Monday, 23 May 2011

An Obvious but Unsettling Observation

Just back from a week in China, so a bit shagged out. Still, there's one thing that's absolutely worth conveying, since I've seen no-one on the street admit it. It's this: the power shortages which are afflicting Zhejiang are not happening by accident, are not the result simply of a perverse pricing policy for electricity and coal, are not the result of a lack of hydro-power, or even the result of heavy industry starting up again after its enforced 'environmental' layoffs of 4Q.

Guys, it's policy.

It really is: China's planners have tried everything else they know to curb what they see as wasteful energy-intensive export industries and now. . . . well, they're switching them off.  Hard landing, soft landing, overheating, has nothing to do with it.  It's policy.

We're so used to resources being allocated by price it seems almost incomprehensible to us in the market that there's another, and rather cruder, way of doing things  Right now, it's before our eyes, but we simply can't understand the message.  I hope I helped.

(If you want more details of the how and why, email me. . . . )

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