Friday, August 12, 2005

Bulls in a China Shop


Standing between the end of a rainbow and Wall Street is not a wise thing to do. You'd think they'd learned after the tullip boom, let alone the tech boom, but it's just one dot-comedy after another. The rainbow now ends over China and the gold rush is now on for all things China related; witness the Baidu IPO and the Alibaba.com buy-in by Yahoo! and the unrelenting advance of the CRB Index and Australian market as big money chases coal, oil, iron ore, copper, nickel and all the base and not-so-base metals to whatever price the market will pay. Yahoo!, indeed. We've seen it before and we know this market madness will eventually end in tears, though we can hope that it also brings better living conditions to the millions of new workers in China and India and the other workshops. But at this point nobody even seems to have enough data on what the chase is about, let alone the terrain of the course, to have any idea how far they can push this fashionable theme.
Meanwhile, it's evidently Game On. There will be a lot we have to learn, and I offer the following as mere starting points.

"Rush of Chinese IPOs ‘poses threat to US investors'" http://news.ft.com/cms/s/88f823c6-0a90-11da-aa9b-00000e2511c8.html
"South China Feels Acute Labor Shortage" http://service.china.org.cn/link/wcm/Show_Text?info_id=121578&p_qry=minimum%20and%20wage
"Shenzhen Raises Minimum Wage" http://service.china.org.cn/link/wcm/Show_Text?info_id=130709&p_qry=minimum%20and%20wage
"Is China the big bubble?" http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050808/EDIT/508080327/1003
"S China drivers face fuel famine" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4748665.stm
"US rhetoric over China needs tempered with sound judgment - says senior US Senator" http://www.asiantribune.com/show_news.php?id=15308
"China says it’s not pushing for greater influence in Pacific" http://www.mvariety.com/pacific/pac01.htm
"More to Chinese Net stocks than just Baidu" http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7BEB160A91%2D5F39%2D4ACE%2D9B93%2DA62BC0DD4EB9%7D&siteid=mktw
"Yahoo Buys Into Chinese Online Company" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/11/AR2005081100160.html
"Those Clever Chinese" http://www.frontlinethoughts.com/printarticle.asp?id=mwo072205

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