Saturday, 8 September 2012

In Search of China

A vessel of History
In the nature of things looking back at the Great Moderation and Post-Bretton Woods Monetary policy, one cannot help think that interests in prolonging the profligate Great Gatsby Years went on for far too long. This is one of the themes in an overarching paper by a sage of current economic thinking, William White, who predicted the Financial Crisis in 2003 in an infamous confrontation with the then Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan. Yet for all its risk-free nature, American Economic policy has determined the structure of the global economy since WWII. Rightly, it had the appropriate institutions to conduct prudent economic planning from, whereas 21st-century Chinese economic policy, which is likely to produce the World in 2050, is as opaque as it comes.

For the coming Chinese politburo, to be decided for, at least, the next ten years, a lot rests on their economic decisions; in particular, the liberalisation of the financial system, the full convertibility of the Yuan, and the role of the People's Bank of China as an independent and responsive Central Bank.

These concerns, for the first time in economic history, affect the livelihoods of everyone in the ever-integrated world we live in; for China is indubitably the most dominant economy of this decade, and many decades to come. Soothsayers predict an immediate downfall of the Chinese system, but for all its lack of democratic accountability and feedback loops, the hierarchical system of governance is regimental to the every last daily military step at Tienanmen Square; your author, himself observed first-hand the extraordinary institutions of the Chinese People's Republic in 2011.

The global concerns of an authoritative China are overrepresented; for China is unique as a continuous Civilisational Power is to be; Chinese History is an epochal and continuous affair from the Han Dynasty to Deng Xiaoping. Befitting Chinese History, her identity is inward-looking and shaped by her harmonious co-existence with other entities. Once, last year, your author went to the Capital Museum in Beijing, off Muxidi on subway line 1, which came out to be an extraordinary place to observe Chinese artefacts, from Zhou funeral vessels to 'ornate' Sino-Buddhist sculptures in sensual poses.

If the CCP is to adapt itself, from the penniless days of Mao into a full-fledging leader of the latest superpower in modern Economic History, it is required that the internal executive system chooses consciously those who are best to lead not just the Chinese economy but the Global Economy, for many years to come. Alas, that is a task that even the Consuls of Rome were unable to perform, let alone the eventual diminished expectations for the CCP who eventually occupy a minutiae of the illustrious history of Chinese Civilisation.