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Pondering Sullivan: Part I

On January 30, Jake Sullivan, US National Security Advisor, spoke on the future of US-China relations before a joint meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations and the China Forum-UCSD (University of California at San Diego). His speech was short but wide-ranging. He...

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Solow, Krugman, and China

The work of Nobel laureates Robert Solow and Paul Krugman offers great insight into China’s increasingly difficult economic problems. From my perspective, that problem hinges on Chinese productivity—the Holy Grail for any economy, capitalist or market-based socialist....

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Davos Has Lost Its Way

Ah, how I miss the pizzaz of Davos. Rolling out of a warm bed and watching the glitterati parade on CNBC is hardly the same as the bone chilling first-hand experience. I was a mainstay at the World Economic Forum for nearly fifteen years in the early 2000s. At the...

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Washington Compounds the Taiwan Problem

So much for the “San Francisco vision”—the feel-good spin that followed quickly on the heels of the 15 November summit between Presidents Biden and Xi. Once again, US politicians can’t resist the temptation to pour salt on China’s most open wound, Taiwan. Just as the...

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Priced for Perfection

We live in an imperfect world. Yet at the start of 2024, world financial markets were priced for perfection—discounting a complete reversal of the inflationary shock of 2021-22, a modest slowing of the real economy, and prescient central bank easing enabling the...

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Myth of the Unprecedented

I have been in the forecasting business for over fifty years. Over that period, I have heard the constant refrain that the world always seems to be in the midst of unprecedented changes. Equally strong hyperbolic corollaries frequently arise from that assertion:...

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The Name Game

The pundits never seem to tire of putting a label on the US-China relationship. This goes back to the early days of Nixon and Kissinger who dubbed the two nations “strategic partners.” Over time, the characterizations have spanned the gamut, from competitors and...

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Jet-lagged and Exhausted

It’s starting to feel like the old days. In the past three months, I have made two trips to China and two trips to Hong Kong, interspersed with a quick jaunt to Dubai. The purpose, in all cases, was to engage (i.e., speak), listen, and learn. Jet-lagged and exhausted,...

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Understanding China

This dispatch is coming from 35,000 feet over the Pacific, comfortably settled into my Cathay seat enroute to Hong Kong for the umpteenth time. This particular trip is actually a transit through Hong Kong on my way to Guangzhou, where I will be participating in the...

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On Thanksgiving

For me, Thanksgiving is always a time of appreciation—not just for family and food but also for the deeper issues afflicting all of us.  With the world in turmoil, that latter point is an especially tough task today. But a few minutes ago, the first tranche of...

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