Wall Street veteran, merchant banker, equities trader, economist, finance professor, entrepreneur — iconoclast — Michael Pettis is a unique individual living and working in China, at the heart of the world’s most exciting and vibrant economy.

Having learned firsthand how markets operate during his years on Wall Street, Michael has taken his knowledge and insight and applied them to the Asian financial markets as an expert analyst, commentator, and participant. His work and research focuses on monetary policy, trade policy, and the development of the banking and financial markets in China.

Michael is the author of The Volatility Machine: Emerging Economics and the Threat of Financial Collapse. The book is a classic examination of the causes of financial crises in emerging-market countries and is critical reading for investors, businesspeople and anyone else interested in understanding where the international economy is going.

His current book is Avoiding the Fall: China’s Economic Restructuring. He is also co-author of the recently published The Great Rebalancing: Trade, Conflict, and the Perilous Road Ahead for the World Economy.

Michael is a contributor to the Financial Times. He is published in Foreign Affairs,Foreign PolicyFar Eastern Economic Review, and The Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. Pettis writes an influential and widely-respected blog China Financial Markets.

“The worse things have looked for the world financial system, the more the world has heard from a Beijing-based financial expert named Michael Pettis, whose blog, China Financial Markets, is one of a handful I check for clues about what is happening in the Chinese economy.”
— James Fallows in The Atlantic

“Anyone who cares about China is going to check in to see what Mike is thinking,” says Hans Humes, president of New York hedge fund Greylock Capital Management, who worked with Pettis in the 1980s at Manufacturers Hanover Trust. “They would be crazy not to.”
— Business Week

An entrepreneur and music lover, Michael is a force in the Beijing indie-music scene as a club owner, talent manager representing local bands, and record label owner.


  • Professor, Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management
  • Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Member, Board of Directors, ABC-CA Fund Management Co., a Sino–French joint venture based in Shanghai
  • Former trader, Manufacturers Hanover
  • Former Managing Director-Principal heading the Latin American Capital Markets and the Liability Management groups, Bear Stearns
  • Former head, emerging markets trading team, Credit Suisse First Boston
  • Co-founder, D-22, an indie rock club in Beijing.
  • Music talent manager; record label owner
  • Member, Institute of Latin American Studies Advisory Board , and Dean’s Advisory Board, School of Public and International Affairs, Columbia University
  • MBA in Finance, Columbia University
  • MIA (Master of International Affairs) in Development Economics, Columbia University.


 Add your comment
  1. Dear Sir,


    This is Bingo from Grand China Publishing House which is a major publisher of nonfiction books on the area of Business & Management, Finance & Investment, Politics & Social Sciences, Parenting & Relationships. We have successfully operated many bestselling titles including Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner, What got you here won’t get you there by Marshall Goldsmith, True north by Bill George, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Counselor by Ted Sorensen, Liebe dich selbst und es ist egal, wen du heiratest by Eva-Maria Zurhorst,Screamfree Marriage by Hal Edward Runkel, Screamfree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel, etc.

    We are very interested in the work below

    Restructuring the Chinese Economy: Economic Distortions and the Next Decade of Chinese Growth

    Michael Pettis (Author)

    Paperback: 260 pages

    Publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (July 31, 2013)

    Language: English

    ISBN-10: 0870034073

    ISBN-13: 978-0870034077

    I’m writing to check if the simplified Chinese rights are still available, and it’d be very kind of you to share with us more details about the book.
    Expecting your reply,




    Grand China Publishing House

    4/F, West Tower, CDI Building, Yinhu Road, Shenzhen, China

    Tel: 0086-755-82056262-810

    Fax: 0086-755-25970309


    E-mail: [email protected]



  2. Dear Sir,

    I am a high school student from Spain who is really ineterested in the Chinese Economy. I am currently doing some research on my own on China’s current economic situation and I would love to interview an expert in the area about some risks China is facing.

    I admire your work and would be grateful if you could answer some questions by e-mail. I know you must be very busy so I completely understand if you don’t have the time.

    Thank you anyway!

    Kind regards,

    Alex Pont

  3. Dear Michael Pettis,

    last semester (Spring 2013) I had been an exchange student at GSM, PKU and could visit your course “Investment Banking”. After the last lesson we were talking and I asked whether you could provide me some books/paper recommendation since I would like to know more about the topic. We agreed that I will contact you via your blog. However I could not find an email address here so I try this way now. You have many students so I am not sure if you can remember me. I had been an exchange student from Germany and asked relatively much in your course. Maybe this helps 😉

    You recommended in your course the book “This Time is different” – indeed an interesting book. Furthermore you mentioned a paper you published quite some years ago about the funding of nations and suggested a mix of debt and equity … so far I could not find this article. I would be very delighted if you could send me this article with your other reading recommendations.

