By Gwynn Guilford – The “China is taking over the world” meme is a perennial one.
As usual, this argument overlooks what’s happening within China’s borders. That includes: a credit-driven growth model that has left debt growing faster than the economy, the continued dominance of inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at the expense of dynamic private firms, and a fiscal system that depends on a housing bubble to sustain it.
David Ignatius bemoans the rail line buildout connecting China to Europe and Eurasia while bypassing US-controlled sea lanes, but by exporting its short-term growth formula for wasteful investments abroad, Xi Jinping is compounding the already huge risk that befouls China’s financial system.
Thanks to China’s size, running even a slight surplus means foisting massive deficits on its trade partners, as well as the debt and unemployment that accompany those, as we’ve argued before. And as Xi’s goal of self-sufficiency and manufacturing-export dominance—articulated in the Made in China 2025 plan, which focuses on Chinese dominance of artificial intelligence, robotics, and other high-tech sectors—makes clear, it’s not just BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) countries that will be on the receiving end of Chinese mercantilism.
The core problem for China is: Power doesn’t guarantee competence. And Xi’s handling of the domestic economy in the past half-decade suggests a dearth of the latter. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership, Media
Tagged China, Debt, Deficit, Government, Industrial economy, Leadership, Super regions
By Steve Denning – Brooks concludes blithely that “the market is working more or less as it’s supposed to.” It is therefore wrong to conclude that the U.S. economy has “structural flaws.” That is “a story that is fundamentally untrue.”
The difficulty with the argument, as Brooks well knows, is that one or two good years don’t make an era. Two years of income growth don’t undo the trauma flowing from 50 years of wage stagnation, much less lead to the conclusion that there are “no structural flaws” in the economy.
The brute fact remains that median salaries have stagnated for some 50 years. That’s the real problem of the U.S. economy that economists ought to be talking about.
When moderates deny the obvious, the disaffected inevitably turn elsewhere.
If moderates want to be listened to, they will need to take a harder look at what is going on, come up with coherent explanations for what has gone wrong, and offer plausible remedial action. more> https://goo.gl/zuoJbQ
Posted in Banking, Broadband, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Regulations, Technology, telecom, Transportation
Tagged Banking reform, Capital, Climate change, Congress Watch, Debt, Government, Leadership, United States
By Ricardo Hausmann – Media worldwide have been reporting on Venezuela, documenting truly horrible situations, with images of starvation, hopelessness, and rage.
The cover of The Economist’s July 29 issue summed it up: “Venezuela in chaos.”
The most frequently used indicator to compare recessions is GDP. According to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela’s GDP in 2017 is 35% below 2013 levels, or 40% in per capita terms. That is a significantly sharper contraction than during the 1929-1933 Great Depression in the United States, when US GDP is estimated to have fallen 28%. It is slightly bigger than the decline in Russia (1990-1994), Cuba (1989-1993), and Albania (1989-1993), but smaller than that experienced by other former Soviet States at the time of transition, such as Georgia, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Ukraine, or war-torn countries such as Liberia (1993), Libya (2011), Rwanda (1994), Iran (1981), and, most recently, South Sudan.<
Put another way, Venezuela’s economic catastrophe dwarfs any in the history of the US, Western Europe, or the rest of Latin America. more> https://goo.gl/xXWCgg
By Carmen Reinhart – A few days ago, Greece, the most battered of Europe’s crisis countries, was able to tap global financial markets for the first time in years. With a yield of more than 4.6%, Greece’s bonds were enthusiastically snapped up by institutional investors.
Do recent positive developments in the advanced countries, which were at the epicenter of the global financial crisis of 2008, mean that the brutal aftermath of that crisis is finally over?
Good news notwithstanding, declaring victory at this stage (even a decade later) appears premature. Recovery is not the same as resolution.
It may be instructive to recall that in other protracted post-crisis episodes, including the Great Depression of the 1930s, economic recovery without resolution of the fundamental problems of excessive leverage and weak banks usually proved shallow and difficult to sustain.
During the “lost decade” of the Latin American debt crisis in the 1980s, Brazil and Mexico had a significant and promising growth pickup in 1984-1985 – before serious problems in the banking sector, an unresolved external debt overhang, and several ill-advised domestic policy initiatives cut those recoveries short. more> https://goo.gl/oQBpm1
Posted in Banking, Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Credit, Debt, Economic growth, Financial crisis, non-performing loans