“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yikes! China Banks Doubled Yuan Lending in 2009 Over Previous Year

At the very end of this clip the announcer mentions that Chinese Yuan lending doubled in one year. Let me tell you something sports fans, no bank anywhere at anytime can double lending year over year without some very serious consequences, let alone the entire lending system.

Assume for a minute that a bank is efficiently staffed in its lending department or for that matter its mail room. Double the work load and what do you think happens? You go out and hire more people, but what happens when the entire banking system doubles its workload? You cannot find people both experienced and available.

While that is happening everyone in the country learns that banks are shovelling money out the door. That sets off a borrowing panic. People do not want to miss the party and every crazy idea possible gets word processed and the spreadsheet dutifully reports the expected numbers.

How do you spell liar loans in Chinese?


China on High Alert for Large-scale Bad Loans
2010-02-25 20:36:48
Xinhua Web Editor: Cao

Chen Jun, in preparation for his wedding, applied for bank loans to buy an apartment in downtown Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province. As a first-time home buyer, he thought he was entitled to a 30 percent discount on the loan's interest rate. He was surprised when all the banks knocked him back.

The practice of giving first-time home buyers a 30 percent discount on interests rate is fast disappearing as banks tighten lending to guard against bad loans. Most first-time home buyers can only get a 15 percent discount now.

Experts reckon the debate on how to prevent wide-spread default on loans will be one of the hottest at China's top legislative session to be held next week.

Concerns about bad loans have arisen after Chinese banks lent massive amounts that ended up in the property market, said Guo Tianyong, director of the China Banking Industry Research center with the Central University of Finance and Economics.

Lending to local governments' financing units is a concern, too, Guo added.

Some 2 trillion yuan, or 20.9 percent of China's new lending in 2009, found its way into the real estate sector, according to the People's Bank of China (PBoC), China's central bank.

A Bank of Communications report said local governments received financing from several banks through numerous financing units, making debt management chaotic as banks had difficulty tracking overall debt.

Chinese local governments cannot issue bonds, except through a limited pilot program launched in 2009. But they have set up more than 3,000 commercial units, and they borrow heavily through them.

About 3,800 financing units set up by local governments oversee assets of 8 trillion yuan. The local governments' liabilities total 5 trillion yuan and have a 60 percent liability rate, according to the PBoC.

Bad loan alarm bells having been ringing ever since China introduced its moderately loose monetary policy to fight the effects of the global financial crisis.

Chinese banks lent a record 9.59 trillion yuan in 2009 to help the economic recovery, which was almost double the amount loaned in the previous year.

The 2010 government loan target is 7.5 trillion yuan. But in January alone, banks extended 1.39 trillion yuan in new loans -- 18.53 percent of the full-year target.

"The record lending helped Chinese economy recover. But it also brought risks. Credit to unfavored sectors may tighten and lead to unfinished projects or bad loans in the end," said Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at Fujian-based Industrial Bank.

"When China unleashed that huge amount of credit, much of it found its way into the stock and property markets, inflating assets bubbles, inflation risks and bad loans," said sources who declined to be named at a state-owned commercial lender.

Experts believe bad loans can be checked through the control of lending growth and monitoring of capital sufficiency, the provision coverage ratio and the deposit-loan ratio.

Ba Shusong, a researcher with the Development Research Center under the State Council, said governmental and institutional controls might help reduce local governments' fund raising.

China's banking regulator, China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), issued two directives on working capital loans and personal capital loans on Feb. 21, asking banks to manage risks more carefully and to verify that loans are used for their intended purposes.

The CBRC rules forbid the use of working capital loans to make fixed-asset investments or to buy equity stakes.

They also outlaw unreasonable loan quotas and scrambling to extend loans.

China has raised banks deposit reserve ratios twice in 2010.

Several months ago the CBRC required large banks to raise their minimum capital sufficiency rate from eight percent to 11 percent. Small and medium-sized banks had theirs raised to 10 percent.

At the same time, banks' provision coverage ratio was raised to 150 percent from 130 percent.

