Here’s the Los Angeles Times:
Winston Yan stood atop the largest real estate project of its kind in downtown Los Angeles, a monstrous patchwork of glass and concrete next to the 110 Freeway, and marveled at the bustle of workers, construction vehicles and cranes 38 stories below.
The scope of development in this mixed-use project, called Metropolis, is unprecedented for L.A. but quite familiar to Yan. As an architect and executive for Chinese real estate giant Greenland, he’s witnessed firsthand China’s dramatic urbanization in recent decades.
“It reminds me of what’s happening in Beijing and Shanghai,” said Yan, chief technical officer for Greenland’s U.S. subsidiary. “Now it’s happening here.” . . .
Chinese developers such as Greenland, Oceanwide and Shenzhen Hazens are pouring billions into the neighborhood, adding thousands of new residential units in soaring skyscrapers that will fundamentally change the city’s skyline. Since 2014, Chinese developers have been involved in at least seven of 18 land deals downtown in excess of $19 million, according to real estate firm Transwestern.
“When all these megaprojects are finished, they’re going to have to reshoot the postcard picture of downtown L.A.,” said Mark Tarczynski, executive vice president for Colliers International’s L.A. office.
This is the flip side of America’s CA deficit with China. When countries like China runs a CA surplus, their domestic saving exceeds their domestic investment. This excess saving flows overseas to finance investment projects in countries like America and Australia, where saving falls short of investment. Hence Chinese money is rebuilding America.
As you might expect, Trump is horribly confused on this point. Here’s Matt Yglesias, discussing the recent debate:
He also said the Chinese “are using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China,” which isn’t even how piggy banks work, much less the US-Chinese economic relationship.
Trump has it exactly backwards. Over at Econlog, I discuss the economist who has been feeding Trump this sort of misinformation about basic economic identities. Yglesias also points to lots of Trump lies. The phony stats are perhaps to be expected, but the bald faced denials of saying things that he actually did say, sets a new (low) bar for American politics:
“Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” Clinton said. He protested. “I did not. I do not say that.” But it turns out he did.
I actually recall him saying the second point, just a few months ago. As with his public support for the Iraq War, truth means absolutely nothing to Trump. In fairness, Clinton is also somewhat dishonest–Trump nailed her on the TPP.
As for Trump’s bizarre conspiracy theories on all sort of issues, I don’t even know what to say. (Chinese hoax? Seriously?) This sort of mental illness in a normal person might be viewed as amusing. When the man with his finger on the nuclear triggers suffers from bizarre irrational delusions that foreign countries are trying to hurt us . . . well that can’t be good, can it?
PS. It’s kind of sad that wealthy Americans cannot seem to put aside the savings required to finance our investment spending, and instead we need to rely on the savings of poor Chinese.
PPS. I didn’t watch the debate, because I find them unwatchable (and not just this one.) Let me give you an example. The press thought Trump did a mediocre job, but most agree that he was pretty strong during the first 15 minutes or so. But if you look at the transcript, his first 15 minutes were just appalling, one lie after another, one inane statement about trade after another. The piggy bank quote above. The claim that Mexico’s VAT is a trade barrier, etc., etc. Almost nothing he said was true, almost everything showed a complete lack of understanding of basic economics. And this is what the press considers a “strong” performance. It’s clear to me that the press is either too dumb to understand content, or cares only about style when making these judgments. And maybe style is all that matters. But in that case, why waste 90 minutes watching a debate? There are much more entertaining ways to pass one’s time, like watching paint dry.
PPPS. This caught my eye:
The Conference Board says that its consumer confidence index rose to 104.1, up from 101.8 in August. It was the strongest reading since the index stood at 105.6 in August 2007, four months before the beginning of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
Not bad, for a country where “some great economists” think the unemployment rate is as high as 42%.
Seriously, we really need to stop talking like the US economy is still in “recession” and needs “stimulus”. We do need a new monetary policy regime, but not because the current unemployment rate is too high. We need a STABLE monetary regime. And supply-side policy reform (which neither candidate is advocating.)