China’s dominance of global trade in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic was confirmed on Friday with the release of annual data that showed its trade surplus hitting a record high of $676 billion in 2021, a 26 percent gain over 2020 driven by a 30 percent surge in exports.
The Financial Times (FT) noted Friday that China posted double-digit growth in exports during every single month of 2021. Economist Larry Hu of Australia’s Macquarie Group said the surge in exports was enough to “offset the slowdown in property and the very weak consumption” posted by China.
“After a deep fall in early 2020, Chinese exports began to rise sharply soon after domestic cases of the virus slowed to a trickle and as lockdowns were imposed in other countries around the world. Exports continued to climb through 2021 despite widespread delays and blockages across global supply chains,” the FT noted.
The property slowdown is most dramatically reflected by the travails of Evergrande, the titanic Chinese property developer that spent much of 2021 teetering on the brink of fiscal collapse. On Friday, Evergrande worked out a deal with investors to delay payments on a $708 million bond, staving off what would have been China’s first public bond market default.
Residents wearing masks pass by a sign depicting Evergrande Group’s China operation at a one of their commercial projects in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
“The move highlights how big Chinese borrowers such as Evergrande can effectively operate in two distinct financial worlds, with creditors onshore sometimes taking a different approach from their international peers, and with markets in China somewhat shielded from defaults offshore,” the Wall Street Journal observed.
Evergrande and other Chinese property firms are not out of the woods yet. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) predicted a “bleak” year ahead, with more debt crises, a continued slump in home sales, and property tax increases looming.
The SCMP cited estimates that investors lost over $90 billion in combined market value from Chinese property stocks last year, while $126 billion in value was erased from the real estate index. Chinese developers have almost $20 billion in offshore bonds coming due in the first and second quarters of this year, almost double the amount that came due in the last quarter of 2021.
As for soft consumer demand, the FT indicted China’s “strict pandemic strategy to minimize Covid [Chinese coronavirus] cases,” featuring recent lockdowns of several huge cities. Other analysts have pointed to natural disasters like floods, shortages of computer chips, and Chinese regulatory crackdowns on corporations as factors in reduced demand.
The FT postulated 2021 would prove to be a peak year for Chinese exports, as a trend of decelerating growth that began in September continues and the rest of the world emerges from the pandemic China unleashed and profited from so handsomely.
Report: Detroit Man Accused of Setting Fire to Girlfriend Pregnant with Twins Bonds Out for $5,000
A 41-year-old Detroit man accused of setting fire to his girlfriend, who is pregnant with twins, has bonded out of a Wayne County jail for just $5,000 after posting ten percent of his $50,000 bond, according to a report.
“Police said Devonne Marsh got into an argument with his girlfriend at their Detroit home off Packard and Outer Drive last Friday, Jan. 14, and he doused her with lighter fluid before setting her on fire,” WJBK reports.
According to the latest reporting from the outlet:
Devonne Marsh was released from the Wayne County Jail Friday morning. According to documents with the jail, he was released from custody just before 11:20 a.m. on Friday. He’s now out on bond with multiple conditions including no weapons, no drug use, and is ordered not to go to their shared apartment.
However, FOX 2 has learned that Marsh has a hold in Macomb County for other charges so while he’s posted bail in Wayne County, he is not currently free.
A man charged with setting his girlfriend – who was 6 months pregnant with twins – on fire, there was shock that his bond was set as low as $50,000 with 10%. Now, for just $5,000, he’s made bail. https://t.co/8PHFtDRtEY
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) January 21, 2022
At about 10:40 on January 14, Detroit Police received a tip “that a woman was being held against her will and tortured,” according to WDIZ. At the scene, officers said they found the 26-year-old pregnant woman, with severe burns to her legs and stomach, lying on a bed in the basement of the home. Officers said she could hardly move.
The 26-year-old is in critical condition with burns to 60 percent of her body, and “It’s not yet known if her babies will survive,” WJBK reports. She is six and a half months pregnant.
