Last month, China hit another major milestone. It passed Japan and became the second largest economy in the world, leaving only the US in its way. Give China a decade, maybe a little more, and it will inevitably surge into the lead. That’s the accepted narrative.
But then we come across this: the possibility that a mounting real estate bubble might derail China’s plans. This report from Australian public television gives you a disturbing look at how the Chinese government has pumped vast amounts of capital into fixed assets, like commercial and residential real estate, to keep the country’s economy growing. And what they’re left with is what James Chanos (a hedge fund manager) has famously described as “Dubai times one thousand.” Right now, there are an estimated 64 million empty apartments in China, and approximately 30 billion square feet of commercial real estate under construction — equivalent to a five-by-five foot office cubicle for every man, woman and child in China. It’s one thing to read these facts, another thing to see what it all looks like. And that’s the opportunity you get above.