CHINA’S WOBBLES COULD THROW THE GLOBAL ECONOMY OFF ITS AXIS | Kanebridge News
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CHINA’S WOBBLES COULD THROW THE GLOBAL ECONOMY OFF ITS AXIS

By DESMOND LACHMAN
Wed, Jan 31, 2024 1:03pmGrey Clock 3 min

About the author: Desmond Lachman is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He was previously a deputy director in the International Monetary Fund’s Policy Development and Review Department and the chief emerging market economic strategist at Salomon Smith Barney.

Today, a Hong Kong court ordered the liquidation of Evergrande, a Chinese company that was one of the world’s largest property developers. After years of fruitless negotiations between the company and its creditors over the restructuring of its $300 billion debt mountain, a Chinese court said that “enough was enough.” In a blow to an already troubled Chinese housing market, it ordered that the company’s assets be liquidated to pay back its creditors.

How mainland China handles Hong Kong’s court order could have major implications for Chinese property prices and foreign investor confidence. If it enforces the court’s order, that could see an acceleration in Chinese home-price declines by adding to supply in an already glutted market. It could also heighten social tensions by disappointing around 1.5 million Chinese households who have put down large deposits for homes that are yet to be completed.

If it ignores the Hong Kong court’s order, it risks dealing a further blow to waning investor confidence. Questions would arise about China’s willingness to abide by the rule of law and to offer a safe economic environment for investors.

The Evergrande liquidation comes at an awkward time for the Chinese economy. It is already in deep trouble and could be headed for a Japanese-style lost economic decade. The news also suggests that China will disappoint the consensus view that the Chinese economy is headed for only a minor economic slowdown this year. This could have major implications for the U.S. and world economic outlook, considering that China is the world’s second-largest economy and until recently was its main engine of economic growth.

Even before Evergrande’s liquidation order, a whole set of indicators suggested that the former Chinese economic growth model was dead. Chinese home prices have been falling for more than a year; both wholesale and consumer prices have been falling; stock prices have plummeted as foreign investors have taken fright; and youth unemployment has risen to around 20%.

There have also been questions about President Xi Jinping’s economic stewardship. First, his disastrous zero-tolerance Covid policy contributed to the country’s slowest economic growth in 30 years. Now his increased economic intervention is undermining the underpinnings of the Chinese economic growth miracle unleashed by Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in the 1980s.

Chinese stocks rose last week on news that authorities are taking steps to stimulate the economy. But anyone thinking that the Chinese economy will respond favourably to yet another round of policy stimulus has not been paying attention to the size of that country’s housing and credit market bubble that has now burst. Nor have they been paying attention to the troubling degree to which that country’s economy has become unbalanced.

According to Harvard’s Ken Rogoff, the Chinese property market now accounts for almost 30% of that country’s GDP. That is around 50% more than that in most developed economies. Meanwhile, over the past decade Chinese credit to its non financial private sector expanded by 100% of GDP, according to the Bank for International Settlements. That is a larger rate of credit expansion than that which preceded Japan’s lost economic decade in the 1990s and that which preceded the 2008 bursting of the U.S. subprime and housing market.

The overall Chinese economy is highly unbalanced in the sense that it has become overly reliant on investment demand. The Chinese investment-to-GDP ratio is over 40%, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That’s sharply higher than the more normal 25% ratio in most other developed and mid-sized emerging market economies.

The consensus forecast is that Chinese economic growth this year will continue at a 5% clip. Anyone relying on that forecast should reflect on the many failures by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central bankers to foresee the grave problems of the subprime housing market in the U.S. in early 2008. It would seem that most economists are downplaying indications of major Chinese economic problems that are plain sight. Chinese economic problems could unleash serious deflationary forces for the U.S. and global economy. The Federal Reserve would be ignoring them at its peril.

Guest commentaries like this one are written by authors outside the Barron’s and MarketWatch newsroom. They reflect the perspective and opinions of the authors.



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Tonino Lamborghini Unveils New Luxury Residences in Ras Al Khaimah

Tonino Lamborghini recently revealed a new luxury project comprising 241 units in Ras Al Khaimah, developed in partnership with Arista Developments.

Tue, May 21, 2024 2 min

Named the Tonino Lamborghini Residences, this project promises a fresh take on luxury living with its iconic design, cutting-edge amenities, and stunning sea views.

Set on Al Marjan Island, the development is adding 241 high-end units to the area’s real estate offerings, all reflecting the sleek, Italian elegance associated with the Lamborghini name.

These residences are designed to impress, featuring modern architecture that harmonizes with the scenic surroundings and interiors marked by meticulous craftsmanship and top-quality finishes.

Living in this one of the project’s units means access to a range of upscale amenities: a state-of-the-art fitness center, multiple swimming pools, beautifully landscaped gardens, and dedicated areas for children’s play. The complex also offers a business center with a conference room, an outdoor BBQ area, and a chic café, catering to all aspects of high-end living.

Arch. Abdulla Al Abdouli, Chief Executive Officer, Marjan, expressed excitement about the introduction of Tonino Lamborghini Residences to Al Marjan Island, noting the project’s blend of sustainable construction and smart home technologies. This integration, he mentioned, guarantees a luxurious lifestyle equipped with the finest modern amenities, reflecting the exquisite Italian craftsmanship. He is confident that this new venture with Arista Developments will significantly boost the allure of Al Marjan Island as a top lifestyle destination in Ras Al Khaimah for both investors and residents.

Tonino Lamborghini, President of the Tonino Lamborghini brand, said: “We are delighted to be among the pioneers in this remarkable new destination in one of the seven emirates of the UAE. Our heartfelt gratitude and recognition go to H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, for his visionary leadership and foresight, and for embracing innovative strategies to revitalize a region full of potential.”

Mr. Arthur Chu, Chairman of Arista Developments, highlighted the project’s ambition to capture the essence of the Tonino Lamborghini brand in every aspect of its design. He described the development of a prestigious residential tower on Al Marjan Island that will reflect the lifestyle and beauty synonymous with Lamborghini. From the sharp, well-defined lines of the exterior to the elegantly designed interior common areas, every detail is crafted to showcase the brand’s distinctive elegance and sophistication. Chu emphasized that the interior designs, personally crafted by Tonino Lamborghini, aim to fully immerse residents in the Italian brand’s luxurious identity.

The variety in housing options is vast, ranging from one and two-bedroom apartments to duplexes, sea view villas, signature villas, and exclusive penthouses.

The collaboration between Tonino Lamborghini and Arista Developments blends iconic Italian style with expert real estate craftsmanship. This venture marks Lamborghini’s first introduction to Ras Al Khaimah and represents a commitment to setting new standards in luxury and modern living.

 

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