by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
Was it ever plausible that China’s economy could grind to a halt and there wouldn’t be any consequences for the U.S. economy? No.
Many commentators talk about supply chains in China, but how many have actually visited factories in China, other than carefully choreographed PR visits to suitably high-tech facilities? I’ve visited many factories in China, and not with a staff of minders who swiftly guide the visitors through the happy story of high-tech wonderland.
I’ve visited some high-tech facilities but also many low-tech factories, where most of the supply chain originates, usually with one or two bored local government functionaries. You get a much less distorted view of the supply chain on the ground, away from the carefully guided tours.
Since we weren’t important visitors, nothing was staged. Workers glanced at us, as in what are they doing here?, but otherwise we simply observed everyday operations.