Re: Guest Post - Making the World Safe for Autocracy

1

It's a good thing we're trying to anger, alienate, or weaken all of our democratic allies just now. That will fix things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-18 8:06 AM
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To be fair we are trying to alienate our autocratic allies, too.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11- 7-18 8:42 AM
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3

Not as hard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-18 8:52 AM
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4

https://www.yahoo.com/news/cias-communications-suffered-catastrophic-compromise-started-iran-090018710.html


Posted by: Roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 11- 7-18 12:12 PM
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5

See, this is why I sent the post in before the election.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 7-18 4:22 PM
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6

You did. I'm sorry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 7-18 4:26 PM
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7

It's okay! The PRC will be assailing the free world for decades to come! We can wring our hands then!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 7-18 4:30 PM
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8

I've seen Huawei's road show for policy makers in "small island developing states," as the phrase goes, where they were pushing their kit for supporting "smart cities." Networks of cameras and other sensors on a central apparatus, basically. Massive, real-time data collection on public behavior.

There was lip service to using this tech for shit like automating traffic signals, but the primary selling point they highlight is "security."

And who among us doesn't want better crime prevention?

A lot of countries are going to be buying that shit. How are they going to use it?


Posted by: Rutherford B. Hayes | Link to this comment | 11- 7-18 8:05 PM
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And KnifeCrimea? Don't we count? Or are we a small island regressing state?


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11- 8-18 12:23 AM
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10

8: So have I! Because of course you want all the CCTV to be in a data centre in China...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11- 8-18 3:26 AM
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11

10. Purely for ensuring there's a backup, of course.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11- 8-18 7:28 AM
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12

I think it's astonishing what a miscalculation granting permanent MFN status to China was. All carrot, no stick, massively disruptive world-round, and while it (greatly) improved the material well-being of many, many, many Chinese, it seems to have done so at the cost of long-term oppression of all of them as well as billions of others.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 9-18 1:04 PM
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13

True. In fairness though I'm not sure how much of that was visible in foresight. The post-historical moment and all.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11- 9-18 1:09 PM
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14

Get these mother fucking nations out of my mother fucking trading system!


Posted by: Opinionated Samuel Jackson | Link to this comment | 11- 9-18 1:09 PM
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15

As I recall, people were worried about that but there was an excess of optimism about the healing powers of markets.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-18 1:15 PM
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16

If only there was a name for that.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-18 1:16 PM
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17

I think the idea, going back to the 1970s (before the ism which must not be named) was entanglement. Kissinger's model apparently was Metternich's Vienna settlement, giving France enough of a stake in the system not to try to overturn it. That wasn't necessarily a bad plan, but China's relative weight in the world was bound to become so much more than that of France in the Concert that actually making it work was going to require a lot of conscious effort. Which of course has been lacking.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-10-18 3:18 AM
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18

Kind of related because China:

I read that 1/5 of urban apartments in China are empty and held for investment. That sounds like Step 7 or 8 of the mother of all real estate collapses. What happens if China goes through something worse than what we went through in 2008 except the President of United States is a piece of shit and Europe is in disarray because of Brexit and Germany domestic politics? Asking for a friend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-18 4:15 PM
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19

(I stand to be corrected on all points, but) I think those apartments are being bought as long-term stores of value rather than speculatively, and the government has taken steps to prevent speculation. Apparently Chinese people don't think it's safe to keep money in banks or securities, hence real estate (note the ones that are able to smuggle money out also like to buy real estate elsewhere, which is why apparently no-one can afford to live in Vancouver).
I don't know to what extent those apartments are bought with debt, or to what extent those loans are bad. Because of exchange controls though I think little or none of that debt is ultimately held by foreign banks. The Chinese banks are sitting on massive piles of bad debts, and the Chinese economy as a whole on massive oversupply in the construction sector (much of the whole BRI puppet show is really just a subsidy program for construction firms) but I don't know how exactly either of those things ties into the apartments thing.
The PRC is working hard to unwind those problems gradually without a sudden collapse. If they fail they'll print any amount of money to prevent total bank collapses (which would nonetheless reaffirm Chinese belief in empty apartments for the next cycle) but I don't know if they'll be able to prevent a major recession; if not I expect Western governments will no more be capable of effective public stimulus than they were in 2008.
All of which is to say, there may be a Chinese crisis coming, but it won't look much like the 2008 crisis.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-10-18 6:34 PM
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20

That sounds reassuring. Except that uninhabited builds suck as a store of long-term value.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-18 6:51 PM
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21

Maybe Trump should try to sell his real estate university bullshit in China?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-18 7:02 PM
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22

I think most of those apartment buildings are really tall, so some of them can be refugee camps after the ice melts.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-10-18 7:54 PM
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23

I've heard the same as 19, that real estate is the main savings vehicle in China. China engaged in gigantic stimulus in 2008, which probably led to overbuilding, but in another crisis they could do it again. Though Xi has to be lowering the general competence of the Chinese government.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-11-18 5:23 AM
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