The reality is that China is totally corrupt. Greedy factory owners use cheap, toxic ingredients to save a buck, and they get away with it because there is no oversight there, or the very few overseers there are, are bought off. This is the real issue. But even if they turn it around quickly, the damage is done. Nobody wants to see a 'Made In China' label on anything anymore. It would not surprise me to start seeing the fact that an item was not made in China become a prominent feature on product packaging as a selling point.

CanadaSue
12-15-2008, 06:16 PM
They do have huge, internal problems coming. In allowing their populace, with a growing middle class to have... EXPECTATIONS... they now find themselves in the position of having a tiger by the tail. And the tiger is getting pissed. Chinese individuals & families want what we want, perhaps to a less excessive degree but nevertheless, they have expectations that their hard work will bring them increasing affluence. Possibly even increased freedom over time.

Now, that is threatened as the shaky foundations of those expectations - a rapidly growing export based economy, are fading fast. There's not enough of an internal market yet - I think they needed about another 5 years for that. Worse, where is the now idled migrant labour to go? Much of their former farmlands have been swept up by industry & if those plants are shuttered, (many are), they're still owned & the land the migrants might have farmed in smallholdings is no longer available. Three Gorges swallowed up a lot of farmland & industry is or was, eating up a lot more. Don't forget, China is now a net IMPORTER of rice.

So now they have a continuing demand for imported foodstuffs & fewer working & able to buy even the basics such as food. If that's not a recipe for social unrest, I don't know what is.

jane333
12-15-2008, 08:11 PM
Quote: "...The 'Made In China' label is now radioactive so far as consumers worldwide are concerned. They have destroyed their own economic miracle, and they will continue to slide downward as the rest of the world once again gets back to business..."

Amen. :(

rryan
12-15-2008, 09:33 PM
They do have huge, internal problems coming. In allowing their populace, with a growing middle class to have... EXPECTATIONS... they now find themselves in the position of having a tiger by the tail. And the tiger is getting pissed. Chinese individuals & families want what we want, perhaps to a less excessive degree but nevertheless, they have expectations that their hard work will bring them increasing affluence. Possibly even increased freedom over time.

Now, that is threatened as the shaky foundations of those expectations - a rapidly growing export based economy, are fading fast. There's not enough of an internal market yet - I think they needed about another 5 years for that. Worse, where is the now idled migrant labour to go? Much of their former farmlands have been swept up by industry & if those plants are shuttered, (many are), they're still owned & the land the migrants might have farmed in smallholdings is no longer available. Three Gorges swallowed up a lot of farmland & industry is or was, eating up a lot more. on't forget, China is now a net IMPORTER of rice.

So now they have a continuing demand for imported foodstuffs & fewer working & able to buy even the basics such as food. If that's not a recipe for social unrest, I don't know what is.

yep.

now add in a couple hundred MILLION men reaching "marrying age" with no hope of finding a spouse or girlfriend and you have the formula for something real ugly.

You can all come up with your own conclusions to that one and they may all be correct.

CanadaSue
12-15-2008, 09:59 PM
Excess males have 'traditionally' been used in warfare - pretty axiomatic.

They need, primarily at this stage, LAND to farm... lots of it. And they're running out of time, (maybe), to get it by purchase although they may yet manage that.

I can easily picture tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Chinese labourers quite willing to farm Canadian land. The Chinese are traditionally incredibly hard workers with an astute eye for the long term. We have a lot of marginal farm land that could be improved with a lot of manual labour. I can see them doing it & reclaiming old industrial sites here quite easily.

And YOU have got even better climates for a lot of farming.

Ought Six
12-15-2008, 10:09 PM
CS:

Well put. Right now, the migrant workers are angry, and middle class is just scared. Once the middle class becomes angry as well, things will start to pop. I am afraid that if their economy continues to deteriorate, they may well be in for another Tiananmen Square as protestors get out of control and the PLA is called in.

