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Thread: Asian financial Predictions: End of the World?

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    Senior Member Array tomcat's Avatar
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    Asian financial Predictions: End of the World?

    ...an interesting column from William Pesek @ Bloomberg:


    Fear Recoupling in ’12, Not the End of the World


    The Mayans were wrong. The world won’t end in 2012, but at times it may feel as if it’s about to. Such is Asia (MXAP)’s lot as Europe’s debt debacle and the U.S.’s political paralysis fuse, presenting challenges for leaders from Beijing to Jakarta.

    In a less chaotic time, this might have been Asia’s big moment. News this week that Japan and China will promote direct trading of yen and yuan without using dollars is a case in point. An eastward shift of power and capital would seem to be a given as Brussels and Washington turn inward. Yet a worsening global environment will interrupt Asia’s path to economic dominance.

    Here are eight risks that may get in Asia’s way:

    No. 1. Recoupling. Asia steered around the U.S. meltdown in 2008 with remarkable agility. Doing that will be harder in the 12 months ahead as all of the world’s major growth engines stall or go into reverse. Default risks in Europe will increase, the U.S.’s funk will persist in an election year, Japan’s malaise will deepen and China will hit a soft patch. With deft fiscal and monetary maneuvering, Asia grew impressively in the three- plus years since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. imploded. A repeat performance is unlikely.

    Toxic Mix

    No. 2. Pocketbook Worries. Consumers will become more dissatisfied with the toxic mix of inflation and widening income inequality. Leaders aren’t doing enough to make sure the benefits of growth are shared equitably. As the Gini coefficient -- a statistical measure of wealth inequality -- rises across Asia, increasing tensions will play out in unpredictable ways in markets and politics.

    No. 3. Occupy Wukan. It’s getting harder for China to keep its 1.3 billion people from hearing about events in a coastal village in Guangdong province. There, thousands of people fed up with land seizures took to the streets and forced out Communist Party officials. This Occupy Wall Street dynamic is a startling contrast to the usual success China has in quashing any hint of public discord. As the New York Times points out, there are at least 625,000 potential Wukans in China. The 12 months ahead will be busy for China’s thought police.

    Election Year

    No. 4. Political Intrigue. China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan will pick new leaders. State elections in India will help determine if Rahul Gandhi will soon replace his mother, Sonia Gandhi, as president of the ruling Congress Party. Taiwan’s contest could be a standout -- a verdict on President Ma Ying-jeou’s economic policies and drive for better relations with China. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea could bubble over. Violence might break out in Thailand if ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is allowed to return. In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi’s move to register her party for elections will test the government’s recent steps toward democracy.

    No. 5. The Kim Follies. As the world gets used to Kim Jong Un replacing Kim Jong Il as North Korean leader, there’s no telling how things will unfold in Pyongyang. Will the 20- something Kim feel obliged to show he means business with missile launches into the South and nuclear tests? Might military generals who covet the top job rebel? The questions about the world’s most secretive regime hover over all of Asia.

    Great Wall

    No. 6. Internet Clampdown. Beijing’s great wall of censorship is raising cyber clampdowns to an art form, the latest on Twitter-like services. Yet the Internet is under attack throughout Asia. India is stepping up efforts to require Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and other portals to remove content that may be deemed offensive. South Korea and Thailand have been suppressing more and more information. Balancing transparency and state control of information will become harder.

    No. 7. Japan’s Debt Trap. The conventional take is that Japan is in a liquidity trap, which makes it impossible for zero interest rates to stimulate the economy. The real problem is a debt trap, and the yen is part of it. On the one hand, a strong currency is prompting companies to go shopping overseas to hedge against the country’s aging population, lack of growth and a vulnerability to earthquakes and other disasters. On the other, it is further hollowing out Japanese industry. That will lead Japan to add to its debt, the world’s largest, risking further credit downgrades.

    Chinese Gravity

    No. 8. China’s Bust. It’s a make-or-break year for China’s efforts to defy the economic laws of gravity. A bad-debt hangover from the huge stimulus of recent years is a distinct possibility. Markedly slower growth would be a nightmare for a Communist Party obsessed with social stability. It also would be a big blow to a country such as Australia, which is more vulnerable to a Chinese slump than officials in Canberra admit.

    Should the second-biggest economy join the U.S., Europe and Japan in the slow-growth club, Asia would find itself in treacherous territory. That wouldn’t be the end of the world as the Mayans anticipated for 2012, but it would be different than the one we’ve come to know.
    ...majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd...

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    Senior Member Array kiwiling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    That wouldn’t be the end of the world as the Mayans anticipated for 2012, but it would be different than the one we’ve come to know.
    I don't know much about the Mayans...what I do know is that inequality in wealth distribution always leads to social consequence...sooner or later...is it 2012? and will it end the world?...what I do know ...and it makes me care a little less about economic problems...is that global warming is continuing unabated and arguably is increasing its rate...the increase in damage from storms, floods and the like will start to impact on economies soon..when? 2012? I don't know...but that will only be the start...and I have doubts about this planet reaching 2030...but then again who knows?

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    better a tosser than .... Array manned-rake's Avatar
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    Can't really separate economic problems from the global warming scenario. The richer "we" are and the more money floating around to be invested in research into ways of dealing with the inevitable, the better off "we" will be.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his _________ depends upon his not understanding it!"

