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This book focuses on global financial systems. After summarising historical financial institutions, it subsequently uses economic and econometrical models to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of these institutions and their role in the history. Readers, especially international readers, will be introduced to prominent Chinese scholars’ ideas and views on these issues. The perspective of this book is, of course, a Chinese one. As such, readers will learn how Chinese people view global financial systems, even those dominated by the West, what they think about future global finance, etc. As such, the book offers intriguing and revealing insights for researchers and a broader readership alike.



Global Imbalances: From the Monetary Perspective


Chapter 1. The Rise and Fall of Monetary Hegemony

The earliest, recorded economic transactions among nations shows that cross-border trade and flow of capital can be traced back to the period of Mongol Empire and the Yuan Dynasty in China. However, globalization in the real sense cannot be achieved without distinctive international division of labor and continuous flow of goods (services) and capital across the national border. In this sense, the first wave of globalization took place in the 1970s.
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang

Chapter 2. The Warring States

People usually mention the international monetary system after the collapse of the Bretton Woods system by the term of “the Era of the Jamaica Agreement” and describe its major feature as the floating exchange rate mechanism. Though not incorrect, those terms fail to capture the reality properly when trying to trace the evolution of the international monetary system by following the transition of the exchange rate system only.
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang

Global Imbalances: From the Perspective of Real Economy


Chapter 3. Transformation of International Division of Labor and Global Imbalances

If the rise and fall of monetary hegemony is a manifestation of the evolution of the global financial infrastructure, the transformation of the international division of labor has marked the essential changes of the world’s real economy. With the deepening of today’s globalization, it is increasingly important to provide a full and precise picture of the general trajectories of the world economy by looking at the relations with regard to the internal and external balances.
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang

Chapter 4. Innovation of Technology, Changes in Productivity, and Global Imbalances

Last chapter reveals the relations between international division of labor and the global imbalances. It can be seen that two factors determines how a country is positioned in international division of labor.
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang

From Imbalances to Financial Crisis


Chapter 5. Internal and External Imbalances and Currency Hegemony

The previous two chapters mainly focuses on real economy, looking for the causes of global trade and imbalances from the angle of international labor division and technological innovation, this chapter studies global imbalances and economic crisis from the perspective of currency hegemony with analyses of currency and finance.
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang

The Mechanism of Rebalancing


Chapter 6. Two Myths of Rebalancing

If we only trust laisser-faire, then we will take for granted that there is an adjustment mechanism running that can spontaneously keep the balance, which is a “dogmatic illusion”, as it neglects lessons of historical experience that cannot be reasonably accounted for by any theory
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang

Chapter 7. Monetary Statecraft and Profits of Dollar Hegemony

Monetary statecraft, understood as efforts to influence the policies of other states by manipulating monetary conditions, has been a recurring feature of the global economy since World War II. At critical moments over the last four decades, the United States has exploited the vulnerability of countries in Europe and East Asia to changes in their currencies’ exchange rates vis-à-vis the dollar in an effort to extract policy adjustments from their governments and central banks. More successful in some episodes than in others, this “exchange-rate weapon” has played a central role in international conflicts over balance-of-payments adjustment.
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang

Chapter 8. International Monetary Policy Coordination: Theories and Reality

This line is from Karl Polanyi’s famous book, The Great Transformation. It described the Britain’s power in the 19th century, which is an analogical situation of the US in the twentieth century. The monetary hegemony dominating the international coordination was pulling the threads behind the major economic events in the world.
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang



Chapter 9. Moving Towards a New Balance

Today, the most difficult problem is global economic imbalances, and with no question the primary task is to correct it. The current global financial crisis that broke out in 2007 was triggered by global imbalances.
Yang Li, Xiaojing Zhang


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