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June 2011

Catching up with China, in Africa

US companies are catching up with China in Africa for a market that they have neglected for decades…

According to the WSJ piece,

While most U.S. companies focused international expansions on Asia and Latin America, China was leapfrogging America in Africa. China's exports to Africa last year totaled about $54 billion, up from $5.6 billion a decade before, according to the IMF. U.S. exports to Africa totaled $21 billion last year, up from $7.6 billion in 2000.


Western European companies, many of which had lingering business interests in Africa from colonial days, also took their eye off the ball. Western Europe's share of overall trade—the sum of imports and exports—with sub-Saharan Africa dropped to 30% in 2009 from 52% in 1990, according to McKinsey. The share of China and other Asian countries in Africa trade more than doubled to 30% from 14% in the same period, while North America's share slipped to 13% from 16%.

Jim Rogers plays US and China

The usual plain-word no-nonsense Jim Rogers:

What is dragging economic recovery?

What impedes banks from lending more widely, and what prevents businesses from hiring? It could be the uncertainty in coming regulation rules, at least that’s what Jamie Dimon fears.  It’s remarkable that Jamie Dimon went public with his frustrations.

An inside analysis:

The next convergence

Nobelist Michael Spence discusses with Charlie Rose on the next convergence, where China and India and other emerging economies potentially catch up with the industrialized world.

The convergence is in reference to the Great Divergence that sent Great Britain, France and other Western European countries into the leading world economies.

This transition, most likely, will not be smooth. I am writing a paper on what could stall fast developing economies, like China, into a middle-income trap, where income growth becomes stagnant and gets stuck in around $12-15K range.

Housing double dipping

The graphs speak of a thousand words.

Housing index:

annual change:

(graph courtesy of Northern Trust)

The Fed prevented a deep fall, but Bernanke's Fed has been helpless with the recovery.  QE3?