The Chinese Mirage

Published on
September 6th, 2019
Duration
62 minutes

The Chinese Mirage

The Interview ·
Featuring Chris Balding and Mike Green

Published on: September 6th, 2019 • Duration: 62 minutes

Christopher Balding, associate professor at Fulbright University Vietnam, delves into the many layers of the Chinese economy with Mike Green of Thiel Macro. Balding and Green discuss the inconsistencies in the overarching bullish narrative on China, and explain how the debt machine works in the Chinese real estate markets. Filmed on August 27, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Comments

Transcript

  • JV
    Jens V.
    15 September 2019 @ 14:45
    Interesting to see the comments by the way. The CCP trolls have found their way to RV.
  • JV
    Jens V.
    15 September 2019 @ 14:02
    Great to see Chris on RV. Mike Green having a very good run lately! Very interesting discussion wrt Xi Jinping’s style and ambitions. A Chinese friend of mine says he wants to be the “Second Mao”, and is looking for a way to cement his status. One way could be to be the Leader who reunited all of China... CCP is trying to replace Hong Kong with Shenzhen and Shanghai. CCP doesn’t care about the fate of Hong Kong, except the extend to which the elite is hiding wealth there. My guess is that this creates a lot of internal conflict in CCP. Another interesting issue: CCP is increasing surveillance and control in mainland as Mike and Chris discussed. But at the same time more and more Chinese are traveling abroad and living abroad. How on Earth can those things coexist? I would expect to see 1) more surveillance of Chinese living abroad, 2) less Chinese tourism / more control of Chinese tourists (if possible). This brings me to the next point: What does China spend every year to control its population? How many Chinese are working full time controlling the rest of the population? What does that do to the country’s growth potential? How much will this expenditure have to rise as more Chinese learn of the outside world?
  • JS
    John S.
    14 September 2019 @ 08:58
    Thankyou RV excellent insightful interview.
  • BS
    Bill S.
    12 September 2019 @ 19:07
    Can viewers not agree that a command economy distorts price discovery, promotes SOEs over private enterprises, encourages corruption, and produces opaque economic statistics? I think it fair to disagree on how this type of economy will benefit its citizens and political class in the long run.
  • XT
    Xuan T.
    11 September 2019 @ 08:45
    Asians have this superpower of being right in front of you, speaking directly to you, and you still won't get what we mean. It's cultural invisibility. I have seen tons of expats living in China and Vietnam for decades and still cannot speak half a decent sentence in the local language (probably 99% of them). Staying simply because they cannot get as good a job back home. Then they become China/Asian experts. When they speak, Asians be like: "WTF is this guy talking about?". Their reaction: "I offer a 'unique perspective.'" Whatever. Even very smart people like Kyle Bass. His views are somewhat biased because the only people who are willing to talk to him are: English-speaking, wanna flee the country, had problems with the CCP in the first place. China is so vast. Even if you sample 10 million people, chances are that the sample is self-selective. That's why they approach you and vice versa.
    • TB
      Tim B.
      11 September 2019 @ 11:36
      I couldn't agree more with the "Can't speak Chinese but is a China expert" comment. I love RV, but RV betrays its lack of wisdom when it relies on these "experts" to provide commentary. It's a true weak spot of their journalism. There are lots of gifted China experts out there that can offer real insights.
    • BK
      Boris K.
      11 September 2019 @ 15:45
      really? look up youtube realvision kyle bass and guo wengui
    • TB
      Tim B.
      12 September 2019 @ 04:32
      Boris, that "really?" is addressed to me? I saw that interview already here on RV. And no, it doesn't change my view. If anything, it reinforces it. Cheers
    • DP
      David P.
      13 September 2019 @ 04:24
      Agreed with this. I can see myself the Anglo-American cultural and ethical bias in RV, not solely based on the language but that's part of it. But what would you expect for $180 a year? You already get access to the thinking of mega smart people that challenge people's view on a regular basis. Still do you solely want to base your thinking on what smart money managers and geopolitical expert think? I surely would not but i NEED their view to help form my own thinking.
    • CR
      Cristian R.
      13 September 2019 @ 08:08
      Do you actually have a point?
  • SW
    Sze W.
    10 September 2019 @ 17:02
    If you really wanna know the situation in China, just look at all the comments below by Chinese. Consider Chinese people coming to RV are the educated, most liberal and lived in the west. They will get so defensive even anyone criticize China even in a rational conversation. Since Xi came into power, the CCP has only 2 tricks, 1 .driving high level of nationalism and 2 economic and political aggression to punish anyone who has a different opinions. Thats the reason why most Chinese are so brainwashed into this new form of Nazism, disillusioned to believe China is a super power on par with US. I am afraid from the way it's been trending , there will be only sad ending. and of coz any economic problem, CCP will immediately pointing to US empire trying to undermine the rise of China.
