We’re all in this together

Zachary Karabell writes about China’s ever growing importance, especially now, with our stumbles and its $2 trillion in reserves.

China’s actions could also have direct — and positive — effects on the U.S. economy. An investment arm of the Chinese government is now deep in talks to buy up parts of AIG. China is already the primary source of growth for many U.S. companies, including ones like Caterpillar that make things in the U.S. and export them to China. As the developed world sags, China is becoming even more important to the global system.

China also needs a vibrant U.S. (and Europe). Beijing will likely take action to prevent a collapse by continuing to purchase U.S. Treasuries. We may not like the fact that China is our creditor, but having no creditor would be a good deal worse.

Even more important than its reserves, though, are the deeper sources of its economic strength — its decentralized entrepreneurial economy.

Update: In his final international address, President Bush pushed continued free trade with China. Good for him. But if only his administration had realized that its weak-dollar policy was effective protectionism, which boomeranged — as it always does. The policy inflated the home, oil, and credit bubbles, which of course led to our present crash.

Comments are closed.