China: Deja vu all over again

The Shanghai Composite today found support at 3500 today after plunging more than 8% on Monday. The large divergence on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow continues to warn of selling pressure.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 4000 – ( 5000 – 4000 ) = 3000

Japan’s Lost Decade

From Wikipedia:

The Japanese asset price bubble….. was an economic bubble in Japan from 1986 to 1991 in which real estate and stock market prices were greatly inflated. The bubble was characterized by rapid acceleration of asset prices and overheated economic activity, as well as an uncontrolled money supply and credit expansion. More specifically, over-confidence and speculation regarding asset and stock prices had been closely associated with excessive monetary easing policy at the time.

By August 1990, the Nikkei stock index had plummeted to half its peak by the time of the fifth monetary tightening by the Bank of Japan (BOJ)…..the economy’s decline continued for more than a decade. This decline resulted in a huge accumulation of non-performing assets loans (NPL), causing difficulties for many financial institutions. The bursting of the Japanese asset price bubble contributed to what many call the Lost Decade.

“…uncontrolled money supply and credit expansion….overheated stock market and real estate bubble.” Sound familiar? It should. We are witnessing a re-run but this time in China. Wait, there’s more…..

…..At the end of August 1987, the BOJ signaled the possibility of tightening the monetary policy, but decided to delay the decision in view of economic uncertainty related to Black Monday (October 19, 1987) in the US.

…..BOJ reluctance to tighten the monetary policy was in spite of the fact that the economy went into expansion in the second half of 1987. The Japanese economy had just recovered from the “endaka recession” ….. closely linked to the Plaza Accord of September 1985, which led to the strong appreciation of the Japanese yen.

… order to overcome the “endaka” recession and stimulate the local economy, an aggressive fiscal policy was adopted, mainly through expansion of public investment. Simultaneously, the BOJ declared that curbing the yen’s appreciation was a “national priority”……

Global stock market crash leads to prolonged monetary easing…… aggressive expansion of public investment to stimulate the domestic economy…..central bank efforts to curb appreciation of the currency. We all know how this ends. We’ve seen the movie before.

It’s like deja-vu, all over again. ~ Yogi Berra

Canberra is fighting the last war –

As we know, the Western world has passed an historic moment when credit driven growth is no longer viable. We are in the early years of a decades long deleveraging. And, as we know from the sectoral balances of macroeconomics, an economy can only grow through the expansion of the external sector or by expanding credit in either the government or private sectors. Is it useful, therefore, to be comparing Treasury’s triumphant victory over the seventies bogies of wage breakouts and inflation via a tradable goods destroying currency appreciation when the world is now set on a course in which the ONLY economic growth that has lasting value in this new milieu is that driven by expansion in the external sector?

For me the answer is absolutely not.

Treasury is busy fighting the last war. The new war is for export revenues to drive investment and growth to offset the enormous debt stocks that exist in the public and private sectors of Western economies, including Australia. That’s why destroying parts of your tradable goods sector in order to make room for other tradable goods is about as sensible as cutting off a leg so that you’ve lost weight. Sure you have, but now you just gonna sit there and eat.

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