    • TB
      Tim B.
      11 September 2019 @ 11:39
      The CCP's control of message is indeed masterful, and frightening.
    • JV
      Jens V.
      15 September 2019 @ 14:41
      @Tim B. Masterful and frightening? CCP propaganda is f%#ing retarded. It works well on the mainland that hasn’t experienced anything else and has been brainwashed for 70 years. When you see it from the outside China it’s laughable.
  • DS
    David S.
    10 September 2019 @ 11:50
    China like all of us will have many problems in the next 10 years. We all have multiple problems to solve. The lack of any coherent strategy or allies in the US trade war is encouraging China to work very hard to develop their own industries like semiconductors to ensure necessary supplies. This was already happening, but a common advisory makes it easier to focus its efforts. This leaves an interesting opening for European companies to sell technology and technology products to China. Maybe a knock-on effect, especially with the German recession.Time will tell, but all economies will be diminished by the trade war in the end. This is particularly bad with all the debt. Ford was just downgraded to junk today. The first of many to come. DLS
  • PP
    Patrick P.
    10 September 2019 @ 01:23
    Sorry to have to say this but Mike Green talks too much... ask a question and then let the guest answer. Try the Ed Harrison approach. Ed is always prepared with an abundance of good questions.
  • AO
    Akbar O.
    9 September 2019 @ 20:10
    Here is the man truly understands economic reality and underlying dynamics of china. cant wait to see next interview from this man. Great job real vision!
  • WC
    Wilson C.
    9 September 2019 @ 15:37
    not sure how fluent Chris is in mandarin (at least speaking/listening) but if he's only getting second hand info from chinese people in english, he's going to miss out on a lot of content in chinese. Interesting POV, I would suggest RV to interview Andy Xie, ex-MS now independent economist for another perspective (I also like to read Louis Gave).
  • LN
    Leo N.
    9 September 2019 @ 12:13
    Sorry RV this is one of the worst... I gained more knowledge regarding China with a 3 1/2 minutes clip from Donald Amstad than 1 hour with this so called economic professor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irMmR9SzPDY
  • NA
    N A.
    9 September 2019 @ 06:28
    OMG newly weds combine their assets and get help from their parents to buy a home! This outrageous behaviour must be the end of China real estate. Please RV, who are these clowns?
    • DS
      David S.
      10 September 2019 @ 09:21
      Actually this is very normal behavior for anywhere with high real estate values. DLS
  • LH
    Laurent H.
    9 September 2019 @ 05:13
    Great
  • AZ
    Andy Z.
    9 September 2019 @ 01:00
    Domestic steel refiners moved to domestically sourced lower grade iron ore because it had become ecomonically viable to use them due to supply disruptions in Brazil, not a policy choice that is against foreign supplies. He is simply wrong on that point.
  • JW
    Joe W.
    8 September 2019 @ 21:28
    Excellent interview. This maybe one of the few(if not the only) interview done about China's domestic policy/issues by someone who is not influenced by the Chinese propaganda. Well done!
    • jl
      jay l.
      9 September 2019 @ 00:38
      Joe, have you lived in China?
    • JW
      Joe W.
      9 September 2019 @ 04:34
      Hi Jay-- Yes I have.
    • TB
      Tim B.
      11 September 2019 @ 11:41
      Yes, he's not influenced. That is indeed good and important. But not impressed by their grasp of Chinese society, people and politics. Hope RV can do better.
  • MT
    Mike T.
    8 September 2019 @ 16:32
    so much analysis, so much debate, so many different opinions, and I have no inclination to understand the 'story or narrative of China. What I do know is that the US listed etf FXI (China Large Caps) is an underlying in the top 20 of most liquid options. As the volatility has as gone up and down during 2019 it's been one of the most profitable trading vehicles for short premium option traders so far this year. Here in a nutshell is the fundamental difference between those that want to understand the 'why' before making a move, and the short premium option folks that are able to immediately act when they recognise opportunity upon an Implied Volatility spikes higher in any (liquid) instrument.
  • JJ
    Johnny J.
    8 September 2019 @ 15:45
    Re: Higher prices on diminishing volume... this has been so true of US markets for months..
    • TR
      Travis R.
      10 September 2019 @ 21:36
      You meant years. Correction: the last decade.
  • AW
    Andy W.
    8 September 2019 @ 11:37
    As someone who isn't involved in macro day to day this was an informative and interesting interview, thanks Mike! Look forward to the sequel.
  • DS
    David S.
    8 September 2019 @ 06:34
    Is Mr. Balding fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese? DLS
    • SS
      Steve S.
      8 September 2019 @ 11:25
      No he is not. I’ve seen him a few times at conferences in China. He cannot speak read or write Chinese
  • SZ
    Sean Z.
