Craig Stephens has been writing some rather salty stories for the Marketwatch in the past few months. Craig does more than watch the Chinese markets and economic machine but in fact keeps the whole SouthEast Asian world in view. The latest story about the salt frenzy in China is like a tiny Confucian parable. There has been a run on salt in China because of the Japanese nuclear disaster. The belief is that the tiny amounts of iodine in salt will be able to counter any radioactive iodine wafting China’s way.
It is an irrational buying frenzy for many reasons [no radioactive plume clouds reaching China, quantities of iodine required, food cycle mismatches, etc]. But the government has had to use counter-text messaging to try to suppressthe groundswell of worry messaging permeating the new electronic fabric of Chinese networking. For that reason alone, the story is most interesting. But add the comparison made by Craig betweeen the lack of panic in Japan [who in various regions may have due cause for concern about radioactive fallout] versus panic buying and hoarding in China hundreds if not thousands of kilometers away.
This is the typical turn of story that Craig provides out of China. Truly the bent is persistently on smart economics and the underlying investment opportunities but there is also penchant to find more then a pinch of human salt on the scene as well.