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    dis member Array zeusbheld's Avatar
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    the planet will reach well past 2030. life on the planet will continue a long, long time after that. the questions right now are a) how long will we be here, and b) will most of our lives suck more and more for various reasons including a tanking global economy.

    that said, i'm not necessarily pessimistic on either question. but seeing as Homo sapiens sapiens hasn't at any point in our documented history had a smooth, easy ride for very long, i expect a bumpy ride.
    Imodium can't stop me.

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    A fine mess Array Fleabag's Avatar
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    My Chinese colleague was hand-picked to represent Chinese language and culture in Thailand, so as you can imagine a number of issues can be a little sensitive with her. One thing she says quite openly is that the house pricing boom has lead to many normal people unable to afford to buy and that the difference between rich and poor is growing sharply, backing up the OP from the horses mouth.

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    Regular User Array The Quiet American's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    It’s a make-or-break year for China
    Can you have such a moment when something's 4,000 years old?

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    Senior Member Array kiwiling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeusbheld View Post
    the planet will reach well past 2030. life on the planet will continue a long, long time after that. the questions right now are a) how long will we be here, and b) will most of our lives suck more and more for various reasons including a tanking global economy.
    Open this website...watch piece by piece the contents...then think again...find the quote from a former oil engineer "we are going to hell in a bucket"

    Crude - the incredible journey of oil - Broadband edition - ABC Science

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    dis member Array zeusbheld's Avatar
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    ^
    it's fairly easy to find alarmist quotes about things with a cult following like peak oil, but it's also fairly easy to imagine replacing petroleum with other things. from-nowhere technological advancements have pretty much defined a) our economy, fuck the politicians and 'financial analysts' and b) our species progress in all capacities, full stop.

    chances are very good that the next big boom period will be driven by new technology creating new industries (like the 90s with the internets, the 80s with computers) and not by political solutions or other such machinations. chances are also very good that the doomsayers are to some degree bellowing senselessly about worst-case economic scenarios when the bus that's actually going to hit us will come from our blind spot. (that said, the essay in the OP was all ifs and thens, so fair play that. also, i'm not saying financial forecasters are idiots, just that the variables that turn out to be key in real life tend to be ones left out of the model).

    our species has two tendencies which are both fairly obvious in the media as a whole, and grassrootsy fora like this one: 1) we tend to like to be scared shitless, and go off on chicken-little-ish-sky-is-falling tangents, and 2) we like to stay in our comfort zone and be complacent while everything falls to shit around us. we as a species have the amazing capacity to do both at once.

    in the spirit of all this economic forecasting, here's my prediction... things will indeed dive into the crapper, until some technology (quite likely one that exists, but in an application no one's thought of yet) will pull us out of the crapper and back to good times, until the next time we find ourselves in the crapper.

    the thing that will take us down as a species, eventually, will be either ruining our environment or an external influence (asteroid strike, etc) ruining it for us. with some luck that'll happen later rather than sooner (we already dodged one chance at extinction with the cold-war arms race, maybe we've got a few more good moves in us...

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    Olive Brancher (*) Array
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    Actually, I really wish we'd run out of oil already - its the only way people will pull their heads out of their asses and switch to renewable fuel, like alcohols.

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    dis member Array zeusbheld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
    switch to renewable fuel, like alcohols.
    i think a lot of the white folks in Thailand have already switched...

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    Senior Member Array kiwiling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeusbheld View Post
    t's fairly easy to find alarmist quotes about things with a cult following like peak oil
    This isn't about peak oil...we will not run out of oil...ever...so don't worry...because before we get anywhere near running out of oil the amount of carbon dioxide we have dumped into the air will have poisoned the oceans to the extent all life on earth will perish...so don't worry...there will still be plenty of unused oil!!...go and check the website to see what I mean

    ---Update---

    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
    Actually, I really wish we'd run out of oil already - its the only way people will pull their heads out of their asses and switch to renewable fuel, like alcohols.
    Any fuel that burns carbon will do the same thing...sad but true

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    dis member Array zeusbheld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiling View Post
    go and check the website to see what I mean
    i'm familiar enough with the various hypotheses that i don't need to check the website. the 'all life on Earth notion's a bit silly and egocentric; most life on Earth is already gone thanks to us, but the process of evolution will repopulate the world once we're gone.

    while the notion of poisoning the oceans is a very real threat to our existence, in terms of "all life on Earth" it's worth bearing in mind that all complex life on Earth evolved from things that thrived on CO2...

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    Senior Member Array kiwiling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeusbheld View Post
    that all complex life on Earth evolved from things that thrived on CO2...
    Plants do...and they produce oxygen...if the plants die...we lose our oxygen...go figure...and it is when...not if...and global warming is the sure sign it is on the way

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    dis member Array zeusbheld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiling View Post
    .if the plants die...
    we lose our oxygen, we die... but meanwhile, back in the oceans, how likely do you think it'd be that every last blue-green algae would die? aCO2 rich ocean would likely spell the end of complex animals but a renaissance for blue-green algae. and *if* the last bit of blue-green algae died off too, then what do you think the odds are that every last one-celled organism would also be eliminated? i'd say very, very slight. and complex life evolved from self-copying proteins once already...

    meanwhile, what was supposed to kill off the plants again? too much CO2??

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    Olive Brancher (*) Array
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiling View Post
    if the plants die...we lose our oxygen...go figure...and it is when...not if...and global warming is the sure sign it is on the way
    Just what we needed in this thread - another tinfoil hat fan!

    ---Update---

    Quote Originally Posted by zeusbheld View Post
    meanwhile, what was supposed to kill off the plants again? too much CO2??
    Yeah, seems like kw didn't really do his homework.

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