Saturday, December 6, 2008

China's Exports Plummet

This isn't good news for China's economy, which is utterly dependent on its exports.

From Reuters:

BEIJING, Dec 6 (Reuters) - China's exports for November fell in value compared to the same month last year, the first such decline in more than 7 years, a Chinese business newspaper reported on Saturday.

Citing an unidentified source, the 21st Century Business Herald said that according to estimates from customs authorities, China's exports in November were worth "over" $100 billion and imports worth over $70 billion, marking declines in both.

The report said the fall in November exports marked the first such monthly fall since June 2001. In November last year, China's exports were worth $108 billion.

The Chinese-language report cautioned that its trade numbers were "the product of a partial collation and may have omissions."

Read On
This shouldn't be too big of a surprise, really.

From January through June of this past year, 67,000 factories in China closed their doors. Yes, you just read that right. It's not that 67,000 employees lost their jobs. 67,000 factories closed in the beginning of 2008.

And that was before the economic crisis grabbed headlines in September. The official numbers, when released regarding what is going on now, will surely be mind boggling.

Many of my ex-pat friends here in China, knowing that I'm American, have been joking with me about how screwed America is with the crisis. I just laugh and say, "You know what, everyone's f*^%ed. If you think China or England or Australia or Canada is going to get through the coming months and years unscathed, you're a fool."

When having these discussions, I constantly think about a poster advertisement that is up on the walls of the private English training school I manage. It contains quotes from a number of famous western people. My two favorite quotes are:
"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes." - Andy Warhol

"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X
Now I think it's pretty cool that these, rather quirky, quotes made it on to one of the official posters of my school. The Andy Warhol one doesn't really fit in with what I'm talking about here, but the Malcolm X one does.

I'm amazed at a lot of the nonchalance that people are having about the economic disaster that is currently engulfing the world. So many people I encounter don't seem to be attempting to wrap their minds around the absolute insanity which is going on on a daily basis.

Maybe people are just putting their heads in the sand and not paying attention. Or maybe the people who've been ribbing me don't understand the connectedness which defines our current, globalized, economy. Or maybe they're all the sane ones and I'm the one who's lost touch with reality.

For the world's sake, I hope that they're right and my pessimistic view on the near future of our world is wrong.

X's quote here gives me inspiration at this time of great uncertainty and fear. I feel as if I prepare myself for what I believe is going to happen in the coming months and years ahead, then I believe I'll be better off for it.

At the moment, I'm trying to manage my way through the stages of grief that come with the realization that the world I'd been imagining my young adult to be like just isn't going to come to fruition.

For the time being, trying to understand what is going on on a daily basis and the ramifications these actions are going to have in the future is my way of preparing myself for what is in store for us.

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