What Does a ‘Good’ Chinese Adjustment Look Like?

I have always thought that the soft landing/hard landing debate wholly misses the point when it comes to China’s economic prospects. It confuses the kinds of market-based adjustments we are likely to see in the US or Europe with the much more controlled process we see in China. Instead of a hard landing or a […]

Can Pedro Sanchez Save Spain’s Socialist Party?

Last month Pedro Sánchez Castejón was chosen to be the new leader of Spain’s center-left Socialist Party (PSOE).  El Pais called his appointment a “renewal” of the PSOE, although Sánchez seems to have been chosen mainly because he is too young and unknown to suffer from the revulsion most Spaniards feel towards the political establishment. But as the […]

China’s Bad Debts Can’t Be Simply ‘Socialized’

Once again I am going to discuss debt, and my discussion will be mainly conceptual. I suspect that many of my regular readers might wonder why I keep returning to this subject – and, often enough, keep saying the same things. The reason is because while debt plays a key role in understanding the recent […]

The Four Stages of Chinese Growth

From the early 1980s until now China has grown at a pace not matched since the four decades Argentina enjoyed before the First World War. In spite of some fairly goofy attempts a few years ago, however, to characterize China during this period as having followed a set of policies called the “Beijing Consensus”, these […]

Some Things to Consider if Spain Leaves the Euro

It might seem almost churlish to wonder what would happen if Spain were to leave the euro. The official European position is that the battle of the euro has been pretty much won, and anyone who argues otherwise will be accused of being a euro hater, an Anglo-Saxon or, even worse, a writer for theFinancial […]

Why a Savings Glut Does Not Increase Savings

Debate about the global savings glut hypothesis is mired in confusion, a fundamental part of which is the seemingly obvious but false claim that a global savings glut must lead to higher global savings.Here, for example, is a recent piece by one of my favorite economists, Barry Eichengreen: There is only one problem: the data […]

Economic Consequences of Income Inequality

A lot of things have happened in China since my last entry – in the FX markets, in the banking system, in the announcements of default, and in the continuing lowering of growth expectations – but for all the turmoil, as I see it nothing has happened that was unexpected and that has not been […]

Will Emerging Markets Come Back?

I don’t often make reference to these kinds of things in my blog, but Saturday’s terrorist attack in the Kunming train station – in which 29 innocent people were hacked to death (the toll was especially high among the elderly who were unable to run away quickly enough from the killers) – fills me with […]

What Do Bank Share Prices Tell Us About Chinese Growth?

Tom Holland had an interesting piece in the South China Morning Post three weeks ago in which he discusses the low valuations of Chinese banks. About a decade ago, if I remember correctly, Chinese banks were trading between three and four times book. Those valuations have dropped considerably since then: On Monday, the weighted average price-book value ratio for […]

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