James Pethokoukis

A China reality check

October 28, 2009

Thomas PM Barnett makes good sense, as usual:

Japan’s rise and decline should serve as a grim warning to China right now.

Popping the China Bubble

October 23, 2009

Good sense from Michael Auslin in The American:

Just like today with China, pundits, investors, and the media largely proclaimed that the Japanese party would go on forever. Today, the sophisticated management of the Chinese government is offered as proof that China will always experience growth (or if contraction, a soft landing). Back in the 1980s, Japanese companies were assumed to have discovered the secret to hyper-efficient production and thus endless profits, while the country’s bureaucrats were lauded as perfect macro-planners. Inefficiencies, protected industries, poor management, and a sclerotic bureaucracy were all ignored by those who wanted to believe the hype. Yet such weaknesses were exacerbated by a culture of excess that destroyed consumer reality. Once it took root in Japan, expectations changed permanently and traditional restraint was abandoned. The savings rate dropped, and people paid exorbitant amounts for new houses and cars. I remember watching as whole parties in Tokyo restaurants walked away from tables full of food that was ordered and then left to be thrown away. The economics fed and then followed the social disease. Eventually, the asset bubble burst and the whole edifice came crashing down.

IMF ups its estimate for 2010 global growth

October 1, 2009

Another unsurprising economic forecast that portends continued high US unemployment next year.

Dude, where’s my civilization-wrecking depression?

August 24, 2009

Geopolitical thinker and strategist Tom Barnett is disappointed with the resilience of the global economy and institutions:

The global economy and the day after tomorrow

August 15, 2009

A really great article in the FT that serves to dispel some of the doom and gloom that pervades much of current thinking:

North Korea: Global markets are also potential prisoners — and Clinton can’t help them

August 5, 2009

Strategist Andy Busch of BMO Capital Markets provides some interesting insights on the situation in North Korea:

A quick look at Chimerica/Americhina

July 27, 2009

Here are three chart to give a feel for the current state of the US-China economic relationship (via the econ team at Action Economics):

Is China experiencing a credit bubble?

July 17, 2009

Here are several great charts from Wachovia looking at the Chinese economy in an effort to determine if the nation is experiencing a lending bubble. The firm doesn’t think so — at least not yet — but given government influence in its capital allocation system and the need to keep growth high in a weak global economy, I have to wonder.

North Korea collapse could cost $1 trillion

July 13, 2009

This from my Reuters colleague Dean Yates:

South Korean estimates have said it would cost $1 trillion or more to absorb the North. Financial markets in Seoul would plunge given how expensive and messy such a transition could be.