The MasterBlog: Crisis of 2012 May Hurt China More Than U.S.: William Pesek - Bloomberg
Subscribe to The MasterBlog in a Reader Subscribe to The MasterBlog by Email

MasterBlogs Headlines

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crisis of 2012 May Hurt China More Than U.S.: William Pesek - Bloomberg

Crisis of 2012 May Hurt China More Than U.S.: William Pesek
By William Pesek Oct 25, 2011 9:00 PM GMT+0200

William Pesek is based in Tokyo and writes on economics, markets and politics throughout the Asia-Pacific region. His journalism awards include the 2010 Society of American Business Editors and Writers prize for commentary.
More about William Pesek
Economists were probably too busy watching markets gyrate to contemplate last month’s big news in science. Physicists detected particles travelling faster than light, which, if the reading was accurate, means time travel is possible.
Now, let’s play a quick mind experiment that would surely captivate the deans of the dismal science: Pretend you have just been transported 10 years into the future to see how this incipient global crisis pans out. It would be hard to find anyone who isn’t desperate to know.
What if, a decade from now, the U.S. comes out the winner of today’s market chaos at the expense of Europe and China?
This intriguing contrarian view is the subject of “The American Phoenix,” a new book by Hong Kong-based economist Diana Choyleva and her Lombard Street Research colleague Charles Dumas. Bargain bins are loaded with China-crash titles. What’s different about this book is that it turns all we think we know about the interplay between the Group of Two on its head.
If the last few years taught us anything, it’s that the unthinkable has an uncanny knack of happening. From Arab Spring protests to China bailing out Europe’s markets to a U.S. presidential candidate suggesting it’s treasonous for the Federal Reserve to do its job, the world really is upside down.
So it’s worth considering an alternative trajectory for the U.S. and China as another meltdown seems to be unfolding. It’s hard to be optimistic for 2012 as Europe dithers, Washington bickers, Japan’s paralysis deepens and China experiments with ways to avoid overheating.
G-2 World
If there is an accepted narrative about the G-2 in Asia, it goes something like this: China will grow 8 percent or 9 percent a year indefinitely, grabbing global market share as it moves from sweatshops to a knowledge-based, innovation-driven model. Hiccups may happen, but China will surpass the U.S. economy 10 or 20 years from now.
The U.S., meanwhile, experiences a slow, steady slide as the magnitude of its challenges overwhelms a political system ridden with gridlock, an excessive debt load and chronic joblessness. The reason Occupy Wall Street went global in ways the Tea Party didn’t is that the former reflects the reasons for America’s decline, while the latter is mere handwringing over it.
The question is whether the U.S. recovers relative to Europe and China as global markets swoon anew. The operative word is “relative.” No should expect the U.S. to prosper in some great way from a 2012 crisis. It’s that Europe and China will be far worse off as contagion whips around the globe.
Bubbles, Imbalances
“When you look at the problems facing the world, the bubbles and imbalances, America’s are easier to fix than most,” Choyleva told me in Hong Kong yesterday. “It says a lot about the state of things globally.”
It would surprise few to imagine Europe having a harder decade than the U.S. A Greek default is a given and may drag down Portugal, Spain and, in the worst case, even Italy. Europe may be lucky to get away with just one lost decade.
Many would be taken aback to think that China, too, might experience its share of setbacks compared with the U.S. Some are well-known, including inflation that fans social unrest and a financial crisis erupting as the massive stimulus of 2009 comes back to haunt Beijing. All that investment created the illusion of economic vitality. Too much of it was funneled into unproductive sectors of the economy, setting up China for a banking meltdown.
Inflation China
Choyleva adds a less obvious twist to the critique: how China’s financial proximity to the U.S. is a bigger problem than many people appreciate. By tying itself to the dollar and amassing more than $3 trillion of currency reserves, China essentially merged with the U.S. financial system. When the Fed pumps money into the economy, it inflates China more than America.
There are rumblings in Washington about punishing China for its undervalued currency. Yet China is only now realizing the extent to which it surrendered sovereignty to the U.S. As the Fed adds more cash to markets, China’s inflation becomes more entrenched and Beijing loses even more control. Over time, this dynamic will harm China’s competiveness more than if Beijing had allowed the yuan to strengthen, as per the U.S.’s demands.
China could increase interest rates to temper rising prices, but that would devastate growth. The thing about the G-2 is that pundits often view China as being in the stronger position -- its massive reserve holdings are both leverage and a fortification. Yet China is trapped. It’s addicted to cheap U.S. financing and is increasingly feeling the side effects.
For all its troubles, the U.S. has inherent strengths: It’s home to many of the world’s top 20 universities; it has institutions that may still get their act together in ways Europe can’t; a fertility rate that exceeds deaths, meaning America can ultimately outgrow its debt -- unlike, say, Japan and Europe.
If Japanese and European officials could travel in time, it wouldn’t be to fix mistakes of the past. If Chinese officials don’t act more assertively to tweak their model, they’ll have similar regrets a decade from now.
(William Pesek is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)
To contact the writer of this column: William Pesek in Hong Kong at
To contact the editor responsible for this column: James Greiff at

