Progress…. with Chinese characteristics | Jim Grant

….Yet as the world’s second-largest economy continues to slog through the aftermath of its debt-driven economic miracle-cum-titanic housing bubble, policymakers put their best foot forward – with Chinese characteristics. Thus, aggregate financing fell by nearly RMB 200 billion in April from the prior month, data released over the weekend show, marking the first outright contraction in that metric of broad credit availability in nearly two decades.

True to form, the government looks to sweep those inconvenient figures under the rug, as Bloomberg relays that seven separate research notes from local brokerages commenting on that data release were scrubbed from the WeChat social media platform as of this morning.

Then, too, regulators have switched off live trading data showing foreign investment flows on the mainland Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges via the Stock Connect trading link. That move, which was telegraphed in an April announcement, follows word that foreign direct investment registered at just $10.3 billion during the first quarter, down 56% from the first three months of 2023.

~ Jim Grant, Grant’s Almost Daily

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