The United States, China and the New World Order
Table 9.1 summarizes the main themes explored in the book and the supporting material assembled. As the title indicates, the volume is concerned with the post-crisis world. Yet it has not been possible (or desirable) to avoid an analysis of the crisis and the ‘great recession’, if only because of the length of the shadow these events cast over the world economy today. Speaking in Hong Kong on 19 March 2012, IMF Deputy Director Zhu Min observed that if one adds together the household debts, the corporate debts, the financial sector debts and the government debts, the total debts amongst the developed countries vary between 300 per cent and 600 per cent of GDP. Dr Zhu went on to add that debts are ‘way too high’ and that in this respect the world economy is not in a classic financial crisis but a ‘deleveraging process’, moreover one in which economies are seeking to engineer growth while also deleveraging (Garvey, 2012). In the ‘great slump’ of the 1930s, the United States underwent ‘debt deflation’, in the words of Irving Fisher (1933), with the epicentre being the United States and its banking system. In the current situation, the epicentre of the crisis and downturn was again the United States and its banking system, but the pain of ‘too high’ debt has been borne across the developed world.
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