The lending structure should be adjusted to divert more credit to advanced manufacturing sectors, the modern service sectors, and small- and medium-sized enterprises, said Yan Qingmin, director of Shanghai Banking Regulatory Bureau.

He added credit should be drained from high-risk sectors, especially those that are highly energy intensive or polluting. Moreover, sectors suffering production overcapacity should also see tightened credit.

China's banking sector suffered in the 1990s for having lent heavily to local governments and state-owned enterprises. The lending spree resulted in 2 to 3 trillion yuan in bad loans.

The government issued 270 billion yuan of special bonds to deal with it. Four asset management companies were set up to takeover the 1.4 trillion yuan of bad loans incurred by the major lenders.

"The supervisors obviously are not willing to see the progress of China's banking sector in the past decade be obliterated by bad loans," said Guo, adding that he hoped the government's work report this year will mention specific measures to deal with the issue.


  1. But, what if the bank was "underlending" to start with?

    Also, maybe a large part of that figure is simply "Larger" loans.

    Just playing the "Devil's Advocate."

  2. Larger loans means greater scrutiny, more analysis, and an increased demand on the lending officer to monitor the loan. It seperates the men from the boys.

    That is the reason banks give lending authority to various officers with a specified limit.

    As far as underlending, that would imply an easy work load on a reasonably staffed lending department.

    Assume the bank has a 10% capital base.

    Assume it is adequate for present lending.

    Double the lending on the same capital and assume the bank maintains average losses.

    Assume the 10% capital remains the same as the doubling in lending occurs.

    Result, you force the bank to be undercapitalized at a time where the increased lending and exposure to credit losses increases.

  3. According to Her Majesty's Government - Stafford Hospital caused ‘unimaginable suffering’

    It bears noting that the intellectually curious, government appointed management received very generous salary and severance packages, indeed. None were reported Yale alumni.

  4. These are approx. off the top of the head figures, so be kind.

    The Yuan sells for about 6.8 to the dollar. China has about a $5 Trillion economy, or a 35 TRILLION YUAN Economy.

    A lot of the stuff we do with "bonds," they do with "loans."

    These numbers aren't as "Out of Whack" as they first appear.

    Remember, they have somewhere around $15 Trillion Yuan "cash on hand" in the form of OECD Treasuries, etc.

  5. A Strong "Cash Flow" will soften a lot of problems. And, they have a really strong cash flow.

  6. That is trouble, because the underlying collateral will be subject to falling prices as borrowers scramble to sell properties to increase liquidity when the predictable tightening occurs.

    The banks go into panic mode as they realize their loans are under-collateralized.

  7. Also, your article stated that they were being required to maintain 11 or 12% reserve requirements.

    Look, it's surely the "wild west;" but they have the "bucks," and as badly as our "Harvard-educated" bankers have screwed up, I'm not sure I want to go off on the Chinese. THEY didn't, almost, bring down the entire world's monetary system.

  8. I don't know, one of the toughet jobs for a lending officer is to ensure that the borrower is using the money as intended.

    A ton of that money probably found its way into equities and real estate instead of injection molders and stamping presses.

  9. Many a collateral lender munched tums by the handful at auction day as his tagged collateral went for ten cents on the $.

  10. I can't even understand Japan; I'm sure not going to pretend to know anything about China. But, I do know that a strong cash flow, and a ton of money in the bank is a good place to start.

  11. A "Command" economy is by definition very inefficient at allocating resources "over the Long Run." However, they can move quickly in the "short run."

    They'll hit the wall some day. Everyone does. I'm just not convinced "that day" is real soon.

  12. I agree with Rufus' last post. From what I've read China has some major financial issues hanging out there including the magnitude of the bad loans. A lot of it is tied to politics and nespotism inherent in how a lot of the loans are handed out.

    However, having a strong, centralized government allows the country to quickly, if not painlessly, turn on a dime.

    In my opinion, when China does decline it will be for other reasons, primarily demographic and geographic.


  13. From the prior thread,

    I've always kinda liked Jeb Bush.

