Author: Yale University Press

July Theme: Where is the Money?

Everyone from Liza Minnelli to R. Kelly knows that money makes the world go round. This month, Yale University Press authors are expanding on that observation to explore the fields of economics and global finance under the banner Where is the Money? It might seem like a simple question, but to really understand where the money is, why it’s going where it’s going, and what to do about it takes a considerable amount of study and research. Or at least a good book.

In Europe’s Deadlock, David Marsh explains how the Eurozone’s crisis management has actually made things worse. Countries with weak economies come to resent creditor nations, and creditor nations fear they will have to subsidize weaker countries indefinitely. Stephen D. King, author of When the Money Runs Out, finds fault not in the structure of the European Union but in a deficient understanding of economic history. As King explains in an interview with CNBC, sustained economic growth is an anomaly, but leaders have planned for the future as though it were a given.

Jennifer Taub traces the origins of 2008′s financial meltdown in Other People’s Houses. She points to decisions in the 1980s as the underlying problem, and argues that the U.S. is not currently doing enough to prevent another crisis. Tom Clark focuses on the effects of economic crises in his book Hard TimesHe examines the social consequences of Great Recession and the Great Depression, and a great interactive infographic made by Kiln illustrates the outsize negative effects on the poor.

Where is the Money Cover Photo 2

Straits seem dire, but Yale Press authors are hard at work on creative solutions to problems big and small. In Why Nudge? Cass R. Sunstein pushes back against John Stuart Mill’s Harm Principle, and argues for a form of paternalism rooted in behavioral economics. The government, his argument runs, should create structures that encourage people to make better decisions, financial and otherwise, in their daily lives. Joseph R. Blasi, author of The Citizen’s Share, writes that the government ought to create tax incentives for companies to share profits and ownership with their employees as a way of alleviating inequality. The book is now out in paperback, and the first chapter is available as an excerpt.

Orly Lobel writes about a different way to shake up companies in her book, Talent Wants to be Free. Lobel says that corporations that aggressively restrict their talent and secrets do more to stifle innovation than to protect revenue. In Austerity, Florian Schui presents another counter-intuitive idea: arguments for austerity are not rooted in economics. Schui explains that austerity—the notion that abstinence from consumption brings benefits to states, societies, or individuals—lingers on in today’s debates because of the moral and political sentiments that have long been associated with it.

Two Yale University Press authors address the economic position of the United States by considering its alliances. Richard Rosecrance writes in The Resurgence of the West that the U.S. should join forces with the European Union in order to unblock arteries of trade and investment. The alliance could also help both parties face East Asian challengers. In a partial echo of Rosecrance’s concerns, Stephen Roach highlights the dangerous ways in which the U.S. and China depend on one another. A pair of interviews about Unbalanced make the situation frighteningly clear.

While analysts like Roach predict that China will be the world’s next superpower, Timothy Beardson expresses his reservations in Stumbling Giant. Beardson makes the case that problems with stability, prosperity, identity, and honor may thwart the country’s ambition. Michael Reid discusses the trajectory of another potential global power in Brazil. The world’s fourth most populous democracy has enjoyed some effective reformist leadership but still has a raft of social problems to address going forward.

Anupam Chander and Edward Castronova focus less on who the major economic powers will be and more on how they will wield economic power in a digital age. In The Electronic Silk Road, Chander reveals the legal complications that have arisen alongside global Internet commerce. Cases like Facebook and the Pirate Bay demonstrate the need for countries to dismantle some barriers while still protecting consumer interests. Castronova’s book, Wildcat Currency, discusses everything from medieval banking to Bitcoin while making a case for the legitimacy of virtual money. He argues that leaders must seriously consider the legal, political, and economic effects of private currencies.

We hope you enjoy these economic titles, and if you want to save money and still read great books you can enter our Goodreads Giveaways for Brazil and Wildcat Currency. Make sure to enter by July 31st!

