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China's shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.

The agency said the scale of credit was so extreme that the country would find it very hard to grow its way out of the excesses as in past episodes, implying tougher times soon ahead.

Charlene Chu, the agency's senior director in Beijing explained "The credit-driven growth model is clearly falling apart. This could feed into a massive over-capacity problem, and potentially into a Japanese-style deflation".

HSBC China PMI just released now, and it decreased further, confirming the beginning of a contraction of tis economy like it already happened in the summer 2012.

It went from 51.1 in April, then 49.6 and is now 49.2 in May! Below 50 is a sign of economic contraction.

This HSBC PMI is based on the private sector, while the China official NBS (National Bureau of Stats) PMI is more based on SOE (State Owned Enterprise) and thus easier to fake.

And so what was China's official PMI? It went from 50.6 to 50.8 ! Yes, of course, the word "man-made" comes to mind.

China is inexorably heading to a major change of policy, be it smoothly a la Gorbachev or the hard way, since the people want more growth and thus more freedom, and current policies restrain it. The question is how much resistance will the Chinese government exert before realizing the urgency to radically change. Will they learn from past history with the Qing Empire downfall, or the one of the Tsar or the French revolution?

After HSBC selling its entire 8% stake in Shanghai Bank, now it the turn for Goldman Sachs, and they are not alone: banks like Bank of America and RBS selling stakes in their massive China state-owned banks. A move that is annoying communist officials.

In the annual report to Congress titled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2013", the Pentagon said, "In September 2012, China began using improperly drawn straight baseline claims around the Senkaku Islands, adding to its network of maritime claims inconsistent with international law."

 

A study, titled “What kind of democracy do Chinese people want”, was published by Zhang Mingshu, a researcher for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Political Science. Its results have surprised even the study's author.

 

Chinese urban residents have become more conservative, cynical and pragmatic in their attitudes towards politics in the last quarter of century, a study has found.

 

While 38.1% would fall into the “left”, a term traditionally referring to citizens with socialist or communist leanings, which in China’s case also means those more "patriotic" and "conservative", according to the study, 59.5% either did not care or favored a more liberal system.

“I was surprised by the results”, Zhang, said in an interview with Southern Weekend, a weekly Guangzhou newspaper. “But if you observed outside the intellectual circle, on the streets in your hometown, you would find the ratio to be accurate.”

 

As this New York Times article explains, women tend to cover her their pregnancy during job interview to shield them from discrimination. But women have different biological rhythm and obligation than men. If a company wants to be an equality employer, then it needs to neutralize this difference by providing accommodation to women. Furthermore, companies have a de facto duties toward society at large. In Singapore where competition is important, women sacrifice their motherhood to further their career, and this in turn has a dramatic effect on the birth rate and on the economy of the country. In Japan they would be play a key role in the recovery of the economy.

 

The role of women in Japanese economy is gaining increased momentum amid Japan searching for a sustainable way to jump start its economy. Certainly "Abenomics" seem to be working in improving Japanese economy, but is it sustainable? Does it face the hard truth that the Japanese society needs to change to realign with the growing worldwide competition and the shift within Japanese society itself?

 

Christine Largarde, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, stressed in October 2012 at the IMF General Meeting in Tokyo, the importance of women to revitalize the Japanese economy: "Because there is this aging problem… we believe that women could actually help very much". She added "Today you have five out of 10 Japanese women out of the job market, as opposed to two out of 10 men". She believes that if there were "better kindergartens and better assistance and cultural acceptance that women can actually do the job, it would be excellent for the Japanese economy".

 

Counterfeit goods make up about 2% of world trade, worth about $250 billion a year, according to a report released today (April 16) on transnational crime in Asia by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC). And, 67% of those counterfeit products were manufactured in China (pdf, p. 122), according to data on goods seized worldwide between 2008 and 2010.

 

The British law was originally based on the principle that a company could not change its capital without a court approval, and this in order to protect its creditors. And as Lord Watson stated in the landmark case of Trevor v Whitworth: "One of the main objects contemplated by the legislature, in restricting the power of limited companies to reduce the amount of their capital as set forth in the memorandum, is to protect the interests of the outside public who may become their creditors."[1]. This was also confirmed by Buckley LJ in Re Horsley and Weight Ltd when he affirmed creditors should rely on the fact that the company will not proceed to share buy-back without being properly authorized.[2]

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