All is calm, dear readers. All is well. You need not worry your little heads about those ominous clouds on the horizon, nor that shuddering of the foundations beneath your feet. China’s top men are on the case.
Now, some people will tell you they might not be up to it. Some people will point to widespread doubts about the headline economic growth rate of 6.9% released this week by the chronically understaffed national statistics bureau, or point you toward the IMF’s new forecast of 6.3% GDP growth for 2016 as evidence that things aren’t as sunny as official statistics make them seem.
Others might point to struggling sectors of the domestic and global economy. They’ll rattle off glib statistics about how Macau’s gambling revenue fell by more than a third in 2015, or note how falling commodity demand from China has led to what one adviser to the global dry-bulk shipping industry has called “a bloodbath“.
Some may suggest that inexorable sociopolitical trends will lead to economic disaster. No doubt such people would cite the record drop in China’s working-age population last year, or frame the removal of harmless dramas from online video sites and broadcasting of forced confessions as reflective of authorities’ growing penchant for social control that sits awkwardly with the goal of innovation-driven and market-oriented society.
A select few might even cherry-pick recent news items concerning China’s economic and financial policies as proof that things are becoming increasingly unstable. No doubt these would include the central bank’s raising of the offshore yuan reserve requirement for clearing banks, or its having reportedly ordered banks to restrict multinational companies’ outflows of yuan funds, or the rumored attempted resignation of the national securities regulator. Maybe just to throw you for a loop they’ll even suggest recent talk of a digital currency from the People’s Bank of China suggests even the central bank is a little uneasy about its dependence on the yuan.
But you know, dear readers, all that din is nothing next to the soothing legato of China’s delegation to the World Economic Forum in fabulous Davos, Switzerland. Did you know that securities regulator vice-chairman Fang Xinghai told an audience China had “no basis” for seeking a weaker currency? Or that none other than Li Yuanchao (he’s the vice president, don’t worry, we had to look it up as well) asserted that Beijing would calm China’s troubled stock market with the ever-efficacious panacea of more regulations?
Surely you did not, dear readers. But on the off chance you’re still looking to swap out your redbacks for something of a greener hue, maybe get in touch with China’s own Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We hear they’ll be making loans only in dollars.