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Morgan Stanley’s former chief economist for the Asia Pacific region is an influential figure in the debate over the sustainability of China’s growth. The Shanghai-based expert explains that foreign inflows and government caps are contributing to an enormous property bubble – which also feeds wage and price inflation just as productivity and export growth is faltering. Andy also dismisses Beijing’s stimulus measures as ‘bad medicine,’ which will only reignite inflation.
Morgan Stanley’s former chief economist in the Asia Pacific region is both a respected and a controversial figure. Based in Shanghai, Andy Xie’s views on the nature of Chinese growth and the bubble-like appearance of the boom have sparked a great deal of debate.
After graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andy worked at the IMF before joining Morgan Stanley as a South East Asia specialist. He eventually departed after reaction to his comments about the level of corruption in Singaporean business.
Since then Andy’s comments on the sustainability of the Chinese economy and its stock market have attracted criticism from the authorities. Officials have accused him of being pro-American in his analysis of China’s ‘Asset Bubble-Burst Cycle.’ However many others take him seriously: in written reports for the World Bank he accurately predicted the Asian financial crisis, the dotcom bubble and the sub-prime mortgage collapse.
Andy has argued that to stop China from being export-dependent, the government will need to redistribute the newly acquired wealth to its citizens. It can do so by distributing shares in state-owned companies, lowering housing costs and controlling property speculation. In the meantime foreign inflows are simply adding to wage and price inflation - just as productivity is faltering.
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