Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Asia Portfolio

Stephen S. Roach

Is the “Asian” economic model of mercantilism and industrial policy, written off in the 1990’s, making a comeback? Will surging inflation in China help or undermine its leaders’ efforts to move away from export-led growth? Can India keep up with its giant neighbor to the North-East? Does Asia’s rise mean that the United States and Europe must inevitably decline? Are Indonesia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh the next big global players? Can Asia’s multinational family-business dynasties continue to prosper?

The late American politician Hubert Humphrey once said that, “Asia is rich in people, rich in culture, and rich in resources. It is also rich in trouble.” But now, more than ever, Asia’s troubles – and its assets – have gone global. Its over and under-valued currencies, intense regional rivalries, and strategic uncertainties, no less than its dynamism and robust growth, have a powerful impact on economic outcomes from Africa to Argentina. Both Asia and its global role are in a state of flux, which implies risks as well as rewards for the rest of the world.

No one knows that better than Stephen S. Roach, Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and lecturer at Yale University’s School of Management and its Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. In his previous position as Morgan Stanley’s longtime Chief Economist, Stephen S. Roach became one of Wall Street’s most influential voices. Now among its most important analysts of Asia’s future, Roach's views have helped shape the thinking of policymakers throughout the region.

InThe Asia Portfolio, written exclusively for Project Syndicate, Stephen Roach examines in all their complexity the many factors – political, cultural, environmental, and historical – underlying Asia’s economic prospects and global impact. Neither a pessimist nor an optimist, Stephen Roach writes from the nuanced, realistic perspective of one who cannot afford to get it wrong.

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