The most extraordinary China article of the past week, dear readers, has to be the CNN Interview with the country’s richest man, the CEO of Dalian Wanda and future King of Hollywood, Wang Jianlin. He stated unequivocally that the China property market is not only a bubble, but the biggest bubble in human history. How does it make sense that he would say that? Has he already flipped a lot of his holdings, enough to not worry if the bubble suffers fatigue or worse? Could that be done without the market getting wind of it? Mind you, the buying interest is there in pockets. The property market is China’s main cities is just going crazy. It’s not tulip territory in that the apartments can actually be used for something. But it’s not normal or healthy either.
The authorities are conflicted about how to handle it, but overall they seem inclined to let the bubble keep growing, in spite of the risks of it popping. The alternative possibility, that it does not pop and these new price levels are long-term sustainable, would mean that the younger generation of Chinese people have been sacrificed in terms of the possibility of home ownership in order to stabilize the economy ahead of the 19th Congress. Wang Jianlin, meanwhile, is an aggressive real estate guy with what one presumes to be some pretty amazing political connections.
Now, who else is there out there who matches that profile? Why, Donald, of course. What are the chances of Wang being a contender for the party chief position in the 19th Congress next year? Zero. What are the chances of Donald becoming the most powerful human being in the world? Not zero, but somewhat less than they were said to be before the first debate with Hillary. China, again, hardly got a mention. It is so disappointing that the country is losing its role as the top scapegoat of American politics, to be upstaged and replaced by Mexico. Hillary might hopefully rectify that. The next debate is scheduled for October 9, just after the mainland October break. The strength of a system that can deal with such an extraordinary level of uncertainty is nothing short of awesome. Have a good holiday, if you are in the orbit of the PRC!