The Ka-Ching Dynasty

2012 ,    »  -   29 Comments
Ratings: 8.00/10 from 23 users.

The economic transformation of China has been electrifying. But with Europe teetering and the US plodding, can the biggest tiger of all keep on roaring? China's super-rich certainly think they can.

The Chinese economy is booming at a blistering pace. China now has almost a million millionaires, six hundred billionaires, and the numbers keep growing at a staggering rate. And China's mad rush to urbanization is only helping these elites get richer and richer.

The focus is certainly on quick growth. Current projections say that in ten years time half the world's billionaires will come from China. While there are warnings signs that the economic woes of Europe and the US will hit China, China's super-rich don't seem concerned.

For some the hope is that the Chinese market will pick up the slack. For others, who have only known the good times, anything else is unthinkable.

More great documentaries

29 Comments / User Reviews

  1. dmxi

    china's rising will be adventurous to watch from the outside & parallels
    will be drawn with our capitalistic experiment,only bigger & extrapolated.

  2. Vinicius Santos Rodrigues

    the sky in this footage is always cloudy. i guess its the offside of china´s growth, the pollution

  3. Jack

    with this unprecedented growth, one might questions whether a debt crises looms in China.

    China aspire to western ideology but with the Asian population set to peak to 6bn by 2050, they do not have the luxury of exploitation of global resources that the west have enjoyed in the building of the modern world.

    We need to change our current economic model and look to a resource based economy which is sustainable.

  4. DigiWongaDude

    It's incredible to see the growth that's been produced here from, let's face it, hard work, personal suffering and exploitation. And all in such a short time with such forward thinking... and with a quiet smile.

    Their government, in 15 years, has ensured much reinvestment into infrastructure, education and future tech through their ideas of central planning - a proven failure of a system, by our accounts. Changing my mind yet again surrounding free market Capitalism.

    So we laughed so loud, squandering our riches and selling off our assets for some short lived hedonism, and the folly fuelled pissing contest of western superiority. Borrowing huge sums from their, sure to be, doomed economy and gambled away the last vestiges of our greed in our idolised unregulated markets...and quielty, they smiled some more.

    ...Where did it all go? Did we get a decent APR % rate? When it's time to pay up, we'll do their manufacturing, as their costs of production become too high and the dollar and euro race to the bottom. We'll probably get used to Chinese methods, using their robotics (on lease if we're lucky) to produce goods to their exacting standards and cut throat profit margins, just as we demanded from them.

    Ah, Blade Runner had it so right in 1982.

  5. DigiWongaDude

    @ Jack, except they don't have any debt to be in crisis over. Perhaps you mean a bubble, created from such rapid growth, that might burst? Possible since they rely on us to consume their exports. Dont' they?

    Well...with China having good relations with Russia (for energy and consumers) and over a billion Chinese to act as sustainable domestic consumers...that bubble can grow for a very long time.

    It's a fallacy to believe China aspires to western ideology. It never has. In fact a couple of thousand years ago (?), they were so advanced they decided to venture out on the high seas to explore and learn... Finding little more than barbarism by comparison, they returned disgusted by the outside world. They closed their doors to the world, pretty much, and held their rigid caste system based ideology as supreme for nearly the next 2000 years...or something similar. [*I got this info 2nd hand, but I believe it's correctish*]

    More recently, they saw what was happening with communist Russia, and to prevent the same happening to them, opened their markets to trade (one of the reasons anyway).

  6. John Rushnik

    That's pretty much the party line verbatim but is not exactly the truth. China is going to crack, I've been here 10 years and things are changing for the worse, people are fed up with it all. I just hope the world doesn't come down when China crashes, but it probably will.

  7. John Rushnik

    China's corporate debt is at its highest in 15 years by the way. I think its at about 130% of GDP or around that, but you can look it up.

  8. John Rushnik

    Have a look at the documentary by Vice, "The most polluted city on earth". 16 out of the the worlds' 20 most polluted cities are in China.

  9. DigiWongaDude

    Thanks for that info John, I'll get my facts straight. :)

  10. brianrose87

    In other words, China's corporate debt is at its highest since the quite destructive 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

    Although, there is one aspect (several really, but I'll employ this one) that is radically different now. Developing Asian countries, China especially, have large foreign exchange surpluses today, where trade deficits were a large factor in the 1997 crisis.

    Lets say China's rather transparent residential development bubble were to pop. China's government would intervene and backstop any banks, trusts, etc. They could do this without severely damaging international confidence by simply deploying their tremendous currency reserves. They wouldn't have to print a dime (or yuan) of money; simply cash in already accrued reserves.

    This scenario is quite unfortunate for the U.S., however. As China sells off its $1 trillion in U.S. Treasuries to backstop its housing market the supply of U.S Treasuries would rise dramatically. Depending on how demand reacts to the sudden supply increase it could spell trouble for the U.S Dollar. Also the Federal Reserve could simply decide that its balance sheet isn't bloated enough, and increase its purchases.

    If the world smelled global recession (thinking that China's backstop may not work), then demand for Treasuries would increase as people fled to safety, and there wouldn't be a U.S. Dollar crisis.

    If the world has confidence that China's moves will be effective, and the global economy will grow, then people may lower purchases of Treasuries as the supply hits the market, and people move into equities. That could put the U.S Dollar in the danger zone, especially if such events were to coincide with U.S Credit Rating downgrades. In this scenario, since the economy is growing, the Federal Reserve would be hard pressed to expand QE operations.