    I would have much rather had him as number 43.

    However, I don't know all that much about him so mine is just a general impression. Whit, on the other hand, ought to be able to provide some insight on how he did in Fl.


  14. We better worry about "over here." Jobless Claims jump, Durable Goods minus Aircraft Down, Market Tanks

    Only thing that's selling is Aircraft. Gee, I wonder who's buying airplanes? It's Not Europe. It's not Japan. It's not Us. Hmmm

  15. Olympic Hangover in Vancouver

    "Security costs, first estimated at $165 million, are now headed toward $1 billion.

    Still, organizers insist the operating budget will break even. But that forecast includes $423 million in emergency money from the International Olympic Committee, and detailed financial information will not appear until after the Games are over.

    As for Vancouver’s municipal government and the taxpayers, the bad news is already in. The immediate Olympic legacy for this city of 580,000 people is a nearly $1 billion debt from bailing out the Olympic Village development. Beyond that, people in Vancouver and British Columbia have already seen cuts in services like education, health care and arts financing from their provincial government, which is stuck with many other Olympics-related costs. Many people, including Mrs. Lombardi, expect that more will follow."

    Vancouver's Olympic Headache

    I guess China got what they were looking for when they hosted the Olympics, but for most countries and especially the host cities, why would you want to have the Olympics?

    Losing the Olympics bid may turn out to be the high point of Obama's first year as president.


  16. Quirk,
    Bush will remain a four letter word for the rest of your life, and family dynasties are so yesterday, that Jeb is toast, politically.

    I think he woulda done a better job than W too.

    Never being a stone cold alky like his brother (or our brother, Rufus) had to be a plus, didn't it?

  17. There was plenty of fault to go around in the different factors that led to the latest financial crisis. However, one of the factors that always got me was the credit default swaps, as many have before referred to as "buying insurance on your neighbors house."

    Now we see that the same banks that helped to hide the extent of Greece's budget deficit are now offering CDS' on Greek debt.

    Perhaps shortsighted on my part, but I have little sympathy for the banks and would take inordinate glee in seeing the government bring the hammer down on these guys through tougher regulations.

    Greek Bancruptcy?

    "These contracts, known as credit-default swaps, effectively let banks and hedge funds wager on the financial equivalent of a four-alarm fire: a default by a company or, in the case of Greece, an entire country. If Greece reneges on its debts, traders who own these swaps stand to profit.

    “It’s like buying fire insurance on your neighbor’s house — you create an incentive to burn down the house,” said Philip Gisdakis, head of credit strategy at UniCredit in Munich.

    "As Greece’s financial condition has worsened, undermining the euro, the role of Goldman Sachs and other major banks in masking the true extent of the country’s problems has drawn criticism from European leaders. But even before that issue became apparent, a little-known company backed by Goldman, JP Morgan Chase and about a dozen other banks had created an index that enabled market players to bet on whether Greece and other European nations would go bust…


    "Greece is not a small country,” said Mr. Raynes, at R&R in New York. “Credit-default swaps give the illusion of safety but actually increase systemic risk.”

    CDS on Greek Bancruptcy


  18. "Bush will remain a four letter word for the rest of your life, and family dynasties are so yesterday, that Jeb is toast, politically."

    I won't argue with that, Doug. I was merely responding to some of the criticism he received in the last thread.

    He seemed fairly competant (unfortunately something rare in politics thse days)from what I had seen of him. However, someone from FL would have a better idea of how effective he was.

    With regard to dynasties, who knows? His son is pretty attractive although I don't know if he has any political ambitions.


  19. I heard he did good things wrt education in Florida.

    If that's true, he's one of a few.

  20. Rubio is more attractive, and a true conservative.

    ...will the GOP be too stupid to recognize his potential?

  21. In my home town, some folks actually lived in converted chicken coops.
    ...some converted with recycled cardboard

    Fires were a sight, as you would see the propane tank through the disappearing cardboard, waiting to blow.
    ...or better yet, a barrel of "drip" gasoline, siphoned/stolen from Standard Oil's lines.

