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Leland Miller Talks Quality of China's Economic Reporting

Leland Miller

FRA Co-Founder Gordon T. Long interviews Leland miller, the president of the china beige book international and discusses financial repression in the context of the Chinese economy. He describes himself as a Lifelong china watcher who decided to do something about the complete lack of data in china.

"One of the things that the china beige book plans to do is to give people a real picture of not just the growth dynamics, but also the labor market, the credit dynamics, the macro implications of Chinese growth, indications of future Chinese demand, implications of commodity markets around the world, we try to give the people a much better picture on what's actually happening instead of just relying on official data and press release."


Financial Repression

Leland describes the Chinese reform as a reversal of financial repression and this repression in the context of the Chinese economy is the oppression of consumers and households by state organizations through its economic systems.

"It means reversing this long time economic model, where the state will profit through the economic system at the expense of the consumers and household, and one of the things that the new leadership is intent on doing in order to create consumption is to empower consumers, so they spend more and stop empowering state organizations which are fuelling the overcapacity and the massive debt bubble."


What should investor know about china?

He explains the biggest misconception concerning the Chinese economy is believing the GDP tells you much about how china is doing.

"It is a broad, blunt indicator that doesn't measure productive growth or credit dynamics."

On some of the challenges of getting reliable data in china, Leland explains that he and his team had to ask Chinese firms and consumers on ground what is happening in the country, and set up a number of polling units across sectors in order to get reliable and accurate information.


Economic trends in china

"For years we have been talking about the Chinese slowdown; it's inevitable, despite the fact that the economy has been slowing."

He goes on to explain that although the market sentiment has gone from optimism to "Armageddon" in recent months, the actual data is at odds with these sentiments. As a result of china's economic slowdown, there is great vulnerability among emerging markets. Now, the reason for this is that for years these markets have relied on china's demand without factoring the likelihood of a decline or certainty of a decline in china's demand.

On China's view of America, Leland has this to say

"The Chinese look at America as a model that they are interested in taking pieces from; they like the dynamism of the economy and the global status. On one hand, they see us as a model to learn a lot of things from but also as a serious threat that is looking to constrain their inevitable and ultimate rise."

Abstract written by Financial Repression contributor: chukwuma uwaga uwaga3@outlook.com

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