Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not about IT

For ten years almost every morning I start with a visit to the site Nasdaq.com, to "feel the pulse" of the world IT-industry. Recently, site of the largest hi-tech-exchange stable pleases the eye with green arrows directed upwards, - a symbol of growth in stock prices. Crisis year we have experienced, but now looms on the horizon a new danger for the world economy. So, for the whole IT-industry. Try to understand.

Before the annual meeting of World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, published a report "Global Risks". Introducing him, WEF managing director Robert Greenhill said: "The financial crisis and the subsequent recession have created a more fragile environment in which risks are left unattended, become tomorrow's crises." The same report said much tougher. The world promised a new "full-blown crisis with dire socio-economic consequences."

Problems in the world "above the roof." One of the main - the growth of government debt. All kinds of countries have invested in the crisis too much money to rescue their economies, and now they do not know what to do with the budget deficit. In addition, in many developed countries is rapidly growing social and pension expenditures, which exacerbates the budget deficit.

Governments may in 2010 will have to make unpopular decisions, and the inhabitants of the "golden billion" as suffered and will suffer from unemployment, the report says WEF. Significant tax increase is inevitable.

But the main threat to the world, promising market collapse - this is China. More precisely, its economy, which is now openly overheated. We give an example: the growth in housing prices in Beijing and Shanghai in 2009 exceeded 60%. There is too much money and goods. But in fact, when too well - it is too bad.

The newspaper The New York Times quoted James Chanosa investor (he became famous, he foresaw the collapse of Enron): "I expect the collapse of the Chinese economy. Bubbles are best identified by excess credit, and not surplus prices. There is no greater surplus of credit than in China" .

In turn, He Fan and Yao Chzhichzhon of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, argued: "If the government does not reduce the incentives, China's GDP this year may grow by 16%, big jump in inflation risk."

In numbers, the picture looks like this: in 2009 in China, the volume of loans exceeded $1.3 trillion, while still in 2008 it amounted to $615 billion, but only for the first week of 2010 lending was already $ 88 billion That is, tremendous growth - China's economy simply is devoured credit resources. But this can not last long.

In theory, if the slowdown in China will not happen by 2040 the country's economy will grow to $123 trillion, and will be 40% of world GDP. This is much more than the U.S. economy and the EU. That is, the situation is completely unrealistic.

Hence, the collapse in China is inevitable - the only question is when it happens. Another question - how hurt the computer industry. The majority of accessories for the PC today is it is in China. I sometimes think that we ourselves have not noticed, as a situation of total dependence of the global IT-business from the more recent disastrous backward China. But today their own factories in China are all global giants - from Intel to HP. I specifically looked through all your home "IT-infrastructure" and found that outside of China made only Nokia phone and netbook Samsung. Everything else, including the HP laptop, which I am writing this article - made in China. Popular products Apple, including the iPhone and the legendary laptops in aluminum casings, also going to China. One can imagine that will start in the markets, if the economy collapses.

But the problem is not necessarily bring to the market collapse. The report of the WEF said: even a simple reduction in the rate of growth in China is below 6% already hit by the global commodity markets and capital markets.

The crisis of 2008-2009, again - is most clearly - demonstrated just how closely related the different risks and global shocks, even if their effect is different and at local levels - is emphasized in the report of WEF. Globalization - a fait accompli, and today is absolutely normal situation when the Belarusian Chinese notebook computer programmer working for Russia's firm wrote a program for a European customer, and this program will work in an American bank, providing financial transactions to the Australian firm that represents the region interests of Chinese manufacturers of notebook computers. Ugh ... Can you imagine what would happen if the "fly" at least two links in this chain? (Loss of one element of the system still survives.)

Finally we turn to the classical cybernetics. The report of the WEF "Global Risks" states: "The main reason that global challenges have not found an adequate answer, - gaps in the system of world governance. And that in itself should be considered as another major risk. Canal adapt to these changes become global institutions and national interests must adapt and conform to the decisions of global organizations. World leaders must find a common language when discussing and implementing reforms to ensure the sustainability of the global economy. "

In short, despite renewed economic growth, the world is still too early to rejoice. Even if you do not explode overheated "steam boiler" China is still a lot of work on the mechanisms of governance - the existing ones shown to be ineffective.

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