    All scenarios presented here are possible, but only one can occur. There are a lot of moving parts, and even adding in potential Federal Reserve actions muddles the entire picture. This, of course, includes the possibility that China never even encounters a housing bust, and thus happily sits on its mountain of Treasuries.

  11. Paul Mitchell

    Pure fascism. Ruled by a murderous dictatorship intermingled and hardly distinguishable from the ruling elite that pay below poverty wages to the workers.

  12. DigiWongaDude

    @brianrose87 you seem to have a firm grasp on the situation for, as you say, all the worth even that may have.

    What is your take on keeping that U.S. equity and ceasing the artificial deflation of their currency...perhaps as they develop their export markets abroad? I hear the U.S. (in particular) is dreading that, making it possible to retain the treasuries and impose some will over the big guns.

    So, the big question becomes: what are China's plans with regard to global domination? Does anyone know?

    Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggie', till they can find a rock?

  13. DigiWongaDude

    @ John Rushnik, you have some great insight into this, being there for the last ten years.

    1) How has it got worse? Government domination? Corruption?

    2) Is there a feeling of the economy being on a runaway train? You say when China crashes, not if - I find that remarkable.

    3) Have you seen much influence coming from Russia, or vica versa?

    4) Are the interests in extrovert global domination or introvertly domestic development?

    You views will be interesting!

  14. kaitse8

    Really wonder how long this can last as I have from personal experience meet many stupid chinese who might be called 2nd generation of the rich

  15. brianrose87

    As far as I can tell China is rather happy with the way things are. The U.S. spends $700 billion a year on military protecting the corporate capitalist system, and China gets to reap the rewards of the global stability that manifests from that investment.

    The U.S. pays all the maintenance costs and China, through an artificially cheap currency, is rewarded with the bounty of international trade those costs make possible.

    I'm not making a verdict on whether this is right or wrong. Simply reflecting on the current reality.

    Looking at it through this lens, China doesn't want to have global domination because global domination costs lots of money.

    Empires never last, and the U.S. is having an identity crisis trying to avoid facing that fact.

  16. DigiWongaDude

    @brianrose87, that's got to be the truth. The Americans saying "We'll deal with security, you deal with supplies."
    China: "SUPPLIES!!!"
    the old ones are the best ;-)

  17. alex sliva

    Excellent .

  18. KsDevil

    A documentry that takes a slice off the top and films it. But they might find it far more difficult to point a camera at the bottom half that is doing the actual work to create the images shown in this documentary. The Chinese government doesn't like that kind of publicity.

  19. CanuckPhil

    If you think that U.S. military spending is some kind of altruistic policy to protect capitalism in the free world, then you are sadly misinformed. One thing that the U.S. and China (and most of the free world) have in common is that their foreign policy is solely based on their own best interest. The more money that a government has, the more of a bully they can be.

  20. Educated Coaching


  21. brianrose87

    I'd say that we are actually in agreement. The power that corporate money holds over our political system has a strong influence over our military actions. The primary interest of our military and diplomatic involvement in any region of the world is to maintain stable, predictable, corporate friendly regimes.

    Whether said regime is a dictator or an elected leader is of secondary interest. Case in point, Egypt- Mubarek was a dictator who was strongly supported by every U.S. president since 1981. This dictator was our ally for 30 years. We could, of course, venture into the history of our close ties with Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran as well.

    Then there is Hugo Chavez, who is considered a threat mostly because of his denouncement of corporate control and influence. So here is the U.S., a country that installed the Shah, a brutal dictator, into power, yet loathes the thought of Hugo Chavez, a democratically elected president.

    Suffice to say CanuckPhil, we agree on far more than you initially thought.

  22. Glen Hale

    High speed train people can't afford to travel on,, bridges to nowhere , mall's no one shops in ship building companies raising pigs ..a house of cards for sure.

  23. rufusclyde

    Funny stuff. Chinese elites like things the way they have gone for the last twenty-five years just fine, and US elites like it just fine. The US government hands great swaths of debt-financed money to the arms manufacturers, the last vestige of advanced industrialization in the US, and that helps buy off the voters whose jobs depend on "defense". The US apparatus of state, which is entirely directed by the corporate system, maintains the dominant position of that system. The people protesting in Tiannemen Square in '89 were protesting the ruling elite move in China to implementing this Frankenstein monster form of capitalism.

  24. a_no_n

    i thought you were talking about England for a second there lol

  25. Rocky Racoon

    I just hope they remember the revolution and continue to strike. Not for the chance to become a millionaire or billionaire but a human being in a society that cares about others.

  26. Charleston Cootauco

    I've seen this all before...anyone remember the ancient dynasties of china? Powerful outsiders (eunuchs) taking power, government owned monopolies...

  27. Jack

    China is fundamentally the same as the old time dynasties. Replacing the emperor is the communist government. The whole country is controlled by powerful families exploiting the whole population for their own pleasure.

  28. zazen

    i had to laugh at the scene where the reporter says "...having a jet like this is a good insurance policy in case things change." that's why i personally wouldn't invest anything in china now.. all in all, not a terrible documentary; a little too short though.

  29. bluetortilla

    I thought about watching this but, naw. 'Ka Ching Dynasty?' Seems that racism against Orientals is still quite acceptable.

Leave a comment / review: