The Global Post has an awesome interview with Dr. Victor Shih, assistant professor in political science at Northwestern University. The article is part of Global Post’s series “Cracks in the Wall” about the challenges facing Chinese economic growth in the future and details why, according to Harvard educated Dr. Shih, Chinese public and state-owned debt may be as high as 150% of the PRC’s GDP. Particularly troubling are accounts of debt laden entrepreneurs in Wenzhou going missing or into hiding over massive debts that are personally and socially ruinous for individuals and families. The solution to debt crises, like those pursued in the West, of quantitative easing or “printing money” work in the short run at shoring up capital levels in banks and keep the economy moving. Some argue that money, in the current sense, not being tied to a commodity (like gold) is akin to being an imaginary thing; however, this is not really the case. Rather than being tied to gold, currency is tied to economic performance and when a country enlarges its potential base for market participation, it simultaneously places upward, inflationary pressure on market prices. In short, by making more money available to more people to participate in the buying and selling of things, the government makes the demand for goods greater and consequently the value of money decreases as larger amounts of money pursue ever shrinking numbers of goods on the market. Over time one’s accumulated currency wealth, if any, is eroded by inflation because its purchasing power has become so diluted. The article even mentions the ghost town of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, one of the most glaring examples of a pending economic bubble burst in China.

[Global Post]