After reading a fair amount of provocative material on the steady, unmistakable shift in China’s society/economy (and subsequently deciding to write a series of posts on how this topic relates to the world of metals sourcing), I came across a very apt definition of “intelligence by the founder and CEO of Stratfor, George Friedman. It’s no surprise that Friedman would be writing about intelligence, seeing as how Stratfor’s raison d’etre is to provide their customers with geopolitical intelligence to aid in their decision-making whatever business they may be in.
“As a way of looking at the world and a method for collecting information, intelligence differs from journalism in many ways, Friedman wrote in a form email. “Perhaps the most important is that where journalism focuses on what has happened, intelligence also concerns itself with what will happen — and even more important, why it will happen.
Now, if this rings a bell, it should. In the paragraph above, the words “intelligence could be substituted with MetalMiner, and the result would be a sort of mission statement for our publication. In other words, while we report on what happens in the metals, manufacturing and policy worlds, we strive to add a little more a forward-looking bent that we hope (more often than not) gives our readers actionable intelligence and a different way of looking at the markets. So, it’s only fair to assume that right now, you may be asking yourself: where are you going with this?
Answer: where none of us has ever gone before. Namely, into a 21st century world not only where China is already on everyone’s radar, but also where changes in Chinese society, economy and policy may put the entire globe on an unprecedented track into the future. As nearly everything that happens in Chinese economy and government somehow touches the global metals supply chain, it seems essential to take a step back and analyze which factors in today’s changing China may have the broadest or, conversely, most acute impact.
A multitude of sources several Stratfor intelligence reports; articles from the Economist, the Boston Consulting Group and Trade Reform, among others; and data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, not to mention countless other bureaus formed the basis of our need to explore this massive issue. And the torrent of reporting on China will only keep coming harder and stronger so how to make sense of it all?
Well, the key is to begin somewhere, and that’s what we’re going to do with this mini-series (not that we haven’t been extensively covering China already just enter “China into our search on the MetalMiner home page and it’ll quickly become evident). We’ll look in-depth at what China’s demographics, upcoming governmental shifts, economic policy changes, the import/export balance, arts and media repression and the youth movement all have to do with our metals world. Believe you me there’s plenty out there on which to base future decisions, tie in with existing business philosophy and transactions, and create worldviews.
Check back in soon for Part One.