Therese
12-15-2008, 10:26 PM
How do we not suffer from the "horrifying lack of quality control and oversight"? We have NONE, that's how poisonous products were sold here in the USA.

Excuse me? Do you really believe that the problems we have in this country are anything in comparison to what the Chinese have? You expect us to believe such baloney?

Therese
12-15-2008, 10:32 PM
Quote: "...The 'Made In China' label is now radioactive so far as consumers worldwide are concerned. They have destroyed their own economic miracle, and they will continue to slide downward as the rest of the world once again gets back to business..."

Amen. :(

No kidding!

usda
12-15-2008, 10:45 PM
We have bounced back many, many times in the past from bad recessions, and will do so again. We do not suffer from the hidebound central planning, the rampant corruption,06

I can't tell you how comforting those words are to me...and millions of my fellow citizens...I had been thinking Bernie Madoff was just the tip of the toenail...but now I realize it is just a Jewish abortion and only the 'Chosen ones' were hurt.

The rest of us are just fine!

:beer:

usda
12-15-2008, 10:53 PM
CanadaSue
They do have huge, internal problems coming. In allowing their populace, with a growing middle class to have... EXPECTATIONS... they now find themselves in the position of having a tiger by the tail. And the tiger is getting pissed. Chinese individuals & families want what we want, perhaps to a less excessive degree but nevertheless, they have expectations that their hard work will bring them increasing affluence. Possibly even increased freedom over time.

But the Communist have all their armed forces in house...they don't have to bring back a few brigades to police the streets if the populace riot...they have their entire...million plus man army already to do domestic work. And since the Army has done it before, they know the routine.

Riots in China will be swiftly dealt with...no messy courts, no need for big prisons...just ground to do mass burials.

It is the US power handlers that have the 'tiger by the tail,' not China.

:re:

penguinzee
12-16-2008, 10:56 AM
But the Communist have all their armed forces in house...they don't have to bring back a few brigades to police the streets if the populace riot...they have their entire...million plus man army already to do domestic work. And since the Army has done it before, they know the routine.

Riots in China will be swiftly dealt with...no messy courts, no need for big prisons...just ground to do mass burials.

It is the US power handlers that have the 'tiger by the tail,' not China.

:re:

Don't be too sure of that, USDA. A large enough uprising would dwarf any force, and if the people feel they have nothing to lose, well... you get the picture...

China becoming a net importer of rice is actually VERY big news, any country that cannot feed itself is susceptible to pressures, both external and internal. A starved populace can be (and oftentimes is) a very dangerous animal. A billion+ people starving would crush any govt, even the Chinese (and yes, I know they have a very large army!)...

Franc (penguinzee)

DReynolds
12-16-2008, 11:38 AM
To even compare their problems to the USA is absurd.
It IS absurd to compare China to the US. The average Chinese person makes about $5k per year. That's 1/10 of the average American. The bulk of the Chinese population is so poor that even a modest downturn in the economy will take them into starvation. Rural chinese have no running water or electricity. The fact that the tiny middle class has an average of $500 in savings is a laughably small cusion against a bad recession.

The migrant workers that leave rural china for city jobs are finding that the factories in the cities started shutting down this year, and millions are now moving back to rural towns and are becoming destitute and desperate. There have already been riots in China.

DReynolds
12-16-2008, 11:39 AM
Workers riot in south China over unemployment: report
Nov 25, 2008

GUANGZHOU, China (AFP) — Hundreds of laid off workers rioted in southern China amid a dispute over severance pay, smashing offices of a toy factory and clashing with police, state press said Wednesday.

The unrest in Guangdong province, the heartland of China's export-oriented light industry, is the latest in a series of protests that have flared across the country amid rising unemployment linked to the global economic crisis.

The riot occurred Tuesday night in Dongguan, one of Guangdong's major export hubs, after as many as 2,000 workers gathered to protest over their severance pay, the Guangzhou Daily reported.

