Monday, July 7, 2008

Oil Price Shock Means China at Risk of Blowing Up

We are fans of Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Whenever we feel too chipper a dose of A.E-P calms us right down. From our post "Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve's credibility crumbles":
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard grooves on this kind of story and because he looks for them, he finds them. It was he who brought us RBS's warning "Royal Bank of Scotland: Global Stock and Credit Crash Alert". He's useful for putting stuff on the radar, not so much for inflection/turning points.
From the Telegraph:

The great oil shock of 2008 is bad enough for us. It poses a mortal threat to the whole economic strategy of emerging Asia.

The manufacturing revolution of China and her satellites has been built on cheap transport over the past decade. At a stroke, the trade model looks obsolete.

No surprise that Shanghai's bourse is down 56pc since October, one of the world's most spectacular bear markets in half a century.

Asia's intra-trade model is a Ricardian network where goods are shipped in a criss-cross pattern to exploit comparative advantage. Profit margins are wafer-thin.

Products are sent to China for final assembly, then shipped again to Western markets. The snag is obvious. The cost of a 40ft container from Shanghai to Rotterdam has risen threefold since the price of oil exploded....MORE