China Is Not Out Of The Woods As Bubble Risks Abound

As 2021 unfolds, China finds itself firmly in the “oasis of prosperity” role the U.S. economy used to play.

The reference here is to Alan Greenspan’s 1998 description of America’s rarified position amid the Asian crisis. Back then, the U.S. consumer’s rabid demand gave Asia and emerging economies everywhere a market to which to send exports. That “oasis,” as then-Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan called it, propped up the globe at a moment when such an engine was most needed.

China is playing something approximating that role today—or at least holds that promise.

In 2020, it grew 2.3%, leading major economies out of the Covid-19 crisis. It’s seen growing more than 8% this year, which would be the most in a decade. The contrast with a U.S. weighed down by 27 million-plus coronavirus cases, flatlining growth and political squabbling is extreme.

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