Mauldin Weekly on China

One of my favourite weekly reads is John Mauldin's newsletter. Though generally bearish and quite US-centric is his opinion, he's usually got a very strong analytical grasp of the facts. This week he discusses the growth of China and its future role in the world hierarchy of balance of power. He brings up a couple of very interesting data points that impact the outcome. Namely, the first is one of innovation and education:

Each and every year China now graduates 250,000 engineers and scientists. The US graduates only 50,000. How long before they overwhelm not only the US but Europe as well in the area of technology? If we lose our lead in technology, how can we hope to continue to find whole new industries with high paying new jobs to substitute for the ones we have lost?
And, some concepts on the banking structure and capital markets:
Non-performing loans at banks in China are over 13%. Some observers think the real number may be double that. They do not have an internal Chinese capital market, so private capital has difficulty getting to deserving entrepreneurs. They need private venture funds. Accounting standards in China are not up to developed world standards. There is no rating agency for debt, so there can be little confidence in the debt markets. Their equivalent of the SEC is lacking, so the stock market is a rather wild and woolly one.
There is a lot to digest, as is usual with John's writings. But, the subject matter is fascinating and of tremendous importance to our business of investing in technology & innovation over the next several decades.
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