  22. My father could pick 450 pounds/day. My mother - 275. I wasn't too good at it, myself. Hardest work I've ever done.

    Didn't mind the "chopping," so much. Could throw watermelons, and cantaloupe all day. Same with Hay.

    But, that damned cotton-picking was a miserable, bitch.

  23. I never picked cotton but I picked blueberries, tomatoes, chopped firewood and fed slop to pigs my aunt and uncle raised to slaughter.

    So while I'll be in Kentucky next week the blue moon better be rising.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Quit messing up my music. This is how it goes:

    Patsy Cline

  26. She was my first choice, honest. The video seemed a little dreary, though, so I moved on.

  27. My father had every 8 track of Patsy Cline, as far as I can remember.

  28. And my mom, you got it, and Elvis fan.

  29. Sometimes man's ambition exceeds his grasp.

    "Shark-filled aquarium in Dubai mall springs leak!

    "Water gushed from a leak in a shark-filled aquarium in a ritzy Dubai mall on Thursday, sending startled shoppers scattering and shutting down nearby shops in one of the city's proudest attractions.

    "Amateur video footage posted on the Web site of Dubai newspaper Gulf News showed what appeared to be hundreds of gallons of water showering down on the polished tiled floor of the Dubai Mall, which sits in the shadow of the world's tallest tower.

    "The timing is unfortunate for Dubai, which is trying to restore its once gilded image as it wades through a torrent of negative publicity generated by its burst property bubble, crippling debt pile and the assassination of a top Hamas commander in an airport hotel last month.

    "The incident also raises new questions about building safety in the city-state, which pushed through ever more extravagant and complicated construction projects until the economic downturn halted its rapid-fire growth. Less than three weeks ago, trapped tourists had to be pulled from a stuck elevator in the mall owner's record-breaking Burj Khalifa skyscraper nearby. The world's largest tower, due to accept its first permanent tenants in March, has yet to reopen to the public."

    Sharks in Trouble in Dubai


  30. What dumb ass would put a shark filled aquarium in the middle of the mall anyway? That's like going to gynecologist and having you teeth cleaned. Sheesh.

  31. "Water gushed from a leak in a shark-filled aquarium in a ritzy Dubai mall on Thursday, sending startled shoppers scattering and shutting down nearby shops in one of the city's proudest attractions.

    Gee all it would take is ONE crazy Jihadist suicide bomber to make a real mess...

    take out the elevator on the sky bar...

    crack open the shark tank...

    it's will happen...

    and I will laugh....


  32. hell it's PURIUM!

    This is the one time of the year...

    ok of a few times a year, we are allowed to remember that evil people getting whacked is good...

    I celebrate the whacking of a mass murderer hamas creep... I also point out the LACK of innocents not harmed...

    talk about Precision Weapons....

    the electrical cord applied DIRECTLY to the mass murderers neck....

    aint that grand...

    could not have happened to a more deserving piece of garbage...

  33. anyone want to ask me how I really feel?

  34. My Olde To A Creep...

    Once there was a murderer named Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

    He hated the XXXXX's and he personally murdered them. He was well respected by the Rulers of the Arab world.

    He's dead....

    Someday, when peace comes to his family home and FEDEX delivers there, I shall ship several cases of SPAM a year to his family, celebrating his removal from our planet...

    The End

  35. Caught a few minutes of the HC Summit on Fox News. The Dems should have done this six months, ago.

    Obama's pretty good in this type of format.

  36. I suspect it will require a little more work before The New Yorker will be interested in it, WiO.

    Perhaps if you could come up with something to rhyme with planet.


  37. Patsy was ANOTHER one taken by GD stupid "pilots" in GD stupid light twins.
    ...after almost dying twice in car accidents.

