Elaine Meinel Supkis
The goofy plan to use cheap Chinese labor to make the industrialists and financiers of the First World nations filthy rich is now beginning to backfire as I predicted way back in 1986. The Chinese understand money, they created fiat money, after all! And they know how to jujitsu Japan, Europe and America using their hard working masses as leverage. Just this last three months, all the economic scales suddenly tipped to China and they are now shooting upwards as the US and Japan play with creating depressions at home so they can prevent oil inflation. China is winning this battle of wits for obvious reasons: labor triumphing over monetarism.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. briefly overtook Citigroup Inc. as the world's largest bank by market value after less than a year as a public company.
ICBC's shares rose as much as 1.9 percent in Shanghai today to 5.80 yuan (77 cents), taking its market capitalization to $244.9 billion, more than Citigroup's $243.9 billion. Citigroup earned more than three times as much as ICBC last year.
The reshuffle atop the rankings underscores the potential investors see in China, home to three of the world's 10 largest companies by market value and the fastest-growing major economy. Beijing-based ICBC in October raised a record $22 billion in an initial public offering in a nation where until recent years bank lending was steered by the government.
Relentlessly, the restless dragon moves forwards. Both Japan and the US panic every time this happens. As China passes one signpost after another, the #1 and #2 economic powers weep and wail. They send out their war ships to do war games on the high seas. They talk about alliances that will cut the wings of the dragon. But they still feed this dragon because the only way they can deal with the rising cost of oil imports is to move manufacturing to China!
Japan's trade with us grew even more last month? Of course, the yen collapsed. And this was deliberate. As the US domestic market falls, the yen had to fall even faster to increase sales and profits! So the US had this stupid 'weak dollar' scheme that made our trade deficit worse thanks to rising oil prices and the entity we wanted to dump increased sales by imitating us, as usual.
Japan always does this! It really baffles me why so few Americans see this obvious thing! Time to look at Japan's headlines:
Profits Soar At Big 3 Shippers On Strong Demand, Weak Yen
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Profits jumped at Japan's three major shipping companies in the April-June quarter, fueled by such factors as rising marine transport demand amid the global economic boom and a weaker-than-expected yen.
Mitsukoshi, Isetan To Launch Talks Toward Capital Tie-Up
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan's No. 4 department store operator, Mitsukoshi Ltd. (2779), and fifth-ranked Isetan Co. (8238) are set to enter into negotiations aimed at forging a capital tie-up, with an eye toward a future business integration, The Nikkei learned Tuesday.
Stocks: Nikkei Slides To 6-Week Low On Wall St. Tumble, Stronger Yen
TOKYO (Kyodo)--Tokyo stocks fell sharply on Wednesday morning, sending the benchmark Nikkei to a six-week low, as the overnight tumble on Wall Street and a stronger yen undermined investor sentiment.
June Trade Surplus Up 53.4%
TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Japan's June merchandise trade surplus expanded 53.4% from a year earlier to Y1.227 trillion, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday, indicating the weak yen and strong demand from China will likely continue to keep export growth robust.
Obviously, the Japanese know perfectly well, a weak yen=>trade surplus=>rising profits=>greater wealth for the industrialists. The cruel side to all this is, in order to keep the yen weak, the Bank of Japan needs to prove to the world, they are in a depression. So even as all nations on earth now have inflation thanks to the dying dollar causing world oil prices to shoot up, Japan stands alone with dropping prices inside Fortress Japan.
I took their own charts and colorized them. The first chart shows money flowing from Japan to China in order to build factories that use Chinese labor.
Japan recognized China over Taiwan before the US did this. Immediately, they began a program of building factories in the south of China next to Hong Kong for exporting cheap stuff to both the US and Japan. The bulk of these items flowed to the US. People often forget that anything made in China is called 'made in China' but the important thing to watch is not that but who gets the profits! This is a little line item Americans want to forget even though this is the dark heart of capitalism! The struggle to capture these precious profits is the entire history of labor relations.
Time to look at another chart that clearly shows degrees of profitability and financial power, this one shows the ups and downs of Japanese investments in the USA:
I inserted various economic and war events. It is clear that Japan is very sensitive to events in the US. It also shows that the Plaza Accords which the US negotiated with all the major banks in the world, not only failed as far as Japan was concerned, it aggravated things enormously.
