Originally published Christian Science Monitor, 16 March 2010
China may seem to have defied the recession and the laws of economics. It hasn’t. When China’s bubble bursts, the global impact will be severe, spiking US interest rates.
The world looks at China with envy. China’s economy grew 8.7 percent last year, while the world economy contracted by 2.2 percent. It seems that Chinese “Confucian capitalism” – a market economy powered by 1.3 billion people and guided by an authoritarian regime that can pull levers at will – is superior to our touchy-feely democracy and capitalism. But the grass on China’s side of the fence is not as green as it appears.
In fact, China’s defiance of the global recession is not a miracle – it’s a superbubble. When it deflates, it will spell big trouble for all of us.
To understand the Chinese economy, consider three distinct periods: “Late-stage growth obesity” (the decade prior to 2008); “You lie!” (the time of the financial crisis); and finally, “Steroids ’R’ Us” (from the end of the financial crisis to today).Continue Reading →