    "As stated in the Nassour biography, Patsy Cline, friends Dottie West and June Carter Cash both recalled Cline telling them that she felt a sense of impending doom and didn't expect to live much longer in the months leading up to her death. Cline also told Loretta Lynn of this, along with Cash and West, as early as September 1962.[7] Cline, though known for her extreme generosity, even began giving away personal items to friends, writing out her own last will on Delta Air Lines stationery and asking close friends to care for her children if anything should happen to her. She reportedly told Jordanaire back up singer Ray Walker as she exited the Grand Ole Opry a week before her death: "Honey, I've had two bad ones (accidents). The third one will either be a charm or it'll kill me."

    On March 3, 1963, Cline, though ill with the flu, gave a performance at a benefit show at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas, for the family of a disc jockey, Cactus Jack Call, who had recently died in an automobile accident. Also performing on the show were George Jones, George Riddle and The Jones Boys, Billy Walker, Dottie West, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, and George McCormick and the Clinch Mountain Clan. Cline wore a white chiffon gown and closed the show with her performance to a thunderous ovation. Her last song was the last one she recorded during her last sessions the previous month, "I'll Sail My Ship Alone".

  38. WiO,

    Re: My Ode to a Creep

    Don't ever do that again! Even if your life depends on it...NEVER...EVER...UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER... :)
    The more I think about it the closer I come to Linear's position: blog poets should be shot on sight.

    Have a great Purim, my friend! And remember, you must get drunk.

  39. Have a great Purim, my friend! And remember, you must get drunk.

    I got some 18 year old single malt...

    I got a REAL nice st emillion.....

    it's going to be so good I wont be able tell between haman and uncle mo.....

  40. I wonder how many cotton balls it takes to make 450lbs?!

  41. Tripoli has stopped issuing visas to citizens of 25 European states in the Schengen passport-free zone, in retaliation for a decision by Berne to bar entry to some Libyans, including Gaddafi's family.

    Italy, which has close business links with Libya, has accused Switzerland of misusing the Schengen agreement and taking EU members "hostage" with the ban, which had forced other states to bar travel by Libyans as well.

    Italy's interior minister, Roberto Maroni, said the row put the Schengen zone at risk and could prompt Libya to end co-operation in controlling illegal immigration to the EU. by banning Europeanscitizens from the 25 European countries in Europe that share the visa-free Schengen system from travelling to Libya

    Jihad Against Switzerland

  42. The House Ethics panel has found that Rep. Charles B. Rangel
    of New York broke Congressional rules by failing to properly
    disclose financial details of a trip to the Caribbean, a House official said.

  43. In 2006, a trainer at the adventure park was hospitalized after a killer whale grabbed him and twice held him underwater during a show at Shamu Stadium.

    In 1999, Tillikum was blamed for the death of a 27-year-old man whose body was found floating on his back in a tank at SeaWorld, the apparent victim of a whale's "horseplay," authorities said then.

    The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the man apparently hid in the park until after it closed and then climbed into the tank.

    Killer Whale

  44. Netanyahu and Assad have said they are willing to reopen peace talks but have disagreed over who, if anyone, should mediate. More recently, their countries traded barbs that included threats by the Israeli foreign minister to topple Assad and threats by the Syrian foreign minister to target Israeli cities in any war.

    Israeli officials say they still believe that a deal with Syria is possible but less so if President Obama fails with Iran.

    "The question is, where is Syria going to locate itself?" asked Tzachi Hanegbi, chairman of the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The alliance with Iran, he said, "gives them less reason to be pragmatic."

    Israel's 'Annihilation'

  45. The shipping company ate the tires on the Jeep. I mean, srsly, how does one manage such a feat?

    Bonus: It won't start.

    Not like it's a prized possession, but...Looking around the lot in the Port of Baltimore, there were vehicles that looked like they'd they'd been dropped from fifty feet onto the dock. And someone's going to be surprised by a driver's side window that appears to have been attacked by Tiger Woods's wife.

    We've been around the block a few times and this is a first.

    What a racket.

    So we called JAG at Meyer.

    It's somebody else's problem now.

    In other news, yes, it was most sincerely Mossad. But after so many non-denial denials that so barely achieved the level of same they were more like non-non-denial denials, I think everyone had since gotten the point.

    And the world really does continue to turn.

