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Asia and the Subprime Crisis: Lifting the Veil on the by Chi Lo (auth.)

By Chi Lo (auth.)

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Banking is fundamentally a dangerous business. This danger had been intensified over the past twenty years due to too much de-regulation on the back of intensifying competition (see Chapter 7). Don’t send the wrong message Thus, to correct their mistakes, banks will have to become more boring, generating less profit from fancy financial engineering, and 24 Asia and the Subprime Crisis more heavily regulated relative to the past two decades. Granted, restrictions will hurt economic opportunities and profitability in the next economic upswing, but it will be a small price to pay for greater protection from another, perhaps bigger, banking crisis in the future.

Crucially, the persistence of this household income and GDP growth gap suggests that China’s growth had been a derivative of US consumption. As US consumption collapsed under the subprime shock, China’s growth slowdown became inevitable. China’s lopsided growth problem stems from an imbalance development policy that Beijing has pursued, but is now trying to correct, namely, government-driven supply side expansion. This policy has persistently undermined China’s consumption potential, pushing the country to rely on exports to rich countries to absorb the excess production capacity (Huang, 2008).

2% of urban investment is manufacturing-driven. Source: CEIC. The Subprime Impact on China 35 The economic bottom lines China’s integration into the global economy implies that the links between global demand and Chinese domestic investment and job growth are much tighter than before. Despite export diversification, the USA, Europe and Japan are still the key markets for Chinese exports. A significant slowdown in their growth as a result of the subprime crisis will have a bigger-than-expected impact on slowing China’s growth.

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