Archive for September, 2007

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…)

The Fed and America’s Distorted Expansion

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

The U.S. economy has been in expansion mode since November 2001. Though of reasonable duration, the expansion has been persistently fragile and unbalanced. That is now coming home to roost in the form of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the bursting house price bubble. (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…)