The Utterly Dysfunctional Belt and Road

Image Source It is not luxury and pomp that make a king a king. It is when his orders are never disobeyed that he has entered a title such as yours. β€”Mudrarakshasa 3.99 [c. 300 AD] The always excellent Stella Zhang directed me to a newish paper by political scientists Lee Jones and Zeng Jinhan […]

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Notes From All Over (8/1/14): Tech Giants, Asian Media, and Japanese History

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING “The State of Consumer Technology at the End of 2014“Ben Thompson, Stratechery (16 December 2014). One of the defining characteristics of the three major epochs of consumer computing – PC, Internet, and mobile – is that they have been largely complementary: we didn’t […]

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Can China Liberalize in Time? Keep Your Eyes on Shandong

Shandong is the red one.  Map by Uwe Dedering. Wikimedia. Things are looking up for President Xi Jinping. Arthur Groeber sums things up well in a challenge he recently gave China File readers: “Name one world leader with a better record.” [1] Mr. Groeber has a point. All those who predicted that the Hong Kong […]

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Notes From all Over (14/09/14): China’s Economy, Samurai, and Adam Tooze’s Take on Europe

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING  “What Does a “Good” Adjustment Look Like?“ Michael Pettis, China’s Financial Markets (1 September 2014). This essay is long but excellent. It is also the best thing I have read about the Chinese economy in months. Two quotes to give readers the flavor of […]

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Passages I Highlighted in My Copy of “Red Capitalism”

Carl Walter and Fraser Howie’s Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundations of China’s Extraordinary Rise is a hard book to review. It follows the style of the fox more than the hedgehog; with so many useful figures, facts, and insightful asides between its covers it is impossible to reduce the book to a summary of […]

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The Next 40 Years in Twelve Hundred Words

Info-graphic taken from Peter Turchin, “The Double-Helix of Inequality and Well-Being,” Social Evolution Forum (8 February 2013) Recently in a discussion at a different venue I wrote the following: I am extremely pessimistic about the near term (2015-2035) future of both of the countries I care most about and follow most closely, but very optimistic […]

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Notes From All Over (22/06/14): Rise of the West, Island Disputes, & Too Much Stuff About China

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit.TOP BILLING“The Little Divergence“‘Pseuderoerasmus,’ Pseudoarasmus (12 June 2014) In this blogpost I will argue the following : While very few economic historians now dispute that East Asia had lower living standards than Europe well before 1800, …there is no agreement on whether European economies prior to 1800 were β€œmodern” […]

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Notes From All Over (3/02/2014): Ghosts, Empire, and Tribal Honor

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING “‘The standard of living in ancient societies: a comparison between the Han Empire, the Roman Empire, and Babylonia“ Bas van Leeuwen, Reinhard Pirgruber, and Jieli van Leeuwen-Li. Working Papers 50, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History. The global and long-term development of […]

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“Redefining the basic nature of the American polity”

 Patrick Deneen has written a column for The American Conservative that is worth reading. In two paragraphs near the end he captures America’s political malaise; in one sentence (which I have bolded ) he nails the only viable solution to her woes: We are, of course, all prone to explain contemporary debates in terms of […]

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Notes From All Over (August 2013) Wars, Graphs, and Biospheres

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING “How To Lose a War: A Primer“Mark Safranski. Zenpundit.com. 28 July 2013. Since Pakistan is now attempting to get its victory over the United States in Afghanistan formally ratified, now seemed to be a good time to reflect on the performance of American […]

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