China’s stock market has slid nearly 23% in one year. While some economists would shout out Trump and the trade was as the causal factor, the downward trend began six months before the trade war began. And it isn’t looking likely to shift anywhere positive. Estimates put a $5 trillion devaluation on Asian companies over the last year. And while some economics point to a thriving housing market as a vestige of prosperity – think again.
Property speculation has been huge in China with short term flips of entire apartment buildings generating new millionaires. It was easy money, until it wasn’t.
Developers are dropping prices by as much as 20-30%. The flippers are caught in the middle with massive loans and a panic is brewing. Property protests are the new norm and property owners are demanding companies compensate for the rapid decline.
While government data suggests the property market is up 7%, reality begs a completely different picture. Where does the truthful information generate from – blogs. Economists and banks are more concerned with blocking the information given a panic could spiral China’s fragile economy out of control.
China’s largest developer, Vanke, actually compensated property owners with cash and new vehicles in an effort to quell the protests after their decision to drop prices by 33%. Vanke’s Chairman Yu Liang told staff last month that “survival” was the ultimate goal for the developer over the next year, adding that the property market’s “turning point has really arrived.”
The concern is that the heavily indebted developers could go belly up creating a banking crisis.
When Trump initiated the tariff dispute, the economic fragility of China was known. He put President Xi Jinping in a precarious position, and Xi Jinping fell into the hole of ego. It has long been the consensus that China never reveals true numbers, manipulation has been the norm. But Trump is a businessman, and caught off guard, Jinping did not know how best to negotiate and instead created a greater downward spiral.
Germany too is seeing the results of their refusal to bargain. Add to the tension that Merkel took a lone stand in tabling trade with Saudi Arabia as the Khashoggi death is unwound, Germany’s economy splintered further. Germany faltering translates to an EU spiraling. German banks are also testing economic stability as fraud and corruption is revealed among the bigger Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank and stiff fines are sure to contract profits.
And while German trade continues to ramp a surplus, it comes at a cost to every other EU member who rely on their exports, i.e. Germany’s imports, to keep their heads above water. Germany has become exactly what they accuse the Trump administration of adhering to – ‘Nationalism’. Willing to let their EU partners stumble and fall, Germany is looking to support one country – Germany.
Like China’s Xi Jinping, Merkel is in a hole of ego. Having no business acumen, she is at a loss of how to respond, how to negotiate, how come to the bargaining table.
By contrast, the US economy is growing and strong. Reinvented by policies of individual and corporate tax reductions, legislation reducing regulations, and energy production, the Trump guidebook is working.
Slaying the demons with a sword in one hand, Trump inspires and reignites hope and faith with his Olympic torch in the other hand. We know it is working when the barbs fly relentlessly. We know it is working when every MSM plugs a slew of defamation that has no basis.
We know it is working because the numbers don’t lie.