Thursday, February 05, 2009

I have always enjoyed reading R. T. Murphy's work, even if I occasionally have to do lot of reading and re-reading to understand it well. This, from his article Asia, and the Meltdown of American Finance at Japan Focus is very clear:

The days of export-led growth for Asia are over (at least exports outside the region – intra-regional trade is another matter provided importers in the region can be found to equal exporters – and that the final demand is in Asia; i.e., exports of parts and supplies from one Asian country to another for finished products headed for the U.S. market don’t count). As the Koreans and Thais can easily testify given their own recent traumas, the United States cannot recover from the mess it is in without more savings – another way of saying less consumption. That in turn means the U.S. after 40 years of profligacy will have to export more than it imports. For this to happen, much of the production capacity that has been steadily transferred to Asia over the last fifty years will have to be repatriated back to the United States so that Americans will have enough factories again in which to go to work to pay off the debts that their politicians and bankers so recklessly ran up. Otherwise, all those dollars Asia holds will quickly be worth very little. What, after all, is a dollar other than a claim on the output of an American? ...

...How is Asia going to wean itself from its dependence on the U.S. market? One lesson the world may finally learn from this crisis is that genuine, long-term prosperity comes not from continuously shoveling money at distant foreigners so they can keep buying your stuff ...

This seems almost intuitively right. If so, wonder what is being done to prepare for this new world? As Aso lifts Japan to be the first nation out of the global recession, I am sure he has a plan.

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