The Plaza Accord was an agreement signed on September 22, 1985 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City by 5 nations - France, West Germany, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. The five agreed to, amongst others, depreciate the US dollar in relation to the Japanese yen and German Deutsche Mark by intervening in currency markets.
The exchange rate value of the dollar versus the yen declined 51% over the two years after this agreement took place. Most of this devaluation was due to the $10 billion spent by the participating central banks.
Currency speculation caused the dollar to continue its fall after the end of coordinated interventions. Unlike some similar financial crises of the 1990s (such as the Mexican and the Argentinian financial crises of 1994 and 2001 respectively), this devaluation was planned, done in an orderly manner with pre-announcement, and did not lead to financial panic in the world markets.
The reason for the dollar's devaluation was twofold: to reduce the US current account deficit, which had reached 3.5% of the GDP, and to help the US economy to emerge from a serious recession that began in the early 1980s. The U.S. Federal Reserve System under Paul Volcker had overvalued the dollar enough to make industry in the US (particularly the automobile industry) less competitive in the global market. Devaluing the dollar made US exports cheaper to its trading partners, which in turn meant that other countries bought more American-made goods and services. The Plaza Accord was successful in reducing the US trade deficit with Western European nations but largely failed to fulfill its primary objective of alleviating the trade deficit with Japan because this deficit was due to structural rather than monetary conditions.
There was no panic because Fortress Japan manned its barricades and succesfully fended off the US financial assault! On top of this, thanks to the weak dollar, Japan had lots of money they parked inside the US which is what the second chart shows. The only thing capable of stopping them was for the US to commit seppukku and kill our own economy which happens whenever oil prices shoot up thanks to oil wars we instigate.
The failure of the Plaza Accords is exactly the same failure we see today. As the US goes into an obvious recession, Japan's one way trade with us will slow down. But we gave them a scare so far, when the dollar kept dropping and Japan's economy was shooting up faster and faster. As we see in these charts, the Japanese dealt with suppressing their home costs that would show inflation but upping importing stuff they outsource to China! Their 'depression' definitely ended when I said it did, based on my own research.
Namely, the differential between the importations from China to Japan, importing JAPANESE corporate goods, increased rapidly as the industrialists exporting to the US frantically tried to outsource inflation to China where they would absorb it all. And they did...until the yuan began to grow stronger as the yen died! The goofy game between China/Japan/US trade now took a dangerous turn: with the yuan strengthening against both currencies, the inflation sink vanished like melting snow in springtime.
Now, both the US and Japan are showing inflation right when both want to have no inflation. The second paradox in all this, another very big destabilizing force, is that the use of China as Japan and the US's inflation sink has made China vastly wealthier. Only last year, when I remarked that China's FOREX reserves were beginning to pass Japan's reserves, did the rest of the world wake up to this new power. The Chinese are going to triangulate within the US/Japan destructive trade relationship for as long as possible. But the wheels are coming off and not because of China!
Growth in Europe's manufacturing and service industries, which account for two thirds of the economy, slowed more than economists forecast in July as the euro rose to a record and oil prices increased.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said its combined index, spanning industries from autos to banking and airlines in the 13- nation euro region, fell to 57.3 from 57.8 in June. Economists expected the composite index to slip to 57.6, according to a Bloomberg News survey. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Because the world's #1 and #2 economic powers have both killed their currencies in a cynical move to give themselves trade advantages, the party that was hurt was not China, it was Europe. China let the yuan rise in value in a controlled way, bit by bit, on their own schedule. But Europe, full of really stupid financiers who think they are so smart even though Europe has a very ugly history of destroying world economic systems and even uglier wars, believed the fantasies of the monetarists who imagine trade is all about money values.
With fiat currencies, this is true: anyone manipulating their currency for trade advantage has a laugably easy time of it since the Europeans and often, the Americans, are utterly gullible. Both Europe and America have allowed Asia to manipulate us to death. This is why they built up huge FOREX reserves! DUH! Just last month, I pulled out one Treasury or Federal Reserve study and article after another, showing how demented we are. All of them were shouting that high FOREX reserves were stupid. All said, only fools in Asia build up massive foreign reserves! They were scared, that's why! They were irrational! They were not as smart as European and American economics professors!
