One of the beauties of the two main Chinese stock markets at the minute is that one can simply turn them upside down, and they look exactly the same. They’re like one of those bearded faces in kids’ comics: invert it, and it’s the same Man. It could be the same Woman too, but my pc prose doesn’t stretch to bearded ladies: somewhere on this gender thing, we have to draw the line; any other approach might be deemed misogynist.
Today however, the SSE and its close relatives had a brief collision with the fundamentals, and fell.
The reality behind the invertible Shanghai reality is pretty clear: it could mean either Chinese traders no longer want to get behind even Manna from the PBOC, or the PBOC has given up and sent the UXB problem back to the Politburo.
As we all know – following various client notes from Morgan the Pirate and Goldman Squid last month – China is of course entirely cut off from the rest of the globalist World, and thus its breathless slowdown gyrations do not present a problem for the West. For while China represents 16.7% of global gdp (and is now the biggest trading nation by volume on Earth) it does not present a problem, as such. It is sort of a servant in the home but absent from society, in a manner that Hendrick Verwoerd would’ve termed “Separate but equal” in 1960s Nationalist Party South Africa: it is equal to us, but can’t piss in our toilets.
What I love above all about the reassurance of line-toeing neoliberal business media reportage is the happiness to present everything that points East one minute and West the next as normal. Far from being a contradiction, we are told, this is in fact a progression: everything is in transition, and thus normal.
We are no longer in the age of the importance of being Ernest. In 2015, it’s all about the acceptance of being Norman Normal.
But the situation tonight on at least five different commercial levels is about as normal as Norman Bates. Norman Bates was not Norman Normal: he was abnormal serial pysychotic Norman, owner of the Bates Motel in Hitchcock’s classic Psycho, and a chap with a hobby not designed to encourage repeat business, in that he murdered the guests. The parallels between the madness of Bates and multinational neoliberalism’s desire to eat itself are in oh so many ways startling.
One might indeed say that globalist monopolism is a psychosomatic illness: one day, our Left Brains will at last wake up from the Right Brain nightmare.
There are a few scattered signs from today’s markets supporting that wild theory. For example, China being a Xenophobic, hermetically sealed bubble, all the major European markets reacted badly to the latest riddle-riddled Shanghai enigma. The Dow too is down, but still around 17,000. To me, this is a little like Ben Nevis pretending it’s Everest. So we are still a long, long way from real, physical, ground-level normal.
In the UK at least, that assessment was amply reflected in the columns of today’s Maily Torygraph, a title currently leading the way in the press media as the exponent par excellence of Newspaper as Rent-boy for Sale. Be the client HSBC, the London Mayor or George Osborne, the once admired Daily Telegraph has become the reviled epicentre of all things wrong with amoral capitalism as viewed from rocky English Channel tax-dodge outcrops by the Odd Couple….while losing 40% of its readership along the way. In there today was this classic:
Yes all you Dali fans, job-rich Britain is powering ahead by creating part-time, low-pay jobs that render every last chance of consumption-led economic recovery as dead as a Chinese-cloned Dodo. Indeed, Mammon Pyramid construction output is higher than at any time Egyptian slavery records began in 2624 BC.
Sadly, over at the 21st Century AD Office of National Statistics (ONS), in the latest recorded month the UK recorded a larger-than-expected trade deficit, while construction output dropped at the fastest pace since 2012 – ‘suggesting the British economy is losing momentum’ as Action Forex sensibly opined.
I have this feeling that, on the island of Barclaytwin, there is a welcoming hostelry where guests can arrive and thrill to the sight of an entirely normal psychotic on Reception, a peephole CCTV camera in every shower, and an axe in every forehead before departure.