This week’s links: 8/18/19

The Great Stagnation in Clothing

Inside the Equinox Hotel at Hudson Yards

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi

The French are coming for Netflix (who isn’t)

Effect of Potential USD Shortage on Chinese Asset Sales

China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know

What parallels can be drawn between Thailand, South Korea and Japan that could explain why their economic growth has outpaced that of the U.S. and other developed nations? LSE Professor Robert Wade suggests three main pillars of state-led macroeconomic planning:

  1. Land reform: breaking up big estates/plantations and creating a class of rural small holders, thereby raising the productivity/output of the land, especially in areas with unlimited supply of farming labor. This raises capital needed to invest in infrastructure.
  2. Export manufacturing: this helps the technological catch-up of developing nations in two ways. 1) Exports can be exchanged for the necessary foreign currencies to buy the capital equipment to increase productivity per worker (especially given weaker currencies in developing nations). 2) Once the country’s manufacturing base has been established, their exporting capabilities can help compete globally.
  3. Financial repression: controlling financial markets to facilitate the state directing capital to industries best aligned with its developmental strategy. Examples: regulated, low interest rates to reduce rentiers from living off interest income and encourage borrowing for domestic investments. A cheaper exchange rate also boosts exports. Capital controls can curtail capital from moving abroad and further incentivize domestic reinvestment.

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