Readers, we’ve got to ask, in Seinfeld-ian style: What’s the deal with all this criticism we’re hearing nowadays? The bears are out in force, we must say, and it’s almost as if people only know how to accentuate the negative anymore.
No sooner had China brokerages’ valuations risen on a surging Shanghai market than did word begin to circulate that China stocks were edging into bubble territory. Now, granted, the Shanghai Composite Index took a slight tumble later in the week, but is that really any reason to be dour? And one could hardly go two minutes without hearing people carping about this or moaning about that. China denounced the Philippines ahead of the arbitration deadline in (yet another) South China Sea dispute. Soon thereafter, China criticized the US State Department for a report on (you’ll never guess) the South China Sea.
And these protestors down in Hong Kong, always going on about “universal suffrage”, “government opacity” and “blatant abuse of authority”, even after police had warned them to clear out and on until the bitter end. Why, if they’d have just turned the corner and gone up a few steps, they’d have found the billionaire brothers Kwok facing bribery charges for a wonderfully wide-ranging slew of misbehavior, including alleged acceptance of bribes from Beijing.
Well, that particular revelation might not have won any hearts and minds. But while the two sides in Hong Kong at least agreed to disagree, nobody could find consensus on much more than a paragraph of the six-page climate change agreement that was supposed to be penned in Peru, with the Chinese delegation calling on those assembled to strike any and all independent oversight from the hypothetical pact. Meanwhile a major global warming projection remained well above the level at which Earth’s goose won’t be cooked.
Why can’t all just we be a bit more accepting and laid back, like the boys in Beijing? Top leaders seem to have cottoned to the fact that astronomical GDP growth can’t last forever, and have acquiesced to a “new normal” of slow growth. Meanwhile regulators at Shanghai’s bourse opened the doors to twelve new IPOs out of the blue shortly after CGN Power’s debut had lit up Hong Kong’s exchange.
And even the folks in Silicon Valley threw open the gates as everyone from Apple to Facebook to Amazon welcomed top Chinese internet regulator Lu Wei for a visit to their respective headquarters. Not that everyone’s getting a warm welcome, of course, as a certain former security chef can surely attest to.
If you ask us, all these bears bawling about systemic risk have put us in an American state of mind. And we all know what Americans do during bear season: They get a hunting pass.