Brian Birdnow

Last week a World Bank report that compares something called purchasing power parity claimed that, based on the purchasing power statistics, the Chinese economy has reached a point of rough equality with the United States, or, could actually have moved slightly ahead of the USA, based on the incomplete figures of economic growth over the last three years. This announcement, which confirms the fact of China’s explosive economic development, and the anemic American recovery after the Great Recession of 2008-2010, has caused quite a stir in a number of quarters. The Chinese, usually quick to tout great achievements, have been generally quiet about this one, and their official response has been to state that they have “…a long way to go, yet.” The response in the American financial sector has been rather understated, as well, with the major brokerage firm spokespeople stating that this confirms the correctness of the advice given to investors at the beginning of the new millennium, to wit, the fact that there was money to be made in China. The same brokerage firms are now talking about the unexpected opportunities available in Sub-Saharan Africa, so the world might be seeing another tectonic shift in commercial priorities and capital allocation.


Brian Birdnow

Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area.