HAHAHA. Every cartoon of my dragon as well as Miz Japan shows them collecting money for their FOREX reserves and discussing why they do this. It is painfully obvious, so obvious, even an American economics professor can see the truth (fat chance): these glorious FOREX reserves gives Asia tremendous power over the value of our currencies in the West! I hammer on this issue because it is a key issue that is still not recognized by the media or professionals here in America!
No housing recovery til 2009
2:00pm: CEO of No. 1 mortgage lender Countrywide has a 'gut feeling' industry sluggishness will last through 2008. (more)
• Subprime loan alternatives
• Countrywide profit plummets
Our banking system is slowly beginning to collapse. The hedge fund hounds that are dying all over the planet are merely the outlying tiers of this collapse. It is moving inwards rapidly. The statistics show us in the red on even more levels now than a year ago. The only thing in the green today is the top stocks on Wall Street and if we look at the chart above, it is obvious why: Japan's investments overseas to the US are higher than at the peak before the collapse of the Japanese economy back in 1991.
The Senate Finance Committee will begin drafting legislation on Thursday that is intended to boost pressure on China to let its currency rise in value, a committee aide said on Tuesday.
The proposals the committee aims to turn into legislation were unveiled last month by four U.S. senators who acted after the U.S. Treasury Department declined to name China a currency manipulator in a semiannual report on currency practices of key trade partners.
So, even as Japan ravages our trade values and destroys our industrial base, we are going after China. Remember, a significant portion of our trade with China is the purchase of Japanese and American corporate goods!
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson heads for China next week to warn top Chinese leaders that Congress will move ahead with legislation unless the yuan appreciates in value.
The Chinese are not amused. They can read these charts just like I can. And I suspect, with a similar open mind and this latest chart collection from Japan. Or maybe they read my news service. A good portion of my regular readers are able to block me from seeing who they are. The US focus on the Chinese is political. The US is stupidly making a deeper alliance with Japan against China for geopolitical reasons but just as I explained yesterday how Britain strengthened Japan against Russia and how that backfired when the US strengthened Japan against the Soviet State even more, leading to WWII. So it is here: we should be triangulating China and Japan, not chosing sides! This is easy to see: Japan is our #1 trade rival in the world. Soon, China will be this. But right now, it is Japan.
It is Japan that is underselling us in Europe even as the euro gets stronger and stronger! No matter how strong the euro gets, Japan, not China, is underselling us when it comes to top manufactured goods! Japan has kindly left us the aerospace and jet plane industries but even that is being slowly wrenched away as they see, in alarm, China moving into both fields aggressively. If Japan decides to eliminate those last two major industries from our control, we will be finished. China intends to do this so the game here is to see who does it first.
The US better wise up about this. BOTH NATIONS ARE COMPETITORS. And both will destroy us if we let them.
The USA is stopping all imports of Chinese toothpaste to test for a deadly chemical reportedly found in tubes sold elsewhere in the world.
As Japan floods the US with cars and builds assembly plants here to milk us at home for profits, we are worried about toothpaste! Insane. Yes, the toothpaste matters is important. But it doesn't de-industrialize the US! Car imports do!
WASHINGTON, DC, September 10, 1998--Sales of all imported passenger cars in Japan have dropped 23.1 percent this year through October, the worst decline in a decade. Yet, Japanese consumers have increased their purchases of mini-cars whose sales have jumped 72.3 percent in November. However, importers have been unable to take advantage of this potential market since none either sell or have plans to sell mini-cars in Japan, according to [Japan Auto Trends] released today by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).
Look at the second chart: there is a decline in investing trade profits in the US. This is due to an American recession. The Japanese people, suffering from the beginnings of the Japanese government wrenching down inflation by depressing wages brutally, ceased bying American cars. They were driven into cheaper and smaller cars. Even with this, according to the Bank of Japan's statistics, car sales of any sort in Japan began a relentless fall, a fall that is continuing, as wages were crushed with greater and greater brutallity in order to prevent inflation showing up.
U.S. craving for Japanese luxury cars is boosting imports from the Asian nation.
Japan expects strong and steady economic growth this year. U.S. purchases of Japanese products will play no small role in that expansion.
U.S. imports from Japan – its fourth most important trade partner – rose 6.4 percent in 2005 to total $138 billion. That came against a trade backdrop that saw the United States and Japan exchange a total of $193.5 billion in goods, an improvement of more than 5 percent when compared to 2004.
U.S. imports from Japan outweighed exports to the island nation, leaving the United States with a deficit of nearly $83 billion. A year earlier, the deficit had been less than $75 billion.
