Sunday, June 10, 2012

The People's Kleptocracy of China

An interesting theory of the Chinese economic system.

It includes answers to the questions of 'why do the Chinese keep buying US T-Bills', 'why do the Chinese build so many worthless buildings' and 'why do Chinese peasants riot over inflation', among others.

I don't know if I buy the whole thing (if the SOEs are so efficient, and the peasants only earn negative real returns on bank deposits, how would they be so badly off if the SOEs do worse under low inflation? Economic contraction, perhaps, but that seems to imply that the house of cards may have some positive value).

Still, it makes oddly compelling narrative

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