Soros: Pas op voor China

Soros: Pas op voor China

Hij schreef het een week geleden, maar ik had hem tot vandaag even gemist: George Soros schreef bij wijze van online nieuwjaarstoespraak een analyse-in-pocketformaat van de wereldeconomie.

En je kunt van Soros vinden wat je vindt, maar de observaties en analyses van de beroemdste big picture-belegger van de wereld zijn meestal raak. Waar iedereen fris en opgewekt aan 2014 is begonnen, in de overtuiging dat de grootste zwaarden van Damocles even boven ons hoofd vandaan zijn, legt Soros de vinger op een nieuwe zere plek: China.

Niet Europa? De Europese crisis is zeker nog niet voorbij, zegt Soros, maar “future crises will be political in origin”. Dat kunnen overigens best hele pittige crises zijn:

What was meant to be a voluntary association of equal states that sacrificed part of their sovereignty for the common good – the embodiment of the principles of an open society – has now been transformed by the euro crisis into a relationship between creditor and debtor countries that is neither voluntary nor equal. Indeed, the euro could destroy the EU altogether.

Maar daarmee is Europa nog steeds niet hoofdpijndossier nummer één – althans waar het de wereldeconomie aangaat.

The major uncertainty facing the world today is not the euro but the future direction of China. The growth model responsible for its rapid rise has run out of steam.

There are some eerie resemblances with the financial conditions that prevailed in the US in the years preceding the crash of 2008. But there is a significant difference, too. In the US, financial markets tend to dominate politics; in China, the state owns the banks and the bulk of the economy, and the Communist Party controls the state-owned enterprises.


The Chinese leadership was right to give precedence to economic growth over structural reforms, because structural reforms, when combined with fiscal austerity, push economies into a deflationary tailspin. But there is an unresolved self-contradiction in China’s current policies: restarting the furnaces also reignites exponential debt growth, which cannot be sustained for much longer than a couple of years.

Let op China dus. Op Business Insider wordt strateeg Joachim Fels van Morgan Stanley geciteerd, die er ook zo het zijne over denkt:

“The consensus view is that the authorities have everything under control and that the transition from export- and leverage-driven growth to consumption- and reform-driven growth will go smoothly. Our worry is that this transition, while likely to be successful eventually, will turn out be more tricky in the near term, mainly because financial conditions have tightened considerably, as evidenced by higher money market rates and bond yields. This in turn is likely to produce a sharper-than-expected downturn in China’s growth during the first half of this year, which may well lead to renewed fears of a hard landing.”



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