    8 September 2019 @ 06:23
    As a Chinese having lived in Australia for 15 years and worked in US as well, I have to say those episodes on China is probably the worst part of RV and unexceptionally misinformed and biased . Chris Balding was never able to looked at China from a Chinese perspective but had a prejudice from a purely western viewpoint from the beginning of his stay in China. Westerners simply can not understand China given its scale and diversity and cultural background. All examples given in the interview are not representative. The thought that China is moving towards a PDRK model is laughable. If that’s true, why do the vast number of Chinese who travels, studies, works and lives in the West return to China? Why would Xi Jinping enjoy so much popularity among the majority of Chinese? What do the majority of Chinese think of the surveillance cameras? Do you really have to show ID to buy pork? What’s the purpose of property purchasers’ demonstration (not riots) when the developer drops prices after they purchase? Unfortunately, those RV episodes have just become a part of the western media propaganda that demonise China as usual.
    • ag
      anthony g.
      8 September 2019 @ 12:12
      Ok fair enough. So where is it misinformed ? What is actually going on in China today and why ? What is the Chinese perspective ? etc. with thanks.
    • MF
      Michael F.
      8 September 2019 @ 12:30
      "Westerners simply can not understand China." Lol, ok... To understand Xi Jinping I suggest you read: - John Garnaut's articles: https://sinocism.com/p/engineers-of-the-soul-ideology-in - Richard McGregor's new book: https://www.amazon.com/Xi-Jinping-Backlash-Richard-McGregor-ebook/dp/B07RW47H7G/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=xi+jinping+the+backlash&qid=1567945265&s=gateway&sr=8-1 - Xu Zhangrun http://chinaheritage.net/journal/chinas-red-empire-to-be-or-not-to-be/
    • JW
      Joe W.
      8 September 2019 @ 21:40
      Sean Z. - Your comment about westerner cannot understand China is laughable. He brought his own perspective on the issues and policy of China and is spot on. There is nothing "western" about his point of view. By the way; with the way China works now they do not need to check IDs anymore. When you present your Alipay (or WeChat) app for payment you are automatically giving your personal information to the system.
    • NA
      N A.
      9 September 2019 @ 06:39
      Thanks Sean, my view exactly. These guys stumble upon some specific observation, then generalise it for an entire industry or the whole country and then sell it as some kind of unique insight into China. These guys have zero credibility. It's a shame because RV has a good network in Asia but they keep bringing the same lineup of non-China China experts. This, by the way, is not to say there are no issues in China, there are huge issues and smart conversations to be had about them, but these guys are so far off the mark it's rather embarrassing. Oh and because I just remembered it, personally had to LOL more about China becoming Thailand instead of North Korea. I mean at that point of the interview I realised I could ask any 4 year old about their opinion on China and it would have a better chance of being insightful.
    • SW
      Sze W.
      10 September 2019 @ 16:47
      Hi, Let me tell you as a Chinese who can read and speak Chinese. What he said is very spot on. Most Chinese like bought in the CCP propaganda that China has become a superpower. Since Xi came to power the propaganda machine is on full throttle and they stirred up so much nationalism even people like you who spend so much time abroad brought into their lies. Most of the chinese don't mind surveillance camera becoz they are ignorant (or cannot do anything) that they are being constantly monitored. There are real cases in small city to use food coupon to buy pork. And you know the only thing that can get chinese into riot is becoz they lose money, not freedom.
  • jl
    jay l.
    8 September 2019 @ 05:41
    i don't ever remember having pork soup around luna new year. what are you talking about mike. i want realvision like the old days not this fakevision.
    • DS
      David S.
      8 September 2019 @ 15:27
      I just looked online and there is a chicken soup with pork pieces in the Chinese Lunar New Year suggested items. In addition, you use pork in dumplings and spring rolls. I do not think Mr. Green was out of line in his comment. The swine disease is a serious and major problem. I hope China will be able to contain it. There is plenty of other content on RVTV. Most of us always look forward to any time Mr. Green can give to us. DLS
    • jl
      jay l.
      8 September 2019 @ 16:54
      well i'm chinese and i have never had traditional pork soup around luna new year. never had to show any form of identity cards to purchase pork in my life. this is fake
    • JW
      Joe W.
      8 September 2019 @ 21:42
      So you think this interview is "fake" because Mike Green mentioned about having pork soup during luna new year?
    • jl
      jay l.
      9 September 2019 @ 01:08
      Mark Twain: Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
    • DS
      David S.
      10 September 2019 @ 09:27
      Love the Mark Twain quote. Thanks. DLS
    • SW
      Sze W.
      10 September 2019 @ 16:51
      Well I can tell you even he make a mistake talking about pork soup. but the main point is pork is the main source of protein and cooking in China. That's the point
  • ET
    Eduard T.
