What's he so happy about? Did he get a free kite? Or is he the nephew of the Chairman?
Thanks to the pope for the cool picture! Read his rant.
Thanks to black'n'brownedout for this link.
Inflated by the Olympic spirit
THE transformation of China's capital over the past few years has been astonishing. This year the effect will be giddying...Amid an Olympics-fuelled frenzy, Beijing's economy is booming and its house prices soaring. Many fear their return to earth will be bumpy.Ah. What me worry? You can't lose. And I'm so giddy, I can't think straight anyhow.
Olympic cities usually experience an economic surge before the games. And with under 18 months to go before the games open in Beijing, China's economy as a whole is growing nearly as fast as Beijing's: 10.7% last year compared with the capital's 12% (its eighth consecutive year in double digits). Central-government leaders worry that the pace could be reckless, but are loth (sic) to apply the brakes hard.I'm too indolent to look up the stats for how much our economy has grown, but it seems to me that I heard that it was in the neighbourhood of 3%. That's crazy growth in Beijing!
Communist Party ... leaders will be trying to stress how much in sympathy they are with the suffering of ordinary citizens.Oh, so solly full you! Throw the dogs a bone.
For the past two years, the central government has introduced a series of measures aimed at cooling property markets in Beijing and elsewhere. These have included new taxes on property deals and higher mortgage downpayments. Last month new restrictions were imposed on property purchases by foreigners. In Shanghai, these moves have achieved some success (diverting speculative money to the bubbling stockmarket), but not in Beijing. Last year property development still accounted for more than half of all investment in the capital.So where will the money go now? Off-shore. Vancouver sounds good. Golden Mountain. We buy it all. It's a global frenzy of liquidity. The only bright light that I can see is that the sub-prime market is melting down, and will take a lot more down with it. It's sad that the idea of a depression can seem like a bright light isn't it?
Speculators are betting that property prices will benefit from the tightness of land supplyOh fulak! The land shortage thing. It had to be there with the friggin' Olympics thing, didn't It? Can I even type Olympics without being sued for copy-right infringement?
Moreover, in order to keep the city clear of unsightly cranes and dust-billowing building sites during the games, Beijing has been discouraging new construction projects. This has reduced the expected supply of properties and helped to drive up prices. Last year the total floor space of new housing projects was nearly 6% less than in 2005. For poorer residents the outlook was particularly grim. The floor area of newly launched low-cost housing projects was down by nearly 57%.I think that loathesome regime is doing better than our own loathesome regime regarding housing the poor. Slavery never really went away, but now people are proud to be mortgage slaves.
According to press reports this week, the central government recently called a special meeting to discuss ways to tame Beijing's property market. Among its suggestions was an increase in the housing supply.Is it just me?, or does that not make sense? Just above, they were moaning about the shortage of land, but now they want to build even more. Look what happened here. Thousands of new condo's, houses and townhouses, and the market just keeps on exceeding itself.
Officials estimate that the Olympics have been contributing more than two percentage points to Beijing's annual growth since 2003. After the games, they insist, the city's new infrastructure and additional glamour (including the egg-shaped theatre, which hopes to attract international stars) will help keep the economy rolling. The flow of investment will be sustained, they say, by further infrastructure development, and by the pent-up demand for property, which will be supported by a continuing large influx of migrants from the countryside.La la la. Guns and roses and sweet dreams in a shovel. Pent up demand, and glamourous peasants flocking to Beijing on their ways to Aurean Mountain to partake in our Aquarian Sporting Event, in the town between Pemberton and Squamish, in the year between 2009 and 2011. (That is as clear as I can be, because it seems that the season between fall and spring has been copy-righted - along with quite a few other words and place names - including that word for the distraction involving boards, cards and chance, hockey, basketball, head, etc.. The one that starts with a G, and has an A, an M, an E, and an S.)
But some observers are worried. ...two Beijing academics...said the end of the Olympics would coincide with a cyclical downturn in China's economy, exacerbating the risk of a post-Olympics slump in the capital. Beijing's Olympics-related spending of around $35 billion, they calculated, would make up more than 43% of the total for all the games since 1976. This could make the post-Olympics investment downturn all the more pronounced—especially if the speculators are busy bailing out.No worries here though, that kinda shite does not happen here. And, there aren't that many speculators...
So, I think that we are competing with the City of Beijing for the place that everyone wants to be. And we don't have no stinking French-designed, egg-shaped theatre to attract international stars. We couldn't even give the Ford Theatre enough business to keep it going. Beijing is building a mag-lev train system for it's festival, and the network is planned country-wide. We get the RAV, lose BC Rail, and watch almost weekly derailments. Third World Class.
Excuse my cynical rant. I'm tired. I will have another rant for you in the coming days.