China: How Conventional Wisdom Becomes Conventional Wisdom

By John Richardson

HOW does  conventional wisdom – i.e. the opinion of the majority – become conventional wisdom?

This is a subject that the blog pondered over the last few days as it wandered around Euro Disney. Unfortunately, Mickey, Donald …

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China: GDP And Forgetting What You Already Know

By John Richardson

THE blog has a terrible confession to make: We sometimes get it very badly wrong. How’s that for modesty?

A couple of months ago we got it very badly wrong when we kept waffling on and on, …

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China: Half Of All Loans Collateralised By Land, Real Estate

By John Richardson

BEN Bernanke, who as at that time chairman of the Fed, warned in July 2007 that the cost of the US sub-prime crisis would amount to $100bn.

To be honest, we struggled to find a final estimate …

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China Coal-To-Olefins: Water Not An Issue

By John Richardson

CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that the water issue stands in the way of the growth of the coal-to-olefins (CTO) industry in China.

The process consumes a lot of water  – between 15-20 tonnes for every tonne of …

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China Commodities Fraud: The Global Implications

By John Richardson

An eerie calm has descended over financial and commodity markets with volatility at a record low.

The calm is eerie because it reminds us of the build-up to September 2008.

Back then, not one single mainstream economist …

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China Polyethylene Demand Up By 25%

By John Richardson

WHEN something appears to be good to be true, it usually is.

Back in 2009, China’s demand for polyethylene (PE) increased by more than 20% – way above the increase in GDP – because of just about …

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Malaysia: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

By John Richardson

ANYONE who visits Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, might well come away with the impression that everything is well with the country.

The hotels are heaving as are the restaurants,  bars and shopping centres. So are the …

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The Three Essentials Of China Credit

By John Richardson

There are three things you need to bear in mind about credit creation in China, which according to the government’s own data, are as follows:…

In 2007, $1 of additional credit added 83 cents to GDP.
By

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Central Banks Risk Being Behind The Curve

By John Richardson

BACK in 2003 the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) predicted that dangerous imbalances were building up in the global financial system.

The BIS, a Brussels-based international organisation for central banks, was worried that the Fed and other …

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European Political Suicide Seems Unlikely

By John Richardson

For once, we are not going to talking about demand but will instead focus only on supply.

“In all scenarios, the US captures market share away from Europe,” the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) chief economist, Kevin Swift, …

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