Friday, November 11, 2011

Wealthy Chinese want out and it has me worried

A recent survey found that half of Chinese millionaires are looking to emigrate.

They cite problems with government, pollution and over-crowding as primary reasons. Also it might have something to do with the fact that interest rates and investments are largely controlled by the state. The government basically mandates negative real return on savings. And if the government finds itself in a bind sometime soon and needs money guess who will be footing the bill? Yes they do have a couple of trillion in reserves but they've got a lot of bad loans on their books. And if they start selling any assets en masse they will depress prices and find they're sitting on a lot less than the full 2 trillion. In short a hard landing for the Chinese will be disastrous for the newly wealthy class there. So that has me thinking, what are they seeing that I'm not? The fact that so many Chinese are looking to take their wealth abroad has me worried about the prospects in the short / medium term. Official Chinese economic data is notoriously unreliable and even that data admits growth is slowing down. How bad can things get over there? Occupy Beijing could grind their economic machine to a halt.

If the wealthy Chinese want to come, I say let them in (after some background checks etc). Anyone who wants to get away from a communist regime is OK in my book. Plus there are some great deals on houses in California right now, plus they'll need cars and will probably take a trip to Vegas. Sounds like an easy way to generate a few billion in extra economic activity / tax revenue.

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