    8 September 2019 @ 04:59
    Great interview, thanks!
  • AB
    Andy B.
    7 September 2019 @ 21:43
    “For a lack of better words” definitely the worst interview made by Mike Green. Balding is simply not good enough. You would have expected some real insights from someone living in China for almost a decade. Instead absolutely nothing. Just the classic anti China statements everyone knows already about. I miss the old RV.
    • MR
      Max R.
      8 September 2019 @ 01:13
      I used to devour Balding's blog years ago, so thrilled to see him interviewed by RV. Before you judge Balding "not good enough" I suggest reading some of his reports.
    • RM
      Ryan M.
      8 September 2019 @ 04:29
      Balding's blog is good, but have to agree with Andy on the interview being a little weak. Seemed like it was tough for Mike to really pry into Balding's thinking. I think the reason both of Mike's interviews, at least to me, seemed a little subpar was because of the nature of the topics. Maybe not as black and white as what Mike normally discusses? Seemed a bit speculative to me. Also was confused on Mike's thinking of Perestroika leading to demise of Soviet Union in last interview. I'd argue it was Glasnost, not Perestroika that lead to what he talks about. Deng undertook his own version of Perestroika, yes we can argue on differences, but he did not make same mistake of lifting the veil on the inner workings of government. That was key difference IMO. Also was a little confused in iron ore speculation. I still firmly believe Mike is the smartest guy I've ever listened to on RV, but was a little disappointed in the last two. Regardless, I'm pumped he's doing more interviews and am eagerly awaiting the next!
    • RM
      Ryan M.
      8 September 2019 @ 04:56
      I take back what I just wrote about Perestroika. Nitpicking is not productive and I agree with what Mike was trying to get at.
    • jl
      jay l.
      8 September 2019 @ 07:52
      I'm with andy. it's hard to not judge him, when he say things like: (you need identity cards to purchase pork )
    • DS
      David S.
      8 September 2019 @ 10:02
      I found the Green/Papic interview very informative. The Green/Balding interview was not helpful for me. DLS
  • RA
    Robert A.
    7 September 2019 @ 21:16
    Thoroughly enjoyed both of these Mike Green China interviews. Great to come at all of this from these different viewpoints through Mike’s curation for us and his deft handling of both the subject matter and the Guest. Sounds like China could use a blockchain Title Insurance program...but that might “upset the apple cart”. The resolution of this Hong Kong situation sounds like it will be key to how potential “unrest” on the mainland will turn out.
  • FC
    Fractal C.
    7 September 2019 @ 20:49
    Great interview and discussion but there was not much that we didn't know. In other words, there was no variant perception.
  • JH
    Jesse H.
    7 September 2019 @ 18:47
    Wow - very revealing interview. Good stuff guys.
  • EK
    Edward K.
    7 September 2019 @ 16:24
    Intrigued by MSCI rebalancing incoporating Chinese equities. Any significant implications pro or con?
  • SB
    Stephen B.
    7 September 2019 @ 15:45
    Outstanding content.
  • KT
    Kaloyan T.
    7 September 2019 @ 13:02
    OMG, Green and Balding!
  • PD
    Peter D.
    7 September 2019 @ 12:29
    Interesting. Good anecdotes. They help, as official sources both in China and here in the U.S. cannot be fully relied upon.
  • CH
    Chris H.
    7 September 2019 @ 12:00
    Am I reading too much into his choice of t-shirt? Red with a five pointed star. California and China share the same colour and symbols and perhaps a whole lot more?
  • JH
    Joel H.
    7 September 2019 @ 11:43
    Silly to say weak interview in that its someones opinion...if he's right has huge implications for investing. ie no deal before election and china is a Ponzi scheme. if he's wrong then decline of USA is a certainty and we usher in state controlled markets which will end in disaster and not unthinkable given world central banks.
  • JH
    Joel H.
    7 September 2019 @ 11:33
    really enjoyed this thanks
  • GB
    Glen B.
    7 September 2019 @ 10:41
    Very weak interview here. China no doubt has issues, but there are so many inaccuracies and hugely skewed examples in what was said here!
    • BD
      Bruce D.
      7 September 2019 @ 13:24
      Then by all means, please explain your conflicting thoughts in detail.....usually the dude who lived and teaches there for years has the real deal knowledge.
    • GB
      Glen B.
