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Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World

Book Description

Commodities permeate virtually every aspect of modern daily living, but for all their importance—their breadth, their depth, their intricacies, and their central role in daily life—few people who are not economists or traders know how commodity markets work. Almost every day, newspaper headlines and media commentators scream warnings of impending doom--shortages of arable land, clashes over water, and political conflict as global demand for fossil fuels outstrips supply. The picture is bleak, but our grasp of the details and the macro shifts in commodities markets remain blurry.Winner Take All is about the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades. In particular, it is about the implications of China’s rush for resources across all regions of the world. The scale of China’s resource campaign for hard commodities (metals and minerals) and soft commodities (timber and food) is among the largest in history. To be sure, China is not the first country to launch a global crusade to secure resources. From Britain’s transcontinental operations dating back to the end of the 16th century, to the rise of modern European and American transnational corporations between the mid 1860’s and 1870’s, the industrial revolution that powered these economies created a voracious demand for raw materials and created the need to go far beyond their native countries.So too is China’s resource rush today. Although still in its early stages, already the breadth of China’s operation is awesome, and seemingly unstoppable. China’s global charge for commodities is a story of China’s quest to secure its claims on resource assets, and to guarantee the flow of inputs needed to continue to drive economic development. Moyo, an expert in global commodities markets, explains the implications of China’s resource grab in a world of diminishing resources.

Table of Contents

  2. Title Page
  3. List of Tables
  4. Introduction
  5. PART I - China’s Rush for Resources
    1. CHAPTER 1 - The Drivers of World Commodity Demand
      1. The Malthusian Chronicles
      2. Driving Resource Demand
      3. The Global Population Grows
      4. The World’s Population Gets Wealthier
      5. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
      6. An Urban Wave
      7. It’s All About China
      8. From Demand to Supply
    2. CHAPTER 2 - The Resource State of Play: Land and Water
      1. Terra Firma
      2. Land Registry
      3. Tapped Out: The Prospects for Water
      4. It’s All About China
      5. Are Technology-Based Solutions the Answer?
      6. A Double Whammy
    3. CHAPTER 3 - The Resource State of Play: Oil, Gas, and Minerals
      1. A Peek at Oil
      2. A Foreboding Future
      3. Predictions from the Peak Models
      4. The Supply Crunch
      5. Oil, Freedom, and Corruption
      6. The Price to Make a Profit
      7. Petro Politics
      8. Location, Location, Location
      9. Hydrocarbons Are Here to Stay
      10. The Promise of Gas
      11. The Challenge of Interchanging
      12. Technology as a Saving Grace
      13. Convergence on the Cards
      14. Upwardly Mobile
      15. The Challenges of Supply
      16. China’s Consumption versus the World’s Production
      17. Relieving Demand Pressures and Easing Supply Shortfalls
    4. CHAPTER 4 - Hocking the Family Jewels
      1. Means, Motive, Opportunity—What China Does
      2. Spanning the Globe
      3. Vertical and Horizontal Alignment
      4. How China Does It: The Many Ways to Skin a Cat
      5. What’s in It for Me?
      6. It’s Not All Been Plain Sailing
      7. Do They Know Something We Don’t?
      8. Reading the Tea Leaves
  6. PART II - What China’s Resource Rush Means for the World
    1. What Have We Learned Thus Far About China and Its Commodities Push?
    2. CHAPTER 5 - A Commodity Price Précis
      1. Doing Brisk Business
      2. Financial Traders and Producers
      3. A Financial Trade
      4. An Illustration
      5. From Investment Assets to Consumption Assets
      6. The Price of Rice in China
      7. Speculators Speculate
      8. Hoarders Hoard
      9. A Delicate Balance
      10. A Message for the Commodity Markets
    3. CHAPTER 6 - Cornering the Market
      1. IOU
      2. The Rise of the Resource Monopolist
      3. All Roads Lead to Monopsony
      4. Déjà Vu All Over Again
      5. The Sources of China’s Monopsony Power
      6. Is China Dumping?
      7. Enshrined in Law
      8. A Legal Vacuum
      9. A Legal Minefield
    4. CHAPTER 7 - Meddling in the Markets
      1. Back to Basics
      2. Government Intervention
      3. The Long Arm of the Chinese State
      4. Do as I Say, Not as I Do
      5. Possession Is Nine-Tenths of the Law
      6. Ownership versus Control
      7. The Limits of Capitalism
    5. CHAPTER 8 - The Geopolitics of It All
      1. A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
      2. A Labor Contract
      3. The Question of Character
      4. Perception Is Reality
      5. Shelf Life of the Strategy
      6. Life Imitating Molecular Biology
      7. China Policing the Police
      8. Taking No Prisoners
      9. It Takes a Crisis
    6. CHAPTER 9 - A Harbinger of Things to Come
      1. The Shortage Is Food, Not Land
      2. An Energy Supply Reprieve in Shale
      3. Nuclear Promise
      4. Demand: Here to Stay
      5. A Message from the Energy Forecasts
      6. Energy Needs Increasing
      7. A Problem with Pollution
      8. Focusing on the Urgent, Not the Important
    7. CHAPTER 10 - Clear and Present Danger
      1. Past Is Prologue
      2. The Curse of Resources
      3. Resources as a Source of Conflict
      4. A Problem Hiding in Plain Sight
      5. From Worst-Case to Best-Case Scenarios
      6. A World Ill Prepared
      7. Forewarned Is Forearmed
      8. Stuck in a Rut
      9. A Way Forward
      10. The Real Villains: Self-Interest and Myopia
      11. Policy Choices Beyond a Unified Approach
      12. Heading into the Eye of the Storm
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Notes
  9. Bibliography
  10. Index
  11. Copyright Page