As the Trends editors have long argued, China’s apparent success has been propped up by unsustainable command-and-control mechanisms, made possible because of its unique mix of communist and capitalist institutions. Like the computer-enhanced video and lipped-synched audio that lent a surreal quality to the Beijing Olympics, China’s financial results since the beginning of the Great Recession are “much less than meets the eye.” In fact, the real miracle is that the technocrats have done such a superb job of keeping the whole thing afloat. However, this feat becomes evermore difficult with every month that goes by without a recovery in the global economy, which is needed to reignite the Chinese export engine. Bubbles in real estate and commodities could burst at any moment. Since the early summer of 2011, cracks in the foundation have become more pronounced. Unless China can “pull a rabbit out of its hat,” we’re going to see a hard landing with worldwide implications. What’s ahead? What will it mean for Americans and Europeans — and how can you prepare? We’ll provide the details.