Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:50:14 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses

daily link  Friday, January 13, 2006

Did Castro Kill JFK?  A German film finds intelligence and FBI officials who claim Cuba planned it and paid Oswald to do it.  Getting coverage overseas, but curiously not in the US (via WashPost blog).
  10:32:04 AM  permalink  

Dissecting the Chinese miracle: Concise summary of issues in China's current political economy, and why the near term future could get bumpy.  Topics include:
  • China's loss-making state-owned enterprises, and how they employ masses of people while enriching local and regional officials that fight reform and suppress popular opposition
  • The need to rationalize development goals and credit allocation to build a modern economy, and how there will have to be many losers in this effort
  • The tension in the rich-poor, urban-rural and coastal-interior gaps
  • "China consumes 12 % of global energy, 25 % of aluminum, 28 % of steel and 42 % of cement -- but is responsible for only 4.3 % of total global economic output. Ultimately, while the "solution" espoused by Jiang's generation did forestall a civil breakdown, it also saddled China with thousands of new non-competitive projects, even more bad debt, and a culture of corruption so deep that cases of applied capital punishment for graft and embezzlement have soared into the thousands."
  • "Western investment into China has remained startlingly constant at about $7 billion annually. Only Asian investors whose systems are often plagued (like Japan's) by similar problems of profitability or (like Indonesia's) outright collapse have been increasing their exposure in China."
  • China "is now a World Trade Organization member, and nearly half of its GDP is locked up in international trade. Its WTO commitments dictate that by December, Beijing must allow any interested foreign companies to compete in the Chinese banking market without restriction. But without some fairly severe adjustments, this shift would swiftly suck the capital out of the Chinese banking system."  So even the next two years could be turbulent.
  10:02:18 AM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:50:14 PM.