      7 September 2019 @ 14:53
      Im not arguing on his opinions, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But his explanations for events were extremely misleading in my view, for example: 1) he said the seabourne iron ore price was spiking because China was pre buying before being forced to use expensive domestic ore. I’m pretty sure the Vale disruption was a far bigger impact. 2) He was talking about financial repression and then said Chinese need their ID to buy pork currently in China. No idea how limiting pork prices would help financial repression (its the other way around). But in any event, I pretty sure the limiting of pork purchases currently is because of the huge supply shortage from the African Swine Flu. 3) He gives an anecdote of 1 being the Shenzhen apartment he lived in was worth $2.5m v income of the owner at $20-30k -> so 100x price / income <- implying the market is outrageously overvalued. I agree there’s a massive bubble in the property market but it is definitely not on 100x p/income. Plus Shenzhen is a tier 1 city right next to HK with a lot of tech related industries and attracts capital from all over China (just as London and NY does from the rest of the world). 4) Straight after saying how expensive Shenzhen property is he says China needs price floors to stop property prices falling and gives examples of 20-30% falls and riots on the street (that last happened in a few lower tier cities in 2015, but not recently). But he was basically implying the Shenzhen property market is hugely propped up. This is completely wrong. The home purchase restrictions (HPR) and price caps (not floors) in Shenzhen are exceptionally tight (as they are in many higher tier cities in China). If the HPRs were taken off in Shenzhen, property prices would go up a lot very quickly (which is why they are there). I could keep going. I’m not saying his view is wrong and I agree China is facing a lot of challenges, just saying his examples are misleading and skewed.
    • AH
      Axel H.
      7 September 2019 @ 16:07
      Agree. The dear Professor became very hostile in recent years. Not sure what happened to him at his last university but he seems to be on a personal vendetta against the CCP challenging Kyle Bass for most anti-China commentator. A pity, I used to read a lot of his work. Well, there's still Pettis to give sound China economics insights.
    • GB
      Glen B.
      8 September 2019 @ 00:28
      Yeah - I think Pettis’s analysis is high quality, but to be fair he has been wrong on the outcome for a long time. I also think Bass is very smart, but he is so anti China now that maybe a few of his conclusions are a little skewed (could be on purpose). I think the reality is that no one (certainly not me) knows how China’s economy will play out (particularly in the shorter term). It is clear growth needs to slow further over the coming years, there is far too much leverage, the property market is a major concern, parts of the financial system are concerning, parts of the SOE sector are concerning etc. But all of these issues are well known and were there 5+ years ago. China is actually in better shape now than then (supply side reform, NPL recognition at banks, shadow banking clean up, more consumer driven etc). Plus China has some fantastic companies leveraged to medium term growth particularly in the consumer and tech sectors. I try not to get too caught up in the popular narrative eg the US was about to go into a depression in 2009, the EU was about to implode in 2011 and for years China has been imminently about to implode or more recently the narrative from the mega bears has changed to China will implode or become a poor version of Japan. No one knows the outcome. Best to focus on the strong companies with structural growth (lots of these are still cheap in Asia) and short the weak ones (there are lots of them). Even in a blow up situation (whenever that might be) the hedging should work. And post the blow up, it will be an opportunity of a lifetime.
  • PP
    Peter P.
    7 September 2019 @ 10:04
    Thank you (as always) Mike Green for volunteering your time to share your thoughts with the RV community, and allowing us to partake in your conversations with your contacts (e.g. E. Derman ; J. Wolfe, etc..) - Suffice to say that wherever your interest in markets is taking your brain is of great interest to many viewers of RV. Thank you Chris for your thoughts and time. Separately - Since Mr. Pettis name was mentioned in a comment below & related to the interview above...One of the more thought provoking videos I saw in 2018 - Chinese debt and macroeconomic reforms with Michael Pettis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lcEaKqSijc
  • JH
    Johannes H.
    7 September 2019 @ 09:00
    What's with the "China does X" theme here recently? Where is the real trading interviews with people with unbiased political opinions and telling about how to read a market ?
  • jl
    jay l.
    7 September 2019 @ 04:27
    i miss Grant. where is Grant
    • PD
      Peter D.
      7 September 2019 @ 12:24
      Often when Grant is off for a bit ... he comes back with a solid series of well-researched content....
    • DC
      Dan C.
      8 September 2019 @ 02:17
      He just had an appearance on Macrovoices.
  • LY
    Leo Y.
    7 September 2019 @ 04:04
    Feel a bit funny to see a "foreign expert" talk about China, and almost make me laugh when he talk about those "popular stories", and he seems having more faith than the storytellers, you can't tell until you have business there. It is a culture to keep a low profile, and Chinese believe who knows most, speaks least, they just won't show what they are feeling and thinking. For the sake of humble, they will tell whatever you want to hear, to a different looking foreigner, especially, when they want to learn english from you, you can expect how they please you. When Christopher Balding emphasize the problem, he gave the extreme cases, like house price in Shenzhen, you will see unrealistic ASKING price everywhere, in a country with nearly 1.4 billion people, it is inevitable. What he looked at the economy, he took simple average figures without considering the population distribution, like averaging West Europe with Africa. People all of sudden concern about the privacy? Everyone knew this decades ago when Telephone/Mobile Phone/SMS were popular. In contrast, the weaker the economy, the stronger power Xi has. It is herding instinct. It seems that he knew the danger of a tiger, just couldn't see the circus tiger was in cage.