"(Rioters) smashed one police vehicle and four police patrol cars... fought with security guards... and entered factory offices breaking windows and destroying equipment," the paper said.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iB0ZWjx6YDmSneQE28z3JwOD8diA

Darkimbolc
12-16-2008, 01:03 PM
The worst bomb about to go off in China isn't economic or social, but environmental. There are currently only two rivers in all of China with water clean enough to drink and you all know about the efforts to clean the air prior to the olympics. Expect cancer rates, asthma and every other sort of pollution-related illness to skyrocket in the coming years.

BirdGuano
12-16-2008, 03:20 PM
The worst bomb about to go off in China isn't economic or social, but environmental. There are currently only two rivers in all of China with water clean enough to drink and you all know about the efforts to clean the air prior to the olympics. Expect cancer rates, asthma and every other sort of pollution-related illness to skyrocket in the coming years.

Not confined to just China either.

They are exporting their poison at a rapid rate.

Scientists are already detecting China coal pollution in pristine Sierra Nevada lakes in California at 8,000ft elevation.

Sysiphus
12-16-2008, 04:05 PM
The worst bomb about to go off in China isn't economic or social, but environmental.

I agree. Plus, they are rapidly running out of water, although they might be able to spend their way out of that one with expensive desalinization plants. Either way, it does not look like their growth is sustainable in the long-term.

Ross
12-17-2008, 05:47 AM
Excess males have 'traditionally' been used in warfare - pretty axiomatic.

They need, primarily at this stage, LAND to farm... lots of it. And they're running out of time, (maybe), to get it by purchase although they may yet manage that.

If land were what they really wanted there is a giant almost empty
chunk of land just across the border called Russia. However countries of
strategic interest with little defense capability like Myanmar would probably
be higher on the list.

The main danger is that dissent within China will cause the Government
to try to deflect rage and blame against a foreign enemy . Hate the USA has
served that role well in the past , it is a proved formula.

Fiddlerdave
12-18-2008, 12:43 AM
It IS absurd to compare China to the US. The average Chinese person makes about $5k per year. That's 1/10 of the average American. The bulk of the Chinese population is so poor that even a modest downturn in the economy will take them into starvation. Rural chinese have no running water or electricity. The fact that the tiny middle class has an average of $500 in savings is a laughably small cusion against a bad recession.

The migrant workers that leave rural china for city jobs are finding that the factories in the cities started shutting down this year, and millions are now moving back to rural towns and are becoming destitute and desperate. There have already been riots in China. I am sure all this feels quite reassuring, but your information is faulty and you misunderstood my point.

The average Chinese household (that average is of ALL households, including the poorest) saves 1/4 of their earnings. They save FAR more in average AND in aggregate of the entire savings of the USA (which essentially is zero and probably negative).

I was suggesting that the government could stimulate more business than it exports to the USA by simply using some of the their cash on hand to finance an issue of a credit card worth $500 to the citizens to stimulate demand. They could even simply charge 1% per annum interest and make more money than they would buying US bonds right now.

So they would be AHEAD if the issued credit to their citizens, who have virtually NO debt, with money they would have invested in the USA, and probably not even feel the bump as the USA crumbled without their financing of our deficit. They then could make enormous profits buying up useful pieces of our collapsed economy at the desperation garage sale the USA would have.


Quote: "...The 'Made In China' label is now radioactive so far as consumers worldwide are concerned. They have destroyed their own economic miracle, and they will continue to slide downward as the rest of the world once again gets back to business..."

Amen. I am curious, where, exactly, is the "Made in China" label "radioactive"??? Not in the USA. I follow this with a chart of the continued record setting imports into the USA of products from China. October is the highest ever. Maybe American consumers have decided the radioactivity will save energy by glowing in the dark? You are eating CHinese, wearing Chinese, watching Chinese, computing Chinese, and everthing else at ever faster rates. And they are buying less from us.

