From The Daily Reckoning
“Again, they exaggerated. While Americans built too many shopping malls, the Chinese built too many factories. Then, in 2008-2009 came the ‘greatest collapse in world trade in history,’ says Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman. Americans - their biggest customers - rediscovered thrift. You might think China would realize it had too much capacity and back off. Instead, it rolled more steel. It built more factories and offices...entire cities.
“If stimulus spending is a measure of stupidity, the Chinese are three times as dumb as Americans. Both governments respond to correction by doing more wrong than they did before. Loans in China are rising by about 40% of GDP annually. The money supply is soaring at nearly 30% a year. ‘We estimate that [fixed capital formation] accounted for 70% of China's growth in 2008 and close to 90% of China's first half of 2009 growth,’ says a report from Pivot Capital.
“It is just a matter of time until this capital spending bubble blows up. But China is full of bubbles. In another example of its central planning, it made the ancient practice of infanticide state policy. One couple/one child was the rule. Missing girls was the result. Then, when the boys grew up, they discovered that their brides were missing too. The working age population of China is collapsing. There were 7 workers to every old person in 1990. Now, there are barely 4. By 2035, there will be only 2. What happened to the workers? They are the missing children of the missing girls who then became missing mothers. And by 2040, 397 billion old people - more than the total populations of France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK combined - will be missing the support of those missing workers.”
How does Israel, with fewer people than the state of New Jersey, no natural resources, and hostile nations all around, produce more tech companies listed on the Nasdaq than all of Europe, Japan, South Korea, India and China combined?
The MIT Real Estate Center says that commercial property prices have dropped almost 42% over the past 2 years.
As a result of that drop, about 55% of the $1.4 trillion commercial mortgages that will mature in the next five years are underwater.
The delinquency rate for commercial mortgages climbed to 5% in October.
A year ago the delinquency rate was just 0.77%.
About half of all commercial mortgages sit on the balance sheets of smaller banks.
So the massive number of bank failures this year is significantly attributable to losses from commercial real estate.
Late last month, CIT Group, one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the world filed for bankruptcy.”