Puzzles, Paradoxes, Controversies, and the Global Economy

Puzzles, Paradoxes, Controversies, and the Global Economy

Author: Charles Wolf Jr.
ISBN: 978-0-8179-1855-2
Publication Date: 6/1/2015

In this wide-ranging collection of essays first published between 2007 and 2014, Charles Wolf Jr. shares his insights on the world’s economies, including those of China, the United States, Japan, Korea, India, and others. First appearing in such periodicals as in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Weekly Standard, among others, these chapters take on a range of questions about the global economy.

Wolf discusses the paradoxes and puzzles within China’s political economy and in its interactions with the United States. He analyzes the shortcomings of Keynesian economics as a response to the 2008 recession, as well as the weaknesses of policies and actions inferred from the theory, and compares those weaknesses with those of austerity policies intended to limit government spending and indebtedness. He also offers his views on economic inequality and where its principal sources may truly lay, China’s currency and the continuing controversy about whether and when it may become a major international reserve currency, and many more insights on key economic issues affecting the global economy.

Bringing these essays together for the first time in a single volume, including two essays not yet published elsewhere (one dealing with the recovery’s puzzles, the other with the laudable but not necessarily best policies resulting from bipartisanship), this book enables the reader to absorb the author’s expert perspective during the years in a collection in which the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Each chapter includes a brief “postaudit” in which the author attempts to grade how well or ill the essay seems in retrospect.

Charles Wolf Jr. is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He holds the distinguished chair in international economics at the RAND Corporation and is a professor of policy analysis in the Pardee RAND and Graduate School.

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Charles Wolf, Jr.

Charles Wolf Jr. is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is also a senior economic adviser and corporate fellow in international economics at the RAND Corporation.continued

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Foreword by Newton N. Minow      xi
Preface      xiii
Acknowledgements      xvii

1. The Paradoxes of China     3
2. China's Expanding Role in Global Merger-and-Acquisition Markets: Summary (coauthored with Brian G. Chow, Gregory S. Jones, and Scott Harold)      9
3. China's Next Buying Spree: Foreign Companies      21
4. China's Foreign Aid and Government-Sponsored Investment Activities: Scale, Content, Destinations, and Implications: Summary (coauthored with Xiao Wang and Eric Warner)      25
5. The Strategy behind China's Aid Expansion      33
6. A Truly Great Leap Forward      37
7. A Smarter Approach to the Yuan      41
8. Our Misplaced Yuan Worries      57
9. Chinese Fire Drill      61
10. A Liberated Yuan Is Likely to Fall      65
11. Developmental Corruption in China: Charles Wolf Jr. on Double Paradox: Rapid Growth and Rising Corruption in China by Andrew Wedeman      69

12. Where Keynes Went Wrong: What if Governent Spending Depresses instead of Stimulates?      81
13. Pro-growth Austerity: Tightening the Government's Belt Doesn't Have to Squeeze the Economy      87
14. Explaining the Recovery's Puzzles      91
15. The Fed and Inequality: Zero Interest Rates Have Side Effects      95
16. Income Inequality: Farsighted Leadership in a Shortsighted World (coauthored with John Godges)      101
17. One Policy Change, Please      105
18. Tax the Nonprofits: A Modest Proposal      107
19. The Facts about American "Decline"      113
20. An American Lost Decade?      117
21. What Are the Chances the United States Becomes Energy Independent?      119
22. The Geopolitics of US Energy Independence      121

23. All Inequality Is Not Equal (coauthored with Arthur C. Brooks)      127
24. The Inequality Debate: The United States versus China      133
25. A Few Low Notes Won't Spoil China-US Harmony      139
26. Bipartisanship Doesn't Help Fix Exchange Rates      143

27. The Asian Century: Reality or Hype?      151
28. Japan's Sun May Be Rising: A Different Cure for Economic Stagnation      155
29. China and India, 2025: A Macroeconomic Assessment (coauthored with Alisher Akhmedjonov)      161
30. Modernizing the North Korean System: Objectives, Method, and Application: Summary (coauthored with Norman D. Levin)      191
31. The Cost of Reuniting Korea      201

32. Austerity and Stimulus - Two Misfires      207
33. How Might bin Laden's Demise Affect Business?      211
34. Enhancement by englargement: The Proliferation Security Iniative: Summary (coauthored with Brian G. chow and Gregory S. Jones)      215
35. Asia's Nonproliferation Laggards: China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia      225
36. Natural Disasters      229
37. The Economist's Pantheon: Charles Wolf Jr. on Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar      231

About the Author      241
Index      243

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