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A couple of interesting snippets from....

Izabella Kaminska: An unwind in the great Chinese over invoicing carry trade

and

Yanis Varoufakis

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 at 11:28:32 AM EST
Ooops...beaten to it

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 at 11:29:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, not for Y.V. ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 22nd, 2013 at 03:25:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The money quote from Varoufakas' correspondent ---
Unlike other credit crunches (e.g. that in Italy now), this particular credit crunch was effected by the Chinese government for the purpose of pricking the gigantic speculative bubble in China before it inflates further with devastating potential. This same bubble is intimately linked to the US economy: both US finance and the midwest mining areas of the US are fully involved. Shortly afterwards Chairman Bernanke started talking about relaxing QE3. If the Chinese government no longer wants to provide unlimited liquidity then the whole burden of sustaining the bubble would fall on the Fed. Mr Bernanke considers this to be far too dangerous and for this reason he may have brought forward the Fed's exit from QE. In this reading, the Fed's signal that it is exiting QE has nothingto do with the actual health  of the US economy and everything to do with China's economic situation and government intentions. Bernanke seems determined to reduce QE for reasons that have to do with China.

--- is the first analysis I have seen that makes real sense of Bernanke's recent actions.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 at 01:08:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yanis Varoufakis makes sense of the entire global crisis and the Eurozone's place in it. See the excellent summary of the arguments of his book The Global Minotaur, from which:

The European Financial Review » Europe Unhinged: What the Financial Crisis of 2008 Meant for the Integrity of the Eurozone | Yanis Varoufakis

...Europe's elites failed to recognise, both before and after 2008, that their precious Eurozone was predicated upon the United States' capacity to recycle global surpluses, including of course Europe's surpluses. Lacking its own effective surplus recycling mechanism, Europe became unhinged shortly after the Fall of 2008, remains in denial to this day and, as a consequence, is wedded to policies that are either irrelevant to the nature of the Euro Crisis or impossible to implement in the new, post-2008 world.

(...) To see why America has lost its capacity to recycle other nations' net exports at the pre-2008 pace, it suffices to note that in 2011 the United States was generating 23.7% less demand for the Rest of the World's net exports than it would have been without the Crash of 2008. Secondly, and at the same time, America was failing to attract (through Wall Street) the level of capital flows which would be necessary to maintain the pre-2008 pace of investment into its private sector. To be precise, by 2011 the United States had lost 56.48% of the assets held by foreigners compared to the (trend) level that would have been held had the Crash of 2008 not happened. The main, and indeed crucial, reason for this precipitous decline was that foreign net capital flows ending up as loans to US corporations fell drastically from around $500 billion in 2006 to -$50 billion in 2011.

By 2013 these trends have crystallised into a devastatingly simple picture: On the one hand, the Crisis did not alter the deficit position of the United States. The federal budget deficit more or less doubled while America's trade deficit, after an initial fall, stabilised at the same level as before. However, the US deficits are no longer capable of maintaining the mechanism that keeps the global flows of goods and profits balanced at a planetary level. Whereas until 2008 America was able to draw into the country mountains of net imports of goods, and a similar volume of capital flows (so that the two balanced out), this is no longer happening post-2008. American markets are sucking 24% fewer net imports (thus generating only 66% of the demand that the Rest of the World was used to before the Crash of 2008) and are attracting into the American private sector 57% less capital than they would have had Wall Street not collapsed in 2008.

In short, the only reminders that remain of the kind of global economy in which the Eurozone flourished prior to 2008 are the still accelerating flows of foreign capital into America's public debt, evidence that the world is in disarray and, in this age of tumult, money is desperately seeking safe haven in the bosom of the reserve currency. But as long as the Rest of the World is reducing its injection of capital into America's corporate sector and real estate, while America is reducing its imports of their net exports, we can be certain that the Eurozone cannot rely on the United States to provide, as it did before 2008, the level of aggregate demand that is necessary in order to maintain the mercantilist daydream of a Germanic Europe; i.e. of a Eurozone that behaves as a Greater Germany, reacting to drops in global demand by boosting its overall net exports while, internally, squeezing real wages.

If, as Y.V.'s correspondent above asserts, the Chinese bubble has major effects on US policy, I have a job seeing that as a sideshow.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 at 02:38:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About as much of a sideshow as having one side of the foundation of your house washed away.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 at 10:10:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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