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Financial markets

Guaranteeing Employees Against Losses

15 June 2017

MICHAEL PETTIS A number of Chinese companies are trying to shore up their stock prices with programs that encourage employees to buy shares and ensuring them against losses. These programs have implications about leverage in China and about the way losses may be distributed within the banking [read more]

A U.S. Retreat on Global Trade Will Not Lead to a Shift in Power

16 December 2016

MICHAEL PETTIS Rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership should not mean the rejection altogether by Washington of the very idea of a stable, rules-based trading system. The world is better off with such a regime. The very first on the list of executive actions that his administration would implement [read more]

Climate spirals

14 December 2016

Effectively communicating climate change is a challenge. The animated climate spiral is a different way to show the historically observed changes and resonates with a broad audience. The original version quickly went viral, being seen millions of times on facebook and twitter. A version was even [read more]

China: Choosing More Debt, More Unemployment, Or Transfers

20 November 2016

Michael Pettis China’s success will depend Beijing’s ability to centralize power, to begin to sell off government assets, to rein in credit growth, and to accept much lower GDP growth rates. SUMMARY I have often written in this blog and elsewhere about the three policy choices Beijing faces as [read more]

Criminality and Corporations

21 October 2016

Some corporations have policies which actively encourage law-breaking, Enron was one example. Rowan Bosworth-Davies’s report on the 33rd Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime held at Jesus College, Cambridge in September 2015 “The Limits of the Law, The role of compliance in the [read more]

The Problem of Financial Imbalances

19 October 2016

In addition to the weakness of self-equilibrating mechanisms within the global monetary system, there is an arguably even more serious problem with underlying financial, trade and debt imbalances. In the words of the BIS, “Historically high debt levels and signs of financial imbalances point to [read more]

Global Corporations and their relationship to States

11 October 2016

Students of international affairs, familiar with the Westphalian system, have been taught to see states as the paramount and only significant actors in the world, this is, however, not the case. Corporations, who operate globally, and with few restrictions, are also major players, in many cases [read more]

Extremes of wealth and income inequality

11 October 2016

The extremes of wealth and income inequality that have developed within the OECD countries, and particularly in the United States, since the early 1980s, have created unbalanced societies, which are by their nature more unstable than was the situation in the 1950s and 1960s. Arguably the mass of [read more]

Economic Imbalances

4 October 2016

The effects of serious domestic imbalances in large economies inevitably spill-over into the rest of the world. Pettis maintains that “Large persistent trade imbalances, …. are almost always caused by distortions in financial, industrial trade policies.”[1]  However, as with  Wile E [read more]
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