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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Maybe It Is 3 AM

Supposedly there is a convoy of Chinese fishing vessels headed to the disputed islands. Both Japanese and Chinese officials say this. And now this.

There would be widespread and enthusiastic support in the Chinese population for a military confrontation with Japan at this time.
I don't believe the Chinese government wants shooting, but it does need to win this one for the popular-approval team.

China has been through its Hjalmar Schacht period, and now faces the reckoning. The reckoning is causing a crisis of confidence in the Chinese public, and subways ain't gonna do it. Support for the Chinese government has been eroded by the impact of the slowly bursting bubble and bridges and railroads that fail less than two years after they are built. 

There is also a definite plutocracy which is strongly allied to party families, so the Chinese have evolved their own Junker system. 

I am not sure the Japanese will back down. 

Comments:
I'm hardly a game theory expert, but this does seem to have all the hallmarks of the prelude to a head-on confrontation. China's leadership is trapped. Japan's leadership is not sure the U.S. will back them up anymore, but for now is strong enough to stand up to China alone.

The consequences of China winning a shoot-out around the Senkakus are dire, but in the future. I'm wondering what happens if they lose one--does the party then lose the Mandate of Heaven?
 
Is China playing a "Back us or we'll dump Treasurys" game?
 

Who needs China when you've got the Bernank?

 
Really! If we really want Fed-Infinity, we'll run out of Treasuries for it to buy!


 

Never fear! I'm sure Congress can come up with a reason to create more T-bills. The Capitol bidets probably need an overhaul, or something.


 
" Support for the Chinese government has been eroded by the impact of the slowly bursting bubble and bridges and railroads that fail less than two years after they are built. "

- - - - -

and per Zero Hedge

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/how-chinas-rehypothecated-ghost-steel-just-vaporized-and-what-means-world-economy

some Chinese entities had been using empty warehouses filled with non-existent steel as "collateral" for loans (and sometimes the "nothing" was used as collateral for many different loans).

So I'm guessing the Chinese government is hurriedly inventing a "Quick! Look over there! Focus on THAT!!!" to distract from the what- where- how- why- when- and WHO of the financial fubar that's developing.
 
Really! If we really want Fed-Infinity, we'll run out of Treasuries for it to buy!

Not a problem!

QOE - Infinity for the win!
 
MOM, I hate to break it to the end-of-history crowd, but it's always 3am _somewhere_ in the world.

Given that public sentiment in China and Japan is running ahead of the leadership, this has the potential to blow up very ugly very fast.
 
WSJ - yes, it is remarkable how humans manage to wrest disaster from discomfort. As for Fukuyama, I thought it was idiotic when he wrote it, and the fact that his ideas were taken so seriously is proof of the human ability to fantasize and perhaps an omen of our current post-Modern insanity. Only NYT types ever believed that nonsense.

However, 3 AM on the Sino-Japanese borders is somewhat significant than it would be in many other places. We are treaty-bound to Japan, and the size and significance of these economies in the global markets makes it even more of an issue. And they are capable of doing severe damage.

I agree - it is from the bottom up, which is what makes it so ominous.
 
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