    Since my time in China is ending slowly and I need to think about a topic for my Bachelor thesis. I like to think in big pictures and discover connections about seemingly separated areas and your course raised my interest for investment banking and finance so I would like to ask if you see a possibility to write the Bachelor thesis about one of the mentioned topics in your course.

    Wish you a good semester with interested students!
    Your questioning exchange student
    Nicolai Mueller

  4. Dear Sir,

    I came across your blog and found the articles very informative.
    I would like to follow your blog, but I could not see the ‘Follow blog’ hence I am leaving this note here.

    Kind Regards,
    Somali Chakrabarti

  5. Hi Michael,

    We run a site that is under a massive reconstruction, launching March 2014, and we would like to feature your articles. Would you kindly send us your RSS feed to post?

    Many thanks,
    Ty Andros

  6. Dear Mr Pettis,

    I am an Australian high school student, who has been highly influenced by your works. I have read “The Volatility Machine” and “The Great Rebalancing” numerous times and most definitely owe a lot to your instruction in the way I think about finance and economics. As it stands, economics is one of my passions and hobbies outside of school and I recently wrote an article in my economics blog which you will find draws a lot from the methodology and models that you have used in your works. I would love you read it and tell me if you disagree. It can be found here:


    I’m also very jealous of your students who get to join your model PBoC seminars and hope to one day be able to participate in such panels and lessons when I go to university. Do you have any recommended readings for monetary economics or further analysis for BoP stuff that is not too maths heavy? (I only have a high-school level understanding of mathematics and it continues to limit me in my readings)

    Thanks in advance,
    Flint O’Neil

  7. Hey Michael, How cool it is when I run across long lost friends. It seems like more than a lifetime has past since we first hung out. I used to travel to Asia four or five time a year for business, but recently It’s tapered off to once or twice a year. Why don’t we spend a little time off line and get caught up. Feel free to email me and I’d be glad to give you my phone number. Hope all is well with you, my friend.
    Best regards,

  8. Hi Michael –
    I have become quite a fan of your blog, and really value the insights your provide on what for me has always been an area hard for me to really learn about. I noticed you mentioned you have a newsletter in your last post, and was wondering how I could get access to that? I apologize for asking through the comment sections, but was unable to find your email on your site.
    Thank you again for sharing this knowledge,

  9. Hi Michael,

    My company holds regular seminars in Beijing on topics such as investment, banking and general news on the markets.

    We are planning on holding an event at the bookworm at the end of August 2014 and the topic will be related to potential problems in the world and China which could result in the next crash. We are at the very early planning stages and I think we all agree the title needs to be a bit snappier.

    We are currently doing our research and your name keeps popping up as “the man in the know on this subject”. I am writing to you to see if this is something that you may wish to be involved in?

    Please drop me a message back if this is of interest to you.

    Best regards,

    William Frisby

  10. Dear Mr Pettis
    I would like to subscribe to your paid newsletter. I am a retiree managing my own portfolio. I have been following you regularly and greatly value your analysis and insight. Please let me know the details about the fees.

  11. Dear Mr. Pettis,

    I read “The Great Rebalancing” with great interest.

    It could be that the great European rebalancing can be achieved without a breakdown of the Euro. Warren Buffet had an idea about ten years ago on a mechanism that would transfer resources from consumers to exporters without the government intervening in FX.


    Essentially, government will mandate the purchase in the secondary market for every dollar of import, a coupon from the exporters. The exporters will receive this coupon for every dollar of exports. In the European peripheral countries that suffer from current account deficits, the value of the coupons will be substantial.

    The beauty of this mechanism, is that after the initial legislation, government does not need to get involved. The coupons will be the most liquid paper trading in these markets and the exchanges can form a self governing body to oversee the process and impose fines, if need be. It is a self adjusting mechanism with the value of the coupons close to zero if balance is achieved. The adjustment time will be rapid. Countries will not have to leave the Euro. Governments will not have to impose capital restrictions.

    Obviously, it is a high hurdle for the periphery to implement such a measure because Germans will not allow it. However, if the writing is on the wall that the Euro will breakup, Germans may go with it.

    Periphery households may be agreeable as well because household wealth will not collapse along with an exit from the Euro.

    It may be an interesting topic for your students to research. i.e. the legality of such a system within the Euro and the implementation.


  12. On page 31, lines 27 and 28, of The Great Rebalancing, should the text read, “The additional income caused by an increase in [ delete un]employment will be greater [in proportion to] the reduction in real income caused by the devaluation.” ?

  13. Giday Michael

    I just read the article in the New Zealand Herald re you coming to New Zealand. ( “The Clean” ) Enjoy New Zealand.

    Comment / Question

    Robotic manufacturing equals unemployment, and it’s not if, when this dominates the manufacturing landscape the fall out must be social economic devastation, or have I read this wrong? What I fail to understand : who is the prime mass market.

    I would be interested in your thoughts on this topic.