“How do you do this to another human being? I can’t – it’s unimaginable,” Commander Michael McGinnis of the Detroit Police Department told WJBK.
“Just incredibly traumatic injuries, I did see pictures and I mean the pain that she must be suffering – I can’t imagine,” he said.
Marsh, 41, was arrested and is charged with “kidnapping/abduction, aggravated/felonious assault and violation of the controlled substance act,” according to WDIZ.
He is a parole absconder with a lengthy rap sheet according to WJBK, including previous charges for guns, assault, and drugs.
“Marsh pleaded guilty in Macomb County Circuit Court to four counts of delivering more than 50 grams of cocaine in 2019 and was sentenced to two years probation,” Macomb Daily reports.
The victim had been too scared to report the abuse she was enduring, and Heaven of Oakland County CEO Aimee Nimeh told WJBK that victims often fear retaliation from their abusers when speaking up.
“Fear is part of the relationship and so absolutely there is fear of retaliation,” Nimeh explained.
She added that victims are often frightened by low bonds.
“The court system can be very overwhelming; the process can be complicated,” she said. “It’s not just that court is a little scary, it’s also that what happens next with that assailant that might be coming out, that might be walking free. How do you stay safe in that situation?”
McGinnis previously said he had hoped Marsh, who ended up making bond, remained in custody.
“We just hope that he remains in custody through the trial process so that the victim can heal without the fear of any kind of retribution from him,” McGinnis said.
Wilson: GOP Wants 2024 to Be Last Election — Like the Ba’ath Party in Iraq
Lincoln Project founder Rick Wilson said Friday on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that the Republican Party wanted the 2024 presidential election to be the last election in America.
Wilson said, “They’re trying to throw so much friction into voting and all the sand into the machine, especially in communities they don’t feel will be reliable voters for them. So they are not going to bitch and moan about early voting in a red county. ”
He continued, “This is exactly the kind of mechanism that proto authoritarian states and authoritarian states set up. They want to say who can vote, when they can vote, how they can vote, when the votes are counted. They want to have a veto of the vote count at the end. They want to also say they can bring criminal sanctions and try to intimidate people who are trying to go out and register voters. They want to bring criminal sanctions with these organizations. You know who enforces the law? State attorneys enforce the law. They don’t need an election police force. This is a tool of intimidation. And it is frankly a sign again. They don’t want elections. They would like 2024 to be the last election. They want to be like the Ba’ath Party in Iraq. They have a thing called elections, and the dear leader gets 117% of the vote.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
Rick Wilson: GOP Building a ‘Dystopian Bizarre Authoritarian Police State’
Lincoln Project founder Rick Wilson said Friday on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that the Republican Party was building a “dystopian, bizarre authoritarian police state.”
When asked about a proposal by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to create a police force to investigate election fraud, Wilson said, “Look, if Ron DeSantis forms his own election police force, he needs to start in the Villages, a Republican hotbed, where the only cases of voter fraud in the 2020 election in Florida came from. They were all Republicans. They were all Trump supporters. But I’m going to promise you if he does get his way with the legislature, and he probably will because they are basically like a trained dog for him right now, what will happen is they won’t be in The Villages or anywhere there is a Republican question. They will be in communities of color. They will be in Miami-Dade county. They will be in Palm Beach. They will be in Duval, will be in Hillsborough. They will not be out there looking for actual election fraud. They will be looking for ways to justify giving the dear leader, whether it’s dear leader Ron or Don, the boost they need and using this as a method to intimidate primarily voters of color. This is exactly and explicitly what it is for.”
He added, “I think it’s a sign that the Republicans are going to build this system no matter what we say or do about it in these states where they have control. It will be the thing they say ‘Oh how dare you say we’re building a dystopian bizarre authoritarian police state,’ while they are busy building a dystopian bizarre authoritarian police state.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
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