I was reading this article on BBC today: Chinese warned off lavish gifts. It talks about how the Chinese government said it's forbidding Chinese officials to buy expensive gifts for Chinese new year. They claim that this is because of the difficult state of the Chinese economy due to the world crisis.
If you stop reading the article at this point, like most people do, they will end up with the idea that the Chinese government is really worried about the state of the Chinese economy and is telling people not to spend too much money. Then, if you read further you find:
[...] Each year too the Communist Party exhorts its officials to avoid conspicuous consumption. [...]
Which might be the only actual note that the Chinese government sent. The same it sends every year. But then reporters took this as being a sign of impending doom. If Chinese officials are asked not to spend all their bribery money on their "friends", it means that something really bad is going on. With all the things that the economy is doing, that has to be the cause! And people should be warned of it. No more parties, no more happy Chinese. No more happy Chinese, worst quality at the Wal-Mart stores. Lower quality on Wal-Mart, lower quality on most US households (because people won't stop buying - it's so inexpensive). Lower quality of products in US households, higher chance of accidents. More accidents, more medical bills. More medical bills, more unhappy citizens. More unhappy citizens, more stories to put in the newspaper. So it must be true! Q.E.D.