Austerity: Reading between the lines of the economic debate

In his sweeping new book, Austerity: the Great Failure, historian Florian Schui tackles the central economic debate sprung from the Great Recession: whether decreasing government spending will renew economic growth. To this debate, Schui brings vital historical perspective – a look at the dismal track record of austerity policies over the course of their long history. Examining the arguments of key theorists of consumption, ranging from Aristotle to Margaret Thatcher, Schui demonstrates that no argument against spending has ever successfully refuted the Keynesian logic of anti-cyclical government stimulus.

What Schui reveals instead is that austerity’s long life is thanks to its moral and political underpinnings – not any economic justification. The moral authority of abstinence over greed, coupled with political maneuverings against labor and the Left, has kept austerity alive in public discourse despite its empirical shortcomings. This confusion of arguments, which Shui ably parses, is as alive in the media today as it has ever been.

Now in their fourth year, the austerity measures placed on debtor nations of the Eurozone by the International Monetary Fund and creditor-state Germany continue to return mixed results. Unemployment in Europe still hangs above 10%, and the situation in the hardest pressed nations remains bleak. In Greece, households burn furniture for heat, and the health care system is a shambles.

Yet Europe’s economic leaders continue to insist on austerity before aid. Their reasoning? Lately, the supporters of austerity have been eager to point to the apparent successes of the policy in the Baltics, particularly Latvia and Estonia.

With Schui’s argument in mind, consider some of the reports on the state of these Baltic nations from local political leaders and major media outlets. Are their arguments purely economic, or might there be moral or political traces in their statements?

  • On Estonia’s adherence to austerity, despite a GDP drop of 14% in 2009: “[Estonian president Toomas Hendrik] Ilves divides Europe into countries that follow the rules and countries that don’t… Estonians, in their own eyes, have always followed the rules, and in 2009 took their lumps to do so.”
  • Swedish economist Anders Aslund responds to Nobel laureate Paul Krugman’s critique of the Baltic ‘triumph’: “[Krugman] praises the fiscally irresponsible and scolds the virtuous, denigrating the Baltic achievements while trying to explain away miserable failures, such as Greece.”
  • On Latvia’s ‘high pain threshold’: “In Greece and Spain, cuts in salaries, jobs and state services have pushed tempers beyond the boiling point, with angry citizens staging frequent protests and strikes… But in Latvia, where the government laid off a third of its civil servants, slashed wages for the rest and sharply reduced support for hospitals, people mostly accepted the bitter medicine.”
  • And anecdotally: “When a credit-fueled economic boom turned to bust in this tiny Baltic nation in 2008, Didzis Krumins, who ran a small architectural company, fired his staff one by one and then shut down the business… But instead of taking to the streets to protest the cuts, Mr. Krumins, whose newborn child, in the meantime, needed major surgery, bought a tractor and began hauling wood to heating plants that needed fuel.”

For more close readings of the austerity debate – from the Commercial Revolution to the modern day – be sure to check out Austerity, in stores now.

What SUP From Your Favorite University Presses, July 25, 2014

sup-300x209Welcome to our weekly roundup of news from university presses! Once again, there is a lot to share this week from our fellow academic publishing houses and much to learn on What SUP at the social university presses. This week, we visit Machu Picchu, address New York City’s inequality, and celebrate progress in education. What did you read this week?

Columbia University Press interviews John Haller, the author of Shadow Medicine. He outlines the conceptual and practical differences between conventional and alternative medicines, and explains how the placebo effect complicates both kinds of therapy. The Press also offers an excerpt from the book.

Duke University Press explores the “lost city” of Machu Picchu with two articles about its history. Amy Cox Hall describes the methodologies of the site’s rediscoverers, Hiram Bingham and the Yale Peruvian Expedition team. Keely Maxwell documents the environmental history of tourism on the Inca Trail.

Harvard University Press reflects on the publication, reception, and evaluation of texts, and on how peer review can relate to each. The Press considers Joseph Esposito’s ideas about Open Access publishing in light of a story told by historian Matthew Pratt Guterl about his book, Josephine Baker and the Rainbow Tribe.