    • DS
      David S.
      7 September 2019 @ 06:31
      Thank you for your post. Too many anecdotes in the interview. I much preferred Mr. Green's dialog with Mr. Papic. DLS
    • TB
      Tim B.
      11 September 2019 @ 11:49
      Leo, all good points.
  • Hv
    Hannah v.
    7 September 2019 @ 02:57
    I’d like to see Mike Green interview Vladimir Putin.
    • MF
      Martin F.
      7 September 2019 @ 05:36
      i'd like to see Mike Green talk to Jeff Snider
  • LB
    Luke B.
    7 September 2019 @ 01:39
    very very switched on fellow. As an Aussie and close observer of the Iron Ore commodity I think he's incorrect about that bit.62% Fe will always be sold to China. Watch for the discounting on the lower quality 58% to increase again (see ASX:FMG) if China is wanting to add again their mixed domestic ore (well, well under 50% Fe)
    • RM
      Ryan M.
      7 September 2019 @ 05:49
      Lost my attention when they started talking about iron ore. Hard to talk about Fe without talking about at least either supply, port inventories, steel mill margins, and or environmental regulations. If they were concerned with import problems, why wouldn’t port inventories have went up as they stocked up? Steel mills were cranking out steel because they were still making money and they know environmental regulations are coming, hence port inventories not climbing. My opinion at least. Could be incorrect.
  • CS
    Craig S.
    7 September 2019 @ 00:45
    Great Job with Chris. Have you tried to get Pettis. Interesting was willingness to use domestic ores at higher prices; same for Coal after 2009-11. Also with Iron Ore, they are trying to use their domestic scrap; which of course is a different process; production process/factory. Issues related to types of production facilities. Then, nothing on Wage Share to GDP and Consumption/GDP. Nor discussion on the rising household debt. credit card to disposable income. Would have been nice to hear real numbers on wages; the discussion of capping out at 20-30k rmb/monthly, would have to be few workers at a Utility. More discussion of real average wages. Some thoughts, have many more. These are often
  • PG
    Philippe G.
    6 September 2019 @ 22:14
    Great conversation!
  • KS
    Kathleen S.
    6 September 2019 @ 21:17
    Excellent Interview -- agree with everything Chris Balding says -- he makes complete sense and he is a must follow on twitter. China is nothing but a small group of people spinning many many plates -- once they start falling it is game over. It started slowly and happened suddenly and as bad as the US maybe, China is much worse.
  • TB
    Tim B.
    6 September 2019 @ 21:15
    OK, so I appreciated Chris’s insights on economics in China. What I don’t understand is why Mike (who has had some fabulous interviews/interviews) is asking questions of a political or social nature. Would we go to a political science expert to gain insights about economics? I think there’s an opportunity here to invite another person into the conversation that can better shed light on different knowledge areas. There’s room for another chair in that room. Just my two cents. Cheers
    • TB
      Tim B.
      6 September 2019 @ 21:16
      interviews/discussions .... we do need an edit function here in the comments section.
    • TB
      Tim B.
      11 September 2019 @ 11:51
      Actually, after reading others' more informed comments re: economics, it seems the "insights" were actually off base. A weak interview.
  • JA
    Justin A.
    6 September 2019 @ 20:42
    What is Chris's twitter handle? Thanks
    • SS
      Steve S.
      6 September 2019 @ 21:11
      @Baldingsworld
  • FS
    Franz S.
    6 September 2019 @ 20:22
    Great interview. Very timely.
  • SS
    Sam S.
    6 September 2019 @ 19:57
    Really enjoyed this pro level interview. Great questions and concise responses. As with some comments below, I'm a fan of "going Green" with Mike and do hope Raoul or Grant would interview him. Chris did a great job on a topic many of us truly know little about, including myself. RV TV provides a fantastic education on so many of these important subjects. Enjoy exploring the comments below and those with more experience. All the best!
  • PV
    Pavel V.
    6 September 2019 @ 19:26
    Interesting how Chris' stories of China are similar to Russia Zombie banks issuing zombie loans to nearly nonexistent companies (laundry only), Quick and violent shift to state ownership of key parts of economy (print any figures you like) Anxiety under surface etc. Funny how stable these systems are and how fragile.
  • JA
    Johan A.
    6 September 2019 @ 18:26
    dude, whats up with the dudes shirt?
    • MS
      Mark S.
      7 September 2019 @ 14:16
      It’s a stylized version of the flag of California.
  • RM
    R M.
