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Y376 International Political Economy March 19, 2012
Thomas Friedman New York Times since 1981 Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner 1984-88 Israel Bureau Chief Major Books: From Beirut to Lebanon (1989) The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1998) The World is Flat (2005) Hot, Flat, and Crowded (2008)
Chimerica Niall Ferguson idea Friedman: “… We in America built more and more stores, to sell more and more stuff, made in more and more Chinese factories, powered by more and more coal, and all those sales produced more dollars, which China used to buy more and more U.S. Treasury Bills, which allowed the Federal Reserve to extend more and more easy credit to more and more banks, consumers and businesses…” (p. 4)
Iceland’s Banks and Melting Ice In 2003, three biggest banks in Iceland had assets of $140 billion, bigger than Icelandic GDP 2003-7: growth of banking fueled big jump in incomes, real estate and stock prices October 2008 collapse left Icelandic citizens holding the bag Video
Collapse of the Wilkins Ice Shelf Wilkins Ice Shelf in the Antarctic crumbled in January 2009 Scientist blamed global warming for the collapse of this and nine other ice shelves in Antarctica video
What Happened? (Friedman’s explanation) The trend to deregulation (especially under Reagan) End of the Cold War 9/11 “And when the bugle sounded we heard the call: ‘Go shopping.’” ( p. 35) “…the biggest danger America faces today is not so much that it will suddenly nosedive…it will undergo a gradual but very real erosion of its strengths and assets as a country…” (p. 41)