Democracies will increasingly have to choose between raising wages and redistributing income or maintaining free trade and capital flows. Because they are likely to choose the former, the world may face a long-term reversal of globalization.

China Financial Markets provides in-depth analysis of one of the world’s largest and most vital economies. Edited by Carnegie Senior Fellow Michael Pettis based in Beijing, China Financial Markets offers monthly insights into income inequality, market structures, and other issues affecting China and other global economies. A noted expert on China’s economy, Pettis is a professor of finance at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, where he specializes in Chinese financial markets.

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  • The GDP of Bridges to Nowhere

    30
    January 25, 2018

    In most economies, GDP growth is a measure of economic output generated by the performance of the underlying economy. In China, however, Beijing sets annual GDP growth targets it expects to meet. Turning GDP growth into an economic input, rather than an output, radically changes its meaning and interpretation.

  • Why China Likely Won’t Buy Fewer U.S. Treasury Bonds

    49
    January 12, 2018

    A January 2018 Bloomberg article suggests that Chinese officials may reduce their purchases of U.S. government bonds. It is very unlikely that China can do so in any meaningful way because doing so would almost certainly be costly for Beijing. And even if China took this step, it would have either no impact or a positive impact on the U.S. economy.

  • EVENT: China’s Economy After the Party Congress

    4
    September 29, 2017

    Michael Pettis will be joined by Carnegie’s vice president for studies Douglas H. Paal to address economic factors challenging China and the new leadership that will emerge from the congress. Watch live on Monday, October 2.

  • Is China’s Economy Growing as Fast as China’s GDP?

    116
    September 05, 2017

    If local governments and state-owned enterprises in China systematically invest in projects that are not economically justified, to the extent that these projects are not correctly marked to market, China’s reported GDP will be overstated by that amount, as will its total wealth.

  • Does Cutting Taxes on the Wealthy Lead to Greater Growth?

    124
    June 26, 2017

    Policies that increase income inequality can in some cases lead to higher savings, higher investment, and greater long-term growth. But, in other cases, such policies either reduce growth and increase unemployment or force up the debt burden. What determines which of these outcomes takes place is whether or not savings are scarce and have constrained investment.

  • Guaranteeing Employees Against Losses

    14
    June 14, 2017

    A number of Chinese companies are trying to shore up their stock prices with programs that encourage employees to buy shares and ensuring them against losses. These programs have implications about leverage in China and about the way losses may be distributed within the banking system.

  • Will a Smaller Fiscal Deficit Cause the Trade Deficit to Decline or Unemployment to Rise?

    44
    May 22, 2017

    In a recent much-remarked-upon and very short op-ed, George P. Shultz and Martin Feldstein argue that the only way, or at least the best way, to cut the U.S. trade deficit is for Washington to cut the U.S. fiscal deficit. It is at least as likely, however, that cutting the fiscal deficit will simply increase debt or increase unemployment.

  • Why A Savings Glut Does Not Increase Savings

    40
    May 02, 2017

    Contrary to conventional thinking, a savings glut does not necessarily cause global savings to rise. A savings glut must result in an increase in productive investment, an increase in the debt burden, or an increase in unemployment.

  • No, First Quarter Numbers Don’t Mean Growth Has Bottomed Out

    37
    April 18, 2017

    As long as China has debt capacity, it can achieve any GDP growth rate Beijing requires, simply by allowing credit to expand. But debt levels are already high, and credit must expand at an accelerating pace to maintain growth. China is probably still a few years away from reaching its debt limits, but the more debt grows, the lower the country’s growth rate average will be over the long term.

  • Mexico’s Positive Impact on the U.S. Trade Balance

    24
    April 03, 2017

    Contrary to what one might first expect, Mexico’s role in global trade is actually beneficial to the United States. While restricting Mexican imports will reduce the American deficit with Mexico, it will increase the overall American deficit.

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The Carnegie
Podcast

President Trump has made it clear that he wants to reduce the U.S trade deficit with China. If he follows through on his campaign promises to impose tariffs, how would China react? Is a trade deficit with China necessarily a bad thing for the US? One of the most thought-provoking economists on China, Michael Pettis examines the trade relationship between Washington and Beijing, and explains how the Chinese growth model is facing unique challenges.

The Carnegie Podcast is an occasional series featuring commentary and analysis from Carnegie experts on critical global issues.

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