Bubbles go on much longer than a rational mind can fathom, especially bubbles that are supported by governments and central banks. Everyone benefits, so everyone (except for a few hapless shorts) pushes to keep them going. But when they burst, they wreak havoc. And in China, there are new ominous signs.
The media giddily reported the September auto sales numbers—though there was little to be giddy about. They were still 20% lower than September 2006. Toyota and Honda got slammed, but don’t blame post-earthquake inventory shortages. They have been resolved. It’s a shift in the market.
A dream—or nightmare—yields to scientific progress: quantitative models recreate thoughts, and brain signals control mechanical devices. Yet, the brain is an unreliable organ that makes up for shortcomings in data with profuse creativity. It’s going to be a wild ride. And Google and Facebook will have a field day.
And BMW blinks. With sales of new vehicles approaching 18 million units in 2011, China is the largest car market in the world, far ahead of the US. No major car maker would want to miss out on the opportunities in China. Yet, there is a problem: Pressure by the Chinese Government to transfer the newest technologies.