Monday, 26 January 2009

Is China Manipulating its Currency, or is the US Manipulating its Culture?

Gietner's accusation that China is a currency manipulator and China's rebuttal that this is just another protectionist rhetoric from the US revived the debate as to whether China has violated international rules by undervaluing its currency. What are the real reasons to the swelling American national debt and who should bear the blame? We've heard of many theories and now Alireza Gharagozlou, a lawyer currently pursuing advanced studies at NYU, offers another interesting explanation - culture - in his new article linked below. Fellow blog readers are most welcome to comment on his paper by posting comments either on this blog or directly to him.

When Did Scrooge Become a Role Model? Why Criticism of America's National Debt is Misplaced

Alireza Gharagozlou

Abstract: As the world debates the economic crisis, it does so without considering two historically important ideas: the stigmatization of miserliness and the prohibition of usury. Although these ideas were once keystones of society, they are missing from the current discourse. This paper seeks to reintroduce those ideas. It starts by exploring the reason why cheapness was stigmatized, and why usury was illegal for hundreds of years. The paper then applies this historic lens to a frequently debated topic - the national debt and China-U.S. economic relations.

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