American and Chinese PR make people feel like something is being done, but it is all a snow job. And how does anyone think other 2nd and 3rd world countries don't poison their food? As well as American producers buying up malamine feed until complaints forced the goverment to act? As well as the current joke of issuing melamine standards above the current contamination, with no idea contamination was there until China told us? Utter BS.

Here's how badly we hate Chinese products! RECORD IMPORTS!

Month_________ USexport__ USImport_ Deficit with China (in millions)

January 2008----5,854.9---26,167.7 -20,312.8
February 2008---5,773.9---24,128.6 -18,354.7
March 2008------6,354.1---22,432.0 -16,077.9
April 2008-------5,680.6---25,919.3 -20,238.6
May 2008-------6,614.3---27,663.6 -21,049.4
June 2008------ 6,413.7 ---27,843.3 -21,429.6
July 2008-------6,437.3--- 31,314.0 -24,876.8
August 2008----6,506.7--- 31,840.2 -25,333.5
Sept. 2008----- 5,320.4--- 33,086.4 -27,765.9
October 2008--6,071.6---34,028.3 -27,956.7

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2008

Originally Posted by Fiddlerdave
How do we not suffer from the "horrifying lack of quality control and oversight"? We have NONE, that's how poisonous products were sold here in the USA.

Excuse me? Do you really believe that the problems we have in this country are anything in comparison to what the Chinese have? You expect us to believe such baloney? In fact, I do not expect YOU to believe it, certainly not. :no:

But the FACT is the Chinese economy and society is in no way in any danger of collapse or even major difficulty, If you like to think a few thousand laid off people raising a little hell is a harbinger of "collapse" that's fine, but it is not. If you like to think the Chinese government is going to have more concern for some percentage of people having a tough time for a while any more than the USA government does, you are sadly mistaken. If you think living in pollution not unlike that of our 40's and 50's is going to kill them off, fine, but it won't. Their banking system and holdings are virtually untouched by the world economic crisis!!

Whereas unless China and others buys trillions of dollars worth of US bonds and make investments in our banks and business, we are dead ducks. I am frustrated with planners and people, low and high, assuming these countries are going to make sure everything works out for us because they "need" us. That is the baloney here, our fine businessmen and investors and government gave them the trillions in investment they needed to become powerful, and take advantage of our stupidity when the time was right. And I believe the time is right, I can see no reason for them to invest in us without extracting a very dear price, one we will have to pay. And it is gonna hurt.

Samen
12-23-2008, 05:08 AM
Frozen Ports From Long Beach to Singapore Presage Bleak 2010

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=acrSIsXPr.38&refer=home

By Michael Janofsky and Mark Drajem

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Chris Lytle, chief operating officer of the port of Long Beach, California, took in a panorama of the slumping world economy from his rooftop observation deck one day this month.

Shipping cranes stood still, truck traffic trickled and a cargo vessel sat idle, moored to a pier.

“You never see that,” Lytle said. “It’s quiet. Too quiet.”

Port traffic has slowed from North America to Europe and Asia as a recession erodes consumer demand and the credit crisis chokes off loans to export-dependent companies. International trade is set to fall by more than 2 percent next year, the most since the World Bank began measuring it in 1971. Idle ports around the globe are showing how quickly a collapse in trade can spread, undermining growth in each country it reaches.

“Everybody expects 2009 to be a bleak year,” said Jim McKenna, chief executive officer of the Pacific Maritime Association, a San Francisco-based group representing dock employers at U.S. West Coast ports. “Now, it looks like 2010 is going to be just as bleak.”

Coal is piling up at the Mozambique port of Maputo. Brazil’s exports of cars, household appliances, machinery and furniture fell in November from a year earlier. The port in Singapore, the world’s busiest for containers, posted its first month-over-month decline in seven years in November, at 1.5 percent.

Shipping Rates Fall

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, is down 93 percent from a record in May, a sign that traders expect export volumes to stay depressed.

