Michael Pettis

Nonresident Senior Associate
Asia Program
Pettis, an expert on China’s economy, is professor of finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, where he specializes in Chinese financial markets.


MBA, Finance, Columbia University
MIA, Development Economics, Columbia University


Michael Pettis is a senior associate in the Carnegie Asia Program based in Beijing. An expert on China’s economy, Pettis is professor of finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, where he specializes in Chinese financial markets. 

From 2002 to 2004, he also taught at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management and, from 1992 to 2001, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is a member of the Institute of Latin American Studies Advisory Board at Columbia University as well as the Dean’s Advisory Board at the School of Public and International Affairs.

Pettis worked on Wall Street in trading, capital markets, and corporate finance since 1987, when he joined the sovereign debt trading team at Manufacturers Hanover (now JPMorgan). Most recently, from 1996 to 2001, Pettis worked at Bear Stearns, where he was managing director principal heading the Latin American capital markets and the liability management groups. He has also worked as a partner in a merchant-banking boutique that specialized in securitizing Latin American assets and at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he headed the emerging markets trading team.

In addition to trading and capital markets, Pettis has been involved in sovereign advisory work, including for the Mexican government on the privatization of its banking system, the Republic of Macedonia on the restructuring of its international bank debt, and the South Korean Ministry of Finance on the restructuring of the country’s commercial bank debt.

He formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors of ABC-CA Fund Management Company, a Sino–French joint venture based in Shanghai. He is the author of several books, including The Great Rebalancing: Trade, Conflict, and the Perilous Road Ahead for the World Economy (Princeton University Press, 2013).


  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets February 25, 2015
    When Do We Decide That Europe Must Restructure Much of Its Debt?

    The biggest constraint to the EU’s survival is debt. Europe will not grow and unemployment will not drop until the costs of the excessive debt burdens are addressed.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets February 4, 2015
    Syriza and the French Indemnity of 1871-73

    European nationalists have successfully convinced the world, against all logic, that the European crisis is a conflict among nations, and not among economic sectors.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets February 1, 2015
    Can Monetary Policy Turn Argentina Into Japan?

    If the world does indeed face another decade or two of “superabundant capital” in spite of economic stagnation and slow growth, the historical precedents suggest a number of consequences.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets January 21, 2015
    Inverted Balance Sheets and Doubling the Financial Bet

    Chinese economic growth will continue to slow. Although many economic analyses are based on the success of economic reforms, near-term growth is more accurately forecast in terms of balance sheet constraints.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets January 9, 2015
    On Chinese CPI and PPI Data for December

    China’s consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI) data suggest that China is facing deflationary pressures. Beijing must tackle the country’s debt and create alternative sources of demand to address them.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets December 14, 2014
    My Reading of the FT on China’s “Turning Away from the Dollar”

    Economists tend to undervalue institutional flexibility, especially in the first few years after a major financial crisis, perhaps because in the beginning countries that adjust very quickly tend to underperform countries that adjust more slowly.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets December 2, 2014
    How Might a China Slowdown Affect the World?

    A slowing Chinese economy might be good or bad for the world, depending on domestic savings and domestic investment.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets November 5, 2014
    China, Europe, and Optimal Currency Zones

    While China is a more integrated optimal currency zone than the EU, there are still frictional costs across provinces that will require Beijing to make some adjustments, which have their own costs.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets October 29, 2014
    Should Beijing Raise Subway Fares?

    Considering what would be the best subway fare in Beijing is a useful way to think about infrastructure investment more generally.

  • Op-Ed China Financial Markets October 19, 2014
    How to Link Australian Iron With Marine Le Pen

    China’s disproportionate demand for iron is the result of its investment-driven growth model. In considering how Chinese adjustment will affect Australia, one must consider global savings imbalances.

  • CNBC November 12, 2013
    China Needs a Slow-Growth System

    The reforms necessary to rebalance China’s economy require the political resolve to reallocate resources and benefits from state elites to households.

  • Financial Times July 12, 2013
    Up Shibor Creek

    Overinvestment in China is creating debt problems, an experience that is similar to other historical investment-led growth miracles.

