A reader, Gary P from Canada, says: “We have a perfect model for forecasting an extended boom in commodities by the example of Japan which went from war torn collapsed economy to the second largest economy in the world by the 1980s. Had the boom not come to an end there, Japan would have overtaken the USA. Now we have the world’s most populous country going from a smoky destitute communist state with pre WWII industrial technology heading to overtake everybody added together in under a couple of decades.
“Also, the Chinese envy Japan (and the USA) and their strong emulation of these countries is evident down to the finest detail. They adopted platinum for their jewellery, they are jumping into the auto industry, IT, etc. with gusto, they have put a man in space and are planning to be the first to land on Mars- which I believe they will do. Where have we seen this before?
Japan’s envy and emulation of USA- which incidentally was the premier platinum jewellery consumer before Japan became 90% of the market- led us to the commodities boom between 1950s and 1970s. Oh, and by the way, the long cycle before the Japanese one was the industrial expansion of the USA itself.
“When China’s economic growth drops to 5-7% we will see this as relative recession. At the present time, only a small percentage of Chinese are participating in the economy so they could grow 8%-10% annually for a century if participation in the economy were a measure. Hang on to your hats at least to 2020 and don’t take them off at least until 2030. In 1960, it would have seemed impossible to predict that Toyota would supplant General Motors as the world’s largest automaker which it did this past year. Having missed out on this prediction I’m jumping in here to state the certainty that most of us will be driving Chinese cars by 2020-2025. Oh commodity prices won’t be growing at crazy rates then but they will remain good. We will be crying in our beer when nickel drops down to $30 a kilogram – not long ago it was a couple dollars a pound?
“Let’s not also forget that if China starts to flag the world economy will be getting a boost with India reaching its potential. Kondriatief and other eggheads can’t take credit for this. When Africa, Latin America and Russia each finally come to their industrialising potential – that will be the last of the big cycles – we will all then hopefully chug along at 3% and economists can go the way of geographers and cartographers. I think this brief note injects a much wanted bold thrust into the characteristically timorous, equivocal type forecasting we become used to in the commodities field.”
There. Chew on that this weekend. Also, some readers in Melbourne have expressed the wish to meet up on a semi-regular basis to talk and socialise with other readers, or merely to drink beer or coffee and bemoan gold’s recent woes. Either way, we suggest someone set up a DR Melbourne group at www.meetup.com . We’ll be happy to alert other readers to its existence once it’s up and running. And it will allow you, the reader, to meet you, the other reader, without us, the editor at the Old Hat Factory having to mediate.
And if you’re in Singapore next week, drop us a line. We’ll be travelling there next Friday to speak at an investment conference and do some more research into next-generation solar panels (something we’ve been following in Australian Small-Cap Investigator.) After Singapore, we are off to Perth for a few days to do some more diligence on gold stocks. Pertinent results of our investigations will be published here and in Outstanding Investments.
Have a great weekend!
Markets and Money