Indiana University Press streams the newest episode of the IU Press podcast, in which Keren McGinity describes what she learned about gender and religion while researching and writing Marrying Out. The book focuses on the experiences of Jewish men and their non-Jewish wives, particularly as they become parents.

Temple University Press highlights the challenges New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio faces in lessening inequality and fostering a more inclusive urbanism. Tarry Hum, author of Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood, takes Brooklyn as an especially illuminating test case.

Oxford University Press traces the recent history of the Church of England in order to contextualize the admission of female bishops. Linda Woodhead, the author of Christianity: A Very Short Introduction, describes the underlying tensions between universalism and sectarianism and between liberalism and paternalism.

Stanford University Press argues that even though education reform is crucial, it is worth celebrating how far the United States and the world have come. David P. Baker, the author of The Schooled Society, points out that the world today is exponentially more educated than it has ever been before, and that this has dramatically affected humanity’s external and internal structures.

Beyond the University Makes a Splash

Wesleyan University recently sat down to talk to Michael S. Roth, president of the university and author of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters. The video and post originally appeared in Wesleyan University’s blog, which you can read here.


Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters by Michael S. RothA June 10 note to the President’s Office at Wesleyan grabbed attention—Harvard’s Office of Undergraduate Education wanted help in quickly obtaining 125 copies of Michael Roth’s new book to distribute to Harvard faculty members.

The email was indicative of the excitement that Roth’s latest book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (Yale University Press), has generated since it was published in May. The sixth book that Roth has authored, it has received substantial coverage in the national media and has helped put into historical context today’s debates over the value of a broad, liberal education. Roth reminds readers that accusations about the impracticality of liberal education date back to the days of the Founding Fathers, and are never less convincing than now. He draws on the writings of prominent thinkers such as John Dewey, Jane Addams, W.E.B. Dubois and Thomas Jefferson to make the case for a pragmatic liberal education.

Reviews of the book have appeared in The Washington Post and Inside Higher Ed, while a number of related op-eds and essays by Roth have been published in outlets such as The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Boston Globe and The Daily Beast. President Roth has discussed his book with The Atlantic magazine, and on public radio stations around the country.

“We’ve been delighted with the amount of attention the book is getting, both on the local and national levels. It’s engaging precisely with the big and urgent questions out there about higher education, just as we hoped. President Roth has been a great spokesperson for defending the humanities, which have been under scrutiny of late,” said John Donatich, director of Yale University Press. “We are currently selling into a second printing of the book, and it’s very possible we could go into a third printing. We expect it to sell even more in paperback down the road.”

In addition, Chinese and Korean translations of the book are in the works.

Reviews of the book have been positive. Writing in The Washington Post, Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, praises it as a “lucid, helpful and accessible account of the current challenges to higher education.”

“By presenting his argument historically, Roth, president of Wesleyan University, maintains a judicious distance from his subject and avoids the trap—all too enticing for a zealous advocate—of delivering a passionate apologia for a broad generalization. Instead, he gives us a substantial and lively discussion that allows the reader to maintain an open mind while examining the strengths and weaknesses of the several threads, each in its own turn,” writes Nelson.

And Kirkus Reviews writes: “While underscoring the democratic spirit of a liberal arts education, one designed to produce ‘active citizens rather than passive subjects,’ Roth traces how even the Founding Fathers of the republic restricted the education to patrician white males, excluding women, slaves and others—and that the question of whether farmers need to be able to read Shakespeare has long sparked debate. Between pragmatism and idealism, the author strikes a moderate, balanced approach. The result is more like a primer on the history of higher education than a manifesto.”

See all media coverage of Beyond the University here.

Read more about Beyond the University in this Wesleyan Connection article.


Should You Invest in Bitcoin? Here’s a Flowchart to Help You Decide.

Wildcat Currency CoverBitcoin is on the rise. The completely digital currency has been covered by Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among others. Bitcoins have the power to buy anything from a hot dog at a Sacramento Kings NBA game to a hotel room at a Holiday Inn in Brooklyn. It’s a brave new financial world, or at least it might seem that way. According to Edward Castronova, author of Wildcat Currency: How the Virtual Money Revolution is Transforming the Economy, forms of monetary exchange not created by the federal government have existed for a long time. He cites airline miles and S&H Green Stamps as examples, but his underlying argument for Bitcoin’s legitimacy has less to do with 20th century precedents than with the nature of money itself.

