Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2010 World Economic Forum and China

A good article by Gideon Rachman.

.... Mr Summers was careful to say that the US remains committed to open trade and can gain from globalisation. But he also pointed out that Paul Samuelson, a famous economist (and uncle of Mr Summers), had argued that the case for free trade might not apply when countries were trading with nations that were pursuing mercantilist policies. The reference to China did not need to be spelled out.....

.....With the Americans and the Europeans experiencing a crisis of confidence, Davos man was keen to learn from China this year. American businessmen could be heard ruefully contrasting their own "dysfunctional" political system and flaky politicians with China's decisive and meritocratic leadership. China was also widely held up as an example of the virtues of "state capitalism" - in which government plays a bigger role in guiding the economy than has been fashionable in recent years. Given that China's economic take-off started when the state allowed a greater role for private enterprise, it seems odd to attribute the country's success to "state capitalism". But there is little doubt that bigger government was one of the big ideas at this year's World Economic Forum.....

Also, Paul Krugman's Analysis of China Currency Policy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hayek vs Keynes

A funny video.

In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the economic crisis. Before the conference begins, and at the insistence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there's a "boom and bust" cycle in modern economies and good reason to fear it.

China Battles the Information Barbarians

Read this good article from WSJ.

China often views the ideas of foreigners, from missionaries in the 17th century to 21st-century Internet entrepreneurs, as subversive imports. The tumultuous history behind the clash with Google.


All Chinese schoolchildren are indoctrinated with the idea that China was humiliated for centuries by foreign powers, and that support of the Communist state is the only way for China to regain its greatness and never be humiliated again.


A very similar debate is going on today between those who believe that applying Western notions of human rights and democracy to China is counterproductive. Many a politician, businessman or media tycoon has argued that adapting to special Chinese conditions is surely more effective if one wishes to have any influence in China. The fact that this argument is usually self-serving does not make it necessarily wrong, but so far it has certainly not been proven right.
Chinese human rights have not been noticeably advanced because of foreign
compromises with Chinese illiberalism.