I noted the other day about the fall in foreign direct investment in China and now this comes from the energy sector in Australia.
From The Australian:
The chief executive of BHP Billiton, Marius Kloppers, and its chairman, Jac Nasser, delivered speeches on different sides of the planet yesterday that sent the same message to quite different audiences.
It is this: China still promises to underpin long-term commodity price strength, but its economic boom is maturing, and commodity prices have fallen from their highs. BHP’s resource development plans are being scaled back in response, and there will be casualties.
Nasser said the group’s five-year, $US80 billion capital expenditure target had been canned, but he and Kloppers both said BHP and its rivals also had more expansion options than they could fund. They need to make hard choices, about what to develop, and where.
Their decisions will go some way to deciding where the resources boom continues, and where it is choked off, and geopolitics is in the mix. Nasser told the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Sydney that the industrial relations and political climates here will be a factor – and he made it clear that BHP thinks both have deteriorated.
The reason that I point this out is not because China holds a significant amount of US debt but due to this golden rule of finance: capital flows to places where it gets the greatest return at the least risk.
America has a perfect opening to be that place…again.
With sane, rational and stable economic policies – tax, investment, energy – policies that support the free market instead of being socialistic and confiscatory, America can attract that global capital investment to our shores. If we don’t, we will continue to spiral toward being Greece where a full 50% of their citizens under 25 are unemployed – truly a lost generation.
We already have an example of what not to do here in America – our own failed state, California.