Crisis of 2012 May Hurt China More Than U.S.: William Pesek - Bloomberg

-- The MasterFeeds

No comments:

Post a Comment

Commented on The MasterBlog

Tags, Categories

news United States Venezuela Finance Money Latin America Oil Current Affairs Middle East Commodities Capitalism Chavez International Relations Israel Gold Economics NT Democracy China Politics Credit Hedge Funds Banks Europe Metals Asia Palestinians Miscellaneous Stocks Dollar Mining ForEx Corruption obama Iran UK Terrorism Africa Demographics UN Government Living Bailout Military Russia Debt Tech Islam Switzerland Philosophy Judaica Science Housing PDVSA Revolution USA War petroleo Scams articles Fed Education France Canada Security Travel central_banks OPEC Castro Nuclear freedom Colombia EU Energy Mining Stocks Diplomacy bonds India drugs Anti-Semitism Arabs populism Saudi Arabia Brazil Environment Irak Syria elections Art Cuba Food Goldman Sachs Afghanistan Anti-Israel Hamas Lebanon Silver Trade copper Egypt Hizbollah Madoff Ponzi Warren Buffett press Aviation BP Euro FARC Gaza Honduras Japan Music SEC Smuggling Turkey humor socialism trading Che Guevara Freddie Mac Geneve IMF Spain currencies violence wikileaks Agriculture Bolívar ETF Restaurants Satire communism computers derivatives Al-Qaida Bubble FT Greece Libya NY PIIGS Republicans Sarkozy Space Sports BRIC CITGO DRC Flotilla Germany Globovision Google Health Inflation Law Mexico Muslim Brotherhood Nazis Pensions Peru Uranium cnbc crime cyberattack fannieMae pakistan stratfor Apollo 11 Autos BBC Bernanke CIA Chile Climate change Congo Democrats EIA Haiti Holocaust IFTTT ISIS Jordan Labor M+A New York OAS Philanthropy Shell South Africa Tufts UN Watch Ukraine bitly carbon earthquake facebook racism twitter Atom BHP Beijing Business CERN CVG CapitalMarkets Congress Curaçao ECB EPA ETA Ecuador Entebbe Florida Gulf oil spill Harvard Hezbollah Human Rights ICC Kenya L'Oréal Large Hadron Collider MasterBlog Morocco Mugabe Nobel Panama Paulson RIO SWF Shiites Stats Sunnis Sweden TARP Tunisia UNHRC Uganda VC Water Yen apple berksire hathaway blogs bush elderly hft iPad journalism mavi marmara nationalization psycology sex spy taxes yuan ALCASA ANC Airbus Amazon Ariel Sharon Australia Batista Bettencourt Big Bang Big Mac Bill Gates Bin Laden Blackstone Blogger Boeing COMEX Capriles Charlie Hebdo Clinton Cocoa DSK Desalination Durban EADS Ecopetrol Elkann Entrepreneur FIAT FTSE Fannie Freddie Funds GE Hayek Helicopters Higgs Boson Hitler Huntsman Ice Cream Intel Izarra KKR Keynes Khodorskovsky Krugman LBO LSE Lex Mac Malawi Maps MasterCharts MasterFeeds MasterLiving MasterMetals MasterTech Microsoft Miliband Monarchy Moon Mossad NYSE Namibia Nestle OWS OccupyWallStreet Oman PPP Pemex Perry Philippines Post Office Private Equity Property Putin QE Rio de Janeiro Rwanda Sephardim Shimon Peres Stuxnet TMX Tennis UAV UNESCO VALE Volcker WTC WWII Wimbledon World Bank World Cup ZIRP Zapatero airlines babies citibank culture ethics foreclosures happiness history iPhone infrastructure internet jobs kissinger lahde laptops lawyers leadership lithium markets miami microfinance pharmaceuticals real estate religion startup stock exchanges strippers subprime taliban temasek ubs universities weddimg zerohedge

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner