What do bank share prices tell us about growth?

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Tom Holland had an interesting piece in the South China Morning Post three weeks ago in which he discusses the low valuations of Chinese banks. About a decade ago, if I remember correctly, Chinese banks were trading between three and four times book. Those valuations have dropped considerably since then: On Monday, the weighted average […]

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The impact of reform on growth

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I got a lot of feedback from my January 5 blog entry because of my argument that the implementation of the reforms proposed in the Third Plenum all but guarantees that growth rates in China will slow down. For that reason I thought it might make sense for me to explain a little more carefully […]

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Monetary policy under financial repression

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Following Paul Krugman’s lead I guess I can refer to this post as being “wonkish”. Much of it is based on my recent book Avoiding the Fall (Carnegie Endowment, September 2013). In order to understand much of what is happening in China I believe it is crucially important to understand how financial systems operate under conditions […]

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The politics of adjustment

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The past two years have seen a surprising amount of turmoil at the highest levels of the Chinese political establishment. We have seen political alliances re-shuffled, powerful business and political leaders arrested, factional disputes magnified, and an explosion of rumors of more to come. After twenty years of what seemed, on the surface at least, […]

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When are markets “rational”?

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Last month’s award of the Nobel Price in economics set off a great deal of chortling because one of the three recipients, Eugene Fama, received the award for saying that markets are efficient at capital allocation and another, Robert Schiller, received the award for saying they are not. Typical is this response by John Kay: […]

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Will debt derail Abenomics?

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It seems to me that one of the automatic, if not always intended, consequences of Abenomics is to force up Japan’s current account surplus, and in fact to force it up substantially. This will have to do at least in part with deciding how to manage the country’s enormous government debt burden, which easily exceeds […]

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