Castronova discusses the ways economies spring up everywhere: in online games with internal currencies and in prisons where cigarettes become a medium of exchange.These economies tend to behave the same way “real” economies do, and as Castronova goes into the specifics of each financial community he sheds light on the general principles they confirm. The definition of money, the core idea behind banking, the way inflation works, and debates surrounding these and other issues all become clearer through the book’s telling case studies. These gestures allow the later sections of Wildcat Currency to delve into the implications of virtual currencies, and to seriously consider both the benefits and the drawbacks surrounding Bitcoin as economic, legal, and political entities begin to create policy to address it.

If you are interested in learning more, you can enter our Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Wildcat Currency! In addition, Edward Castronova has been answering questions in a Reddit AMA. And if you are thinking about trying Bitcoin yourself, take a look at this handy flowchart to find out whether you should invest.

op-ed-chart-graphic-revision2


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wildcat Currency by Edward Castronova

Wildcat Currency

by Edward Castronova

Giveaway ends July 31, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

What SUP From Your Favorite University Presses, July 11, 2014

sup-300x209Welcome to our weekly roundup of news from university presses! Once again, there is a lot to share this week from our fellow academic publishing houses and much to learn on What SUP at the social university presses. This week, we see Ratatouille through new eyes, learn about indigenous ethnobotany, and analyze India’s national elections.

Columbia University Press argues that we should trust scientists even though most of us cannot directly evaluate scientific research. Naomi Oreskes, co-author of The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, makes her case in the form of a TED Talk.

Fordham University Press shares an excerpt from What’s Queer About Europe? in which Laure Murat analyzes the rodent protagonist of Pixar’s Ratatouille (2007) through the lenses of sexuality and nationalism.

Johns Hopkins University Press considers the challenges ISIS may face in its attempt to seize and control Iraq. Mark N. Katz, author of Leaving without Losing, cites regional opposition, reaction to repression, and rifts among radicals as problems for almost any revolutionary movement, ISIS included.

McGill-Queen’s University Press explores the affinities among Indigenous peoples’ knowledge of plants and environments in northwestern North America. Nancy Turner, author of Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge, writes about the origins of her ethnobotanical research.

Temple University Press studies the way racial biases affect nurse-patient relationships in American hospitals. Lisa Ruchti, author of Catheters, Slurs, and Pickup Lines, outlines the problems that nurses of color face in a segment on Al-Jazeera America News.

Oxford University Press interviews pain specialist Mark Johnson about high and low tech ways of treating pain, what factors contribute  to chronic pain, and how Johnson’s research on Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation could affect the world.

Stanford University Press discusses India’s recent national elections, and the erosion of pluralism and minority rights they may herald, with the help of Narendra Subramanian, author of Nation and Family: Personal Law, Cultural Pluralism, and Gendered Citizenship in India.

Princeton University Press requests help from all members of the ornithological community in tracking the migratory connectivity of North American birds. The editorial team of The Atlas of Migratory Connectivity for Birds of North America will collect contributions through the end of 2014.

Brazil: An Introduction to a Rising Global Power

Brazil CoverBrazil may have lost badly to Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Semifinals on Tuesday, but they are still competing on the world stage and may soon contend with Germany and other more established countries in the global economy. Indeed, a new book by Michael Reid argues that Brazil deserves consistent international recognition and attention, as it may well be one of the world’s most influential nations by 2030. In Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global PowerThe Economist‘s Latin American columnist describes the country’s tumultuous history, notes its achievements, and assesses the challenges that face Brazil if it is to live up to its potential.

Tom Jobim, the composer of “The Girl from Ipanema,” once said that “Brazil is not for beginners,” and Reid‘s book is both a guide for the perplexed and an insightful meditation for the already informed. To initiate the wholly uninitiated—and to whet your appetite—here are a few key pieces of information about Brazil’s economy and culture.