    6 September 2019 @ 16:14
    This series with Mike Green has been excellent. More Mike please and do cover India and Vietnam soon! Thanks for these!
  • SW
    Scott W.
    6 September 2019 @ 15:34
    Mike G. - would love it were RV to have you expound on the US national account, fiscal & monetary policy, debt levels, MMT and the like - ramifications and possibilities in light of current global circumstances. In this interview (and others) you've shown deep knowledge!
  • MF
    M F.
    6 September 2019 @ 15:14
    Sorry...why does he keep saying "that China doesn't want to become Thailand." Thailand actually now has a good/conservative fiscal debt to GDP and a strong C/A surplus amid and that is despite a very strong currency (strongest in Asia this year). So I don't get the comment China doesn't want to have strong external balances and a conservative fiscal approach?
    • MG
      Michael G. | Contributor
      6 September 2019 @ 15:50
      He's referring to Thailand's role in the 1997 Asian Crisis
  • MC
    Mario C.
    6 September 2019 @ 15:12
    Unsurprisingly... great interview. Good job from MG as usual
  • WB
    Wes B.
    6 September 2019 @ 14:33
    Doesn't sound like China is playing "Go" to me, Go for broke on leverage maybe.
    • DS
      David S.
      8 September 2019 @ 06:29
      And how many of us would be able to run a country with 1.5 billion people? DLS
  • GF
    George F.
    6 September 2019 @ 12:42
    "MIKE GREEN: A historical example I believe we've talked about is the German stock market under the Nazi regime, which was viewed as a point of national pride. It was perceived as bad. Some other administrations might think this as well, if the stock market went down, and so a rule was put in place between 1933-- I think it was actually '34 that it was put in place-- in the end of World War II in which transaction could only occur at an all-time high price. The German stock market only went up in a similar fashion." The Nazi German stock market seems to function normally until the battle of Stalingrad 1942 when prices are frozen in a narrow range. Prices may have been frozen earlier as there is a smaller plateau for about a year earlier, perhaps US entry into the war. https://www.quora.com/How-did-Germanys-stock-market-perform-during-the-rise-of-the-Third-Reich-Did-it-give-out-warning-signs-of-what-was-to-come
    • JC
      Jon C.
      6 September 2019 @ 13:21
      This stood out to me as well and I found the same Quora post as you did with reference to Biggs' book. Has anyone, or if MG is reading the comments, found the actual source of this policy? I'm very curious to read more about it.
    • MG
      Michael G. | Contributor
      6 September 2019 @ 14:32
      Nothing was "normal" about the German stock market under Hitler. Here's a brief piece worth reading about the shenanigans in the Nazi "recovery", similar to much of what's happening in China https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1188&context=ghj
    • JC
      Jon C.
      6 September 2019 @ 14:41
      Brilliant, thanks.
  • SS
    Steve S.
    6 September 2019 @ 11:28
    This is the issue I have with Christopher Balding. I agree with his China view and his findings having lived in China myself for 7 years. But this guy preaches on Twitter about democratic and American values, but lived in China for 9 years with his wife, paid taxes to the Chinese Government whilst he was there. He then leaves China and moves to Communist Vietnam. Isn't that ironic and a huge contradiction? Where's his next move after Vietnam? Communist North Korea?
    • dd
      david d.
      6 September 2019 @ 12:00
      you view makes no sense
    • JC
      Jon C.
      6 September 2019 @ 12:25
      This is silly. I've lived/worked LATAM, does that make me a sandinista?
    • DR
      David R.
      6 September 2019 @ 16:40
      Steve, you need boots on the ground. There is a hella lot entrepreneurial spirit in "communist" China nowadays, certainly more so than the increasingly socialist West and the US where sadly the majority polled prefer socialism to free enterprise (especially among those under age 40; the future). For example, the business birth-death statistical data shows that more US businesses have closed than opened in the US most years this century, while the opposite has been true across so-called communist china, thanks to the Deng reforms. They are copying Singapore, and look at Singapore which is twice as rich per person as the US now, having rapidly risen up from the 2nd poorest country in the world a half-century ago to become the world's second-richest per person today. But sadly for china, and perhaps the world, the iron-fisted Xi is slowly reversing those reforms, but he'll be gone in about ten years (or sooner if china stumbles), and meanwhile the spirit of the free enterprising majority there should prevail in the long run. As the ppl understand having seen firsthand, socialism doesn't work - something many in the West will apparently learn the hard way as it hits the wall under more & more socialism and eventually fails over the next decade or two, just as China and other socialist countries have. The roles are reversing. It's the universal law of cycles. Indeed, just out last month from the IMF... For Over the past year, Mainland China GDP = $27.44-trillion; entire US GDP = $21.41-Trillion. (China figure is PPP for only the mainland; excluding other areas of Greater China: HK, Sg, Taiwan, Pg, Macau). Greater China GDP PPP will exceed $30-Trillion per year by year-end, and will grow to become double the US GDP during this coming decade per the IMF. I think due to this entrepreneurial renaissance across east Asia.
