atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#6477: The problem China faces

Karl Denninger lays it out here, but I can summarize it: China needs the US more than the US needs China.

China's current economic model is built on one thing: exports. They further are holding a rather significant amount of US treasury bonds. If China did something we really did not like we would not necessarily need to counterattack; simply lighting all those bonds on fire and closing our markets to them would represent a significant punishment for their actions.

One would assume, or hope at least, that China wouldn't be stupid enough to start a war before they'd prepared for this kind of reaction--but those preparations alone would be (or should be) an indication that they were going to try something.

A China that can't sell stuff to the US is a China that's going into a major economic depression. A US that won't buy stuff from China has a recession while US manufacturing switches back on, and stuff is more expensive than it used to be, but there's still plenty.

Oh, so you can no longer buy six pairs of tube socks for $10 from Walmart? We'd live. But the people in China's "tube sock city" would starve, and riot.

The advantage of trade among nations is that--allowed to continue long enough--nations no longer wish to fight wars, because they end up alienating trading partners. The pocketbook comes first.

...assuming all actors are reasonably rational and not complete lunatics like Hitler or Stalin.

* * *

Gun control working about as well as it always does. If you make guns illegal, only criminals will have them. Trite but true.

* * *

YouTube tutorials are wonderful things. They let you learn how to do things without having to leave your house.

* * *

Apple missed its sales estimates, but still made a profit; nonetheless, everyone panics. Pixy Misa discusses it.
Tim Cook blames the trade war with China. Customers blame the fact that the A$2389 iPhone XS Max lacks features found in a A$159 Android blue-light special.
Could be worse, I suppose.

* * *

So, space probe news:

Ultima Thule is a Kuiper Belt object that we can see from here, as a fuzzy dot; New Horizons went screaming past it and managed to collect a crapton of data, which will trickle back to Earth over the next eighteen months at the stunning speed of 256 bytes per second. Already we have a better picture of the object than we've ever had before, though.

China landed a probe on the far side of the Moon. Also interesting.

* * *

Well, at least tomorrow is Friday.
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