  • The nation is the world’s fifth largest country by area. It is in equal in size to the United States, and all twenty-eight countries of the European Union would fit comfortably inside Brazil’s territory.
  • Brazil is a deeply religious country, with a mix of Christian and African religions. Many Brazilians pray to both a Catholic saint and an African orixá (deity).
  • The country’s population of 200 million makes it the world’s fourth most populous democracy.
  • Brazilians love football so much that on days when the national team is playing in the World Cup, the country completely shuts down, and the streets of major cities effectively fall silent.
  • Brazil has the seventh-largest economy, but it is the third-largest exporter of food and the six-biggest manufacturing power.
  • In Brazil, loyalty to the family is key, and the family is in some ways the central institution of Brazilian society.
  • Brazilians devote more of their disposable income to beauty and personal care products than anyone else in the world.
  • The nation is both self-sufficient in oil and the world leader in plant-based fuels.

If you are interested in learning more about Brazil’s past, present, and possible future, don’t miss your chance to win a copy of Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global Power through our Goodreads giveaway. Make sure to enter by the end of the month!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Brazil by Michael Reid

Brazil

by Michael Reid

Giveaway ends July 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Recommended Reading for the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China by Stephen RoachThe U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) is taking place in Beijing, China on July 9–10. In his new book, Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China, Stephen Roach addresses the current and prospective state-of-play in the economic relationship between China and the United States. As the S&ED approaches, we’ve asked him to weigh in on several key aspects of this important exchange between the world’s two largest and leading economies.

Yale University Press: What is the S&ED and why is it so important?

Stephen Roach: In an effort to formalize and coordinate high level exchanges on economic and financial issues between the U.S. and Chinese governments, a Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) was launched in December 2006 by Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. In 2009, the Obama Administration broadened the focus of the dialogue to include foreign policy and security discussions—hence, inserting an ampersand into the acronym (S&ED)—and reduced the frequency of engagement from twice a year to an annual meeting. The summit continues to rotate back and forth between Washington and Beijing. It brings together on a regular basis the largest delegation of senior government officials of both nations. Its core mission is to generate a “dialogue that will focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global areas of immediate and long-term economic and strategic interest.” Bottom line: The S&ED is now the main event in the U.S.-China debate.

YUP: What is the mood heading into the upcoming S&ED?

SR: Not good. Tensions have intensified recently on three key fronts—trade and currency (again), cyberhacking, and maritime and territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. Unsurprisingly, both nations are blaming the other for causing these problems. These are classic symptoms of the blame-game of codependency that I stress in Unbalanced—a penchant for partners to hold the other accountable for problems of ones own making. For its part, U.S. complaints are undoubtedly exaggerated by the domestic political cycle—a fairly typical outbreak of China bashing that has broad bipartisan appeal heading into national elections. China is also shaped by its own political agenda—ironic for a one-party system but in keeping with President Xi Jinping’s grass roots appeal for restoration of the so-called China Dream.

YUP: What do you see as the key issues in the U.S.-China economic relationship that you would like to see addressed at this year’s S&ED?

SR: The main problem with the economic relationship is that it has moved into the danger zone of a destructive codependency, where, as I wrote in a recent op-ed on Project Syndicate, both the U.S. and China are focused more on frictions than on synergies. The challenge is to embrace the opportunities of a more constructive interdependency. In that vein, I would like to see progress on two fronts—moving ahead on a U.S.-China bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and reestablishing military-to-military exchanges on the increasingly contentious cybersecurity issue.

YUP: How can the U.S. benefit from a bilateral investment treaty with China?

SR: China is at the early stage of a powerful transformation—moving from a manufacturing-led investment and export growth strategy to a services-led consumer society. In Unbalanced, I estimate that the growth in Chinese services will amount to some $12 trillion between now and 2025. In an environment of ever increasing IT-enabled global connectivity, many services have been transformed from nontradables to tradables. In the book, I calculate that the tradable portion of China’s coming bonanza in services growth could amount to between $4 and $6 trillion by 2025. No one is better positioned than the United States—the world’s largest and most competitive services economy—to garner a significant share of China’s coming wave of services development. The key will be having access to the growth in China’s domestic services market—a critical objective of a bilateral investment treaty.

