Crecimiento, inflación y ciudades fantasmas de la economía de China


Nuevos edificios en construcción siguen apareciendo alrededor de edificios desocupados durante años en toda China

El crecimiento económico de la República Popular de China se ha mantenido en los últimos años con asombrosos niveles de crecimiento de su Producto Interno Bruto del 10% anual.  Así, es de suponer que la República Popular de China (CHN) y sus ciudadanos son un país cada vez más rico que ha aprovechado las dádivas del libre mercado, la competencia y la producción en masa para las masas.

Sin embargo, esta producción de riqueza se ha mantenido en niveles muy superiores a los del resto del mundo (en especial luego del 2008) sólo con la inversión del gobierno Chino en el desarrollo de grandes complejos industriales y ciudades que han creado millones de empleos para crear la burbuja de bienes raíces más grande de la historia de la humanidad.  El crecimiento de la República Popular de China como en cualquier otra economía mixta del planeta se ha mantenido creciendo sólo en detrimento de sus ciudadanos y favoreciendo en desarrollo de una multimillonaria elite alrededor del Partido Comunista Chino.

¿Y cuál es esa burbuja?

Es una burbuja de 64 millones de hogares desocupados y de un exceso crediticio (o de movilidad) en la provisión de dinero para invertir en obras de infraestructura que fue creada por orden del gobierno de la CHN para alcanzar sus metas de crecimiento económico. Este exceso crediticio inició con excedentes de capital acumulados por las exportaciones chinas que necesitaban salidas para invertirse y, en ausencia de un verdadero libre mercado, surgen fenómenos de inversión y recalentamiento económico dirigidos por el gobierno central que busca detener la inflación con métodos artificiales.

Ciudades enteras de millones de habitantes fantasmas han surgido en los últimos 15 años a lo largo y ancho de China en respuesta a órdenes del gobierno central y es de suponer que nunca serán ocupadas.  El gobierno de CHN ha creado una burbuja que acabará con todas la definiciones previas de lo que una burbuja de bienes raíces es.

Para algunos economistas, una burbuja económica de bienes raíces es el resultado de una caída de los precios superior al 20%.  Otros establecen que una burbuja es el resultado de la caída de ventas en el mercado inmobiliario de un 20% – 30%.  En CHN la demanda de hogares no es ni siquiera cercana al 20% de la oferta disponible de millones de nuevos hogares, tiendas y edificios y la población sigue siendo en su mayoría muy pobre.  Ni siquiera en los próximos cinco años lograrán ocupar un 20% más de esos 64 millones de unidades fantasmas.

Sin duda, la República Popular de China nos sorprenderá tarde o temprano cuando esta burbuja explote y quienes suponen que China sería “la economía del futuro” comprenderán cuan equivocados se encontraban.  Lamentablemente, esta burbuja seguramente arrasará con las economías de todo el mundo.

Más información e imágenes en:

The economics of disaster after devastation in Japan


“Japan will be poorer, for this disaster,” said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest automaker, tumbled 7.9 percent after saying it would suspend manufacturing at its domestic plants through Wednesday — a production loss of 40,000 cars. Other manufacturers forced to halt production, such as Sony Corp. and Honda Motor Co., also slumped.

Much has been said in the aftermath of the earthquakes (the biggest with an intensity of 8.9 in the Richter Scale) and tsunami (with waves >10 meter high) that hit Japan last Friday.  First, the headcount of deaths has already reached 10K people and thousands more are still missing.  The first estimates on the economic impact stroked world’s stock markets and the price of petroleum fell in estimations of Japan’s industrial paralysis.

However, some economists would argue that the destruction caused by these natural disasters had something positive at the end of the day. Such is what had previously said Lawrence Summers, president emeritus of Harvard University that “It may lead to some temporary increments, ironically, to GDP, as a process of rebuilding takes place. In the wake of the earlier Kobe earthquake, Japan actually gained some economic strength” Many other economist believe the same as Mr. Summers and the reason is that an enormous influx of liquidity is to enter Japan’s long stagnant economy.  Already, Japan’s central bank pumped a record $184 billion into money markets and took other measures to protect a teetering economy today, as the Tokyo stock market nose-dived followed the devastating earthquakes and tsunami.  Afterward, large scale reconstruction plans are to start and billions of dollars would be pumped to reconstruct the country.  Overall, this huge reconstruction investments could trigger the recovery of Japan’s economy.

So, is everything going to be better?

Japanese culture and attitudes toward disasters has always been identified with the adjectives “pro activity, benevolence, cooperation and honesty”.  As such, looting has not occurred and reconstruction has started after only 3 days of the disasters.   However, the economy is not going to recover positively from this disasters no matter how much money is pumped into the economy to reconstruct by private companies or public investment.

Why is that the economy will continue suffering?

The destruction of business and public services had been working efficiently under market laws. This means that there is no relation to “creative destruction” and destruction occurred because of natural disasters.  Creative destruction applies only to businesses that were not competitive and as such, disappeared to open new investment in new industries and technologies.  A good example of creative destruction was how American Car Industry should have disappeared after the 2008 financial crisis to allow for more competitive companies (bailouts avoided it causing long term inefficiencies and economic loses to the US).

The reconstruction of Japan will require billions and this would surely ignite the tentacles of governmental interventionists agencies under the fallacy that the earthquake and tsunami were good things for Japan.  Government interventionism always deems disaster good to the system since it allows them pump more taxes and extort more money from private businesses.

Rebuilding Japan will be a hard and difficult work and estimates of the are at up to 15 trillion yen ($183 billion) — about 3 percent of gross domestic product.  Credit Suisse’s Shirakawa said in a report the direct economic losses such as property destruction could total 6 trillion yen ($73 billion) to 7 trillion yen. Indirect losses such as lost production will probably be higher.  The costs of reconstruction are at a high loss for the Japanese people and the rest of humanity.  This historical moment will again open the doors for collectivist ideologies that consider the sacrifice of individual rights to benefit the public good.

Evidence and history has shown that reconstruction and investment is more quickly, effective and has better long term effects if kept private and in respect of individual’s rights.  Lord Acton’s essay “The fallacy of the broken window” is a great example of how destruction is not always positive and of how reconstruction should be organized by a government that respects an individual’s right to his rights and property.  It is now our obligation to remind this to leaders of world governments.

Here’s a great video explaining it,

Video: The broken window fallacy