Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Roubini Topic Archive: China

  • Voters are Angry about Free Trade. What is the Right Policy Response?

    The two most watched candidates of this presidential election season, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, have put anger over the effects of free trade at the center of their campaigns. In doing so, they have won millions of votes. Many of the arguments they use in their stump speeches are overly simplistic, but the anger […]

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  • The Great Bipartisan War on Free Trade

    Like most economists, I am strongly inclined toward free trade. I cringe to see the way free trade is under attack, from both parties, during this primary season. The two populist candidates are the worst offenders. Bernie Sanders, whom I support on many other issues [1] [2] [3], goes off the rails when it comes […]

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  • China’s Latest “Devaluation:” A Currency War in the Making?

    China’s currency has, once again, been weakening against the dollar. It is down by more than 4 percent since October, including a fall of more than one percent just last week. Writing in the New York Times, Landon Thomas, Jr. warned that “China’s decision to push the value of its currency lower has opened a […]

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  • “Truth Teller” Donald Trump Fudges the Facts about Chinese Currency Manipulation

    Donald Trump is surging in the GOP primary polls, partly on the basis of a carefully crafted reputation for telling it as it is. Even rival Ted Cruz thinks Trump is “teriffic” and “brash,” saying, “I think he tells the truth.” But when he comes to China’s exchange rate policy, he is about as far […]

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  • How Natural is Natural Monopoly? The Case of China’s Crumbling Hold on Rare Earths

    Rare earth elements (REEs) are a group of seventeen elements with exotic names like neodymium and yttrium that are key ingredients in many high-tech products, many important for national defense. Imagine the consternation of Western officials when they woke up one morning in September 2010 to learn that China held a near-monopoly in the production […]

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  • What Ever Happened to the Misery Index?

    Remember the 1960s? The 1970s? Back then, inflation surged from one peak to another but failed to deliver the low unemployment rates promised by the Phillips curve. In fit of frustration, economist Arthur Okun invented what he called the misery index—the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates. As the following chart shows, those were […]

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  • Could America’s New Energy Abundance Spark a Trans-Atlantic Environmental Race to the Bottom?

    Environmentalists often pillory China, with its opaque city air, dirty water, and contaminated food as the leader of a race to the bottom. By spending as little as possible on pollution control, they say, it keeps production costs to a minimum and boosts exports. If Chinese producers had to bear the full external costs their […]

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  • Who are the Biggest Trans-Pacific Currency Manipulators? How Great is the Threat?

    Recently a bi-partisan group of 60 U.S. Senators made headlines with a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. The letter urged him to add a clause to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement prohibiting currency manipulation. The Senators cited a Peterson Institute study that claimed currency manipulation had cost the United States 5 million […]

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  • Is China Still a ‘Currency Manipulator’?

    “On day one, I will label them a currency manipulator.” So spoke Mitt Romney during Monday’s Presidential debate, threatening, as he has innumerable times, to hit China with new tariffs if it doesn’t stop using a cheap yuan to steal U.S. jobs. But does the label still fit? We all know the story by heart. […]

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  • The Senate’s Currency Manipulation Bill Is Not Only Bad Policy, but Unnecessary

    China’s currency manipulation is bad policy. So is the Senate’s latest crackdown on it. The bill passed yesterday is not only bad policy, but unnecessary. Here’s why. First of all, before we get hysterical about Chinese policy, we should recognize that currency manipulation is the global norm, not the exception. By a recent count, only […]

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