    In other, other news, ODNI is a combination of Old Home Week and a daily game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

    But I guess that was a given.

  46. Ah, yes. I discovered a small antique books shop not far from the house.

    It really is the little things in life.

    So I picked up a history of the New South and had a pleasant chat with the guy on duty this afternoon.

    The weather may suck - and suck, and suck, and suck - but there are compensations to be found.

  47. Thanks for the youtube clip, Trish!

  48. Krauthammer:

    On the restrictive rules of engagement in Afghanistan:

    Look, it's clear, as Steve indicated, that when you are under these constraints and these restraints and these rules, you're increasing the danger to our troops. There is no doubt about it.

    The question for me is: Is that decision made by the political types who want to appease world public opinion, who want to make it easy to get applause when you are addressing a crowd abroad, to preen about how good soldiers we are?

    I don't think that is the case here.

    If it were, I would be really strongly against it and I think it would be scandalous — risking the lives of our soldiers in order to garner the applause of people whose applause we don't need.

    But it seems pretty obvious that in this case the decision is a military one by the commanders on the ground. We heard McChrystal here — [and] General Petraeus — they made a military calculation that in order to achieve the mission, you have to increase the risk by acting in this restrained way.

    It's the equivalent of looking at two hills and deciding that you're going to send a company up to take the harder hill, thinking that that strategic position will give you a better chance of winning the war. The harder hill here is restraint, because it's a guerrilla war and has to do with hearts and minds.

    So even though I'm sort of instinctively very suspicious and worried about these very constraining rules of engagement, I would defer to the military here because they are making a calculation that this is the best way to win the war.

    02/22 03:19 PM

    Charles, you old sweetheart you.

  49. A little AC/DC? Any time, sam.

    You know, I've always liked the prelude to Another Brick In The Wall better than the song itself.

    And of course it gave us the iconic, "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding!"

    I knew goofy kids (but weren't we all) for whom that album was damned near a religious experience.

    I was a thorough devotee of pop and didn't begin to appreciate Floyd until The Final Cut.

  50. Goofy kid and religious experience.

    (stands to attention) Present!

    I was never into pop. Always the classic rock. Probably because of my flower children parents. Although some of those old tunes could by classified as pop I s'pose.

    Final Cut. I think Roger Waters exited stage left right after that.

  51. Did Mabhouh's assassination justify taking such a risk? Was there negligence or contempt for the adversary on the part of the planners, the commanders and those who approved the operation (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to foreign reports)?

    Were other operations compromised, that were even more essential than the killing of a Hamas weapons smuggler? Is criticism by countries whose passports were falsified just for the record, or will it limit operatives' freedom of action in other hits?

    Will the affair increase Israel's international isolation and present it once again as a lawless state?

    Global Isolation?

  52. "(stands to attention) Present!"

    : )

    You know, there ought to be an annual global conference of those grown up kids.

    Everyone can get together at rotating venues and reminisce about the transcendent experience of The Album and the grand shittiness of high school.

    I didn't have flower child parents. I had a father, though, of eclectic musical taste and flower child music was always in the lineup during Sunday brunch hours. Dad was our house deejay.

  53. Once a year he also made us all sit through his VietNam war slide show. I would wait for the corpses-lined-up-on-the-dirt-road shot.

    That this annual event of my childhood still doesn't strike me as the least bit odd (and my brother has recently taken to converting all the slides to online photos) probably says a lot.

  54. Like this:

  55. Well, no one has mentioned it, but did not Charlie Chi-com just recently announce a tightening on lending.

    Were there not reports of some of the liquidity evaporating from China's vibrant expansion?

    Now, if what ever Charlie's version of the Fed is, while the US overseers sucked the liquidity out of the economy, with the M1 supply growing less than 1% in the 18 months prior to the collapse, Charlie's central bankers pumped a seemingly huge amount of cash into their economy.

    Maintaining their forward movement, for now.

  56. What's happened to M 1 since the collapse?

  57. Yes, MLD, I'm up to 15 pounds.

  58. < Had no idear that Red Header was a Black Backer.