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July 19, 2009 7:43 PM   Subscribe

The story of stuff and how it's currently being played out between the political economies of China and the US (G2 'Chimerica') in an illuminating Fallows vs. Ferguson cage match.

+ BONUS SAGAN
posted by kliuless (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you see or read the full version, you will note that an absolutely fundamental premise in the argument (Ferguson's) for the inevitable collision of US and Chinese interests is that the Chinese leadership has recently lost all faith in the U.S. economy and the U.S. dollar and is determined to move away from the dollar as an international currency.

The problem with this line of thinking is that the dollar kept on dropping in value all through out the bush years and China kept on gobbling up dollars. If they were worried about their investments losing value, they would have bought something else. But they kept on buying dollars. Indeed, their dollars are worth more now then before the financial collapse.

So what was their reason for buying dollars at the time, and what in that equation has changed? Most likely, they were buying dollars to keep their currency peg, which they needed to keep their local industry growing by selling to the U.S.
posted by delmoi at 8:49 PM on July 19, 2009


That "cage match" link is *really* interesting television coming from my computer. Thank you, kliuless. It's the kind of thoughtful, informed, extended, pointed discussion I almost never see. I stopped at 49 minutes when they go to audience questions, but it was time very well spent - the moderator was actually decent. The bit delmoi objects to is just a tiny part of Ferguson's argument, which I find just slightly more convincing than Fallows' less sexy "it's not as awful as that guy's saying" position, but Fallows does hold his own pretty well.

Also, the bit after 46:00 where Ferguson says watching the Iranian election protest get suddenly overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson was "one of the most depressing things I have ever experienced." That was good.

Thanks again, kliuless. Great post.
posted by mediareport at 7:02 AM on July 20, 2009


By "tiny part" I mean in terms of time spent...
posted by mediareport at 7:05 AM on July 20, 2009


Poorly Made in China
China's evolving external wealth and rising creditor position
posted by kliuless at 6:32 PM on July 20, 2009


oh hey, fwiw, fallows also links to a few other aspen sessions now online that look pretty interesting...

In Conversation with Frank Gehry - "Fifty-nine and a half minutes of brilliance, thirty seconds of hauteur" [cf. Sketches of Frank Gehry]

Feeding the World's Billions - "This is the one in which (a) Monsanto's CEO, Hugh Grant, answers questions arising from the Robert Kenner movie Food Inc, and (b) more new information, per minute, appears than in other sessions I have seen for a long time."

Re-Greening the Emerald Planet - "Semi-encouraging climate-change session"
posted by kliuless at 6:48 PM on July 20, 2009


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