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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

USA-China: Who's Talking Nonsense


Noah Millman

I’m trying to understand, per this post by Matt Yglesias, why when China asks us to reduce our indebtedness that reflects “confusion” on their part (since their currency policy depends on there being lots of American debt to purchase) while when we ask China to reduce their trade surplus we’re just being clear and honest (even though we’re dependent on Chinese debt purchases to keep long-term rates as low as they are).

It seems to me both countries are dependent on a policy that has risks and unpleasant side effects for both countries. I happen to think the short-term costs are more serious for the Chinese while the long-term risks are new serious for us – but it’s pretty clear that both countries manifest a high degree of policy confusion, at least with respect to our public statements. I see no reason to single out the Chinese for talking “nonsense.”

 

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