Archive for the ‘China’ Category

The perils of China-centric globalization

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The last thirty years have witnessed the creation of an integrated global economy. However, what began as a project for globalization has gradually been transformed into a project of “China-centric globalization.” This phenomenon has grave economic and geo-political implications for the US. China-centric globalization has been allowed to develop with great rapidity and little public discussion of its implications and consequences. There is a conceit that there are no security dangers inherent in it because economic links will turn China into a democracy and democracies do not go to war with each other. History shows that conceit to be very dangerous.

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Death by Renminbi

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Washington, DC – Over the last several weeks, the dollar’s depreciation against the euro and yen has grabbed global attention. In a normal world, the dollar’s weakening would be welcome, as it would help the United States come to grips with its unsustainable trade deficit. But, in a world where China links its currency to the dollar at an under-valued parity, the dollar’s depreciation risks major global economic damage that will further complicate recovery from the current worldwide recession. (more…)

Investing in China: Fool’s Gold?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Americans tend to disregard history. Henry Ford declared bluntly, “History is bunk,” while Gore Vidal calls the U.S. “the United States of Amnesia.” Usually, this disregard has few consequences, but sometimes not. That may be so with investing in China, where history suggests profits will be far below expectations, possibly making those investments fool’s gold. (more…)

Through the Looking Glass: Saving Glut or Demand Shortage

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

The old saying is that “If you only have a hammer everything looks like a nail”. For economists, the hammer is “saving” and a host of problems are reduced to questions of saving. Nowhere is this clearer than discussions of the U.S. trade deficit and global financial imbalances, which are often explained as a saving problem. Unfortunately, this focus on saving distorts understanding and distracts from the real challenge of creating mass consumption markets in developing countries. (more…)

Exchange Rates: There is a Better Way

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

The world economy is poorly served by the current system of exchange rates. That system has contributed to today’s global financial imbalances, which are widely viewed as posing significant economic risk. These imbalances have also created political tensions between countries over how to adjust them, and within countries over job losses. Exchange rates matter more than ever under globalization, which means the world needs a better system. (more…)

Triangular Trouble: the Euro, the Dollar and the Renminbi

Monday, October 15th, 2007

For the last several years the euro has been appreciating steadily against the U.S. dollar. Given the Chinese renminbi and other East Asian currencies are pegged to the dollar that means the euro has been appreciating steadily against all. This spells trouble for Euroland, and it suggests European policymakers should join with the U.S. to address the global problem of under-valued currencies. (more…)

Inflation, Chinese Style

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

China’s government recently announced inflation hit a ten-year high of 6.5 percent in August. This increase in inflation is directly related to global trade imbalances, yet China is trying to control inflation without addressing that problem. That carries two consequences. First, it is doubtful this strategy can work, which likely augurs rising Chinese inflation. Second, the strategy aims to shift the onus of global trade adjustment on the U.S., which may come back to haunt China and the global economy. (more…)

China’s Empty Threat

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

The United States Congress is currently contemplating critical legislation aimed at remedying the huge U.S.-China trade deficit. China and businesses that benefit from Chinese imports oppose this legislation, and to discourage action China has hinted at retaliation – including possibly selling its U.S. Treasury bond holdings. That threat has prompted some to argue against legislative action on grounds that risks of a trade war are too large and costly. Such thinking is mistaken. The reality is China’s threats are empty, whereas its currency manipulation is wreaking significant real damage on the U.S. economy. (more…)

US – China Trade: Pay Now or Pay More Later

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

After several years of patient negotiation, the US appears embarked on a harder stance in dealing with its China trade deficit. In Congress there is talk of veto-proof legislation addressing China’s under-valuation of its currency, while the Bush Administration has imposed tariffs on coated paper products to offset Chinese subsidies. Behind this shift is a dawning recognition that China is unwilling to reduce its surplus, and that reduces the policy choice to one of “pay now or pay more later”. (more…)

Who’s Afraid of China?

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

In the early 1980s the U.S. suffered record trade deficits and severe de-industrialization as a result of an overvalued dollar. Those problems were tackled by the 1985 Plaza accord - an agreement between the U.S. and its major trading partners - which depreciated the dollar, reduced the trade deficit, and helped keep the economic expansion going. (more…)