China and the Business Cycle

China has made incredible progress over the last 30 years.  China still has a communist government or at least that is what it is called.  It is still communist in some aspects.  In other aspects, it is less communist than many western governments, including in the U.S.  China does not have the Americans for Disabilities Act.  While the economy is still centrally planned in many ways, there is also less red tape in many areas compared to the U.S. and other so-called democracies.

China has been inflating at a high rate in the last several years.  China has a property/ real estate bubble that may be worse than what happened in the U.S. a few years ago.  Although the economy in China has grown tremendously and many people there have a higher standard of living for it, some of the recent prosperity is also illusory.  China cannot defy the laws of economics any more than any other country.  China's boom will turn into a bust.

The Chinese government has already announced an interest rate hike to control inflation.  There is no other choice unless they are willing to risk hyperinflation.  The Austrian business cycle theory tells us that a reduced inflation rate will lead to a bust.  China is not immune to this.  China will face its very first recession/ depression, unless you consider almost the entire 20th century as one big great depression.

If you are considering buying Chinese stocks, don't.  You would be better off to short the market.  There are ETFs to do that now.  The only problem is timing.  That is always our problem.  China is going to experience a major downturn, but we don't know when.  It will likely be soon, but does that mean in one month, one year, or five years?  My bet is that it will be less than five years.  It is harder to say if it will be in the next year.

Don't be surprised when China does crash.  The Austrian business cycle theory does not just apply to the U.S.  While much of China's prosperity has been real, we can't ignore that some of it is illusory and will come crashing down.  That's what happens when you have a central bank managing a fiat currency.