"Through the quarter-century in which China has been opening to world trade, Chinese leaders have deliberately held down living standards for their own people and propped them up in the United States. This is the real meaning of the vast trade surplus—$1.4 trillion and counting, going up by about $1 billion per day—that the Chinese government has mostly parked in U.S. Treasury notes. In effect, every person in the (rich) United States has over the past 10 years or so borrowed about $4,000 from someone in the (poor) People’s Republic of China." James Fallows on how the trade deficit between China and America works and what it means for the future.
Remember Long Term Capital Management? The hedge fund whose collapse threatened “a systemic crisis in the world financial system”? Most people in the investment industry claim that they have learned the lessons of LTCM, but what about the rise of synthetic CDOs, “complex structures that employ wads of credit derivatives to build leverage on top of leverage-what some skeptics call "imaginary" structures?" Investments in these financial instruments has exploded from under 1 trillion USD in 2001 to more than 5 trillion at the end of last year. Are problems with synthetic CDOs behind the recent rumors of "hedge fund frailty?" largely stolen from The Agonist