Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stagflation Going World-Wide?

Could it happen in -- of all places -- China?

Diana Choyleva from Lombard Street Research said the money supply rose at a 40pc rate in 2009 and the first half of 2010 as Beijing stoked an epic credit boom to keep uber-growth alive, but the costs of this policy now outweigh the benefits.

The economy is entering the ugly quadrant of cycle – stagflation – where credit-pumping leaks into speculation and price spirals, even as growth slows. Citigroup’s Minggao Shen said it now takes a rise of ¥1.84 in the M2 money supply to generate just one yuan of GDP growth, up from ¥1.30 earlier this decade.

The froth is going into property. Experts argue heatedly over whether or not China has managed to outdo America’s subprime bubble, or even match the Tokyo frenzy of late 1980s.

What would the world look like if Japan, the United States, the U.K. and, now, China, were all to enter the economic zombie zone of stagflation? Could Brazil and Germany pull it out?

Read the whole thing.

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