“None of [these supposed bearish influences] mattered when stacked up against shrewd investors from China.”

Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns, in a missive to clients 9 Dec 2010 [cited at CTV News]“Vancouver posted the fastest increase in house prices among major Canadian cities this year, averaging 15 per cent. Tougher mortgage insurance rules, a 13-per-cent slide in sales in the city, a 13-per-cent rise in new listings this year, the new HST, a feature story in Business Week about how Vancouver was the last housing bubble in the world, a website comparing million-dollar homes in the city to crack houses … none of it mattered when stacked up against shrewd investors from China.”

[Investors can only be called ‘shrewd’ once they have consistently made gains. -vreaa]

14 responses to ““None of [these supposed bearish influences] mattered when stacked up against shrewd investors from China.”

  1. Or as ChinaDaily put it…

    “In Wenzhou city, where brisk export trade is conducted from the port in East China’s Zhejiang province, business-savvy entrepreneurs are flocking overseas for market expansion, said Chen Yongcong, head of Wenzhou Overseas Chinese Affairs Office. “Many have gained permanent residency in foreign countries in order to enjoy more privileges in their business,” said Chen. Aside from entrepreneurs, some rich Chinese citizens are also emigrating for a cleaner environment, safer food and free medical service in developed countries.” …



  2. This is a different usage of the word “shrewd” than I am familiar with.

  3. Indeed. Or did he mean “screwed” instead of “shrewd”?

  4. Yes a few thousand Chinese investors are single-handedly keeping prices high in a city of 2 million people. Thanks for lobbing in that inference, deputy chief economist.

  5. Junius also pumps at Greaterfool.ca = how is the RE business, dude?

    Come on.

    People are in trouble – and if you don’t believe it – when the BOC chief and major Banksters start saying “Canadians are heading for the cliff”, that translates into “we’ve seen the books”.

    How is that Millenium Waters Condo working out for ‘ya?

    How do you enjoy the $800 Mill hit to Vancouver taxpayers?

    The lowering of Van City credit? Coming huge tax increases?

    Chinese being shrewd? The Middle Kingdom is built on bribes, and chicanery – and is about to blow up.

    Dump Keynes and read Kondratieff.

    Doesn’t matter to you, though, Junius, or is it Nostradamus Jr? – you have REAL ESTATE.

    • blueorbit -> for the record, I think there is some confusion: there is, I believe, a troll at greaterfool using the name ‘junius’ specifically to irritate ‘Junius’. The above comment by Junius is actually bearish and in agreement with your general opinion.
      As are the other 4 comments posted by ‘Junius’ at VREAA since 6 Oct 2010:
      2010/12/04 at 3:57 pm
      2010/11/20 at 7:43 pm
      2010/10/09 at 6:01 am
      2010/10/06 at 6:52 am

    • Chinese being shrewd? The Middle Kingdom is built on bribes, and chicanery – and is about to blow up.

      I think that’s a bit of an over generalization. The Chinese seem to have taken a rather hard line on people who accept bribes, a bullet to the head seems to be their preferred way of “sending a message”. Just imagine banksters here would need to face a similar outcome….

      Dump Keynes and read Kondratieff.

      I think you’re doing Keynes wrong here. His ideas seem to have been taken by some people to mean: “Government spent money, as much as you can.” That was never really what he had in mind. He believed (and so do I) to have the Government invest in a time of economic downturn into things that will allow society to improve itself. Things that spring to mind are:

      – Education
      – Public Infrastructure (both repair and new)
      – R&D

      I am pretty certain bank bailouts, handouts to the masses and rescuing failed industries was not what he had in mind.

      Maybe someone should attach some leads to his grave, we may have found a source of free energy. [cute joke. -ed.]

  6. I can’t resist bookending this thread with three relevant QuotesO’TheDay….

    “Now that I see what the outside world is like, my only regret is that I didn’t have more fun in college…” – unemployed Datong University graduate, Yuan Lei

    “Beijing isn’t like this in the movies,” – Liu Yang, unemployed Datong University graduate

    “College essentially provided them with nothing,” Zhang Ming, political scientist and vocal critic of China’s education system who added, “For many young graduates, it’s all about survival. If there was ever an economic crisis, they could be a source of instability.”

    All of these remarks were abstracted from the following excellent piece (which Nemesis highly recommends to other/ardent China Watchers)…

    NYT – China’s Army of Graduates Struggles for Jobs

    And now for a rhetorical question… Congratulations, you’re a member of the ruling elite of a powerful regional hegemon with hemispheric/global ambitions. Unfortunately, you’re also presiding over a shaky RE based economy and lately, industrial capacity utilization and resource scarcity have proved problematic. To further complicate things – your universities are pumping 6 million graduates a year into an already pissed off and politically restive 123 million 20-25 year old aspirant demographic/cohort (most of whom are either under employed or unemployed and are acutely aware of the burgeoning income inequality and static/declining social mobility hard wired into the system).

    Naturally, you enjoy running the show and you’re enamoured of the status quo. So, whadda’ya do?…


    • Thanks for the link and discussion.

      In a related vein:
      Chanos: Chinese Overdependence on New RE to ‘Hit a Wall’

      60% of GDP RE related.
      Only 5% exports.
      No, not BC, but China!

      • Sooner that I might have expected it, China’s Defence Minister Liang Guanglie has provided (in a moment of positively refreshing candour) the answer to my earlier ‘rhetorical question’….

        “In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction…”

        [UK Telegraph] – China preparing for armed conflict ‘in every direction’


      • Speaking of ‘overdependence’ and ‘shrewd’… Another story from ‘The Treadmill to Hell’… (or is that escalator?) 😉

        [Bloomberg] Dongguan Ghost Mall – Empy mall haunts China’s property boom – Paul Allen reports from Dongguan, China on the New South China Mall, which has remained mostly vacant since it opened in 2005.


  7. Great thread. I have been to China many times. I know Beijing well. There are MONSTER problems looming for Middle Kingdom.
    My worry is that an “external event” might be extended, to take the mind of the prols. off what is really happening.
    China has a gory economic History.

    I will stand against Keynes.

    Deficit spending to stimulate this dead duck, is about as clever as the folks that bought a Condo here in La La Land, for a grand a square foot.

    A Kondratieff Winter has arrived.

    Look it up on Wiki.

    If you imbibe, maybe make a stiff drink, first.

    • Interesting link, thanks.

      Random thought while reading the wiki article: This notion of deflation being impossible in a fiat monetary system is odd to me. Right now in the U.S. we have consumers deleveraging (at first it was through defaults, but now they really are paying down debts, especially revolving credit), which shrinks M1. At some point in the phase of excess liquidity (speaking of saturation) M1 and therefore inflationary pressure is dependent on consumer behavior, seems to me.

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