China’s Perils and Payoffs for Investors

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To the Editor:
When reading about the opportunities and risks associated with investing in China, I cant help thinking how the country is a minefield for environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, investors. (How to Invest in China Now, Cover Story, Aug. 27). On the environmental front, China has some of the most polluted cities in the world, despite its recent efforts to pivot to more-sustainable sources of energy. In terms of societal concerns, the countrys numerous human-rights violations are wide-ranging. Finally, corporate governance is virtually nonexistent. There is no transparency, public data is often fabricated, and with the Communist Party as the ultimate power, there is no reliable system of checks and balances. Those passionate about ESG issues would be well advised to get their emerging market exposure elsewhere.

Jonathan I. Shenkman, West Hempstead, N.Y.

To the Editor:
I think this article pretty much nails it. With Chinas Singles Day coming up, looking at Chinas online retailers makes sense, especially with the recent selloff in their stocks.

Brian Smith, On Barrons.com

To the Editor:
Investors in large Chinese tech companiese.g., Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdingshave justifiable concerns. Chinas demographicsdeclining births, rapidly aging population, shrinking labor force, and growing income disparityare headwinds for its economic and geopolitical ambitions.

President Xi Jinpings vision of common prosperity and crackdown on techs excessive income are preludes to the broad social reforms necessary for families to afford more children. Although government policies to encourage births have historically proved unsuccessful, they will nonetheless affect investors.

Eldon J. Smith Jr., Baldwin Place, N.Y.

To the Editor:
China will eventually become the biggest economy in the world, and it can be a good thing. We can think win/win or no deal and profit from innovation and mutual collaboration. Walls do not protect anything. In the end, those who build walls are hiding the problem.

The idealism of the American Dream and the land of the free is superior to the China Communist Partys dystopian recipe. We should remain the country where individuals want to grow, build, and pursue happiness. I am aware that this is partially fantasy and the U.S. has many issues to be solved. But the goal is clear, and we should move in a direction of free enterprise, political freedom, and economic freedom.

Juan Dager, On Barrons.com

To the Editor:
Regarding Powells Uber-Bullish Speech Sets the Table for More Stock Gains (Up & Down Wall Street, Aug. 28), the passage of a higher corporate tax rate of 28% versus the current 21%, coupled with a higher capital-gains tax rate, both contained within President Joe Bidens fiscal-2022 budget to be passed by Sept. 30, 2021, make it abundantly clear that todays stock market blowoff top is an expression of irrational exuberance.

James Nassir, On Barrons.com

To the Editor:
Andrew Bary feels that we owe a big debt of gratitude to bond investors, who remain willing to accept puny yields. He needs to change investors from plural to singular (the Federal government), but the jury is still out on what the ultimate long-term effect of this out-of-control debt and manipulation by our federal government will result in.

David East, Grove, Okla.

To the Editor:
Two questions are in order: 1) Is the rapidly rising price of stocks a form of inflation, and 2) to what extent are Federal Reserve officials and their close associates invested in the stock market?

Ron Minarik, Mystic, Conn.

To the Editor:
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan gave investors a heads-up with his irrational exuberance. Why couldnt Jerome Powell come up with something like irrational stimulation to get investors on their toes?

Dr. David J. Gross, St. Augustine, Fla.

To the Editor:
Former Unilever CEO Paul Polmans theme in Big Banks Are Funding Climate Disaster. Business Needs to Push Back (Other Voices, Aug. 27) could have come from a congressman promoting a contrived solution that avoids the problem/culprit. Fact: Vehicle emissions are the biggest contributor to CO2 climate change. Solution: Significantly increasing the tax on their major fuel would result in immediate reductions in emissions, fund a new climate-friendly infrastructure, help stem climate-driven migration, and possibly be implemented and effective tomorrow, not in 10 years. Do corporations want a blame game or real solutions? By the way, does Unilever still ship products on bunker-fuel-belching ships?

Robert Messman, Denver

To the Editor:
As a scientist who spent a career developing clean-energy technologies, I would tell you there is no climate crisis. Polman cites the authority of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, as the basis for his thesis. If he had based his comments on the actual detailed report of the IPCC Working Group I, the assessment by participating scientists, instead of the U.N. Summary for policy makers and the media written by political appointees (not scientists), he would have come away with a much less onerous view of the crisis caused by mans use of fossil fuels.

Edward Bohn, Seahurst, Wash.

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