What Do We Owe to China?

china-us.jpgI’ve mentioned to James a number of times that we really need to be talking more about sovereign wealth funds and, lo! and behold, James Fallow touches upon that very subject in his recent article in the Atlantic Monthly, The $1.4 Trillion Question (hat tip: Mark Safranski). In the article Fallows does an excellent job of laying out the complex monetary and economic dance going on between China and the United States. He also states the dangers well:

“China’s lopsided growth—ahead in exports, behind in schooling, the environment, and everything else—makes the country socially less stable as it grows richer. Meanwhile, its expansion disrupts industries and provokes tensions in the rest of the world. The billions of dollars China pumps into the United States each week strangely seem to make it harder rather than easier for Americans to face their own structural problems. One day, something snaps. Suppose the CIC makes another bad bet—not another Blackstone but another WorldCom, with billions of dollars of Chinese people’s assets irretrievably wiped out. They will need someone to blame, and Americans, for their part, are already primed to blame China back.”

I’ve put additional thoughts of my own here.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. Christopher says:

    It’s called capitalism, Dave. Americans freely practice it (despite liberals) and the Chinese have a sort of warped, dictatorship-driven mob-boss style of it. American capitalists know there are risks, and if it all come crashing down, why is it that we need someone to blame? Our economy will adjust to such a catastrophe as we adjust to any disruption. China will be bad off, however. In fact, it will probably mean even cheaper labor for our manufacturing needs. And so it goes…

  2. DL says:

    On China “…makes the country socially less stable as it grows richer.”

    One could arguably make the same claim about our own nation. Has wealth improved our nation since WWII or destroyed its unity and stability?