Friday, November 15, 2013

2114 Panda Money 'Em

When it comes time to learn what the next big investment is, look no further than your local zoo. That is if your zoo has a panda. That's right, a panda, the gigantic version of the little teddy bears we had as kids.

It's an animal that's guaranteed to bring folks in. Folks who want to ooh and aah. Folks who melt and gush, and fret over whether or not they'll be able to get a panda couple to conceive and have an adorable teddy-baby. Folks who will pay top dollar for a ticket.  

And the Chinese are making a bundle off them. Pandanomics, as some folks call it, is one of the great leveraged investment tools of China. There are currently about 50 of the colossal black-and-white furballs on loan to zoos around the world. Almost all have been arranged only after major trade and investment deals.

In 2011, for example, Scotland entered into a multi-billion dollar deal with China where they traded oil-drilling technology and salmon for a pair of pandas. Scots were barely able to contain their enthusiasm.

In 2006, Australia agreed to supply uranium to China in exchange for pandas.  Canada and France have done the same thing with their uranium exports. 

How nice, giving China the means to manufacture nuclear weapons in exchange for a couple of cute titanic teddy bears. What could go wrong? And it's bad enough we're trading bomb making materials for bamboo-eating beasts. We're not even buying them. They're just on loan! Somehow that makes our fawning prostitution of the means to our national security even worse. All to sell tickets at zoos…

Is this what they call pandering?

Or is it just the bad investment strategy you normally see in a bear market? 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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