Slowing trade is both a cause and an effect of the first simultaneous contraction in the world’s largest economies since World War II. Throughout this decade, trade grew by 12 percent a year to $13.6 trillion in 2007, propelling growth in nations from Germany to China and Chile. Now the evaporation of financing and collapse in demand threaten an activity that accounts for a quarter of the $54 trillion global economy.

“We are having this dramatic reversal,” said Michael Finger, a trade economist in Geneva since the early 1970s. “I’m a long time in this business, but this is unique.”

Governments and international lenders are stepping in to fill the gap. China and the U.S. pledged $20 billion to aid their exporters. The World Bank tripled funding for banks helping emerging-market companies to sell abroad, to $3 billion. South Korea pledged $16 billion for its exporters after banks there couldn’t secure international credit lines for them.

Stepped-Up Credit

“We are going to step up and provide credit to our exporters,” said Jeff Abramson, the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s executive vice president, in an interview. Without export finance, “the credit crisis can impact the real economy.”

In Germany, the world’s top exporter, trade abroad slipped 0.5 percent in October, the fourth drop in six months. In China, exports fell 2.2 percent in November, which was the first monthly decline in seven years. They decreased a record 26.7 percent in Japan last month from a year earlier. U.S. shipments fell 2.2 percent in October to the lowest level in seven months.

The banking crisis means access to trade credit is becoming scarce too. In recent months trade financing costs soared to more than six times pre-crisis levels, according to a Nov. 18 report by HSBC Holdings Plc.

‘It’s Blowing Up’

“You take it for granted until it blows up,” said Bernard Hoekman, trade economist at the World Bank, in an interview. “Now it’s blowing up.”

Exporters worldwide are short $25 billion in trade financing that either isn’t available or costs too much, according to Pascal Lamy, the head of the World Trade Organization.

“The market for trade finance has severely deteriorated over the last six months, and particularly since September,” he said at a conference last month in Geneva.

Trade credit insurance, which protects sellers against losses and typically covers as much as 40 percent of trade in Europe and 5 percent in the U.S., is also harder to get.

Atradius NV, an Amsterdam-based insurer that covers about a third of global trade receivables, is raising prices by as much as 50 percent and reducing coverage on thousands of companies. That includes 12,000 in the U.K. and all the suppliers to the biggest U.S. automakers -- General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC, owned by Cerberus Capital Management LP.

West Coast Ports

“We’ve taken a hard look at 50 percent of our coverage and changed our action on about half of it,” said Brett Halsey, the Baltimore-based director for Atradius’s contracts with U.S. companies.

At the adjacent ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, together the largest in the U.S., trade has slowed about 10 percent this year, a record drop. In 2007, volumes slid for the first time in more than a quarter century.

One 140-acre tract at Long Beach is filled with more than 25,000 new Toyotas that dealers can’t sell. Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s second-largest automaker, yesterday forecast its first operating loss in 71 years on weak demand.

Nearby, scrap metal meant for export to Asia piles up behind a fence.

September and October are typically the port’s busiest months as U.S. retailers take deliveries for holiday sales. This year, imports fell 15.8 percent from a year earlier in September, 9.5 percent in October and 13.6 percent in November.

From the observation deck, Lytle pointed to piles of empty containers stacked four high and numbering in the thousands.

Some of the dockside cranes “haven’t turned a wheel in months,” he said.

-- With reporting by Alaric Nightingale in London and Diana Kinch in Rio de Janeiro. Editors: Steve Bailey, David Ellis.

To contact the reporters for this story: Michael Janofsky in Los Angeles at mjanofsky@bloomberg.net; Mark Drajem in Washington at mdrajem@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: December 22, 2008 19:05 EST

Ought Six
12-28-2008, 03:32 PM
The increases in the dollar amount of goods we are importing are lower than price inflation, meaning that we are in reality importing less Chinese goods for the first time in decades.