    • DR
      David R.
      6 September 2019 @ 17:16
      I wonder when and where did you live for 7 years. Shenzhen? Hong Kong? I think people can have different experiences or different perspectives. I used to once be based in HK but also visited china etc on business or pleasure (which was admittedly a mixed bag), also travelling to and from home including extended business/stays, before selling my house back home and settling on Singapore where I relocated permanently at my choice as I'd fallen in love with the East (as some do like Jimmy Rogers, Marc Faber, etc) and I couldn't stand the socialist creep & mindset taking over back home, not to mention its worsening confiscatory taxes & debt and gov't waste. I like that I keep what I earn, pay no income tax, don't file any personal tax returns anymore, and neither get nor expect any "free" handouts. Sure, it's an authoritarian uniparty totalitarian state, but it's extremely efficient & modern & safe & attractive, and in contrast, democracies today aren't really inspiring any confidence given how they're faring. So I don't care about labels such as "communist" or "totalitarian" or "capitalist", all of which can be misleading IMHO, as I've seen good and bad in them all.
    • SS
      Steve S.
      6 September 2019 @ 19:29
      What I'm saying is if you believe so strongly in democracy, the rule of law, American values, what are you doing living in Communist authoritarian countries with terrible human rights records. That's my point. I do agree with his findings on China. I just find it a bit hypocritical to bash China based in Vietnam which has terrible human rights records. The boots on the ground comment yes its true. But to have any true, valuable local insights you have to speak the language. Chris can't speak/read or write Chinese. @David, I lived in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong from 2011-2018. I can tell you Xi is not leaving in 10 years unless he dies. He is Mao Zedong 2.0 for the digital age, and has the tools and surveillance to go way beyond what Mao could e.g. using his Red App as opposed to the red book used by Mao. Look how long Robert Mugabe held onto power, into his 90s. I can also tell you that if you have ever used your computer or phone for a significant amount of time in China, it is infected and you are being watched, regardless of where you are in the world. GDP numbers out of Mainland China are BS.
  • SS
    Steve S.
    6 September 2019 @ 10:11
    Mike Green the GOAT Interviewer. Seriously. Someone interview Mike Green, We need to hear his views. Its been too long since hes been interviewed.
    • CJ
      Charles J.
      6 September 2019 @ 15:53
      I second this.... I'll watch absolutely anything Mike Green does.
  • KZ
    Kevin Z.
    6 September 2019 @ 09:28
    Great stuff! I was lucky enough to come across Christopher when he started writing publicly about China data about 6 years ago, and have met him a number of times since then. What makes him stand out and be so valuable in the 'China watcher' community is what he describes in this interview - he went to China with no preconceived views, biases or expectations about what he would find, and let the information and experiences guide his views. This is unfortunately rare these days, when so many economists, political scientists, journalists, investors, bankers, politicians, etc view every new area through a rigid ideological lens, and so ignore evidence that does not comport with their pre-conceived narrative.
  • PD
    Pat D.
    6 September 2019 @ 09:03
    Thanks Mike, another brilliant deep dive.
  • BH
    Bin H.
    6 September 2019 @ 07:41
    Would love to hear what Mike Green thinks about China
  • DS
    David S.
    6 September 2019 @ 07:28
    People, Chinese or other, want individual freedom. Individual freedom comes at the expense of community cohesiveness. We need to stop thinking that the US model of personal freedom is the best for all nations. China was, is and forever will be different from the US. In like manner Japan, Switzerland, France, etc. have found are also different. If we keep analyzing China through a US paradigm, we will never understand it. It is apparent that even living, working and playing in China does not change the US paradigm for either pro or con. Even within the US we misunderstand intentions. I believe the trade war is being used to force US companies back to the US and increase federal revenues. I do not think we understand Chinese motives anymore than they understand ours. President Xi wants to make China great again in like fashion to Presdent Trump. DLS
    • tc
      t c.
      6 September 2019 @ 15:50
      I think Trump sees a multi polar world. China sees only one. We in the west are still barbarians in their eyes.They see all wealth flows to them and all culture come from them. If you really want to learn about China talk to Japanese. They have studied it for a 1,000 of years.
    • DS
      David S.
      6 September 2019 @ 16:52
      I think President Trump's primary objective is to win re-election. He is for America first. I do believe he is interested in a multi-polar world. DLS
    • DC
      Dan C.
      6 September 2019 @ 18:41
      I don't care to "understand China". What I understand is the CCP is practicing unfair trade (along with several other dubious practices) and looks to be a ticking time bomb. Enough of this BS.