August 29, 2007

China's TOP 100 Public Companies

There are now 100 Chinese companies with annual revenue just under $2 billion US dollars according to Fortune China magazine this month.

The top 100 Chinese companies are listed on stock exchanges in China (Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Hong Kong), Singapore, London, and New York City.

Check them out - here's a chance for the everyday investor to own a piece of the Chinese juggernaut!

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August 17, 2007

Sloppy Journos Double Standards

The news is filled today with alarmist reports describing the war games of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s long planned “Peace Mission 2007” as a sign of a new cold war. But where were the AP and British tabloids during the much larger and ecologically damaging “Talisman Sabre” mock invasion put on by the US and Australian militaries? See my March blog post on both these military manoeuvres here.

The New York Times prints third hand accounts of a highway bridge collapse in remote China rather than investigate the highway bridge disaster in America’s sixteenth largest metropolis, Minneapolis- St. Paul. The same paper is quick to jump on any mine disaster in China’s mining industry but doesn’t examine the lax standards behind the coal mine catastrophe in Price, Utah, until shamed into investigating the unfolding story by TV personality Arianna Huffington.

Every news outlet this week has assaulted our ears and eyes with fear-mongering coverage about poisoned Chinese imports ranging from toothpaste to frozen fish to the very toys under our children’s beds. Yet where is the hysteria and dire warnings about the lead in candy from Mexico that has sickened America’s kids as far back as 2001?

August 14, 2007

Chinese Toy Boycott

Imports of Chinese goods are expected to be up by $3.5 billion and total $63.5 billion for the second quarter. That puts 2007 on pace for another record size US trade deficit with China.

Stymied by an inability to control China trade relations Washington is resorting to a more blunt method – de facto boycotts.

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that it had coerced Mattel, Inc., to recall millions of Chinese made toys including famous American brand Barbie. The recall is “intentionally large” CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord said while admitting that no one has been injured or harmed by any of the toys recalled.

The action of the CPSC plays on the fears of mothers everywhere and whether intentional or not fuels press coverage intent on demonizing China for all of the world’s ills.

The CPSC action is direct “Nanny State” intervention into markets and the economy.

Mattel's factories and workers may be in China but they were built and are paid by US dollars - direct foreign investment from Mattel and other companies. By building factories and relocating jobs to China corporations such as Mattel get increased profit margins and by contracting out production and other services they get to skirt regulations in the USA.

But the de facto boycott of Chinese toys leaves Mattel with little recourse to stem its losses and impact on its stock price, already falling today. Mattel is essentially a pawn in a spat between Washington and Beijing. It’s akin to a nasty separation where one spouse punishes the children to get back at the other. Is this a sign of more ugliness to come? We’ll see when the Chinese autos come ashore in big numbers.

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August 01, 2007

Economists Against Congress Anti-China Trade Legislation

The Club for Growth, a conservative political action committee led by former Pennsylvania Congressman Pat Toomey, has sent a petition to Congress signed by 1,028 economists including former government officials, Nobel Prize winners, and a bevy of professors, urging Congress to rethink "protectionist policies against China."

Pat Toomey's editorial in today's Wall Street Journal is also an excellent summation of just how wrong-headed the work of Senators Max Baucus (D-Montana), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is.

See my previous posts on this issue for more.

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