The Center of the Global Economy

Let’s start with a dot in the Atlantic Ocean, maybe 900 miles from Morocco. Then, follow that point, as it glides eastward toward Izmir, Turkey. According to London School of Economics Professor Danny Quah, you have just seen how the…

More Conspicuous (Coffee) Consumption

The same story. But now it is about coffee. Increasingly affluent, the Chinese have begun to drink more coffee (in addition to using more oil, eating more meat and buying more handbags). When talking about China, the International Coffee Organization…

From China to Iowa

We can travel very quickly from China to Iowa. In an excellent report from The Economist on feeding the world, you can see how an increasingly affluent Chinese urban consumer affects many of us. One example connects more Chinese meat…

CPI Concerns

Should we care if China has a 5.1% annual inflation rate?  A little. The International Herald Tribune tells us that just 1/4 to 2/5 of the price we pay in the U.S. for an imported item reflects the cost of…

Chinese Roads

Just 2 Chinese road stories today: Charged with evading $556,000 in tolls, a Chinese truck driver was sentenced to life in prison and a $300,000 fine. The Chinese provincial court that convicted him said that for 8 months, he used…

Solar Panel Comments

Sometimes there’s much more behind a solar panel than you would expect. Solar energy was in the news because the U.S. Congress, hoping to support U.S. production, has prohibited the Department of Defense from buying Chinese made solar technology. And…

Different Kinds of Capitalism

How much does Chinese capitalism resemble U.S. capitalism? In a New Yorker article, journalist John Cassidy suggests that China’s combination of authoritarianism and capitalism is somewhat similar to our own history. Reminding us of our government’s economic intervention during the…

Made in China?

True or false? Is Apple’s iPhone made in China? The answer is true and false. True. According to U.S. trade statistics, the iPhone is made in China. Consequently, the iPhone is recorded as a minus for us and a plus…

When Will China and India Catch Up?

In one wonderful 4 minute animated video, Swedish professor Hans Rosling shows us how, during 200 years, 200 countries became healthier and wealthier. The turning point for one group of nations is 1810 with the industrial revolution. The next turning…

Who Do We Owe?

Who do you think is the biggest holder of U.S. government debt? China? No. It is the U.S. government. Why? Please think about extra money the government might collect for Social Security. What does it do with those funds? Retaining…