Friday, January 11, 2013

The morning's newsbits, this time all from the Sinocism letter

Had to check out a bunch of other things before getting around to this news update, so again today it's late-ish. No worry.

All of these links come via the Sinocism daily letter, which is a fantastic go-to place if you want to follow what's happening in China.

Reuters - China's carbon intensity falls over 3.5 percent in 2012. Y'know, sometimes these synchronistic things happen to me, and the only explanation I have is that the world is one great cosmic intelligence, which loves me so much that it goes out of its way to help demonstrate that I'm just so much smarter than you. In this case, read it and weep:

China's carbon intensity, or its emissions relative to economic output, fell more than 3.5 percent in 2012, outperforming its average annual target, China's chief climate change official said on Thursday.

Which is a number you have to take into account when, say, you try to suggest that Chinese GDP growth corresponds directly to power usage growth. As in, it probably imparts a negative skew to things: the formula isn't F(δGDP) ∝ F(δP), but rather F(δGDP) ∝ F(δP+x), where x is the delta carbon intensity per unit GDP, and is a number close enough to δGDP to begin with that you have to take it into account to avoid significant error.

I'm only sayin'. Bitch.

Bloomberg - Meanwhile, Benford's law suggests that Chinese economic data is fudged. So, fine, then the universe forces me to become humble again, but that's okay. A little humility is a good thing. Just not too much. Cos the upshot of the article is that while the Chinese data is fudged, they're only really fiddling with it by half a percent either way.

By the way, do go read up on Benford's law. It's really amazing, and it's one of those ninth-order or tenth-order sciences that is so far beyond our ability to intuitively comprehend it that it almost looks like magic or the hand of Gerd or something. That, and Bayesian analysis, are super-powered analytical methods that more people should learn about.

NYT - Macau is where Chinese oligarchs launder their money before fleeing with it to Toronto. Again, quite probable, and simply something to keep in mind.

ABC News - China refuses to help stop investment scams. Again, as Bill Bishop from Sinocism notes, it's probably good that this is now getting play in the mainstream US media: maybe now the SEC will have the guts to finally clean up the utter fucking joke of the accounting practices of US-listed Chinese companies?

BI - there's so much more to the China story that you're missing. Quote sums it up best:

"China construction growth can slow, buts its capital goods demand can accelerate," said Bianco.

For years, China has focused its efforts on building airports, highways, and cities. However, it still needs to deploy capital goods for all of that infrastructure.

"China demand for capital goods should accelerate as urban living standards improve. China still needs more airplanes, trucks, engines, climate control and automation."


  1. Thank you for keeping us abreast of all things kleptocratic my friend.

  2. Going humble on us is a sure way of keeping your viewing figures down, just ask Rush Limbaugh (your media role model perhaps?). But low viewer numbers are what you want, stay humble...or not...hell, you confuse me muchly.

    Anyway, I'm not here for humility, young man, we require STRIDENT VIEWS, begad!

    1. Rush Limbaugh's a cunt.

      There are many people who are completely wrong and I will tell you about all of them in sequence!