But Chinese, Buy Bad? The economists who speculate about the future trend of the Chinese economy tend to concentrate on such matters as the extent to which the country’s exports will be affected by the world’s economic slowdown. That might be the primary short term concern but the more significant one is the growing lack of trust that consumers can have in the safety and quality of Chinese made products.

The latest scandal, written about at the weekend in the Hong Kong edition of the China Daily, is the way that the industrial chemical and human poison melamine is used in animal feed. This case is far worse that the one earlier this year which resulted in the death of many dogs in the United States. This time it is people who are liable to suffer as the melamine travels through infected animals into the human food chain.

The China Daily reported four brands of eggs were found to contain the chemical and it quoted a story from the Nanfang Daily on Thursday which said it was an “open secret” in the livestock and fish food industry that melamine was mixed into animal feed. Melamine scrap was repackaged in to a product labelled “protein powder” and then sold to feed suppliers.

A polling and market consensus. The polls and the markets are coming close together as election day approaches and both are pointing to a win by Barack Obama. The market prediction (as measured by the University of Iowa’s Electronic Market) is that the Democrats will get 53.5% of the national two party preferred vote with the Republicans on 46.5%. The average of the polls surveyed by Real Clear Politics puts the figures at Democrats 53.4% and Republicans 46.6%.

Start studying the form. Here’s an early warning for political form students. Crikey will be featuring a unique game of skill for its readers on Wednesday based on the Presidential election and a knowledge of the neck tie preferences of the candidates will be an essential ingredient. What colour will the victor be wearing around his neck when the victory speech is made?

Perhaps one of these recent examples will make a reappearance — John McCain’s very dignified gold number or perhaps his blue with multiple white stripes.