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June 2012

"Anticipating the World’s Most Expensive Natural Disaster"

When I saw the headline I thought the article would be about an earthquake in Cali. Nope. It's about the next Tokyo earthquake.

Japan stands alone among all modern, large, and affluent economies in facing an unpredictable but inevitable disaster. Unlike the United States, France, or Russia, the country lives with the terrible certainty that its capital, the world’s largest megacity, will eventually be hit by a strong earthquake that will amount to the most expensive disaster in history. 

Three on why I won't be buying Chinese stocks any time soon

"4 Reasons Why China Is Headed For Meltdown".

China's trade surplus as a percentage of GDP is shrinking. Hence, growth will have to come from domestic demand. The government has tried all sorts of tricks to boost this, but it can't change people's habits overnight. The Chinese people are savers. More so perhaps today than ever before. There is no welfare net to catch them, and the one-child policy has left them with too few children to fall back on.

"The Biggest Sign of a China Bubble".

Money supply rose markedly in May and recent years' credit growth has surpassed even that of the U.S. in the period leading to the Lehman collapse.

Unfortunately, instead of being put to good use, much of that money has ended up in the hands of wasteful state-owned enterprises, or SOEs. Meanwhile, cash-starved private entrepreneurs have watched quietly from the sidelines, unable to participate in Beijing's ragin', capital-misallocatin', credit-fueled investment boom. 

"The Great Fall of China".

These episodes have revealed to the world—and to a sizable portion of the Chinese people—a culture of greed, violence, and deceit at the highest levels of government. The Communists’ power is not in imminent danger, but their legitimacy is.