Tickling China (and gauging it's heat)

"for reference only"
- that was Li Keqiang, head of the Communist Party and future Premier talking to a US official about China's economic statistics, "especially" GDP figures in December release of Wikileaks.

Even if you were a leading economist, making a living out of intellectual pursuits, inside the world's second largest economy -  you wouldn't be sure of its real economic picture. You'd might be arguing  in favor of discussions like: "US empire will bite the dust..." or "The new Global order...", but not be convinced about it. In this article series I would like to clear some of the noise so that you can make sense of "why" and" why-nots" about China. It is not easy to learn everything about billions of people, much like India. But I will give it a shot.

Here are some not-so-heart-warming facts about about the Dragon's rule: 

- in 2008 at the peak of the recession, China's export machine met with a serious head-blow. More than 100,000 factories shut their shop-floors, calling the quits on millions of workers. 

- Beijing announced a US$600bn stimulus in 2008. Considering size of China's economy, it is worth worth $2.2 trillion in US. I will leave it to you to guess how much that is really worth. Just keep in mind China's per-capita-GDP is 1/10th of US (...I know!!)

- Do you remember the famous "boom boom" GDP growth figure in 2009? The state run banks gave away US$1.5 trillion as loans to residential and commercial developers. That is about 30% of their GDP!

- With 95% of the growth in 2009 coming from fixed investments - you can only imagine where the stimulus money is being used. Urban infrastructure development continues to artificially heat the already boiling economy. 

- But do they even have enough people wanting to move in to the homes they are creating?? A lot of reports suggest there are 64 million vacant homes in China. Good enough to house 200 million peopleThats more than 15% of their population! Electricity consumption was reported as zero in a lot of homes :) 

Winston Churchill referred to Russia as "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" That mantle can now be passed on to China. This series shall continue and there will be some great things about this mysterious country as well. 


  1. Fantastic Tanmoy.Quite a statistical review of the Dragons overshadowing the other much profound races.

  2. Thanks! More to follow.