Shift Risk

Barry Eichengreen on the risk from changes in global economic power and influence:

Shifts in global economic and financial power create unfamiliar circumstances, and unfamiliar circumstances create risks. In the 1960s and 1970s the rising powers, Europe and Japan, complained of destabilizing economic impulses emanating from the United States. This source of economic risks has been around for a long time, in other words, although its form continues to mutate. But now, in addition, the U.S. and other advanced economies must worry about the risk of adverse shocks arising out of events in China and other emerging markets. The day when the Chinese economy was too small and isolated to have a first-order impact on the rest of the world is long past, in other words. Policy analysts in the U.S. and other advanced countries need to worry about the impact on their own economy of a sharp economic slowdown in China, of a sudden drop in property prices in that country’s major cities, or of an outbreak of labor unrest. These are not matters on which U.S. policy planning has traditionally focused. It now should.