We told readers not to expect financial fireworks in China through 2017. The reason had to do with a Communist Party Congress that happens every five years and just concluded. China’s President Xi Jinping wanted a second five-year term and expanded powers from the Congress, and he got it.
He also wanted to make sure that there were no adverse developments in the Chinese economy or capital markets that could disrupt his plans. So China goosed their economy with debt-fueled infrastructure spending and kept a lid on interest rates, currency fluctuations and capital outflows until the Congress was over.
Now that it is over, “Big Xi” will begin to tackle China’s economic imbalances using his new political power. This means more bankruptcies, less infrastructure spending and a slower economy. This article shows how those changes are already taking effect and reveals clear signs of slowing Chinese growth. This will only get worse.
Xi may not get the soft landing he expects, and may find that by removing stimulus in the form of bank debt and low rates, he may actually pop the stock market, real estate and debt bubbles that have been keeping China going.
This happening in China at the exact time the U.S. is going through a similar tightening process raises the prospect that the world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China, could hit the brakes simultaneously and bring global asset bubbles crashing down around them. Investors are smart to increase their cash allocations until the gigantic economic experiment is over.