The Great Recession

New York Magazine has an outstanding article, “Ten Years after the Crash, we are still reliving in the world it brutally remade.” The article consists of a series of brief statements by economists, activists and academics, which underlines the centrality of this event to our modern social, political and economic systems. If you want to understand the rise of populism, the fall of fertility in the developed world, or why the pension crisis is so severe, this piece provides a succinct and easy to understand analysis. As I write these words, the Turkish lira is falling in a manner that reminds many economists of the Asian Financial Crisis, and housing prices in the United States have risen to dramatic highs in West Coast markets. Many market watchers are nervous. …

China’s Rise

Hong Kong skyscraper. Photo by Shawn Smallman, August 2017

With the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Bank, and its One Belt/One Road intiative, China is changing the globe’s financial infrastructure. There is no question but that China’s economic rise is leading to new models for development. In some sense, what we are seeing is the start of a new period of Chinese-led globalization. The Chinese investment in small or developing economies -such as Greece and Venezuela- has had a significant impact on those nations, although it has not always provided great benefits to China. In Africa, Chinese foreign investment in land and infrastructure is creating new patterns of foreign investment and development. China’s influence in Central Asia has increased dramatically over the last fifteen years, especially as it has sought to obtain new sources of oil. Australia’s unusually long economic boom has relied heavily on China’s demand for commodities. China’s demand for goods, and its investments in other nations, has helped to fuel growth from Bishkek to Perth. …

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