Debt and the End of the Chinese Economic Miracle

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Speaker: Dinny McMahon

China’s economic growth has been so strong for so long that it seems inevitable the country will soon become the world’s largest economy, and soon after that challenge the United States as the dominant global power. But the foundations of that ascent are fragile, built on an incredibly wasteful economic model that has accumulated a massive amount of debt. At the same time, China now faces a convergence of economic challenges that threaten to derail the miracle. Dinny McMahon’s book, China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Massive Loans, Ghost Cities, and the End of the Chinese Miracle, is based on McMahon’s 10 years as a financial journalist in China, and goes beyond the headlines to explain the mechanics of how the Chinese economy really works. In this talk, McMahon will share his insights into what the world gets wrong about China, and why he thinks China’s economic miracle is over. Dinny McMahon is a financial journalist who spent six years covering China’s financial system for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing, and four years prior to that writing for Dow Jones Newswires in Shanghai, where he also contributed to the Far Eastern Economic Review. McMahon completed China’s Great Wall of Debt while a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He’s currently a fellow at MacroPolo, the think tank at the Paulson Institute in Chicago.