  • ABC News March 26, 2013
    Cyprus Banks Remain Shut

    The Cyprus banking crisis is an exaggerated version of the problems that persist throughout peripheral Europe.

  • CNBC's Worldwide Exchange November 13, 2012
    Cautious Optimism About China

    China's new political leadership knows that economic reform is necessary, but has difficulty gathering the political will to enact such reforms.

  • NPR October 28, 2012
    What's Next For China's Economy?

    As a new generation of leaders emerges at China's 18th Congress, they will need to figure out how to keep the world's second largest economy on track.

  • Michael Pettis
    Marketplace June 13, 2011
    Could China's Efforts to Cool the Economy Be Working Too Well?

    China’s high level of investment is causing a rapid rise in debt and will likely lead to a slowdown in the country’s economic growth.

  • Michael Pettis
    Bloomberg May 11, 2011
    The Threat of China's Unbalanced Economy

    Persistent imbalances in China's economy are likely to pose a serious threat to the country's growth unless Beijing significantly revalues its currency, raises real interest rates, and continues to increase wages.

  • Phoenix TV January 16, 2011
    The Global Financial Crisis and U.S.-China Relations

    State-level visits between China and the United States are very important, given that relations between China nd the United States are probably going to be among the most critical bilateral relationships for the next fifteen years.

  • A Chinese manufacturing worker
    BBC World Service February 8, 2010
    Could There be a Trade War Between China and the West?

    As the U.S trade deficit becomes increasingly politicized in the face of high unemployment and a global contraction in demand, there is an increasing likelihood of trade tensions with net surplus countries, especially China.

  • April 24, 2013 Washington, DC 中文
    China’s First Steps Since the National People’s Congress

    China’s new leadership has taken shape since November and March but programmatic policy statements are not expected until around the time of the Third Plenum of the Central Committee in the autumn.

  • February 19, 2013 Beijing
    The Global Rebalancing

    The uncertain global economy and poor performance of economic giants such as Japan has led to doubts over China’s ability to maintain an eight percent growth model.

  • September 7, 2012 Washington, D.C. 中文
    How Can China Rebalance?

    Although China's government seems serious about rebalancing the country's economy away from its over-reliance on investment, historical precedents suggest that this will be very difficult.

  • September 22, 2011 Washington, D.C. 中文
    Rebalancing and Growth: The Arithmetic of Chinese Adjustment

    It is widely acknowledged that China must transform its growth model toward one more reliant on domestic consumption, and policy makers are warning that growth rates will slow sharply in the coming years to perhaps six to eight percent.

  • March 25, 2011 Washington, D.C. 中文
    China's Domestic Rebalancing

    As worries about China’s economy overheating escalate, Chinese policy makers are focusing on domestic rebalancing and placing an increased priority on increasing domestic consumption and developing less urbanized regions.

  • March 15, 2011 Beijing
    U.S.-China Relations Prior to the Strategic & Economic Dialogue Meeting in May 2011

    The Strategic and Economic Dialogue should be used by both China and the United States as a medium to facilitate energy and economic cooperation, overcome mounting mistrust that exists in both countries at public and government levels.

  • February 28, 2011 Beijing
    President Hu’s Recent State Visit to the United States and its Impact on the US.-China Relationship

    President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States provides the Chinese leadership with a crucial opportunity to connect with the American public and reach important policy decisions at the highest levels of American and Chinese leadership.

  • December 16, 2010 Washington, D.C. 中文
    China's Unbalanced Growth: Vice or Virtue?

    China's economic prospects remain sound, but many observers point to the risk of an "unbalanced" growth process that has spurred investment and kept domestic consumption low.

  • September 20, 2010 Beijing 中文
    China, the European Union, and Trade Relations

    While tensions exist in the relationship between China and Europe, enhanced bilateral cooperation would be beneficial to both sides and valuable for promoting global stability and development.

  • September 8, 2010 Brussels 中文
    Post-Crisis China and the Changing Global Economic Order

    The growing imbalance between high-growth economies—led by China—and low growth ones will have increasingly profound implications for trade and investment patterns and the global distribution of power.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=444

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