  14. Dear Sir,

    I was hoping you’d agree to shed some light on the consequences of China’s monetary response, in the event of continued (and even increased) foreign investment outflows. Specifically:

    Could the RMB drop substantially? And would a sufficient drop force China to react by selling foreign exchange reserves and/or draining RMB from the system?

    It seems to me that continued foreign investment outflows could quickly cause substantial currency depreciation (undermining China’s rebalancing task and making life harder for the rest of the world), or else force China into fighting such depreciation by selling large portions of its holdings in foreign assets/securities, thus potentially upsetting the markets for those foreign assets/securities (especially where China is a highly important source of demand) and/or draining liquidity from its own system at a drastically inappropriate time.

    I have the utmost respect for your opinion on these issues, and would be very grateful for any response.

    I know you have written much about the hard landing vs. soft landing question, but I wonder whether markets are mispricing the effects of foreign investment outflows, regardless of whether China succeeds in rebalancing its economy toward household consumption in the medium term.

  15. Hi Michael,

    Any comments on the 1929 equivalent crash that we are seeing now. Will we have the great depression in China and the world? Would love to hear your thoughts on this.


  16. Money is a failed system operating on less than 1%, ( 1% population owns 99% wealth, that in it’s self lays down the case of failure). What is happening in Greece is constructed and being executed to an agenda. Global control not through war but through theft of assets on a nation scale, no nation is free of this international scam called the New World Order. Money has always been bound to war because war is money, for the rich to exist, poverty must exist, and the seeds of war is always found in disparity. Democracy has fallen to Plutocracy the cycle begins.

  17. Dear Sir,

    I work for a non-profit that makes social impact loans in Africa. May I subscribe to your newsletter for clients?

    PS- I hope to see some commentary regarding Greece and the Euro soon; especially your contention that far left and far right parties are likely to gain as the Euro continues to ‘punish’ youth in the peripheral economies.

  18. Mr.Pettis, In 2012, you wrote a very interesting article “By 2015, commodity prices will have collapsed”.
    Now that commodity prices have collapsed, and we have reached 2015, would you like to update us on where you see hard commodity prices going from here?
    Do you think that in an environment of moderate China GDP growth of 4/5%, supply/demand will ever re-balance?
    Thank you in advance.

  19. Dear Mr. Pettis,

    your feed (http://blog.mpettis.com/feed/) contains XML errors.
    See line 494, column 402:

    4. And third, of course, is that the discount rate must include a premium for “gapping risk”, by which I mean the risk of an unexpected and sharp drop. If investors believe that a developing country like China is more prone to downward shocks than an advanced country like the US, or if investors believe that China’s autocratic political system is more likely to break down than US democracy, or if investors think a more centralized economic system with a few very large players that excercise disproportionate control, like in China, is more vulnerable to “systems breakdown” then the more decentralized US economy (and there are many other kinds of gapping that can occur), then even if none of these have happened in the past, investors must raise their discount rates anyway — unexpected events (“gapping”) are, of course, unexpected, but some systems seem more prone to unexpected events than others, and so they have greater gapping risk, and this should be priced in. Investors might interpret the significant capital flight from China, and perhaps more importantly the growing flow of wealthy and educated Chinese households from China to the US, as indications that well-informed Chinese households assume that gapping risk is much higher in China than in the US, and may be rising.

  20. Dr. Pettis;

    Let’s have some comments on the official start of the Global Currency Devaluation war, now that a fixed currency regime system (ahem) has joined in on the competitive devaluation game regardless of political perceptions. Global disinflation to stay?

  21. Hello Mr. Pettis, I recently listened to your NPR interview with Anthony Kuhn about your musical projects. I am an American ex-pat musician living and working in China and have a great interest in finding new cutting edge Chinese musicians and songwriters that are out of the current derivative, pop music mold. Any help you could provide in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

  22. Hey So I’m going to Beijing next year. I don’t know if you’ll have time for this question but I love the Beijing Indie scene! Any up and coming bands I should be listening to?

  23. Dear Professor Pettis,

    I am a Johns Hopkins undergraduate student and a research assistant of Professor Steve Hanke. I am currently researching about economists opinions on RMB policy and central bank system in mainland China. I have read your blog post “Do markets determine the value of RMB” and “The titillating and terrifying collapse of the dollar”, and I think your articles are very inspiring. Since you are one of the most scholarly economists who have published articles and books about RMB, your help to my research is extremely valuable. It would be great if you can reply my email. I understand that you are very busy, but it would be very helpful for my research paper, and your answers would be greatly valued. In addition, I am currently staying in Beijing for the summer and I would definitely love to interview you in person if possible.

    Thank you very much and I would really appreciate your help. Again, I would really appreciated to interview you in person, and please feel free to email me.

    Ginny Yang

  24. Every time I try to pull up Professor Pettis blog it is blocked with warning of a Trojandownloader.fakejQuery.
    Does anyone else have this problem?
    I use ESET on my computer.

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