China

For most of my life in macroeconomics, I have tended to be very dismissive of anecdotes from the world of business. They run the risk of exaggerating the importance of specific experiences in a small number of companies, and behavioural finance warns us that human beings tend to over-estimate the significance of events which happen directly to them, rather than to others. Read more

Martin Wolf argues in his column this morning that the world’s two superpowers are in conflict over the dollar/yuan exchange rate, and that “when such elephants fight, bystanders are likely to be trampled”. Yet in preparations for the G20 summit in Korea in November, there is no sign that any of the other participating countries – especially the Europeans – want to join the US in talking specifically about the question of yuan overvaluation. According to reports, the US is likely to be “a posse of one” on this question. Read more

There are two massive fixed exchange rate blocks operating in the world economy today, and both of them are facing severe strains and conflicts.  Read more

The August economic data for China were more eagerly awaited than usual, because there had been marked signs of a slow-down in the industrial sector during the spring and summer months. Read more

The financial markets have been acting very serenely in the face of continuing evidence that the US economy is slowing markedly during the third quarter. Read more