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U.S. bailout money inflating Chinese real estate bubble?

There is a lot going on in this excerpt from a recent NYT’s article on China’s possible real estate bubble.  Specifically, the last sentence two words:

Few residences, though, are as upscale as Tomson Riviera, which consists of four golden-hued towers overlooking the Huangpu River, with a central garden mapped out in the shape of a dragon. The apartment complex’s entrance has original artworks by Salvador Dalí and well-known Chinese artists. The apartments, a few of which have been decorated by Armani and Fendi, as well as Versace, lease for $7,000 to $17,000 a month — to high-level executives from companies like General Motors.

General Motors executives are leasing these pleasure palaces?  If they’re paying with their own money, I guess, I am kind of ambivalent about it.  The question: is the type of business travel destination that one would expense on the company, GM.  It would then only be a hop and a skip surmise that technically the U.S.government is putting GM executives up in these ridiculous places and at the same time helping to inflate the possible Chinese housing bubble, right?

It also lends a reason to repost this excellent video of China’s empty city:


8 Responses

  1. Good find Tom,

    It just speaks to the problem that exists with our government and with all of the bailouts in general. Who in government truly cares about wasted taxpayer money?

    Bernanke and Geithner don’t. that’s obvious. they only care that banks are healthy so they give our money away hand over fist. Obama doesn’t really either because he keeps giving money away like it never has to be paid back. Elizabeth Warren does but no one listens to her

    we need some kind of office of taxpayer waste prevention. we should directly elect these people and pay them a lot of money to identify this stuff and shame politicians. of course, this will never happy because its like the CIA letting the FBI investigate it or the FED willingly allowing itself to be audited. Who polices the police?

    If men were angels…

  2. Justin, I think it is a bit outlandish to say non of those people care (well, maybe not Geitner).

    Aren’t you essentially describing the attorney general, btw?

    I think we need to find out if the GM guy the article mentions is paying or if GM is paying, that is a big difference here.

    • Dorian,

      with all due respect , I think its a bit outlandish that our federal deficit is approaching 13 trillion and we keep spending money like its no big deal. You and I get to pay for that eventually.

      I’d give credit to some republicans in Congress for worrying about the deficit except for the fact that none had any problem racking up hundreds of billions of dollars of debt for a war we had no business starting.

      I’m all ears if you can identify someone in government who actually works to protect taxpayer money first and foremost anywhere (bailouts, legislation, tax policy, the budget). I’ll give you Jim Bunning but he is kind of ridiculous.

      Obama loves to lash out about fat cat bankers living large on taxpayer money but have you seen a tax on bonuses this year for bankers, or an extra tax on bank profits made completely off of taxpayer money? its all talk. that’s politics.

      And no, the Attorney general has nothing to do with either protecting taxpayer money or “policing anyone”. they represent the US in legal matters so i suppose if someone brought a case then the Attorney General might get involved. But then again, i give you John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzalez and the issue of waterboarding, just as a recent example of the AG doing nothing when policing was neeed. Not exactly bastions of justice at work… so who polices the attorney general?

      i do agree that it is important to find out whether the folks at GM are paying with their own money or expensing it. then again, are we really tracking all of the business expenses at all of the institutions who received bailout money? maybe, but the people who identify that waste seem to work for newspapers or advocacy groups, not our government

      I don’t pretend to know all the people working their hardest for taxpayers. if you know of any i’d like to know cause i would be a fan. Elizabeth Warren is one

  3. How do we go about finding out the deal with this? I couldn’t find anything in a Google search. You would think that the NYTimes woulda jumped on that part.

    Justin, isn’t that going to add another institution with a possiblity for further corruption? Policing the police OF the police…Just curious, who investigates the IEB when there are rumors of corruption??

    • absolutely. its a good point. any agency or institution is subject to corruption.

      But any taxpayer waste prevention agency wouldn’t have legislative or spending privileges at all. So it would be kind of hard for it to really do much damage.

      I see it more as a way to get a handful of people elected for 1-2 year terms directly by the American people to advocate on their behalf. Corporations have thousands of lobbyists. The American taxpayer should have someone who does nothing but work for them and who have access to all federal pay documents

    • BTW what is the IEB? i may just be completely missing something obvious.

      • Isn’t that the organization within the police department that investigates corrupt cops? Granted this information was gathered from Law & Order and NYPD Blue episodes…

  4. […] Economist I wrote about China’s potential real estate bubble and the NYT’s coverage yesterday (and the bright lights at GM who are getting in on […]

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