Deficits and the Chinese Challenge
The dollar's sharp drop over the past few weeks has led to considerable anxiety about the status of the United States as the dominant force in the global economy. Closely related to this fear is constant worry about the rise of China and the evermore complicated relationship between Beijing and Washington.
China's Growth Is Real
On Oct. 22, China released its official data for economic growth, which showed the economy expanding at a torrid rate of 8.9% in the third quarter. That activity was fueled largely by massive construction and infrastructure projects initiated by Beijing and regional authorities, as well as by a sharp rebound in exports. Unlike the stimulus package in the U.S., which has been doled out in dribs and drabs, China put its $600 billion package to work almost immediately and backed that up with more than $1 trillion in loans. American banks, in contrast, have been hoarding deposits and loath to loan.
What about the China effect?
Black Mondays, Terrible Tuesdays, Wicked Wednesdays -- you get the drift. Over the past decades, October has given birth to some of the worst moments in stock market history. With the markets having been on their recent run -- a run that few expected so soon or to last so long -- there is a sense of trepidation in the proverbial air.