China’s Real Estate Bubble

China

Here’s how it could play out, according to Silvercrest’s Chovanec.

“When property developers can’t get more credit, they have to slash prices to unload their unsold inventories (and pay back their debts), which gives investors second thoughts about whether to continue plowing their money into property,” he said.

“Sales dry up, prices fall, new [housing] starts dry up, construction dries up, sales of construction equipment, concrete, and steel dry up, land sales dry up, local government revenues disappear and they can’t pay their debts … in other words, falling asset prices undercut the basis for both past and future lending, and you’ve got a real system-wide problem,” Chovanec added.

China real-estate: A bubble bursting

Reverse-Engineering China’s Internet Censor

Great-Firewall-of-China-1000x550

Existing research on the extensive Chinese censorship organization uses observational methods with well-known limitations. We conducted the first large-scale experimental study of censorship by creating accounts on numerous social media sites, randomly submitting different texts, and observing from a worldwide network of computers which texts were censored and which were not. We also supplemented interviews with confidential sources by creating our own social media site, contracting with Chinese firms to install the same censoring technologies as existing sites, and—with their software, documentation, and even customer support—reverse-engineering how it all works.

Our results offer rigorous support for the recent hypothesis that criticisms of the state, its leaders, and their policies are published, whereas posts about real-world events with collective action potential are censored.

Reverse-engineering censorship in China: Randomized experimentation and participant observation.

The Impact The U.S. Economy Has On Emerging Markets

With a nominal gross domestic product of nearly $17 trillion, the U.S. is easily the world’s largest economy. Naturally, a small change in U.S. GDP can have a lasting impact on the economies of less developed countries.

An analysis conducted by Credit Suisse shows the degree to which an increase in U.S. GDP causes GDP shifts in select emerging nations. For instance, a 1% increase in U.S. GDP leads to around a 1% increase in Russia’s GDP after one quarter and around a 3% increase after four quarters.

This suggests that Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Turkey are all heavily reliant on a stable U.S. economy. Nations like China, India, Poland, and Indonesia, while still quite benefited by a healthy U.S., are less dependent.

US Impact

Chinese Police Use Geese To Detect Crime

Geese

A number of rural areas of Xinjiang province in China have deployed crime-fighting geese as a replacement for dogs, the traditional police animal partner.

“Among all poultry, geese [are known] for being extremely vigilant and having excellent hearing,” county police chief Zhang Quansheng told the paper. “Geese are very brave. They spread their wings and will attack any strangers entering [someone’s] home,” he said, “like a radar that does not need power.”

Potential intruders or thieves would have trouble quieting the geese once they have already been startled. Geese are also less susceptible to some of the weaknesses of dogs.

“In some ways, they are more useful than dogs; a household normally keeps one dog [but] an intruder can throw a drugged bun to kill the dog.”

Following the success of the trial, geese are now being actively promoted across the region.

The U.S. STEM Graduation Rate Is Very Low Compared To Other Countries

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects of study are in high demand in the global labor market, and tend to pay well also. Thus, it is important for any nation wanting to maintain its wealth and to fuel growth to ensure that it is producing a sufficient number of professionals in the STEM fields.

McKinsey shows that in 2008 only 15% of U.S. college graduates received degrees in a STEM subject. This compares with a world average of 23% and 42% in China.

STEM Graduation Rates

Countries Ranked On Global Trade Openness

A new release from the International Chamber of Commerce ranked countries based on their openness to foreign trade, or their Open Markets Index (OMI). Nations were graded on 4 broad categories: trade openness, trade policy regime, openness to foreign direct investment (FDI), and infrastructure open for trade.

Trade-Openness-Methodology

The United States ranks #38 out of 75 nations, just behind Romania. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, ranks the highest, but China itself is towards the bottom at #57.

Countries-Ranked-by-Foreign-Trade-Openness

Looking at just the G20, we can compare differences between nations based on the weights used to determine the OMI. Japan, for instance, scores very low on trade openness and foreign direct investment openness, but scores well on trade policy and trade enabling infrastructure

Overall, the G20 is leading poorly, with Canada at the top but only #19 globally.

OMI-Rankings-of-the-G20

The 10 Year Shift In The Global Population Distribution Of The Poor

A recent OECD report on fragile nations includes the below graphical comparison of where the world’s poor will be in 2015 vs. 2005. The positive news is that overall the portion of the world that is poor is decreasing, most noticeably in India, Bangladesh, and China.

However, the poor population seems to still be rising in nations such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mexico.

Where-Will-The-Worlds-Poor-Be-in-2015