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Unbalanced
Cover of Unbalanced
Unbalanced
The Codependency of America and China
Borrow Borrow Borrow

An original and insightful analysis of the most important economic relationship in the world
The Chinese and U.S. economies have been locked in an uncomfortable embrace since the late 1970s. Although the relationship initially arose out of mutual benefits, in recent years it has taken on the trappings of an unstable codependence, with the two largest economies in the world losing their sense of self, increasing the risk of their turning on one another in a destructive fashion.

In Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China Stephen Roach, senior fellow at Yale University and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, lays bare the pitfalls of the current China-U.S. economic relationship. He highlights the conflicts at the center of current tensions, including disputes over trade policies and intellectual property rights, sharp contrasts in leadership styles, the role of the Internet, the recent dispute over cyberhacking, and more.

A firsthand witness to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, Roach likely knows more about the U.S.-China economic relationship than any other Westerner. Here he discusses: 

  • Why America saving too little and China saving too much creates mounting problems for both
  • How China is planning to re-boot its economic growth model by moving from an external export-led model to one of internal consumerism with a new focus on service industries
  • How America, shows a disturbing lack of strategy, preferring a short-term reactive approach over a more coherent Chinese-style planning framework
  • The way out: what America could do to turn its own economic fate around and position itself for a healthy economic and political relationship with China
  •  In the wake of the 2008 crisis, both unbalanced economies face urgent and mutually beneficial rebalancings. Unbalanced concludes with a recipe for resolving the escalating tensions of codependence. Roach argues that the Next China offers much for the Next America—and vice versa.

    An original and insightful analysis of the most important economic relationship in the world
    The Chinese and U.S. economies have been locked in an uncomfortable embrace since the late 1970s. Although the relationship initially arose out of mutual benefits, in recent years it has taken on the trappings of an unstable codependence, with the two largest economies in the world losing their sense of self, increasing the risk of their turning on one another in a destructive fashion.

    In Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China Stephen Roach, senior fellow at Yale University and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, lays bare the pitfalls of the current China-U.S. economic relationship. He highlights the conflicts at the center of current tensions, including disputes over trade policies and intellectual property rights, sharp contrasts in leadership styles, the role of the Internet, the recent dispute over cyberhacking, and more.

    A firsthand witness to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, Roach likely knows more about the U.S.-China economic relationship than any other Westerner. Here he discusses: 

  • Why America saving too little and China saving too much creates mounting problems for both
  • How China is planning to re-boot its economic growth model by moving from an external export-led model to one of internal consumerism with a new focus on service industries
  • How America, shows a disturbing lack of strategy, preferring a short-term reactive approach over a more coherent Chinese-style planning framework
  • The way out: what America could do to turn its own economic fate around and position itself for a healthy economic and political relationship with China
  •  In the wake of the 2008 crisis, both unbalanced economies face urgent and mutually beneficial rebalancings. Unbalanced concludes with a recipe for resolving the escalating tensions of codependence. Roach argues that the Next China offers much for the Next America—and vice versa.

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    About the Author-
    • Stephen Roach is senior fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and School of Management, Yale University, and the former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia. He lives in New Canaan, CT.

    Reviews-
    • Kirkus

      December 15, 2013
      Eye-opening look at a condition that wanders from the boardroom to the psychiatrist's couch: financial codependency, which enables the worst qualities of two powerful economies. It's no secret that much of America's consumer culture is predicated on the availability of cheap goods from China. Neither is it a secret that China has grown wealthy in large measure because Americans are willing to go into debt to buy such cheap things. The news that Roach, former chairman and chief economist of Morgan Stanley Asia, brings in this book is how deep that relationship extends and how quickly it has enriched one nation and impoverished another. Meanwhile, the United States keeps spending, and China keeps saving, both in ways that endanger the health of their domestic economies. The solution is obvious: Roach proposes a "rebalancing prescription...grounded in the economic imperatives facing both nations--pro-consumption in the case of China, and pro-savings in the case of the United States." Obvious, yes--but possible? Perhaps not, given how deeply ingrained the habit of saving is in Chinese households and given that "personal consumption is the essence of the American Dream," one that Americans don't like to be told is detrimental in excess. Roach's arguments are complex and data-packed, and it helps to have some grounding in economics in order to appreciate such matters as how Ben Bernanke, in his role as chairman of the Federal Reserve, helped keep the U.S. economy afloat during the crisis of 2007-2009 ("Bernanke...laid out a menu of unconventional choices that a zero-bound-constrained central bank might also consider as part of a quantitative stimulus package"). Even without such background, readers will not mistake the urgency with which Roach approaches his subject--which promises economic meltdown if our bad habits are not lessened. Full of implication, well-written and of much interest, especially to fiscal policy wonks.

      COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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