• 186 Posts
Joined 8 months ago
Cake day: November 21st, 2023


  • To celebrate Tesla’s US$788 billion market cap in comparison to BYD’s $93 billion is to confuse incentives with outcomes. Both companies receive generous tax breaks and other government goodies. That Tesla is far more profitable than BYD while EVs have far less market penetration in the US is evidence of policy failure, not Elon Musk’s brilliance. Tesla pocketed the incentives while BYD (and competitors) delivered outcomes.

    What we want from the butcher, the brewer and the baker are beef, beer and bread, not for them to be fabulously wealthy shop owners. What China wants from BYD and Jinko Solar (and the US from Tesla and First Solar) should be affordable EVs and solar panels, not trillion-dollar market-cap stocks. In fact, mega-cap valuations indicate that something has gone seriously awry. Do we really want tech billionaires or do we really want tech?

  • This is where China’s “debt trap diplomacy” might actually be beneficial for Kenya…

    China’s loans serve to improve the top-line (economic growth), and China’s loan concessions don’t affect that. When Kenya puts Mombasa Port’s 50-year operating and port fees up for collateral, that’s a hit on the bottom line (Kenya’s government revenues) but does not change the fact that the port still exists to drive economic growth. Moreover, often the short-term hit in port revenues is less than the interest that would’ve been paid on the loan, so these collateralized loans are often cashflow neutral or even cashflow positive to default on.

    The IMF and World Bank are more focused on padding the bottom line (tax revenues) by increasing taxes and decreasing subsidies. What an insane policy.

    If a country can’t grow, how can you expect it to pay off it’s loans? The entire principle of government loans in the 21st century is that GDP growth makes loans progressively less expensive. The IMF and World Bank exist only to keep developing countries poor.