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The enduring triumph of Chimerica

NEW YORK – Hating China may be the only thing that American politicians agree about, but China remains the prop and support of the American economy.

Americans can’t spend the trillions of dollars that their federal government has poured out in “stimulus” payments without Chinese imports. And the American Treasury can’t finance its projected US$2.3 trillion deficit – not without substantial pain – unless China recycles its nearly $500 billion trade surplus with the United States into US government bonds.

The US is perilously short of money, and China is flooded with money from its trade surplus. There’s nowhere else the US can raise the money it needs except China, unless it prints more money. What economists once called “Chimerica” – the symbiosis of an American economy that borrows and imports with a Chinese economy that lends and exports – is back with a vengeance.