YUP: Will China enjoy equal benefits from a bilateral investment treaty with the United States?

SR: Yes, that’s precisely the point. What we get on access to Chinese markets they will rightfully want and demand from us. That’s not to say that each nation replicates precisely the same industry and product-specific access of the other. There will be differences in what each would consider “out-of bounds”—the so-called negative list characteristic of all trade negotiations. But there can be no mistaking that China is now moving aggressively to invest in foreign markets, including those in the United States. According to a tabulation by the consultancy Rhodium Group, China’s outward-bound foreign direct investment into U.S. markets has just surpassed American fixed investment into China for the first time ever. Just as U.S. companies have sought to capture share in Chinese markets, it is only logical that China’s increasingly globalized multinationals seek to do the same in the United States. Both nations benefit from this aspect of economic integration—consistent with the familiar “win-win” mantra of globalization. Furthermore, if China and the United States reach accord on a rules-based framework of market access, that could well set the stage for broader trade liberalization, including China’s participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that the U.S. is currently negotiating with eleven other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Excluding China from TPP would be a mistake. Progress on a BIT could well avoid such a blunder. That would be icing on the cake.

YUP: But any treaty between nations would need to be approved by the U.S. Senate. What are the chances that a dysfunctional Congress would agree to such an action?

SR: Given the political polarization in Washington, there is little possibility of Senate approval of a BIT with China in the foreseeable future. Realistically, however, U.S. and Chinese negotiators still have considerable ground to cover before presenting any such accord to their respective governments for ratification. The soonest I could envision that occurring would be late 2015 or early 2016—hopefully squeezing through a narrow window in the U.S. political cycle between the upcoming off-year elections and the next Presidential campaign. While this may seem unrealistically optimistic—especially in light of the long and arduous negotiations that preceded China’s accession to the WTO in 2001—there is growing support for such action by trade experts in both countries. An especially strong appeal for a BIT was recently made on the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal by none other than Ambassadors Charlene Barshefsky and Long Yongtu, the two principal negotiators of the China-U.S. WTO accord. Notwithstanding the compelling arguments and growing support outside the Washington Beltway for a U.S.-China BIT, it would be naïve to presume that Congress will suddenly put aside its long-standing anti-China biases. That remains a major fly in the ointment.

YUP: How do the charges and counter-charges over cyberhacking affect the relationship and can the upcoming S&ED do anything to calm the waters on this key issue?

Stephen Roach

Stephen Roach: Photo by Tony Rinaldo

SR: Painfully, cyber-espionage has become a way of life in the Internet Era. In terms of the U.S.-China relationship it has become an increasingly contentious issue in the past eighteen months following the January 2013 release of a report by a leading cyber security firm Mandiant that documents alleged hacking of U.S. companies by a cyber intelligence unit embedded in the Chinese army. That report served as the basis of a recent U.S. Department of Justice indictment of five officers in the People’s Liberation Army on charges of espionage, theft of trade secrets, identity theft, and fraud. Following that indictment, China has withdrawn from the military-to-military exchanges that were established at last year’s S&ED in July 2013, denying the validity of U.S. allegations and arguing that the evidence of U.S. cyber hacking provided by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, portrays equally egregious violations by the United States. This is a classic example of how the finger pointing of codependency can get partners into serious trouble. A resumption of military-to-military exchanges on cyber issues offers the only viable avenue of resolution. The S&ED is the best platform to accomplish that objective.

YUP: How do China’s economic leaders currently view the U.S. economy?

