* By Polar Bear
The belief that the China growth story will continue into the indefinite future is so deeply ingrained at both the political and business levels that any dissent is either ignored or summarily dismissed. Upon this belief rests the hope that we will escape the worst of any US economic slowdown.
I do not pretend to make any forecast. I merely underline the irony of our political and business leadership, so publicly committed to a free market, yet so dependent on the violation of free market principles for our continued resources boom.
The report from the American Iron and Steel Institute may be seen as special pleading, but it details the substantially artificial expansion of the Chinese steel industry through regime subsidies, direction and control.
The second report details Government ownership and control of China's "private" steel producers.
Some might believe that China has established an economic model which will sustain the optimistic consensus and prove superior to the American model. Hope may spring eternal, but a reality check must dictate scepticism.
* Polar Bear completed his academic studies in the fields of History and Political Philosophy. Over recent years he has been involved in the analysis and trading of financial markets. Like his species, he is individualistic and often contrarian. Even during hibernations, he may still be aroused by exhibitions of intellectual stupidity.