Imagine if free markets were allowed to be free.
China is the latest case in point. We recently suggested that investors worry about China, not about Greece, although for a tiny country Greece gives everyone plenty to worry about. But China should be the center of everyone’s attention, given its attempt to fix its falling stock market and boost imports by devaluing the yuan.
While it’s impossible to guess the intentions of China’s rulers – and they’re not about to share them – the 1.9% devaluation announced last week smacks of desperation. China’s stock market has been swooning this summer and its exports are down by 8.3% (much larger than the expected 1.5% decrease), which is not good for future growth.
In addition, The Wall Street Journal noted, “Pockets of manufacturing have been especially hard hit, as reflected in sluggish electricity use and falling rail cargo. Especially scary is the prospect of deflation; producer prices were down 5.4% from a year ago.”