Like many others, Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff believes China is in a credit bubble that will ultimately burst.
And that development could send the country’s economic growth down to 2 percent within 10 years, he told Bloomberg.
That would represent a veritable plunge from the current level of about 10 percent and likely throw the entire region, including Japan and South Korea, into recession, says Rogoff, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.
Latin American commodity exporters also would suffer, as China is a huge customer for them.
“You’re not going to go a decade without having a bump in the business cycle,” Rogoff said.
“We would learn just how important China is when that happens. It would cause a recession everywhere surrounding China.”
China embarked on massive fiscal and monetary stimulus after the 2008 financial crisis and only recently has begun to tighten policy.
“Their response to the latest financial crisis clearly raised the risk that they have a debt-fueled bubble in the economy,” Rogoff said.
The overheated property market may well be the pin that pricks the bubble, he says.
However, Peter Morici, a public policy professor at the University of Maryland, says the state’s strict economic control could be helpful.
"The government can really push money into enterprises to keep them going even amid a crisis," he told Fortune magazine. "You wouldn't see a credit shortage like the one we saw in the U.S."
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