Off topic: Analyzing the US federal deficit and GDP to debt ratio

I wanted to point out two excellent resources for explaining some of the macroeconomic issues related to the debt ceiling standoff in Washington at the moment. The first is a dispassionate piece from that examines U.S. federal spending versus income. The current problem is represented in this graph: The red is outlays — or […]

Reuters on wages and inflation in Thailand

A Reuters story from yesterday: Analysis: Thailand risks growing old before it gets rich: Earning $6 a day from her food stall outside her home next to a railway track, Lumyai Rungruang is sceptical of news that Thailand’s wages are rising. The 54-year-old is too busy contending with spiralling inflation. Coconut juice has doubled in […]

What does the rising baht mean to the Thai government and exporters?

For an examination of what the rising Thai baht — previous posts here and here — means to the Thai government and exporters, I suggest this post from James Harriman at Asian Correspondent: Panic over the rising baht: …The Thai baht has strengthened significantly versus the US dollar over the last year, as have most […]

FT on Thai capital controls as baht continues to soar

A brief Financial Times blog post worth checking out: Thai capital controls: more to come: The Thai government’s attempts to relieve the upward pressure on the baht by reinstating a 15 per cent withholding tax on foreign bond holders has had little intended effect so far. On Tuesday the baht continued its inexorable climb hitting […]

Economist Stephen Roach: “America has lost its way”

I suggest checking out this sobering IHT op-ed from economist Stephen Roach, who’s now at Yale after having been non-executive chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia. The Asian Way: HONG KONG — What a contrast! After three years living in Asia, I returned to the United States a couple of months ago, with enormous respect for […]

Thai baht rises to 31.06 to the dollar

Bloomberg: Baht Rises to 13-Year High as Growth Outlook Boosts Inflows: Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) — Thailand’s baht rose to the strongest level since 1997 as the outlook for economic growth and speculation interest rates may rise further encouraged investors to pour money into the nation’s stocks and bonds. The baht gained 0.4 percent to 31.07 […]

NYT: “China Passes Japan to Become No. 2 Economy”

NYT: “China Passes Japan to Become No. 2 Economy“: After three decades of spectacular growth, China passed Japan in the second quarter to become the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States, according to government figures released early Monday. The milestone, though anticipated for some time, is the most striking evidence yet that China’s ascendance […]

More on China, the U.S., GDP, and economic power

One of the great pleasures I derive from blogging here is receiving feedback from knowledgeable and thoughtful readers. One such reader — a person who has asked not to be identified — wrote in to correct my Dec. 11 post about American misperceptions of Chinese economic might. As you’ll recall, I linked to a post […]

American misperceptions about China’s economic power

Note: I have updated this post here. Excellent post from James Fallows pointing out that a new Pew report shows that 44 percent of Americans think that the “top global economic power” is China. Just 27 percent of respondents correctly picked the U.S. Yes, China owns a lot of American T-bills. And yes, China’s economy […]

“Betting on Thailand”

I wanted to point out a column in Wednesday’s IHT/NYT called “Betting on Thailand.” It’s a look at how Thailand compares — and will compare over the next 20 years — with its regional neighbors in terms of business and economic development. Here’re the last two graphs, which are particularly interesting: Indeed, Thailand’s long-term strengths […]