Tag: recession

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‘The China Question’ Revisited

In March 2009, I asked “The China Question,” highlighting shocking parallels between the 1920s and `00s (the “Noughties”). Both decades similarly started off and ended, with boom and bust. Other parallels show how quickly an empire collapses—the Brits during early last century and quite possibly the yanks during this decade.

I resurface the post in context of incessant chatter about China’s increasing global economic dominance and America’s growing mountain of debt. Additionally, the United States is close to entering a double-dip recession, if it’s not there already. Recent economic indicators are disconcerting. China has largely exited the global recession fairly unscathed, while the United States is an economy divided: Public companies are reporting record profits, while the American public struggles to relieve record debt.

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Recession and the Recovery Problem

I sit outside the auto repair shop waiting for the brake light switch on my aging Toyota Corolla to be fixed. I type on the Nokia N97 smartphonne, on which I also have been reading news. I had blogged that the N97 would get a second chance. The iPhone 3GS is on ice, so to speak. But my N97 experience is topic for another post.

My interest here is the news I was reading in the New York Times about an analyst report suggesting that the economy is starting to recover. It’s not. But first, the Times asserts: “A measure of supplier deliveries, rising stock prices, an increase in consumer expectations, a jump in building permits and the ‘interest rate spread’ bolstered the index in August.”

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Reich’s Right: No Economic Recovery in Sight

U Cal Berkley prof Robert Reich astutely and concisely sums up the prospects for economic revival in commentary “When Will the Recovery Begin? Never.” I saw it today at Salon, but Robert posted to his blog on July 9.

Other economic observers who talk about a recovery underway go oddly together with reality. There is no recovery now, and there isn’t going to be one in the foreseeable future. 

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The China Question

Is the American era over? I begin to wonder if the answer is yes. History is the reason. In 1914, the British Empire spanned the globe, and London was the financial capitol (eh, capital would work, too) of the world. Four years later, England’s fortunes had changed. The country had shifted much of its manufacturing production to the war and spent quite a bit of its capital supporting European allies. Meanwhile, the United States picked up manufacturing slack and monetary might. Could America’s fortunes change so quickly?