In 2005, Japanese automobiles were the most-desired commodity shipped to the United States. Passenger car imports rose more than 8 percent to total $35.2 billion, according to WorldCity analysis of U.S. Census Bureau trade data. The majority were luxury car brands, including the Toyota Lexus and the Nissan Infiniti, that are not manufactured at U.S. auto plants. That said, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association in Washington, D.C., notes that Japanese-brand cars made in the United States outsell the imports by 2-to-1. In 2004, there were 3.2 million Japanese-brand cars and trucks manufactured in the United States.
Right behind cars on the import roster were $9.2 billion in auto parts to supply those U.S.-based automobile plants. That’s a gain from $8.8 billion in 2004. Computer parts turned up as the third most important U.S. import from Japan, reaching a value of $5 billion – an increase of 5 percent from a year earlier.
Incoming shipments of motorcycles also soared in 2005, rising 26 percent in value to reach nearly $2.6 billion.
While vehicles moved up the import roster, televisions, computers, medical equipment and computer chips fell. Imports of television sets dropped to $1.8 billion from $2.2 billion in 2004, a reflection of the global shift in TV production to Mexico and China. The United States imported $9.6 billion in televisions from Mexico in 2005 and $4.8 billion from China.
While computer-part imports were up, computer shipments from Japan fell to $2.8 billion, from $3.1 billion in 2004, and computer chips dropped to just under $2 billion, compared to $2.1 billion a year earlier.
On the other side of the trade equation, U.S. exports to Japan rose a modest 2.1 percent to end the year at $55.4 billion. That total included $3.3 billion in aircraft, a rise of nearly 10 percent. Exports of regional jet parts remained steady at $1.3 billion; the United States also shipped Japan $3.1 billion in other airplane parts.
Anyone reading this article above should feel alarm. This is ridiculous. Trade with Japan in value added goods has collapsed! Today, it is worse than ever. We are not talking cheap shoes and paper umbrellas here. These are all big ticket items.
From the Japanese Auto Manufacturers Association:
•Japan's Motor Vehicle Statistics
TOTAL IMPORTS BY YEAR (vehicles from America going to Japan)
[Unit: Number of vehicles]
•Japan's Motor Vehicle Statistics
TOTAL EXPORTS BY YEAR
[Unit: Number of vehicles]
1980....3,947,160..1,953,685..66,116....5,966,961 (Note: at this point, Japan began to build assembly plants in the USA)
OUCH! Look at the numbers! 5 million cars flowing in a tsunami from Japan and we send them a quarter million back? This is insanity! And worse, the flood of cars coming out of China that are being made by Japanese auto makers is doubling this tsunami. 60% of the cars in America that are from Japanese corporations are made overseas! The numbers shoot up during the 'depression' in Japan. This is directly connected with the cheap yen. This is why the LDP risked unpopularity by crushing Japanese wages and raising the tax on purchases in Japan! And this is why the LDP may fall this week.
Here is an interesting sign of how China's auto market is increasingly one the world needs to watch. Xinhua News is reporting that for the first time ever, last year China exported more vehicles than it imported. The numbers show China exported 172,639 autos, or 11,031 more than were imported, according to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce. The stats show a 120.5% jump in number of units exported compared to 2004, and show that the total value of vehicles exported was $1.58 billion, a 158.4% jump over the previous year.
Enter the dragon. The jump is still small. This story is one year old and we know the numbers have increased dramatically since 2006. But it is no way near Japan's numbers. Japan exports nearly 8 million cars a year. Toyota has surpassed GM as the world's biggest auto corporation. And unlike GM, it is well in the green, not in the red.
WELCOME TO THE SOUTHERN NETWORK
U.S. EXPORT ASSISTANCE CENTER
The U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce is a federal government agency dedicated to helping small-to-medium sized companies with their exporting strategies. Our experienced staff of International Trade Specialists located in Alabama; Arkansas; Clearwater, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Tallahassee, Florida; Georgia; Mississippi; Oklahoma City, OK; Tulsa, OK and Puerto Rico are committed to helping your business export.
This is a pathetic government web site here in America. How insipidly inspiring it is. And it is also clueless. Time is running out on us. And to think that poor Paulson was forced to tell the world, the US wants to make the dollar stronger. Time to yell at China to make the dollar weaker, right?