SR: They still view the U.S. economy with great admiration—as the largest and strongest economy in the world and as an economy that sets the bar very high in terms of innovation, technological change, and entrepreneurial start-ups. In the same sense, they recognize that the U.S. was seriously wounded by the Great Financial Crisis of 2008-09 and will take a long time to return to its former pre-crisis health and vigor. China continues to worry about macroeconomic imbalances—its own as well as those of the United States. It is attempting to address its imbalances by shifting to more of a consumer-led growth strategy. It is disappointed that America does not seem to be addressing its imbalances after the turmoil of such a wrenching crisis—preferring, instead, to sustain an historic shortfall of domestic saving and thereby still rely on others, such as China, to fill that void. China views this as an inherent source of macro-instability in the U.S. that leads to trade and currency tensions that always seem to be debated at S&EDs. The current Dialogue is hardly an exception in this regard—epically in light of the U.S. Treasury’s recent expression of concern (PDF) over a supposed shift in Chinese currency policy.

YUP: What do you advise as the steps needed to correct the “imbalance” in our two economies?

SR: The solution is conceptually quite simple—China needs to save less and consume more. America needs to do the opposite—consume less and save more and deploy that saving toward rebuilding competitiveness by investing in human capital, infrastructure, and manufacturing capacity. But talk is cheap—the heavy lifting of implementation is where the rubber meets the road. China. I believe, is on that road to rebalancing. The United States, I fear, is not. Instead, we remain fixated on the excesses of debt- and asset-driven consumer-led growth as the crux of the American Dream. In a codependent relationship, this asymmetrical response is troubling. America is likely to feel pressure as China shifts from surplus saving to saving absorption and thereby provides support for the safety net of its own citizens rather than offering such support for American citizens. In response, the United States will find itself lacking the external source of saving it has long relied on as the sustenance of its unbalanced growth. This is the subtext of what is likely to be an equally asymmetrical engagement at the upcoming S&ED in July 2014. It’s the “S” that remains the big problem for Washington—a failure to comprehend the strategic imperatives of America’s rebalancing agenda.


Stephen Roach is senior fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and School of Management, Yale University. Prior to that he was Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, and for the bulk of his career on Wall Street was Chief Economist of Morgan Stanley. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 1982, Mr. Roach served on the research staff of the Federal Reserve Board and was also a research fellow at the Brookings Institution. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from New York University. Roach has written extensively for the international media and appears regularly on television around the world.

What SUP From Your Favorite University Presses, July 4, 2014

sup-300x209Welcome to our weekly roundup of news from university presses! Once again, there is a lot to share this week from our fellow academic publishing houses and much to learn on What SUP at the social university presses. This week, we move beyond the language of tolerance, learn about the banjo, and celebrate the anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act. What did you read this week?

Columbia University Press gives away copies of The Nature of Value by Nick Gogerty. Enter by July 7 at 1:00 pm EST to win this book about economics, evolution, and investment.

As Pride Month comes to a close, New York University Press interviews Suzanna Danuta Walters, author of The Tolerance Trap. She articulates her frustration with the centrality of marriage to the gay rights movement and invites us to imagine a more progressive set of goals.

Harvard University Press follows Zephyr Teachout, author of Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United, as she mounts a primary challenge to Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Oregon State University Press invites Barbara J. Scot to reflect on the origins of her new memoir, The Nude Beach Notebook, which engages with the landscape and culture of Oregon’s Sauvie Island.

Oxford University Press shares ten fun facts about the banjo from Oxford Reference. Our favorite fact is that an 1687 description of an early banjo in Jamaica referred to the instrument as a “strum strump.”

Pennsylvania State University Press asks what sets live theater apart from other media. According to Leslie Stainton, the author of Staging Ground: An American Theater and Its Ghosts, theater’s vitality arises out of its collaboration between audience and actor.

Stanford University Press celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act, the law that effectively inaugurated the national parks system during the Civil War. Carleton Watkins, an inventive and talented photographer, arduously produced the incredible images of Yosemite that helped lead to the land’s preservation.

Syracuse University Press announces that We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War has won the 2014 Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction. In the anthology, editors Nadje Al-Ali and Deborah Al-Najjar bring Iraq’s multitude of ethnicities, religions, and experiences into focus.

The University of California Press features an interview with Patricia Miller, author of Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church. The author spoke with Rev. Welton Gaddy on the show State of Belief about the nearly-fifty year struggle within the Catholic Church.