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.